Science.gov

Sample records for native understory plants

  1. Warming climate may negatively affect native forest understory plant richness and composition by increasing invasions of non-native plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dovciak, M.; Wason, J. W., III; Frair, J.; Lesser, M.; Hurst, J.

    2016-12-01

    Warming climate is often expected to cause poleward and upslope migrations of native plant species and facilitate the spread of non-native plants, and thus affect the composition and diversity of forest understory plant communities. However, changing climate can often interact with other components of global environmental change, and especially so with land use, which often varies along extant climatic gradients making it more difficult to predict species and biodiversity responses to changing climate. We used large national databases (USDA FIA, NLCD, and PRISM) within GLM and NMDS analytical frameworks to study the effects of climate (temperature and precipitation), and land management (type, fragmentation, time since disturbance) on the diversity and composition of native and non-native plant species in forest understories across large geographical (environmental) gradients of the northeastern United States. We tested how non-native and native species diversity and composition responded to existing climate gradients and land-use drivers, and we approximated how changing climate may affect both native and non-native species composition and richness under different climate change scenarios (+1.5, 2, and 4.8 degrees C). Many understory forest plant communities already contain large proportions of non-native plants, particularly so in relatively warmer and drier areas, at lower elevations, and in areas with more substantial land-use histories. On the other hand, cooler and moister areas, higher elevations, and areas used predominantly for forestry or nature conservation (i.e., large contiguous forest cover) were characterized by a low proportion of non-native plant species in terms of both species cover and richness. In contrast to native plants, non-native plant richness was related positively to mean annual temperature and negatively to precipitation. Mountain areas appeared to serve as refugia for native forest understory species under the current climate, but

  2. Effects of an exotic plant invasion on native understory plants in a tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Ayesha E

    2010-06-01

    The dry forests of southern India, which are endangered tropical ecosystems and among the world's most important tiger (Panthera tigris) habitats, are extensively invaded by exotic plants. Yet, experimental studies exploring the impacts of these invasions on native plants in these forests are scarce. Consequently, little is known about associated implications for the long-term conservation of tigers and other biodiversity in these habitats. I studied the impacts of the exotic plant Lantana camara on understory vegetation in a dry-forest tiger habitat in southern India. I compared the richness, composition, and abundance of tree seedlings, herbs, and shrubs and the abundance of grass among plots in which Lantana was cleared or left standing. These plots were distributed across two blocks-livestock free and livestock grazed. Removal of Lantana had an immediate positive effect on herb-shrub richness in the livestock-free block, but had no effect on that of tree seedlings in either livestock block. Tree-seedling and herb-shrub composition differed significantly between Lantana treatment and livestock block, and Lantana removal significantly decreased survival of tree seedlings. Nevertheless, the absence of trees, in any stage between seedling and adult, indicates that Lantana may stall tree regeneration. Lantana removal decreased the abundance of all understory strata, probably because forage plants beneath Lantana are less accessible to herbivores, and plants in Lantana-free open plots experienced greater herbivory. Reduced access to forage in invaded habitats could negatively affect ungulate populations and ultimately compromise the ability of these forests to sustain prey-dependent large carnivores. Additional research focused on understanding and mitigating threats posed by exotic plants may be crucial to the long-term protection of these forests as viable tiger habitats.

  3. Unexpected earthworm effects on forest understory plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Introduced earthworms are widespread in forests of North America creating significant negative impacts on forest understory communities. However, much of the reported evidence for negative earthworm effects comes from field investigations either comparing invaded and non-invaded forests or across invasion fronts. While important, such work is rarely able to capture the true effect of earthworms on individual plant species because most forests in North America simultaneously face multiple stressors which may confound earthworm impacts. We used a mesocosm experiment to isolate effects of the anecic introduced earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris L. on seedlings of 14 native plant species representing different life form groups (perennial herb, graminoid, and tree). Results Earthworm presence did not affect survival, fertility or biomass of any of the seedling plant species tested over a 17-week period. However, L. terrestris presence significantly decreased growth of two sedges (Carex retroflexa Muhl. ex Willd. and Carex radiata (Wahlenb.) Small) by decreasing the number of culms. Conclusions Our mesocosm results with seedlings contrast with field reports indicating extensive and significant negative effects of introduced earthworms on many mature native forbs, and positive effects on sedges. We suggest that earthworm impacts are context- and age-specific and that generalizations about their impacts are potentially misleading without considering and manipulating other associated factors. PMID:24314263

  4. Season and severity of prescribed burn in ponderosa pine forests: implications for understory native and exotic plants.

    Treesearch

    Becky K. Kerns; Walter G. Thies; Christine G. Niwa

    2006-01-01

    We investigated herbaceous richness and cover in relation to fire season and severity, and other variables, five growing seasons following prescribed fires. Data were collected from six stands consisting of three randomly applied treatments: no burn, spring burn, and fall burn. Fall burns had significantly more exotic/native annual/biennial (an/bi) species and greater...

  5. Non-native grass invasion associated with increases in insect diversity in temperate forest understory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metcalf, Judith L.; Emery, Sarah M.

    2015-11-01

    Invasive plants can alter the structure and function of plant communities to such a degree that they can also have significant impacts on the insect communities. Because insects play an important role in many ecosystems, changes in these communities could have important implications, beyond their biodiversity value, for ecosystem function and diversity at other trophic levels. Microstegium vimineum is an annual C4 grass that is invasive in many eastern North American deciduous forests. Because this grass plays an important role in determining the plant community structure in the understory of these forests, it also has the potential to significantly alter understory insect communities. In this study we evaluated the relationship between M. vimineum and understory insect communities in a forest reserve in Kentucky, USA. Total insect abundance, richness and diversity showed a positive association with M. vimineum presence. Trophic analysis showed significantly higher abundances of herbivores where M. vimineum was present. Forb abundance, which serves as the primary food source for herbivorous insects in this system, was lower in sites invaded with M. vimineum. Invasion by this non-native was also associated with significant increases in aboveground plant biomass which was nearly 50% greater in invaded sites. These results indicate that the understory insect community may be responding to increased biomass rather than the loss of native forb food resources, which contradicts other studies that have examined relationships between M. vimineum invasion and insects. Our results provide evidence that invasive plants can provide benefits for other trophic levels, even when native plant biodiversity is lost.

  6. Understory plant biomass dynamics of prescribed burned Pinus palustris stands

    Treesearch

    C.A. Gonzalez-Benecke; L.J. Samuelson; T.A. Stokes; W.P. Cropper Jr; T.A. Martin; K.H. Johnsen

    2015-01-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests are characterized by unusually high understory plant species diversity, but models describing understory ground cover biomass, and hence fuel load dynamics, are scarce for this fire-dependent ecosystem. Only coarse scale estimates, being restricted on accuracy and geographical extrapolation,...

  7. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    PubMed

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community.

  8. Soil nutrients trump intraspecific effects on understory plant communities.

    PubMed

    Crutsinger, Gregory M; Carter, Benjamin E; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the links between intraspecific genetic variation and patterns of diversity in associated communities has been the primary focus of community genetics or 'genes-to-ecosystem' research in ecology. While other ecological factors, such as the abiotic environment, have well-documented influences on communities, the relative contributions of genetic variation versus the environment to species interactions remains poorly explored. In this study, we use a common garden experiment to study a coastal dune plant community dominated by the shrub, Baccharis pilularis, which displays a morphological dimorphism in plant architecture. We found the differences in the understory plant community between erect and prostrate morphs of Baccharis to be statistically significant, but small relative to the impacts of nutrient additions (NPK and C additions), for the richness, cover, and biomass of the understory plant community. There were no significant interactions between Baccharis morphology and nutrient-addition treatments, suggesting the influence of nutrient addition was consistent between erect and prostrate morphs. Moreover, we found no difference in overall plant community composition between Baccharis morphs, while NPK additions led to shifts in understory community composition compared to unfertilized shrubs. In sum, our results indicate that nutrients are the more important factor governing understory plant community structure in a coastal dunes ecosystem followed by intraspecific variation in dominant shrub architecture. Our results address a growing call to understand the extended consequences of intraspecific variation across heterogeneous environments in terrestrial ecosystems.

  9. Effects of widespread drought-induced aspen mortality on understory plants.

    PubMed

    Anderegg, William R L; Anderegg, Leander D L; Sherman, Clare; Karp, Daniel S

    2012-12-01

    Forest die-off around the world is expected to increase in coming decades as temperature increases due to climate change. Forest die-off will likely affect understory plant communities, which have substantial influence on regional biological diversity, ecosystem function, and land-atmosphere interactions, but how die-off alters these plant communities is largely unknown. We examined changes in understory plant communities following a widespread, drought-induced die-off of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the western United States. We assessed shrub and herbaceous cover and volume in quadrats in 55 plots located across a wide range of levels of aspen mortality. We measured species richness and composition of herbaceous plant communities by recording species presence and absence in 12 sets of paired (1 healthy, 1 dying) aspen plots. Although understory composition in healthy and dying stands was heterogeneous across the landscape, shrub abundance, cover, and volume were higher and abundance of herbaceous species, cover, and volume were lower in dying aspen stands. Shrub cover and volume increased from 2009 to 2011 in dying stands, which suggests that shrub growth and expansion is ongoing. Species richness of herbs declined by 23% in dying stands. Composition of herbs differed significantly between dying and healthy stands. Richness of non-native species did not differ between stand types. The understory community in dying aspen stands was not similar to other shrub-dominated plant communities in the region and may constitute a novel community. Our results suggest that changes in understory plant communities as forests die off could be a significant indirect effect of climate change on biological diversity and forest communities. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Providing habitat for native mammals through understory enhancement in forestry plantations.

    PubMed

    Simonetti, Javier A; Grez, Audrey A; Estades, Cristián F

    2013-10-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) expects forestry plantations to contribute to biodiversity conservation. A well-developed understory in forestry plantations might serve as a surrogate habitat for native species and mitigate the negative effect of plantations on species richness. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by removing the understory in Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantations in central Chile and assessing changes in species richness and abundance of medium-sized mammals. Frequency of occurrence of mammals, including kodkods (Leopardus guigna), culpeo foxes (Pseudalopex culpaeus), lesser grisons (Conepatus chinga), and Southern pudu deer (Pudu puda), was low in forest stands with little to no understory relative to stands with well-developed undergrowth vegetation. After removing the understory, their frequency of occurrence decreased significantly, whereas in control stands, where understory was not removed, their frequency did not change. This result strongly supports the idea that facilitating the development of undergrowth vegetation may turn forestry stands into secondary habitats as opposed to their containing no habitat for native mammals. This forestry practice could contribute to conservation of biological diversity as it pertains to CBD targets. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Regional native plant strategies

    Treesearch

    Wendell G. Hassell

    1999-01-01

    Because of increasing public interest in native plants, regional groups have been cooperating to develop native species. The Federal Native Plants Initiative was formed in 1994 to coordinate and encourage the development and use of native plants. The program they developed includes public involvement, organizational structure, technical work groups, implementation...

  12. Flammability of native understory species in pine flatwood and hardwood hammock ecosystems and implications for the wildland-urban interface

    Treesearch

    Anna L. Behm; Mary L. Duryea; Alan J. Long; Wayne C. Zipperer

    2004-01-01

    Six understory species from five pine flatwood sites and six understory species from five hardwood hammock sites were harvested for biomass analyses to compare potential flammability between two ecosystems. In the south-eastern coastal plain of the United States. Plant components were separated into live and dead foliage, accumulated litter on and under the plant, and...

  13. Should Exotic Eucalyptus be Planted in Subtropical China: Insights from Understory Plant Diversity in Two Contrasting Eucalyptus Chronosequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianping; Fan, Houbao; Liu, Wenfei; Huang, Guomin; Tang, Jianfu; Zeng, Ruijin; Huang, Jing; Liu, Zhanfeng

    2015-11-01

    Although Eucalyptus is widely planted in South China, whose effects on native biodiversity are unclear. The objective of this study was to quantify the richness and composition of understory plants in two contrasting Eucalyptus chronosequences in South China. One was in Zhangzhou City with plantation age of 2, 4, and 6 years after clear-cutting Chinese fir forests, while the other was in Heshan City with plantation age of 2, 3, and 24 years that reforested on barren lands. Results showed that the richness of understory plants and functional groups was not significantly altered in the Zhangzhou chronosequence, while increased in the 24-year-old plantations, with a significantly larger proportion of woody plants than the younger plantations for the Heshan chronosequence. Moreover, a higher richness of woody plants accompanied by a lower richness of herbaceous species was detected in the Zhangzhou chronosequence compared with the Heshan one. To balance the need for pulp production and plant diversity conservation, we suggest that intercropping approaches between exotic Eucalyptus plantations and native forests should be considered in the fast rotation Eucalyptus plantations. However, Eucalyptus plantations may be used as pioneer species to sustain ecosystem functioning for the degraded lands.

  14. Should Exotic Eucalyptus be Planted in Subtropical China: Insights from Understory Plant Diversity in Two Contrasting Eucalyptus Chronosequences.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianping; Fan, Houbao; Liu, Wenfei; Huang, Guomin; Tang, Jianfu; Zeng, Ruijin; Huang, Jing; Liu, Zhanfeng

    2015-11-01

    Although Eucalyptus is widely planted in South China, whose effects on native biodiversity are unclear. The objective of this study was to quantify the richness and composition of understory plants in two contrasting Eucalyptus chronosequences in South China. One was in Zhangzhou City with plantation age of 2, 4, and 6 years after clear-cutting Chinese fir forests, while the other was in Heshan City with plantation age of 2, 3, and 24 years that reforested on barren lands. Results showed that the richness of understory plants and functional groups was not significantly altered in the Zhangzhou chronosequence, while increased in the 24-year-old plantations, with a significantly larger proportion of woody plants than the younger plantations for the Heshan chronosequence. Moreover, a higher richness of woody plants accompanied by a lower richness of herbaceous species was detected in the Zhangzhou chronosequence compared with the Heshan one. To balance the need for pulp production and plant diversity conservation, we suggest that intercropping approaches between exotic Eucalyptus plantations and native forests should be considered in the fast rotation Eucalyptus plantations. However, Eucalyptus plantations may be used as pioneer species to sustain ecosystem functioning for the degraded lands.

  15. Assessing tolerance of longleaf pine understory herbaceous plants to herbicide applications in a container nursery

    Treesearch

    D. Paul Jackson; Scott A. Enebak; James West; Drew Hinnant

    2015-01-01

    Renewed efforts in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem restoration has increased interest in the commercial production of understory herbaceous species. Successful establishment of understory herbaceous species is enhanced when using quality nursery-grown plants that have a better chance of survival after outplanting. Nursery growing practices have not been...

  16. Assessing the Effects of Woody Plant Traits on Understory Herbaceous Cover in a Semiarid Rangeland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belay, Tamrat A.; Moe, Stein R.

    2015-07-01

    The ecological impact of woody plant encroachment in rangeland ecosystems has traditionally been evaluated based on correlation studies between densities of dissimilar woody plants and various ecosystem properties. However, ecosystem properties respond differently to woody plant encroachment because of variations in adaptation of co-occurring woody plants. The objective of this study is to predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover based on analysis of key traits of woody plants. We conducted a vegetation survey in 4 savanna sites in southwestern Ethiopia and compared 9 different key traits of 19 co-occurring woody plants with understory herbaceous cover. Our results show that low understory herbaceous cover is associated with evergreen leaf phenology, shrubby growth form, smaller relative crown-base height and larger relative crown diameter. However, the N2-fixing ability and density of woody plants did not influence the understory herbaceous cover. This shows that traits of individual woody plants can predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover better than density does. The finding improves our ability to accurately predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on various ecosystem properties in highly diverse savanna systems. This plant trait-based approach could be also used as an important management exercise to assess and predict the impact of encroaching woody species in several rangeland ecosystems.

  17. Differences in Plant Traits among N-fixing Trees in Hawaii Affect Understory Nitrogen Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    August-Schmidt, E.; D'Antonio, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixing trees are frequently used to restore soil functions to degraded ecosystems because they can increase soil organic matter and N availability. Although N-fixers are lumped into a single functional group, the quality and quantity of the plant material they produce and the rate at which they accrete and add N to the cycling pool likely vary. This talk will focus on the questions: (1) How does N-cycling differ among N-fixing tree species? And (2) Which plant traits are most important in distinguishing the soil N environment? To address these questions, we investigated planted stands of two Hawaiian native N-fixing trees (Acacia koa and Sophora chrysophylla) and `natural' stands of an invasive N-fixing tree (Morella faya) in burned seasonal submontane woodlands in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We measured the relative availability of nitrogen in the soil pool and understory plant community as well as characterizing the rate and amount of N cycling in these stands both in the field and using long term soil incubations in the laboratory. We found that N is cycled very differently under these three N-fixers and that this correlates with differences in their leaf traits. S. chrysophylla had the highest foliar %N and highest specific leaf area, and stands of these trees are associated with faster N-cycling, resulting in greater N availability compared to all other site types. Incubated S. chrysophylla soils mineralized almost twice as much N as any other soil type over the course of the experiment. The comparatively high-N environment under S. chrysophylla suggests that litter quality may be more important than litter quantity in determining nitrogen availability to the understory community.

  18. Contrasting xylem vessel constraints on hydraulic conductivity between native and non-native woody understory species

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Maria S.; Fridley, Jason D.; Yin, Jingjing; Bauerle, Taryn L.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the hydraulic properties of 82 native and non-native woody species common to forests of Eastern North America, including several congeneric groups, representing a range of anatomical wood types. We observed smaller conduit diameters with greater frequency in non-native species, corresponding to lower calculated potential vulnerability to cavitation index. Non-native species exhibited higher vessel-grouping in metaxylem compared with native species, however, solitary vessels were more prevalent in secondary xylem. Higher frequency of solitary vessels in secondary xylem was related to a lower potential vulnerability index. We found no relationship between anatomical characteristics of xylem, origin of species and hydraulic conductivity, indicating that non-native species did not exhibit advantageous hydraulic efficiency over native species. Our results confer anatomical advantages for non-native species under the potential for cavitation due to freezing, perhaps permitting extended growing seasons. PMID:24348490

  19. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines.

    PubMed

    Veldman, Joseph W; Mattingly, W Brett; Brudvig, Lars A

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are morefire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  20. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines

    SciTech Connect

    Veldman, Joseph W.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Brudvig, Lars A.

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  1. Influence of overstory composition on understory colonization by native species in plantations on a degraded tropical site

    Treesearch

    John A. Parrotta

    1995-01-01

    Patterns of understory colonization by native and naturalized trees and shrubs were evaluated in 4.5-year-old plantations of three exotic tree species, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus robusta, and Leucaena leucocephala, on a de­graded coastal grassland site with reference to overstory com­position and...

  2. CO2 enrichment accelerates successional development of an understory plant community

    SciTech Connect

    Souza, Lara; Belote, R. Travis Travis; Kardol, Paul; Weltzin, Jake; Norby, Richard J

    2010-01-01

    Rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide ([CO{sub 2}]) may influence forest successional development and species composition of understory plant communities by altering biomass production of plant species of functional groups. Here, we describe how elevated [CO{sub 2}] (eCO{sub 2}) affects aboveground biomass within the understory community of a temperate deciduous forest at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) facility in eastern Tennessee, USA. We asked if (i) CO{sub 2} enrichment affected total understory biomass and (ii) whether total biomass responses could be explained by changes in understory species composition or changes in relative abundance of functional groups through time. The FACE experiment started in 1998 with three rings receiving ambient [CO{sub 2}] (aCO{sub 2}) and two rings receiving eCO{sub 2}. From 2001 to 2003, we estimated species-specific, woody versus herbaceous and total aboveground biomass by harvesting four 1 x 0.5-m subplots within the established understory plant community in each FACE plot. In 2008, we estimated herbaceous biomass as previously but used allometric relationships to estimate woody biomass across two 5 x 5-m quadrats in each FACE plot. Across years, aboveground biomass of the understory community was on average 25% greater in eCO{sub 2} than in aCO{sub 2} plots. We could not detect differences in plant species composition between aCO{sub 2} and eCO{sub 2} treatments. However, we did observe shifts in the relative abundance of plant functional groups, which reflect important structural changes in the understory community. In 2001-03, little of the understory biomass was in woody species; herbaceous species made up 94% of the total understory biomass across [CO{sub 2}] treatments. Through time, woody species increased in importance, mostly in eCO{sub 2}, and in 2008, the contribution of herbaceous species to total understory biomass was

  3. Limits to Understory Plant Restoration Following Fuel-Reduction Treatments in a Piñon-Juniper Woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, Miranda D.; Zelikova, Tamara J.; Barger, Nichole N.

    2014-11-01

    National fuel-reduction programs aim to reduce the risk of wildland fires to human communities and to restore forest and rangeland ecosystems to resemble their historical structure, function, and diversity. There are a number of factors, such as seed bank dynamics, post-treatment climate, and herbivory, which determine whether this latter goal may be achieved. Here, we examine the short-term (2 years) vegetation response to fuel-reduction treatments (mechanical mastication, broadcast burn, and pile burn) and seeding of native grasses on understory vegetation in an upland piñon-juniper woodland in southeast Utah. We also examine how wildlife herbivory affects the success of fuel-reduction treatments. Herbaceous cover increased in response to fuel-reduction treatments in all seeded treatments, with the broadcast burn and mastication having greater increases (234 and 160 %, respectively) in herbaceous cover than the pile burn (32 %). In the absence of seeding, herbaceous cover only increased in the broadcast burn (32 %). Notably, fuel-reduction treatments, but not seeding, strongly affected herbaceous plant composition. All fuel-reduction treatments increased the relative density of invasive species, especially in the broadcast burn, which shifted the plant community composition from one dominated by perennial graminoids to one dominated by annual forbs. Herbivory by wildlife reduced understory plant cover by over 40 % and altered plant community composition. If the primary management goal is to enhance understory cover while promoting native species abundance, our study suggests that mastication may be the most effective treatment strategy in these upland piñon-juniper woodlands. Seed applications and wildlife exclosures further enhanced herbaceous cover following fuel-reduction treatments.

  4. Limits to understory plant restoration following fuel-reduction treatments in a piñon-juniper woodland.

    PubMed

    Redmond, Miranda D; Zelikova, Tamara J; Barger, Nichole N

    2014-11-01

    National fuel-reduction programs aim to reduce the risk of wildland fires to human communities and to restore forest and rangeland ecosystems to resemble their historical structure, function, and diversity. There are a number of factors, such as seed bank dynamics, post-treatment climate, and herbivory, which determine whether this latter goal may be achieved. Here, we examine the short-term (2 years) vegetation response to fuel-reduction treatments (mechanical mastication, broadcast burn, and pile burn) and seeding of native grasses on understory vegetation in an upland piñon-juniper woodland in southeast Utah. We also examine how wildlife herbivory affects the success of fuel-reduction treatments. Herbaceous cover increased in response to fuel-reduction treatments in all seeded treatments, with the broadcast burn and mastication having greater increases (234 and 160 %, respectively) in herbaceous cover than the pile burn (32 %). In the absence of seeding, herbaceous cover only increased in the broadcast burn (32 %). Notably, fuel-reduction treatments, but not seeding, strongly affected herbaceous plant composition. All fuel-reduction treatments increased the relative density of invasive species, especially in the broadcast burn, which shifted the plant community composition from one dominated by perennial graminoids to one dominated by annual forbs. Herbivory by wildlife reduced understory plant cover by over 40 % and altered plant community composition. If the primary management goal is to enhance understory cover while promoting native species abundance, our study suggests that mastication may be the most effective treatment strategy in these upland piñon-juniper woodlands. Seed applications and wildlife exclosures further enhanced herbaceous cover following fuel-reduction treatments.

  5. Reestablishing understory plants in overused wooded areas of Maryland state parks

    Treesearch

    Silas Little; John J. Mohr

    1979-01-01

    In four overused areas, the treatments of small plots were fencing, scarifying the soil, and mulching; fencing and mulching plus planting of shrubs, herbaceous plants, or greenbrier with shrubs or holly. After 3 years, soil compaction was two to four times as great in check plots as in treated plots. Understory cover varied with conditions, but because of volunteer...

  6. Understory plant response to site preparation and fertilization of loblolly and shortleaf pine forests

    Treesearch

    Dale G. Brockway; Gale L. Wolters; H.A. Pearson; Ronald E. Thill; V. Clark Baldwin; A. Martin

    1998-01-01

    In developing an improved understanding of the dynamics of understory plant composition and productivity in Coastal Plaii forest ecosystems, we examined theiniluenceof site preparation and phosphorus fertilization on the successional trends of shrubs and herbaceous plants growing on lands of widely ranging subsoil texture in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas which are...

  7. Performance and population dynamics of a native understory herb differ between young and old forest stands in the Southern Appalachians

    Treesearch

    Michelle M. Jackson; Scott M. Pearson; Monica G. Turner

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., logging) can strongly affect the composition and structure of forest understory herb communities, with land-use legacies often persisting for decades or even centuries. Many studies of forest plant response to land-use history have focused on species distributions and abundances, and argued broadly for either dispersal or establishment...

  8. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change.

  9. Susceptibility of some common Eastern forest understory plant species to Phytophthora ramorum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We evaluated the susceptibility of 25 plant species (21 genera, 14 families), which comprise a portion of the understory in forests of the Eastern US, to infection by Phytophthora ramorum. We also assessed the degree to which P. ramorum is able to form sporangia and chlamydospores on these hosts. ...

  10. Susceptibility to Phytophthora ramorum and inoculum production potential of some common eastern forest understory plant species

    Treesearch

    Paul W. Tooley; Marsha Browning

    2009-01-01

    Twenty-five plant species (21 genera, 14 families), which comprise a portion of the understory in forests of the Eastern United States, were evaluated for susceptibility to infection by Phytophthora ramorum. The degree to which P. ramorum is able to form sporangia and chlamydospores was also assessed on...

  11. Understory plant diversity in riparian alder-conifer stands after logging in southeast Alaska.

    Treesearch

    Robert L. Deal

    1997-01-01

    Stand structure, tree height growth, and understory plant diversity were assessed in five mixed alder-conifer stands after logging in southeast Alaska. Tree species composition ranged from 7- to 91-percent alder, and basal area ranged from 30 to 55 m2/ha. The alder exhibited rapid early height growth, but recent growth has slowed considerably. Some conifers have...

  12. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation

    Treesearch

    Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Maintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at...

  13. Pre-fire treatment effects and understory plant community response on the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, Arizona

    Treesearch

    Amanda M. Kuenzi

    2006-01-01

    High severity wildfires have been increasing across southwestern ponderosa pine forests in recent decades. As the effects of wildfire become more widespread across the landscape, the need for information about the ecological effects of fire on understory vegetation is mounting. We investigated understory plant community response to the Rodeo-Chediski fire by conducting...

  14. Intraspecific variability and reaction norms of forest understory plant species traits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burton, Julia I.; Perakis, Steven; McKenzie, Sean C.; Lawrence, Caitlin E.; Puettmann, Klaus J.

    2017-01-01

    Trait-based models of ecological communities typically assume intraspecific variation in functional traits is not important, though such variation can change species trait rankings along gradients in resources and environmental conditions, and thus influence community structure and function.We examined the degree of intraspecific relative to interspecific variation, and reaction norms of 11 functional traits for 57 forest understory plant species, including: intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), Δ15N, 5 leaf traits, 2 stem traits and 2 root traits along gradients in light, nitrogen, moisture and understory cover.Our results indicate that interspecific trait variation exceeded intraspecific variation by at least 50% for most, but not all traits. Intraspecific variation in Δ15N, iWUE, leaf nitrogen content and root traits was high (47-70%) compared with most leaf traits and stem traits (13-38%).Δ15N varied primarily along gradients in abiotic conditions, while light and understory cover were relatively less important. iWUE was related primarily to light transmission, reflecting increases in photosynthesis relative to stomatal conductance. Leaf traits varied mainly as a function of light availability, with some reaction norms depending on understory cover. Plant height increased with understory cover, while stem specific density was related primarily to light. Resources, environmental conditions and understory cover did not contribute strongly to the observed variation in root traits.Gradients in resources, environmental conditions and competition all appear to control intraspecific variability in most traits to some extent. However, our results suggest that species cross-over (i.e., trait rank reversals) along the gradients measured here are generally not a concern.Intraspecific variability in understory plant species traits can be considerable. However, trait data collected under a narrow range of environmental conditions appears sufficient to establish species

  15. Understory vegetation

    Treesearch

    Steve Sutherland; Todd F. Hutchinson; Jennifer L. Windus

    2003-01-01

    This chapter documents patterns of species composition and diversity within the understory vegetation layer and provides a species list for the four study areas in southern Ohio. Within each of 108 plots, we recorded the frequency of all vascular plant species in sixteen 2-m² quadrats. We recorded 297 species, including 187 forbs (176 perennials, 9 annuals, 2...

  16. Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of the southern Colorado Front Range, USA, intense logging and domestic grazing began at the time of Euro-American settlement in the late 1800s and continued until the early 1900s. We investigated the long-term impacts of these settlement-era activities on understory plant communities by comparing understory composition at a historically logged and grazed site to that of an environmentally similar site which was protected from past use. We found that species richness and cover within functional groups rarely differed between sites in either upland or riparian areas. Multivariate analyses revealed little difference in species composition between sites on uplands, though compositional differences were apparent in riparian zones. Our findings suggest that settlement-era logging and grazing have had only minor long-term impacts on understories of upland Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forests, though they have had a greater long-term influence on riparian understories, where these activities were likely the most intense. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  17. Summer Moisture Content of Some Northern Lower Michigan Understory Plants

    Treesearch

    Robert M. Loomis; Richard W. Blank

    1981-01-01

    Summer moisture contents and factors for converting fresh plant weights to ovendry weights were determined for selected herbs, ferns, and small shrubs commonly found on upland sites in northern Lower Michigan. Sampling was done weekly from mid-June through early September 1978, following the period of major plant growth. Average summer moisture contents range from...

  18. Linkages between phenology, pollination, photosynthesis, and reproduction in deciduous forest understory plants.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Gaku; Ida, Takashi Y; Tani, Tomokazu

    2008-02-01

    Light availability in the understory of deciduous forests changes drastically within the growing season due to the foliage dynamics of canopy trees. Because flowering phenology, photosynthetic characteristics, and fruiting success respond to such strong seasonality in light availability, we hypothesized that understory plants in such ecosystems should describe distinct phenological groups or syndromes where "syndrome" is defined only as a set of characteristics that co-occur. To identify these phenological syndromes, we studied the flowering phenology, fruit or seed set, and photosynthetic characteristics for 18 perennial understory herbaceous species that differed in reproductive strategy over eight years in a deciduous forest in northern Japan. Three phenological groups emerged from this study: (1) spring bloomers, flowering and fruiting before the completion of canopy closure; (2) early-summer bloomers, flowering during the progress of canopy closure and fruiting after canopy closure; and (3) late-summer bloomers, flowering and fruiting after canopy closure. The spring bloomers had high photosynthetic rates and high fruiting abilities, but the flowering time varied considerably among years due to yearly fluctuations of snowmelt date. Bumble bee-pollinated species of spring bloomers showed variable seed-set success, while fly-pollinated species showed relatively stable seed sets over the years. The early-summer bloomers showed low fruiting abilities irrespective of pollination success, reflecting severe resource limitation with decelerating light availability during fruit development. Although the late-summer bloomers showed low photosynthetic rates under low-light conditions, high fruit-set success was attained if pollination was sufficient. These results support our hypothesis that phenological syndromes may be found in deciduous forest understory plants. Given that reproductive success of bee-pollinated spring bloomers is highly susceptible to seasonal

  19. Detecting understory plant invasion in urban forests using LiDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Kunwar K.; Davis, Amy J.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2015-06-01

    Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data are increasingly used to measure structural characteristics of urban forests but are rarely used to detect the growing problem of exotic understory plant invaders. We explored the merits of using LiDAR-derived metrics alone and through integration with spectral data to detect the spatial distribution of the exotic understory plant Ligustrum sinense, a rapidly spreading invader in the urbanizing region of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. We analyzed regional-scale L. sinense occurrence data collected over the course of three years with LiDAR-derived metrics of forest structure that were categorized into the following groups: overstory, understory, topography, and overall vegetation characteristics, and IKONOS spectral features - optical. Using random forest (RF) and logistic regression (LR) classifiers, we assessed the relative contributions of LiDAR and IKONOS derived variables to the detection of L. sinense. We compared the top performing models developed for a smaller, nested experimental extent using RF and LR classifiers, and used the best overall model to produce a predictive map of the spatial distribution of L. sinense across our country-wide study extent. RF classification of LiDAR-derived topography metrics produced the highest mapping accuracy estimates, outperforming IKONOS data by 17.5% and the integration of LiDAR and IKONOS data by 5.3%. The top performing model from the RF classifier produced the highest kappa of 64.8%, improving on the parsimonious LR model kappa by 31.1% with a moderate gain of 6.2% over the county extent model. Our results demonstrate the superiority of LiDAR-derived metrics over spectral data and fusion of LiDAR and spectral data for accurately mapping the spatial distribution of the forest understory invader L. sinense.

  20. A century of increasing pine density and associated shifts in understory plant strategies.

    PubMed

    Laughlin, Daniel C; Moore, Margaret M; Fulé, Peter Z

    2011-03-01

    We analyzed one of the longest-term ecological data sets to evaluate how forest overstory structure is related to herbaceous understory plant strategies in a ponderosa pine forest. Eighty-two permanent 1-m2 chart quadrats that were established as early as 1912 were remeasured in 2007. We reconstructed historical forest structure using dendrochronological techniques. Ponderosa pine basal area increased from an average of 4 m2/ha in the early 1900s to 29 m2/ha in 2007. Understory plant foliar cover declined by 21%, species richness declined by two species per square meter, and functional diversity also declined. The relative cover of C4 graminoids decreased by 18% and C3 graminoids increased by 19%. Herbaceous plant species with low leaf and fine root nitrogen concentrations, low specific leaf area, high leaf dry matter content, large seed mass, low specific root length, short maximum height, and early flowering date increased in relative abundance in sites where pine basal area increased the most. Overall, we observed a long-term shift in composition toward more conservative shade- and stress-tolerant herbaceous species. Our analysis of temporal changes in plant strategies provides a general framework for evaluating compositional and functional changes in terrestrial plant communities.

  1. Understory vegetation response to mechanical mastication and other fuels treatments in a ponderosa pine forest

    Treesearch

    Jeffrey M. Kane; J. Morgan Varner; Eric E. Knapp

    2010-01-01

    Questions: What influence does mechanical mastication and other fuel treatments have on: (1) canopy and forest floor response variables that influence understory plant development; (2) initial understory vegetation cover, diversity, and composition; and (3) shrub and non-native species density in a secondgrowth ponderosa pine forest....

  2. Something new - the Native Plants Journal

    Treesearch

    R. Kasten Dumroese

    2002-01-01

    The demand for native plants continues to increase, but published information on how to propagate natives is extremely limited. The Native Plants Journal, a full-color publication produced as a cooperative between the University of Idaho and the USDA Forest Service, provides a forum for sharing practical information about growing and planting native plants.

  3. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species

    DOE PAGES

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Davalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-06-08

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km2, and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactivemore » effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m2 quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs (Eurybia divaricata, Maianthemum racemosum, Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  4. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species

    PubMed Central

    Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km2, and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m2 quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs (Eurybia divaricata, Maianthemum racemosum, Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  5. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km(2), and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m(2) quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs (Eurybia divaricata, Maianthemum racemosum, Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  6. Resource-use strategies of native and invasive plants in Eastern North American forests.

    PubMed

    Heberling, J Mason; Fridley, Jason D

    2013-10-01

    Studies in disturbed, resource-rich environments often show that invasive plants are more productive than co-occurring natives, but with similar physiological tradeoffs. However, in resource-limited habitats, it is unclear whether native and invasive plants have similar metabolic constraints or if invasive plants are more productive per unit resource cost - that is, use resources more efficiently. Using a common garden to control for environment, we compared leaf physiological traits relating to resource investments, carbon returns, and resource-use efficiencies in 14 native and 18 nonnative invasive species of common genera found in Eastern North American (ENA) deciduous forest understories, where growth is constrained by light and nutrient limitation. Despite greater leaf construction and nitrogen costs, invaders exhibited greater instantaneous photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) and marginally greater photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency (PNUE). When integrated over leaf lifespan (LL), these differences were magnified. Differences in efficiency were driven by greater productivity per unit leaf investment, as invaders exhibited both greater photosynthetic abilities and longer LL. Our results indicate that woody understory invaders in ENA forests are not constrained to the same degree by leaf-based metabolic tradeoffs as the native understory flora. These strategy differences could be attributable to pre-adaptation in the native range, although other explanations are possible. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Effects of young poplar plantations on understory plant diversity in the Dongting Lake wetlands, China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Youzhi; Chen, Xinsheng; Xie, Yonghong; Li, Xu; Li, Feng; Hou, Zhiyong

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of young poplar plantations on understory plant diversity in the Dongting Lake wetlands, China. Poplar plantations resulted in a higher species number and Shannon's diversity. Species compositions were different between areas with poplar and reed populations: a lower ratio of hygrophytes but a higher ratio of mesophytes, and a higher ratio of heliophytes but a lower ratio of neutrophilous or shade plants in poplar areas compared to reed areas. Poplar plantations supported a higher ratio of ligneous plants in the entire Dongting Lake area, but there was no difference in the monitored plots. Unlike reedy areas, poplar plantations had higher light availability but lower soil water content during the growing seasons. These data suggest that young poplar plantations generally increased species richness and plant diversity, but significantly changed species composition due to the reduced soil water and increased light availability. PMID:25208975

  8. Herbivores modify selection on plant functional traits in a temperate rainforest understory.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    There is limited evidence regarding the adaptive value of plant functional traits in contrasting light environments. It has been suggested that changes in these traits in response to light availability can increase herbivore susceptibility. We tested the adaptive value of plant functional traits linked with carbon gain in contrasting light environments and also evaluated whether herbivores can modify selection on these traits in each light environment. In a temperate rainforest, we examined phenotypic selection on functional traits in seedlings of the pioneer tree Aristotelia chilensis growing in sun (canopy gap) and shade (forest understory) and subjected to either natural herbivory or herbivore exclusion. We found differential selection on functional traits depending on light environment. In sun, there was positive directional selection on photosynthetic rate and relative growth rate (RGR), indicating that selection favors competitive ability in a high-resource environment. Seedlings with high specific leaf area (SLA) and intermediate RGR were selected in shade, suggesting that light capture and conservative resource use are favored in the understory. Herbivores reduced the strength of positive directional selection acting on SLA in shade. We provide the first demonstration that natural herbivory rates can change the strength of selection on plant ecophysiological traits, that is, attributes whose main function is resource uptake. Research addressing the evolution of shade tolerance should incorporate the selective role of herbivores.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Spatial distribution of understory plants along gradients of water and light availability

    SciTech Connect

    Holmgren, M.; Huston, M.A.; Quiles, J.; Warner, S. )

    1994-06-01

    We measured the percent cover, stem densities, and heights of understory plant species in 72 3 [times] 3m plots on a southeast-facing slope of mature mixed oak forest. The 80 [times] 240 m site is intensively instrumented for monitoring soil water content using the Time Domain Reflectometry method as part of the Throughfall Displacement Experiment on Walker Branch Watershed. We estimated canopy openness in each of the plots using hemispherical photographs. The goal of the research was to determined if the spatial distribution of understory community structure was consistent with hypothesized limitations imposed by water availability on plant responses to light. We measured the natural patterns of size, abundance, and survival of seedlings of fourteen tree species under a range of light and soil water availability. Seedling densities ranged from 4 individuals per meter square under dry, low light conditions, to 27 per meter square under the high light, high moisture conditions. Red maple comprised about two thirds of the total number of seedlings. Several distinct types of responses can be identified from three-dimensional graphs of size, abundance, or survival in relation to light and water.

  12. Simulated Nitrogen Deposition Reduces the Abundance of Dominant Forest Understory and Groundcover Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talhelm, A. F.; Burton, A. J.; Pregitzer, K. S.; Zak, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    Growth in global industrialization is expected to increase the amount of atmospheric N deposition added to terrestrial ecosystems during the next century (Dentener et al. 2006). In North America, northern temperate forests in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada have received large amounts of N deposition for several decades and there is evidence that these consistent inputs of atmospheric N have increased the availability of N in these forests (Talhelm et al. 2012). Groundcover plants (seedlings, shrubs, and herbaceous plants) are considered to be more sensitive indicators of N deposition impacts than overstory trees (Pardo et al. 2011). Further, these plants are both crucial to forest regeneration following disturbance and, relative to their biomass, disproportionately important within forest ecosystems in terms of species diversity, net primary productivity, nutrient cycling, and litter production (Gillam 2007). In order to understand the effects of chronic N deposition on forests in the north-central United States, we have experimentally added 3 g N m-2 yr--1 in the form of NaNO3 pellets to plots at four northern hardwood forest sites spread across 500 km in Michigan since 1994. From 2005 to 2012, we have made repeated measurements of the abundance of both groundcover plants (< 1.4 m in height) and understory plants (>1.4 m in height, less than 5 cm diameter at 1.4 m). At these sites, sugar maple (Acer saccharum) ) seedlings are highly abundant (up to 200 plants m-2) and the dominant groundcover plant (79% of all woody stems). Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) is the dominant understory plant (42% of all stems). Experiment N additions strongly and consistently reduced the abundance of these two plants in these forest strata at the sites where these plants were most abundant. For sugar maple seedlings, there were significant effects at sites A (-49%) and C (-65%, Site × N: P < 0.001), and for understory hop-hornbeam, there were significant reductions at sites

  13. Growth responses of trees and understory plants to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical forest in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Di; Li, Peng; Fang, Wenjing; Xu, Jun; Luo, Yongkai; Yan, Zhengbing; Zhu, Biao; Wang, Jingjing; Xu, Xiaoniu; Fang, Jingyun

    2017-07-01

    Reactive nitrogen (N) increase in the biosphere has been a noteworthy aspect of global change, producing considerable ecological effects on the functioning and dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems. A number of observational studies have explored responses of plants to experimentally simulated N enrichment in boreal and temperate forests. Here we investigate how the dominant trees and different understory plants respond to experimental N enrichment in a subtropical forest in China. We conducted a 3.4-year N fertilization experiment in an old-aged subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in eastern China with three treatment levels applied to nine 20 m × 20 m plots and replicated in three blocks. We divided the plants into trees, saplings, shrubs (including tree seedlings), and ground-cover plants (ferns) according to the growth forms, and then measured the absolute and relative basal area increments of trees and saplings and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ferns. We further grouped individuals of the dominant tree species, Castanopsis eyrei, into three size classes to investigate their respective growth responses to the N fertilization. Our results showed that the plot-averaged absolute and relative growth rates of basal area and aboveground biomass of trees were not affected by N fertilization. Across the individuals of C. eyrei, the small trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height) of 5-10 cm declined by 66.4 and 59.5 %, respectively, in N50 (50 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and N100 fertilized plots (100 kg N ha-1 yr-1), while the growth of median and large trees with a DBH of > 10 cm did not significantly change with the N fertilization. The growth rate of small trees, saplings, and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ground-cover ferns decreased significantly in the N-fertilized plots. Our findings suggested that N might not be a limiting nutrient in this mature subtropical forest, and that the limitation of other nutrients in the forest

  14. Effective use of high CO2 efflux at the soil surface in a tropical understory plant

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Atsushi; Nakano, Takashi; Adachi, Minaco; Yoshimura, Kenichi; Osada, Noriyuki; Ladpala, Phanumard; Diloksumpun, Sapit; Puangchit, Ladawan; Yoshimura, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Many terrestrial plants are C3 plants that evolved in the Mesozoic Era when atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) were high. Given current conditions, C3 plants can no longer benefit from high ambient [CO2]. Kaempferia marginata Carey is a unique understory ginger plant in the tropical dry forests of Thailand. The plant has two large flat leaves that spread on the soil surface. We found a large difference in [CO2] between the partly closed space between the soil surface and the leaves (638 µmol mol−1) and the atmosphere at 20 cm above ground level (412 µmol mol−1). This finding indicates that the plants capture CO2 efflux from the soil. Almost all of the stomata are located on the abaxial leaf surface. When ambient air [CO2] was experimentally increased from 400 to 600 μmol mol−1, net photosynthetic rates increased by 45 to 48% under near light-saturated conditions. No significant increase was observed under low light conditions. These data demonstrate that the unique leaf structure enhances carbon gain by trapping soil CO2 efflux at stomatal sites under relatively high light conditions, suggesting that ambient air [CO2] can serve as an important selective agent for terrestrial C3 plants. PMID:25758763

  15. Effective use of high CO₂ efflux at the soil surface in a tropical understory plant.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Atsushi; Nakano, Takashi; Adachi, Minaco; Yoshimura, Kenichi; Osada, Noriyuki; Ladpala, Phanumard; Diloksumpun, Sapit; Puangchit, Ladawan; Yoshimura, Jin

    2015-03-11

    Many terrestrial plants are C3 plants that evolved in the Mesozoic Era when atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) were high. Given current conditions, C3 plants can no longer benefit from high ambient [CO2]. Kaempferia marginata Carey is a unique understory ginger plant in the tropical dry forests of Thailand. The plant has two large flat leaves that spread on the soil surface. We found a large difference in [CO2] between the partly closed space between the soil surface and the leaves (638 µmol mol(-1)) and the atmosphere at 20 cm above ground level (412 µmol mol(-1)). This finding indicates that the plants capture CO2 efflux from the soil. Almost all of the stomata are located on the abaxial leaf surface. When ambient air [CO2] was experimentally increased from 400 to 600 μmol mol(-1), net photosynthetic rates increased by 45 to 48% under near light-saturated conditions. No significant increase was observed under low light conditions. These data demonstrate that the unique leaf structure enhances carbon gain by trapping soil CO2 efflux at stomatal sites under relatively high light conditions, suggesting that ambient air [CO2] can serve as an important selective agent for terrestrial C3 plants.

  16. Understory plant development in artificial canopy gaps in an 81-year-old forest stand on Chichagof Island, southeast Alaska

    Treesearch

    Scott Harris; Jeffrey Barnard

    2017-01-01

    This study assesses the understory plant response and associated effects on forage resources available to Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis), to the creation of artificial canopy gaps in a young-growth forest stand in the coastal temperate rain forest of southeast Alaska. The forest stand was approximately 58 years old when gaps were created and...

  17. Tamarisk coalition - native riparian plant materials program

    Treesearch

    Stacy Kolegas

    2012-01-01

    The Tamarisk Coalition (TC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to riparian restoration in the western United States, has created a Native Plant Materials Program to address the identified need for native riparian plant species for use in revegetation efforts on the Colorado Plateau. The specific components of the Native Plant Materials Program include: 1) provide seed...

  18. Light use efficiency of California redwood forest understory plants along a moisture gradient.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Louis S; Dawson, Todd E

    2014-02-01

    We investigated photosynthesis of five plant species growing in the understory at three sites (1,170-, 1,600- and 2,100-mm annual moisture inputs), along the geographical range of coastal California redwood forest, to determine whether greater inputs of rain and fog at northern sites enhance photosynthetic utilization of fluctuating light. Measurements of understory light environment and gas exchange were carried out to determine steady state and dynamic photosynthetic responses to light. Leaf area index ranged from 4.84 at the 2,100-mm site to 5.98 at the 1,170-mm site. Maximum rates of net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance (g) did not vary appreciably within species across sites. Photosynthetic induction after a change from low to high light was significantly greater in plants growing in lower light conditions regardless of site. Photosynthetic induction also increased with the rate of g in diffuse light, prior to the increase to saturating light levels. Post-illumination CO2 assimilation was the largest factor contributing to variation in C gain during simulated lightflecks. The duration of post-illumination photosynthetic activity, total CO2 assimilation per light received, and light use efficiency during simulated lightflecks increased significantly with moisture inputs in four out of five species. Increasing leaf N concentration with increasing moisture inputs in three out of five species, coupled with changes in leaf N isotopic composition with the onset of the summer fog season suggest that natural N deposition increases with rain and fog inputs and contributes to greater utilization of fluctuating light availability in coastal California redwood forests.

  19. Functional traits of the understory plant community of a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest across environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Ames, Gregory M; Anderson, Steven M; Ungberg, Eric A; Wright, Justin P

    2017-08-01

    Understanding and predicting the response of plant communities to environmental changes and disturbances such as fire requires an understanding of the functional traits present in the system, including within and across species variability, and their dynamics over time. These data are difficult to obtain as few studies provide comprehensive information for more than a few traits or species, rarely cover more than a single growing season, and usually present only summary statistics of trait values. As part of a larger study seeking to understand the dynamics of plant communities in response to different prescribed fire regimes, we measured the functional traits of the understory plant communities located in over 140 permanent plots spanning strong gradients in soil moisture in a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest in North Carolina, USA, over a four-year period from 2011 and 2014. We present over 120,000 individual trait measurements from over 130 plant species representing 91 genera from 47 families. We include data on the following 18 traits: specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf area, leaf length, leaf width, leaf perimeter, plant height, leaf nitrogen, leaf carbon, leaf carbon to nitrogen ratio, water use efficiency, time to ignition, maximum flame height, maximum burn temperature, mass-specific burn time, mass-specific smolder time, branching architecture, and the ratio of leaf matter consumed by fire. We also include information on locations, soil moisture, relative elevation, soil bulk density, and fire histories for each site. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Fuel treatments alter native plant composition and increase non-native plant cover

    Treesearch

    Suzanne Owen

    2010-01-01

    Slash-pile burning and mechanical mastication are commonly prescribed fuel treatments for wildfire mitigation. Researchers from Flagstaff, AZ, and Spain recently published an article in Forest Ecology and Management that compared effects of the treatments on understory plant composition in Colorado pinyon-juniper woodlands (Owen and others 2009). Results showed that...

  1. High risk of plant invasion in the understory of eucalypt plantations in South China

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Dongmei; Huang, Yong; Zhou, Xi-Le; Chen, Bin; Ma, Jinshuang; Yan, Yue-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Eucalypt plantations expand rapidly out of their natural distribution zones, thus inducing a concern on their effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We compare the understory plant diversity of 46 plots of eucalypt plantations, including early and later stages in rotation, with that of 21 plots of contrast vegetation, including other types of plantations and secondary shrub grassland, in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, South China. Although the overall plant diversity did not change significantly in eucalypt plantations relative to the contrast vegetation, the community structures changed dramatically. The Asteraceae family, which is the most important source of destructive invasive plant species in China, is ranked 3rd (7.42%) and 7th (3.14%) in species importance in the early and later stages in eucalypt plantations, respectively. Nevertheless, Asteraceae is ranked 15th (1.73%) in other types of plantations and 21st (0.94%) in secondary shrub grassland. Significant increases in the richness and frequency of invasive species were also observed in eucalypt plantations. Among the 20 invasive species recorded in the eucalypt plantations, 9 species were destructive invasive species and 7 of these species belonged to Asteraceae. This study highlights an enhanced plant invasion risk in eucalypt plantations in South China, particularly by Asteraceae. PMID:26686825

  2. Detecting Fragmentation Extinction Thresholds for Forest Understory Plant Species in Peninsular Spain

    PubMed Central

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S.; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á.

    2015-01-01

    primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction. PMID:25978329

  3. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á

    2015-01-01

    primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction.

  4. Patterns in understory woody diversity and soil nitrogen across native- and non-native-urban tropical forests

    Treesearch

    D.F. Cusack; T.L. McCleery; NO-VALUE

    2014-01-01

    Urban expansion is accelerating in the tropics, and may promote the spread of introduced plant species into urban-proximate forests. For example, soil disturbance can deplete the naturally high soil nitrogen pools in wet tropical soils, favoring introduced species with nitrogen-fixing capabilities. Also, forest fragmentation and canopy disturbance are likely to favor...

  5. Native Plants, Native Knowledge: Insights from Judy Bluehorse Skelton.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Bracken

    2003-01-01

    Judy Bluehorse Skelton is an herbalist of Native American descent who conducts field trips to identify plants and classroom activities to demonstrate their uses. She also works with Portland (Oregon) schools developing culturally appropriate strategies for presenting Native American content. She encourages students to look at events such as the…

  6. Management trade-off between aboveground carbon storage and understory plant species richness in temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Burton, Julia I; Ares, Adrian; Olson, Deanna H; Puettmann, Klaus J

    2013-09-01

    Because forest ecosystems have the capacity to store large quantities of carbon (C), there is interest in managing forests to mitigate elevated CO2 concentrations and associated effects on the global climate. However, some mitigation techniques may contrast with management strategies for other goals, such as maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Forest thinning reduces C storage in the overstory and recruitment of detrital C. These C stores can affect environmental conditions and resource availability in the understory, driving patterns in the distribution of early and late-seral species. We examined the effects of replicated (N = 7) thinning experiments on aboveground C and understory vascular plant species richness, and we contrasted relationships between aboveground C and early- vs. late-seral species richness. Finally, we used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine relationships among early- and late-seral species richness and live and detrital aboveground C stores. Six years following thinning, aboveground C was greater in the high-density treatment and untreated control than in moderate- (MD) and variable-density (VD) treatments as a result of reductions in live overstory C. In contrast, all thinning treatments increased species richness relative to controls. Between the growing seasons of years 6 and 11 following treatments, the live overstory C increment tended to increase with residual density, while richness decreased in MD and VD treatments. The richness of early-seral species was negatively related to aboveground C in MD and VD, while late-seral species richness was positively (albeit weakly) related to aboveground C. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed strong negative effects of live overstory C on early-seral species richness balanced against weaker positive effects on late-seral species richness, as well as positive effects of detrital C stocks. A trade-off between carbon and plant species richness thus emerges as a net result of

  7. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity.

    PubMed

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L; Collins, Cathy D; Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2015-02-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on plant diversity. We address this contingency by evaluating how beta diversity (the spatial variability of species composition), an important component of regional biodiversity, is shaped by interactions between historical agriculture and prescribed fire, two prominent disturbances that are often coincident in terrestrial ecosystems. At three study locations spanning 450 km in the southeastern United States, we surveyed longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities across 232 remnant and post-agricultural sites with differing prescribed fire regimes. Our results demonstrate that agricultural legacies are a strong predictor of beta diversity, but the direction of this land-use effect differed among the three study locations. Further, although beta diversity increased with prescribed fire frequency at each study location, this effect was influenced by agricultural land-use history, such that positive fire effects were only documented among sites that lacked a history of agriculture at two of our three study locations. Our study not only highlights the role of historical agriculture in shaping beta diversity in a fire-maintained ecosystem but also illustrates how this effect can be contingent upon fire regime and geographic location. We suggest that interactions among historical and contemporary land-use activities may help to explain dissimilarities in plant communities among sites in human-dominated landscapes.

  8. Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata.

    PubMed

    Côrtes, Marina C; Uriarte, María; Lemes, Maristerra R; Gribel, Rogério; Kress, W John; Smouse, Peter E; Bruna, Emilio M

    2013-11-01

    In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. These sites showed variation in the density of H. acuminata. Ten microsatellite markers were used to genotype flowering adults and seedling recruits and to quantify realized pollen and seed dispersal distances, immigration of propagules from outside populations, and reproductive dominance among parents. We tested whether gene dispersal is more dependent on fragmentation or density of reproductive plants. Low plant densities were associated with elevated immigration rates and greater propagule dispersal distances. Reproductive dominance among inside-plot parents was higher for low-density than for high-density populations. Elevated local flower and fruit availability is probably leading to spatially more proximal bird foraging and propagule dispersal in areas with high density of reproductive plants. Nevertheless, genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficients and fine-scale spatial genetic structure were similar across populations, despite differences in gene dispersal. This result may indicate that the opposing processes of longer dispersal events in low-density populations vs. higher diversity of contributing parents in high-density populations balance the resulting genetic outcomes and prevent genetic erosion in small populations and fragments.

  9. Wild Plants Used by the Native Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nature Study, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Describes 10 wild plants used by Native Americans. They include: rose hips; the common milkweed; cattails; elderberries; cactus fruits; lamb's quarters pigweeds (Chenopodium sp.); persimmons; mints (Monardo sp.); the yucca; and the hawthorn. Illustrations of each plant are included. (JN)

  10. Wild Plants Used by the Native Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nature Study, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Describes 10 wild plants used by Native Americans. They include: rose hips; the common milkweed; cattails; elderberries; cactus fruits; lamb's quarters pigweeds (Chenopodium sp.); persimmons; mints (Monardo sp.); the yucca; and the hawthorn. Illustrations of each plant are included. (JN)

  11. Native bees and plant pollination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  12. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities

    PubMed Central

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Collins, Cathy D.; Hahn, Philip G.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Veldman, Joseph W.; Walker, Joan L.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  13. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    PubMed

    Brudvig, Lars A; Orrock, John L; Damschen, Ellen I; Collins, Cathy D; Hahn, Philip G; Mattingly, W Brett; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  14. 30 years of change in understory plant communities along the Tanana River, Alaska: Revisiting the concept of turning points

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollingsworth, T. N.; Lloyd, A. H.; Ruess, R. W.; Viereck, L. A.; Charlton, B. A.

    2008-12-01

    In interior Alaska, the most productive forests occur along the floodplain of the glacially fed Tanana River. The Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (BCEF) is located approximately 20 km southwest of Fairbanks, Alaska and was established in 1963 to include representative floodplain forests along the Tanana River. Both the sequence and the mechanisms of succession have been relatively well studied along the Tanana River, where biological and physical "turning points" are hypothesized to be the main proponents of plant community succession. However, prior research has concentrated almost exclusively on four dominant woody taxa: willows, thin-leaf alder, balsam poplar, and white spruce. Comparatively little is known about successional changes in the understory taxa, including shrubs, herbaceous vascular plants, and nonvascular mosses and lichens. Long-term monitoring in BCEF not only provides a unique opportunity to investigate the relationships between vegetation and climate over a 30-year period, but also increases our knowledge and understanding about floodplain successional dynamics. Here, we analyze vegetation and climate data collected since 1977 located in the BCEF at the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (BNZ- LTER) site in order to address the following questions: 1) Are there identifiable understory turning points that mirror the overstory changes in succession? 2) Have changes in climate been manifested in unexpected understory vegetation changes? When examining understory vegetation, we found that the sites established in the 1970s rarely follow the traditional succesional paradigm. In addition, we found changes in functional abundance and diversity in late succesional stands that could indicate vegetation patterns related to associated changes in climate.

  15. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities.

    SciTech Connect

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.; et al, et al

    2014-01-23

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils lol(which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together. and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility

  16. Native grass seeding and forb planting establishment

    Treesearch

    I Nan Vance; Andrew Neill; Frank Morton

    2006-01-01

    After a dense stand of conifers encroaching on an oak savanna/meadow was removed, exotic forbs and grasses quickly populated the newly disturbed area. Establishing desirable native grasses and forbs that contribute to native plant diversity and compete with exotic species could aid in restoring this oak savanna plant community. Two experiments were conducted over time...

  17. Reintroducing native plants to the American West

    Treesearch

    Derek J. Tilley

    2007-01-01

    The Aberdeen PMC is working together with other team members of the Great Basin Restoration Initiative (USDI-BLM) and the Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project (USDAFS) to develop techniques to increase native plant diversity in crested wheatgrass monocultures. Since the early 1930s crested wheatgrass has been used in range seedings in the...

  18. Raising native plants in nurseries: basic concepts

    Treesearch

    R. Kasten Dumroese; Thomas D. Landis; Tara Luna

    2012-01-01

    Growing native plants can be fun, challenging, and rewarding. This booklet, particularly the first chapter that introduces important concepts, is for the novice who wants to start growing native plants as a hobby; however, it can also be helpful to someone with a bit more experience who is wondering about starting a nursery. The second chapter provides basic...

  19. Long-term deer exclosure alters soil properties, plant traits, understory plant community and insect herbivory, but not the functional relationships among them.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Jörg G; Pourazari, Fereshteh; Tattersdill, Kristina; Kobayashi, Takuya; Nishizawa, Keita; De Long, Jonathan R

    2017-07-01

    Evidence of the indirect effects of increasing global deer populations on other trophic levels is increasing. However, it remains unknown if excluding deer alters ecosystem functional relationships. We investigated how sika deer exclosure after 18 years changed soil conditions, the understory plant community, the traits of a dominant understory plant (Sasa palmata), herbivory by three insect-feeding guilds, and the functional relationships between these properties. Deer absence decreased understory plant diversity, but increased soil organic matter and ammonium concentrations. When deer were absent, S. palmata plants grew taller, with more, larger, and tougher leaves with higher polyphenol concentrations. Deer absence led to higher leaf area consumed by all insect guilds, but lower insect herbivory per plant due to increased resource abundance (i.e., a dilution effect). This indicates that deer presence strengthened insect herbivory per plant, while in deer absence plants compensated losses with growth. Because plant defenses increased in the absence of deer, higher insect abundances in deer absence may have outweighed lower consumption rates. A path model revealed that the functional relationships between the measured properties were similar between deer absence versus presence. Taken together, deer altered the abiotic and biotic environment, thereby changing insect herbivory, which might impact upon nutrient cycling and primary productivity. These results provide evidence that deer can alter interactions between trophic levels, but that functional relationships between certain ecosystem components may remain constant. These findings highlight the need to consider how increasing global deer populations can have cascade effects that might alter ecosystem dynamics.

  20. Coevolution between invasive and native plants driven by chemical competition and soil biota.

    PubMed

    Lankau, Richard A

    2012-07-10

    Although reciprocal evolutionary responses between interacting species are a driving force behind the diversity of life, pairwise coevolution between plant competitors has received less attention than other species interactions and has been considered relatively less important in explaining ecological patterns. However, the success of species transported across biogeographic boundaries suggests a stronger role for evolutionary relationships in shaping plant interactions. Alliaria petiolata is a Eurasian species that has invaded North American forest understories, where it competes with native understory species in part by producing compounds that directly and indirectly slow the growth of competing species. Here I show that populations of A. petiolata from areas with a greater density of interspecific competitors invest more in a toxic allelochemical under common conditions. Furthermore, populations of a native competitor from areas with highly toxic invaders are more tolerant to competition from the invader, suggesting coevolutionary dynamics between the species. Field reciprocal transplants confirmed that native populations more tolerant to the invader had higher fitness when the invader was common, but these traits came at a cost when the invader was rare. Exotic species are often detrimentally dominant in their new range due to their evolutionary novelty; however, the development of new coevolutionary relationships may act to integrate exotic species into native communities.

  1. Effects of herbaceous and woody plant control on longleaf pine growth and understory plant cover

    Treesearch

    James D. Haywood

    2013-01-01

    To determine if either herbaceous or woody plants are more competitive with longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) trees, four vegetation management treatments— check, herbaceous plant control (HPC), woody plant control (WPC), and HPC+WPC—were applied in newly established longleaf pine plantings in a randomized complete block design in two studies....

  2. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, Anne C. S.; Macdonald, S. Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A.

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  3. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  4. Effects of understory vegetation and litter on plant nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), N:P ratio and their relationships with growth rate of indigenous seedlings in subtropical plantations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Hui, Dafeng; Ren, Hai; Liu, Zhanfeng; Yang, Long

    2013-01-01

    Establishing seedlings in subtropical plantations is very important for forest health, succession and management. Information on seedling nutrient concentrations is essential for both the selection of suitable indigenous tree species to accelerate succession of the established plantation and sustainable forest management. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of nitrogen ([N]), phosphorus ([P]), and N:P ratio in leaves, stems and roots of seedlings of three indigenous tree species (Castanopsis chinensis, Michelia chapensis and Psychotria rubra) transplanted with removing or retaining understory vegetation and litter at two typical subtropical forest plantations (Eucalyptus plantation and native species plantation). We also measured the relative growth rate (RGR) of seedling height, and developed the relationships between RGR and leaf [N], [P] and N:P ratio. Results showed that treatments of understory vegetation and associated litter (i.e. removal or retained) generally had no significant effects on leaf [N], [P], N:P ratio and RGR of the transplanted tree seedlings for the experimental period. But among different species, there were significant differences in nutrient concentrations. M. chapensis and P. rubra had higher [N] and [P] compared to C. chinensis. [N] and [P] also varied among different plant tissues with much higher values in leaves than in roots for all indigenous species. RGR of indigenous tree seedlings was mostly positively correlated with leaf [N] and [P], but negatively correlated with leaf N:P ratio. Considering the low [P] and high N:P ratio observed in the introduced indigenous tree seedlings, we propose that the current experimental plantations might be P limited for plant growth.

  5. Effects of Understory Vegetation and Litter on Plant Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), N∶P Ratio and Their Relationships with Growth Rate of Indigenous Seedlings in Subtropical Plantations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun; Hui, Dafeng; Ren, Hai; Liu, Zhanfeng; Yang, Long

    2013-01-01

    Establishing seedlings in subtropical plantations is very important for forest health, succession and management. Information on seedling nutrient concentrations is essential for both the selection of suitable indigenous tree species to accelerate succession of the established plantation and sustainable forest management. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of nitrogen ([N]), phosphorus ([P]), and N∶P ratio in leaves, stems and roots of seedlings of three indigenous tree species (Castanopsis chinensis, Michelia chapensis and Psychotria rubra) transplanted with removing or retaining understory vegetation and litter at two typical subtropical forest plantations (Eucalyptus plantation and native species plantation). We also measured the relative growth rate (RGR) of seedling height, and developed the relationships between RGR and leaf [N], [P] and N∶P ratio. Results showed that treatments of understory vegetation and associated litter (i.e. removal or retained) generally had no significant effects on leaf [N], [P], N∶P ratio and RGR of the transplanted tree seedlings for the experimental period. But among different species, there were significant differences in nutrient concentrations. M. chapensis and P. rubra had higher [N] and [P] compared to C. chinensis. [N] and [P] also varied among different plant tissues with much higher values in leaves than in roots for all indigenous species. RGR of indigenous tree seedlings was mostly positively correlated with leaf [N] and [P], but negatively correlated with leaf N∶P ratio. Considering the low [P] and high N∶P ratio observed in the introduced indigenous tree seedlings, we propose that the current experimental plantations might be P limited for plant growth. PMID:24386340

  6. Understory Fires

    NASA Image and Video Library

    The flames of understory fires in the southern Amazon reach on average only a few feet tall, but the fire type can claim anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of a burn area's trees. Credit: NASA/Doug Morton

  7. Physiological, morphological and allocational plasticity in understory deciduous trees: importance of plant size and light availability.

    PubMed

    Delagrange, Sylvain; Messier, Christian; Lechowicz, Martin J; Dizengremel, Pierre

    2004-07-01

    In a 4-year study, we investigated changes in leaf physiology, crown morphology and whole-tree biomass allocation in seedlings and saplings of shade-tolerant sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and intermediate shade-tolerant yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) growing in natural understory light (0.5 to 35% of full sunlight) or in understory light reduced by 50% with shade nets to simulate the effect of gap closure. Leaf physiological parameters were mainly influenced by the light gradient, whereas crown morphological and whole-tree allocational parameters were mainly influenced by tree size. No single physiological, morphological or allocational trait was identified that could explain the difference in shade tolerance between the species. Yellow birch had higher growth rates, biomass allocation to branches and leaf physiological plasticity and lower crown morphological plasticity in unmodified understory light than sugar maple. Sugar maple did not display significant physiological plasticity, but showed variation with tree size in both crown morphology and whole-tree biomass allocation. When sugar maple was small, a greater proportion of whole-tree biomass was allocated to roots. However, physiological differences between the species decreased with decreasing light and most morphological and allocational differences tended to disappear with increasing tree size, suggesting that many species differences in shade-tolerance are expressed mainly during the seedling stage. Understory trees of both species survived for 4 years under shade nets, possibly because of higher plasticity when small and the use of stored reserves when taller. Copyright 2004 Heron Publishing

  8. Plant competition, facilitation, and other overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

    SciTech Connect

    Imm, Donald; Blake, John I

    2006-07-01

    The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem - Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration. Shibu Jose, Eric J. Jokela, and Deborah L. Miller, (eds.) Springer Series on Environmental Management. Springer Science and Business Media publisher. Box 10.2 Pp 330-333. An insert on overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

  9. Interactions between plant size and canopy openness influence vital rates and life-history tradeoffs in two neotropical understory herbs.

    PubMed

    Westerband, Andrea C; Horvitz, Carol C

    2015-08-01

    • For tropical forest understory plants, the ability to grow, survive, and reproduce is limited by the availability of light. The extent to which reproduction incurs a survival or growth cost may change with light availability, plant size, and adaptation to shade, and may vary among similar species.• We estimated size-specific rates of growth, survival, and reproduction (vital rates), for two neotropical understory herbs (order Zingiberales) in a premontane tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. During three annual censuses we monitored 1278 plants, measuring leaf area, number of inflorescences, and canopy openness. We fit regression models of all vital rates and evaluated them over a range of light levels. The best fitting models were selected using Akaike's Information Criterion.• All vital rates were significantly influenced by size in both species, but not always by light. Increasing light resulted in higher growth and a higher probability of reproduction in both species, but lower survival in one species. Both species grew at small sizes but shrank at larger sizes. The size at which shrinkage began differed among species and light environments. Vital rates of large individuals were more sensitive to changes in light than small individuals.• Increasing light does not always positively influence vital rates; the extent to which light affects vital rates depends on plant size. Differences among species in their abilities to thrive under different light conditions and thus occupy distinct niches may contribute to the maintenance of species diversity. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  10. Impact of the invasive plant Syzigium jambos (Myrtaceae) on patterns of understory seedling abundance in a Tropical Premontane Forest, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Avalos, Gerardo; Hoell, Kelly; Gardner, Jocelyn; Anderson, Scott; Lee, Conor

    2006-06-01

    Habitat fragmentation, along with other human-induced disturbances, increase the vulnerability of native habitats to be invaded by aggressive, ecologically released, exotic species. Syzigium jambos (L.) Alston (Myrtaceae, Rose Apple) is an important invader still spreading throughout Hawaii, the Antilles, Central and South America. This study examines the effects of S. jambos on plant understory diversity in a 25 ha Tropical Premontane Moist Forest in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water for several human communities. Our final objective is to develop a management strategy combining water protection with the preservation of a representative sample of the original plant diversity in the area. Thirty 2 x 2 m plots were distributed throughout the Municipal Forest maintaining a minimum of 10 m between plots, and 2 m from trails, to sample all understory seedlings and saplings of S. jambos, Coffea arabica (coffee) and tree seedlings. We found a clear dominance of S. jambos over all other understory plants. Of the total 1,285 sampled plants, S. jambos comprised 51%, coffee seedlings represented 14.78%, being the rest tree seedlings. Syzigium jambos had the highest density (5.46 plants/m2, S.D. = 6.44) compared to tree (3.67 plants/m2, S.D. = 3.44) and coffee seedlings (1.58 plants/m2, S.D. = 2.13). There was a highly significant negative relationship between the relative abundance of S. jambos and tree (r2 = 0.52, p < 0.00001) and coffee seedlings (r2 = 0.28, p < 0.002). The abundance of coffee seedlings did not affect the abundance of tree seedlings (r2 = 0.01, p < 0.58). Since the canopy of the Municipal Forest is relatively closed and composed of a monolayer of trees with almost no overlapping crowns, we found no relationship between canopy cover and the abundance of S. jambos. The height distribution indicated that the majority of S. jambos individuals were seedlings and saplings (height < or = 1.5 m), with only 4

  11. Forest understory plant and soil microbial response to an experimentally induced drought and heat-pulse event: the importance of maintaining the continuum

    Treesearch

    Isabell von Rein; Arthur Gessler; Katrin Premke; Claudia Keitel; Andreas Ulrich; Zachary E. Kayler

    2016-01-01

    Drought duration and intensity are expected to increase with global climate change. How changes in water availability and temperature affect the combined plant–soil–microorganism response remains uncertain. We excavated soil monoliths from a beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest, thus keeping the understory plant–microbe communities intact, imposed an...

  12. Non-native plants and wildlife in the Intermountain West

    Treesearch

    Andrea R. Litt; Dean E. Pearson

    2013-01-01

    Non-native plant invasions can change communities and ecosystems by altering the structure and composition of native vegetation. Changes in native plant communities caused by non-native plants can influence native wildlife species in diverse ways, but the outcomes and underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we review and synthesize current information for...

  13. Native plant development and deployment [Section VII

    Treesearch

    Jessica Wright; Kas Dumroese; Amy Symstad; Theresa Pitts-Singer; Jim Cane; Gary Krupnick; Peggy Olwell; Byron Love; Elizabeth Sellers; John Englert; Troy Wood

    2015-01-01

    Native plant materials are needed to create, enhance, or restore pollinator habitat. They provide critical foraging and breeding areas for wild and managed pollinator species, including transnational migratory species such as hummingbirds and monarch butterflies. Although many pollinators and plants are generalists, some have limited, obligate relationships (i.e., one...

  14. Planting native oak in the Pacific Northwest

    Treesearch

    Warren D. Devine; Constance A. Harrington

    2010-01-01

    The extent of oak woodland and savanna habitat in the Pacific Northwest has been dramatically reduced since settlement in the mid-1800s. This report presents a practical guide for landowners and managers who are interested in reestablishing native oak by planting seedlings. Keys to successful establishment are (1) planting quality...

  15. Understory plant species composition in remnant stands along an urban-to-rural land-use gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guntenspergen, G.R.; Levenson, J.B.

    1997-01-01

    We examined the understory species composition of 24 remnant forest stands along an urban-to-rural gradient in the metropolitan Milwaukee, Wisconsin region to determine the relationships between plant community composition, human disturbance, and contrasting types of land use along a gradient of urbanization. A significant difference was found in shrub species community composition among three contrasting land-use categories but no significant difference was found in herbaceous community composition. Significant differences in human activity existed among rural, urban, and urbanizing land-use categories, but this index of disturbance was not significantly correlated to gradients in species composition. All stands in this study had been subjected to various types of human activity and environmental disturbances in the past. Our data suggest that differences in the relative importance of understory species exist among stands but these differences may not be caused by the impacts of urbanization alone. Changes in the natural disturbance regime of this landscape, along with the impacts associated with urbanization, have led to an individualistic response in the compositional dynamics of forest stands.

  16. Propagation and Production of Native Aquatic Plants

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

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

  17. Important biological factors for utilizing native plant species

    Treesearch

    Loren E. Wiesner

    1999-01-01

    Native plant species are valuable resources for revegetation of disturbed ecosystems. The success of these plantings is dependent on the native species selected, quality of seed used, condition of the soil, environmental conditions before and after planting, planting equipment used, time of planting, and other factors. Most native species contain dormant seed. Dormancy...

  18. Influence of skid trails and haul roads on understory plant richness and composition in managed forest landscapes in Upper Michigan, USA

    Treesearch

    David S. Buckley; Thomas R. Crow; Elizabeth A. Nauertz; Kurt E. Schulz

    2003-01-01

    We evaluated impacts of disturbance in interior haul roads and skid trails on understory vegetation by documenting the areal extent of these features and plant composition along 10 m x 100 m belt transects. Ten belt transects were sampled in each of three comparable northern hardwood forests under even-aged management. These forests were approximately 80 years old and...

  19. Leaf phenology and seasonal variation of photosynthesis of invasive Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) and two co-occurring native understory shrubs in a northeastern United States deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Griffin, Kevin L; Schuster, W S F

    2007-11-01

    Early leafing and extended leaf longevity can be important mechanisms for the invasion of the forest understory. We compared the leaf phenology and photosynthetic characteristics of Berberis thunbergii, an early leafing invasive shrub, and two co-occurring native species, evergreen Kalmia latifolia and late leafing Vaccinium corymbosum, throughout the 2004 growing season. Berberis thunbergii leafed out 1 month earlier than V. corymbosum and approximately 2 weeks prior to the overstory trees. The photosynthetic capacity [characterized by the maximum carboxylation rate of Rubisco (V (cmax)) and the RuBP regeneration capacity mediated by the maximum electron transport rate (J (max))] of B. thunbergii was highest in the spring open canopy, and declined with canopy closure. The 2003 overwintering leaves of K. latifolia displayed high V (cmax) and J (max) in spring 2004. In new leaves of K. latifolia produced in 2004, the photosynthetic capacity gradually increased to a peak in mid-September, and reduced in late November. V. corymbosum, by contrast, maintained low V (cmax) and J (max) throughout the growing season. In B. thunbergii, light acclimation was mediated by adjustment in both leaf mass per unit area and leaf N on a mass basis, but this adjustment was weaker or absent in K. latifolia and V. corymbosum. These results indicated that B. thunbergii utilized high irradiance in the spring while K. latifolia took advantage of high irradiance in the fall and the following spring. By contrast, V. corymbosum generally did not experience a high irradiance environment and was adapted to the low irradiance understory. The apparent success of B. thunbergii therefore, appeared related to a high spring C subsidy and subsequent acclimation to varying irradiance through active N reallocation and leaf morphological modifications.

  20. Linking dominant Hawaiian tree species to understory development in recovering pastures via impacts on soils and litter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.

    2017-01-01

    Large areas of tropical forest have been cleared and planted with exotic grass species for use as cattle pasture. These often remain persistent grasslands after grazer removal, which is problematic for restoring native forest communities. It is often hoped that remnant and/or planted trees can jump-start forest succession; however, there is little mechanistic information on how different canopy species affect community trajectories. To investigate this, I surveyed understory communities, exotic grass biomass, standing litter pools, and soil properties under two dominant canopy trees—Metrosideros polymorpha (‘ōhi‘a) and Acacia koa (koa)—in recovering Hawaiian forests. I then used structural equation models (SEMs) to elucidate direct and indirect effects of trees on native understory. Native understory communities developed under ‘ōhi‘a, which had larger standing litter pools, lower soil nitrogen, and lower exotic grass biomass than koa. This pattern was variable, potentially due to historical site differences and/or distance to intact forest. Koa, in contrast, showed little understory development. Instead, data suggest that increased soil nitrogen under koa leads to high grass biomass that stalls native recruitment. SEMs suggested that indirect effects of trees via litter and soils were as or more important than direct effects for determining native cover. It is suggested that diverse plantings which incorporate species that have high carbon to nitrogen ratios may help ameliorate the negative indirect effects of koa on natural understory regeneration.

  1. Communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Pyrus pyrifolia var. culta (Japanese pear) and an understory herbaceous plant Plantago asiatica.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Yuko; Ido, Akifumi; Matsumoto, Teruyuki; Yamato, Masahide

    2013-01-01

    We investigated communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the fine roots of Pyrus pyrifolia var. culta, and Plantago asiatica to consider the relationship between orchard trees and herbaceous plants in AMF symbioses. The AMF communities were analyzed on the basis of the partial fungal DNA sequences of the nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA), which were amplified using the AMF-specific primers AML1 and AML2. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the obtained AMF sequences were divided into 23 phylotypes. Among them, 12 phylotypes included AMF from both host plants, and most of the obtained sequences (689/811) were affiliated to them. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that the host plant species did not have a significant effect on the distribution of AMF phylotypes, whereas the effects of sampling site, soil total C, soil total N and soil-available P were significant. It was also found that the mean observed overlaps of AMF phylotypes between the paired host plants in the same soil cores (27.1% of phylotypes shared) were significantly higher than the mean 1,000 simulated overlaps (14.2%). Furthermore, the same AMF sequences (100% sequence identity) were detected from both host plants in 8/12 soil cores having both roots. Accordingly, we concluded that Py. pyrifolia and Pl. asiatica examined shared some AMF communities, which suggested that understory herbaceous plants may function as AMF inoculum sources for orchard trees.

  2. Asynchronous responses of soil microbial community and understory plant community to simulated nitrogen deposition in a subtropical forest.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianping; Liu, Wenfei; Fan, Houbao; Huang, Guomin; Wan, Songze; Yuan, Yinghong; Ji, Chunfeng

    2013-10-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition greatly affects ecosystem processes and properties. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the responses of both the above- and belowground communities to N deposition. Here, we investigated the effects of 8 years of simulated N deposition on soil microbial communities and plant diversity in a subtropical forest. The quantities of experimental N added (g of N m(-2) year(-1)) and treatment codes were 0 (N0, control), 6 (N1), 12 (N2), and 24 (N3). Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis was used to characterize the soil microbial community while plant diversity and coverage were determined in the permanent field plots. Microbial abundance was reduced by the N3 treatment, and plant species richness and coverage were reduced by both N2 and N3 treatments. Declines in plant species richness were associated with decreased abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increased bacterial stress index, and reduced soil pH. The plasticity of soil microbial community would be more related to the different responses among treatments when compared with plant community. These results indicate that long-term N deposition has greater effects on the understory plant community than on the soil microbial community and different conservation strategies should be considered.

  3. Native plant containers for restoration projects

    Treesearch

    Thomas D. Landis; David E. Steinfeld; R. Kasten Dumroese

    2010-01-01

    The choice of container is one of the most important considerations when growing or ordering native plants for a restoration project. Container characteristics affect not only growth and production efficiencies in the nursery, they can also have important consequences after outplanting. The challenging conditions on restoration sites require containers with...

  4. Restoring native plants to crested wheatgrass stands

    Treesearch

    Valerie A. Fansler; Jane M. Mangold

    2010-01-01

    Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.) is a nonindigenous grass introduced to North America for improving degraded rangelands. It is often criticized for forming nearly monotypic stands. Our objective was to determine the feasibility of restoring native plant species to crested wheatgrass-dominated rangeland. We investigated methods for suppressing...

  5. Invasive knotweed affects native plants through allelopathy.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Craig; Gerber, Esther; Krebs, Christine; Parepa, Madalin; Schaffner, Urs; Bossdorf, Oliver

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that many plant invaders interfere with native plants through allelopathy. This allelopathic interference may be a key mechanism of plant invasiveness. One of the most aggressive current plant invaders is the clonal knotweed hybrid Fallopia × bohemica, which often forms monocultures in its introduced range. Preliminary results from laboratory studies suggest that allelopathy could play a role in this invasion. We grew experimental communities of European plants together with F. × bohemica. We used activated carbon to test for allelopathic effects, and we combined this with single or repeated removal of Fallopia shoots to examine how mechanical control can reduce the species' impact. Addition of activated carbon to the soil significantly reduced the suppressive effect of undamaged F. × bohemica on native forbs. The magnitude of this effect was similar to that of regular cutting of Fallopia shoots. Regular cutting of Fallopia shoots efficiently inhibited the growth of rhizomes, together with their apparent allelopathic effects. The ecological impact of F. × bohemica on native forbs is not just a result of competition for shared resources, but it also appears to have a large allelopathic component. Still, regular mechnical control successfully eliminated allelopathic effects. Therefore, allelopathy will create an additional challenge to knotweed management and ecological restoration only if the allelochemicals are found to persist in the soil. More research is needed to examine the mechanisms underlying Fallopia allelopathy, and the long-term effects of soil residues.

  6. Invasive non-native plants have a greater effect on neighbouring natives than other non-natives.

    PubMed

    Kuebbing, Sara E; Nuñez, Martin A

    2016-09-12

    Human activity is creating a global footprint by changing the climate, altering habitats and reshuffling the distribution of species. The movement of species around the globe has led to the naturalization and accumulation of multiple non-native species within ecosystems, which is frequently associated with habitat disturbance and changing environmental conditions. However, interactions among species will also influence community composition, but little is known about the full range of direct and indirect interactions among native and non-native species. Here, we show through a meta-analysis of 1,215 pairwise plant interactions between 274 vascular plant species in 21 major habitat types that interactions between non-native plants are asymmetrical with interactions between non-native and native plants. Non-native plants were always bad neighbours, but the negative effect of non-natives on natives was around two times greater than the effect of non-natives on other non-natives. In contrast, the performance of non-native plants was five times higher in the presence of a neighbouring native plant species than in the presence of a neighbouring non-native plant species. Together, these results demonstrate that invaded plant communities may accumulate additional non-native species even if direct interactions between non-natives species are negative. Put another way, invasions may be more likely to lead to more invasions, requiring more active management of ecosystems by promoting native species restoration to undermine invasive positive feedback and to assist native species recovery in invaded ecosystems.

  7. Non-native plant invasions in managed and protected ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests of the Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stoker, J.M.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We examined patterns of non-native plant diversity in protected and managed ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests of the Colorado Front Range. Cheesman Lake, a protected landscape, and Turkey Creek, a managed landscape, appear to have had similar natural disturbance histories prior to European settlement and fire protection during the last century. However, Turkey Creek has experienced logging, grazing, prescribed burning, and recreation since the late 1800s, while Cheesman Lake has not. Using the modified-Whittaker plot design to sample understory species richness and cover, we collected data for 30 0.1 ha plots in each landscape. Topographic position greatly influenced results, while management history did not. At both Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek, low/riparian plots had highest native and non-native species richness and cover; upland plots (especially east/west-facing, south-facing and flat, high plots) had the lowest. However, there were no significant differences between Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek for native species richness, native species cover, non-native species richness, or non-native species cover for any topographic category. In general, non-native species richness and cover were highly positively correlated with native species richness and/or cover (among other variables). In total, 16 non-native species were recorded at Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek; none of the 16 non-native species were more common at one site than another. These findings suggest that: (1) areas that are high in native species diversity also contain more non-native species; (2) both protected and managed areas can be invaded by non-native plant species, and at similar intensities; and (3) logging, grazing, and other similar disturbances may have less of an impact on non-native species establishment and growth than topographic position (i.e., in lowland and riparian zones versus upland zones).

  8. Apparent competition with an exotic plant reduces native plant establishment.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Witter, Martha S; Reichman, O J

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can change ecosystem function, have tremendous economic costs, and impact human health; understanding the forces that cause and maintain biological invasions is thus of immediate importance. A mechanism by which exotic plants might displace native plants is by increasing the pressure of native consumers on native plants, a form of indirect interaction termed "apparent competition." Using experimental exclosures, seed addition, and monitoring of small mammals in a California grassland, we examined whether exotic Brassica nigra increases the pressure of native consumers on a native bunchgrass, Nassella pulchra. Experimental plots were weeded to focus entirely on indirect effects via consumers. We demonstrate that B. nigra alters the activity of native small-mammal consumers, creating a gradient of consumption that dramatically reduces N. pulchra establishment. Previous work has shown that N. pulchra is a strong competitor, but that it is heavily seed limited. By demonstrating that consumer pressure is sufficient to curtail establishment, our work provides a mechanism for this seed limitation and suggests that, despite being a good competitor, N. pulchra cannot reestablish close to B. nigra within its old habitats because exotic-mediated consumption preempts direct competitive exclusion. Moreover, we find that apparent competition has a spatial extent, suggesting that consumers may dictate the rate of invasion and the area available for restoration, and that nonspatial studies of apparent competition may miss important dynamics.

  9. Developing native plant nurseries in emerging market areas

    Treesearch

    Elliott Duemler

    2012-01-01

    The importance of developing a market for quality native plant materials in a region prior to the establishment of a nursery is crucial to ensure its success. Certain tactics can be applied to help develop a demand for native plant materials in a region. Using these tactics will help create a new market for native plant materials.

  10. Great Basin Native Plant Project: 2013 Progress Report

    Treesearch

    Francis Kilkenny; Nancy Shaw; Corey Gucker

    2014-01-01

    The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Department of Interior (USDI) Report to Congress encouraged use of native plant materials for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. The Great Basin Native Plant Project is a cooperative project lead by the...

  11. Great Basin Native Plant Project: 2014 Progress Report

    Treesearch

    Francis Kilkenny; Anne Halford; Alexis Malcomb

    2015-01-01

    The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Department of Interior (USDI) Report to Congress encouraged use of native plant materials for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. The Great Basin Native Plant Project is a cooperative project lead by the...

  12. Roadside revegetation: A new frontier for native plant growers

    Treesearch

    Scott A. Riley; Kim M. Wilkinson

    2007-01-01

    Roadside revegetation projects are an important and growing new niche for native plant suppliers. Recent shifts in public policy now require the use of locally adapted native plants as the first choice when roadsides are being revegetated. These shifts in policy recognize that the establishment of healthy native plant communities is the best defense against invasive...

  13. Great Basin Native Plant Project: 2015 Progress Report

    Treesearch

    Francis Kilkenny; Fred Edwards; Alexis Malcomb

    2016-01-01

    The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Department of Interior (USDI) Report to Congress encouraged use of native plant materials for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. The Great Basin Native Plant Project is a cooperative project lead...

  14. Declines in woodland salamander abundance associated with non-native earthworm and plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Maerz, John C; Nuzzo, Victoria A; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Factors that negatively affect the quality of wildlife habitat are a major concern for conservation. Non-native species invasions, in particular, are perceived as a global threat to the quality of wildlife habitat. Recent evidence indicates that some changes to understory plant communities in northern temperate forests of North America, including invasions by 3 non-native plant species, are facilitated by non-native earthworm invasion. Furthermore, non-native earthworm invasions cause a reduction in leaf litter on the forest floor, and the loss of forest leaf litter is commonly associated with declines in forest fauna, including amphibians. We conducted a mark-recapture study of woodland salamander abundance across plant invasion fronts at 10 sites to determine whether earthworm or plant invasions were associated with reduced salamander abundance. Salamander abundance declined exponentially with decreasing leaf litter volume. There was no significant relationship between invasive plant cover and salamander abundance, independent of the effects of leaf litter loss due to earthworm invasion. An analysis of selected salamander prey abundance (excluding earthworms) at 4 sites showed that prey abundance declined with declining leaf litter. The loss of leaf litter layers due to non-native earthworm invasions appears to be negatively affecting woodland salamander abundance, in part, because of declines in the abundance of small arthropods that are a stable resource for salamanders. Our results demonstrate that earthworm invasions pose a significant threat to woodland amphibian fauna in the northeastern United States, and that plant invasions are symptomatic of degraded amphibian habitat but are not necessarily drivers of habitat degradation.

  15. Native plants fare better against an introduced competitor with native microbes and lower nitrogen availability.

    PubMed

    Gaya Shivega, W; Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura

    2017-01-24

    While the soil environment is generally acknowledged as playing a role in plant competition, the relative importance of soil resources and soil microbes in determining outcomes of competition between native and exotic plants has rarely been tested. Resilience of plant communities to invasion by exotic species may depend on the extent to which native and exotic plant performance are mediated by abiotic and biotic components of the soil. We used a greenhouse experiment to compare performance of two native prairie plant species and one exotic species, when grown in intraspecific competition and when each native was grown in interspecific competition with the exotic species, in the presence and absence of a native prairie soil community, and when nitrogen availability was elevated or was maintained at native prairie levels. We found that elevated nitrogen availability was beneficial to the exotic species and had no effect on or was detrimental to the native plant species, that the native microbial community was beneficial to the native plant species and either had no effect or was detrimental to the exotic species, and that intraspecific competition was stronger than interspecific competition for the exotic plant species and vice-versa for the natives. Our results demonstrate that soil nitrogen availability and the soil microbial community can mediate the strength of competition between native and exotic plant species. We found no evidence for native microbes enhancing the performance of the exotic plant species. Instead, loss of the native soil microbial community appears to reinforce the negative effects of elevated N on native plant communities and its benefits to exotic invasive species. Resilience of plant communities to invasion by exotic plant species is facilitated by the presence of an intact native soil microbial community and weakened by anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen.

  16. Mixing effects of understory plant litter on decomposition and nutrient release of tree litter in two plantations in Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Hu, Ya-Lin; Lin, Gui-Gang; Gao, Yong-chao; Fang, Yun-Ting; Zeng, De-Hui

    2013-01-01

    Understory vegetation plays a crucial role in carbon and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems; however, it is not clear how understory species affect tree litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics. In this study, we examined the impacts of understory litter on the decomposition and nutrient release of tree litter both in a pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) and a poplar (Populus × xiaozhuanica) plantation in Northeast China. Leaf litter of tree species, and senesced aboveground materials from two dominant understory species, Artemisia scoparia and Setaria viridis in the pine stand and Elymus villifer and A. sieversiana in the poplar stand, were collected. Mass loss and N and P fluxes of single-species litter and three-species mixtures in each of the two forests were quantified. Data from single-species litterbags were used to generate predicted mass loss and N and P fluxes for the mixed-species litterbags. In the mixture from the pine stand, the observed mass loss and N release did not differ from the predicted value, whereas the observed P release was greater than the predicted value. However, the presence of understory litter decelerated the mass loss and did not affect N and P releases from the pine litter. In the poplar stand, litter mixture presented a positive non-additive effect on litter mass loss and P release, but an addition effect on N release. The presence of understory species accelerated only N release of poplar litter. Moreover, the responses of mass loss and N and P releases of understory litter in the mixtures varied with species in both pine and poplar plantations. Our results suggest that the effects of understory species on tree litter decomposition vary with tree species, and also highlight the importance of understory species in litter decomposition and nutrient cycles in forest ecosystems.

  17. Native plants and communities and exotic plants within the Hoosier-Shawnee ecological assessment area

    Treesearch

    Steven D. Olson; Michael A. Homoya; Elizabeth L. Shimp

    2004-01-01

    The diverse natural communities in the Hoosier-Shawnee Ecological Assessment Area include forests, barrens, cliffs, wetlands, and streams. Communities are described based on their dominant and characteristic canopy and understory species as well as abiotic factors. An assessment of the global and state status of plant species is presented; the viability of over 360...

  18. Non-native plants add to the British flora without negative consequences for native diversity.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Palmer, G

    2015-04-07

    Plants are commonly listed as invasive species, presuming that they cause harm at both global and regional scales. Approximately 40% of all species listed as invasive within Britain are plants. However, invasive plants are rarely linked to the national or global extinction of native plant species. The possible explanation is that competitive exclusion takes place slowly and that invasive plants will eventually eliminate native species (the "time-to-exclusion hypothesis"). Using the extensive British Countryside Survey Data, we find that changes to plant occurrence and cover between 1990 and 2007 at 479 British sites do not differ between native and non-native plant species. More than 80% of the plant species that are widespread enough to be sampled are native species; hence, total cover changes have been dominated by native species (total cover increases by native species are more than nine times greater than those by non-native species). This implies that factors other than plant "invasions" are the key drivers of vegetation change. We also find that the diversity of native species is increasing in locations where the diversity of non-native species is increasing, suggesting that high diversities of native and non-native plant species are compatible with one another. We reject the time-to-exclusion hypothesis as the reason why extinctions have not been observed and suggest that non-native plant species are not a threat to floral diversity in Britain. Further research is needed in island-like environments, but we question whether it is appropriate that more than three-quarters of taxa listed globally as invasive species are plants.

  19. Non-native plants add to the British flora without negative consequences for native diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Chris D.; Palmer, G.

    2015-01-01

    Plants are commonly listed as invasive species, presuming that they cause harm at both global and regional scales. Approximately 40% of all species listed as invasive within Britain are plants. However, invasive plants are rarely linked to the national or global extinction of native plant species. The possible explanation is that competitive exclusion takes place slowly and that invasive plants will eventually eliminate native species (the “time-to-exclusion hypothesis”). Using the extensive British Countryside Survey Data, we find that changes to plant occurrence and cover between 1990 and 2007 at 479 British sites do not differ between native and non-native plant species. More than 80% of the plant species that are widespread enough to be sampled are native species; hence, total cover changes have been dominated by native species (total cover increases by native species are more than nine times greater than those by non-native species). This implies that factors other than plant “invasions” are the key drivers of vegetation change. We also find that the diversity of native species is increasing in locations where the diversity of non-native species is increasing, suggesting that high diversities of native and non-native plant species are compatible with one another. We reject the time-to-exclusion hypothesis as the reason why extinctions have not been observed and suggest that non-native plant species are not a threat to floral diversity in Britain. Further research is needed in island-like environments, but we question whether it is appropriate that more than three-quarters of taxa listed globally as invasive species are plants. PMID:25831537

  20. Effects of invasive alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) on native plant species regeneration in a Hawaiian rainforest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minden, V.; Jacobi, J.D.; Porembski, S.; Boehmer, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: Does the invasive alien Hedychium gardnerianum (1) replace native understory species, (2) suppress natural regeneration of native plant species, (3) increase the invasiveness of other non-native plants and (4) are native forests are able to recover after removal of H. gardnerianum. Location: A mature rainforest in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i (about 1200 m. a.s.l.; precipitation approximately 2770mm yr-1). Study sites included natural plots without effects of alien plants, ginger plots with a H. gardnerianum-domimted herb layer and cleared plots treated with herbicide to remove alien plants. Methods: Counting mature trees, saplings and seedlings of native and alien plant species. Using nonparametric H-tests to compare impact of H. gardnerianum on the structure of different sites. Results: Results confirmed the hypothesis that H. gardnerianum has negative effects on natural forest dynamics. Lower numbers of native tree seedlings and saplings were found on ginger-dominated plots. Furthermore, H. gardnerianum did not show negative effects on the invasive alien tree species Psidium cattleianum. Conclusions: This study reveals that where dominance of H. gardnerianum persists, regeneration of the forest by native species will be inhibited. Furthermore, these areas might experience invasion by P. cattleianum, resulting in displacement of native canopy species in the future, leading to a change in forest structure and loss of other species dependent on natural rainforest, such as endemic birds. However, if H. gardnerianum is removed the native Hawaiian forest is likely to regenerate and regain its natural structure. ?? 2009 International Association for Vegetation Science.

  1. Effects of variable-density thinning on understory diversity and heterogeneity in young Douglas-fir forests.

    Treesearch

    Juliann E. Aukema; Andrew B. Carey

    2008-01-01

    Nine years after variable-density thinning (VDT) on the Forest Ecosystem Study, we examined low understory vegetation in 60 plots of eight stands (four pairs of VDT and control). We compared native, exotic, ruderal, and nonforest species richness among the stands. We used clustering, ordination, and indicator species analysis to look for distinctive patches of plant...

  2. Native plants for effective coastal wetland restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Rebecca J.

    2003-01-01

    Plant communities, along with soils and appropriate water regimes, are essential components of healthy wetland systems. In Louisiana, the loss of wetland habitat continues to be an issue of major concern. Wetland loss is caused by several interacting factors, both natural and human-induced (e.g., erosion and saltwater intrusion from the construction of canals and levees). Recent estimates of annual coastal land loss rates of about 62 km2 (24 mi2 ) over the past decade emphasize the magnitude of this problem. In an attempt to slow the rate of loss and perhaps halt the overall trend, resource managers in Louisiana apply various techniques to restore damaged or degraded habitats to functioning wetland systems.Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) have cooperated with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources in studies that address effective restoration strategies for coastal wetlands. The studies have identified differences in growth that naturally exist in native Louisiana wetland plant species and genetic varieties (i.e., clones) within species. Clones of a species have a distinctive genetic identity, and some clones may also have distinctive growth responses under various environmental conditions (i.e., preferences). Indeed, large areas of coastal marsh are typically populated by several clones of a plant species, each growing in a microenvironment suited to its preferences.These studies will provide information that will assist resource managers in selecting plant species and clones of species with known growth characteristics that can be matched to environmental conditions at potential restoration sites. Before the studies began, a collection of several clones from four plant species native to coastal Louisiana was established. The species collected included saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), common reed (Phragmites australis), giant bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus), and saltmarsh bulrush (Schoenoplectus

  3. Exotic plant species invade hot spots of native plant diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Binkley, Dan; Chong, G.W.; Kalkhan, M.A.; Schell, L.D.; Bull, K.A.; Otsuki, Y.; Newman, G.; Bashkin, M.; Yowhan, S.

    1999-01-01

    ome theories and experimental studies suggest that areas of low plant species richness may be invaded more easily than areas of high plant species richness. We gathered nested-scale vegetation data on plant species richness, foliar cover, and frequency from 200 1-m2 subplots (20 1000-m2 modified-Whittaker plots) in the Colorado Rockies (USA), and 160 1-m2 subplots (16 1000-m2 plots) in the Central Grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota (USA) to test the generality of this paradigm.At the 1-m2 scale, the paradigm was supported in four prairie types in the Central Grasslands, where exotic species richness declined with increasing plant species richness and cover. At the 1-m2 scale, five forest and meadow vegetation types in the Colorado Rockies contradicted the paradigm; exotic species richness increased with native-plant species richness and foliar cover. At the 1000-m2 plot scale (among vegetation types), 83% of the variance in exotic species richness in the Central Grasslands was explained by the total percentage of nitrogen in the soil and the cover of native plant species. In the Colorado Rockies, 69% of the variance in exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots was explained by the number of native plant species and the total percentage of soil carbon.At landscape and biome scales, exotic species primarily invaded areas of high species richness in the four Central Grasslands sites and in the five Colorado Rockies vegetation types. For the nine vegetation types in both biomes, exotic species cover was positively correlated with mean foliar cover, mean soil percentage N, and the total number of exotic species. These patterns of invasibility depend on spatial scale, biome and vegetation type, spatial autocorrelation effects, availability of resources, and species-specific responses to grazing and other disturbances. We conclude that: (1) sites high in herbaceous foliar cover and soil fertility, and hot spots of plant diversity (and biodiversity

  4. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae and light on Wisconsin (USA) sand savanna understories 2. Plant competition.

    PubMed

    Landis, Frank C; Gargas, Andrea; Givnish, Thomas J

    2005-11-01

    Wisconsin (USA) oak savannas are endangered plant communities that have remarkably high plant species diversity. To investigate factors underlying this richness, we experimentally investigated the potentially interacting effects of light gradients and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on plant competition in the greenhouse, using a fully randomized block design. We used four plant species, soil, and AMF from a remnant sand savanna, under two light and five AMF treatments. Plants were grown four per pot under two competition treatments (either one or four species per pot) for 20 weeks. Using ANOVA, we found that all species showed significant treatment effects on total and shoot biomass, primarily due to differences in competition and light, less to AMF. However, effects were the opposite of predictions. Putatively mycorrhizal plants showed neutral to negative responses to AMF, and a nonmycorrhizal species outcompeted AMF species in infected pots. We concluded that our experimental setup of small pots, sandy soil, and long growing period had induced parasitism by the AMF on susceptible hosts. This unexpected result is consistent with field data from the sand savanna, and may help explain how nonmycorrhizal plants can compete successfully with AMF species in established, species-rich communities.

  5. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    PubMed

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  6. Nitrogen uptake and preference in a forest understory following invasion by an exotic grass.

    PubMed

    Fraterrigo, Jennifer M; Strickland, Michael S; Keiser, Ashley D; Bradford, Mark A

    2011-11-01

    Plant-soil interactions have been proposed as a causative mechanism explaining how invasive plant species impact ecosystem processes. We evaluate whether an invasive plant influences plant and soil-microbe acquisition of nitrogen to elucidate the mechanistic pathways by which invaders might alter N availability. Using a (15)N tracer, we quantify differences in nitrogen uptake and allocation in communities with and without Microstegium vimineum, a shade-tolerant, C(4) grass that is rapidly invading the understories of eastern US deciduous forests. We further investigate if plants or the microbial biomass exhibit preferences for certain nitrogen forms (glycine, nitrate, and ammonium) to gain insight into nitrogen partitioning in invaded communities. Understory native plants and M. vimineum took up similar amounts of added nitrogen but allocated it differently, with native plants allocating primarily to roots and M. vimineum allocating most nitrogen to shoots. Plant nitrogen uptake was higher in invaded communities due primarily to the increase in understory biomass when M. vimineum was present, but for the microbial biomass, nitrogen uptake did not vary with invasion status. This translated to a significant reduction (P < 0.001) in the ratio of microbial biomass to plant biomass nitrogen uptake, which suggests that, although the demand for nitrogen has intensified, microbes continue to be effective nitrogen competitors. The microbial biomass exhibited a strong preference for ammonium over glycine and nitrate, regardless of invasion status. By comparison, native plants showed no nitrogen preferences and M. vimineum preferred inorganic nitrogen species. We interpret our findings as evidence that invasion by M. vimineum leads to changes in the partitioning of nitrogen above and belowground in forest understories, and to decreases in the microbial biomass, but it does not affect the outcome of plant-microbe-nitrogen interactions, possibly due to functional shifts in the

  7. Variation in vegetation structure and soil properties, and the relation between understory plants and environmental variables under different Phyllostachys pubescens forests in southeastern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Changshun; Xie, Gaodi; Fan, Shaohui; Zhen, Lin

    2010-04-01

    Biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are key sustainable forestry objectives. Research on the effects of bamboo forest management on plant diversity and soil properties are therefore necessary in bamboo-growing regions, such as southeastern China's Shunchang County, that have not been studied from this perspective. We analyzed the effects of different Phyllostachys pubescens proportions in managed forests on vegetation structure and soil properties using pure Cunninghamia lanceolata forests as a contrast, and analyzed the relation between understory plants and environmental variables (i.e., topography, stand and soil characteristics) by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The forest with 80% P. pubescens and 20% hardwoods (such as Phoebe bournei, Jatropha curcas, Schima superba) maintained the highest plant diversity and best soil properties, with significantly higher plant diversity than the C. lanceolata forest, and better soil physicochemical and biological properties. The distribution of understory plants is highly related to environmental factors. Silvicultural disturbance strongly influenced the ability of different bamboo forests to maintain biodiversity and soil quality under extensive management, and the forest responses to management were consistent with the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis (i.e., diversity and soil properties were best at intermediate disturbance levels). Our results suggest that biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are important management goals for sustainable bamboo management. To achieve those objectives, managers should balance the inputs and outputs of nutrients and protect understory plants by using appropriate fertilizer (e.g., organic fertilizer), adjusting stand structure, modifying utilization model and the harvest time, and controlling the intensity of culms and shoots harvests.

  8. Variation in Vegetation Structure and Soil Properties, and the Relation Between Understory Plants and Environmental Variables Under Different Phyllostachys pubescens Forests in Southeastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Changshun; Xie, Gaodi; Fan, Shaohui; Zhen, Lin

    2010-04-01

    Biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are key sustainable forestry objectives. Research on the effects of bamboo forest management on plant diversity and soil properties are therefore necessary in bamboo-growing regions, such as southeastern China’s Shunchang County, that have not been studied from this perspective. We analyzed the effects of different Phyllostachys pubescens proportions in managed forests on vegetation structure and soil properties using pure Cunninghamia lanceolata forests as a contrast, and analyzed the relation between understory plants and environmental variables (i.e., topography, stand and soil characteristics) by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The forest with 80% P. pubescens and 20% hardwoods (such as Phoebe bournei, Jatropha curcas, Schima superba) maintained the highest plant diversity and best soil properties, with significantly higher plant diversity than the C. lanceolata forest, and better soil physicochemical and biological properties. The distribution of understory plants is highly related to environmental factors. Silvicultural disturbance strongly influenced the ability of different bamboo forests to maintain biodiversity and soil quality under extensive management, and the forest responses to management were consistent with the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis (i.e., diversity and soil properties were best at intermediate disturbance levels). Our results suggest that biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are important management goals for sustainable bamboo management. To achieve those objectives, managers should balance the inputs and outputs of nutrients and protect understory plants by using appropriate fertilizer (e.g., organic fertilizer), adjusting stand structure, modifying utilization model and the harvest time, and controlling the intensity of culms and shoots harvests.

  9. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.21...

  10. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.21...

  11. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.21...

  12. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.21...

  13. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.21...

  14. Prescribed burning for understory restoration

    Treesearch

    Kenneth W. Outcalt

    2006-01-01

    Because the longleaf ecosystem evolved with and is adapted to frequent fire, every 2 to 8 years, prescribed burning is often useful for restoring understory communities to a diverse ground layer of grasses, herbs, and small shrubs. This restoration provides habitat for a number of plant and animal species that are restricted to or found mostly in longleaf pine...

  15. Linking native and invader traits explains native spider population responses to plant invasion

    Treesearch

    Jennifer N. Smith; Douglas J. Emlen; Dean E. Pearson

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to...

  16. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity

    Treesearch

    W. Brett Mattingly; John L. Orrock; Cathy D. Collins; Lars A. Brudvig; Ellen I. Damschen; Joseph W. Veldman; Joan L. Walker

    2015-01-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on...

  17. Tree thinning treatments alter soil properties, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and understory plant communities

    Treesearch

    Suzanne M. Neal

    2007-01-01

    Forest management practices designed to reduce fire risk, particularly thinning followed by burning slash piles, can cause below ground disturbance that creates favorable conditions for exotic plant species. Newer fuel-reduction methods, such as mechanical mastication are being examined as potential alternatives to the burning of slash piles. We compared soil...

  18. Putting community data to work: some understory plants indicate red spruce regeneration habitat

    Treesearch

    Alison C. Dibble; John C. Brissette; Malcolm L. Hunter

    1999-01-01

    When harvested, red spruce (Picea rubens) at low elevations is vulnerable to temporary displacement by balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and hardwoods. If indicator plants can be found by which to assess spruce regeneration habitat, then biota dependent on red spruce dominance could benefit. Associations between spruce seedlings (0.1-0.5...

  19. Higher β-diversity observed for herbs over woody plants is driven by stronger habitat filtering in a tropical understory.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Stephen J; Salpeter, Kara; Comita, Liza S

    2016-08-01

    Herbaceous plants are a key component of tropical forests. Previous work indicates that herbs contribute substantially to the species richness of tropical plant communities. However, the processes structuring tropical herb diversity, and how they contrast with woody communities, have been underexplored. Within the understory of a 50-ha forest dynamics plot in central Panama, we compared the diversity, distribution, and abundance of vascular herbaceous plants with woody seedlings (i.e., tree and lianas <1 cm DBH and ≥20 cm tall). Beta-diversity was calculated for each community using a null model approach. We then assessed the similarity in alpha and beta-diversity among herbs, tree seedlings, and liana seedlings. Strengths of habitat associations were measured using permutational ANOVA among topographic habitat-types. Variance partitioning was then used to quantify the amount of variation in species richness and composition explained by spatial and environmental variables (i.e., topography, soils, and shade) for each growth form. Species richness and diversity were highest for tree seedlings, followed by liana seedlings and then herbs. In contrast, beta-diversity was 16-127% higher for herbs compared to woody seedlings, indicating higher spatial variation in this stratum. We observed no correlation between local richness or compositional uniqueness of herbs and woody seedlings across sites, indicating that different processes control the spatial patterns of woody and herbaceous diversity and composition. Habitat associations were strongest for herbs, as indicated by greater compositional dissimilarity among habitat types. Likewise, environmental variables explained a larger proportion of the variation in species richness and composition for herbs than for woody seedlings (richness = 25%, 14%, 12%; composition = 25%, 9%, 6%, for herbs, trees, and lianas, respectively). These differences between strata did not appear to be due to differences in lifespan alone

  20. Hotspots of Community Change: Temporal Dynamics Are Spatially Variable in Understory Plant Composition of a California Oak Woodland

    PubMed Central

    Spotswood, Erica N.; Bartolome, James W.; Allen-Diaz, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Community response to external drivers such climate and disturbance can lead to fluctuations in community composition, or to directional change. Temporal dynamics can be influenced by a combination of drivers operating at multiple spatial scales, including external landscape scale drivers, local abiotic conditions, and local species pools. We hypothesized that spatial variation in these factors can create heterogeneity in temporal dynamics within landscapes. We used understory plant species composition from an 11 year dataset from a California oak woodland to compare plots where disturbance was experimentally manipulated with the removal of livestock grazing and a prescribed burn. We quantified three properties of temporal variation: compositional change (reflecting the appearance and disappearance of species), temporal fluctuation, and directional change. Directional change was related most strongly to disturbance type, and was highest at plots where grazing was removed during the study. Temporal fluctuations, compositional change, and directional change were all related to intrinsic abiotic factors, suggesting that some locations are more responsive to external drivers than others. Temporal fluctuations and compositional change were linked to local functional composition, indicating that environmental filters can create subsets of the local species pool that do not respond in the same way to external drivers. Temporal dynamics are often assumed to be relatively static at the landscape scale, provided disturbance and climate are continuous. This study shows that local and landscape scale factors jointly influence temporal dynamics creating hotspots that are particularly responsive to climate and disturbance. Thus, adequate predictions of response to disturbance or to changing climate will only be achieved by considering how factors at multiple spatial scales influence community resilience and recovery. PMID:26222069

  1. Hotspots of Community Change: Temporal Dynamics Are Spatially Variable in Understory Plant Composition of a California Oak Woodland.

    PubMed

    Spotswood, Erica N; Bartolome, James W; Allen-Diaz, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Community response to external drivers such climate and disturbance can lead to fluctuations in community composition, or to directional change. Temporal dynamics can be influenced by a combination of drivers operating at multiple spatial scales, including external landscape scale drivers, local abiotic conditions, and local species pools. We hypothesized that spatial variation in these factors can create heterogeneity in temporal dynamics within landscapes. We used understory plant species composition from an 11 year dataset from a California oak woodland to compare plots where disturbance was experimentally manipulated with the removal of livestock grazing and a prescribed burn. We quantified three properties of temporal variation: compositional change (reflecting the appearance and disappearance of species), temporal fluctuation, and directional change. Directional change was related most strongly to disturbance type, and was highest at plots where grazing was removed during the study. Temporal fluctuations, compositional change, and directional change were all related to intrinsic abiotic factors, suggesting that some locations are more responsive to external drivers than others. Temporal fluctuations and compositional change were linked to local functional composition, indicating that environmental filters can create subsets of the local species pool that do not respond in the same way to external drivers. Temporal dynamics are often assumed to be relatively static at the landscape scale, provided disturbance and climate are continuous. This study shows that local and landscape scale factors jointly influence temporal dynamics creating hotspots that are particularly responsive to climate and disturbance. Thus, adequate predictions of response to disturbance or to changing climate will only be achieved by considering how factors at multiple spatial scales influence community resilience and recovery.

  2. Native and Non-Native Plants Provide Similar Refuge to Invertebrate Prey, but Less than Artificial Plants

    PubMed Central

    Grutters, Bart M. C.; Pollux, Bart J. A.; Verberk, Wilco C. E. P.; Bakker, Elisabeth S.

    2015-01-01

    Non-native species introductions are widespread and can affect ecosystem functioning by altering the structure of food webs. Invading plants often modify habitat structure, which may affect the suitability of vegetation as refuge and could thus impact predator-prey dynamics. Yet little is known about how the replacement of native by non-native vegetation affects predator-prey dynamics. We hypothesize that plant refuge provisioning depends on (1) the plant’s native status, (2) plant structural complexity and morphology, (3) predator identity, and (4) prey identity, as well as that (5) structurally similar living and artificial plants provide similar refuge. We used aquatic communities as a model system and compared the refuge provided by plants to macroinvertebrates (Daphnia pulex, Gammarus pulex and damselfly larvae) in three short-term laboratory predation experiments. Plant refuge provisioning differed between plant species, but was generally similar for native (Myriophyllum spicatum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Potamogeton perfoliatus) and non-native plants (Vallisneria spiralis, Myriophyllum heterophyllum, Cabomba caroliniana). However, plant refuge provisioning to macroinvertebrate prey depended primarily on predator (mirror carp: Cyprinus carpio carpio and dragonfly larvae: Anax imperator) and prey identity, while the effects of plant structural complexity were only minor. Contrary to living plants, artificial plant analogues did improve prey survival, particularly with increasing structural complexity and shoot density. As such, plant rigidity, which was high for artificial plants and one of the living plant species evaluated in this study (Ceratophyllum demersum), may interact with structural complexity to play a key role in refuge provisioning to specific prey (Gammarus pulex). Our results demonstrate that replacement of native by structurally similar non-native vegetation is unlikely to greatly affect predator-prey dynamics. We propose that modification of

  3. Disentangling fragmentation effects on herbivory in understory plants of longleaf pine savanna.

    PubMed

    Levey, Douglas J; Caughlin, T Trevor; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Damschen, Ellen I; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Evans, Daniel M

    2016-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation affects species and their interactions through intertwined mechanisms that include changes to fragment area, shape, connectivity and distance to edge. Disentangling these pathways is a fundamental challenge of landscape ecology and will help identify ecological processes important for management of rare species or restoration of fragmented habitats. In a landscape experiment that manipulated connectivity, fragment shape, and distance to edge while holding fragment area constant, we examined how fragmentation impacts herbivory and growth of nine plant species in longleaf pine savanna. Probability of herbivory in open habitat was strongly dependent on proximity to forest edge for every species, increasing with distance to edge in six species (primarily grasses and annual forbs) and decreasing in three species (perennial forbs and a shrub). In the two species of perennial forbs, these edge effects were dependent on fragment shape; herbivory strongly decreased with distance to edge in fragments of two shapes, but not in a third shape. For most species, however, probability of herbivory was unrelated to connectivity or fragment shape. Growth was generally determined more strongly by leaf herbivory than by distance to edge, fragment shape, or connectivity. Taken together, these results demonstrate consistently strong edge effects on herbivory, one of the most important biotic factors determining plant growth and demography. Our results contrast with the generally inconsistent results of observational studies, likely because our experimental approach enabled us to tease apart landscape processes that are typically confounded. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Native Plants and Seeds, Oh My! Fifth Graders Explore an Unfamiliar Subject While Learning Plant Basics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauley, Lauren; Weege, Kendra; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2016-01-01

    Native plants are not typically the kinds of plants that are used in elementary classroom studies of plant biology. More commonly, students sprout beans or investigate with fast plants. At the time the authors started their plant unit (November), the school-yard garden had an abundance of native plants that had just started seeding, including…

  5. Native Plants and Seeds, Oh My! Fifth Graders Explore an Unfamiliar Subject While Learning Plant Basics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauley, Lauren; Weege, Kendra; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2016-01-01

    Native plants are not typically the kinds of plants that are used in elementary classroom studies of plant biology. More commonly, students sprout beans or investigate with fast plants. At the time the authors started their plant unit (November), the school-yard garden had an abundance of native plants that had just started seeding, including…

  6. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    PubMed

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  7. Understory plant community response after 23 years of hardwood control treatments in natural longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests

    Treesearch

    John S. Kush; Ralph S. Meldahl; William D. Boyer

    1999-01-01

    In 1973, a study was established in south-central Alabama, U.S.A., to determine the effects of hardwood control treatments on understory succession and overstory growth in natural stands of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.). The treatments were seasonal biennial burns and a no-burn check, each combined with three supplemental hardwood control...

  8. Identification of understory invasive exotic plants with remote sensing in urban forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shouse, Michael; Liang, Liang; Fei, Songlin

    2013-04-01

    Invasive exotic plants (IEP) pose a significant threat to many ecosystems. To effectively manage IEP, it is important to efficiently detect their presences and determine their distribution patterns. Remote sensing has been a useful tool to map IEP but its application is limited in urban forests, which are often the sources and sinks for IEP. In this study, we examined the feasibility and tradeoffs of species level IEP mapping using multiple remote sensing techniques in a highly complex urban forest setting. Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), a pervasive IEP in eastern North America, was used as our modeling species. Both medium spatial resolution (MSR) and high spatial resolution (HSR) imagery were employed in bush honeysuckle mapping. The importance of spatial scale was also examined using an up-scaling simulation from the HSR object based classification. Analysis using both MSR and HSR imagery provided viable results for IEP distribution mapping in urban forests. Overall mapping accuracy ranged from 89.8% to 94.9% for HSR techniques and from 74.6% to 79.7% for MSR techniques. As anticipated, classification accuracy reduces as pixel size increases. HSR based techniques produced the most desirable results, therefore is preferred for precise management of IEP in heterogeneous environment. However, the use of MSR techniques should not be ruled out given their wide availability and moderate accuracy.

  9. Estimating aboveground biomass of broadleaved woody plants in the understory of Florida Keys pine forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sah, J.P.; Ross, M.S.; Koptur, S.; Snyder, J.R.

    2004-01-01

    Species-specific allometric equations that provide estimates of biomass from measured plant attributes are currently unavailable for shrubs common to South Florida pine rocklands, where fire plays an important part in shaping the structure and function of ecosystems. We developed equations to estimate total aboveground biomass and fine fuel of 10 common hardwood species in the shrub layer of pine forests of the lower Florida Keys. Many equations that related biomass categories to crown area and height were significant (p < 0.05), but the form and variables comprising the best model varied among species. We applied the best-fit regression models to structural information from the shrub stratum in 18 plots on Big Pine Key, the most extensive pine forest in the Keys. Estimates based on species-specific equations indicated clearly that total aboveground shrub biomass and shrub fine fuel increased with time since last fire, but the relationships were non-linear. The relative proportion of biomass constituted by the major species also varied with stand age. Estimates based on mixed-species regressions differed slightly from estimates based on species-specific models, but the former could provide useful approximations in similar forests where species-specific regressions are not yet available. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Right under Their Noses: Native Plants in the Schoolyard.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Bracken

    2003-01-01

    A Portland (Oregon) middle school teacher teaches an ethnobotany class using plants identified in Lewis and Clark's journals. After months of learning about native plants, Native American culture, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the class culminates in a 3-day canoe trip down the Columbia River. A Lewis and Clark Rediscovery grant provides…

  11. Non-native plant invasions of United States National parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, J.A.; Brown, C.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    The United States National Park Service was created to protect and make accessible to the public the nation's most precious natural resources and cultural features for present and future generations. However, this heritage is threatened by the invasion of non-native plants, animals, and pathogens. To evaluate the scope of invasions, the USNPS has inventoried non-native plant species in the 216 parks that have significant natural resources, documenting the identity of non-native species. We investigated relationships among non-native plant species richness, the number of threatened and endangered plant species, native species richness, latitude, elevation, park area and park corridors and vectors. Parks with many threatened and endangered plants and high native plant species richness also had high non-native plant species richness. Non-native plant species richness was correlated with number of visitors and kilometers of backcountry trails and rivers. In addition, this work reveals patterns that can be further explored empirically to understand the underlying mechanisms. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

  12. An introduction to the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Initiative

    Treesearch

    Wayne Padgett; Peggy Olwell; Scott Lambert

    2010-01-01

    The Colorado Plateau Ecoregion is occupied by a variety of ecosystems requiring restoration activities following natural and human-caused disturbances. The Colorado Plateau Native Plant Initiative, included in the BLM Native Plant Materials Development Program, was established as a part of the Seeds of Success program. This program is a partnership between USDI Bureau...

  13. Right under Their Noses: Native Plants in the Schoolyard.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Bracken

    2003-01-01

    A Portland (Oregon) middle school teacher teaches an ethnobotany class using plants identified in Lewis and Clark's journals. After months of learning about native plants, Native American culture, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the class culminates in a 3-day canoe trip down the Columbia River. A Lewis and Clark Rediscovery grant provides…

  14. Propagating native plants at the National Tropical Botanical Garden

    Treesearch

    Diane Ragone

    2002-01-01

    Hawaii has the dubious distinction of being the extinction capital of the United States with close to 30 percent of native plant species listed as endangered. The National Tropical Botanical Garden has been a leader in efforts to propagate and conserve native Hawaiian plants with close to 800 species collected for ex situ conservation since 1990....

  15. Patterns of primary succession of native and introduced plants in lowland wet forests in eastern Hawaii

    Treesearch

    Naupaka Zimmerman; Flint 1 Hughes; Patrick Hart; Heather Kalei Chang; David Perez; Ryan Kaipoalohaakala Like; Rebecca. Ostertag

    2008-01-01

    The majority of Hawaii's lowland wet forests no longer exist, with many of the last remaining patches found on the eastern, windward sides of the largest islands. To better understand successional patterns and invasion in these native systems, we quantified basal area (BA) and densities of woody species and understory cover at nine sites in the Puna district on...

  16. Loblolly pine seedling response to competition from exotic vs. native plants

    Treesearch

    Pedram Daneshgar; Shibu Jose; Craig Ramsey; Robin Collins

    2006-01-01

    A field study was conducted in Santa Rosa County, FL to test the hypothesis that an exotic understory would exert a higher degree of competition on tree seedling establishment and growth than native vegetation. The study site was a 60 ha cutover area infested with the invasive exotic cogongrass [Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.]. A completely...

  17. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    PubMed

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

  18. Novel Weapons Testing: Are Invasive Plants More Chemically Defended than Native Plants?

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Eric M.; Parker, John D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Exotic species have been hypothesized to successfully invade new habitats by virtue of possessing novel biochemistry that repels native enemies. Despite the pivotal long-term consequences of invasion for native food-webs, to date there are no experimental studies examining directly whether exotic plants are any more or less biochemically deterrent than native plants to native herbivores. Methodology/Principal Findings In a direct test of this hypothesis using herbivore feeding assays with chemical extracts from 19 invasive plants and 21 co-occurring native plants, we show that invasive plant biochemistry is no more deterrent (on average) to a native generalist herbivore than extracts from native plants. There was no relationship between extract deterrence and length of time since introduction, suggesting that time has not mitigated putative biochemical novelty. Moreover, the least deterrent plant extracts were from the most abundant species in the field, a pattern that held for both native and exotic plants. Analysis of chemical deterrence in context with morphological defenses and growth-related traits showed that native and exotic plants had similar trade-offs among traits. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results suggest that particular invasive species may possess deterrent secondary chemistry, but it does not appear to be a general pattern resulting from evolutionary mismatches between exotic plants and native herbivores. Thus, fundamentally similar processes may promote the ecological success of both native and exotic species. PMID:20454658

  19. Novel weapons testing: are invasive plants more chemically defended than native plants?

    PubMed

    Lind, Eric M; Parker, John D

    2010-05-03

    Exotic species have been hypothesized to successfully invade new habitats by virtue of possessing novel biochemistry that repels native enemies. Despite the pivotal long-term consequences of invasion for native food-webs, to date there are no experimental studies examining directly whether exotic plants are any more or less biochemically deterrent than native plants to native herbivores. In a direct test of this hypothesis using herbivore feeding assays with chemical extracts from 19 invasive plants and 21 co-occurring native plants, we show that invasive plant biochemistry is no more deterrent (on average) to a native generalist herbivore than extracts from native plants. There was no relationship between extract deterrence and length of time since introduction, suggesting that time has not mitigated putative biochemical novelty. Moreover, the least deterrent plant extracts were from the most abundant species in the field, a pattern that held for both native and exotic plants. Analysis of chemical deterrence in context with morphological defenses and growth-related traits showed that native and exotic plants had similar trade-offs among traits. Overall, our results suggest that particular invasive species may possess deterrent secondary chemistry, but it does not appear to be a general pattern resulting from evolutionary mismatches between exotic plants and native herbivores. Thus, fundamentally similar processes may promote the ecological success of both native and exotic species.

  20. Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N.; Müller, Christine B.

    2009-03-01

    In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P. cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P. cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control). By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

  1. Effects of simulated N deposition on foliar nutrient status, N metabolism and photosynthetic capacity of three dominant understory plant species in a mature tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Mao, Qinggong; Lu, Xiankai; Mo, Hui; Gundersen, Per; Mo, Jiangming

    2017-08-16

    Anthropogenic increase of nitrogen (N) deposition has threatened forest ecosystem health at both regional and global scales. In N-limited ecosystems, atmospheric N input is regarded as an important nutrient source for plant growth. However, it remains an open question on how elevated N deposition affects plant growth in N-rich forest ecosystems. To address this question, we used a simulated N deposition experiment in an N-rich mature tropical forest of southern China, with N addition levels as 0kgNha(-1)yr(-1) (Control), 50kgNha(-1)yr(-1) (Low-N), 100kgNha(-1)yr(-1) (Middle-N) and 150kgNha(-1)yr(-1) (High-N), respectively. We measured foliar nutrient element status (e.g., N, P, K, Ca and Mg), N metabolism and photosynthesis capacity of three dominant understory plant species (Cryptocarya concinna and Cryptocarya chinensis as medium-light species; and Randia canthioides as shade tolerant species) in this forest. Results showed that two years of N addition greatly increased foliar N content, but decreased the content of nutrient cations (e.g., K, Ca and Mg). Nitrogen addition also increased N accumulation as organic forms as soluble protein and/or free amino acid (FAA), but not as chlorophyll in all three species. We further found that the photosynthesis capacity (Pmax) of C. concinna and C. chinensis decreased significantly with elevated N addition, with no effects on R. canthioides. However, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE) significantly declined with N addition for all three species, with significantly negative relationships between PNUE/Pmax and foliar N content. These findings suggest that excess N inputs can accelerate nutrient imbalance, and inhibit photosynthetic capacity of understory plant species, indicating continuous high N deposition can threat understory plant growth in N-rich tropical forests in the future. Meanwhile, PNUE can be used as a sensitive indicator to assess ecosystem N status under chronic N deposition. Copyright © 2017

  2. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer N; Emlen, Douglas J; Pearson, Dean E

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations.

  3. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Emlen, Douglas J.; Pearson, Dean E.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders’ web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe’s architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  4. Safeguarding the Seeds of Native Plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    As pharmaceutical demand, land restoration efforts, and conservation concerns increase there is an emerging emphasis by various organizations worldwide prioritizing germplasm collection of both native and medicinal taxa. Bioversity International, an organization coordinating the conservation of gen...

  5. Glyphosate and Dicamba Inhibit Flowering of Native Willamette Valley Plants

    EPA Science Inventory

    Successful flowering is essential for reproduction of native plants and production of food for herbivores. It is also an important alternative endpoint for assessment of ecological risks from chemical stressors such as herbicides. We evaluated flowering phenology after herbicide...

  6. Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ten wild plants (cattail narrow leaf shoots, chokecherries, beaked hazelnuts, lambsquarters, plains pricklypear, prairie turnips, stinging nettles, wild plums, raspberries, rose hips) from three Native American reservations in North Dakota were analyzed to expand composition information of tradition...

  7. Glyphosate and Dicamba Inhibit Flowering of Native Willamette Valley Plants

    EPA Science Inventory

    Successful flowering is essential for reproduction of native plants and production of food for herbivores. It is also an important alternative endpoint for assessment of ecological risks from chemical stressors such as herbicides. We evaluated flowering phenology after herbicide...

  8. Competitive effects of non-native plants are lowest in native plant communities that are most vulnerable to invasion

    Treesearch

    J.Stephen Brewer; W. Chase Bailey

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread acknowledgment that disturbance favors invasion, a hypothesis that has received little attention is whether non-native invaders have greater competitive effects on native plants in undisturbed habitats than in disturbed habitats. This hypothesis derives from the assumption that competitive interactions are more persistent in habitats that have not...

  9. Understory vegetation as an indicator for floodplain forest restoration in the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    De Steven, Diane; Faulkner, Stephen; Keeland, Bobby D.; Baldwin, Michael; McCoy, John W.; Hughes, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (MAV), complete alteration of river-floodplain hydrology allowed for widespreadconversion of forested bottomlands to intensive agriculture, resulting in nearly 80% forest loss. Governmental programs haveattempted to restore forest habitat and functions within this altered landscape by the methods of tree planting (afforestation)and local hydrologic enhancement on reclaimed croplands. Early assessments identified factors that influenced whetherplanting plus tree colonization could establish an overstory community similar to natural bottomland forests. The extentto which afforested sites develop typical understory vegetation has not been evaluated, yet understory composition may beindicative of restored site conditions. As part of a broad study quantifying the ecosystem services gained from restorationefforts, understory vegetation was compared between 37 afforested sites and 26 mature forest sites. Differences in vegetationattributes for species growth forms, wetland indicator classes, and native status were tested with univariate analyses;floristic composition data were analyzed by multivariate techniques. Understory vegetation of restoration sites was generallyhydrophytic, but species composition differed from that of mature bottomland forest because of young successional age anddiffering responses of plant growth forms. Attribute and floristic variation among restoration sites was related to variationin canopy development and local wetness conditions, which in turn reflected both intrinsic site features and outcomes ofrestoration practices. Thus, understory vegetation is a useful indicator of functional progress in floodplain forest restoration.

  10. Role of invasive Melilotus officinalis in two native plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Riper, Laura C.; Larson, Diane L.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines the impact of the exotic nitrogen-fixing legume Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam. on native and exotic species cover in two Great Plains ecosystems in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Melilotus is still widely planted and its effects on native ecosystems are not well studied. Melilotus could have direct effects on native plants, such as through competition or facilitation. Alternatively, Melilotus may have indirect effects on natives, e.g., by favoring exotic species which in turn have a negative effect on native species. This study examined these interactions across a 4-year period in two contrasting vegetation types: Badlands sparse vegetation and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) mixed-grass prairie. Structural equation models were used to analyze the pathways through which Melilotus, native species, and other exotic species interact over a series of 2-year time steps. Melilotus can affect native and exotic species both in the current year and in the years after its death (a lag effect). A lag effect is possible because the death of a Melilotus plant can leave an open, potentially nitrogen-enriched site on the landscape. The results showed that the relationship between Melilotus and native and exotic species varied depending on the habitat and the year. In Badlands sparse vegetation, there was a consistent, strong, and positive relationship between Melilotus cover and native and exotic species cover suggesting that Melilotus is acting as a nurse plant and facilitating the growth of other species. In contrast, in western wheatgrass prairie, Melilotus was acting as a weak competitor and had no consistent effect on other species. In both habitats, there was little evidence for a direct lag effect of Melilotus on other species. Together, these results suggest both facilitative and competitive roles for Melilotus, depending on the vegetation type it invades.

  11. Generalized provisional seed zones for native plants

    Treesearch

    Andrew D. Bower; J. Bradley St.Clair; Vicky. Erickson

    2014-01-01

    Deploying well-adapted and ecologically appropriate plant materials is a core component of successful restoration projects. We have developed generalized provisional seed zones that can be applied to any plant species in the United States to help guide seed movement. These seed zones are based on the intersection of high-resolution climatic data for winter minimum...

  12. Native New Zealand plants with inhibitory activity towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plants have long been investigated as a source of antibiotics and other bioactives for the treatment of human disease. New Zealand contains a diverse and unique flora, however, few of its endemic plants have been used to treat tuberculosis. One plant, Laurelia novae-zelandiae, was reportedly used by indigenous Maori for the treatment of tubercular lesions. Methods Laurelia novae-zelandiae and 44 other native plants were tested for direct anti-bacterial activity. Plants were extracted with different solvents and extracts screened for inhibition of the surrogate species, Mycobacterium smegmatis. Active plant samples were then tested for bacteriostatic activity towards M. tuberculosis and other clinically-important species. Results Extracts of six native plants were active against M. smegmatis. Many of these were also inhibitory towards M. tuberculosis including Laurelia novae-zelandiae (Pukatea). M. excelsa (Pohutukawa) was the only plant extract tested that was active against Staphylococcus aureus. Conclusions Our data provide support for the traditional use of Pukatea in treating tuberculosis. In addition, our analyses indicate that other native plant species possess antibiotic activity. PMID:20537175

  13. Duck Productivity in Restored Species-Rich Native and Species-Poor Non-Native Plantings

    PubMed Central

    Haffele, Ryan D.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Dixon, Cami S.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010–2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  14. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    PubMed

    Haffele, Ryan D; Eichholz, Michael W; Dixon, Cami S

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years.

  15. Spatial heterogeneity influences native and nonnative plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J; Chong, Geneva W

    2006-12-01

    Spatial heterogeneity may have differential effects on the distribution of native and nonnative plant species richness. We examined the effects of spatial heterogeneity on native and nonnative plant species richness distributions in the central part of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Spatial heterogeneity around vegetation plots was characterized using landscape metrics, environmental/topographic variables (slope, aspect, elevation, and distance from stream or river), and soil variables (nitrogen, clay, and sand). The landscape metrics represented five components of landscape heterogeneity and were measured at four spatial extents (within varying radii of 120, 240, 480, and 960 m) using the FRAGSTATS landscape pattern analysis program. Akaike's Information Criterion adjusted for small sample size (AICc) was used to select the best models from a set of multiple linear regression models developed for native and nonnative plant species richness at four spatial extents and three levels of ecological hierarchy (i.e., landscape, land cover, and community). Both native and nonnative plant species richness were positively correlated with edge density, Simpson's diversity index and interspersion/juxtaposition index, and were negatively correlated with mean patch size. The amount of variation explained at four spatial extents and three hierarchical levels ranged from 30% to 70%. At the landscape level, the best models explained 43% of the variation in native plant species richness and 70% of the variation in nonnative plant species richness (240-m extent). In general, the amount of variation explained was always higher for nonnative plant species richness, and the inclusion of landscape metrics always significantly improved the models. The best models explained 66% of the variation in nonnative plant species richness for both the conifer land cover type and lodgepole pine community. The relative influence of the components of spatial heterogeneity differed for

  16. Aboveground and belowground competition between willow Salix caprea its understory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Hermová, Markéta; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The effects of aboveground and belowground competition with the willow S. caprea on its understory plant community were studied in unreclaimed post-mining sites. Belowground competition was evaluated by comparing (i) frames inserted into the soil that excluded woody roots (frame treatment), (ii) frames that initially excluded woody root growth but then allowed regrowth of the roots (open-frame treatment), and (iii) undisturbed soil (no-frame treatment). These treatments were combined with S. caprea thinning to assess the effect of aboveground competition. Three years after the start of the experiment, aboveground competition from S. caprea (as modified by thinning of the S. caprea canopy) had not affected understory biomass or species number but had affected species composition. In contrast, belowground competition significantly affected both the aboveground and belowground biomass of the understory. The aboveground biomass of the understory was greater in the frame treatment (which excluded woody roots) than in the other two treatments. The belowground biomass of the understory was greater in the frame than in the open-frame treatment. Unlike aboveground competition (light availability), belowground competition did not affect understory species composition. Our results suggest that S. caprea is an important component during plant succession on post-mining sites because it considerably modifies its understory plant community. Belowground competition is a major reason for the low cover and biomass of the herbaceous understory in S. caprea stands on post-mining sites.

  17. Forest understory plant and soil microbial response to an experimentally induced drought and heat-pulse event: the importance of maintaining the continuum.

    PubMed

    von Rein, Isabell; Gessler, Arthur; Premke, Katrin; Keitel, Claudia; Ulrich, Andreas; Kayler, Zachary E

    2016-08-01

    Drought duration and intensity are expected to increase with global climate change. How changes in water availability and temperature affect the combined plant-soil-microorganism response remains uncertain. We excavated soil monoliths from a beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest, thus keeping the understory plant-microbe communities intact, imposed an extreme climate event, consisting of drought and/or a single heat-pulse event, and followed microbial community dynamics over a time period of 28 days. During the treatment, we labeled the canopy with (13) CO2 with the goal of (i) determining the strength of plant-microbe carbon linkages under control, drought, heat and heat-drought treatments and (ii) characterizing microbial groups that are tightly linked to the plant-soil carbon continuum based on (13) C-labeled PLFAs. Additionally, we used 16S rRNA sequencing of bacteria from the Ah horizon to determine the short-term changes in the active microbial community. The treatments did not sever within-plant transport over the experiment, and carbon sinks belowground were still active. Based on the relative distribution of labeled carbon to roots and microbial PLFAs, we determined that soil microbes appear to have a stronger carbon sink strength during environmental stress. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA revealed multiple trajectories in microbial community shifts within the different treatments. Heat in combination with drought had a clear negative effect on microbial diversity and resulted in a distinct shift in the microbial community structure that also corresponded to the lowest level of label found in the PLFAs. Hence, the strongest changes in microbial abundances occurred in the heat-drought treatment where plants were most severely affected. Our study suggests that many of the shifts in the microbial communities that we might expect from extreme environmental stress will result from the plant-soil-microbial dynamics rather than from direct effects of

  18. ERTS-1 imagery and native plant distributions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musick, H. B.; Mcginnies, W.; Haase, E.; Lepley, L. K.

    1974-01-01

    A method is developed for using ERTS spectral signature data to determine plant community distribution and phenology without resolving individual plants. An Exotech ERTS radiometer was used near ground level to obtain spectral signatures for a desert plant community, including two shrub species, ground covered with live annuals in April and dead ones in June, and bare ground. It is shown that comparisons of scene types can be made when spectral signatures are expressed as a ratio of red reflectivity to IR reflectivity or when they are plotted as red reflectivity vs. IR reflectivity, in which case the signature clusters of each component are more distinct. A method for correcting and converting the ERTS radiance values to reflectivity values for comparison with ground truth data is appended.

  19. Are native songbird populations affected by non-native plant invasion?

    Treesearch

    Amanda M. Conover; Christopher K. Williams; Vincent. D' Amico

    2011-01-01

    Development into forested areas is occurring rapidly across the United States, and many of the remnant forests within suburban landscapes are being fragmented into smaller patches, impacting the quality of this habitat for avian species. An ecological effect linked to forest fragmentation is the invasion of non-native plants into the ecosystem.

  20. Planning a native plant nursery [Chapter 1

    Treesearch

    Kim M. Wilkinson; Thomas D. Landis

    2009-01-01

    Every nursery is unique. The environmental, social, and economic context is different for each nursery. A wide variety of species and outplanting environments contributes to nursery diversity. In addition, each nursery has a distinct vision and purpose.The methods a nursery will use to bring people together, produce high-quality plants for the community, and share...

  1. [Litter decomposition and soil faunal diversity of two understory plant debris in the alpine timberline ecotone of western Sichuan in a snow cover season].

    PubMed

    He, Run-lian; Chen, Ya-mei; Deng, Chang-chun; Yan, Wan-qin; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Yang

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand the relationship between litter decomposition and soil fauna diversity during snow cover season, litterbags with plant debris of Actinothuidium hookeri, Cystopteris montana, two representative understory plants in the alpine timberline ecotone, and their mixed litter were incubated in the dark coniferous forest, timberline and alpine meadow, respectively. After a snow cover season, the mass loss and soil fauna in litterbags were investigated. After decomposition with a snow cover season, alpine meadow showed the highest mass loss of plant debris in comparison with coniferous forest and timberline, and the mass loss of A. hookeri was more significant. The mixture of two plants debris accelerated the mass loss, especially in the timberline. A total of 968 soil invertebrates, which belonged to 5 classes, 10 orders and 35 families, were captured in litterbags. Acarina and Collembola were the dominant groups in plant debris. The numbers of individuals and groups of soil faunal communities in litter of timberline were higher than those of alpine meadow and dark coniferous forest. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that the groups of soil animals were related closely with the average temperature, and endemic species such as Isoptera and Geophilomorpha were observed only in coniferous forest, while Hemiptera and Psocoptera only in.the alpine meadow. The diversity of soil faunal community was more affected by plant debris varieties in the timberline than in the coniferous forest and alpine meadow. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the average temperature and snow depth explained 30.8% of the variation of litter mass loss rate, soil animals explained 8.3%, and altogether explained 34.1%. Snow was one of the most critical factors impacting the decomposition of A. hookeri and C. montana debris in the alpine timberline ecotone.

  2. Native American plant resources in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Stoffle, R.W.; Evans, M.J.; Halmo, D.B.; Niles, W.E.; O`Farrell, J.T.

    1989-11-01

    This report presents Native American interpretations of and concerns for plant resources on or near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This one of three research reports regarding Native American cultural resources that may be affected by site characterization activities related to the Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste disposal facility. Representatives of the sixteen involved American Indian tribes identified and interpreted plant resources as part of a consultation relationship between themselves and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Participants in the ethnobotany studies included botanists who have conducted, and continue to conduct, botanical studies for the Yucca Mountain Project. This report is to be used to review research procedures and findings regarding the process of consulting with the sixteen tribes, interviews with tribal plant specialists and elders, and findings from the ethnobotanical visits with representatives of the sixteen tribes. An annual report will include a chapter that summarizes the key findings from this plant resources study. 23 refs., 75 figs., 39 tabs.

  3. Generalized provisional seed zones for native plants.

    PubMed

    Bower, Andrew D; St Clair, J Bradley; Erickson, Vicky

    2014-07-01

    Deploying well-adapted and ecologically appropriate plant materials is a core component of successful restoration projects. We have developed generalized provisional seed zones that can be applied to any plant species in the United States to help guide seed movement. These seed zones are based on the intersection of high-resolution climatic data for winter minimum temperature and aridity (as measured by annual heat : moisture index), each classified into discrete bands. This results in the delineation of 64 provisional seed zones for the continental United States. These zones represent areas of relative climatic similarity, and movement of seed within these zones should help to minimize maladaptation. Superimposing Omernik's level III ecoregions over these seed zones distinguishes areas that are similar climatically yet different ecologically. A quantitative comparison of provisional seed zones with level III ecoregions and provisional seed zones within ecoregions for three species showed that provisional seed zone within ecoregion often explained the greatest proportion of variation in a suite of traits potentially related to plant fitness. These provisional seed zones can be considered a starting point for guidelines for seed transfer, and should be utilized in conjunction with appropriate species-specific information as well as local knowledge of microsite differences.

  4. Public Lakes, Private Lakeshore: Modeling Protection of Native Aquatic Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, Susan A.; Fulton, David C.

    2013-07-01

    Protection of native aquatic plants is an important proenvironmental behavior, because plant loss coupled with nutrient loading can produce changes in lake ecosystems. Removal of aquatic plants by lakeshore property owners is a diffuse behavior that may lead to cumulative impacts on lake ecosystems. This class of behavior is challenging to manage because collective impacts are not obvious to the actors. This paper distinguishes positive and negative beliefs about aquatic plants, in models derived from norm activation theory (Schwartz, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 10:221-279, 1977) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, Addison-Wesley, Boston 1975), to examine protection of native aquatic plants by Minnesota lakeshore property owners. We clarify how positive and negative evaluations of native aquatic plants affect protection or removal of these plants. Results are based on a mail survey ( n = 3,115). Results suggest that positive evaluations of aquatic plants (i.e., as valuable to lake ecology) may not connect with the global attitudes and behavioral intentions that direct plant protection or removal. Lakeshore property owners' behavior related to aquatic plants may be driven more by tangible personal benefits derived from accessible, carefully managed lakeshore than intentional action taken to sustain lake ecosystems. The limited connection of positive evaluations of aquatic plants to global attitudes and behavioral intentions may reflect either lack of knowledge of what actions are needed to protect lake health and/or unwillingness to lose perceived benefits derived from lakeshore property.

  5. Public lakes, private lakeshore: modeling protection of native aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Susan A; Fulton, David C

    2013-07-01

    Protection of native aquatic plants is an important proenvironmental behavior, because plant loss coupled with nutrient loading can produce changes in lake ecosystems. Removal of aquatic plants by lakeshore property owners is a diffuse behavior that may lead to cumulative impacts on lake ecosystems. This class of behavior is challenging to manage because collective impacts are not obvious to the actors. This paper distinguishes positive and negative beliefs about aquatic plants, in models derived from norm activation theory (Schwartz, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 10:221-279, 1977) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, Addison-Wesley, Boston 1975), to examine protection of native aquatic plants by Minnesota lakeshore property owners. We clarify how positive and negative evaluations of native aquatic plants affect protection or removal of these plants. Results are based on a mail survey (n = 3,115). Results suggest that positive evaluations of aquatic plants (i.e., as valuable to lake ecology) may not connect with the global attitudes and behavioral intentions that direct plant protection or removal. Lakeshore property owners' behavior related to aquatic plants may be driven more by tangible personal benefits derived from accessible, carefully managed lakeshore than intentional action taken to sustain lake ecosystems. The limited connection of positive evaluations of aquatic plants to global attitudes and behavioral intentions may reflect either lack of knowledge of what actions are needed to protect lake health and/or unwillingness to lose perceived benefits derived from lakeshore property.

  6. Using organic fertilizers in forest and native plant nurseries

    Treesearch

    Thomas D. Landis; R. Kasten Dumroese

    2012-01-01

    Since World War II, synthetic fertilizers have been used almost exclusively to grow forest and native plant nursery crops because they are quickly soluble and readily taken up by crops, producing the rapid growth rates that are necessary in nursery culture. In recent years, however, a wide variety of new organic fertilizers have become available. We divided these...

  7. Interesting biological activities from plants traditionally used by Native Australians.

    PubMed

    Pennacchio, Marcello; Kemp, Annabeth S; Taylor, Rory P; Wickens, Kristen M; Kienow, Lucie

    2005-01-15

    Four plants routinely used for medicinal purposes by Native Australians were screened for various biological activities. Methanol extracts of Eremophila maculata, Acacia auriculoformis and Acacia bivenosa exhibited antibiotic effects, while Eremophila alternifolia yielded an extract that induced significant changes to the heart activity of spontaneously hypertensive rats. We report on these biological activities.

  8. Do invasive alien plants benefit more from global environmental change than native plants?

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanjie; Oduor, Ayub M O; Zhang, Zhen; Manea, Anthony; Tooth, Ifeanna M; Leishman, Michelle R; Xu, Xingliang; van Kleunen, Mark

    2016-11-26

    Invasive alien plant species threaten native biodiversity, disrupt ecosystem functions and can cause large economic damage. Plant invasions have been predicted to further increase under ongoing global environmental change. Numerous case studies have compared the performance of invasive and native plant species in response to global environmental change components (i.e. changes in mean levels of precipitation, temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentration or nitrogen deposition). Individually, these studies usually involve low numbers of species and therefore the results cannot be generalized. Therefore, we performed a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis to assess whether there is a general pattern of differences in invasive and native plant performance under each component of global environmental change. We compiled a database of studies that reported performance measures for 74 invasive alien plant species and 117 native plant species in response to one of the above-mentioned global environmental change components. We found that elevated temperature and CO2 enrichment increased the performance of invasive alien plants more strongly than was the case for native plants. Invasive alien plants tended to also have a slightly stronger positive response to increased N deposition and increased precipitation than native plants, but these differences were not significant (N deposition: P = 0.051; increased precipitation: P = 0.679). Invasive alien plants tended to have a slightly stronger negative response to decreased precipitation than native plants, although this difference was also not significant (P = 0.060). So while drought could potentially reduce plant invasion, increases in the four other components of global environmental change considered, particularly global warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment, may further increase the spread of invasive plants in the future.

  9. Fleshy fruit removal and nutritional composition of winter-fruiting plants: a comparison of non-native invasive and native species

    Treesearch

    Cathryn H. Greenberg; Scott T. Walter

    2010-01-01

    Invasive, non-native plants threaten forest ecosystems by reducing native plant species richness and potentially altering ecosystem processes. Seed dispersal is critical for successful invasion and range expansion by non-native plants; dispersal is likely to be enhanced if they can successfully compete with native plants for disperser services. Fruit production by non-...

  10. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment.

    PubMed

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly; Kostenko, Olga; Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka

    2016-02-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities.

  11. Native medicinal plants commercialized in Brazil - priorities for conservation.

    PubMed

    de Melo, Joabe Gomes; de Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2009-09-01

    A majority of the native medicinal plants that are commercialized in Brazil are harvested from natural populations. In addition to this essentially unrestrained collecting, these plants have been heavily impacted by the cutting and the fragmentation of forest formations throughout the country. Considering the limited availability of natural resources, threats to species diversity, and the necessity of conservation efforts in light of the rapid exhaustion of natural ecosystems, it is becoming exceedingly important to establish conservation priorities. The present work sought to identify the native medicinal plants harvested for industrial purposes and to establish conservation priorities for the species of highest commercial value. To that end, a survey of Brazilian industrial products that use medicinal plants was undertaken in 54 shops in the city of Recife (Pernambuco, NE Brazil). The survey noted information concerning the commercial name of the product, its plant composition and pharmaceutical presentation, therapeutic indications, as well as the laboratory that produced it. Only native species were considered. A total of 74 different native species used to produce more than 300 types of products were encountered in the present survey. Twelve species demonstrated significant versatility (Species which had the highest numbers of different therapeutic indications and body systems), and 58.33% of these plants were trees. Destructive collecting predominates (58.11%), greatly affecting taxa collected exclusively from wild populations (86.49%). The intensive use of exclusively wild species and the destructive harvesting techniques employed in gathering them create serious problems that will threaten the availability of these resources to future generations.

  12. Phytophagous Insects on Native and Non-Native Host Plants: Combining the Community Approach and the Biogeographical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Meijer, Kim; Zemel, Hidde; Chiba, Satoshi; Smit, Christian; Beukeboom, Leo W.; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2015-01-01

    During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH) is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community) or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native). Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines) in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis. PMID:25955254

  13. Phytophagous insects on native and non-native host plants: combining the community approach and the biogeographical approach.

    PubMed

    Meijer, Kim; Zemel, Hidde; Chiba, Satoshi; Smit, Christian; Beukeboom, Leo W; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2015-01-01

    During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH) is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community) or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native). Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines) in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis.

  14. Introducing close-range photogrammetry for characterizing forest understory plant diversity and surface fuel structure at fine scales

    Treesearch

    Benjamin C. Bright; E. Louise Loudermilk; Scott M. Pokswinski; Andrew T. Hudak; Joseph J. O' Brien

    2016-01-01

    Methods characterizing fine-scale fuels and plant diversity can advance understanding of plant-fire interactions across scales and help in efforts to monitor important ecosystems such as longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests of the southeastern United States. Here, we evaluate the utility of close-range photogrammetry for measuring fuels and plant...

  15. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  16. Native plant restoration of biosolids-amended copper mine tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, P.A.; Zabowski, D.; Everett, R.L.; Scherer, G.

    1998-12-31

    Copper mine tailings are difficult to revegetate due to nutrient deficiencies, high levels of acidity, and potential metal toxicities. An amendment of biosolids could ameliorate these harsh growing conditions through the addition of available nutrients, improvement of physical soil properties (e.g., increased water holding capacity), and possible lowering of toxic metal availability through complexation with organic matter. A study was conducted on mine tailings at Holden, WA to evaluate the effect of an amendment of biosolids on the survival and growth of five native plant species (Sitka alder, big leaf maple, fireweed, w. yarrow, and pearly everlasting). Plots were established in tailings, gravel over tailings (G/T), and biosolids plus gravel over tailings. Each of the native plant species, except maple, had their highest survival in the biosolids-amended plot with 3 species at 100% survival. The biosolids amendment was shown to improve the growth of all species except maple. Fireweed produced 62 times more biomass in the biosolids-amended plot compared to the unamended plot (G/T). Plant analysis revealed a dramatic increase in nutrient content with the amendment of biosolids. Biosolids improved the survival, growth, and nutritional status of native plant species on the copper mine tailings.

  17. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  18. Direct and Indirect Influence of Non-Native Neighbours on Pollination and Fruit Production of a Native Plant

    PubMed Central

    Montero-Castaño, Ana; Vilà, Montserrat

    2015-01-01

    Background Entomophilous non-native plants can directly affect the pollination and reproductive success of native plant species and also indirectly, by altering the composition and abundance of floral resources in the invaded community. Separating direct from indirect effects is critical for understanding the mechanisms underlying the impacts of non-native species on recipient communities. Objectives Our aims are: (a) to explore both the direct effect of the non-native Hedysarum coronarium and its indirect effect, mediated by the alteration of floral diversity, on the pollinator visitation rate and fructification of the native Leopoldia comosa and (b) to distinguish whether the effects of the non-native species were due to its floral display or to its vegetative interactions. Methods We conducted field observations within a flower removal experimental setup (i.e. non-native species present, absent and with its inflorescences removed) at the neighbourhood scale. Results Our study illustrates the complexity of mechanisms involved in the impacts of non-native species on native species. Overall, Hedysarum increased pollinator visitation rates to Leopoldia target plants as a result of direct and indirect effects acting in the same direction. Due to its floral display, Hedysarum exerted a direct magnet effect attracting visits to native target plants, especially those made by the honeybee. Indirectly, Hedysarum also increased the visitation rate of native target plants. Due to the competition for resources mediated by its vegetative parts, it decreased floral diversity in the neighbourhoods, which was negatively related to the visitation rate to native target plants. Hedysarum overall also increased the fructification of Leopoldia target plants, even though such an increase was the result of other indirect effects compensating for the observed negative indirect effect mediated by the decrease of floral diversity. PMID:26110630

  19. Afforesting agricultural lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (USA): effects of silvicultural methods on understory plant diversity

    Treesearch

    Diane De Steven; Callie J. Schweitzer; Steven C. Hughes; John A. Stanturf

    2015-01-01

    To compare methods for bottomland hardwood reforestation on marginal farmlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, four afforestation treatments (natural colonization, sown oak acorns, planted oak seedlings, cottonwood–oak interplant) were established in 1995 on former soybean cropland. Natural, sown, and planted-oak plots were not managed after establishment....

  20. Native and Non-Native Supergeneralist Bee Species Have Different Effects on Plant-Bee Networks

    PubMed Central

    Giannini, Tereza C.; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Acosta, Andre L.; Silva, Juliana S.; Maia, Kate P.; Saraiva, Antonio M.; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Kleinert, Astrid M. P.

    2015-01-01

    Supergeneralists, defined as species that interact with multiple groups of species in ecological networks, can act as important connectors of otherwise disconnected species subsets. In Brazil, there are two supergeneralist bees: the honeybee Apis mellifera, a non-native species, and Trigona spinipes, a native stingless bee. We compared the role of both species and the effect of geographic and local factors on networks by addressing three questions: 1) Do both species have similar abundance and interaction patterns (degree and strength) in plant-bee networks? 2) Are both species equally influential to the network structure (nestedness, connectance, and plant and bee niche overlap)? 3) How are these species affected by geographic (altitude, temperature, precipitation) and local (natural vs. disturbed habitat) factors? We analyzed 21 plant-bee weighted interaction networks, encompassing most of the main biomes in Brazil. We found no significant difference between both species in abundance, in the number of plant species with which each bee species interacts (degree), and in the sum of their dependencies (strength). Structural equation models revealed the effect of A. mellifera and T. spinipes, respectively, on the interaction network pattern (nestedness) and in the similarity in bee’s interactive partners (bee niche overlap). It is most likely that the recent invasion of A. mellifera resulted in its rapid settlement inside the core of species that retain the largest number of interactions, resulting in a strong influence on nestedness. However, the long-term interaction between native T. spinipes and other bees most likely has a more direct effect on their interactive behavior. Moreover, temperature negatively affected A. mellifera bees, whereas disturbed habitats positively affected T. spinipes. Conversely, precipitation showed no effect. Being positively (T. spinipes) or indifferently (A. mellifera) affected by disturbed habitats makes these species prone to

  1. Native plant community composition and genetic diversity associated with long-term weed invasions

    Treesearch

    Brian A. Mealor; Ann L. Hild; Nancy L. Shaw

    2004-01-01

    Many studies have assessed genetic changes in exotic plant species in their native and introduced ranges, but none have focused on genetic variation in native plant species in response to exotic invasion. We examine characteristics of native plant communities within and outside old (>25 year) invasions of Acroptilon repens (Russian knapweed) and Cardaria draba (...

  2. An invasive plant alters pollinator-mediated phenotypic selection on a native congener.

    PubMed

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-01-01

    • Recent studies suggest that invasive plants compete reproductively with native plants by reducing the quantity or quality of pollinator visits. Although these studies have revealed ecological consequences of pollinator-mediated competition between invasive and native plants, the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions remain largely unexplored.• We studied the ecological and evolutionary impact of pollinator-mediated competition with an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a co-occurring native congener, I. capensis. Using a pollinator choice experiment, a hand pollination experiment, and a selection analysis, we addressed the following questions: (1) Do native pollinators show preference for the invasive or native jewelweed, and do they move between the two species? (2) Does invasive jewelweed pollen inhibit seed production in the native plant? (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the native plant's floral traits?• The pollinator choice experiment showed that pollinators strongly preferred the invasive jewelweed. The hand pollination experiment demonstrated that invasive pollen inhibited seed production in the native plant. The selection analysis showed that the presence of the invasive jewelweed altered phenotypic selection on corolla height in the native plant.• Invasive plants have the potential to alter phenotypic selection on floral traits in native plant populations. If native plants can evolve in response to this altered selection pressure, the evolution of floral traits may play an important role in permitting long-term coexistence of native and invasive plants. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  3. Presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in South Florida native plants.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Jack B; Jayachandran, K

    2005-11-01

    The roots of 27 species of South Florida plants in 15 families (including one cycad, six palms, one Smilax, and 19 dicotyledons) native to pine rockland and tropical hardwood hammock communities were examined for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). These plants grow in the biologically diverse but endangered Greater Everglades habitat. Roots from field-grown and potted plants were cleared and stained. All 27 species had AMF and include 14 species having an endangered or threatened status. The Paris-type colonization occurred in two species in the families Annonaceae and Smilacaceae. The Arum-type occurred in 22 species in the families Anacardiaceae, Arecaceae (Palmae), Boraginaceae, Cactaceae (questionable), Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Melastomataceae, Polygalaceae, Rubiaceae, Simaroubaceae, Ulmaceae, and Zamiaceae. Three species in the families Fabaceae, Lauraceae, and Simaroubaceae had a mix of Paris- and Arum-types. The results have implications for the restoration of these endangered plant communities in the Everglades.

  4. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae and light on Wisconsin (USA) sand savanna understories 1. Plant community composition.

    PubMed

    Landis, Frank C; Gargas, Andrea; Givnish, Thomas J

    2005-11-01

    To explain the complex community composition found in Wisconsin (USA) oak savannas, we investigated potentially interacting effects of light gradients and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on community composition in the greenhouse, using a fully randomized block experimental design. We used plant species, soil, and AMF from a remnant sand savanna in setting up the experiment, using two light and five AMF treatments. Eleven plant species were seeded into 80 microcosms, and they were grown together for 20 weeks. Plant numbers and biomass were measured, and Simpson's index was calculated for both. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and nonparametric ANOVA. We found significant light effects on biomass and on numbers of four species. There were no treatment effects on Simpson's index, and only Schizachyrium numbers showed a significant AMF effect. These findings are consistent with results from other studies of the sand savanna, and, collectively, these data suggest that plant community composition in this species-rich savanna is not strongly influenced by arbuscular mycorrhizae. This is a novel finding with important implications for understanding interactions between plant and AMF diversity in wild communities.

  5. Nematode Assemblages in Native Plant Communities of Molokai, Hawaii

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, E. C.; Schmitt, D. P.

    2005-01-01

    Four native plant community types (in decreasing elevation: montane bog, rain forest, wet mesic forest, drier forest) on Molokai were sampled for nematodes. Six samples of 10 cores each were gathered from each community. Nematodes were extracted from 200 cm³ soil by elutriation. All extracted nematodes were counted and identified to species-level taxa. Sixty-seven species were identified among the four plant communities; only eight species occurred in all four communities. Species diversity and evenness were greater in the rain forest and mesic forest than in the bog and the drier forest, but the drier forest and mesic forest had similar species communities. The bog nematode community was not similar to the other three sites. In a presence/absence cluster analysis, all six bog sample assemblages clustered together. The rain forest samples also clustered together but were associated with the mesic forest sample closest to the rain forest edge. Of 11 nematode orders collected, Tylenchida accounted for 40% to 73% of all individuals, followed by Dorylaimida (5% to 17%). Diplogasterida were absent. No plant-parasitic nematodes of known Hawaiian agricultural importance or occurrence were collected in these native plant communities. Calculated nematode densities (76,000 to 321,300/m²) were comparable to those reported for some other Pacific tropical forests. PMID:19262867

  6. Impact of native plants on bird and butterfly biodiversity in suburban landscapes.

    PubMed

    Burghardt, Karin T; Tallamy, Douglas W; Gregory Shriver, W

    2009-02-01

    Managed landscapes in which non-native ornamental plants are favored over native vegetation now dominate the United States, particularly east of the Mississippi River. We measured how landscaping with native plants affects the avian and lepidopteran communities on 6 pairs of suburban properties in southeastern Pennsylvania. One property in each pair was landscaped entirely with native plants and the other exhibited a more conventional suburban mixture of plants--a native canopy with non-native groundcover and shrubs. Vegetation sampling confirmed that total plant cover and plant diversity did not differ between treatments, but non-native plant cover was greater on the conventional sites and native plant cover was greater on the native sites. Several avian (abundance, species richness, biomass, and breeding-bird abundance) and larval lepidopteran (abundance and species richness) community parameters were measured from June 2006 to August 2006. Native properties supported significantly more caterpillars and caterpillar species and significantly greater bird abundance, diversity, species richness, biomass, and breeding pairs of native species. Of particular importance is that bird species of regional conservation concern were 8 times more abundant and significantly more diverse on native properties. In our study area, native landscaping positively influenced the avian and lepidopteran carrying capacity of suburbia and provided a mechanism for reducing biodiversity losses in human-dominated landscapes.

  7. Directed seed dispersal of Piper by Carollia perspicillata and its effect on understory plant diversity and folivory.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Diego; Kelm, Detlev H; Salazar, Diego

    2013-11-01

    Directed dispersal occurs when seeds are differentially deposited to sites where offspring survivorship is higher than at randomly chosen sites. Traditionally, characteristics of the dispersal target sites that could increase survivorship of the dispersed plants are thought to be intrinsic to the sites. If directed dispersal is constant over extended periods of time, however, it is likely that nonrandom patterns of dispersal could modify the ecological characteristics of the target site in ways that could increase survivorship and fitness of the dispersed plants. Here we report patterns of Piper diversity (richness, equitability, and similarity) and Piper folivory within plots near natural or artificial roosts of Carollia perspicillata vs. similar plots without bat roosts. Plots with bat roosts, both natural and artificial, had significantly higher Piper species diversity. Additionally, we found that plots with a higher Piper species diversity showed less specialist folivory, higher generalist folivory, and lower total herbivore leaf damage than plots with low Piper diversity. Finally, plots with bat roosts also showed less specialist folivory, lower generalist folivory, and lower total folivory when compared to plots without roosts. We propose that long-lasting nonrandom patterns of seed dispersal can change the local ecological characteristics of target sites via changes in plant diversity, and that these changes are likely to reduce the local rates of folivory and, therefore, increase seed and adult plant survivorship.

  8. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework

    PubMed Central

    Downey, Paul O.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat—in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the ‘extinction trajectory’, global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either ‘in the wild’ (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1–3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader

  9. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework.

    PubMed

    Downey, Paul O; Richardson, David M

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat-in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the 'extinction trajectory', global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either 'in the wild' (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1-3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader threat.

  10. The impact of forest roads on understory plant diversity in temperate hornbeam-beech forests of Northern Iran.

    PubMed

    Deljouei, Azade; Abdi, Ehsan; Marcantonio, Matteo; Majnounian, Baris; Amici, Valerio; Sohrabi, Hormoz

    2017-08-01

    Forest roads alter the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems, modifying temperature, humidity, wind speed, and light availability that, in turn, cause changes in plant community composition and diversity. We aim at investigating and comparing the diversity of herbaceous species along main and secondary forest roads in a temperate-managed hornbeam-beech forest, north of Iran. Sixteen transects along main and secondary forest roads were established (eight transects along main roads and eight along secondary roads). To eliminate the effect of forest type, all transects were located in Carpinetum-Fagetum forests, the dominant forest type in the study area. The total length of each transect was 200 m (100 m toward up slope and 100 m toward down slope), and plots were established along it at different distances from road edge. The diversity of herbaceous plant species was calculated in each plot using Shannon-Wiener index, species richness, and Pielou's index. The results showed that diversity index decreased when distance from road edge increases. This decreasing trend continued up to 60 m from forest road margin, and after this threshold, the index slightly increased. Depending on the type of road (main or secondary) as well as cut or fill slopes, the area showing a statistical different plant composition and diversity measured through Shannon-Wiener, species richness, and Pielou's index is up to 10 m. The length depth of the road edge effect found in main and secondary forest roads was small, but it could have cumulative effects on forest microclimate and forest-associated biota at the island scale. Forest managers should account for the effect of road buildings on plant communities.

  11. Improving Survival and Growth of Planted Austrocedrus chilensis Seedlings in Disturbed Patagonian Forests of Argentina by Managing Understory Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M. Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E.

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment.

  12. Improving survival and growth of planted Austrocedrus chilensis seedlings in disturbed patagonian forests of Argentina by managing understory vegetation.

    PubMed

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment.

  13. Occurrence of the non-native annual bluegrass on the Antarctic mainland and its negative effects on native plants.

    PubMed

    Molina-Montenegro, Marco A; Carrasco-Urra, Fernando; Rodrigo, Cristian; Convey, Peter; Valladares, Fernando; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    Few non-native species have colonized Antarctica, although increased human activity and accelerated climate change may increase their number, distributional range, and effects on native species on the continent. We searched 13 sites on the maritime Antarctic islands and 12 sites on the Antarctic Peninsula for annual bluegrass (Poa annua), a non-native flowering plant. We also evaluated the possible effects of competition between P. annua and 2 vascular plants native to Antarctica, Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis) and Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica). We grew the native species in experimental plots with and without annual bluegrass under conditions that mimicked the Antarctic environment. After 5 months, we measured photosynthetic performance on the basis of chlorophyll fluorescence and determined total biomass of both native species. We found individual specimens of annual bluegrass at 3 different sites on the Antarctic Peninsula during the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 austral summers. The presence of bluegrass was associated with a statistically significant reduction in biomass of pearlwort and hairgrass, whereas the decrease in biomass of bluegrass was not statistically significant. Similarly, the presence of bluegrass significantly reduced the photosynthetic performance of the 2 native species. Sites where bluegrass occurred were close to major maritime routes of scientific expeditions and of tourist cruises to Antarctica. We believe that if current levels of human activity and regional warming persist, more non-native plant species are likely to colonize the Antarctic and may affect native species.

  14. DETERMINING POTENTIAL RISK TO NATIVE PLANTS FROM HERBICIDE DRIFT: COMPARATIVE RESPONSE OF SELECTED CROP AND NATIVE PLANT SPECIES TO GLYPHOSATE AND SULFOMETURON

    EPA Science Inventory

    abstract/abstract

    While native plant communities may be at risk from herbicide use, current crop-centric test procedures for pesticide registration may not adequately represent the sensitivity of native non-crop plants to herbicides. We are designing a protocol to determi...

  15. DETERMINING POTENTIAL RISK TO NATIVE PLANTS FROM HERBICIDE DRIFT: COMPARATIVE RESPONSE OF SELECTED CROP AND NATIVE PLANT SPECIES TO GLYPHOSATE AND SULFOMETURON

    EPA Science Inventory

    abstract/abstract

    While native plant communities may be at risk from herbicide use, current crop-centric test procedures for pesticide registration may not adequately represent the sensitivity of native non-crop plants to herbicides. We are designing a protocol to determi...

  16. Response of native versus exotic plant guilds to cattle and elk herbivory in forested rangeland

    Treesearch

    Burak K. Pekin; Michael J. Wisdom; Catherine G. Parks; Bryan A. Endress; Bridgett J. Naylor; Ralf Ohlemuller

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Are exotic plant species favoured by non-native ungulate herbivores and disadvantaged by native herbivores in forested rangelands? Do the impacts of ungulates on exotic vs native plants depend on forest management activities such as prescribed fire and stand thinning?Location: Northeastern Oregon, USA....

  17. Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project: 2012 progress report

    Treesearch

    Nancy Shaw; Mike Pellant

    2013-01-01

    The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 USDA and USDI Report to Congress, USDI Bureau of Land Management programs and policies, and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative encourage the use of native species for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. The Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project was...

  18. Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project FY08 Progress Report

    Treesearch

    Nancy Shaw; Mike Pellant

    2009-01-01

    The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program (USDI and USDA 2002), USDI Bureau of Land Management programs and policies, and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative encourage the use of native species for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. This project was initiated to foster the development of native plant materials for use in the...

  19. Investigating the rheological properties of native plant latex

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Georg; Friedrich, Christian; Gillig, Carina; Vollrath, Fritz; Speck, Thomas; Holland, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Plant latex, the source of natural rubber, has been of interest to mankind for millennia, with much of the research on its rheological (flow) properties focused towards industrial application. However, little is known regarding the rheology of the native material as produced by the plant, a key factor in determining latex's biological functions. In this study, we outline a method for rheological comparison between native latices that requires a minimum of preparatory steps. Our approach provides quantitative insights into the coagulation mechanisms of Euphorbia and Ficus latex allowing interpretation within a comparative evolutionary framework. Our findings reveal that in laboratory conditions both latices behave like non-Newtonian materials with the coagulation of Euphorbia latex being mediated by a slow evaporative process (more than 60 min), whereas Ficus appears to use additional biochemical components to increase the rate of coagulation (more than 30 min). Based on these results, we propose two different primary defensive roles for latex in these plants: the delivery of anti-herbivory compounds (Euphorbia) and rapid wound healing (Ficus). PMID:24173604

  20. Investigating the rheological properties of native plant latex.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Georg; Friedrich, Christian; Gillig, Carina; Vollrath, Fritz; Speck, Thomas; Holland, Chris

    2014-01-06

    Plant latex, the source of natural rubber, has been of interest to mankind for millennia, with much of the research on its rheological (flow) properties focused towards industrial application. However, little is known regarding the rheology of the native material as produced by the plant, a key factor in determining latex's biological functions. In this study, we outline a method for rheological comparison between native latices that requires a minimum of preparatory steps. Our approach provides quantitative insights into the coagulation mechanisms of Euphorbia and Ficus latex allowing interpretation within a comparative evolutionary framework. Our findings reveal that in laboratory conditions both latices behave like non-Newtonian materials with the coagulation of Euphorbia latex being mediated by a slow evaporative process (more than 60 min), whereas Ficus appears to use additional biochemical components to increase the rate of coagulation (more than 30 min). Based on these results, we propose two different primary defensive roles for latex in these plants: the delivery of anti-herbivory compounds (Euphorbia) and rapid wound healing (Ficus).

  1. DNA Barcoding the Native Flowering Plants and Conifers of Wales

    PubMed Central

    de Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim C. G.; Ford, Col R.; Trinder, Sarah A.; Long, Charlotte; Moore, Chris W.; Satterthwaite, Danielle; Davies, Helena; Allainguillaume, Joel; Ronca, Sandra; Tatarinova, Tatiana; Garbett, Hannah; Walker, Kevin; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2012-01-01

    We present the first national DNA barcode resource that covers the native flowering plants and conifers for the nation of Wales (1143 species). Using the plant DNA barcode markers rbcL and matK, we have assembled 97.7% coverage for rbcL, 90.2% for matK, and a dual-locus barcode for 89.7% of the native Welsh flora. We have sampled multiple individuals for each species, resulting in 3304 rbcL and 2419 matK sequences. The majority of our samples (85%) are from DNA extracted from herbarium specimens. Recoverability of DNA barcodes is lower using herbarium specimens, compared to freshly collected material, mostly due to lower amplification success, but this is balanced by the increased efficiency of sampling species that have already been collected, identified, and verified by taxonomic experts. The effectiveness of the DNA barcodes for identification (level of discrimination) is assessed using four approaches: the presence of a barcode gap (using pairwise and multiple alignments), formation of monophyletic groups using Neighbour-Joining trees, and sequence similarity in BLASTn searches. These approaches yield similar results, providing relative discrimination levels of 69.4 to 74.9% of all species and 98.6 to 99.8% of genera using both markers. Species discrimination can be further improved using spatially explicit sampling. Mean species discrimination using barcode gap analysis (with a multiple alignment) is 81.6% within 10×10 km squares and 93.3% for 2×2 km squares. Our database of DNA barcodes for Welsh native flowering plants and conifers represents the most complete coverage of any national flora, and offers a valuable platform for a wide range of applications that require accurate species identification. PMID:22701588

  2. DNA barcoding the native flowering plants and conifers of Wales.

    PubMed

    de Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim C G; Ford, Col R; Trinder, Sarah A; Long, Charlotte; Moore, Chris W; Satterthwaite, Danielle; Davies, Helena; Allainguillaume, Joel; Ronca, Sandra; Tatarinova, Tatiana; Garbett, Hannah; Walker, Kevin; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-01-01

    We present the first national DNA barcode resource that covers the native flowering plants and conifers for the nation of Wales (1143 species). Using the plant DNA barcode markers rbcL and matK, we have assembled 97.7% coverage for rbcL, 90.2% for matK, and a dual-locus barcode for 89.7% of the native Welsh flora. We have sampled multiple individuals for each species, resulting in 3304 rbcL and 2419 matK sequences. The majority of our samples (85%) are from DNA extracted from herbarium specimens. Recoverability of DNA barcodes is lower using herbarium specimens, compared to freshly collected material, mostly due to lower amplification success, but this is balanced by the increased efficiency of sampling species that have already been collected, identified, and verified by taxonomic experts. The effectiveness of the DNA barcodes for identification (level of discrimination) is assessed using four approaches: the presence of a barcode gap (using pairwise and multiple alignments), formation of monophyletic groups using Neighbour-Joining trees, and sequence similarity in BLASTn searches. These approaches yield similar results, providing relative discrimination levels of 69.4 to 74.9% of all species and 98.6 to 99.8% of genera using both markers. Species discrimination can be further improved using spatially explicit sampling. Mean species discrimination using barcode gap analysis (with a multiple alignment) is 81.6% within 10×10 km squares and 93.3% for 2×2 km squares. Our database of DNA barcodes for Welsh native flowering plants and conifers represents the most complete coverage of any national flora, and offers a valuable platform for a wide range of applications that require accurate species identification.

  3. ASSESSING OFF-TARGET IMPACTS OF HERBICIDE DRIFT ON NATIVE PLANTS - IMPLICATIONS FOR PLANT COMMUNITIES AND WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The off target movement of herbicidess onto nontarget vegetation can affect native plants, plant communities and ecosystems. Within the agroecosystem, plants provide the basis for food and shelter for wildlife. The risk assessment process to determine potential pesticide impacts...

  4. ASSESSING OFF-TARGET IMPACTS OF HERBICIDE DRIFT ON NATIVE PLANTS - IMPLICATIONS FOR PLANT COMMUNITIES AND WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The off target movement of herbicidess onto nontarget vegetation can affect native plants, plant communities and ecosystems. Within the agroecosystem, plants provide the basis for food and shelter for wildlife. The risk assessment process to determine potential pesticide impacts...

  5. Patterns of understory diversity in mixed coniferous forests of southern California impacted by air pollution.

    PubMed

    Allen, Edith B; Temple, Patrick J; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Arbaugh, Michael J; Sirulnik, Abby G; Rao, Leela E

    2007-03-21

    The forests of the San Bernardino Mountains have been subject to ozone and nitrogen (N) deposition for some 60 years. Much work has been done to assess the impacts of these pollutants on trees, but little is known about how the diverse understory flora has fared. Understory vegetation has declined in diversity in response to elevated N in the eastern U.S. and Europe. Six sites along an ozone and N deposition gradient that had been part of a long-term study on response of plants to air pollution beginning in 1973 were resampled in 2003. Historic ozone data and leaf injury scores confirmed the gradient. Present-day ozone levels were almost half of these, and recent atmospheric N pollution concentrations confirmed the continued air pollution gradient. Both total and extractable soil N were higher in sites on the western end of the gradient closer to the urban source of pollution, pH was lower, and soil carbon (C) and litter were higher. The gradient also had decreasing precipitation and increasing elevation from west to east. However, the dominant tree species were the same across the gradient. Tree basal area increased during the 30-year interval in five of the sites. The two westernmost sites had 30-45% cover divided equally between native and exotic understory herbaceous species, while the other sites had only 3-13% cover dominated by native species. The high production is likely related to higher precipitation at the western sites as well as elevated N. The species richness was in the range of 24 to 30 in four of the sites, but one site of intermediate N deposition had 42 species, while the easternmost, least polluted site had 57 species. These were primarily native species, as no site had more than one to three exotic species. In three of six sites, 20-40% of species were lost between 1973 and 2003, including the two westernmost sites. Two sites with intermediate pollution had little change in total species number over 30 years, and the easternmost site had more

  6. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  7. Long-term deer exclusion has complex effects on a suburban forest understory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Faison, Edward K.; Foster, David R.; Destefano, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory by deer is one of the leading biotic disturbances on forest understories (i.e., herbs, small shrubs, and small tree seedlings). A large body of research has reported declines in height, abundance, and reproductive capacity of forbs and woody plants coupled with increases in abundance of graminoids, ferns, and exotic species due to deer herbivory. Less clear is the extent to which (and the direction in which) deer alter herbaceous layer diversity, where much of the plant diversity in a forest occurs. We examined the effect of 15 y of deer exclusion on the understory of a suburban hardwood forest in Connecticut exposed to decades of intensive herbivory by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We compared species richness (at subplot and plot scale), individual species and life form group abundance (% cover), and community composition between grazed and exclosure plots, as well as between mesic and wet soil blocks. Forb cover was more than twice as abundant in exclosure as in grazed plots, whereas sedge (Carex spp.) cover was 28 times more abundant, and exotic species cover generally higher in grazed than in exclosure plots. Native and exotic species richness were both higher in grazed than exclosure plots at the subplot scale, and native herbaceous richness was higher in grazed plots at both spatial scales. In contrast, native shrub richness increased with deer exclusion at the plot scale. Our results suggest that deer exclusion had contrasting effects on species richness, depending on plant life form, but that overall richness of both exotic and native plants declined with deer exclusion. In addition, site heterogeneity remained an important driver of vegetation dynamics even in the midst of high deer densities.

  8. Invasive plant integration into native plant-pollinator networks across Europe.

    PubMed

    Vilà, Montserrat; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Dietzsch, Anke C; Petanidou, Theodora; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Tscheulin, Thomas

    2009-11-07

    The structure of plant-pollinator networks has been claimed to be resilient to changes in species composition due to the weak degree of dependence among mutualistic partners. However, detailed empirical investigations of the consequences of introducing an alien plant species into mutualistic networks are lacking. We present the first cross-European analysis by using a standardized protocol to assess the degree to which a particular alien plant species (i.e. Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis, Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia stricta, Rhododendron ponticum and Solanum elaeagnifolium) becomes integrated into existing native plant-pollinator networks, and how this translates to changes in network structure. Alien species were visited by almost half of the pollinator species present, accounting on average for 42 per cent of the visits and 24 per cent of the network interactions. Furthermore, in general, pollinators depended upon alien plants more than on native plants. However, despite the fact that invaded communities received more visits than uninvaded communities, the dominant role of alien species over natives did not translate into overall changes in network connectance, plant linkage level and nestedness. Our results imply that although supergeneralist alien plants can play a central role in the networks, the structure of the networks appears to be very permeable and robust to the introduction of invasive alien species into the network.

  9. Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities.

    PubMed

    Davies, K W; Svejcar, T J; Bates, J D

    2009-09-01

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these plant communities was periodic fires with minimal grazing by large herbivores. We also investigated the influence of prior disturbance (grazing) on the response of these communities to subsequent disturbance (burning). Treatments were: (1) ungrazed (livestock grazing excluded since 1936) and unburned, (2) grazed and unburned, (3) ungrazed and burned (burned in 1993), and (4) grazed and burned. The ungrazed-burned treatment emulated the historical disturbance regime. Vegetation cover, density, and biomass production were measured the 12th, 13th, and 14th year post-burning. Prior to burning the presence of Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, was minimal (<0.5% cover), and vegetation characteristics were similar between grazed and ungrazed treatments. However, litter accumulation was almost twofold greater in ungrazed than in grazed treatments. Long-term grazing exclusion followed by burning resulted in a substantial B. tectorum invasion, but burning the grazed areas did not produce an invasion. The ungrazed-burned treatment also had less perennial vegetation than other treatments. The accumulation of litter (fuel) in ungrazed treatments may have resulted in greater fire-induced mortality of perennial vegetation in ungrazed compared to grazed treatments

  10. Morphological variability in tree root architecture indirectly affects coexistence among competitors in the understory.

    PubMed

    Aschehoug, Erik T; Callaway, Ragan M

    2014-07-01

    Interactions between plants can have strong effects on community structure and function. Variability in the morphological, developmental, physiological, and biochemical traits of plants can influence the outcome of plant interactions and thus have important ecological consequences. However, the ecological ramifications of trait variability in plants are poorly understood and have rarely been tested in the field. We experimentally tested the effects of morphological variation in root architecture of Quercus douglasii trees in the field on interactions between understory plants and community composition. Our results indicate that variability among Q. douglasii tree root systems initiates a striking reversal in the competitive effects of dominant understory grass species on a less common species. Trees with a deep-rooted morphology facilitated exotic annual grasses and these annual grasses, in turn, competitively excluded the native perennial bunchgrass, Stipapulchra. In contrast, Q. douglasii trees with shallow-rooted morphologies directly suppressed the growth of exotic annual grasses and indirectly released S. pulchra individuals from competition with these annual grasses. Morphological variation in the root architecture of Q. douglasii created substantial conditionality in the outcomes of competition among species which enhanced the potential for indirect interactions to sustain coexistence and increase community diversity.

  11. Invasive Plant Suppresses the Growth of Native Tree Seedlings by Disrupting Belowground Mutualisms

    PubMed Central

    Stinson, Kristina A; Campbell, Stuart A; Powell, Jeff R; Wolfe, Benjamin E; Callaway, Ragan M; Thelen, Giles C; Hallett, Steven G; Prati, Daniel

    2006-01-01

    The impact of exotic species on native organisms is widely acknowledged, but poorly understood. Very few studies have empirically investigated how invading plants may alter delicate ecological interactions among resident species in the invaded range. We present novel evidence that antifungal phytochemistry of the invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata, a European invader of North American forests, suppresses native plant growth by disrupting mutualistic associations between native canopy tree seedlings and belowground arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Our results elucidate an indirect mechanism by which invasive plants can impact native flora, and may help explain how this plant successfully invades relatively undisturbed forest habitat. PMID:16623597

  12. Plant and root endophyte assembly history: interactive effects on native and exotic plants.

    PubMed

    Sikes, Benjamin A; Hawkes, Christine V; Fukami, Tadashi

    2016-02-01

    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.

  13. Emergence of native plant seeds in response to seed pelleting, planting depth, scarification, and soil anti-crusting treatment, 2009

    Treesearch

    Clint Shock; Erik Feibert; Lamont Saunders; Nancy Shaw

    2010-01-01

    Seed of native plants is needed to restore rangelands of the Intermountain West. Reliable commercial seed production is desirable to provide the quantity of seed needed for restoration efforts. Establishment of native seed crops has been difficult, because fall-planted seed is susceptible to bird damage, soil crusting, and soil erosion. Fall planting is important for...

  14. Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, Mark; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Pergl, Jan; Winter, Marten; Weber, Ewald; Kreft, Holger; Weigelt, Patrick; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Antonova, Liubov A; Barcelona, Julie F; Cabezas, Francisco J; Cárdenas, Dairon; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana; Castaño, Nicolás; Chacón, Eduardo; Chatelain, Cyrille; Ebel, Aleksandr L; Figueiredo, Estrela; Fuentes, Nicol; Groom, Quentin J; Henderson, Lesley; Inderjit; Kupriyanov, Andrey; Masciadri, Silvana; Meerman, Jan; Morozova, Olga; Moser, Dietmar; Nickrent, Daniel L; Patzelt, Annette; Pelser, Pieter B; Baptiste, María P; Poopath, Manop; Schulze, Maria; Seebens, Hanno; Shu, Wen-sheng; Thomas, Jacob; Velayos, Mauricio; Wieringa, Jan J; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-09-03

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

  15. Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Kleunen, Mark; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Pergl, Jan; Winter, Marten; Weber, Ewald; Kreft, Holger; Weigelt, Patrick; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Antonova, Liubov A.; Barcelona, Julie F.; Cabezas, Francisco J.; Cárdenas, Dairon; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana; Castaño, Nicolás; Chacón, Eduardo; Chatelain, Cyrille; Ebel, Aleksandr L.; Figueiredo, Estrela; Fuentes, Nicol; Groom, Quentin J.; Henderson, Lesley; Inderjit; Kupriyanov, Andrey; Masciadri, Silvana; Meerman, Jan; Morozova, Olga; Moser, Dietmar; Nickrent, Daniel L.; Patzelt, Annette; Pelser, Pieter B.; Baptiste, María P.; Poopath, Manop; Schulze, Maria; Seebens, Hanno; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Thomas, Jacob; Velayos, Mauricio; Wieringa, Jan J.; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-09-01

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

  16. Weed biocontrol insects reduce native plant recruitment through second-order apparent competition

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway

    2008-01-01

    Small-mammal seed predation is an important force structuring native-plant communities that may also influence exotic-plant invasions. In the intermountain West, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are prominent predators of native-plant seeds, but they avoid consuming seeds of certain widespread invasives like spotted knapweed (Centaurea...

  17. Pollination ecology of a plant in its native and introduced areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montero-Castaño, Ana; Vilà, Montserrat; Ortiz-Sánchez, F. Javier

    2014-04-01

    Entomophilous and obligate out-crossing non-native plants need to become well integrated in the resident plant-pollinator network to set seeds and become established. However, it is largely unknown how pollination patterns differ between native ranges and those where plants have been introduced.

  18. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  19. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  20. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  1. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  2. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  3. [Allelopathic effects of invasive weed Solidago canadensis on native plants].

    PubMed

    Mei, Lingxiao; Chen, Xin; Tang, Jianjun

    2005-12-01

    With growth chamber method, this paper studied the allelopathic potential of invasive weed Solidago canadensis on native plant species. Different concentration S. canadensis root and rhizome extracts were examined, and the test plants were Trifolium repens, Trifolium pretense, Medicago lupulina, Lolium perenne, Suaeda glauca, Plantago virginica, Kummerowia stipulacea, Festuca arundinacea, Ageratum conyzoides, Portulaca oleracea, and Amaranthus spinosus. The results showed that the allelopathic inhibitory effect of the extracts from both S. canadensis root and rhizome was enhanced with increasing concentration, and rhizome extracts had a higher effect than root extracts. At the lowest concentration (1:60), root extract had little effect on the seed germination and seedling growth of T. repens, but rhizome extract could inhibit the germination of all test plants though the inhibitory effect varied with different species. The inhibition was the greatest for grass, followed by forb and legume. 1:60 (m:m) rhizome extract had similar effects on seed germination and radicel growth, but for outgrowth, the extract could inhibit Kummerowia stipulacea, Amaranthus spinosus and Festuca arundinacea, had no significant impact on Lolium perenne, Plantago virginica, Ageratum conyzoides, Portulaca oleracea and Amaranthus spinosus, and stimulated Trifolium repens, Trifolium pretense and Medicago lupulina.

  4. Apparent competition and native consumers exacerbate the strong competitive effect of an exotic plant species.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Dutra, Humberto P; Marquis, Robert J; Barber, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Direct and indirect effects can play a key role in invasions, but experiments evaluating both are rare. We examined the roles of direct competition and apparent competition by exotic Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) by manipulating (1) L. maackii vegetation, (2) presence of L. maackii fruits, and (3) access to plants by small mammals and deer. Direct competition with L. maackii reduced the abundance and richness of native and exotic species, and native consumers significantly reduced the abundance and richness of native species. Although effects of direct competition and consumption were more pervasive, richness of native plants was also reduced through apparent competition, as small-mammal consumers reduced richness only when L. maackii fruits were present. Our experiment reveals the multiple, interactive pathways that affect the success and impact of an invasive exotic plant: exotic plants may directly benefit from reduced attack by native consumers, may directly exert strong competitive effects on native plants, and may also benefit from apparent competition.

  5. SELECTING AND EVALUATING NATIVE PLANTS FOR REGION-SPECIFIC PHYTOTOXICITY TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this study, we evaluated methodology to determine risks to terrestrial native plant species from potential herbicide drift, focusing on 1) selection of native species for testing, 2) growth of these species, and 3) variability in herbicide response among native species and com...

  6. SELECTING AND EVALUATING NATIVE PLANTS FOR REGION-SPECIFIC PHYTOTOXICITY TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this study, we evaluated methodology to determine risks to terrestrial native plant species from potential herbicide drift, focusing on 1) selection of native species for testing, 2) growth of these species, and 3) variability in herbicide response among native species and com...

  7. Impacts of fire on non-native plant recruitment in black spruce forests of interior Alaska.

    PubMed

    Walker, Xanthe J; Frey, Matthew D; Conway, Alexandra J; Jean, Mélanie; Johnstone, Jill F

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the extent and severity of wildfires throughout the boreal forest. Historically, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) forests in interior Alaska have been relatively free of non-native species, but the compounding effects of climate change and an altered fire regime could facilitate the expansion of non-native plants. We tested the effects of wildfire on non-native plant colonization by conducting a seeding experiment of non-native plants on different substrate types in a burned black spruce forest, and surveying for non-native plants in recently burned and mature black spruce forests. We found few non-native plants in burned or mature forests, despite their high roadside presence, although invasion of some burned sites by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) indicated the potential for non-native plants to move into burned forest. Experimental germination rates were significantly higher on mineral soil compared to organic soil, indicating that severe fires that combust much of the organic layer could increase the potential for non-native plant colonization. We conclude that fire disturbances that remove the organic layer could facilitate the invasion of non-native plants providing there is a viable seed source and dispersal vector.

  8. Impacts of fire on non-native plant recruitment in black spruce forests of interior Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Conway, Alexandra J.; Jean, Mélanie

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the extent and severity of wildfires throughout the boreal forest. Historically, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) forests in interior Alaska have been relatively free of non-native species, but the compounding effects of climate change and an altered fire regime could facilitate the expansion of non-native plants. We tested the effects of wildfire on non-native plant colonization by conducting a seeding experiment of non-native plants on different substrate types in a burned black spruce forest, and surveying for non-native plants in recently burned and mature black spruce forests. We found few non-native plants in burned or mature forests, despite their high roadside presence, although invasion of some burned sites by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) indicated the potential for non-native plants to move into burned forest. Experimental germination rates were significantly higher on mineral soil compared to organic soil, indicating that severe fires that combust much of the organic layer could increase the potential for non-native plant colonization. We conclude that fire disturbances that remove the organic layer could facilitate the invasion of non-native plants providing there is a viable seed source and dispersal vector. PMID:28158284

  9. Native and non-native ruderals experience similar plant-soil feedbacks and neighbor effects in a system where they coexist.

    PubMed

    Chiuffo, Mariana C; MacDougall, Andrew S; Hierro, José L

    2015-11-01

    Recent applications of coexistence theory to plant invasions posit that non-natives establish in resident communities through either niche differences or traits conferring them with fitness advantages, the former being associated with coexistence and the latter with dominance and competitive exclusion. Plant-soil feedback is a mechanism that is known to explain both coexistence and dominance. In a system where natives and non-natives appear to coexist, we explored how plant-soil feedbacks affect the performance of nine native and nine non-native ruderal species-the prevalent life-history strategy among non-natives-when grown alone and with a phytometer. We also conducted field samplings to estimate the abundance of the 18 species, and related feedbacks to abundances. We found that groups of native and non-native ruderals displayed similar frequencies of negative, positive, and neutral feedbacks, resulting in no detectable differences between natives and non-natives. Likewise, the phytometer exerted comparable negative impacts on native and non-native plants, which were unchanged by plant-soil feedbacks. Finally, feedbacks explained plant abundances only after removing one influential species which exhibited strong positive feedbacks but low abundance. Importantly, however, four out of five species with negative feedbacks were rare in the field. These findings suggest that soil feedbacks and plant-plant interactions do not confer an advantage to non-native over native species, but do contribute to the observed coexistence of these groups in the system. By comparing natives and non-natives with overlapping abundances and strategies, our work broadens understanding of the consequences of plant-soil feedbacks in plant invasion and, more generally, coexistence within plant communities.

  10. Plant-associated bacterial populations on native and invasive plant species: comparisons between 2 freshwater environments.

    PubMed

    Olapade, Ola A; Pung, Kayleigh

    2012-06-01

    Plant-microbial interactions have been well studied because of the ecological importance of such relationships in aquatic systems. However, general knowledge regarding the composition of these biofilm communities is still evolving, partly as a result of several confounding factors that are attributable to plant host properties and to hydrodynamic conditions in aquatic environments. In this study, the occurrences of various bacterial phylogenetic taxa on 2 native plants, i.e., mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.) and cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum Bartram), and on an invasive species, i.e., garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande), were quantitatively examined using nucleic acid staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The plants were incubated in triplicates for about a week within the Kalamazoo River and Pierce Cedar Creek as well as in microcosms. The bacterial groups targeted for enumeration are known to globally occur in relatively high abundance and are also ubiquitously distributed in freshwater environments. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses of the bacterioplankton assemblages revealed that the majority of bacterial cells that hybridized with the different probes were similar between the 2 sites. In contrast, the plant-associated populations while similar on the 3 plants incubated in Kalamazoo River, their representations were highest on the 2 native plants relative to the invasive species in Pierce Cedar Creek. Overall, our results further suggested that epiphytic bacterial assemblages are probably under the influences of and probably subsequently respond to multiple variables and conditions in aquatic milieus.

  11. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-10-22

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies ['Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability' (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis.

  12. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-10-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis.

  13. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  14. Effects of livestock watering sites on alien and native plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Matchett, J.R.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Increased livestock densities near artificial watering sites create disturbance gradients called piospheres. We studied responses of alien and native annual plants and native perennial plants within 9 piospheres in the Mojave Desert of North America. Absolute and proportional cover of alien annual plants increased with proximity to watering sites, whereas cover and species richness of native annual plants decreased. Not all alien species responded the same, as the alien forb Erodium cicutarium and the alien grass Schismus spp. increased with proximity to watering sites, and the alien annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens decreased. Perennial plant cover and species richness also declined with proximity to watering sites, as did the structural diversity of perennial plant cover classes. Significant effects were focused within 200 m of the watering sites, suggesting that control efforts for alien annual plants and restoration efforts for native plants should optimally be focused within this central part of the piosphere gradient.

  15. Resistance management in a native plant: nicotine prevents herbivores from compensating for plant protease inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Steppuhn, Anke; Baldwin, Ian T

    2007-06-01

    Plants deploy chemical defenses in complex mixtures, which are thought to be adaptive, but experimental tests have used artificial diets rather than plants. Herbivore attack on Nicotiana attenuata rapidly increases the production and accumulation of trypsin proteinase inhibitors (TPI) and the toxic alkaloid nicotine. By transgenically silencing their respective biosynthetic genes, we were able to abolish TPI activity and reduce inducible nicotine by 85%. Nicotine production was not affected by silencing pi or vice versa, and transformation did not alter levels of other metabolites examined. Spodoptera exigua, a native generalist herbivore that can compensate for heterologous TPI expression, performed better on TPI- or nicotine-deficient plants compared with the wild-type. Because of a compensatory feeding response to TPI when nicotine is absent, larvae performed better on nicotine-deficient plants than they did on plants silenced in both defenses. The antifeedant toxin, nicotine, prevents this compensatory response. We conclude that N. attenuata counters an insect adaptation with a defensive synergism.

  16. Cultural plant harvests on federal lands: perspectives from members of the Northwest Native American Basketweavers Association

    Treesearch

    Rebecca Dobkins; Ceara Lewis; Susan Hummel; Emily. Dickey

    2016-01-01

    Native Americans who wish to harvest forest plants for traditional uses report difficulties gaining access to federal lands in the northwestern United States. To learn more about this issue, we reviewed the published literature on site access and resource harvests by tribal members and discussed it with Native American traditional users of plant resources. Specifically...

  17. Market perceptions and opportunities for native plant production on the southern Colorado Plateau

    Treesearch

    Donna L. Peppin; Peter Z. Fule; Janet C. Lynn; Anne L. Mottek-Lucas; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    2010-01-01

    Increases in revegetation activities have created a large demand for locally adapted native plant materials (NPM) in the southwestern United States. Currently, there is a minimal supply of local genotypes to meet this demand. We investigated the potential for the initiation of a native plant market in the southern Colorado Plateau. Through a literature search,...

  18. Long-term effects of burn severity on non-native plant cover

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Effects of burn severity on non-native plant invasion post-fire is of great concern to managers and researchers, especially given predicted increases in large, high severity fires. However, little else is known about long-term (>10 year) vegetation recovery and non-native plant persistence. We anal...

  19. Native plant conservation partnership with BLM and development of seed zones for restoration

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Native forest and rangeland plant communities in the arid Western U.S. are increasingly threatened by overgrazing, uncharacteristically frequent wildfires, invasive weeds, and climate change. As a result, the need for conservation of native plant materials and their use in restoration has increased....

  20. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podadera, Diego S.; Engel, Vera L.; Parrotta, John A.; Machado, Deivid L.; Sato, Luciane M.; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species ( Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

  1. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Podadera, Diego S; Engel, Vera L; Parrotta, John A; Machado, Deivid L; Sato, Luciane M; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

  2. Soil conditioning effects of Phragmites australis on native wetland plant seedling survival.

    PubMed

    Crocker, Ellen V; Nelson, Eric B; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-08-01

    Interactions between introduced plants and soils they colonize are central to invasive species success in many systems. Belowground biotic and abiotic changes can influence the success of introduced species as well as their native competitors. All plants alter soil properties after colonization but, in the case of many invasive plant species, it is unclear whether the strength and direction of these soil conditioning effects are due to plant traits, plant origin, or local population characteristics and site conditions in the invaded range. Phragmites australis in North America exists as a mix of populations of different evolutionary origin. Populations of endemic native Phragmites australis americanus are declining, while introduced European populations are important wetland invaders. We assessed soil conditioning effects of native and non-native P. australis populations on early and late seedling survival of native and introduced wetland plants. We further used a soil biocide treatment to assess the role of soil fungi on seedling survival. Survival of seedlings in soils colonized by P. australis was either unaffected or negatively affected; no species showed improved survival in P. australis-conditioned soils. Population of P. australis was a significant factor explaining the response of seedlings, but origin (native or non-native) was not a significant factor. Synthesis: Our results highlight the importance of phylogenetic control when assessing impacts of invasive species to avoid conflating general plant traits with mechanisms of invasive success. Both native (noninvasive) and non-native (invasive) P. australis populations reduced seedling survival of competing plant species. Because soil legacy effects of native and non-native P. australis are similar, this study suggests that the close phylogenetic relationship between the two populations, and not the invasive status of introduced P. australis, is more relevant to their soil-mediated impact on other

  3. The phytoremediation potential of native plants on New Zealand dairy farms.

    PubMed

    Hahner, Jason L; Robinson, Brett H; Hong-Tao, Zhong; Dickinson, Nicholas M

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration of marginal land and riparian zones in agricultural landscapes in New Zealand enhances the provision of above-ground ecosystem services. We investigated whether native endemic plant assemblages have remediation potential, through modifying soil nutrient and trace element mobility. Analysis of native plant foliage in situ indicated that selective uptake of a range of commonly deficient trace elements including Zn, B, Cu, Mn and Co could provide a browse crop to avoid deficiencies of these elements in livestock, although some native plants may enhance the risk of Mo and Cd toxicity. Native plant rhizospheres were found to modify soil physico-chemistry and are likely to influence lateral and vertical fluxes of chemical elements in drainage waters. Native plants on marginal land in agricultural landscapes could add value to dairy production systems whilst helping to resolve topical environmental issues.

  4. Novel chemistry of invasive plants: exotic species have more unique metabolomic profiles than native congeners

    PubMed Central

    Macel, Mirka; de Vos, Ric C H; Jansen, Jeroen J; van der Putten, Wim H; van Dam, Nicole M

    2014-01-01

    It is often assumed that exotic plants can become invasive when they possess novel secondary chemistry compared with native plants in the introduced range. Using untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting, we compared a broad range of metabolites of six successful exotic plant species and their native congeners of the family Asteraceae. Our results showed that plant chemistry is highly species-specific and diverse among both exotic and native species. Nonetheless, the exotic species had on average a higher total number of metabolites and more species-unique metabolites compared with their native congeners. Herbivory led to an overall increase in metabolites in all plant species. Generalist herbivore performance was lower on most of the exotic species compared with the native species. We conclude that high chemical diversity and large phytochemical uniqueness of the exotic species could be indicative of biological invasion potential. PMID:25077026

  5. Novel chemistry of invasive plants: exotic species have more unique metabolomic profiles than native congeners.

    PubMed

    Macel, Mirka; de Vos, Ric C H; Jansen, Jeroen J; van der Putten, Wim H; van Dam, Nicole M

    2014-07-01

    It is often assumed that exotic plants can become invasive when they possess novel secondary chemistry compared with native plants in the introduced range. Using untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting, we compared a broad range of metabolites of six successful exotic plant species and their native congeners of the family Asteraceae. Our results showed that plant chemistry is highly species-specific and diverse among both exotic and native species. Nonetheless, the exotic species had on average a higher total number of metabolites and more species-unique metabolites compared with their native congeners. Herbivory led to an overall increase in metabolites in all plant species. Generalist herbivore performance was lower on most of the exotic species compared with the native species. We conclude that high chemical diversity and large phytochemical uniqueness of the exotic species could be indicative of biological invasion potential.

  6. Closely related and novel range expanders influence native plant communities by changing soil communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Kelly; Koorem, Kadri

    2017-04-01

    Climate change induced range expansions of plants drive the formation of novel communities both belowground (microbes) and aboveground (plants). Range-expanding plants can influence native species by disrupting original plant-soil feedbacks. Further, plant species, which are successful in expanding their range as a response of climate warming, are expected to thrive in their new range due to the lack of above-and belowground enemies. However, it remains unclear how the relatedness of range expanding plant species to native plants determines their effects on natives and whether these effects depend on the evolutionary history between plant species and soil communities. Here we show that range expanding plant species experience enemy release not by moving long geographical distances but by establishing in the soil of distantly related species. We grew plant communities of native as well as their closely and distantly related range expanding species in communities with soil communities across the Europe. We demonstrate that not signal of plant species determines microbial community composition and effect. In all soils, native and closely related range expanders shaped similar microbial communities, which differed from these of associated with novel expanders. In all soils, plant communities experienced negative feedback from soil communities, shaped by their closely related species. Our community-level study demonstrated that considering phylogenetic distance of plant communities can help to predict plant species success in expanding their range.

  7. Invasive alien plants benefit more from clonal integration in heterogeneous environments than natives.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yong-Jian; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; van Kleunen, Mark; Cai, Ai-Ming; Zhang, Ping; Yan, Rong; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2017-09-25

    What confers invasive alien plants a competitive advantage over native plants remains open to debate. Many of the world's worst invasive alien plants are clonal and able to share resources within clones (clonal integration), particularly in heterogeneous environments. Here, we tested the hypothesis that clonal integration benefits invasive clonal plants more than natives and thus confers invasives a competitive advantage. We selected five congeneric and naturally co-occurring pairs of invasive alien and native clonal plants in China, and grew pairs of connected and disconnected ramets under heterogeneous light, soil nutrient and water conditions that are commonly encountered by alien plants during their invasion into new areas. Clonal integration increased biomass of all plants in all three heterogeneous resource environments. However, invasive plants benefited more from clonal integration than natives. Consequently, invasive plants produced more biomass than natives. Our results indicate that clonal integration may confer invasive alien clonal plants a competitive advantage over natives. Therefore, differences in the ability of clonal integration could potentially explain, at least partly, the invasion success of alien clonal plants in areas where resources are heterogeneously distributed. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Do Wildfires Promote Woody Species Invasion in a Fire-Adapted Ecosystem? Post-fire Resprouting of Native and Non-native Woody Plants in Central Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrero, M. Lucrecia; Torres, Romina C.; Renison, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    We asked whether prescribed fire could be a useful management tool to reduce invasion by non-native plants in an ecosystem where native plants are supposed to be adapted to fires. Specifically, we compare the post-fire resprouting response of native and non-native woody species in Chaco Serrano forest of central Argentina. The measurements were carried out in five burnt areas where we selected ten native and seven non-native species. Our response variables were (1) post-fire survival, (2) types of resprouts, and (3) the growth of the resprouts. Our main results show that one year after the fire, survivals of native and non-native species were 0.84 and 0.89, respectively, with variances in survival seven times smaller in the native species group. Type of resprout was also less variable in native species, while growth of the resprouts was similar in native and non-native groups. We interpret that in most cases, the burning a forest with mixed native and non-native plants through prescribed fires will not differentially stop the invasion by non-native woody species even in ecosystems which are presumed to be relatively resistant to fires such as our study area.

  9. Do Wildfires Promote Woody Species Invasion in a Fire-Adapted Ecosystem? Post-fire Resprouting of Native and Non-native Woody Plants in Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Herrero, M Lucrecia; Torres, Romina C; Renison, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    We asked whether prescribed fire could be a useful management tool to reduce invasion by non-native plants in an ecosystem where native plants are supposed to be adapted to fires. Specifically, we compare the post-fire resprouting response of native and non-native woody species in Chaco Serrano forest of central Argentina. The measurements were carried out in five burnt areas where we selected ten native and seven non-native species. Our response variables were (1) post-fire survival, (2) types of resprouts, and (3) the growth of the resprouts. Our main results show that one year after the fire, survivals of native and non-native species were 0.84 and 0.89, respectively, with variances in survival seven times smaller in the native species group. Type of resprout was also less variable in native species, while growth of the resprouts was similar in native and non-native groups. We interpret that in most cases, the burning a forest with mixed native and non-native plants through prescribed fires will not differentially stop the invasion by non-native woody species even in ecosystems which are presumed to be relatively resistant to fires such as our study area.

  10. Non-native earthworms promote plant invasion by ingesting seeds and modifying soil properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clause, Julia; Forey, Estelle; Lortie, Christopher J.; Lambert, Adam M.; Barot, Sébastien

    2015-04-01

    Earthworms can have strong direct effects on plant communities through consumption and digestion of seeds, however it is unclear how earthworms may influence the relative abundance and composition of plant communities invaded by non-native species. In this study, earthworms, seed banks, and the standing vegetation were sampled in a grassland of central California. Our objectives were i) to examine whether the abundances of non-native, invasive earthworm species and non-native grassland plant species are correlated, and ii) to test whether seed ingestion by these worms alters the soil seed bank by evaluating the composition of seeds in casts relative to uningested soil. Sampling locations were selected based on historical land-use practices, including presence or absence of tilling, and revegetation by seed using Phalaris aquatica. Only non-native earthworm species were found, dominated by the invasive European species Aporrectodea trapezoides. Earthworm abundance was significantly higher in the grassland blocks dominated by non-native plant species, and these sites had higher carbon and moisture contents. Earthworm abundance was also positively related to increased emergence of non-native seedlings, but had no effect on that of native seedlings. Plant species richness and total seedling emergence were higher in casts than in uningested soils. This study suggests that there is a potential effect of non-native earthworms in promoting non-native and likely invasive plant species within grasslands, due to seed-plant-earthworm interactions via soil modification or to seed ingestion by earthworms and subsequent cast effects on grassland dynamics. This study supports a growing body of literature for earthworms as ecosystem engineers but highlights the relative importance of considering non-native-native interactions with the associated plant community.

  11. A parasitic plant increases native and exotic plant species richness in vernal pools

    PubMed Central

    Graffis, Andrea M.; Kneitel, Jamie M.

    2015-01-01

    Species interactions are well known to affect species diversity in communities, but the effects of parasites have been less studied. Previous studies on parasitic plants have found both positive and negative effects on plant community diversity. Cuscuta howelliana is an abundant endemic parasitic plant that inhabits California vernal pools. We tested the hypothesis that C. howelliana acts as a keystone species to increase plant species richness in vernal pools through a C. howelliana removal experiment at Beale Air Force Base in north-central California. Vernal pool endemic plants were parasitized more frequently, and Eryngium castrense and Navarretia leucocephala were the most frequently parasitized host plant species of C. howelliana. Cuscuta howelliana caused higher plant species richness, both natives and exotics, compared with removal plots. However, there was no single plant species that significantly increased with C. howelliana removal. Decreases in Eryngium castrense percent cover plots with C. howelliana is a plausible explanation for differences in species richness. In conclusion, C. howelliana led to changes in species composition and increases in plant species richness, consistent with what is expected from the effects of a keystone species. This research provides support for a shift in management strategies that focus on species-specific targets to strategies that target maintenance of complex species interactions and therefore maximize biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems. PMID:26307042

  12. Not all non-natives are equally unequal: reductions in herbivore β-diversity depend on phylogenetic similarity to native plant community.

    PubMed

    Burghardt, Karin T; Tallamy, Douglas W

    2015-10-01

    Effects of host plant α- and β-diversity often confound studies of herbivore β-diversity, hindering our ability to predict the full impact of non-native plants on herbivores. Here, while controlling host plant diversity, we examined variation in herbivore communities between native and non-native plants, focusing on how plant relatedness and spatial scale alter the result. We found lower absolute magnitudes of β-diversity among tree species and among sites on non-natives in all comparisons. However, lower relative β-diversity only occurred for immature herbivores on phylogenetically distinct non-natives vs. natives. Locally in that comparison, non-native gardens had lower host specificity; while among sites, the herbivores supported were a redundant subset of species on natives. Therefore, when phylogenetically distinct non-natives replace native plants, the community of immature herbivores is likely to be homogenised across landscapes. Differences in communities on closely related non-natives were subtler, but displayed community shifts and increased generalisation on non-natives within certain feeding guilds.

  13. Native and exotic plants of fragments of sagebrush steppe produced by geomorphic processes versus land use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huntly, N.; Bangert, R.; Hanser, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasion by exotic species are regarded as major threats to the biodiversity of many ecosystems. We surveyed the plant communities of two types of remnant sagebrush-steppe fragments from nearby areas on the Snake River Plain of southeastern Idaho, USA. One type resulted from land use (conversion to dryland agriculture; hereafter AG Islands) and the other from geomorphic processes (Holocene volcanism; hereafter kipukas). We assessed two predictions for the variation in native plant species richness of these fragments, using structural equation models (SEM). First, we predicted that the species richness of native plants would follow the MacArthur-Wilson (M-W) hypothesis of island biogeography, as often is expected for the communities of habitat fragments. Second, we predicted a negative relationship between native and exotic plants, as would be expected if exotic plants are decreasing the diversity of native plants. Finally, we assessed whether exotic species were more strongly associated with the fragments embedded in the agricultural landscape, as would be expected if agriculture had facilitated the introduction and naturalization of non-native species, and whether the communities of the two types of fragments were distinct. Species richness of native plants was not strongly correlated with M-W characteristics for either the AG Islands or the **kipukas. The AG Islands had more species and higher cover of exotics than the kipukas, and exotic plants were good predictors of native plant species richness. Our results support the hypothesis that proximity to agriculture can increase the diversity and abundance of exotic plants in native habitat. In combination with other information, the results also suggest that agriculture and exotic species have caused loss of native diversity and reorganization of the sagebrush-steppe plant community. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  14. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-01-01

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants. PMID:27827418

  15. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-11-01

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants.

  16. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-11-09

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants.

  17. Elucidating Native and Non-Native Plant-Fog Interactions Across Microclimatic Zones in San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, S.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Hu, J.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in land use, such as the clear cutting of forests and the abandonment of land once used for agriculture, pose an incredible threat to the fragile ecosystems in the tropics. One such consequence of land use change in the tropics is the propagation of invasive plant species. The Galapagos Islands, an ecosystem subject to significant anthropogenic pressure by both increasing tourism and a growing native population, are especially threatened by invasive plant species. More than 800 plant species have been introduced in Galapagos, comprising over 60% of the total flora. San Cristobal Island in particular has been impacted by the introduction of non-native species; the combined pressures of invasive species and land use change have fundamentally altered 70% of the landscape of the island. We performed stable isotope analysis of fog water, surface water and plant xylem water to examine water use by both native and invasive plant species across different microclimatic zones. We conducted these measurements starting at the end of the rainy season and through the middle of the dry season. Our results represent an initial effort to characterize the effects of a changing vegetative cover on the water cycling of tropical islands and provide insight into the interactions between plants, surface water and groundwater at various spatial and temporal scales.

  18. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    PubMed Central

    Valverde, Pedro L.; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of ‘release from natural enemies’. PMID:26205526

  19. Reciprocal Effects of Litter from Exotic and Congeneric Native Plant Species via Soil Nutrients

    PubMed Central

    Meisner, Annelein; de Boer, Wietse; Cornelissen, Johannes H. C.; van der Putten, Wim H.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive exotic plant species are often expected to benefit exclusively from legacy effects of their litter inputs on soil processes and nutrient availability. However, there are relatively few experimental tests determining how litter of exotic plants affects their own growth conditions compared to congeneric native plant species. Here, we test how the legacy of litter from three exotic plant species affects their own performance in comparison to their congeneric natives that co-occur in the invaded habitat. We also analyzed litter effects on soil processes. In all three comparisons, soil with litter from exotic plant species had the highest respiration rates. In two out of the three exotic-native species comparisons, soil with litter from exotic plant species had higher inorganic nitrogen concentrations than their native congener, which was likely due to higher initial litter quality of the exotics. When litter from an exotic plant species had a positive effect on itself, it also had a positive effect on its native congener. We conclude that exotic plant species develop a legacy effect in soil from the invaded range through their litter inputs. This litter legacy effect results in altered soil processes that can promote both the exotic plant species and their native congener. PMID:22359604

  20. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants.

    PubMed

    Leffler, A Joshua; James, Jeremy J; Monaco, Thomas A; Sheley, Roger L

    2014-02-01

    Functional differences between native and exotic species potentially constitute one factor responsible for plant invasion. Differences in trait values between native and exotic invasive species, however, should not be considered fixed and may depend on the context of the comparison. Furthermore, the magnitude of difference between native and exotic species necessary to trigger invasion is unknown. We propose a criterion that differences in trait values between a native and exotic invasive species must be greater than differences between co-occurring natives for this difference to be ecologically meaningful and a contributing factor to plant invasion. We used a meta-analysis to quantify the difference between native and exotic invasive species for various traits examined in previous studies and compared this value to differences among native species reported in the same studies. The effect size between native and exotic invasive species was similar to the effect size between co-occurring natives except for studies conducted in the field; in most instances, our criterion was not met although overall differences between native and exotic invasive species were slightly larger than differences between natives. Consequently, trait differences may be important in certain contexts, but other mechanisms of invasion are likely more important in most cases. We suggest that using trait values as predictors of invasion will be challenging.

  1. Nutrient enrichment alters impacts of Hydrocotyle vulgaris invasion on native plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lin; Quan, Han; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Bu, Xiang-Qi; Li, Lin; Liu, Fu-De; Lei, Guang-Chun; Li, Hong-Li

    2016-01-01

    Nutrients may affect the invasiveness of alien plants and the invasibility of native plant communities. We performed a greenhouse experiment to investigate the interactive effect of invasion by a clonal herb Hydrocotyle vulgaris and nutrient enrichment on biomass and evenness of native plant communities. We established three types of plant communities (H. vulgaris alone, native plant communities without or with H. vulgaris) under low and high levels of nutrients. Native communities consisted of eight native, terrestrial species of three functional groups, i.e. four grasses, two legumes, and two forbs. Invasion of H. vulgaris had no effect on biomass of the native community, the functional groups, or the individual species. High nutrients increased biomass of grasses, but reduced evenness of the community. High nutrients also decreased the competitive effect, and the relative dominance index of H. vulgaris. Therefore, high nutrients reduced the competitive ability of H. vulgaris and enhanced the resistance of the native community to invasion. The results provide a basis for management strategies to control the invasion and spread of H. vulgaris by manipulating resource availability to support native communities. PMID:27995984

  2. Nutrient enrichment alters impacts of Hydrocotyle vulgaris invasion on native plant communities.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lin; Quan, Han; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Bu, Xiang-Qi; Li, Lin; Liu, Fu-De; Lei, Guang-Chun; Li, Hong-Li

    2016-12-20

    Nutrients may affect the invasiveness of alien plants and the invasibility of native plant communities. We performed a greenhouse experiment to investigate the interactive effect of invasion by a clonal herb Hydrocotyle vulgaris and nutrient enrichment on biomass and evenness of native plant communities. We established three types of plant communities (H. vulgaris alone, native plant communities without or with H. vulgaris) under low and high levels of nutrients. Native communities consisted of eight native, terrestrial species of three functional groups, i.e. four grasses, two legumes, and two forbs. Invasion of H. vulgaris had no effect on biomass of the native community, the functional groups, or the individual species. High nutrients increased biomass of grasses, but reduced evenness of the community. High nutrients also decreased the competitive effect, and the relative dominance index of H. vulgaris. Therefore, high nutrients reduced the competitive ability of H. vulgaris and enhanced the resistance of the native community to invasion. The results provide a basis for management strategies to control the invasion and spread of H. vulgaris by manipulating resource availability to support native communities.

  3. Crested wheatgrass control and native plant establishment in Utah

    Treesearch

    April Hulet; Bruce A. Roundy; Brad. Jessop

    2010-01-01

    Effective control methods need to be developed to reduce crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertner) monocultures and promote the establishment of native species. This research was designed to determine effective ways to reduce crested wheatgrass and establish native species while minimizing weed invasion. We mechanically (single- or double-pass disking) and...

  4. 76 FR 66369 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-26

    ... and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as... Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as... updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for...

  5. Selective herbicide applications for low impact vegetation management of exotic species and enhancement of native plant communities

    Treesearch

    Max. Williamson

    1998-01-01

    Selective and specific management for the control of exotic (non-native) plants is necessary for preservation of native plant communities. Managers of federal, state, or county land holdings and parks, wildlife areas, recreation areas, and historic sites are frequently charged with selectively managing the enhancement of desirable or native plant communities. In...

  6. Plant recruitment in a northern Arizona ponderosa pine forest: Testing seed- and leaf litter-limitation hypotheses (P-53)

    Treesearch

    Scott R. Abella

    2008-01-01

    Seed availability and leaf litter limit plant establishment in some ecosystems. To evaluate the hypothesis that these factors limit understory plant recruitment in Pinus ponderosa forests, I conducted a seeding and litter removal experiment at six thinned sites in the Fort Valley Experimental Forest, northern Arizona. Experimental seeding of four native species (...

  7. Plant recruitment in a northern Arizona ponderosa pine forest: Testing seed- and leaf litter-limitation hypotheses

    Treesearch

    Scott R. Abella

    2008-01-01

    Seed availability and leaf litter limit plant establishment in some ecosystems. To evaluate the hypothesis that these factors limit understory plant recruitment in Pinus ponderosa forests, I conducted a seeding and litter removal experiment at six thinned sites in the Fort Valley Experimental Forest, northern Arizona. Experimental seeding of four native species (

  8. Monoterpene emissions from an understory species, Pteridium aquilinum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madronich, Monica B.; Greenberg, James P.; Wessman, Carol A.; Guenther, Alex B.

    2012-07-01

    Monoterpene emissions from the dominant understory species Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken fern) in a mixed temperate forest were measured in the field during the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008. The results showed that Bracken fern emitted monoterpenes at different rates depending if the plants were located in the understory or in open areas. Understory plants emitted monoterpene levels ranging from 0.002 to 13 μgC gdw-1 h-1. Open area plants emitted monoterpene levels ranging from 0.005 to 2.21 μgC gdw-1 h-1. During the summer of 2008 greenhouse studies were performed to complement the field studies. Only 3% of the greenhouse Bracken fern plants emitted substantial amounts of monoterpenes. The average emission, 0.15 μgC gdw-1 h-1 ± 0.9 μgC gdw-1 h-1, was much lower than that observed in the field. The factors controlling monoterpene emissions are not clear, but this study provides evidence of the potential importance of understory vegetation to ecosystem total hydrocarbon emissions and emphasizes the need for longer-term field studies.

  9. Drought in forest understory ecosystems - a novel rainfall reduction experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimbel, K. F.; Felsmann, K.; Baudis, M.; Puhlmann, H.; Gessler, A.; Bruelheide, H.; Kayler, Z.; Ellerbrock, R. H.; Ulrich, A.; Welk, E.; Weiler, M.

    2015-02-01

    Precipitation patterns across Central Europe are expected to change over the 21st century due to climate change. This may reduce water availability during the plant-growing season and hence affect the performance and vitality of forest ecosystems. We established a novel rainfall reduction experiment on nine sites in Germany to investigate drought effects on soil-forest-understory ecosystems. A realistic, but extreme annual drought with a return period of 40 years, which corresponds to the 2.5% percentile of the annual precipitation, was imposed. At all sites, we were able to reach the target values of rainfall reduction, while other important ecosystem variables like air temperature, humidity, and soil temperature remained unaffected due to the novel design of a flexible roof. The first year of drought showed considerable changes in the soil moisture dynamics relative to the control sites, which affected leaf stomatal conductance of understory species as well as evapotranspiration rates of the forest understory.

  10. Drought in forest understory ecosystems - a novel rainfall reduction experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimbel, K. F.; Felsmann, K.; Baudis, M.; Puhlmann, H.; Gessler, A.; Bruelheide, H.; Kayler, Z.; Ellerbrock, R. H.; Ulrich, A.; Welk, E.; Weiler, M.

    2014-10-01

    Climate change is predicted to severely affect precipitation patterns across central Europe. This may reduce water availability during the plant-growing season and hence affect the performance and vitality of forest ecosystems. We established a novel rainfall reduction experiment on nine sites in Germany to investigate drought effects on soil-forest-understory-ecosystems. A realistic, but extreme annual drought with a return period of 40 years, which corresponds to the 2.5% percentile of the annual precipitation, was imposed. At all sites, we were able to reach the target values of rainfall reduction, while other important ecosystem variables like air temperature, humidity and soil temperature remained unaffected due to the novel design of a flexible roof. The first year of drought showed considerable changes in the soil moisture dynamics relative to the control sites, which affected leaf stomatal conductance of understory species as well as evapotranspiration rates of the forest understory.

  11. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Larson, Diane L.; Huerd, Sheri C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  12. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  13. The Environment, Not Space, Dominantly Structures the Landscape Patterns of the Richness and Composition of the Tropical Understory Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yue-Hua; Sheng, Da-Yong; Xiang, Yang-Zhou; Yang, Zeng-Jiang; Xu, Da-Ping; Zhang, Ning-Nan; Shi, Lei-Lei

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms driving the spatial patterns of species richness and composition are essential to the understanding of biodiversity. Numerous studies separately identify the contributions of the environment (niche process) and space (neutral process) to the species richness or composition at different scales, but few studies have investigated the contributions of both types of processes in the two types of data at the landscape scale. In this study, we partitioned the spatial variations in all, exotic and native understory plant species richness and composition constrained by environmental variables and space in 134 plots that were spread across 10 counties in Hainan Island in southern China. The 134 plots included 70 rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation plots, 50 eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) plantation plots, and 14 secondary forest plots. RDA based variation partitioning was run to assess the contribution of environment and space to species richness and composition. The results showed that the environmental variables alone explained a large proportion of the variations in both the species richness and composition of all, native, and exotic species. The RDA results indicated that overstory composition (forest type here) plays a leading role in determining species richness and composition patterns. The alpha and beta diversities of the secondary forest plots were markedly higher than that of the two plantations. In conclusion, niche differentiation processes are the principal mechanisms that shape the alpha and beta diversities of understory plant species in Hainan Island. PMID:24278417

  14. First detection in the USA: new plant pathogen, Phytophthora tentaculata, in native plant nurseries and restoration sites in California

    Treesearch

    S. Rooney-Latham; C. L. Blomquist; T. Swiecki; E. Bernhardt; S.J. Frankel

    2015-01-01

    Phytophthora tentaculata Kröber & Marwitz, has been detected in several native plant nurseries in 4 California counties and in restoration sites on orange sticky monkey flower (Diplacus aurantiacus subsp. aurantiacus (W. Curtis) Jeps. [Scrophulariaceae]), toyon (Heteromeles...

  15. Native weeds and exotic plants: Relationships to disturbance in mixed-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    Disturbance frequently is implicated in the spread of invasive exotic plants. Disturbances may be broadly categorized as endogenous (e.g., digging by fossorial animals) or exogenous (e.g., construction and maintenance of roads and trails), just as weedy species may be native or exotic in origin. The objective of this study was to characterize and compare exotic and native weedy plant occurrence in and near three classes of disturbance -digging by prairie dogs (an endogenous disturbance to which native plants have had the opportunity to adapt), paved or gravel roads (an exogenous disturbance without natural precedent), and constructed trails (an exogenous disturbance with a natural precedent in trails created by movement of large mammals) - in three geographically separate national park units. I used plant survey data from the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Wind Cave National Park in the northern mixed-grass prairie of western North and South Dakota, USA, to characterize the distribution of weedy native and exotic plants with respect to the three disturbance classes as well as areas adjacent to them. There were differences both in the susceptibility of the disturbance classes to invasion and in the distributions of native weeds and exotic species among the disturbance classes. Both exotic and native weedy species richness were greatest in prairie dog towns and community composition there differed most from undisturbed areas. Exotic species were more likely to thrive near roadways, where native weedy species were infrequently encountered. Exotic species were more likely to have spread beyond the disturbed areas into native prairie than were weedy native species. The response of individual exotic plant species to the three types of disturbance was less consistent than that of native weedy species across the three park units.

  16. Assessing the risk of Glyphosate to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species of North Dakota

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted to determine the ecological risk to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species which may be growing in areas affected by off target movement of glyphosate applied to glyphosate-resistant canola (Brassica napus). Ten native grass and forb species were ...

  17. Assessing the risk of Glyphosate to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species of North Dakota

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted to determine the ecological risk to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species which may be growing in areas affected by off target movement of glyphosate applied to glyphosate-resistant canola (Brassica napus). Ten native grass and forb species were ...

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

    Treesearch

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project: FY2010 Progress Report

    Treesearch

    Nancy Shaw; Mike Pellant

    2011-01-01

    The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 Report to Congress (USDI and USDA 2002), USDI Bureau of Land Management programs and policies, and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative encourage the use of native species for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. This project was initiated to foster the development of...

  20. Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project: 2011 Progress Report

    Treesearch

    Nancy Shaw; Mike Pellant

    2012-01-01

    The Interagency native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 Report to Congress (USDI and USDA 2002), USDI Bureau of Land Management programs and policies, and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative encourage the use of native species for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. This project was initiated to foster the development of...

  1. Native Americans and their plants: Linking the past with the future

    Treesearch

    Tara Luna

    2002-01-01

    Seven nations of Native Americans in the US and Canada are using native plant species for restoration and to reintroduce populations of species of cultural significance due to habitat loss. The scope of their projects as well as the important environmental, cultural, and economic benefits resulting from their efforts are briefly described.

  2. Grazing maintains native plant diversity and promotes community stability in an annual grassland.

    PubMed

    Beck, Jared J; Hernández, Daniel L; Pasari, Jae R; Zavaleta, Erika S

    2015-07-01

    Maintaining native biodiversity in grasslands requires management and mitigation of anthropogenic changes that have altered resource availability, grazing regimes, and community composition. In California (USA), high levels of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition have facilitated the invasion of exotic grasses, posing a threat to the diverse plant and insect communities endemic to serpentine grasslands. Cattle grazing has been employed to mitigate the consequences of exotic grass invasion, but the ecological effects of grazing in this system are not fully understood. To characterize the effects of realistic N deposition on serpentine plant communities and to evaluate the efficacy of grazing as a management tool, we performed a factorial experiment adding N and excluding large herbivores in California's largest serpentine grassland. Although we observed significant interannual variation in community composition related to climate in our six-year study, exotic cover was consistently and negatively correlated with native plant richness. Sustained low-level N addition did not influence plant community composition, but grazing reduced grass abundance while maintaining greater native forb cover, native plant diversity, and species richness in comparison to plots excluding large herbivores. Furthermore, grazing increased the temporal stability of plant communities by decreasing year-to-year variation in native forb cover, native plant diversity, and native species richness. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that moderate-intensity cattle grazing can be used to restrict the invasive potential of exotic grasses and maintain native plant communities in serpentine grasslands. We hypothesize that the reduced temporal variability in serpentine plant communities managed by grazing may directly benefit populations of the threatened Edith's Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis).

  3. Do native parasitic plants cause more damage to exotic invasive hosts than native non-invasive hosts? An implication for biocontrol.

    PubMed

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community.

  4. Do Native Parasitic Plants Cause More Damage to Exotic Invasive Hosts Than Native Non-Invasive Hosts? An Implication for Biocontrol

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community. PMID:22493703

  5. Herbicides: an unexpected ally for native plants in the war against invasive species

    Treesearch

    Andrea Watts; Tim Harrington; Dave Peter

    2015-01-01

    Herbicides are primarily used for protecting agricultural crops from weeds and controlling vegetation competition in newly planted forest stands. Yet for over 40 years, they have also proven useful in controlling invasive plant species in natural areas. Nonnative invasive plant species, if not controlled, can displace native species and disrupt an ecosystem by changing...

  6. Arbuscular mycorrhizal assemblages in native plant roots change in the presence of invasive exotic grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hawkes, C.V.; Belnap, J.; D'Antonio, C.; Firestone, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Plant invasions have the potential to significantly alter soil microbial communities, given their often considerable aboveground effects. We examined how plant invasions altered the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of native plant roots in a grassland site in California and one in Utah. In the California site, we used experimentally created plant communities composed of exotic (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceus) and native (Nassella pulchra, Lupinus bicolor) monocultures and mixtures. In the Utah semi-arid grassland, we took advantage of invasion by Bromus tectorum into long-term plots dominated by either of two native grasses, Hilaria jamesii or Stipa hymenoides. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing roots were characterized with PCR amplification of the ITS region, cloning, and sequencing. We saw a significant effect of the presence of exotic grasses on the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi colonizing native plant roots. In the three native grasses, richness of mycorrhizal fungi decreased; in the native forb at the California site, the number of fungal RFLP patterns increased in the presence of exotics. The exotic grasses also caused the composition of the mycorrhizal community in native roots to shift dramatically both in California, with turnover of Glomus spp., and Utah, with replacement of Glomus spp. by apparently non-mycorrhizal fungi. Invading plants may be able to influence the network of mycorrhizal fungi in soil that is available to natives through either earlier root activity or differential carbon provision compared to natives. Alteration of the soil microbial community by plant invasion can provide a mechanism for both successful invasion and the resulting effects of invaders on the ecosystem. ?? Springer 2006.

  7. Aquatic plant community invasibility and scale-dependent patterns in native and invasive species richness.

    PubMed

    Capers, Robert S; Selsky, Roslyn; Bugbee, Gregory J; White, Jason C

    2007-12-01

    Invasive species richness often is negatively correlated with native species richness at the small spatial scale of sampling plots, but positively correlated in larger areas. The pattern at small scales has been interpreted as evidence that native plants can competitively exclude invasive species. Large-scale patterns have been understood to result from environmental heterogeneity, among other causes. We investigated species richness patterns among submerged and floating-leaved aquatic plants (87 native species and eight invasives) in 103 temperate lakes in Connecticut (northeastern USA) and found neither a consistently negative relationship at small (3-m2) scales, nor a positive relationship at large scales. Native species richness at sampling locations was uncorrelated with invasive species richness in 37 of the 60 lakes where invasive plants occurred; richness was negatively correlated in 16 lakes and positively correlated in seven. No correlation between native and invasive species richness was found at larger spatial scales (whole lakes and counties). Increases in richness with area were uncorrelated with abiotic heterogeneity. Logistic regression showed that the probability of occurrence of five invasive species increased in sampling locations (3 m2, n = 2980 samples) where native plants occurred, indicating that native plant species richness provided no resistance against invasion. However, the probability of three invasive species' occurrence declined as native plant density increased, indicating that density, if not species richness, provided some resistance with these species. Density had no effect on occurrence of three other invasive species. Based on these results, native species may resist invasion at small spatial scales only in communities where density is high (i.e., in communities where competition among individuals contributes to community structure). Most hydrophyte communities, however, appear to be maintained in a nonequilibrial condition by

  8. Comparative water use of native and invasive plants at multiple scales: a global meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Cavaleri, Molly A; Sack, Lawren

    2010-09-01

    Ecohydrology and invasive ecology have become increasingly important in the context of global climate change. This study presents the first in-depth analysis of the water use of invasive and native plants of the same growth form at multiple scales: leaf, plant, and ecosystem. We reanalyzed data for several hundred native and invasive species from over 40 published studies worldwide to glean global trends and to highlight how patterns vary depending on both scale and climate. We analyzed all pairwise combinations of co-occurring native and invasive species for higher comparative resolution of the likelihood of an invasive species using more water than a native species and tested for significance using bootstrap methods. At each scale, we found several-fold differences in water use between specific paired invasive and native species. At the leaf scale, we found a strong tendency for invasive species to have greater stomatal conductance than native species. At the plant scale, however, natives and invasives were equally likely to have the higher sap flow rates. Available data were much fewer for the ecosystem scale; nevertheless, we found that invasive-dominated ecosystems were more likely to have higher sap flow rates per unit ground area than native-dominated ecosystems. Ecosystem-scale evapotranspiration, on the other hand, was equally likely to be greater for systems dominated by invasive and native species of the same growth form. The inherent disconnects in the determination of water use when changing scales from leaf to plant to ecosystem reveal hypotheses for future studies and a critical need for more ecosystem-scale water use measurements in invasive- vs. native-dominated systems. The differences in water use of native and invasive species also depended strongly on climate, with the greater water use of invasives enhanced in hotter, wetter climates at the coarser scales.

  9. Native perennial forb variation between mountain big sagebrush and Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities.

    PubMed

    Davies, Kirk W; Bates, Jon D

    2010-09-01

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) occupies large portions of the western United States and provides valuable wildlife habitat. However, information is lacking quantifying differences in native perennial forb characteristics between mountain big sagebrush [A. tridentata spp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle] and Wyoming big sagebrush [A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh] plant communities. This information is critical to accurately evaluate the quality of habitat and forage that these communities can produce because many wildlife species consume large quantities of native perennial forbs and depend on them for hiding cover. To compare native perennial forb characteristics on sites dominated by these two subspecies of big sagebrush, we sampled 106 intact big sagebrush plant communities. Mountain big sagebrush plant communities produced almost 4.5-fold more native perennial forb biomass and had greater native perennial forb species richness and diversity compared to Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities (P < 0.001). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) and the multiple-response permutation procedure (MRPP) demonstrated that native perennial forb composition varied between these plant communities (P < 0.001). Native perennial forb composition was more similar within plant communities grouped by big sagebrush subspecies than expected by chance (A = 0.112) and composition varied between community groups (P < 0.001). Indicator analysis did not identify any perennial forbs that were completely exclusive and faithful, but did identify several perennial forbs that were relatively good indicators of either mountain big sagebrush or Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities. Our results suggest that management plans and habitat guidelines should recognize differences in native perennial forb characteristics between mountain and Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities.

  10. Effects of native and non-native grassland plant communities on breeding passerine birds: implications for restoration of northwest bunchgrass prairie

    Treesearch

    Patricia L. Kennedy; Sandra J. DeBano; Anne M. Bartuszevige; Andrea S. Lueders

    2009-01-01

    One common problem encountered when restoring grasslands is the prominence of non-native plant species. It is unclear what effect non-native plants have on habitat quality of grassland passerines, which are among the most imperiled groups of birds. In 2004 and 2005, we compared patterns of avian reproduction and the mechanisms that might influence those patterns across...

  11. Differential responses of invasive and native plants to warming with simulated changes in diurnal temperature ranges.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bao-Ming; Gao, Yang; Liao, Hui-Xuan; Peng, Shao-Lin

    2017-07-01

    Although many studies have documented the effects of global warming on invasive plants, little is known about whether the effects of warming on plant invasion differ depending on the imposed change in different diurnal temperature ranges (DTR). We tested the impact of warming with DTR change on seed germination and seedling growth of eight species in the family Asteraceae. Four of these are invasive (Eupatorium catarium, Mikania micrantha, Biodens pilosa var. radiate, Ageratum conyzoides) in China, and four are native (Sonchus arvensis, Senecios candens, Pterocypsela indica, Eupatorium fortunei). Four temperature treatments were set in growth chambers (three warming by 3 °C with different DTRs and control), and experiments were run to mimic wintertime and summertime conditions. The control treatment (Tc ) was set to the mean temperature for the corresponding time of year, and the three warming treatments were symmetric (i.e. equal night-and-day) (DTRsym), asymmetric warming with increased (DTRinc) and decreased (DTRdec) DTR. The warming treatments did not affect seed germination of invasive species under any of the conditions, but DTRsym and DTRinc increased seed germination of natives relative to the control, suggesting that warming may not increase success of these invasive plant species via effects on seed germination of invasive plants relative to native plants. The invasive plants had higher biomass and greater stem allocation than the native ones under all of the warming treatments. Wintertime warming increased the biomass of the invasive and wintertime DTRsym and DTRinc increased that of the native plants, whereas summertime asymmetric warming decreased the biomass of the invasives but not the natives. Therefore, warming may not facilitate invasion of these invasive species due to the suppressive effects of summertime warming (particularly the asymmetric warming) on growth. Compared with DTRsym, DTRdec decreased the biomass of both the invasive and native

  12. Differential responses of invasive and native plants to warming with simulated changes in diurnal temperature ranges

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bao-Ming; Gao, Yang; Liao, Hui-Xuan

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Although many studies have documented the effects of global warming on invasive plants, little is known about whether the effects of warming on plant invasion differ depending on the imposed change in different diurnal temperature ranges (DTR). We tested the impact of warming with DTR change on seed germination and seedling growth of eight species in the family Asteraceae. Four of these are invasive (Eupatorium catarium, Mikania micrantha, Biodens pilosa var. radiate, Ageratum conyzoides) in China, and four are native (Sonchus arvensis, Senecios candens, Pterocypsela indica, Eupatorium fortunei). Four temperature treatments were set in growth chambers (three warming by 3 °C with different DTRs and control), and experiments were run to mimic wintertime and summertime conditions. The control treatment (Tc) was set to the mean temperature for the corresponding time of year, and the three warming treatments were symmetric (i.e. equal night-and-day) (DTRsym), asymmetric warming with increased (DTRinc) and decreased (DTRdec) DTR. The warming treatments did not affect seed germination of invasive species under any of the conditions, but DTRsym and DTRinc increased seed germination of natives relative to the control, suggesting that warming may not increase success of these invasive plant species via effects on seed germination of invasive plants relative to native plants. The invasive plants had higher biomass and greater stem allocation than the native ones under all of the warming treatments. Wintertime warming increased the biomass of the invasive and wintertime DTRsym and DTRinc increased that of the native plants, whereas summertime asymmetric warming decreased the biomass of the invasives but not the natives. Therefore, warming may not facilitate invasion of these invasive species due to the suppressive effects of summertime warming (particularly the asymmetric warming) on growth. Compared with DTRsym, DTRdec decreased the biomass of both the invasive

  13. Crabs Mediate Interactions between Native and Invasive Salt Marsh Plants: A Mesocosm Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-yun; Shao, Jun-jiong; Wu, Xin-ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  14. Crabs mediate interactions between native and invasive salt marsh plants: a mesocosm study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-Yun; Shao, Jun-Jiong; Wu, Xin-Ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation.

  15. Native and exotic plant species exhibit similar population dynamics during succession.

    PubMed

    Meiners, Scott J

    2007-05-01

    A growing body of literature has led to the debate in invasion biology whether exotic species perform within communities differently than native taxa due to inherent advantages. To address this issue, the population dynamics of native and exotic plant species were assessed from a 48-year record of permanent plot data from the Hutcheson Memorial Forest Center (New Jersey, USA) to determine rate of increase, lag time, maximum frequency, and the year of peak frequency. Overall, native and exotic species exhibited very similar population dynamics. Rates of increase and length of lag times were similar between native and exotic taxa but were strongly influenced by plant life form. Short-lived species were characterized by rapid population growth rates and short lag times. Growth rates decreased and lag times increased with species longevity. Overall, correlations between population metrics were the same in native and exotic taxa, suggesting similar trade-offs in life history patterns. The one difference observed was that, in native species, peak frequency was negatively associated with the year of peak frequency (i.e., early-successional species tended to become more abundant), while there was no relationship in exotic species. These analyses show that exotic species behave in essentially the same way as native taxa within dynamic communities. This suggests that abundant native and exotic plant species are exploiting the same range of ecological strategies resulting in similar roles within communities.

  16. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders.

  17. Are Local Filters Blind to Provenance? Ant Seed Predation Suppresses Exotic Plants More than Natives

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Dean E.; Icasatti, Nadia S.; Hierro, Jose L.; Bird, Benjamin J.

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species’ origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species’ traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species’ origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters. PMID:25099535

  18. Are local filters blind to provenance? Ant seed predation suppresses exotic plants more than natives.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Icasatti, Nadia S; Hierro, Jose L; Bird, Benjamin J

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species' origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species' traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species' origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters.

  19. What determines positive, neutral, and negative impacts of Solidago canadensis invasion on native plant species richness?

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Li-Jia; Yu, Hong-Wei; He, Wei-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Whether plant invasions pose a great threat to native plant diversity is still hotly debated due to conflicting findings. More importantly, we know little about the mechanisms of invasion impacts on native plant richness. We examined how Solidago canadensis invasion influenced native plants using data from 291 pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots covering an entire invaded range, and quantified the relative contributions of climate, recipient communities, and S. canadensis to invasion impacts. There were three types of invasion consequences for native plant species richness (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative impacts). Overall, the relative contributions of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate to invasion impacts were 71.39%, 21.46% and 7.15%, respectively; furthermore, the roles of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate were largely ascribed to plant diversity, density and cover, and precipitation. In terms of direct effects, invasion impacts were negatively linked to temperature and native plant communities, and positively to precipitation and soil microbes. Soil microbes were crucial in the network of indirect effects on invasion impacts. These findings suggest that the characteristics of recipient communities are the most important determinants of invasion impacts and that invasion impacts may be a continuum across an entire invaded range. PMID:26573017

  20. What determines positive, neutral, and negative impacts of Solidago canadensis invasion on native plant species richness?

    PubMed

    Dong, Li-Jia; Yu, Hong-Wei; He, Wei-Ming

    2015-11-17

    Whether plant invasions pose a great threat to native plant diversity is still hotly debated due to conflicting findings. More importantly, we know little about the mechanisms of invasion impacts on native plant richness. We examined how Solidago canadensis invasion influenced native plants using data from 291 pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots covering an entire invaded range, and quantified the relative contributions of climate, recipient communities, and S. canadensis to invasion impacts. There were three types of invasion consequences for native plant species richness (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative impacts). Overall, the relative contributions of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate to invasion impacts were 71.39%, 21.46% and 7.15%, respectively; furthermore, the roles of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate were largely ascribed to plant diversity, density and cover, and precipitation. In terms of direct effects, invasion impacts were negatively linked to temperature and native plant communities, and positively to precipitation and soil microbes. Soil microbes were crucial in the network of indirect effects on invasion impacts. These findings suggest that the characteristics of recipient communities are the most important determinants of invasion impacts and that invasion impacts may be a continuum across an entire invaded range.

  1. Beyond the ecological: biological invasions alter natural selection on a native plant species.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can have strong ecological effects on native communities by altering ecosystem functions, species interactions, and community composition. Even though these ecological effects frequently impact the population dynamics and fitness of native species, the evolutionary consequences of biological invasions have received relatively little attention. Here, I show that invasions impose novel selective pressures on a native plant species. By experimentally manipulating community composition, I found that the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic herbivore Hypera brunneipennis alter the strength and, in some instances, the direction of natural selection on the competitive ability and anti-herbivore defenses of the native plant Lotus wrangelianus. Furthermore, the community composition of exotics influenced which traits were favored. For example, high densities of the exotic herbivore Hypera selected for increased resistance to herbivores in the native Lotus; however, when Medicago also was present, selection on this defense was eliminated. In contrast, selection on tolerance, another plant defense trait, was highest when both Hypera and Medicago were present at high densities. Thus, multiple exotic species may interact to influence the evolutionary trajectories of native plant populations, and patterns of selection may change as additional exotic species invade the community.

  2. Grassland fires may favor native over introduced plants by reducing pathogen loads.

    PubMed

    Roy, Bitty A; Hudson, Kenneth; Visser, Matt; Johnson, Bart R

    2014-07-01

    Grasslands have been lost and degraded in the United States since Euro-American settlement due to agriculture, development, introduced invasive species, and changes in fire regimes. Fire is frequently used in prairie restoration to control invasion by trees and shrubs, but may have additional consequences. For example, fire might reduce damage by herbivore and pathogen enemies by eliminating litter, which harbors eggs and spores. Less obviously, fire might influence enemy loads differently for native and introduced plant hosts. We used a controlled burn in a Willamette Valley (Oregon) prairie to examine these questions. We expected that, without fire, introduced host plants should have less damage than native host plants because the introduced species are likely to have left many of their enemies behind when they were transported to their new range (the enemy release hypothesis, or ERH). If the ERH holds, then fire, which should temporarily reduce enemies on all species, should give an advantage to the natives because they should see greater total reduction in damage by enemies. Prior to the burn, we censused herbivore and pathogen attack on eight plant species (five of nonnative origin: Bromus hordaceous, Cynosuros echinatus, Galium divaricatum, Schedonorus arundinaceus (= Festuca arundinacea), and Sherardia arvensis; and three natives: Danthonia californica, Epilobium minutum, and Lomatium nudicale). The same plots were monitored for two years post-fire. Prior to the burn, native plants had more kinds of damage and more pathogen damage than introduced plants, consistent with the ERH. Fire reduced pathogen damage relative to the controls more for the native than the introduced species, but the effects on herbivory were negligible. Pathogen attack was correlated with plant reproductive fitness, whereas herbivory was not. These results suggest that fire may be useful for promoting some native plants in prairies due to its negative effects on their pathogens.

  3. The Influences of Canopy Species and Topographic Variables on Understory Species Diversity and Composition in Coniferous Forests

    PubMed Central

    Huo, Hong; Feng, Qi; Su, Yong-hong

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that influence the distribution of understory vegetation is important for biological conservation and forest management. We compared understory species composition by multi-response permutation procedure and indicator species analysis between plots dominated by Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.) and Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) in coniferous forests of the Qilian Mountains, northwestern China. Understory species composition differed markedly between the forest types. Many heliophilous species were significantly associated with juniper forest, while only one species was indicative of spruce forest. Using constrained ordination and the variation partitioning model, we quantitatively assessed the relative effects of two sets of explanatory variables on understory species composition. The results showed that topographic variables had higher explanatory power than did site conditions for understory plant distributions. However, a large amount of the variation in understory species composition remained unexplained. Forward selection revealed that understory species distributions were primarily affected by elevation and aspect. Juniper forest had higher species richness and α-diversity and lower β-diversity in the herb layer of the understory plant community than spruce forest, suggesting that the former may be more important in maintaining understory biodiversity and community stability in alpine coniferous forest ecosystems. PMID:25097871

  4. The influences of canopy species and topographic variables on understory species diversity and composition in coniferous forests.

    PubMed

    Huo, Hong; Feng, Qi; Su, Yong-hong

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that influence the distribution of understory vegetation is important for biological conservation and forest management. We compared understory species composition by multi-response permutation procedure and indicator species analysis between plots dominated by Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.) and Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) in coniferous forests of the Qilian Mountains, northwestern China. Understory species composition differed markedly between the forest types. Many heliophilous species were significantly associated with juniper forest, while only one species was indicative of spruce forest. Using constrained ordination and the variation partitioning model, we quantitatively assessed the relative effects of two sets of explanatory variables on understory species composition. The results showed that topographic variables had higher explanatory power than did site conditions for understory plant distributions. However, a large amount of the variation in understory species composition remained unexplained. Forward selection revealed that understory species distributions were primarily affected by elevation and aspect. Juniper forest had higher species richness and α-diversity and lower β-diversity in the herb layer of the understory plant community than spruce forest, suggesting that the former may be more important in maintaining understory biodiversity and community stability in alpine coniferous forest ecosystems.

  5. A native plant development program for the Colorado Plateau

    Treesearch

    Stephen B. Monsen

    2008-01-01

    (Please note, this is an abstract only) Revegetation programs instigated in the Intermountain West have relied on the use of introduced perennial grasses, with attention focused upon improving the agronomic and forage attributes of these species. Currently, a wide number of site adapted native species are required to restore the extensive disturbances throughout the...

  6. Understory vegetation leads to changes in soil acidity and in microbial communities 27 years after reforestation.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xiaoli; Yang, Fengting; Wang, Jianlei; Di, Yuebao; Dai, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Xinyu; Wang, Huimin

    2015-01-01

    Experiments with potted plants and removed understories have indicated that understory vegetation often affects the chemical and microbial properties of soil. In this study, we examined the mechanism and extent of the influence of understory vegetation on the chemical and microbial properties of soil in plantation forests. The relationships between the vegetational structure (diversity for different functional layers, aboveground biomass of understory vegetation, and species number) and soil properties (pH, microbial community structure, and levels of soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and inorganic nitrogen) were analyzed across six reforestation types (three pure needleleaf forests, a needle-broadleaf mixed forest, a broadleaf forest, and a shrubland). Twenty-seven years after reforestation, soil pH significantly decreased by an average of 0.95 across reforestation types. Soil pH was positively correlated with the aboveground biomass of the understory. The levels of total, bacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids, and the fungal:bacterial ratios were similar in the shrubland and the broadleaf forest. Both the aboveground biomass of the understory and the diversity of the tree layer positively influenced the fungal:bacterial ratio. Improving the aboveground biomass of the understory could alleviate soil acidification. An increase in the aboveground biomass of the understory, rather than in understory diversity, enhanced the functional traits of the soil microbial communities. The replacement of pure plantations with mixed-species stands, as well as the enhancement of understory recruitment, can improve the ecological functions of a plantation, as measured by the alleviation of soil acidification and increased fungal dominance.

  7. Non-native megaherbivores: the case for novel function to manage plant invasions on islands.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Dennis M

    2015-07-20

    There is a heated debate about whether all non-native species are 'guilty until proven innocent', or whether some should be accepted or even welcomed. Further fanning the flames, I here present a case where introductions of carefully vetted, non-native species could provide a net conservation benefit. On many islands, native megaherbivores (flightless birds, tortoises) recently went extinct. Here, rewilding with carefully selected non-native species as ecological replacements is increasingly considered a solution, reinstating a herbivory regime that largely benefits the native flora. Based on these efforts, I suggest that restoration practitioners working on islands without a history of native megaherbivores that are threatened by invasive plants should consider introducing a non-native island megaherbivore, and that large and giant tortoises are ideal candidates. Such tortoises would be equally useful on islands where eradication of invasive mammals has led to increased problems with invasive plants, or on islands that never had introduced mammalian herbivores, but where invasive plants are a problem. My proposal may seem radical, but the reversibility of using giant tortoises means that nothing is lost from trying, and that indeed much is to be gained. As an easily regulated adaptive management tool, it represents an innovative, hypothesis-driven 'innocent until proven guilty' approach.

  8. Non-native megaherbivores: the case for novel function to manage plant invasions on islands

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Dennis M.

    2015-01-01

    There is a heated debate about whether all non-native species are ‘guilty until proven innocent’, or whether some should be accepted or even welcomed. Further fanning the flames, I here present a case where introductions of carefully vetted, non-native species could provide a net conservation benefit. On many islands, native megaherbivores (flightless birds, tortoises) recently went extinct. Here, rewilding with carefully selected non-native species as ecological replacements is increasingly considered a solution, reinstating a herbivory regime that largely benefits the native flora. Based on these efforts, I suggest that restoration practitioners working on islands without a history of native megaherbivores that are threatened by invasive plants should consider introducing a non-native island megaherbivore, and that large and giant tortoises are ideal candidates. Such tortoises would be equally useful on islands where eradication of invasive mammals has led to increased problems with invasive plants, or on islands that never had introduced mammalian herbivores, but where invasive plants are a problem. My proposal may seem radical, but the reversibility of using giant tortoises means that nothing is lost from trying, and that indeed much is to be gained. As an easily regulated adaptive management tool, it represents an innovative, hypothesis-driven ‘innocent until proven guilty’ approach. PMID:26194166

  9. Livestock grazing supports native plants and songbirds in a California annual grassland.

    PubMed

    Gennet, Sasha; Spotswood, Erica; Hammond, Michele; Bartolome, James W

    2017-01-01

    Over eight years we measured the effects of plant community composition, vegetation structure, and livestock grazing on occurrence of three grassland bird species-Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)-at sites in central California during breeding season. In California's Mediterranean-type climatic region, coastal and inland grassland vegetation is dominated by exotic annual grasses with occasional patches of native bunchgrass and forbs. Livestock grazing, primarily with beef cattle, is the most widely used management tool. Compared with ungrazed plots, grazed plots had higher bare ground, native plant cover, and vertically heterogeneous vegetation. Grazed plots also had less plant litter and shorter vegetation. Higher native plant cover, which is predominantly composed of bunchgrasses in our study area, was associated with livestock grazing and north-facing aspects. Using an information theoretic approach, we found that all three bird species had positive associations with native plant abundance and neutral (Western Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow) or positive (Horned Lark) association with livestock grazing. All species favored flatter areas. Horned Larks and Western Meadowlark occurred more often where there were patches of bare ground. Western Meadowlarks and Grasshopper Sparrows were most common on north-facing slopes, suggesting that these species may be at risk from projected climate change. These findings demonstrate that livestock grazing is compatible with or supports grassland bird conservation in Mediterranean-type grasslands, including areas with high levels of exotic annual grass invasion, in part because grazing supports the persistence of native plants and heterogeneity in vegetation structure. However, conservation of low-lying grasslands with high native species presence, and active management to increase the abundance of native plant species are also likely to

  10. Livestock grazing supports native plants and songbirds in a California annual grassland

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, Michele; Bartolome, James W.

    2017-01-01

    Over eight years we measured the effects of plant community composition, vegetation structure, and livestock grazing on occurrence of three grassland bird species—Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)—at sites in central California during breeding season. In California’s Mediterranean-type climatic region, coastal and inland grassland vegetation is dominated by exotic annual grasses with occasional patches of native bunchgrass and forbs. Livestock grazing, primarily with beef cattle, is the most widely used management tool. Compared with ungrazed plots, grazed plots had higher bare ground, native plant cover, and vertically heterogeneous vegetation. Grazed plots also had less plant litter and shorter vegetation. Higher native plant cover, which is predominantly composed of bunchgrasses in our study area, was associated with livestock grazing and north-facing aspects. Using an information theoretic approach, we found that all three bird species had positive associations with native plant abundance and neutral (Western Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow) or positive (Horned Lark) association with livestock grazing. All species favored flatter areas. Horned Larks and Western Meadowlark occurred more often where there were patches of bare ground. Western Meadowlarks and Grasshopper Sparrows were most common on north-facing slopes, suggesting that these species may be at risk from projected climate change. These findings demonstrate that livestock grazing is compatible with or supports grassland bird conservation in Mediterranean-type grasslands, including areas with high levels of exotic annual grass invasion, in part because grazing supports the persistence of native plants and heterogeneity in vegetation structure. However, conservation of low-lying grasslands with high native species presence, and active management to increase the abundance of native plant species are also

  11. An update on Phytophthora species in California native plant nurseries and restoration areas

    Treesearch

    S. Rooney-Latham; C.L. Blomquist; M.C. Soriano; Y.Y. Guo; P. Woods; K.L. Kosta; K. Weber; T.J. Swiecki; E.A. Bernhardt; K. Suslow; S.J. Frankel

    2017-01-01

    In 2012, Phytophthora tentaculata was detected for the first time in North America on the roots and crowns of declining sticky monkey flower plants (Diplacus aurantiacus) in a Monterey County, CA native plant nursery. At the time, P. tentaculata was listed among the top five exotic Phytophthora...

  12. Introduction to Using Native Plant Community on Dredge Material Placement Areas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2017-05-01

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. PURPOSE: This Engineering With Nature (EWN) Technical Note (TN) is the first in a...operational, engineering , and ecological benefits. Establishment of native plant communities within DMPA and CDF offers several advantages in terms of...planting regimes to stabilize and promote ecosystem development on these placement areas is lacking. This TN will introduce relevant engineering and

  13. Subirrigation for production of native plants in nurseries - concepts, current knowledge, and implementation

    Treesearch

    Justin L. Schmal; Kas Dumroese; Anthony S. Davis; Jeremy Pinto; Douglass F. Jacobs

    2011-01-01

    Subirrigation, a method whereby water is allowed to move upward into the growing medium by capillary action, has been the focus of recent research in forest and conservation nurseries growing a wide variety of native plants. Subirrigation reduces the amount of water needed for producing high-quality plants, discharged wastewater, and leaching of nutrients compared with...

  14. Inventory shows extent of non-native invasive plants in Minnesota forests

    Treesearch

    W. Keith Moser; Mark D. Nelson; Mark H. Hansen

    2009-01-01

    Readers are no doubt aware of the impact that non-native invasive plants (NNIP) present to Minnesota's ecosystems. The U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station (NRS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program is studying what determines where these plants are found, including forest type, tree density, disturbance, productivity, and topography.

  15. Use of herbicides to control alligatorweed and restore native plants in managed marshes

    Treesearch

    Shannon L. Allen; Gary R. Hepp; James H. Miller

    2007-01-01

    Marsh management is used to improve the quality of wetland habitats for a variety of waterfowl and other waterbirds. However, alien plants, such as alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.), may impact success of marsh management by competing with and displacing important native plants. In managed marshes, we tested effects of...

  16. Ecological engineering by a native leaf-cutting ant increases the performance of exotic plant species.

    PubMed

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Lescano, Natalia; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2010-05-01

    Numerous mechanisms are proposed to explain why exotic plants successfully invade natural communities. However, the positive effects of native engineers on exotic plant species have received less consideration. We tested whether the nutrient-rich soil patches created by a native ecological engineer (refuse dumps from the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis) increase the performance of exotic more than native plants. In a greenhouse experiment, individuals from several native and exotic species were planted in pots with refuse dumps (RDs) and non-nest soils (NNSs). Total plant biomass and foliar nutrient content were measured at the end of the experiment. We also estimated the cover of exotic and native plant species in external RDs from 54 field ant nests and adjacent areas. Greenhouse plants showed more biomass and foliar nutrient content in RDs than in NNS pots. Nevertheless, differences in the final mean biomass among RD and NNS plants were especially great in exotics. Accordingly, the cover of exotic plants was higher in field RDs than in adjacent, non-nest soils. Our results demonstrated that plants can benefit from the enhanced nutrient content of ant RDs, and that A. lobicornis acts as an ecosystem engineer, creating a substrate that especially increases the performance of exotics. This supports the fluctuating resource hypothesis as a mechanism to promote biological invasions, and illustrates how this hypothesis may operate in nature. Since ant nests and exotic plants are more common in disturbed than in pristine environments, the role of ant nests in promoting biological invasions might be of particular interest. Proposals including the use of engineer species to restore disturbed habitats should be planned with caution because of their potential role in promoting invasions.

  17. An invasive plant alters phenotypic selection on the vegetative growth of a native congener.

    PubMed

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-02-01

    The ecological consequences of plant competition have frequently been tested, but the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions have gone largely unexplored. The study of species invasions can make an important contribution to this field of research by allowing us to watch ecological and evolutionary processes unfold as a novel species is integrated into a plant community. We explored the ecological and evolutionary impact of an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a closely related native congener, I. capensis and asked: (1) Does the presence of the invasive jewelweed alter the fitness of native jewelweed populations? (2) Does the invasive jewelweed affect the vegetative growth of the native congener? and (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the vegetative traits of the native congener? We used a greenhouse competition experiment, an invasive species removal field experiment, and a survey of natural populations. We show that when the invasive jewelweed is present, phenotypic selection favors native jewelweed individuals investing less in rapid upward growth and more in branching and fruiting potential through the production of nodes. This research demonstrates that invasive plants have the potential to greatly alter natural selection on native competitors. Studies investigating altered selection in invaded communities can reveal the potential evolutionary impact of invasive competitors, while deepening our understanding of the more general role of competition in driving plant evolution and permitting species coexistence. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  18. Invasive plant alters community and ecosystem dynamics by promoting native predators.

    PubMed

    Smith-Ramesh, Lauren M

    2017-03-01

    Placing invasion in a more complete food web context expands our understanding of species invasions to reflect the inherent complexity of ecological networks. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has traditionally been predicted to dominate native communities through mechanisms embodied in popular hypotheses such as direct plant-plant interactions (allelopathy) and plant-herbivore interactions (enemy escape). However, garlic mustard also interacts directly with native predators by providing habitat for web-building spiders, which colonize the dry fruit structures (siliques) that garlic mustard leaves behind after it senesces. This interaction may lead to altered food web structure, resulting previously unexamined invasion consequences. This idea was tested in a field experiment including three treatments in which garlic mustard siliques were left intact (S+), removed (S-), or native species dominated and garlic mustard was absent (N). When siliques were intact, estimated insect abundance was locally reduced in invaded plots compared to native plots, but this relationship disappeared when siliques were removed. Phosphorus availability and the growth of one native plant species were both elevated in invaded plots where siliques were intact compared to plots where siliques were removed. Results indicate that garlic mustard's close association with web-building spiders initiates cascading invader impacts on the native community and ecosystem properties. This work supports recent theory suggesting that taking a broader food web perspective may help predict invasion impacts in different environmental contexts.

  19. The formation of dense understory layers in the forest worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Treesearch

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  20. The formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Treesearch

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  1. Photosynthetic acclimation to dynamic changes in environmental conditions associated with deciduous overstory phenology in Daphniphyllum humile, an evergreen understory shrub.

    PubMed

    Katahata, Shinichiro; Naramoto, Masaaki; Kakubari, Yoshitaka; Mukai, Yuzuru

    2005-04-01

    Photoprotective responses during photosynthetic acclimation in Daphniphyllum humile Maxim, an evergreen understory shrub that grows in temperate deciduous forests, were examined in relation to changes in light availability and temperature caused by the seasonal dynamics of canopy leaf phenology. Gradual increases in irradiance in the understory from summer to autumn as overstory foliage senesced were accompanied by increased concentrations of xanthophyll cycle pigments (VAZ) in understory leaves. The chlorophyll (Chl) a/b ratio in understory leaves also increased from summer to autumn, reflecting the change in ratio of the light-harvesting antenna to the reaction center. However, low temperatures following overstory leaf fall reduced Rubisco activity. In contrast, the photosynthetic capactiy of leaves of D. humile growing at the forest border, which was higher in summer than that of leaves of understory plants, decreased in autumn. In autumn, Fv/Fm ratios decreased and concentrations of zeaxanthin (Z) and especially antheraxanthin (A) increased in leaves of both forest-border and understory plants. Although VAZ was twice as high in leaves of forest-border than of understory plants, NPQ was similar in both. We conclude that leaves of understory plants are able to acclimate to seasonal changes in light and temperature by varying their photosynthetic and photoprotective functions, thereby taking advantage of the favorable light conditions caused by overstory leaf fall.

  2. Multi-scale spatial controls of understory vegetation in Douglas-fir–western hemlock forests of western Oregon, USA

    Treesearch

    Julia I. Burton; Lisa M. Ganio; Klaus J. Puettmann

    2014-01-01

    Forest understory vegetation is influenced by broad-scale variation in climate, intermediate scale variation in topography, disturbance and neighborhood interactions. However, little is known about how these multi-scale controls interact to influence observed spatial patterns. We examined relationships between the aggregated cover of understory plant species (%...

  3. Coevolution between native and invasive plant competitors: implications for invasive species management

    PubMed Central

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely to compete with invaders. When population sizes and genetic diversity of native species are large enough, natives may be able to evolve traits that allow them to co-occur with invasive species. Native species may also evolve to become significant competitors with invasive species, and thus affect the fitness of invaders. Invasive species may respond in turn, creating either transient or continuing coevolution between competing species. In addition to demographic factors such as population size and growth rates, a number of factors including gene flow, genetic drift, the number of selection agents, encounter rates, and genetic diversity may affect the ability of native and invasive species to evolve competitive ability against one another. We discuss how these factors may differ between populations of native and invasive plants, and how this might affect their ability to respond to selection. Management actions that maintain genetic diversity in native species while reducing population sizes and genetic diversity in invasive species could promote the ability of natives to evolve improved competitive ability. PMID:25567917

  4. Coevolution between native and invasive plant competitors: implications for invasive species management.

    PubMed

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-03-01

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely to compete with invaders. When population sizes and genetic diversity of native species are large enough, natives may be able to evolve traits that allow them to co-occur with invasive species. Native species may also evolve to become significant competitors with invasive species, and thus affect the fitness of invaders. Invasive species may respond in turn, creating either transient or continuing coevolution between competing species. In addition to demographic factors such as population size and growth rates, a number of factors including gene flow, genetic drift, the number of selection agents, encounter rates, and genetic diversity may affect the ability of native and invasive species to evolve competitive ability against one another. We discuss how these factors may differ between populations of native and invasive plants, and how this might affect their ability to respond to selection. Management actions that maintain genetic diversity in native species while reducing population sizes and genetic diversity in invasive species could promote the ability of natives to evolve improved competitive ability.

  5. Shifts in southern Wisconsin forest canopy and understory richness, composition, and heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Rogers, David A; Rooney, Thomas P; Olson, Daniel; Waller, Donald M

    2008-09-01

    We resurveyed the under- and overstory species composition of 94 upland forest stands in southern Wisconsin in 2002-2004 to assess shifts in canopy and understory richness, composition, and heterogeneity relative to the original surveys in 1949-1950. The canopy has shifted from mostly oaks (Quercus spp.) toward more mesic and shade-tolerant trees (primarily Acer spp.). Oak-dominated early-successional stands and those on coarse, nutrient-poor soils changed the most in canopy composition. Understories at most sites (80%) lost native species, with mean species density declining 25% at the 1-m2 scale and 23.1% at the 20-m2 scale. Woody species have increased 15% relative to herbaceous species in the understory despite declining in absolute abundance. Initial canopy composition, particularly the abundance of red oaks (Quercus rubra and Q. velutina), predicted understory changes better than the changes observed in the overstory. Overall rates of native species loss were greater in later-successional stands, a pattern driven by differential immigration rather than differential extirpation. However, understory species initially found in early-successional habitats declined the most, particularly remnant savanna taxa with narrow or thick leaves. These losses have yet to be offset by compensating increases in native shade-adapted species. Exotic species have proliferated in prevalence (from 13 to 76 stands) and relative abundance (from 1.2% to 8.4%), but these increases appear unrelated to the declines in native species richness and heterogeneity observed. Although canopy succession has clearly influenced shifts in understory composition and diversity, the magnitude of native species declines and failure to recruit more shade-adapted species suggest that other factors now act to limit the richness, heterogeneity, and composition of these communities.

  6. Exotic birds increase generalization and compensate for native bird decline in plant-frugivore assemblages.

    PubMed

    García, Daniel; Martínez, Daniel; Stouffer, Daniel B; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2014-11-01

    Exotic species are thought to alter the structure of natural communities and disrupt ecosystem functioning through invasion. Nevertheless, exotic species may also provide ecological insurance when they contribute to maintain ecosystem functions after the decline of native species following anthropogenic disturbance. Here, this hypothesis is tested with the assemblage of frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants of New Zealand, which has suffered strong historical declines in native birds while simultaneously gaining new frugivores introduced by European settlers. We studied the plant-frugivore assemblage from measures of fruit and bird abundances and fruit consumption in nine forest patches, and tested how this changed across a gradient of relative abundance of exotic birds. We then examined how each bird species' role in the assemblage (the proportion of fruits and the number of plant species consumed) varied with their relative abundance, body size and native/exotic status. The more abundant and, to a lesser extent, larger birds species consumed a higher proportion of fruits from more plant species. Exotic birds consumed fruits less selectively and more proportionate to the local availability than did native species. Interaction networks in which exotic birds had a stronger role as frugivores had higher generalization, higher nestedness and higher redundancy of plants. Exotic birds maintained frugivory when native birds became rarer, and diversified the local spectrum of frugivores for co-occurring native plants. These effects seemed related to the fact that species abundances, rather than trait-matching constraints, ultimately determined the patterns of interactions between birds and plants. By altering the structure of plant-frugivore assemblages, exotic birds likely enhance the stability of the community-wide seed dispersal in the face of continued anthropogenic impact.

  7. Uptake of uranium and thorium by native and cultivated plants.

    PubMed

    Shtangeeva, I

    2010-06-01

    Large part of available literature on biogeochemistry of uranium and thorium refers to the studies performed either in highly contaminated areas or in nutrient solutions that have been artificially 'spiked' with radionuclides. Effects of background levels of natural radioactivity on soil-grown plants have not been studied to the same extent. In this paper, we summarised results of greenhouse and field experiments performed by the author from 2000 to 2006. We examined some of the factors affecting transfer of U and Th from soil to plants, differences in uptake of these radionuclides by different plants, relationships between U and Th in soil and in plants, and temporal variations of U and Th in different plant species. Concentrations of radionuclides (critical point for experimental studies on biogeochemistry of U and Th--rare trace elements in non-contaminated regions) and essential plant nutrients and trace elements were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Copyright (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Competition between alien annual grasses and native annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew L.

    2000-01-01

    Alien annual grasses in the genera Bromus and Schismus are widespread and abundant in the Mojave Desert, and negative correlations between these aliens and native annual plants suggest that competition may occur between them. Effects of competition were evaluated by thinning alien annual grass seedlings and measuring the responses of native annual plants at three sites in the central, southcentral and southwestern Mojave Desert during 2 y of contrasting plant productivity. Effects ofBromus and Schismus were evaluated separately in the microhabitat where each was most abundant, beneath the north side of creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata) for Bromus and in the open interspace between shrubs for Schismus. Thinning of Bromus and Schismus significantly increased density and biomass of native annuals at all three sites, only during a year of high annual plant productivity and species richness. Effects of thinning were greatest for Amsinckia tesselata and for a group of relatively uncommon native annuals. Thinning also significantly increased the density and biomass of the alien forb, Erodium cicutarium. These results show that alien annual grasses can compete with native annual plants and an alien forb in the Mojave Desert and that effects can vary among years.

  9. Are Non-Native Plants Perceived to Be More Risky? Factors Influencing Horticulturists' Risk Perceptions of Ornamental Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Humair, Franziska; Kueffer, Christoph; Siegrist, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625) to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species. PMID:25003195

  10. Are non-native plants perceived to be more risky? Factors influencing horticulturists' risk perceptions of ornamental plant species.

    PubMed

    Humair, Franziska; Kueffer, Christoph; Siegrist, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625) to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species.

  11. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets' growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion.

  12. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets’ growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion. PMID:27252722

  13. Quantifying Understory Transpiration in a Semiarid Riparian Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, R. R.; Scott, R. L.

    2005-12-01

    One of the most challenging components to estimate when determining water budgets in semiarid basins is riparian evapotranspiration (ET). Much research has been conducted upon riparian overstory vegetation in these areas; however understory vegetation water use has been ignored due to measurement difficulties and the belief that its quantity is negligible. To better understand the magnitude of understory water use in a semiarid riparian ecosystem, we measured whole plant transpiration of the dominant understory shrub, seep willow (Baccharis salicifolia), along a perennial reach of the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona. . Shrub transpiration was monitored using the heat balance sap flow technique and was compared under two environmental conditions: a shrub patch located in a more open environment with decreased overstory canopy cover, and a more closed shrub patch situated more directly underneath a cottonwood (Populus fremontii) forest canopy. Despite the differences in atmospheric forcing, stand-level transpiration at both sites was similar and indicated that transpiration was rarely demand-limited. Growing season transpiration totals for seep willow were much greater than precipitation and of comparable magnitude to the overstory cottonwood transpiration. These results suggest that understory water use can be an important component of a riparian water budget, especially in regions like the western U.S. where evaporative demand is often high.

  14. The role of disturbance severity and canopy closure on standing crop of understory plant species in ponderosa pine stands in northern Arizona, USA

    Treesearch

    Kyla E. Sabo; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Stephen C. Hart; John Duff Bailey

    2009-01-01

    Concerns about the long-term sustainability of overstocked dry conifer forests in western North America have provided impetus for treatments designed to enhance their productivity and native biodiversity. Dense forests are increasingly prone to large stand-replacing fires; yet, thinning and burning treatments, especially combined with other disturbances such as drought...

  15. Designing propagation environments in forest and native plant nurseries

    Treesearch

    Thomas D. Landis

    2013-01-01

    Propagation environments are areas that have been modified for plant growth, and can be designed using the law of limiting factors. Identifying critical factors that are most limiting to optimal plant growth is helpful when developing both bareroot and container nurseries. Propagation environments can be categorized into minimally-controlled, semi-controlled, and fully...

  16. When are native species inappropriate for conservation planting?

    Treesearch

    Amy C. Ganguli; David M. Engle; Paul M. Mayer; Samuel D. Fuhlendorf

    2008-01-01

    Conservation agencies and organizations are generally reluctant to encourage the use of invasive plant species in conservation programs. Harsh lessons learned in the past have resulted in tougher screening protocols for nonin digenous species introductions and removal of many nonindigenous invaders from planting programs worldwide. Although the focus of screening and...

  17. Foundational literature for moving native plant materials in changing climates

    Treesearch

    Mary I. Williams; Kas Dumroese; Jeremy Pinto; Martin F. Jurgensen

    2015-01-01

    Seed transfer guidelines and zones are used to manage the movement of plant materials, but by the end of the century many landscapes across the globe will have climates that are incompatible with current vegetation. The mismatch in rates between climate change and plant migration and adaptation will pose significant challenges for natural resource managers, especially...

  18. Pollination of a native plant changes with distance and density of invasive plants in a simulated biological invasion.

    PubMed

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2016-08-01

    Effects of an exotic plant on pollination may change as the invasive increases in density. Quantity of pollinator visits to a native may increase, decrease, or change nonlinearly, while visit quality is likely to decrease with greater interspecific pollen movement. How visit quantity and quality contribute to the effect on reproductive success at each invasion stage has not been measured. We simulated four stages of invasion by Brassica nigra by manipulating the neighborhood of potted plants of the native Phacelia parryi in a field experiment. Stages were far from the invasion, near the invasion, intermixed with the invasive at low density, and intermixed at high density. We measured pollinator visitation, conspecific and invasive pollen deposition, and seed set for P. parryi at each stage. Native individuals near invasive plants and within areas of low invasive density showed greatest seed production, as expected from concurrent changes in conspecific and invasive pollen deposition. Those plants experienced facilitation of visits and received more conspecific pollen relative to plants farther from invasives. Native individuals within high invasive density also received frequent visits by many pollinators (although not honeybees), but the larger receipt of invasive pollen predicted interference with pollen tubes that matched patterns in seed set. Pollinator visitation was highest when exotic plants were nearby. Detrimental effects of heterospecific pollen deposition were highest at high exotic density. Our study quantified how reproduction benefits from near proximity to a showy invasive, but is still vulnerable when the invasive reaches high density. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  19. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  20. Non-Native Plant Litter Enhances Soil Carbon Dioxide Emissions in an Invaded Annual Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ling; Wang, Hong; Zou, Jianwen; Rogers, William E.; Siemann, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Litter decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem process in which breakdown and decay of plant detritus releases carbon and nutrients. Invasive exotic plants may produce litter that differs from native plant litter in quality and quantity. Such differences may impact litter decomposition and soil respiration in ways that depend on whether exotic and native plant litters decompose in mixtures. However, few field experiments have examined how exotic plants affect soil respiration via litter decomposition. Here, we conducted an in situ study of litter decomposition of an annual native grass (Eragrostis pilosa), a perennial exotic forb (Alternanthera philoxeroides), and their mixtures in an annual grassland in China to examine potential invasion effects on soil respiration. Alternanthera litter decomposed faster than Eragrostis litter when each was incubated separately. Mass loss in litter mixes was more rapid than predicted from rates in single species bags (only 35% of predicted mass remained at 8 months) showing synergistic effects. Notably, exotic plant litter decomposition rate was unchanged but native plant litter decomposition rate was accelerated in mixtures (decay constant k = 0.20 month−1) compared to in isolation (k = 0.10 month−1). On average, every litter type increased soil respiration compared to bare soil from which litter was removed. However, the increases were larger for mixed litter (1.82 times) than for Alternanthera litter (1.58 times) or Eragrostis litter (1.30 times). Carbon released as CO2 relative to litter carbon input was also higher for mixed litter (3.34) than for Alternathera litter (2.29) or Eragrostis litter (1.19). Our results indicated that exotic Alternanthera produces rapidly decomposing litter which also accelerates the decomposition of native plant litter in litter mixtures and enhances soil respiration rates. Thus, this exotic invasive plant species will likely accelerate carbon cycling and increase soil respiration

  1. Non-native plant litter enhances soil carbon dioxide emissions in an invaded annual grassland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Wang, Hong; Zou, Jianwen; Rogers, William E; Siemann, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Litter decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem process in which breakdown and decay of plant detritus releases carbon and nutrients. Invasive exotic plants may produce litter that differs from native plant litter in quality and quantity. Such differences may impact litter decomposition and soil respiration in ways that depend on whether exotic and native plant litters decompose in mixtures. However, few field experiments have examined how exotic plants affect soil respiration via litter decomposition. Here, we conducted an in situ study of litter decomposition of an annual native grass (Eragrostis pilosa), a perennial exotic forb (Alternanthera philoxeroides), and their mixtures in an annual grassland in China to examine potential invasion effects on soil respiration. Alternanthera litter decomposed faster than Eragrostis litter when each was incubated separately. Mass loss in litter mixes was more rapid than predicted from rates in single species bags (only 35% of predicted mass remained at 8 months) showing synergistic effects. Notably, exotic plant litter decomposition rate was unchanged but native plant litter decomposition rate was accelerated in mixtures (decay constant k = 0.20 month(-1)) compared to in isolation (k = 0.10 month(-1)). On average, every litter type increased soil respiration compared to bare soil from which litter was removed. However, the increases were larger for mixed litter (1.82 times) than for Alternanthera litter (1.58 times) or Eragrostis litter (1.30 times). Carbon released as CO2 relative to litter carbon input was also higher for mixed litter (3.34) than for Alternathera litter (2.29) or Eragrostis litter (1.19). Our results indicated that exotic Alternanthera produces rapidly decomposing litter which also accelerates the decomposition of native plant litter in litter mixtures and enhances soil respiration rates. Thus, this exotic invasive plant species will likely accelerate carbon cycling and increase soil respiration

  2. Evolution under changing climates: climatic niche stasis despite rapid evolution in a non-native plant.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Jake M

    2013-09-22

    A topic of great current interest is the capacity of populations to adapt genetically to rapidly changing climates, for example by evolving the timing of life-history events, but this is challenging to address experimentally. I use a plant invasion as a model system to tackle this question by combining molecular markers, a common garden experiment and climatic niche modelling. This approach reveals that non-native Lactuca serriola originates primarily from Europe, a climatic subset of its native range, with low rates of admixture from Asia. It has rapidly refilled its climatic niche in the new range, associated with the evolution of flowering phenology to produce clines along climate gradients that mirror those across the native range. Consequently, some non-native plants have evolved development times and grow under climates more extreme than those found in Europe, but not among populations from the native range as a whole. This suggests that many plant populations can adapt rapidly to changed climatic conditions that are already within the climatic niche space occupied by the species elsewhere in its range, but that evolution to conditions outside of this range is more difficult. These findings can also help to explain the prevalence of niche conservatism among non-native species.

  3. Evolution under changing climates: climatic niche stasis despite rapid evolution in a non-native plant

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Jake M.

    2013-01-01

    A topic of great current interest is the capacity of populations to adapt genetically to rapidly changing climates, for example by evolving the timing of life-history events, but this is challenging to address experimentally. I use a plant invasion as a model system to tackle this question by combining molecular markers, a common garden experiment and climatic niche modelling. This approach reveals that non-native Lactuca serriola originates primarily from Europe, a climatic subset of its native range, with low rates of admixture from Asia. It has rapidly refilled its climatic niche in the new range, associated with the evolution of flowering phenology to produce clines along climate gradients that mirror those across the native range. Consequently, some non-native plants have evolved development times and grow under climates more extreme than those found in Europe, but not among populations from the native range as a whole. This suggests that many plant populations can adapt rapidly to changed climatic conditions that are already within the climatic niche space occupied by the species elsewhere in its range, but that evolution to conditions outside of this range is more difficult. These findings can also help to explain the prevalence of niche conservatism among non-native species. PMID:23902908

  4. The invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by a native generalist: implications for the biotic resistance hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2013-01-01

    Prior studies on preferences of native herbivores for native or exotic plants have tested both the enemy release hypothesis and the biotic resistance hypothesis and have reported inconsistent results. The different levels of resistance of native and exotic plants to native herbivores could resolve this controversy, but little attention has been paid to this issue. In this study, we investigated population performance, photosynthesis, leaf nitrogen concentration, and the constitutive and induced resistances of the successful invasive plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides, and its native congener, Alternanthera sessilis, in the presence of three population densities of the grasshopper, Atractomorpha sinensis. When the grasshopper was absent, leaf biomass, total biomass, photosynthesis, and leaf nitrogen concentration of A. philoxeroides were higher than those of A. sessilis. However, the morphological and physiological performances of A. philoxeroides were all decreased more intensively than A. sessilis after herbivory by grasshoppers. Especially as the concentrations of constitutive lignin and cellulose in leaf of A. philoxeroides were higher than A. sessilis, A. philoxeroides exhibited increased leaf lignin concentration to reduce its palatability only at severe herbivore load, whereas, leaf lignin, cellulose, and polyphenolic concentrations of A. sessilis all increased with increasing herbivory pressure, and cellulose and polyphenolic concentrations were higher in A. sessilis than in A. philoxeroides after herbivory. Our study indicated that the capability of the invasive plant to respond to native insect damage was lower than the native plant, and the invasive plant was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by the native insect. Our results support the biotic resistance hypothesis and suggest that native herbivores can constrain the abundance and reduce the adverse effects of invasive species.

  5. Allelopathic effect of a native species on a major plant invader in Europe.

    PubMed

    Christina, Mathias; Rouifed, Soraya; Puijalon, Sara; Vallier, Félix; Meiffren, Guillaume; Bellvert, Floriant; Piola, Florence

    2015-04-01

    Biological invasions have become a major global issue in ecosystem conservation. As formalized in the "novel weapon hypothesis", the allelopathic abilities of species are actively involved in invasion success. Here, we assume that allelopathy can also increase the biotic resistance of native species against invasion. We tested this hypothesis by studying the impact of the native species Sambucus ebulus on the colonization of propagules of the invasive species Fallopiaxbohemica and the subsequent development of plants from these. Achenes and rhizome fragments from two natural populations were grown in a greenhouse experiment for 50 days. We used an experimental design that involved "donor" and "target" pots in order to separate resource competition from allelopathy. An allelopathic treatment effect was observed for plant growth but not for propagule establishment. Treatment affected, in particular, the growth of Fallopia plants originating from achenes, but there was less influence on plants originating from rhizomes. By day 50, shoot height had decreased by 27% for plants originating from rhizomes and by 38% for plants originating from achenes. The number of leaves for plants originating from achenes had only decreased by 20%. Leaf and above- and below-ground dry masses decreased with treatment by 40, 41 and 25% for plants originating from rhizomes and 70, 61 and 55% for plants originating from achenes, respectively. S. ebulus extracts were analysed using high-performance chromatography, and the choice of test molecules was narrowed down. Our results suggest native species use allelopathy as a biotic containment mechanism against the naturalization of invasive species.

  6. Native-exotic richness relationships: a biogeographic approach using turnover in island plant populations.

    PubMed

    Burns, K C

    2016-11-01

    Spatial variation in exotic species richness is often correlated with native species richness, for reasons that are poorly understood. To better understand the mechanisms underpinning native-exotic richness relationships, I quantified the colonization and extinction of 18 exotic and 16 native plant species on 39 small islands located off the coast of New Zealand for 8 consecutive yr. Results revealed a positive native-exotic richness relationship, which could be explained by similar demographic responses of native and exotic species to island area. However, native and exotic species showed subtle differences in their response to other island attributes. Turnover in native species declined with island isolation, whereas turnover in exotic species increased with the exposure of islands to ocean-borne disturbances. Overall results illustrate how long-term observations of species turnover can be used to better understand the mechanisms underpinning native-exotic richness relationships, and demonstrate that large, exposed islands can be especially susceptible to invasions by exotic species. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Pattern recognition of native plant communities: Manitou Colorado test site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Driscoll, R. S.

    1972-01-01

    Optimum channel selection among 12 channels of multispectral scanner imagery identified six as providing the best information about 11 vegetation classes and two nonvegetation classes at the Manitou Experimental Forest. Intensive preprocessing of the scanner signals was required to eliminate a serious scan angle effect. Final processing of the normalized data provided acceptable recognition results of generalized plant community types. Serious errors occurred with attempts to classify specific community types within upland grassland areas. The consideration of the convex mixtures concept (effects of amounts of live plant cover, exposed soil, and plant litter cover on apparent scene radiances) significantly improved the classification of some of the grassland classes.

  8. UV Screening in Native and Non-native Plant Species in the Tropical Alpine: Implications for Climate Change-Driven Migration of Species to Higher Elevations.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Paul W; Ryel, Ronald J; Flint, Stephan D

    2017-01-01

    Ongoing changes in Earth's climate are shifting the elevation ranges of many plant species with non-native species often experiencing greater expansion into higher elevations than native species. These climate change-induced shifts in distributions inevitably expose plants to novel biotic and abiotic environments, including altered solar ultraviolet (UV)-B (280-315 nm) radiation regimes. Do the greater migration potentials of non-native species into higher elevations imply that they have more effective UV-protective mechanisms than native species? In this study, we surveyed leaf epidermal UV-A transmittance (TUV A) in a diversity of plant species representing different growth forms to test whether native and non-native species growing above 2800 m elevation on Mauna Kea, Hawaii differed in their UV screening capabilities. We further compared the degree to which TUV A varied along an elevation gradient in the native shrub Vaccinium reticulatum and the introduced forb Verbascum thapsus to evaluate whether these species differed in their abilities to adjust their levels of UV screening in response to elevation changes in UV-B. For plants growing in the Mauna Kea alpine/upper subalpine, we found that adaxial TUV A, measured with a UVA-PAM fluorometer, varied significantly among species but did not differ between native (mean = 6.0%; n = 8) and non-native (mean = 5.8%; n = 11) species. When data were pooled across native and non-native taxa, we also found no significant effect of growth form on TUV A, though woody plants (shrubs and trees) were represented solely by native species whereas herbaceous growth forms (grasses and forbs) were dominated by non-native species. Along an elevation gradient spanning 2600-3800 m, TUV A was variable (mean range = 6.0-11.2%) and strongly correlated with elevation and relative biologically effective UV-B in the exotic V. thapsus; however, TUV A was consistently low (3%) and did not vary with elevation in the native V. reticulatum

  9. UV Screening in Native and Non-native Plant Species in the Tropical Alpine: Implications for Climate Change-Driven Migration of Species to Higher Elevations

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Paul W.; Ryel, Ronald J.; Flint, Stephan D.

    2017-01-01

    Ongoing changes in Earth’s climate are shifting the elevation ranges of many plant species with non-native species often experiencing greater expansion into higher elevations than native species. These climate change-induced shifts in distributions inevitably expose plants to novel biotic and abiotic environments, including altered solar ultraviolet (UV)-B (280–315 nm) radiation regimes. Do the greater migration potentials of non-native species into higher elevations imply that they have more effective UV-protective mechanisms than native species? In this study, we surveyed leaf epidermal UV-A transmittance (TUV A) in a diversity of plant species representing different growth forms to test whether native and non-native species growing above 2800 m elevation on Mauna Kea, Hawaii differed in their UV screening capabilities. We further compared the degree to which TUV A varied along an elevation gradient in the native shrub Vaccinium reticulatum and the introduced forb Verbascum thapsus to evaluate whether these species differed in their abilities to adjust their levels of UV screening in response to elevation changes in UV-B. For plants growing in the Mauna Kea alpine/upper subalpine, we found that adaxial TUV A, measured with a UVA-PAM fluorometer, varied significantly among species but did not differ between native (mean = 6.0%; n = 8) and non-native (mean = 5.8%; n = 11) species. When data were pooled across native and non-native taxa, we also found no significant effect of growth form on TUV A, though woody plants (shrubs and trees) were represented solely by native species whereas herbaceous growth forms (grasses and forbs) were dominated by non-native species. Along an elevation gradient spanning 2600–3800 m, TUV A was variable (mean range = 6.0–11.2%) and strongly correlated with elevation and relative biologically effective UV-B in the exotic V. thapsus; however, TUV A was consistently low (3%) and did not vary with elevation in the native V

  10. Weed-biocontrol insects reduce native-plant recruitment through second-order apparent competition.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Callaway, Ragan M

    2008-09-01

    Small-mammal seed predation is an important force structuring native-plant communities that may also influence exotic-plant invasions. In the intermountain West, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are prominent predators of native-plant seeds, but they avoid consuming seeds of certain widespread invasives like spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa). These mice also consume the biological-control insects Urophora spp. introduced to control C. maculosa, and this food resource substantially increases deer mouse populations. Thus, mice may play an important role in the invasion and management of C. maculosa through food-web interactions. We examined deer mouse seed predation and its effects on seedling emergence and establishment of a dominant native grass, Pseudoroegneria spicata, and forb, Balsamorhiza sagittata, in C. maculosa-invaded grasslands that were treated with herbicide to suppress C. maculosa or left untreated as controls. Deer mice readily took seeds of both native plants but removed 2-20 times more of the larger B. sagittata seeds than the smaller P. spicata seeds. Seed predation reduced emergence and establishment of both species but had greater impacts on B. sagittata. The intensity of seed predation corresponded with annual and seasonal changes in deer mouse abundance, suggesting that abundance largely determined mouse impacts on native-plant seeds. Accordingly, herbicide treatments that reduced mouse abundance by suppressing C. maculosa and its associated biocontrol food subsidies to mice also reduced seed predation and decreased the impact of deer mice on B. sagittata establishment. These results provide evidence that Urophora biocontrol agents may exacerbate the negative effects of C. maculosa on native plants through a form of second-order apparent competition-a biocontrol indirect effect that has not been previously documented. Herbicide suppressed C. maculosa and Urophora, reducing mouse populations and moderating seed predation on native plants

  11. Rhizobacterial Community Structures Associated with Native Plants Grown in Chilean Extreme Environments.

    PubMed

    Jorquera, Milko A; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogram, Andrew V; Navarrete, Oscar U; Lagos, Lorena M; Inostroza, Nitza G; Acuña, Jacquelinne J; Rilling, Joaquín I; de La Luz Mora, María

    2016-10-01

    Chile is topographically and climatically diverse, with a wide array of diverse undisturbed ecosystems that include native plants that are highly adapted to local conditions. However, our understanding of the diversity, activity, and role of rhizobacteria associated with natural vegetation in undisturbed Chilean extreme ecosystems is very poor. In the present study, the combination of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454-pyrosequencing approaches was used to describe the rhizobacterial community structures of native plants grown in three representative Chilean extreme environments: Atacama Desert (ATA), Andes Mountains (AND), and Antarctic (ANT). Both molecular approaches revealed the presence of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria as the dominant phyla in the rhizospheres of native plants. Lower numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed in rhizosphere soils from ATA compared with AND and ANT. Both approaches also showed differences in rhizobacterial community structures between extreme environments and between plant species. The differences among plant species grown in the same environment were attributed to the higher relative abundance of classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. However, further studies are needed to determine which environmental factors regulate the structures of rhizobacterial communities, and how (or if) specific bacterial groups may contribute to the growth and survival of native plants in each Chilean extreme environments.

  12. Native plant diversity resists invasion at both low and high resource levels.

    PubMed

    Maron, John; Marler, Marilyn

    2007-10-01

    Human modification of the environment is causing both loss of species and changes in resource availability. While studies have examined how species loss at the local level can influence invasion resistance, interactions between species loss and other components of environmental change remain poorly studied. In particular, the manner in which native diversity interacts with resource availability to influence invasion resistance is not well understood. We created experimental plant assemblages that varied in native species (1-16 species) and/or functional richness (defined by rooting morphology and phenology; one to five functional groups). We crossed these diversity treatments with resource (water) addition to determine their interactive effects on invasion resistance to spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), a potent exotic invader in the intermountain West of the United States. We also determined how native diversity and resource addition influenced plant-available soil nitrogen, soil moisture, and light. Assemblages with lower species and functional diversity were more heavily invaded than assemblages with greater species and functional diversity. In uninvaded assemblages, experimental addition of water increased soil moisture and plant-available nitrogen and decreased light availability. The availability of these resources generally declined with increasing native plant diversity. Although water addition increased susceptibility to invasion, it did not fundamentally change the negative relationship between diversity and invasibility. Thus, native diversity provided strong invasion resistance even under high resource availability. These results suggest that the effects of local diversity can remain robust despite enhanced resource levels that are predicted under scenarios of global change.

  13. The non-native plant Rosa multiflora expresses shade avoidance traits under low light availability.

    PubMed

    Dlugos, Daniel M; Collins, Hilary; Bartelme, Elise M; Drenovsky, Rebecca E

    2015-08-01

    • Shade tolerance is a key trait promoting invasive plant performance in forest interiors. Rosa multiflora is a problematic invasive shrub in the northeastern United States, occurring in edge habitats and encroaching into forests. Our objective was to evaluate the shade tolerance of R. multiflora to assess how ecophysiological traits may facilitate its spread into forest interiors.• In the field, we documented shrub and seed bank density, fecundity, phenology, and seasonal photosynthetic rates of R. multiflora in contrasting light environments. In the greenhouse, we exposed seedlings to simulated canopy treatments by altering spectral quantity and quality, mimicking habitats ranging from open fields to forest interiors.• In the field, shrub density and fecundity of R. multiflora sharply increased with light availability. However, no differences were observed between forest edge and interior seed banks. Rosa multiflora initiated leaf growth earlier and retained leaves longer than canopy vegetation and tended to have higher photosynthetic rates in spring and fall. In the greenhouse, plants displayed shade-avoidance traits, decreasing relative growth rate and reducing branching, while increasing elongation and showing no change in light response curve parameters.• In deciduous forest understories, R. multiflora appears to make use of a lengthened growing season in spring and fall, and therefore, substantial growth and spread through intact forests appears dependent on canopy gaps. Management should focus on reducing edge populations to reduce spread into the interior and on monitoring newly created canopy gaps. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  14. Impacts of a native parasitic plant on an introduced and a native host species: implications for the control of an invasive weed

    PubMed Central

    Prider, Jane; Watling, Jennifer; Facelli, José M.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims While invasive species may escape from natural enemies in the new range, the establishment of novel biotic interactions with species native to the invaded range can determine their success. Biological control of plant populations can be achieved by manipulation of a species' enemies in the invaded range. Interactions were therefore investigated between a native parasitic plant and an invasive legume in Mediterranean-type woodlands of South Australia. Methods The effects of the native stem parasite, Cassytha pubescens, on the introduced host, Cytisus scoparius, and a co-occurring native host, Leptospermum myrsinoides, were compared. The hypothesis that the parasitic plant would have a greater impact on the introduced host than the native host was tested. In a field study, photosynthesis, growth and survival of hosts and parasite were examined. Key Results As predicted, Cassytha had greater impacts on the introduced host than the native host. Dead Cytisus were associated with dense Cassytha infections but mortality of Leptospermum was not correlated with parasite infection. Cassytha infection reduced the photosynthetic rates of both hosts. Infected Cytisus showed slower recovery of photosystem II efficiency, lower transpiration rates and reduced photosynthetic biomass in comparison with uninfected plants. Parasite photosynthetic rates and growth rates were higher when growing on the introduced host Cytisus, than on Leptospermum. Conclusions Infection by a native parasitic plant had strong negative effects on the physiology and above-ground biomass allocation of an introduced species and was correlated with increased plant mortality. The greater impact of the parasite on the introduced host may be due to either the greater resources that this host provides or increased resistance to infection by the native host. This disparity of effects between introduced host and native host indicates the potential for Cassytha to be exploited as a control tool

  15. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands.

    PubMed

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; DiManno, Nicole; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of "nurse plants" an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability.

  16. 75 FR 69221 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-10

    ... Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on... Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on... and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to...

  17. Equipment and strategies to enhance the post-wildfire establishment and persistence of Great Basin native plants

    Treesearch

    Loren St. John

    2009-01-01

    The objectives of this project are to: examine seeding techniques for Wyoming big sagebrush; test seeding technology for native species, particularly native forbs; compare the ability of a modified rangeland drill and an experimental minimum-till drill to plant native seed species of diverse size and to reduce surface disturbance; apply and examine the use of USGS...

  18. Solidago gigantea plants from nonnative ranges compensate more in response to damage than plants from the native range.

    PubMed

    Liao, Huixuan; Gurgel, Priscila C S; Pal, Robert W; Hooper, David; Callaway, Ragan M

    2016-09-01

    Resistance and tolerance are two ways that plants cope with herbivory. Tolerance, the ability of a plant to regrow or reproduce after being consumed, has been studied less than resistance, but this trait varies widely among species and has considerable potential to affect the ecology of plant species. One particular aspect of tolerance, compensatory responses, can evolve rapidly in plant species; providing insight into interactions between consumers and plants. However, compensation by invasive species has rarely been explored. We compared compensatory responses to the effects of simulated herbivory expressed by plants from seven Solidago gigantea populations from the native North American range to that expressed by plants from nine populations from the nonnative European range. Populations were also collected along elevational gradients to compare ecotypic variation within and between ranges. Solidago plants from the nonnative range of Europe were more tolerant to herbivory than plants from the native range of North America. Furthermore, plants from European populations increased in total biomass and growth rate with elevation, but decreased in compensatory response. There were no relationships between elevation and growth or compensation for North American populations. Our results suggest that Solidago gigantea may have evolved to better compensate for herbivory damage in Europe, perhaps in response to a shift to greater proportion of attack from generalists. Our results also suggest a possible trade-off between rapid growth and compensation to damage in European populations but not in North American populations. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Soil influence on the performance of 26 native herbaceous plants suitable for sustainable Mediterranean landscaping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bretzel, Francesca; Pezzarossa, Beatrice; Benvenuti, Stefano; Bravi, Alessio; Malorgio, Fernando

    2009-09-01

    Native herbaceous plants have the potential for renaturalizing and recovering derelict soils, such as urban or anthropized soils. Ecological restoration following the establishment of a native wildflower meadow should lead to a reduction in management costs and to the preservation of native plant populations. This study was aimed at determining the ecological characteristics and the cultivation needs of 26 herbaceous species native to Italy and southern Europe in order to identify their landscape potential in low-maintenance conditions. The species were selected on the basis of their adaptation to unproductive soils in semi-natural and rural areas, and on their ornamental value, including their ability to attract insects. Mono-specific plots were set up in three different soils. Seed germination, seedling emergence, flowering dynamics, and plant growth were determined. Dormancy-breaking treatments were effective in improving the germination of most species. The percentage of field establishment and biomass appeared to be affected by the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil. Soil texture slightly affected seedling emergence, whereas soil texture and the C and N levels affected plant growth, the number of flowers and the duration of flowering. Dianthus carthusianorum, Verbascum blattaria, Matricaria chamomilla and Hypochoeris radicata developed a higher biomass per plant in the soils with a low nutrient content, indicating their adaptability to infertile soils. Daucus carota, Papaver rhoeas, Verbascum sinuatum, Coleostephus myconis produced a higher biomass per plant in the most fertile soil, where they appeared to show a higher potential when competing with other species. The ecological characteristics shown by the native plants are extremely important in terms of combining seeds of different species to create and to maintain semi-natural herbaceous communities in low-maintenance landscapes.

  20. The role of plant-soil feedbacks in driving native-species recovery.

    PubMed

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; Levine, Jonathan M

    2011-01-01

    The impacts of exotic plants on soil nutrient cycling are often hypothesized to reinforce their dominance, but this mechanism is rarely tested, especially in relation to other ecological factors. In this manuscript we evaluate the influence of biogeochemically mediated plant-soil feedbacks on native shrub recovery in an invaded island ecosystem. The introduction of exotic grasses and grazing to Santa Cruz Island, California, USA, converted native shrublands (dominated by Artemisia californica and Eriogonum arborescens) into exotic-dominated grasslands (dominated by Avena barbata) over a century ago, altering nutrient-cycling regimes. To test the hypothesis that exotic grass impacts on soils alter reestablishment of native plants, we implemented a field-based soil transplant experiment in three years that varied widely in rainfall. Our results showed that growth of Avena and Artemisia seedlings was greater on soils influenced by their heterospecific competitor. Theory suggests that the resulting plant-soil feedback should facilitate the recovery of Artemisia in grasslands, although four years of monitoring showed no such recovery, despite ample seed rain. By contrast, we found that species effects on soils lead to weak to negligible feedbacks for Eriogonum arborescens, yet this shrub readily colonized the grasslands. Thus, plant-soil feedbacks quantified under natural climate and competitive conditions did not match native-plant recovery patterns. We also found that feedbacks changed with climate and competition regimes, and that these latter factors generally had stronger effects on seedling growth than species effects on soils. We conclude that even when plant-soil feedbacks influence the balance between native and exotic species, their influence may be small relative to other ecological processes.

  1. No consistent pollinator-mediated impacts of alien plants on natives.

    PubMed

    Charlebois, Julia A; Sargent, Risa D

    2017-09-12

    The introduction of an alien plant is widely assumed to have negative consequences for the pollinator-mediated fitness of nearby natives. Indeed, a number of studies, including a highly cited meta-analysis, have concluded that the trend for such interactions is competitive. Here we provide evidence that publication bias and study design have obscured our ability to assess the pollinator-mediated impacts of alien plants. In a meta-analysis of 76 studies, we demonstrate that alien/native status does not predict the outcome of pollinator-mediated interactions among plants. Moreover, we found no evidence that similarity in floral traits or phylogenetic distance between species pairs influences the outcome of pollinator-mediated interactions. Instead, we report that aspects of study design, such as distance between the control and nearest neighbour, and/or the arrangement of study plants better predict the impact of a neighbour than does alien/native status. Our study sheds new light on the role that publication bias and experimental design play in the evaluation of key patterns in ecology. We conclude that, due to the absence of clear, generalisable pollinator-mediated impacts of alien species, management schemes should base decisions on community-wide assessments of the impacts of individual alien plant species, and not solely on alien/native status itself. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Setting Priorities for Monitoring and Managing Non-native Plants: Toward a Practical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Christiane; Jeschke, Jonathan M.; Overbeck, Gerhard E.; Kollmann, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Land managers face the challenge to set priorities in monitoring and managing non-native plant species, as resources are limited and not all non-natives become invasive. Existing frameworks that have been proposed to rank non-native species require extensive information on their distribution, abundance, and impact. This information is difficult to obtain and often not available for many species and regions. National watch or priority lists are helpful, but it is questionable whether they provide sufficient information for environmental management on a regional scale. We therefore propose a decision tree that ranks species based on more simple albeit robust information, but still provides reliable management recommendations. To test the decision tree, we collected and evaluated distribution data from non-native plants in highland grasslands of Southern Brazil. We compared the results with a national list from the Brazilian Invasive Species Database for the state to discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches on a regional scale. Out of 38 non-native species found, only four were also present on the national list. If management would solely rely on this list, many species that were identified as spreading based on the decision tree would go unnoticed. With the suggested scheme, it is possible to assign species to active management, to monitoring, or further evaluation. While national lists are certainly important, management on a regional scale should employ additional tools that adequately consider the actual risk of non-natives to become invasive.

  3. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Conservation agencies and organizations are generally reluctant to encourage the use of invasive plant species in conservation programs. Harsh lessons learned in the past have resulted in tougher screening protocols for non-indigenous species introductions and removal of many no...

  4. Native American Uses of Plants and Animals of Illinois.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield.

    Intended for teachers of elementary and secondary social studies, science, home economics, and health, the source book focuses on the history of American Indians in Illinois and their plant and animal food sources. Section I presents general information, states learning objectives, and includes a map of Indian tribes in the United States at the…

  5. INCREASING NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY IN CRESTED WHEATGRASS STANDS

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Crested wheatgrass was introduced to North America to improve degraded rangelands and has proven to be a successful revegetation species due to its ease of establishment, strong competitive ability, and grazing tolerance. However, crested wheatgrass may form monotypic stands with low plant diversit...

  6. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Conservation agencies and organizations are generally reluctant to encourage the use of invasive plant species in conservation programs. Harsh lessons learned in the past have resulted in tougher screening protocols for non-indigenous species introductions and removal of many no...

  7. Cheatgrass - native plant community interactions in an invaded southwestern forest

    Treesearch

    Christopher M. McGlone

    2010-01-01

    Invasions by nonnative plant species such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) are a major concern in many ecosystems worldwide. When invasive nonnative species dominate a new ecosystem, they can alter biodiversity, species composition, nutrient cycles, disturbance regimes, and other ecosystem functions and processes. In 2003, cheatgrass rapidly spread through the Mt....

  8. Effects of Understory Burning in a Mesic Mixed-Oak Forest of the Southern Appalachians

    Treesearch

    Katherine J. Elliott; James M. Vose; Barton D. Clinton; Jennifer D. Knoepp

    2004-01-01

    Information is lacking on ecosystem effects of understory burning in mesic mixed-oak (Quercus spp.) forests of the southern Appalachians. Native Americans used periodic fires in these forests for driving game and opening the forest. In April 1998, we conducted a low- to moderate-intensity fire in a cove­hardwood forest in the Nantahala National...

  9. Understory cover responses to pinon-juniper treatments across tree dominance gradients in the Great Basin

    Treesearch

    Bruce A. Roundy; Richard F. Miller; Robin J. Tausch; Kert Young; April Hulet; Ben Rau; Brad Jessop; Jeanne C. Chambers; Dennis Eggett

    2014-01-01

    Pinon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) trees are reduced to restore native vegetation and avoid severe fires where they have expanded into sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) communities. However, what phase of tree infilling should treatments target to retain desirable understory cover and avoid weed dominance? Prescribed fire and tree felling were applied...

  10. Invasion of a dominant floral resource: effects on the floral community and pollination of native plants.

    PubMed

    Goodell, Karen; Parker, Ingrid M

    2017-01-01

    Through competition for pollinators, invasive plants may suppress native flora. Community-level studies provide an integrative assessment of invasion impacts and insights into factors that influence the vulnerability of different native species. We investigated effects of the nonnative herb Lythrum salicaria on pollination of native species in 14 fens of the eastern United States. We compared visitors per flower for 122 native plant species in invaded and uninvaded fens and incorporated a landscape-scale experiment, removing L. salicaria flowers from three of the invaded fens. Total flower densities were more than three times higher in invaded than uninvaded or removal sites when L. salicaria was blooming. Despite an increase in number of visitors with number of flowers per area, visitors per native flower declined with increasing numbers of flowers. Therefore, L. salicaria invasion depressed visitation to native flowers. In removal sites, visitation to native flowers was similar to uninvaded sites, confirming the observational results and also suggesting that invasion had not generated a persistent build-up of visitor populations. To study species-level impacts, we examined effects of invasion on visitors per flower for the 36 plant species flowering in both invaded and uninvaded fens. On average, the effect of invasion represented about a 20% reduction in visits per flower. We measured the influence of plant traits on vulnerability to L. salicaria invasion using meta-analysis. Bilaterally symmetrical flowers experienced stronger impacts on visitation, and similarity in flower color to L. salicaria weakly intensified competition with the invader for visitors. Finally, we assessed the reproductive consequences of competition with the invader in a dominant flowering shrub, Dasiphora fruticosa. Despite the negative effect of invasion on pollinator visitation in this species, pollen limitation of seed production was not stronger in invaded than in uninvaded

  11. Long-term effects of post-harvest stump removal and N-fertilization on understory vegetation in Western USA forests

    Treesearch

    Thomas N. Kaye; Matt Blakely-Smith; Walter G. Thies

    2008-01-01

    Intensive forest management practices often disturb understory vegetation. and the recovery of these plant communities may depend on the type and severity of the disturbance. We examined the effects of stump removal and N-fertilization on understory plant communities and functional group (shrubs, graminoids, forbs, and introduced species) cover and diversity at five...

  12. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping.

    PubMed

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T

    2015-09-08

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant's native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium-Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems.

  13. [Allelopathic interactions between invasive plant Solidago canadensis and native plant Phragmites australis].

    PubMed

    Li, Yu-Zhe; Fan, Jiang-Wen; Yin, Xin; Yang, En-Yi; Wei, Wei; Tian, Zhi-Hui; Da, Liang-Jun

    2011-05-01

    Taking the seeds of invasive plant Solidago canadensis and native plant Phragmites australis from their mono- and co-dominant communities as allelopathic acceptors, this paper analyzed the differences in the seed germination rate and sprout length after treated with five level (12.5, 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg x mL(-1)) S. canadensis and P. australis extracts, aimed to understand the allelopathic interactions between the two species. The 1000-grain weight and seed germination rate under distilled water treatment of the two species in co-dominated community were greater than those in mono-dominant community. Low level (12.5 and 25 mg x mL(-1)) S. canadensi extracts slightly promoted the seed germination rates of S. canadensis in both mono- and co-dominant communities, but high level (50, 100, and 200 mg x mL(-1)) S. canadensi extracts had strong inhibition effect, especially for the S. canadensis in co-dominated community. No significant patterns were observed about the effects of P. australis extract on S. canadensis seed germination. The sprout length of S. canadensis seeds in both mono- and co-dominant communities decreased with increasing level of S. canadensis extract, but decreased in a fluctuation way with increasing level of P. australis extract. After treated with the extracts of P. australis or S. canadensis, the seed germination rate of P. australis in mono-dominant community was significantly greater than that in co-dominant community (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference between these two extracts.

  14. Invasiveness of plants is predicted by size and fecundity in the native range

    PubMed Central

    Jelbert, Kim; Stott, Iain; McDonald, Robbie A; Hodgson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    An important goal for invasive species research is to find key traits of species that predispose them to being invasive outside their native range. Comparative studies have revealed phenotypic and demographic traits that correlate with invasiveness among plants. However, all but a few previous studies have been performed in the invaded range, an approach which potentially conflates predictors of invasiveness with changes that happen during the invasion process itself. Here, we focus on wild plants in their native range to compare life-history traits of species known to be invasive elsewhere, with their exported but noninvasive relatives. Specifically, we test four hypotheses: that invasive plant species (1) are larger; (2) are more fecund; (3) exhibit higher fecundity for a given size; and (4) attempt to make seed more frequently, than their noninvasive relatives in the native range. We control for the effects of environment and phylogeny using sympatric congeneric or confamilial pairs in the native range. We find that invasive species are larger than noninvasive relatives. Greater size yields greater fecundity, but we also find that invasives are more fecund per-unit-size. Synthesis: We provide the first multispecies, taxonomically controlled comparison of size, and fecundity of invasive versus noninvasive plants in their native range. We find that invasive species are bigger, and produce more seeds, even when we account for their differences in size. Our findings demonstrate that invasive plant species are likely to be invasive as a result of both greater size and constitutively higher fecundity. This suggests that size and fecundity, relative to related species, could be used to predict which plants should be quarantined. PMID:26045946

  15. Connecting differential responses of native and invasive riparian plants to climate change and environmental alteration.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Neal E; Richardson, Curtis J; Ho, Mengchi

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to impact river systems in the southeastern United States through alterations of temperature, patterns of precipitation and hydrology. Future climate scenarios for the southeastern United States predict (1) surface water temperatures will warm in concert with air temperature, (2) storm flows will increase and base flows will decrease, and (3) the annual pattern of synchronization between hydroperiod and water temperature will be altered. These alterations are expected to disturb floodplain plant communities, making them more vulnerable to establishment of invasive species. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate whether native and invasive riparian plant assemblages respond differently to alterations of climate and land use. To study the response of riparian wetlands to watershed and climate alterations, we utilized an existing natural experiment imbedded in gradients of temperature and hydrology-found among dammed and undammed rivers. We evaluated a suite of environmental variables related to water temperature, hydrology, watershed disturbance, and edaphic conditions to identify the strongest predictors of native and invasive species abundances. We found that native species abundance is strongly influenced by climate-driven variables such as temperature and hydrology, while invasive species abundance is more strongly influenced by site-specific factors such as land use and soil nutrient availability. The patterns of synchronization between plant phenology, annual hydrographs, and annual water temperature cycles may be key factors sustaining the viability of native riparian plant communities. Our results demonstrate the need to understand the interactions between climate, land use, and nutrient management in maintaining the species diversity of riparian plant communities. Future climate change is likely to result in diminished competitiveness of native plant species, while the competitiveness of invasive species will increase

  16. The nature of spectral signatures in native arid plant communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conn, J. S.; Foster, K. E.; Mcginnies, W. G.

    1976-01-01

    Radiometric data in ERTS bands 5 and 7 of spectral signature components were compared to the overall signatures obtained from an airborne radiometric data collection system flown at low altitude. Results indicate that due to the low density and low vigor of the vegetation, vegetation has little effect on the overall signature, thus making differentiation of desert plant communities on the basis of spectral signature extremely difficult.

  17. A native plant competitor mediates the impact of above- and belowground damage on an invasive tree.

    PubMed

    Carrillo, Juli; Siemann, Evan

    2016-10-01

    Plant competition may mediate the impacts of herbivory on invasive plant species through effects on plant growth and defense. This may predictably depend on whether herbivory occurs above or below ground and on relative plant competitive ability. We simulated the potential impact of above- or belowground damage by biocontrol agents on the growth of a woody invader (Chinese tallow tree, Triadica sebifera) through artificial herbivory, with or without competition with a native grass, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). We measured two defense responses of Triadica through quantifying constitutive and induced extrafloral nectar production and tolerance of above- and belowground damage (root and shoot biomass regrowth). We examined genetic variation in plant growth and defense across native (China) and invasive (United States) Triadica populations. Without competition, aboveground damage had a greater impact than belowground damage on Triadica performance, whereas with competition and above- and belowground damage impacted Triadica similarly. Whole plant tolerance to damage below ground was negatively associated with tolerance to grass competitors indicating tradeoffs in the ability to tolerate herbivory vs. compete. Competition reduced investment in defensive extrafloral nectar (EFN) production. Aboveground damage inhibited rather than induced EFN production while belowground plant damage did not impact aboveground nectar production. We found some support for the evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis for invasive plants as United States plants were larger than native China plants and were more plastic in their response to biotic stressors than China plants (they altered their root to shoot ratios dependent on herbivory and competition treatments). Our results indicate that habitat type and the presence of competitors may be a larger determinant of herbivory impact than feeding mode and suggest that integrated pest management strategies including

  18. Predicting patterns of non-native plant invasions in Yosemite National Park, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Underwood, E.C.; Klinger, R.; Moore, P.E.

    2004-01-01

    One of the major issues confronting management of parks and reserves is the invasion of non-native plant species. Yosemite National Park is one of the largest and best-known parks in the United States, harbouring significant cultural and ecological resources. Effective management of non-natives would be greatly assisted by information on their potential distribution that can be generated by predictive modelling techniques. Our goal was to identify key environmental factors that were correlated with the percent cover of non-native species and then develop a predictive model using the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Production technique. We performed a series of analyses using community-level data on species composition in 236 plots located throughout the park. A total of 41 non-native species were recorded which occurred in 23.7% of the plots. Plots with non-natives occurred most frequently at low- to mid-elevations, in flat areas with other herbaceous species. Based on the community-level results, we selected elevation, slope, and vegetation structure as inputs into the GARP model to predict the environmental niche of non-native species. Verification of results was performed using plot data reserved from the model, which calculated the correct prediction of non-native species occurrence as 76%. The majority of the western, lower-elevation portion of the park was predicted to have relatively low levels of non-native species occurrence, with highest concentrations predicted at the west and south entrances and in the Yosemite Valley. Distribution maps of predicted occurrences will be used by management to: efficiently target monitoring of non-native species, prioritize control efforts according to the likelihood of non-native occurrences, and inform decisions relating to the management of non-native species in postfire environments. Our approach provides a valuable tool for assisting decision makers to better manage non-native species, which can be readily adapted to

  19. The extent of selected non-native invasive plants on Missouri forestland

    Treesearch

    W. Keith Moser; Mark H. Hansen; Mark D. Nelson

    2008-01-01

    The Northern Research Station's Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (NRSFIA) collects forest-related data throughout a 24-state region in the northeastern United States, ranging from North Dakota to Maine and Kansas to Maryland. Based on discussions with stakeholders and others, NRS-FIA found that the impact of non-native invasive plants (NNIPs) may be known at...

  20. Native aquatic plants and ecological condition of southwestern wetlands and riparian areas

    Treesearch

    Alvin L. Medina

    1996-01-01

    The determination of the ecological condition of wetland and riparian habitats has been the focus of research by many scientists, because of the importance to understand the processes and related functions of these systems. Research on montane wetland and riparian systems has shown the relative importance of native aquatic plants in maintaining these systems in a...

  1. Susceptibility of some native plant species from Hawaii to Phytophthora ramorum

    Treesearch

    Paul Reeser; Everett Hansen; Wendy Sutton; Jennifer Davidson; Jennifer Parke

    2008-01-01

    The remaining native flora of Hawaii are under continuing pressure from habitat loss and exotic, invasive organisms, including animals, plants, and pathogens. In order to assess the risk to P. ramorum, we inoculated seedlings of Metrosideros polymorpha (ohia), Vaccinium calycinum (ohelo), Acacia koa...

  2. Native plant development and restoration program for the Great Basin, USA

    Treesearch

    N. L. Shaw; M. Pellant; P. Olweli; S. L. Jensen; E. D. McArthur

    2008-01-01

    The Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project, organized by the USDA Bureau of Land Management, Great Basin Restoration Initiative and the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station in 2000 as a multi-agency collaborative program (http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/boise/research/shrub/greatbasin.shtml), has the objective of improving the availability of...

  3. A strategy for maximizing native plant material diversity for ecological restoration, germplasm conservation and genecology research

    Treesearch

    Berta Youtie; Nancy Shaw; Matt Fisk; Scott Jensen

    2012-01-01

    One of the most important steps in planning a restoration project is careful selection of ecologically adapted native plant material. As species-specific seed zone maps are not available for most species in the Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Wyoming big sagebrush) ecoregion in the Great Basin, USA, we are employing a provisional seed zone map based on annual...

  4. Properties of native plant communities do not determine exotic success during early forest succession

    Treesearch

    Aldo Compagnoni; Charles B. Halpern

    2009-01-01

    Considerable research has been devoted to understanding how plant invasions are influenced by properties of the native community and to the traits of exotic species that contribute to successful invasion. Studies of invasibility are common in successionally stable grasslands, but rare in recently disturbed or seral forests. We used 16 years of species richness and...

  5. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  6. Herbivores and edaphic factors constrain the realized niche of a native plant

    Treesearch

    J.A. Lau; A McCall; K Davies; J McKay; J Wright

    2008-01-01

    Biotic interactions, such as competition and herbivory, can limit plant species ranges to a subset of edaphically suitable habitats, termed the realized niche. Here we explored the role that herbivores play in restricting the niche of serpentine ecotypes of the native California annual Collinsia sparsiflora...

  7. The influence of ungulates on non-native plant invasions in forests and rangelands: a review.

    Treesearch

    Catherine G. Parks; Michael J. Wisdom; John G. Kie

    2005-01-01

    Herbivory by wild and domestic ungulates can strongly influence vegetation composition and productivity in forest and range ecosystems. However, the role of ungulates as contributors to the establishment and spread of non-native invasive plants is not well known. Ungulates spread seeds through endozoochory (passing through an animal's digestive tract) or...

  8. Restoration of native plant communities infested by invasive weeds -- Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area

    Treesearch

    Peter Rice

    2000-01-01

    Invasive alien weeds established themselves on the Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area, harming elk feeding grounds and threatening the integrity of the native plant community. Management enacted herbicide control over several growing seasons, resulting in greater elk winter forage on study plots. Monitoring the long-term effects of herbicide as a restoration tool...

  9. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion

    Treesearch

    B. M. Connolly; D. E. Pearson; R. N. Mack

    2014-01-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food...

  10. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Functional differences between native and exotic species are often presumed to be one factor responsible for plant invasion. Accordingly, invasion occurs when a niche is vacated and an exotic species enters the community that is able to exploit available resources. Differences in trait values betw...

  11. A Role for Assisted Evolution in Designing Native Plant Materials for Domesticated Landscapes

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Developers of native plant materials for wildland restoration may operate under either the evolutionary paradigm, which seeks to emulate natural genetic patterns, also referred to as genetic identity, or the resource paradigm, which emphasizes empirical performance. We contend that both paradigms a...

  12. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  13. Invasive plant integration into native plant–pollinator networks across Europe

    PubMed Central

    Vilà, Montserrat; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Dietzsch, Anke C.; Petanidou, Theodora; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C.; Tscheulin, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The structure of plant–pollinator networks has been claimed to be resilient to changes in species composition due to the weak degree of dependence among mutualistic partners. However, detailed empirical investigations of the consequences of introducing an alien plant species into mutualistic networks are lacking. We present the first cross-European analysis by using a standardized protocol to assess the degree to which a particular alien plant species (i.e. Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis, Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia stricta, Rhododendron ponticum and Solanum elaeagnifolium) becomes integrated into existing native plant–pollinator networks, and how this translates to changes in network structure. Alien species were visited by almost half of the pollinator species present, accounting on average for 42 per cent of the visits and 24 per cent of the network interactions. Furthermore, in general, pollinators depended upon alien plants more than on native plants. However, despite the fact that invaded communities received more visits than uninvaded communities, the dominant role of alien species over natives did not translate into overall changes in network connectance, plant linkage level and nestedness. Our results imply that although supergeneralist alien plants can play a central role in the networks, the structure of the networks appears to be very permeable and robust to the introduction of invasive alien species into the network. PMID:19692403

  14. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    PubMed

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  15. Chemical defenses (glucosinolates) of native and invasive populations of the range expanding invasive plant Rorippa austriaca.

    PubMed

    Huberty, Martine; Tielbörger, Katja; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Müller, Caroline; Macel, Mirka

    2014-04-01

    Due to global warming, species are expanding their range to higher latitudes. Some range expanding plants have become invasive in their new range. The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis and the Shifting Defense Hypothesis (SDH) predict altered selection on plant defenses in the introduced range of invasive plants due to changes in herbivore pressures and communities. Here, we investigated chemical defenses (glucosinolates) of five native and seven invasive populations of the Eurasian invasive range expanding plant, Rorippa austriaca. Further, we studied feeding preferences of a generalist and a specialist herbivore among the populations. We detected eight glucosinolates in the leaves of R. austriaca. 8-Methylsulfinyloctyl glucosinolate was the most abundant glucosinolate in all plants. There were no overall differences between native and invasive plants in concentrations of glucosinolates. However, concentrations among populations within each range differed significantly. Feeding preference between the populations by a generalist herbivore was negatively correlated with glucosinolate concentrations. Feeding by a specialist did not differ between the populations and was not correlated with glucosinolates. Possibly, local differences in herbivore communities within each range may explain the differences in concentrations of glucosinolates among populations. Little support for the predictions of the EICA hypothesis or the SDH was found for the glucosinolate defenses of the studied native and invasive R. austriaca populations.

  16. Understory and small trees contribute importantly to stemflow of a lower montane cloud forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Martínez, T. M.; Wiliams-Linera, G.; Holwerda, F.

    2016-12-01

    Stemflow (Sf) measurements in rainforests and montane forests dominated by large trees rarely include the understory and small trees. In the present study, contributions of woody understory (> 1 m height and < 5 cm DBH), small trees (5 < DBH < 10 cm) and upper canopy trees (> 10 cm DBH) to overall Sf of a lower montane cloud forest in central Veracruz, Mexico, were quantified. Incident precipitation (P), Sf volume and vegetation structure were measured. Subsequently, stemflow funneling ratios (SFR) were calculated, and allometric relationships between tree basal area and Sf volume were used to scale up measurements from individual trees to the stand level. Additionally, two other common methods to calculate areal Sf were used for comparative purposes. Understory woody plants, small trees and upper canopy trees represented 96, 2 and 2 %, respectively, of the total density. Upper canopy trees had the lowest SFRs (1.6 ± 0.5 on average), while the lower understory (> 1 m and < 2 m height) had the highest (36.1 ± 6.4). Small trees and upper understory (> 2 m) presented similar SFRs (22.9 ± 5.4 and 20.2 ± 3.9, respectively). Different scaling methods yielded very similar results for all but the upper understory. Overall areal Sf during the study period was 19 mm (3.8 % of rainfall), to which the understory contributed 66.3 % (12.6 mm), small trees 12.6 % (2.4 mm) and upper canopy trees 21.1 % (4.0 mm). Our results suggest that woody understory vegetation and small trees can have an important role in Sf generation of tall humid tropical forests, provided that the density of plants in these groups is high enough.

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

    Treesearch

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. The 'Ahakhav Native Plant Nursery on the Colorado River Indian Reservation: Growing trees and shrubs for southwest restoration

    Treesearch

    Jennifer Kleffner

    2002-01-01

    The Colorado River Indian Reservation is located in southwestern Arizona on the California/Arizona border. On the reservation is the 'Ahakhav Tribal Preserve, located on the banks of the Lower Colorado River. On the preserve is the 'Ahakhav Native Plant Nursery, specializing in plants used for southwest riparian restoration. The nursery primarily grows native...

  19. Herbivore Preference for Native vs. Exotic Plants: Generalist Herbivores from Multiple Continents Prefer Exotic Plants That Are Evolutionarily Naïve

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Wendy E.; Hay, Mark E.

    2011-01-01

    Enemy release and biotic resistance are competing, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses addressing the success or failure of non-native plants entering a new region. Enemy release predicts that exotic plants become invasive by escaping their co-adapted herbivores and by being unrecognized or unpalatable to native herbivores that have not been selected to consume them. In contrast, biotic resistance predicts that native generalist herbivores will suppress exotic plants that will not have been selected to deter these herbivores. We tested these hypotheses using five generalist herbivores from North or South America and nine confamilial pairs of native and exotic aquatic plants. Four of five herbivores showed 2.4–17.3 fold preferences for exotic over native plants. Three species of South American apple snails (Pomacea sp.) preferred North American over South American macrophytes, while a North American crayfish Procambarus spiculifer preferred South American, Asian, and Australian macrophytes over North American relatives. Apple snails have their center of diversity in South America, but a single species (Pomacea paludosa) occurs in North America. This species, with a South American lineage but a North American distribution, did not differentiate between South American and North American plants. Its preferences correlated with preferences of its South American relatives rather than with preferences of the North American crayfish, consistent with evolutionary inertia due to its South American lineage. Tests of plant traits indicated that the crayfish responded primarily to plant structure, the apple snails primarily to plant chemistry, and that plant protein concentration played no detectable role. Generalist herbivores preferred non-native plants, suggesting that intact guilds of native, generalist herbivores may provide biotic resistance to plant invasions. Past invasions may have been facilitated by removal of native herbivores, introduction of non-native

  20. Herbivore preference for native vs. exotic plants: generalist herbivores from multiple continents prefer exotic plants that are evolutionarily naïve.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Wendy E; Hay, Mark E

    2011-03-04

    Enemy release and biotic resistance are competing, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses addressing the success or failure of non-native plants entering a new region. Enemy release predicts that exotic plants become invasive by escaping their co-adapted herbivores and by being unrecognized or unpalatable to native herbivores that have not been selected to consume them. In contrast, biotic resistance predicts that native generalist herbivores will suppress exotic plants that will not have been selected to deter these herbivores. We tested these hypotheses using five generalist herbivores from North or South America and nine confamilial pairs of native and exotic aquatic plants. Four of five herbivores showed 2.4-17.3 fold preferences for exotic over native plants. Three species of South American apple snails (Pomacea sp.) preferred North American over South American macrophytes, while a North American crayfish Procambarus spiculifer preferred South American, Asian, and Australian macrophytes over North American relatives. Apple snails have their center of diversity in South America, but a single species (Pomacea paludosa) occurs in North America. This species, with a South American lineage but a North American distribution, did not differentiate between South American and North American plants. Its preferences correlated with preferences of its South American relatives rather than with preferences of the North American crayfish, consistent with evolutionary inertia due to its South American lineage. Tests of plant traits indicated that the crayfish responded primarily to plant structure, the apple snails primarily to plant chemistry, and that plant protein concentration played no detectable role. Generalist herbivores preferred non-native plants, suggesting that intact guilds of native, generalist herbivores may provide biotic resistance to plant invasions. Past invasions may have been facilitated by removal of native herbivores, introduction of non-native

  1. The Hanford Reservation: A refuge for native plants and animals

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, R.H.; Rickard, W.H.

    1991-04-01

    The US Department of Energy's Hanford Site provides a refuge for plant and animal populations that have been either eradicated or greatly reduced on, surrounding farm lands. The Columbia River, both upstream and downstream of the Site, and much of the adjacent areas have experienced severe alterations during the past 5 decades, mostly from the construction and operation of a series of hydroelectric dams, increased agricultural activities, and the diversion and use of river water for irrigation. The Hanford Reach of the Columbia River provides nesting areas for waterfowl and other birds. The Hanford Reach serves as a migration route for salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.) and steelhead trout (Salmo gairdneri, now reclassified as O. mykiss). In addition, chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) and steelhead trout spawn in the Hanford Reach. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) congregate along the Hanford Reach in the fall and winter to feed on the spawned-out carcasses of salmon and waterfowl. Nesting Canada goose (Branta canadensis), great blue heron (Ardea herodias), various plants and other animals, e.g., elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and coyotes (Canis latrans) are common. 65 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Antibacterial activity of essential oils from Australian native plants.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Jenny M; Cavanagh, Heather M A

    2005-07-01

    To date, of the Australian essential oils, only tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Eucalyptus spp. have undergone extensive investigation. In this study a range of Australian essential oils, including those from Anethole anisata, Callistris glaucophyllia, Melaleuca spp. and Thyptomine calycina, were assayed for in vitro antibacterial activity. M. alternifolia was also included for comparison purposes. Activity was determined using standard disc diffusion assays with each oil assayed at 100%, 10% and 1% against five bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Alcaligenes faecalis) and the yeast, Candida albicans. All bacteria, with the exception of Ps. aeruginosa, were susceptible to one or more of the essential oils at 100%, with only Eremophilia mitchelli inhibiting the growth of any bacteria at 1% (inhibition of Sal. typhimurium). Where multiple samples of a single oil variety were tested variability in activity profiles were noted. This suggests that different methods of preparation of essential oils, together with variability in plant chemical profiles has an impact on whether or not the essential oil is of use as an antimicrobial agent. These results show that essential oils from Australian plants may be valuable antimicrobial agents for use alone or incorporated into cosmetics, cleaning agents and pharmaceutical products.

  3. Competitive interactions between native and invasive exotic plant species are altered under elevated carbon dioxide.

    PubMed

    Manea, Anthony; Leishman, Michelle R

    2011-03-01

    We hypothesized that the greater competitive ability of invasive exotic plants relative to native plants would increase under elevated CO(2) because they typically have traits that confer the ability for fast growth when resources are not limiting and thus are likely to be more responsive to elevated CO(2). A series of competition experiments under ambient and elevated CO(2) glasshouse conditions were conducted to determine an index of relative competition intensity for 14 native-invasive exotic species-pairs. Traits including specific leaf area, leaf mass ratio, leaf area ratio, relative growth rate, net assimilation rate and root weight ratio were measured. Competitive rankings within species-pairs were not affected by CO(2) concentration: invasive exotic species were more competitive in 9 of the 14 species-pairs and native species were more competitive in the remaining 5 species-pairs, regardless of CO(2) concentration. However, there was a significant interaction between plant type and CO(2) treatment due to reduced competitive response of native species under elevated compared with ambient CO(2) conditions. Native species had significantly lower specific leaf area and leaf area ratio under elevated compared with ambient CO(2). We also compared traits of more-competitive with less-competitive species, regardless of plant type, under both CO(2) treatments. More-competitive species had smaller leaf weight ratio and leaf area ratio, and larger relative growth rate and net assimilation rate under both ambient and elevated CO(2) conditions. These results suggest that growth and allocation traits can be useful predictors of the outcome of competitive interactions under both ambient and elevated CO(2) conditions. Under predicted future atmospheric CO(2) conditions, competitive rankings among species may not change substantially, but the relative success of invasive exotic species may be increased. Thus, under future atmospheric CO(2) conditions, the ecological and

  4. Songbird abundance in native and planted grassland varies with type and amount of grassland in the surrounding landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, Stephen K.; Fisher, Ryan; Skinner, Susan; Shaffer, Terry L.; Brigham, R. Mark

    2013-01-01

    Agriculture and wildlife conservation programs have converted vast amounts of cropland into grasslands planted with exotic species. Understanding how landscape context influences avian use of native and planted grasslands is essential for developing effective conservation strategies in agricultural landscapes. Our primary objective was to determine the extent to which the amount and type of grassland in the surrounding landscape influences the abundance of grassland songbird species on native and planted grassland parcels in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Bird abundance was more strongly influenced by the amount and type of grassland within 400 m of breeding parcels than at larger spatial scales. Grassland specialists responded similarly to habitat and landscape type over both years and provinces. Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) and Baird's sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) were most common in native grassland parcels surrounded by native grassland and were more likely to occur in planted grasslands surrounded by native grassland. Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) were most common in planted grassland parcels, but their abundance increased with the amount of native grassland surrounding these parcels. Our findings indicate that the suitability of planted grasslands for these species is influenced by their proximity to native grassland. Grassland generalists showed mixed responses to habitat and landscape type over the 2 years (Le Conte's sparrow [Ammodramus leconteii]) and between provinces (Savannah sparrow [Passerculus sandwichensis] and western meadowlark [Sturnella neglecta]). Management to benefit grassland specialists should therefore consider the landscape context when seeding cultivated land to non-native grassland and conserve extant native grassland.

  5. Growth form and distribution of introduced plants in their native and non-native ranges in Eastern Asia and North America

    Treesearch

    Robert E. Ricklefs; Qinfeng Guo; Hong Qian

    2008-01-01

    There is a growing interest in understanding the influence of plant traits on their ability to spread in non-native regions. Many studies addressing this issue have been based on relatively small areas or restricted taxonomic groups. Here, we analyse a large data base involving 1567 plant species introduced between Eastern Asia and North America or from elsewhere to...

  6. Combined effects of arbuscular mycorrhizas and light on water uptake of the neotropical understory shrubs, Piper and Psychotria

    Treesearch

    Damond A. Kyllo; Virginia Velez; Melvin T. Tyree

    2003-01-01

    Root hydraulic conductance (Kr) was measured for five understory shrub species of the neotropical moist forest to determine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) for both carbon-rich and carbon-limited host plants.

  7. Native plant recovery in study plots after fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) control on Santa Cruz Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Power, Paula; Stanley, Thomas R.; Cowan, Clark; Robertson, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the California Channel Islands and supports a diverse and unique flora which includes 9 federally listed species. Sheep, cattle, and pigs, introduced to the island in the mid-1800s, disturbed the soil, browsed native vegetation, and facilitated the spread of exotic invasive plants. Recent removal of introduced herbivores on the island led to the release of invasive fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), which expanded to become the dominant vegetation in some areas and has impeded the recovery of some native plant communities. In 2007, Channel Islands National Park initiated a program to control fennel using triclopyr on the eastern 10% of the island. We established replicate paired plots (seeded and nonseeded) at Scorpion Anchorage and Smugglers Cove, where notably dense fennel infestations (>10% cover) occurred, to evaluate the effectiveness of native seed augmentation following fennel removal. Five years after fennel removal, vegetative cover increased as litter and bare ground cover decreased significantly (P < 0.0001) on both plot types. Vegetation cover of both native and other (nonfennel) exotic species increased at Scorpion Anchorage in both seeded and nonseeded plots. At Smugglers Cove, exotic cover decreased significantly (P = 0.0001) as native cover comprised of Eriogonum arborescensand Leptosyne gigantea increased significantly (P < 0.0001) in seeded plots only. Nonseeded plots at Smugglers Cove were dominated by exotic annual grasses, primarily Avena barbata. The data indicate that seeding with appropriate native seed is a critical step in restoration following fennel control in areas where the native seed bank is depauperate.

  8. Canopy-derived fuels drive patterns of in-fire energy release and understory plant mortality in a longleaf pine ( Pinus palustris ) sandhill in northwest Florida, USA

    Treesearch

    Joseph J. O' Brien; E. Louise Loudermilk; J. Kevin Hiers; Scott Pokswinski; Benjamin Hornsby; Andrew Hudak; Dexter Strother; Eric Rowell; Benjamin C. Bright

    2016-01-01

    Wildland fire radiant energy emission is one of the only measurements of combustion that can be made at high temporal and spatial resolutions. Furthermore, spatially and temporally explicit measurements are critical for making inferences about ecological fire effects. Although the correlation between fire frequency and plant biological diversity in frequently burned ...

  9. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Averett, Joshua P; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G; Naylor, Bridgett J; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20) were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals) along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid-elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for establishment in low

  10. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Averett, Joshua P.; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20) were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals) along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid–elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for establishment in low

  11. Plant growth-promoting effects of native Pseudomonas strains on Mentha piperita (peppermint): an in vitro study.

    PubMed

    Santoro, M V; Cappellari, L R; Giordano, W; Banchio, E

    2015-11-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) affect growth of host plants through various direct and indirect mechanisms. Three native PGPR (Pseudomonas putida) strains isolated from rhizospheric soil of a Mentha piperita (peppermint) crop field near Córdoba, Argentina, were characterised and screened in vitro for plant growth-promoting characteristics, such as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, phosphate solubilisation and siderophore production, effects of direct inoculation on plant growth parameters (shoot fresh weight, root dry weight, leaf number, node number) and accumulation and composition of essential oils. Each of the three native strains was capable of phosphate solubilisation and IAA production. Only strain SJ04 produced siderophores. Plants directly inoculated with the native PGPR strains showed increased shoot fresh weight, glandular trichome number, ramification number and root dry weight in comparison with controls. The inoculated plants had increased essential oil yield (without alteration of essential oil composition) and biosynthesis of major essential oil components. Native strains of P. putida and other PGPR have clear potential as bio-inoculants for improving productivity of aromatic crop plants. There have been no comparative studies on the role of inoculation with native strains on plant growth and secondary metabolite production (specially monoterpenes). Native bacterial isolates are generally preferable for inoculation of crop plants because they are already adapted to the environment and have a competitive advantage over non-native strains.

  12. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. Allelopathic effect of a native species on a major plant invader in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christina, Mathias; Rouifed, Soraya; Puijalon, Sara; Vallier, Félix; Meiffren, Guillaume; Bellvert, Floriant; Piola, Florence

    2015-04-01

    Biological invasions have become a major global issue in ecosystem conservation. As formalized in the "novel weapon hypothesis", the allelopathic abilities of species are actively involved in invasion success. Here, we assume that allelopathy can also increase the biotic resistance of native species against invasion. We tested this hypothesis by studying the impact of the native species Sambucus ebulus on the colonization of propagules of the invasive species Fallopia x bohemica and the subsequent development of plants from these. Achenes and rhizome fragments from two natural populations were grown in a greenhouse experiment for 50 days. We used an experimental design that involved "donor" and "target" pots in order to separate resource competition from allelopathy. An allelopathic treatment effect was observed for plant growth but not for propagule establishment. Treatment affected, in particular, the growth of Fallopia plants originating from achenes, but there was less influence on plants originating from rhizomes. By day 50, shoot height had decreased by 27 % for plants originating from rhizomes and by 38 % for plants originating from achenes. The number of leaves for plants originating from achenes had only decreased by 20 %. Leaf and above- and below-ground dry masses decreased with treatment by 40, 41 and 25 % for plants originating from rhizomes and 70, 61 and 55 % for plants originating from achenes, respectively. S. ebulus extracts were analysed using high-performance chromatography, and the choice of test molecules was narrowed down. Our results suggest native species use allelopathy as a biotic containment mechanism against the naturalization of invasive species.

  14. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in pine forests.

    PubMed

    Pec, Gregory J; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N; Cigan, Paul W; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  15. Rapid Increases in Forest Understory Diversity and Productivity following a Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) Outbreak in Pine Forests

    PubMed Central

    Pec, Gregory J.; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N.; Cigan, Paul W.; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W.; Cahill, James F.

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown. PMID:25859663

  16. Native grass seeding and forb planting establishment in a degraded oak savanna plant community in the Coast Range foothills of western Oregon.

    Treesearch

    Nan Vance; Andrew Neill; Frank Morton

    2006-01-01

    After a dense stand of conifers encroaching on an oak savanna/meadow was removed, exotic forbs and grasses quickly populated the newly disturbed area. Establishing desirable native grasses and forbs that contribute to native plant diversity and complete with exotic species could aid in restoring this oak savanna plant community. Two experiments were conducted over time...

  17. Testing hypotheses for exotic plant success: parallel experiments in the native and introduced ranges.

    PubMed

    Williams, Jennifer L; Auge, Harald; Maron, John L

    2010-05-01

    A central question in ecology concerns how some exotic plants that occur at low densities in their native range are able to attain much higher densities where they are introduced. This question has remained unresolved in part due to a lack of experiments that assess factors that affect the population growth or abundance of plants in both ranges. We tested two hypotheses for exotic plant success: escape from specialist insect herbivores and a greater response to disturbance in the introduced range. Within three introduced populations in Montana, USA, and three native populations in Germany, we experimentally manipulated insect herbivore pressure and created small-scale disturbances to determine how these factors affect the performance of houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale), a widespread exotic in western North America. Herbivores reduced plant size and fecundity in the native range but had little effect on plant performance in the introduced range. Small-scale experimental disturbances enhanced seedling recruitment in both ranges, but subsequent seedling survival was more positively affected by disturbance in the introduced range. We combined these experimental results with demographic data from each population to parameterize integral projection population models to assess how enemy escape and disturbance might differentially influence C. officinale in each range. Model results suggest that escape from specialist insects would lead to only slight increases in the growth rate (lambda) of introduced populations. In contrast, the larger response to disturbance in the introduced vs. native range had much greater positive effects on lambda. These results together suggest that, at least in the regions where the experiments were performed, the differences in response to small disturbances by C. officinale contribute more to higher abundance in the introduced range compared to at home. Despite the challenges of conducting experiments on a wide biogeographic scale and the

  18. Response to CO2 enrichment of understory vegetation in the shade of forests.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dohyoung; Oren, Ram; Qian, Song S

    2016-02-01

    Responses of forest ecosystems to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration have been studied in few free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments during last two decades. Most studies focused principally on the overstory trees with little attention given to understory vegetation. Despite its small contribution to total productivity of an ecosystem, understory vegetation plays an important role in predicting successional dynamics and future plant community composition. Thus, the response of understory vegetation in Pinus taeda plantation at the Duke Forest FACE site after 15-17 years of exposure to elevated CO2 , 6-13 of which with nitrogen (N) amendment, was examined. Aboveground biomass and density of the understory decreased across all treatments with increasing overstory leaf area index (LAI). However, the CO2 and N treatments had no effect on aboveground biomass, tree density, community composition, and the fraction of shade-tolerant species. The increases of overstory LAI (~28%) under elevated CO2 resulted in a reduction of light available to the understory (~18%) sufficient to nullify the expected growth-enhancing effect of elevated CO2 on understory vegetation.

  19. Photographic assessment of temperate forest understory phenology in relation to springtime meteorological drivers.

    PubMed

    Liang, Liang; Schwartz, Mark D; Fei, Songlin

    2012-03-01

    Phenology shows sensitive responses to seasonal changes in atmospheric conditions. Forest understory phenology, in particular, is a crucial component of the forest ecosystem that interacts with meteorological factors, and ecosystem functions such as carbon exchange and nutrient cycling. Quantifying understory phenology is challenging due to the multiplicity of species and heterogeneous spatial distribution. The use of digital photography for assessing forest understory phenology was systematically tested in this study within a temperate forest during spring 2007. Five phenology metrics (phenometrics) were extracted from digital photos using three band algebra and two greenness percentage (image binarization) methods. Phenometrics were compared with a comprehensive suite of concurrent meteorological variables. Results show that greenness percentage cover approaches were relatively robust in capturing forest understory green-up. Derived spring phenology of understory plants responded to accumulated air temperature as anticipated, and with day-to-day changes strongly affected by estimated moisture availability. This study suggests that visible-light photographic assessment is useful for efficient forest understory phenology monitoring and allows more comprehensive data collection in support of ecosystem/land surface models.

  20. Changes in the trade in native medicinal plants in Brazilian public markets.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Maria das Graças Lins; Cosenza, Gustavo Pereira; Pereira, Flávia Liparini; Vasconcelos, Ariela Silva; Fagg, Christopher William

    2013-08-01

    Plants continue to be an important source of new bioactive substances. Brazil is one of the world's mega-diverse countries, with 20 % of the world's flora. However, the accelerated destruction of botanically rich ecosystems has contributed to a gradual loss of native medicinal species. In previous study, we have observed a fast and intensive change in trade of medicinal plants in an area of Amazon, where human occupation took place. In this study, we surveyed 15 public markets in different parts of Brazil in search of samples of 40 plants used in traditional medicine and present in first edition of Brazilian Official Pharmacopoeia (FBRAS), published in 1926. Samples of plants commercialized as the same vernacular name as in Pharmacopoeia were acquired and submitted to analysis for authentication. A total of 252 plant samples were purchased, but the laboratory analyses showed that only one-half of the samples (126, 50.2 %) were confirmed as the same plant species so named in FBRAS. The high number of unauthenticated samples demonstrates a loss of knowledge of the original native species. The proximity of the market from areas in which the plant occurs does not guarantee that trade of false samples occurs. The impact of the commerce of the substitute species on their conservation and in public health is worrying. Strategies are necessary to promote the better use and conservation of this rich heritage offered by Brazilian biodiversity.

  1. NATIVE PLANTS FOR OPTIMIZING CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN RECLAIMED LANDS

    SciTech Connect

    P. UNKEFER; M. EBINGER; ET AL

    2001-02-01

    Carbon emissions and atmospheric concentrations are expected to continue to increase through the next century unless major changes are made in the way carbon is managed. Managing carbon has emerged as a pressing national energy and environmental need that will drive national policies and treaties through the coming decades. Addressing carbon management is now a major priority for DOE and the nation. One way to manage carbon is to use energy more efficiently to reduce our need for major energy and carbon source-fossil fuel combustion. Another way is to increase our use of low-carbon and carbon free fuels and technologies. A third way, and the focus of this proposal, is carbon sequestration, in which carbon is captured and stored thereby mitigating carbon emissions. Sequestration of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere has emerged as the principle means by which the US will meet its near-term international and economic requirements for reducing net carbon emissions (DOE Carbon Sequestration: State of the Science. 1999; IGBP 1998). Terrestrial carbon sequestration provides three major advantages. First, terrestrial carbon pools and fluxes are of sufficient magnitude to effectively mitigate national and even global carbon emissions. The terrestrial biosphere stores {approximately}2060 GigaTons of carbon and transfers approximately 120 GigaTons of carbon per year between the atmosphere and the earth's surface, whereas the current global annual emissions are about 6 GigaTons. Second, we can rapidly and readily modify existing management practices to increase carbon sequestration in our extensive forest, range, and croplands. Third, increasing soil carbon is without negative environment consequences and indeed positively impacts land productivity. The terrestrial carbon cycle is dependent on several interrelationships between plants and soils. Because the soil carbon pool ({approximately}1500 Giga Tons) is approximately three times that in terrestrial vegetation

  2. The long-tongued hawkmoth pollinator niche for native and invasive plants in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Steven D.; Raguso, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Unrelated organisms that share similar niches often exhibit patterns of convergent evolution in functional traits. Based on bimodal distributions of hawkmoth tongue lengths and tubular white flowers in Africa, this study hypothesized that long-tongued hawkmoths comprise a pollination niche (ecological opportunity) that is distinct from that of shorter-tongued hawkmoths. Methods Field observations, light trapping, camera surveillance and pollen load analysis were used to identify pollinators of plant species with very long-tubed (>8 cm) flowers. The nectar properties and spectral reflectance of these flowers were also measured. The frequency distributions of proboscis length for all captured hawkmoths and floral tube length for a representative sample of night-blooming plant species were determined. The geographical distributions of both native and introduced plant species with very long floral tubes were mapped. Key Results The convolvulus hawkmoth Agrius convolvuli is identified as the most important pollinator of African plants with very long-tubed flowers. Plants pollinated by this hawkmoth species tend to have a very long (approx. 10 cm) and narrow flower tube or spur, white flowers and large volumes of dilute nectar. It is estimated that >70 grassland and savanna plant species in Africa belong to the Agrius pollination guild. In South Africa, at least 23 native species have very long floral tubes, and pollination by A. convolvuli or, rarely, by the closely related hawkmoth Coelonia fulvinotata, has been confirmed for 11 of these species. The guild is strikingly absent from the species-rich Cape floral region and now includes at least four non-native invasive species with long-tubed flowers that are pre-adapted for pollination by A. convolvuli. Conclusions This study highlights the value of a niche perspective on pollination, which provides a framework for making predictions about the ecological importance of keystone pollinators, and

  3. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    PubMed Central

    Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P.; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J.; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G.P.; van Duijn, Pieter T.; Meulblok, Marjolein M.; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K.; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A.; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W.

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina. PMID:27190702

  4. Type characters of non-native plant species in Great Lakes national parks (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.; Brundu, G.; Brock, J.; Camarda, I.; Child, L.; Wade, M.

    2001-01-01

    Non-native plant species are increasing in frequency and abundance in many natural areas in the United States. In Midwestern National Parks, as much as one third of the flora may be non-native. It was hypothesized that botanical characters of these species could be used to typify them and improve the methods of predicting invasions. Data on 19 characters of 341 non-native species from the four Great Lakes national lakeshores (Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, Pictured Rocks, and Sleeping Bear Dunes) and invasive non-native species for the State of Wisconsin were collected and studied. For many of the species, little data could be found, but for 139 of them, data were collected for at least 80% of the characters. The frequencies of classes of the characters were tabulated and ranked to typify the most common non-native species. This led to a description of a 'type species' just for these four National Parks. Three species of Cirsium, including Canada (C. arvense), marsh (C. palustre) and bull thistle (C. vulgare), matched the type species better than other species. C. vulgare occurs in more National Parks than the other thistles.

  5. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G P; van Duijn, Pieter T; Meulblok, Marjolein M; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina.

  6. Common garden comparisons of native and introduced plant populations: latitudinal clines can obscure evolutionary inferences

    PubMed Central

    Colautti, Robert I; Maron, John L; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2009-01-01

    Common garden studies are increasingly used to identify differences in phenotypic traits between native and introduced genotypes, often ignoring sources of among-population variation within each range. We re-analyzed data from 32 common garden studies of 28 plant species that tested for rapid evolution associated with biological invasion. Our goals were: (i) to identify patterns of phenotypic trait variation among populations within native and introduced ranges, and (ii) to explore the consequences of this variation for how differences between the ranges are interpreted. We combined life history and physiologic traits into a single principal component (PCALL) and also compared subsets of traits related to size, reproduction, and defense (PCSIZE, PCREP, and PCDEF, respectively). On average, introduced populations exhibited increased growth and reproduction compared to native conspecifics when latitude was not included in statistical models. However, significant correlations between PC-scores and latitude were detected in both the native and introduced ranges, indicating population differentiation along latitudinal gradients. When latitude was explicitly incorporated into statistical models as a covariate, it reduced the magnitude and reversed the direction of the effect for PCALL and PCSIZE. These results indicate that unrecognized geographic clines in phenotypic traits can confound inferences about the causes of evolutionary change in invasive plants. PMID:25567860

  7. Contributions of Understory and Overstory to Ecosystem CO2 Fluxes in a Temperate Mixed Forest in Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul-Limoges, E.; Wolf, S.; Hörtnagl, L. J.; Eugster, W.; Buchmann, N. C.

    2015-12-01

    Forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle by sequestering large amounts of atmospheric CO2. The CO2 sequestered by a forest varies depending on many factors including climate, species composition, growth strategy, stand age and structure. Forests are structurally complex ecosystems, both horizontally and vertically. In many cases, several canopy layers with distinct functional properties and sun exposure contribute differently to the ecosystem CO2exchange. Only a few studies thus far have investigated the contribution of understory to overstory fluxes, and large variations have been found among sites. Our study focused on partitioning the net ecosystem CO2 flux of a mixed deciduous forest in Switzerland into its understory and overstory components using below and above canopy eddy-covariance (EC) measurements over two years. CO2 concentration profile measurements made at eight levels within the canopy complemented those measurements. We quantified the CO2flux contribution from the understory to the overstory, both in terms of photosynthesis and respiration, and assessed the differences between understory and overstory functional responses to environmental drivers. On an annual basis, the understory was a CO2 source, while the overstory was a CO2 sink. The understory was a CO2 sink only in spring with the early emergence of understory plants before overstory canopy leaf-out. Overall, the understory contributed 54% to annual ecosystem respiration but only 7% to annual ecosystem photosynthesis. Moreover, understory and overstory fluxes became decoupled at full canopy closure, thus leading to unaccounted EC fluxes when measured only above the canopy. CO2 concentration profile measurements supported this finding. Our results showed that understory EC measurements are essential in this mixed deciduous forest, and likely in many other forests, to fully understand the carbon dynamics within structurally complex ecosystems.

  8. Changes in Patterns of Understory Leaf Phenology and Herbivory following Hurricane Damage.

    Treesearch

    Pilar Angulo-Sandoval; H. Fernandez-Marin; J. K. Zimmerman; T. M. Aide

    2004-01-01

    Hurricanes are important disturbance events in many forested ecosystems. They can have strong effects on both forest structure and animal populations, and yet few studies have considered the impacts on plant–animal interactions. Reduction of canopy cover by severe winds increases light availability to understory plants, providing an opportunity for increased growth. An...

  9. Interactions between past land use, life-history traits and understory spatial heterogeneity

    Treesearch

    Jennifer M. Fraterrigo; Monica Turner; Scott M. Pearson

    2006-01-01

    Past land use has contributed to variability in the distribution of herbaceous species by reducing plant abundance and altering species' chances of recolonizing suitable habitat. Land use may also influence plant heterogeneity by changing environmental conditions within stands. We compared the variability of understory herb abundance in southern Appalachian...

  10. Screening of As-accumulating plants using a foliar application and a native accumulation of As.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Z; Sugawara, K; Hatayama, M; Huang, Y; Inoue, Chihiro

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of novel accumulating plants is useful for efficient phytoremediation due to the demands of various conditions of impacted sites such as land use, soil properties, concentration of pollutants, and climate. In the present study, we investigated foliar application or a field with highly bioavailable arsenic (As) to screen As-accumulating plants. Plants grown in the downstream of a hot springs area were analyzed for native As accumulation and As foliar application, and the rhizosphere soils were collected. The water-soluble As in the rhizosphere soils had a high average, 144 microg/kg, whereas total As was similar to normal soil in Japan. Among 34 herbaceous plants and 17 woody plants, Chelidonium majus var. asiaticum accumulated a relatively high As level, 8.07 mg/kg DW (93.6% of As added), that was not revealed by native accumulation. In a further pot experiment, C. majus accumulated a moderately high As level (314 mg/kg DW) in the roots but not in the shoot (30.1 mg/kg DW), and exhibited a low transfer factor (TF = 0.096). Thus, a foliar application would be a simple and high-throughput method to screen plants that accumulate and tolerate As. C. majus would be useful as a tool for phytostabilization of As.

  11. Elephants in the understory: opposing direct and indirect effects of consumption and ecosystem engineering by megaherbivores.

    PubMed

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Kartzinel, Tyler R; Grabowski, Kathryn L; Shriver, Robert K; Hassan, Abdikadir A; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2016-11-01

    Positive indirect effects of consumers on their resources can stabilize food webs by preventing overexploitation, but the coupling of trophic and non-trophic interactions remains poorly integrated into our understanding of community dynamics. Elephants engineer African savanna ecosystems by toppling trees and breaking branches, and although their negative effects on trees are well documented, their effects on small-statured plants remain poorly understood. Using data on 117 understory plant taxa collected over 7 yr within 36 1-ha experimental plots in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna, we measured the strength and direction of elephant impacts on understory vegetation. We found that elephants had neutral effects on most (83-89%) species, with a similar frequency of positive and negative responses among the remainder. Overall, estimated understory biomass was 5-14% greater in the presence of elephants across a range of rainfall levels. Whereas direct consumption likely accounts for the negative effects, positive effects are presumably indirect. We hypothesized that elephants create associational refuges for understory plants by damaging tree canopies in ways that physically inhibit feeding by other large herbivores. As predicted, understory biomass and species richness beneath elephant-damaged trees were 55% and 21% greater, respectively, than under undamaged trees. Experimentally simulated elephant damage increased understory biomass by 37% and species richness by 49% after 1 yr. Conversely, experimentally removing elephant damaged branches decreased understory biomass by 39% and richness by 30% relative to sham-manipulated trees. Camera-trap surveys revealed that elephant damage reduced the frequency of herbivory by 71%, whereas we detected no significant effect of damage on temperature, light, or soil moisture. We conclude that elephants locally facilitate understory plants by creating refuges from herbivory, which countervails the direct negative effects of

  12. Soil-occupancy effects of invasive and native grassland plant species on composition and diversity of mycorrhizal associations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Huerd, Sheri C.; Larson, Diane L.; Muehlbauer, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species can produce biofuels, support sustainable grazing systems, and produce other ecosystem services. However, ecosystem service production can be disrupted by invasion of exotic perennial plants, and these plants can have soil-microbial “legacies” that may interfere with establishment and maintenance of diversified grasslands even after effective management of the invasive species. The nature of such legacies is not well understood, but may involve suppression of mutualisms between native species and soil microbes. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that legacy effects of invasive species change colonization rates, diversity, and composition of arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with seedlings of co-occurring invasive and native grassland species. In a glasshouse, experimental soils were conditioned by cultivating three invasive grassland perennials, three native grassland perennials, and a native perennial mixture. Each was grown separately through three cycles of growth, after which we used T-RFLP analysis to characterize AMF associations of seedlings of six native perennial and six invasive perennial species grown in these soils. Legacy effects of soil conditioning by invasive species did not affect AMF richness in seedling roots, but did affect AMF colonization rates and the taxonomic composition of mycorrhizal associations in seedling roots. Moreover, native species were more heavily colonized by AMF and roots of native species had greater AMF richness (number of AMF operational taxonomic units per seedling) than did invasive species. The invasive species used to condition soil in this experiment have been shown to have legacy effects on biomass of native seedlings, reducing their growth in this and a previous similar experiment. Therefore, our results suggest that successful plant invaders can have legacies that affect soil-microbial associations of native plants and that these effects

  13. Screening biological traits and fluoride contents of native vegetations in arid environments to select efficiently fluoride-tolerant native plant species for in-situ phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Boukhris, Asma; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle; Mezghani, Imed; El Kadri, Lefi; Prudent, Pascale; Pricop, Anca; Tatoni, Thierry; Chaieb, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    High fluoride pollution has been detected in the surrounding soils of the coastal superphosphate industries in the Gulf of Gabes (Southeast of Tunisia). A study was conducted in vicinity of factories analysing plant functional traits combined with plant fluoride accumulation and soil metal concentrations aiming to screen more efficiently native plant species tolerant to this pollution. Aerial parts of 18 plant species out of the 10 most abundant species per site were harvested on two polluted sites of Gabes and Skhira at the vicinity of the factories and on the less polluted site of Smara. Native plant species accumulated fluoride following the gradient of soil pollution. Fluoride contents of plant aerial parts ranged from 37 mg kg(-1) to 360 mg kg(-1) and five plant species were only found in the most polluted site. However these latter had low biomass and soil cover. Crossing biological traits and fluoride contents, a selection grid for potentially restorative plant species enabled the selection of three native perennials i.e. Rhanterium suaveolens, Atractylis serratuloides and, Erodium glaucophyllum as potential candidates for an in-situ phytoremediation program on arid fluoride-polluted sites. This approach may be used in other fluoride-polluted Mediterranean environments. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Tropical Nursery Manual: A guide to starting and operating a nursery for native and traditional plants

    Treesearch

    Kim M. Wilkinson; Thomas D. Landis; Diane L. Haase; Brian F. Daley; R. Kasten Dumroese

    2014-01-01

    This handbook was written for anyone endeavoring to start and operate a nursery for native and traditional plants in the tropics. Because the tropics cover a vast area of the world, however, the scope of the handbook is geared toward readers in the U.S. affiliated tropics. Specifically, the U.S. affiliated tropics are a diverse area spanning two oceans and half the...

  15. Contrasting plant physiological adaptation to climate in the native and introduced range of Hypericum perforatum.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Elmendorf, Sarah C; Vilà, Montserrat

    2007-08-01

    How introduced plants, which may be locally adapted to specific climatic conditions in their native range, cope with the new abiotic conditions that they encounter as exotics is not well understood. In particular, it is unclear what role plasticity versus adaptive evolution plays in enabling exotics to persist under new environmental circumstances in the introduced range. We determined the extent to which native and introduced populations of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) are genetically differentiated with respect to leaf-level morphological and physiological traits that allow plants to tolerate different climatic conditions. In common gardens in Washington and Spain, and in a greenhouse, we examined clinal variation in percent leaf nitrogen and carbon, leaf delta(13)C values (as an integrative measure of water use efficiency), specific leaf area (SLA), root and shoot biomass, root/shoot ratio, total leaf area, and leaf area ratio (LAR). As well, we determined whether native European H. perforatum experienced directional selection on leaf-level traits in the introduced range and we compared, across gardens, levels of plasticity in these traits. In field gardens in both Washington and Spain, native populations formed latitudinal clines in percent leaf N. In the greenhouse, native populations formed latitudinal clines in root and shoot biomass and total leaf area, and in the Washington garden only, native populations also exhibited latitudinal clines in percent leaf C and leaf delta(13)C. Traits that failed to show consistent latitudinal clines instead exhibited significant phenotypic plasticity. Introduced St. John's Wort populations also formed significant or marginally significant latitudinal clines in percent leaf N in Washington and Spain, percent leaf C in Washington, and in root biomass and total leaf area in the greenhouse. In the Washington common garden, there was strong directional selection among European populations for higher percent leaf N and

  16. Persistence of native and exotic plants 10 years after prairie reconstruction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Bright, J. B.; Drobney, Pauline; Larson, Jennifer L.; Vacek, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Prairie reconstructions are a critical component of preservation of the imperiled tallgrass prairie ecosystem in the Midwestern United States. Sustainability of this endeavor depends on establishment of persistent cover of planted native species and resistance to noxious weeds. The goal of this study was to understand the influence of early reconstruction practices on long-term outcomes. Twelve replicates of three planting methods (dormant-season broadcast, growing-season broadcast, and growing-season drill) and three seed mix richness levels (10, 20, or 34 species), fully crossed in a completely randomized design were planted in 2005 on nine former agricultural fields located in Iowa and Minnesota. Cover by species was estimated in 2005–2007, 2010, and 2015. In 2015, cover of planted species, native nonplanted species, and exotic species were similar to those recorded in 2010. Cover of the noxious weed Cirsium arvense had also declined by an average of 49% without herbicide from a peak in 2007 to low stable levels from 2010 to 2015. Richness of planted forbs, on the other hand, were still increasing in high-richness broadcast treatments (e.g. 17–59% increase 2010–1015 in Minnesota). Two results in 2015 are reasons for concern: cover of planted species is only slightly over 50% in both Minnesota and Iowa, though with forbs still increasing, this may improve; and the cool-season exotic grasses Poa pratensis and Bromus inermis are increasing at both Minnesota and Iowa sites. Control of these invasive grasses will be necessary, but care will be needed to avoid negative impacts of control methods on natives.

  17. Screening of native plant species for phytoremediation potential at a Hg-contaminated mining site.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2016-01-15

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest sector of demand for mercury (Hg), and therefore, one of the major sources of Hg pollution in the environment. This study was conducted in the Alacrán gold-mining site, one of the most important ASGM sites in Colombia, to identify native plant species growing in Hg-contaminated soils used for agricultural purposes, and to assess their potential as phytoremediation systems. Twenty-four native plant species were identified and analysed for total Hg (THg) in different tissues (roots, stems, and leaves) and in underlying soils. Accumulation factors (AF) in the shoots, translocation (TF) from roots to shoots, and bioconcentration (BCF) from soil-to-roots were determined. Different tissues from all plant species were classified in the order of decreasing accumulation of Hg as follows: roots > leaves > stems. THg concentrations in soil ranged from 230 to 6320 ng g(-1). TF values varied from 0.33 to 1.73, with high values in the lower Hg-contaminated soils. No correlation was found between soils with low concentrations of Hg and plant leaves, indicating that TF is not a very accurate indicator, since most of the Hg input to leaves at ASGM sites comes from the atmosphere. On the other hand, the BCF ranged from 0.28 to 0.99, with Jatropha curcas showing the highest value. Despite their low biomass production, several herbs and sub-shrubs are suitable for phytoremediation application in the field, due to their fast growth and high AF values in large and easily harvestable plant parts. Among these species, herbs such as Piper marginathum and Stecherus bifidus, and the sub-shrubs J. curcas and Capsicum annuum are promising native plants with the potential to be used in the phytoremediation of soils in tropical areas that are impacted by mining.

  18. Archaea and bacteria mediate the effects of native species root loss on fungi during plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Mamet, Steven D; Lamb, Eric G; Piper, Candace L; Winsley, Tristrom; Siciliano, Steven D

    2017-05-01

    Although invasive plants can drive ecosystem change, little is known about the directional nature of belowground interactions between invasive plants, native roots, bacteria, archaea and fungi. We used detailed bioinformatics and a recently developed root assay on soils collected in fescue grassland along a gradient of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss) invasion to examine the links between smooth brome shoot litter and root, archaea, bacteria and fungal communities. We examined (1) aboveground versus belowground influences of smooth brome on soil microbial communities, (2) the importance of direct versus microbe-mediated impacts of plants on soil fungal communities, and (3) the web of roots, shoots, archaea, bacteria and fungi interactions across the A and B soil horizons in invaded and non-invaded sites. Archaea and bacteria influenced fungal composition, but not vice versa, as indicated by redundancy analyses. Co-inertia analyses suggested that bacterial-fungal variance was driven primarily by 12 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Brome increased bacterial diversity via smooth brome litter in the A horizon and roots in the B horizon, which then reduced fungal diversity. Archaea increased abundance of several bacterial OTUs, and the key bacterial OTUs mediated changes in the fungi's response to invasion. Overall, native root diversity loss and bacterial mediation were more important drivers of fungal composition than were the direct effects of increases in smooth brome. Critically, native plant species displacement and root loss appeared to be the most important driver of fungal composition during invasion. This causal web likely gives rise to the plant-fungi feedbacks, which are an essential factor determining plant diversity in invaded grassland ecosystems.

  19. When there is no escape: the effects of natural enemies on native, invasive, and noninvasive plants.

    PubMed

    Parker, Ingrid M; Gilbert, Gregory S

    2007-05-01

    An important question in the study of biological invasions is the degree to which successful invasion can be explained by release from control by natural enemies. Natural enemies dominate explanations of two alternate phenomena: that most introduced plants fail to establish viable populations (biotic resistance hypothesis) and that some introduced plants become noxious invaders (natural enemies hypothesis). We used a suite of 18 phylogenetically related native and nonnative clovers (Trifolium and Medicago) and the foliar pathogens and invertebrate herbivores that attack them to answer two questions. Do native species suffer greater attack by natural enemies relative to introduced species at the same site? Are some introduced species excluded from native plant communities because they are susceptible to local natural enemies? We address these questions using three lines of evidence: (1) the frequency of attack and composition of fungal pathogens and herbivores for each clover species in four years of common garden experiments, as well as susceptibility to inoculation with a common pathogen; (2) the degree of leaf damage suffered by each species in common garden experiments; and (3) fitness effects estimated using correlative approaches and pathogen removal experiments. Introduced species showed no evidence of escape from pathogens, being equivalent to native species as a group in terms of infection levels, susceptibility, disease prevalence, disease severity (with more severe damage on introduced species in one year), the influence of disease on mortality, and the effect of fungicide treatment on mortality and biomass. In contrast, invertebrate herbivores caused more damage on native species in two years, although the influence of herbivore attack on mortality did not differ between native and introduced species. Within introduced species, the predictions of the biotic resistance hypothesis were not supported: the most invasive species showed greater infection

  20. Knowledge, use and management of native wild edible plants from a seasonal dry forest (NE, Brazil)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite being an ancient practice that satisfies basic human needs, the use of wild edible plants tends to be forgotten along with associated knowledge in rural communities. The objective of this work is to analyze existing relationships between knowledge, use, and management of native wild edible plants and socioeconomic factors such as age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation. Methods The field work took place between 2009 and 2010 in the community of Carão, Altinho municipality, in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 39 members of the community regarding knowledge, use and management of 14 native wild edible plants from the Caatinga region, corresponding to 12 vegetable species. In parallel, we documented the socioeconomic aspects of the interviewed population (age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation). Results Knowledge about edible plants was related to age but not to current occupation or use. Current use was not associated with age, gender or occupation. The association between age and past use may indicate abandonment of these resources. Conclusion Because conservation of the species is not endangered by their use but by deforestation of the ecosystems in which these plants grow, we suggest that the promotion and consumption of the plants by community members is convenient and thereby stimulates the appropriation and consequent protection of the ecosystem. To promote consumption of these plants, it is important to begin by teaching people about plant species that can be used for their alimentation, disproving existing myths about plant use, and encouraging diversification of use by motivating the invention of new preparation methods. An example of how this can be achieved is through events like the “Preserves Festival”. PMID:24279311

  1. Knowledge, use and management of native wild edible plants from a seasonal dry forest (NE, Brazil).

    PubMed

    Cruz, Margarita Paloma; Peroni, Nivaldo; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2013-11-26

    Despite being an ancient practice that satisfies basic human needs, the use of wild edible plants tends to be forgotten along with associated knowledge in rural communities. The objective of this work is to analyze existing relationships between knowledge, use, and management of native wild edible plants and socioeconomic factors such as age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation. The field work took place between 2009 and 2010 in the community of Carão, Altinho municipality, in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 39 members of the community regarding knowledge, use and management of 14 native wild edible plants from the Caatinga region, corresponding to 12 vegetable species. In parallel, we documented the socioeconomic aspects of the interviewed population (age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation). Knowledge about edible plants was related to age but not to current occupation or use. Current use was not associated with age, gender or occupation. The association between age and past use may indicate abandonment of these resources. Because conservation of the species is not endangered by their use but by deforestation of the ecosystems in which these plants grow, we suggest that the promotion and consumption of the plants by community members is convenient and thereby stimulates the appropriation and consequent protection of the ecosystem. To promote consumption of these plants, it is important to begin by teaching people about plant species that can be used for their alimentation, disproving existing myths about plant use, and encouraging diversification of use by motivating the invention of new preparation methods. An example of how this can be achieved is through events like the "Preserves Festival".

  2. Invader disruption of belowground plant mutualisms reduces carbon acquisition and alters allocation patterns in a native forest herb.

    PubMed

    Hale, Alison N; Lapointe, Line; Kalisz, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Invasive plants impose novel selection pressures on naïve mutualistic interactions between native plants and their partners. As most plants critically rely on root fungal symbionts (RFSs) for soil resources, invaders that disrupt plant-RFS mutualisms can significantly depress native plant fitness. Here, we investigate the consequences of RFS mutualism disruption on native plant fitness in a glasshouse experiment with a forest invader that produces known anti-fungal allelochemicals. Over 5 months, we regularly applied either green leaves of the allelopathic invader Alliaria petiolata, a nonsystemic fungicide to simulate A. petiolata's effects, or green leaves of nonallelopathic Hesperis matronalis (control) to pots containing the native Maianthemum racemosum and its RFSs. We repeatedly measured M. racemosum physiology and harvested plants periodically to assess carbon allocation. Alliaria petiolata and fungicide treatment effects were indistinguishable: we observed inhibition of the RFS soil hyphal network and significant reductions in M. racemosum physiology (photosynthesis, transpiration and conductance) and allocation (carbon storage, root biomass and asexual reproduction) in both treatments relative to the control. Our findings suggest a general mechanistic hypothesis for local extinction of native species in ecosystems challenged by allelopathic invaders: RFS mutualism disruption drives carbon stress, subsequent declines in native plant vigor, and, if chronic, declines in RFS-dependent species abundance.

  3. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  4. Honeybees increase fruit set in native plant species important for wildlife conservation.

    PubMed

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wild cherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  5. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.

  6. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species

    DOE PAGES

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; ...

    2015-10-15

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves,more » through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.« less

  7. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P.; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2015-10-15

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.

  8. Do exotic plants lose resistance to pathogenic soil biota from their native range? A test with Solidago gigantea.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Luo, Wenbo; Callaway, Ragan M; Pal, Robert W

    2015-10-01

    Native plants commonly suffer from strong negative plant-soil feedbacks. However, in their non-native ranges species often escape from these negative feedbacks, which indicates that these feedbacks are generated by at least partially specialized soil biota. If so, introduced plants might evolve the loss of resistance to pathogens in their former native range, as has been proposed for the loss of resistance to specialized herbivores. We compared the magnitude of plant-soil feedbacks experienced by native and exotic genotypes of the perennial forb, Solidago gigantea. Feedbacks were assessed in soil collected across 14 sites sampled across the western part of Solidago's native range in the US. Both native and exotic genotypes of Solidago suffered consistently negative and broadly similar plant-soil feedbacks when grown in North American soil. Although there was substantial variation among soils from different sites in the strength of feedbacks generated, the magnitude of feedbacks generated by North American genotypes of S. gigantea were strongly correlated with those produced in the same soil by European genotypes. Our results indicate that Solidago experiences strong negative soil feedbacks in native soil and that introduced genotypes of Solidago have not lost resistance to these negative effects of soil biota. Both genotypic and landscape-level effects can be important sources of variation in the strength of plant-soil feedbacks.

  9. The compensatory responses of an understory herb to experimental damage are habitat-dependent.

    PubMed

    Bruna, Emilio M; Ribeiro, Maria Beatriz Nogueira

    2005-12-01

    Canopy gap formation strongly influences the diversity and dynamics of both tropical and temperate forests. It is often viewed as inherently beneficial for understory plants, primarily because growth and flowering are enhanced when light is no longer a limiting resource. It can also be detrimental, however, because plants can be damaged by falling crowns or branches. To elucidate the responses of the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata to damage sustained during gap formation, we transplanted both experimentally damaged and control plants to canopy gaps and the forest understory. We then measured their patterns of growth and biomass allocation 10 mo later. Despite losing approximately 50% of their leaf area, all damaged plants survived the duration of our experiment. Furthermore, damaged plants transplanted to gaps had relative growth rates that far exceeded those of undamaged plants in both gaps and the forest understory. There were also significant interactions between damage and destination habitat type on root to shoot ratios and leaf-area ratios. Our results suggest the ability of herbaceous plants to recover from damage, as well as patterns of post-damage biomass allocation, may be habitat-dependent in ways that have previously remained unexplored.

  10. Can resource-use traits predict native vs. exotic plant success in carbon amended soils?

    PubMed

    Steers, Robert J; Funk, Jennifer L; Allen, Edith B

    2011-06-01

    Productivity in desert ecosystems is primarily limited by water followed by nitrogen availability. In the deserts of southern California, nitrogen additions have increased invasive annual plant abundance. Similar findings from other ecosystems have led to a general acceptance that invasive plants, especially annual grasses, are nitrophilous. Consequently, reductions of soil nitrogen via carbon amendments have been conducted by many researchers in a variety of ecosystems in order to disproportionately lower invasive species abundance, but with mixed success. Recent studies suggest that resource-use traits may predict the efficacy of such resource manipulations; however, this theory remains largely untested. We report findings from a carbon amendment experiment that utilized two levels of sucrose additions that were aimed at achieving soil carbon to nitrogen ratios of 50:1 and 100:1 in labile sources. Carbon amendments were applied once each year, for three years, corresponding with the first large precipitation event of each wet season. Plant functional traits measured on the three invasive and 11 native herbaceous species that were most common at the study site showed that exotic and native species did not differ in traits associated with nitrogen use. In fact, plant abundance measures such as density, cover, and biomass showed that carbon amendments were capable of decreasing both native and invasive species. We found that early-germinating species were the most impacted by decreased soil nitrogen resulting from amendments. Because invasive annuals typically germinate earlier and exhibit a rapid phenology compared to most natives, these species are expected to be more competitive than native annuals yet more susceptible to early-season carbon amendments. However, desert annual communities can exhibit high interannual variability in species composition and abundance. Therefore, the relative abundance of native and invasive species at the time of application is

  11. Arsenic accumulation in native plants of West Bengal, India: prospects for phytoremediation but concerns with the use of medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Preeti; Dwivedi, Sanjay; Mishra, Aradhana; Kumar, Amit; Dave, Richa; Srivastava, Sudhakar; Shukla, Mridul Kumar; Srivastava, Pankaj Kumar; Chakrabarty, Debasis; Trivedi, Prabodh Kumar; Tripathi, Rudra Deo

    2012-05-01

    Arsenic (As) is a widespread environmental and food chain contaminant and class I, non-threshold carcinogen. Plants accumulate As due to ionic mimicry that is of importance as a measure of phytoremediation but of concern due to the use of plants in alternative medicine. The present study investigated As accumulation in native plants including some medicinal plants, from three districts [Chinsurah (Hoogly), Porbosthali (Bardhman), and Birnagar (Nadia)] of West Bengal, India, having a history of As pollution. A site-specific response was observed for Specific Arsenic Uptake (SAU; mg kg(-1) dw) in total number of 13 (8 aquatic and 5 terrestrial) collected plants. SAU was higher in aquatic plants (5-60 mg kg(-1) dw) than in terrestrial species (4-19 mg kg(-1) dw). The level of As was lower in medicinal plants (MPs) than in non-medicinal plants, however it was still beyond the WHO permissible limit (1 mg kg(-1) dw). The concentration of other elements (Cu, Zn, Se, and Pb) was found to be within prescribed limits in medicinal plants (MP). Among the aquatic plants, Marsilea showed the highest SAU (avg. 45 mg kg(-1) dw), however, transfer factor (TF) of As was the maximum in Centella asiatica (MP, avg. 1). Among the terrestrial plants, the maximum SAU and TF were demonstrated by Alternanthera ficoidea (avg. 15) and Phyllanthus amarus (MP, avg. 1.27), respectively. In conclusion, the direct use of MP or their by products for humans should not be practiced without proper regulation. In other way, one fern species (Marsilea) and some aquatic plants (Eichhornia crassipes and Cyperus difformis) might be suitable candidates for As phytoremediation of paddy fields.

  12. Effects of the interception of litterfall by the understory on carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations of South China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Long; Wang, Jun; Huang, Yuhui; Hui, Dafeng; Wen, Meili

    2014-01-01

    For the purposes of forest restoration, carbon (C) fixation, and economic improvement, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) has been widely planted in South China. The understory of eucalyptus plantations is often occupied by a dense community of the fern Dicranopteris dichotoma, which intercepts tree canopy leaf litter before it reaches the ground. To understand the effects of this interception of litterfall on C cycling in eucalyptus plantations, we quantified the mass of intercepted litter and the influences of litterfall interception on litter decomposition and soil respiration. The total mass of E. urophylla litterfall collected on the understory was similar to that collected by the traditional litter trap method. All of the eucalyptus litterfall is intercepted by the D. dichotoma canopy. Of the litterfall that was intercepted by D. dichotoma, 20-40% and 60-80% was intercepted by the top (50-100 cm) and bottom (0-50 cm) of the understory canopy, respectively. Intercepted litterfall decomposed faster at the bottom of understory canopy (at the base of the plants) than at the top, and decomposition was slower on the soil surface in the absence of understory than on any location in the understory canopy. Soil respiration was highest when both the understory and litter were present and was lowest when both the understory and litter were absent. These results indicate that litterfall interception changed carbon flow between aboveground and belowground through litter decomposition and soil respiration, which changed carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations. The effects of the understory on litter decomposition and soil respiration should be considered in ecosystem carbon models.

  13. Effects of the Interception of Litterfall by the Understory on Carbon Cycling in Eucalyptus Plantations of South China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yuhui; Hui, Dafeng; Wen, Meili

    2014-01-01

    For the purposes of forest restoration, carbon (C) fixation, and economic improvement, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) has been widely planted in South China. The understory of eucalyptus plantations is often occupied by a dense community of the fern Dicranopteris dichotoma, which intercepts tree canopy leaf litter before it reaches the ground. To understand the effects of this interception of litterfall on C cycling in eucalyptus plantations, we quantified the mass of intercepted litter and the influences of litterfall interception on litter decomposition and soil respiration. The total mass of E. urophylla litterfall collected on the understory was similar to that collected by the traditional litter trap method. All of the eucalyptus litterfall is intercepted by the D. dichotoma canopy. Of the litterfall that was intercepted by D. dichotoma, 20–40% and 60–80% was intercepted by the top (50–100 cm) and bottom (0–50 cm) of the understory canopy, respectively. Intercepted litterfall decomposed faster at the bottom of understory canopy (at the base of the plants) than at the top, and decomposition was slower on the soil surface in the absence of understory than on any location in the understory canopy. Soil respiration was highest when both the understory and litter were present and was lowest when both the understory and litter were absent. These results indicate that litterfall interception changed carbon flow between aboveground and belowground through litter decomposition and soil respiration, which changed carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations. The effects of the understory on litter decomposition and soil respiration should be considered in ecosystem carbon models. PMID:24959853

  14. Leaf support biomechanics of neotropical understory herbs.

    PubMed

    Cooley, Arielle M; Reich, Alexandra; Rundel, Philip

    2004-04-01

    Plants in light-limited tropical rainforest understories face an important carbon allocation trade-off: investment of available carbon into photosynthetic tissue should be advantageous, while risk of damage and mortality from falling debris favors investment into nonphotosynthetic structural tissue. We examined the modulus of rupture (σ(max)), Young's modulus of elasticity (E), and flexural stiffness (F) of stems and petioles in 14 monocot species from six families. These biomechanical properties were evaluated with respect to habitat, rates of leaf production, clonality, and growth form. Species with higher E and σ(max), indicating greater resistance per unit area to bending and breaking, respectively, tended to be shade-tolerant, slow growing, and nonclonal. This result is consistent with an increase in carbon allocation to structural tissue in shade-tolerant species at the expense of photosynthetic tissue and growth. Forest- edge species were weaker per unit area (had a lower E), but had higher flexural stiffness due to increases in stem and petiole diameter. While this is inefficient in requiring more carbon per unit of structural support, it may enable forest-edge species to support larger and heavier leaves. Our results emphasize the degree to which biomechanical traits vary with ecological niche and illustrate suites of characteristics associated with different carbon allocation strategies.

  15. Do ungulates facilitate native and exotic plant spread? Seed dispersal by cattle, elk and deer in northeastern Oregon

    Treesearch

    Anne M. Bartuszevige; Bryan A. Endress

    2008-01-01

    Large domestic and native ungulates have the potential to disperse large quantities of seeds throughout the landscape. Many studies have found that ungulates are capable of dispersing seeds but few quantify the relative importance of ungulate dispersal across the landscape. We investigated the potential for cattle, elk, and deer to disperse native and exotic plants in...

  16. Equipment and strategies to enhance the post-wildfire establishment and persistence of Great Basin native plants

    Treesearch

    Nancy Shaw; Beth Newingham; Amy C. Ganguli; Ann L. Hild; Robert D. Cox; Jim Truax; Mike Pellant; David Pyke; Dan Ogle