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Sample records for native understory plants

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Seasonal variation of temperature response of respiration in invasive Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) and two co-occurring native understory shrubs in a northeastern US deciduous forest.

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

    In the understory of a closed forest, plant growth is limited by light availability, and early leafing is proposed to be an important mechanism of plant invasion by providing a spring C "subsidy" when high light is available. However, studies on respiration, another important process determining plant net C gain, are rare in understory invasive plants. In this study, leaf properties and the temperature response of leaf respiration were compared between invasive Berberis thunbergii, an early leafing understory shrub, and two native shrubs, Kalmia latifolia, a broadleaf evergreen and Vaccinium corymbosum, a late-leafing deciduous species, in an oak-dominated deciduous forest. The seasonal trend of the basal respiration rates (R(0)) and the temperature response coefficient (E(0)), were different among the three shrubs and species-specific negative correlations were observed between R(0) and E(0). All three shrubs showed significant correlation between respiration rate on an area basis (20 degrees C) and leaf N on an area basis. The relationship was attributed to the variation of both leaf N on a mass basis and leaf mass per area (LMA) in B. thunbergii, but to LMA only in K. latifolia and V. corymbosum. After modeling leaf respiration throughout 2004, B. thunbergii displayed much higher annual leaf respiration (mass based) than the two native shrubs, indicating a higher cost per unit of biomass investment. Thus, respiratory properties alone were not likely to lead to C balance advantage of B. thunbergii. Future studies on whole plant C budgets and leaf construction cost are needed to address the C balance advantage in early leafing understory shrubs like B. thunbergii.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Native plant diversity increases herbivory to non-natives.

    PubMed

    Pearse, Ian S; Hipp, Andrew L

    2014-11-07

    There is often an inverse relationship between the diversity of a plant community and the invasibility of that community by non-native plants. Native herbivores that colonize novel plants may contribute to diversity-invasibility relationships by limiting the relative success of non-native plants. Here, we show that, in large collections of non-native oak trees at sites across the USA, non-native oaks introduced to regions with greater oak species richness accumulated greater leaf damage than in regions with low oak richness. Underlying this trend was the ability of herbivores to exploit non-native plants that were close relatives to their native host. In diverse oak communities, non-native trees were on average more closely related to native trees and received greater leaf damage than those in depauperate oak communities. Because insect herbivores colonize non-native plants that are similar to their native hosts, in communities with greater native plant diversity, non-natives experience greater herbivory.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Understory Fires

    NASA Video Gallery

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

    Some 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

  6. 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 §...

  7. 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 §...

  8. 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 §...

  9. 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 §...

  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 §...

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Safeguarding the Seeds of Native Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. 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...

  3. Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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....

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 75 FR 60405 - Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, Integrated Non-Native Invasive Plant Project

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-30

    ... all treatment ``tools'' such as chemical, mechanical, biological, and controlled grazing management... management tools, including registered herbicides, biological agents, controlled grazing, manual/mechanical..., abundance, and biological diversity of desired native plant communities. This project is part of the...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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. .

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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...

  6. INCREASING NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY IN CRESTED WHEATGRASS STANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. A Role for Assisted Evolution in Designing Native Plant Materials for Domesticated Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    PubMed Central

    Dall’Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; de Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order. PMID:26954578

  2. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    PubMed

    Dall'Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço de; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of understory management on phenological responses of eastern black walnut on an alluvial Arkansas soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is commonly grown in agroforestry practices for nuts and/or timber with little knowledge of how understory herbage management might affect tree phenology. We compared black walnut plant type (variety and wild-type) for phenological response in date of budburst, leaf ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Predation of caterpillars on understory saplings in an Ozark forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; Lichtenberg, D.A.

    2003-01-01

    Predators of caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae) can indirectly enhance economic gains from plant resources by reducing herbivore damage to plants. For this study, we directly observed predation of caterpillars on understory trees in the Ozarks. Our objectives were to determine the relative importance of diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators, the time of day most diurnal predation events occur, and whether predators spend more time feeding in open or closed canopy areas. Once per month, June-September, we tethered caterpillars to understory saplings and recorded all predation events. Only invertebrate predators were observed feeding on caterpillars, and most predation events were attributed to ants and vespids (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets). Predation by vertebrate predators such as birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians was not observed. Most predation events took place at mid-day between 1200 and 1600 hrs. Predation pressure differed significantly over the four observation dates with peak ant predation in July and peak vespid predation in September. Canopy environment appeared to influence predation events as there was a trend towards higher vespid predation of caterpillars on open canopy as opposed to closed canopy saplings. Ants and vespids accounted for 90% of observed predation events; therefore they appear to be important predators of caterpillars during the summer months. Future studies at earlier sampling dates would be valuable in determining whether the relative importance of other diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators might be greater in the spring.

  14. 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.

  15. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them

    PubMed Central

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-01-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica. PMID:26047489

  16. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them.

    PubMed

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-06-05

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica.

  17. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-06-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica.

  18. Plant characteristics associated with natural enemy abundance at Michigan native plants.

    PubMed

    Fiedler, A K; Landis, D A

    2007-08-01

    Habitat management is a type of conservation biological control that focuses on increasing natural enemy populations by providing them with plant resources such as pollen and nectar. Insects are known to respond to a variety of plant characteristics in their search for plant-provided resources. A better understanding of the specific characteristics used by natural enemy insects in selecting these resources could greatly improve efficiency in screening plants for habitat management. We examined 5 previously tested and widely recommended resource plants and 43 candidate plants to test whether the number and type of natural enemies and herbivores at each plant were predicted by plant characteristics including: period of peak bloom, floral area, maximum flower height, hue, chroma, and corolla size. Natural enemy abundance increased with week of peak bloom and greater floral area across all plants tested. Ordination of plant characteristics indicated that increasing floral area, period of peak bloom, maximum flower height, and decreasing corolla width grouped together into a single principal component. Both natural enemy and herbivore abundance increased significantly with the principal component for this set of characteristics, but the relationship with herbivore abundance was weaker. These results indicate that, for a given time of the season, selection of plants with the largest floral area has potential to increase natural enemy abundance in habitat management plantings and streamline plant selection for habitat management.

  19. Phytoremediation of Alberta oil sand tailings using native plants and fungal endophytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repas, T.; Germida, J.; Kaminskyj, S.

    2012-04-01

    Fungal endophytes colonize host plants without causing disease. Some endophytes confer plant tolerance to harsh environments. One such endophyte, Trichoderma harzianum strain TSTh20-1, was isolated from a plant growing on Athabasca oil sand tailings. Tailing sands are a high volume waste product from oil sand extraction that the industry is required to remediate. Tailing sands are low in organic carbon and mineral nutrients, and are hydrophobic due to residual polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Typically, tailing sands are remediated by planting young trees in large quantities of mulch plus mineral fertilizer, which is costly and labour intensive. In greenhouse trials, TSTh20-1 supports growth of tomato seedlings on tailing sands without fertilizer. The potential use of TSTh20-1 in combination with native grasses and forbs to remediate under field conditions is being assessed. Twenty-three commercially available plant species are being screened for seed germination and growth on tailing sands in the presence of TSTh20-1. The best candidates from this group will be used in greenhouse and small scale field trials. Potential mechanisms that contribute to endophyte-induced plant growth promotion, such as plant hormone production, stress tolerance, mineral solubilization, and uptake are also being assessed. As well, TSTh20-1 appears to be remarkably frugal in its nutrient requirements and the possibility that this attribute is characteristic of other plant-fungal endophytes from harsh environments is under study.

  20. Effects of Introduced and Indigenous Viruses on Native Plants: Exploring Their Disease Causing Potential at the Agro-Ecological Interface

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Stuart J.; Coutts, Brenda A.; Jones, Roger A. C.

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (<185 years), making it possible to distinguish between introduced and indigenous viruses readily. To establish their potential to cause severe or mild systemic symptoms in different native plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host–virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed

  1. Effects of introduced and indigenous viruses on native plants: exploring their disease causing potential at the agro-ecological interface.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Stuart J; Coutts, Brenda A; Jones, Roger A C

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (<185 years), making it possible to distinguish between introduced and indigenous viruses readily. To establish their potential to cause severe or mild systemic symptoms in different native plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host-virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed natural

  2. Plant community diversity and native plant abundance decline with increasing abundance of an exotic annual grass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plants are generally considered a serious problem in wildlands around the globe. However, some argue that the impacts of exotic plants have been exaggerated and that biodiversity and other important plant community characteristics are commonly improved with invasion. Thus, disagreement exis...

  3. Native Michigan plants stimulate soil microbial species changes and PAH remediation at a legacy steel mill.

    PubMed

    Thomas, John C; Cable, Edward; Dabkowski, Robert T; Gargala, Stephanie; McCall, Daniel; Pangrazzi, Garett; Pierson, Adam; Ripper, Mark; Russell, Donald K; Rugh, Clayton L

    2013-01-01

    A 1.3-acre phytoremediation site was constructed to mitigate polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination from a former steel mill in Michigan. Soil was amended with 10% (v/v) compost and 5% (v/v) poultry litter. The site was divided into twelve 11.89 m X 27.13 m plots, planted with approximately 35,000 native Michigan perennials, and soils sampled for three seasons. Soil microbial density generally increased in subplots of Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset), Aster novae-angliae (New England aster), Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), and Scirpus atrovirens (green bulrush) versus unplanted subplots. Using enumeration assays with root exudates, PAH degrading bacteria were greatest in soils beneath plants. Initially predominant, Arthrobacter were found capable of degrading a PAH cocktail in vitro, especially upon the addition of root exudate. Growth of some Arthrobacter isolates was stimulated by root exudate. The frequency of Arthrobacter declined in planted subplots with a concurrent increase in other species, including secondary PAH degraders Bacillus and Nocardioides. In subplots supporting only weeds, an increase in Pseudomonas density and little PAH removal were observed. This study supports the notion that a dynamic interplay between the soil, bacteria, and native plant root secretions likely contributes to in situ PAH phytoremediation.

  4. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals.

  5. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping

    PubMed Central

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26305938

  6. Exotic weeds and fluctuating microclimate can constrain native plant regeneration in urban forest restoration.

    PubMed

    Wallace, K J; Laughlin, Daniel C; Clarkson, Bruce D

    2017-02-09

    Restoring forest structure and composition is an important component of urban land management, but we lack clear understanding of the mechanisms driving restoration success. Here we studied two indicators of restoration success in temperate rainforests: native tree regeneration and epiphyte colonization. We hypothesized that ecosystem properties such as forest canopy openness, abundance of exotic herbaceous weeds, and the microclimate directly affect the density and diversity of native tree seedlings and epiphytes. Relationships between environmental conditions and the plant community were investigated in 27 restored urban forests spanning 3 to 70 years in age and in unrestored and remnant urban forests. We used structural equation modelling to determine the direct and indirect drivers of native tree regeneration and epiphyte colonization in the restored forests. Compared to remnant forest, unrestored forest had fewer native canopy tree species, significantly more light reaching the forest floor annually, and higher exotic weed cover. Additionally, epiphyte density was lower and native tree regeneration density was marginally lower in the unrestored forests. In restored forests, light availability was reduced to levels found in remnant forests within 20 years of restoration planting, followed shortly thereafter by declines in herbaceous exotic weeds and reduced fluctuation of relative humidity and soil temperatures. Contrary to expectations, canopy openness was only an indirect driver of tree regeneration and epiphyte colonization, but it directly regulated weed cover and microclimatic fluctuations, both of which directly drove the density and richness of regeneration and epiphyte colonization. Epiphyte density and diversity were also positively related to forest basal area, as large trees provide physical habitat for colonization. These results imply that ecosystem properties change predictably after initial restoration plantings, and that reaching critical

  7. Native and introduced host plants of Anastrepha fraterculus and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ovruski, Sergio; Schliserman, Pablo; Aluja, Martín

    2003-08-01

    Wild or commercially grown, native and exotic fruit were collected in 30 localities in the Tucumán province (NW Argentina) from January 1990 to December 1995 to determine their status as hosts of Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) and/or Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), the only two fruit fly species of economic and quarantine importance in Argentina. A total of 84,094 fruit (3,466.1 kg) representing 33 species (7 native and 26 exotic) in 15 plant families were sampled. We determined the following 17 host plant associations: Annona cherimola Miller (Annonaceae), Citrus paradisi Macfadyn (Rutaceae), Diospyros kaki L. (Ebenaceae), Eugenia uniflora L., Psidium guajava L., Myrcianthes pungens (Berg) Legrand (Myrtaceae), Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), Juglans australis Grisebach (Juglandaceae), Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae), Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl., Prunus armeniaca L., P. domestica L., and P. persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae) were infested by both A. fraterculus and C. capitata. Citrus aurantium L., Citrus reticulata Blanco, Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (Rutaceae), and Passiflora caerulea L. (Passifloraceae) were only infested by Ceratitis capitata. Out of a total of 99,627 adults that emerged from pupae, 69,180 (approximately 69.5%) were Anastrepha fraterculus, 30,138 (approximately 30.2%) were C. capitata, and 309 (approximately 0.3%) were an unidentified Anastrepha species. Anastrepha fraterculus predominated in native plant species while C. capitata did so in introduced species. Infestation rates (number of larvae/kg of fruit) varied sharply from year to year and between host plant species (overall there was a significant negative correlation between fruit size and infestation level). We provide information on fruiting phenology of all the reported hosts and discuss our findings in light of their practical (e.g., management of A. fraterculus and C. capitata in citrus groves) implications.

  8. Spider silks from plants - a challenge to create native-sized spidroins.

    PubMed

    Hauptmann, Valeska; Weichert, Nicola; Rakhimova, Marziya; Conrad, Udo

    2013-10-01

    Silk threads from spiders exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties, such as superior toughness and elasticity. Spider silks consist of several different large repetitive proteins that act as the basic materials responsible for these outstanding features. The production of spider silk protein variants in plants opens up new horizons in the production and functional investigation that enable the use of spider silks in innovative material development, nanotechnology and biomedicine in the future. This review summarizes and discusses production of spider silk protein variants in plants, especially with regards to plant expression systems, purification strategies, and characteristics of spider silk variants. Furthermore, the challenge of producing native-sized recombinant spidroins in planta is outlined, presenting three different strategies for achieving these high repetitive proteins with the help of non-repetitive C-terminal domains, crosslinking transglutaminase, and self-linking inteins. The potential of these fascinating proteins in medicine is also highlighted.

  9. Sensory characteristics of antioxidant extracts from Uruguayan native plants: influence of deodorization by steam distillation.

    PubMed

    Miraballes, Marcelo; Gámbaro, Adriana; Ares, Gastón

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenolic-rich antioxidant extracts from native plants have potential applications as ingredients in functional foods; however, their intense characteristic flavour is a major limitation to their application. In this context, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the influence of steam distillation on the sensory and physicochemical characteristics of extracts of five native Uruguayan plants (Acca sellowiana, Achyrocline satureioides, Aloysia gratisima, Baccharis trimera and Mikania guaco). Aqueous extracts from the five native plants were obtained. Steam distillation was used to produce two types of deodorized extracts: extracts from deodorized leaves and extracts deodorized after the extraction. The extracts were characterized in terms of their total polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity (using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid methods). A trained assessor panel evaluated characteristic odour, characteristic flavour, bitterness and astringency of the extracts. The total polyphenolic content of the extracts ranged from 112.4 to 974.4 mg/100 mL, whereas their antioxidant capacity ranged from 9.6 to 1008.7 mg vitamin C equivalents/100 mL, depending on the type of extract and the method being considered. Steam distillation was effective in reducing the characteristic odour and flavour of the extracts, without causing large changes in their polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity. In general, in terms of sensory characteristics, steam distillation performed on the extracts gave better results than when performed on the leaves; whereas the opposite trend was found for polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity. Results suggested that steam distillation could be a promising low-cost procedure for the production of antioxidant extracts for food products.

  10. Differential responses of invasive Celastrus orbiculatus (Celastraceae) and native C. scandens to changes in light quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leicht, S.A.; Silander, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    When plants are subjected to leaf canopy shade in forest understories or from neighboring plants, they not only experience reduced light quantity, but light quality in lowered red:far red light (R:FR). Growth and other developmental responses of plants in reduced R:FR can vary and are not consistent across species. We compared how an invasive liana, Celastrus orbiculatus, and its closely related native congener, C. scandens, responded to changes in the R:FR under controlled, simulated understory conditions. We measured a suite of morphological and growth attributes under control, neutral shading, and low R:FR light treatments. Celastrus orbiculatus showed an increase in height, aboveground biomass, and total leaf mass in reduced R:FR treatments as compared to the neutral shade, while C. scandens had increased stem diameter, single leaf area, and leaf mass to stem mass ratio. These differences provide a mechanistic understanding of the ability of C. orbiculatus to increase height and actively forage for light resources in forest understories, while C. scandens appears unable to forage for light and instead depends upon a light gap forming. The plastic growth response of C. orbiculatus in shaded conditions points to its success in forested habitats where C. scandens is largely absent.

  11. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7-60 yr old (31.2 ?? 2.5 yr, mean ?? 1 SE). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of grazing. We also hypothesized that grazed sites would have higher native and exotic species richness compared to ungrazed areas, due to disturbance (i.e., the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis) and the conventional wisdom that grazing may accelerate weed invasion. Both hypotheses were soundly rejected. Although native species richness in 1-m2 subplots was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in grazed sites, we found nearly identical native or exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots in exclosures (31.5 ?? 2.5 native and 3.1 ?? 0.5 exotic species), adjacent grazed plots (32.6 ?? 2.8 native and 3.2 ?? 0.6 exotic species), and randomly selected grazed plots (31.6 ?? 2.9 native and 3.2 ?? 0.6 exotic species). We found no significant differences in species diversity (Hill's diversity indices, N1 and N2), evenness (Hill's ratio of evenness, E5), cover of various life-forms (grasses, forbs, and shrubs), soil texture, or soil percentage of N and C between grazed and ungrazed sites at the 1000-m2 plot scale. The species lists of the long-ungrazed and adjacent grazed plots overlapped just 57.9 ?? 2.8%. This difference in species composition is commonly attributed solely to the difference in grazing regimes. However, the species lists between pairs of grazed plots

  12. Native Plant Uptake Model for Radioactive Waste Disposal Areas at the Nevada Test Site

    SciTech Connect

    BROWN,THERESA J.; WIRTH,SHARON

    1999-09-01

    . Parameters necessary for estimating surface contaminant flux due to native plants expected to inhabit the NTS RWMSS are developed in this report. The model is specific to the plant communities found at the NTS and is designed for both short-term (<1,000 years) and long-term (>1,000 years) modeling efforts. While the model has been crafted for general applicability to any NTS PA, the key radionuclides considered are limited to the transuranic (TRU) wastes disposed of at the NTS.

  13. Southwest Exotic Mapping Program 2007: Occurrence Summary and Maps of Select Invasive, Non-native Plants in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Guertin, Patricia

    2007-01-01

    Introduction An important aspect of management of invasive, non-native plants (invasive plants) is information on the type, location, and magnitude of infestations. Regional development of this information requires an integrated program of data collection, management, and delivery. The Southwest Exotic Plant Mapping Program (SWEMP), coordinated through the U.S. Geological Survey's Southwest Biological Science Center, annually compiles occurrence records for infestations of invasive plants. Operating since 1998, the SWEMP team has accepted occurrence records contributed voluntarily by federal, tribal, state, and private collaborators and has compiled these contributions accumulatively with previous versions of SWEMP. The SWEMP 2007 regional database update, SWEMP07, contains 62,000 records for 221 plant species with records dating as far back as 1911 and up to December, 2006. Records include invasive plants in Arizona, eastern California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. SWEMP07 is available through the Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse (http://sbsc.wr.usgs.gov/research/projects/swepic/swepic.asp, click SWEMP). Not all invasive plants are non-native and not all invasive plants are even invasive. The Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council (2006) defined an invasive species as 'a species that is (1) non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and, (2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health'. SWEMP uses the U.S. Department of Agriculture PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov/) to determine if a plant is native or not to Arizona. As SWEMP does not independently assess the current or potential impact of invasive plants, we include most non-native plant records contributed. We have not included agricultural crops that are non-native, for example apples, oranges, etc. In this open-file-report, we use the SWEMP07 update to summarize the occurrence of invasive plants in Arizona and

  14. Use of native plants for the remediation of abandoned mine sites in Mediterranean semiarid environments.

    PubMed

    Bacchetta, G; Cappai, G; Carucci, A; Tamburini, E

    2015-03-01

    Abandoned tailing dumps from mining industry represent important sources of metal contamination in the surrounding environments. This study evaluates the potential of two Mediterranean native plants, Pistacia lentiscus and Phragmites australis, for phytoremediation of two Sardinian contaminated mine sites. A 6 months study has been conducted at greenhouse-controlled conditions with the aim of investigating the plant capability to tolerate high metal concentrations and to extract or immobilize them within the roots. The possibility to mitigate stress on the plants and improve treatment efficiency by adding compost as amendment was also evaluated. Both species were able to restrict accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn to the root tissues exhibiting a metal concentration ratio of plant roots to soil bioavailable fraction higher than two (four in the case of Zn). However, the two species showed different adaptation responses, being the survival of P. australis after 6 months in contaminated soil lower (25 %-58 %) than that observed for P. lentiscus (77 %-100 %). Compost addition resulted in a lower metal uptake in tissues of both plants and a higher survival of P. australis, whilst almost no effect was observed as regard the growth of both species. The two tested species appear to be promising candidates for phytostabilization, P. lentiscus exhibiting a greater adaptability to heavy metal contaminated matrices than P. australis.

  15. Living in the city: urban environments shape the evolution of a native annual plant.

    PubMed

    Yakub, Mohamed; Tiffin, Peter

    2016-10-08

    Urban environments are warmer, have higher levels of atmospheric CO2 and have altered patterns of disturbance and precipitation than nearby rural areas. These differences can be important for plant growth and are likely to create distinct selective environments. We planted a common garden experiment with seeds collected from natural populations of the native annual plant Lepidium virginicum, growing in five urban and nearby rural areas in the northern United States to determine whether and how urban populations differ from those from surrounding rural areas. When grown in a common environment, plants grown from seeds collected from urban areas bolted sooner, grew larger, had fewer leaves, had an extended time between bolting and flowering, and produced more seeds than plants grown from seeds collected from rural areas. Interestingly, the rural populations exhibited larger phenotypic differences from one another than urban populations. Surprisingly, genomic data revealed that the majority of individuals in each of the urban populations were more closely related to individuals from other urban populations than they were to geographically proximate rural areas - the one exception being urban and rural populations from New York which were nearly identical. Taken together, our results suggest that selection in urban environments favors different traits than selection in rural environments and that these differences can drive adaptation and shape population structure.

  16. The investigation of antibacterial activity of selected native plants from North of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Koohsari, H; Ghaemi, EA; Sadegh Sheshpoli, M; Jahedi, M; Zahiri, M

    2015-01-01

    Plant derived products have been used for medicinal purposes during centuries. Bacterial resistance to currently used antibiotics has become a concern to public health. The development of bacterial super resistant strains has resulted in the currently used antibiotic agents failing to end many bacterial infections. For this reason, the search is ongoing for new antimicrobial agents, both by the design and by the synthesis of new agents, or through the search of natural sources for yet undiscovered antimicrobial agents. Herbal medications in particular have seen a revival of interest due to a perception that there is a lower incidence of adverse reactions to plant preparations compared to synthetic pharmaceuticals. Coupled with the reduced costs of plant preparations, this makes the search for natural therapeutics an attractive option. This research was carried out to assess the antibacterial activity aqueous and ethanolic extracts of six Azadshahr township Native plants in north of Iran against six species of pathogen bacteria by using three methods of Disk diffusion, Well method and MBC. The results of this research indicated that the effect of ethanol extracts were more than aqueous extract and among six plants, Lippia citriodora and Plantago major ethanol extract had the most antibacterial activity in any of the three methods. Gram-positive bacteria were more sensitive than gram-negative bacteria. Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus were the most susceptible Gram-positive bacteria.

  17. Origins of native vascular plants of Antarctica: comments from a historical phytogeography viewpoint.

    PubMed

    Mosyakin, S L; Bezusko, L G; Mosyakin, A S

    2007-01-01

    The article provides an overview of the problem of origin of the only native vascular plants of Antarctica, Deschampsia antartica (Poaceae) and Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae), from the viewpoint of modern historical phytogeography and related fields of science. Some authors suggested the Tertiary relict status of these plants in Antarctica, while others favour their recent Holocene immigration. Direct data (fossil or molecular genetic ones) for solving this controversy is still lacking. However, there is no convincing evidence supporting the Tertiary relict status of these plants in Antarctica. Most probably D. antarctica and C. quitensis migrated to Antarctica in the Holocene or Late Pleistocene (last interglacial?) through bird-aided long-distance dispersal. It should be critically tested by (1) appropriate methods of molecular phylogeography, (2) molecular clock methods, if feasible, (3) direct paleobotanical studies, (4) paleoclimatic reconstructions, and (5) comparison with cases of taxa with similar distribution/dispersal patterns. The problem of the origin of Antarctic vascular plants is a perfect model for integration of modern methods of molecular phylogeography and phylogenetics, population biology, paleobiology and paleogeography for solving a long-standing enigma of historical plant geography and evolution.

  18. Beneficial native bacteria improve survival and mycorrhization of desert truffle mycorrhizal plants in nursery conditions.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Ródenas, Alfonso; Berná, Luis Miguel; Lozano-Carrillo, Cecilia; Andrino, Alberto; Morte, Asunción

    2016-10-01

    Sixty-four native bacterial colonies were isolated from mycorrhizal roots of Helianthemum almeriense colonized by Terfezia claveryi, mycorrhizosphere soil, and peridium of T. claveryi to evaluate their effect on mycorrhizal plant production. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA partial sequence, 45 different strains from 17 genera were gathered. The largest genera were Pseudomonas (40.8 % of the isolated strains), Bacillus (12.2 % of isolated strains), and Varivorax (8.2 % of isolated strains). All the bacteria were characterized phenotypically and by their plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) traits (auxin and siderophore production, phosphate solubilization, and ACC deaminase activity). Only bacterial combinations with several PGPR traits or Pseudomonas sp. strain 5, which presents three different PGPR traits, had a positive effect on plant survival and growth. Particularly relevant were the bacterial treatments involving auxin release, which significantly increased the root-shoot ratio and mycorrhizal colonization. Moreover, Pseudomonas mandelii strain 29 was able to considerably increase mycorrhizal colonization but not plant growth, and could be considered as mycorrhiza-helper bacteria. Therefore, the mycorrhizal roots, mycorrhizosphere soil, and peridium of desert truffles are environments enriched in bacteria which may be used to increase the survival and mycorrhization in the desert truffle plant production system at a semi-industrial scale.

  19. Phytonutrient and compositional analysis in traditionally-used native american edible plants yucca whipplei from S. California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant derived foods such as fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, phenolics and other biologically active components shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Traditionally-used Native American edible plants are thought to be rich sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and bi...

  20. Biogeochemical variability of plants at native and altered sites, San Juan Basin, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.P.; Severson, R.C.

    1981-01-01

    The San Juan Basin is becoming a major energy resource region. The anticipated increase in strip mining for coal can be expected to alter the geochemical and biogeochemical environment. because such activities destroy the native vegetation communities, rearrange the rock strata, and disrupt natural soil development. This study investigated the variability in the biogeochemistry of native plant species at both undisturbed and altered sites and assessed the importance of the observed differences. Three studies are involved in this investigation: Study 1, the biogeochemical variability of native species found at sites throughout that part of the basin underlain by economically recoverable coal; Study 2, the biogeochemical variability of native species growing on soils considered favorable for use in the topsoiling of spoil areas; and Study 3, the biogeochemical variability of native species on rehabilitated sites at the San Juan coal mine. Summary statistics for concentrations of 35 elements (and ash yield) are reported in Study 1 for galleta grass, broom snakeweed, and fourwing saltbush. The concentrations of manganese, molybdenum, nickel, and uranium (and possibly iron and selenium) in galleta show regional patterns, with the highest values generally found in the south-central region and western edge of the study area. Differences in the concentration of elements between species was generally subtle (less than a factor of two) except for the following: ash yield of saltbush was two times that of the other plants; boron in snakeweed and saltbush was four times greater than in galleta; iron in galleta was two times greater than in saltbush; and, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur were generally highest in saltbush. Summary statistics (including the 95-percent expected range) for concentrations of 35 elements (and ash yield) are reported from Study 2 for galleta and broom snakeweed growing on the Sheppard, Shiprock, and Doak soil association

  1. Survey of Plant Growth-Promoting Mechanisms in Native Portuguese Chickpea Mesorhizobium Isolates.

    PubMed

    Brígido, Clarisse; Glick, Bernard R; Oliveira, Solange

    2017-05-01

    Rhizobia may possess other plant growth-promoting mechanisms besides nitrogen fixation. These mechanisms and the tolerance to different environmental factors, such as metals, may contribute to the use of rhizobia inocula to establish a successful legume-rhizobia symbiosis. Our goal was to characterize a collection of native Portuguese chickpea Mesorhizobium isolates in terms of plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits and tolerance to different metals as well as to investigate whether these characteristics are related to the biogeography of the isolates. The occurrence of six PGP mechanisms and tolerance to five metals were evaluated in 61 chickpea Mesorhizobium isolates previously obtained from distinct provinces in Portugal and assigned to different species clusters. Chickpea microsymbionts show high diversity in terms of PGP traits as well as in their ability to tolerate different metals. All isolates synthesized indoleacetic acid, 50 isolates produced siderophores, 19 isolates solubilized phosphate, 12 isolates displayed acid phosphatase activity, and 22 exhibited cytokinin activity. Most isolates tolerated Zn or Pb but not Ni, Co, or Cu. Several associations between specific PGP mechanisms and the province of origin and species clusters of the isolates were found. Our data suggests that the isolate's tolerance to metals and ability to solubilize inorganic phosphate and to produce IAA may be responsible for the persistence and distribution of the native Portuguese chickpea Mesorhizobium species. Furthermore, this study revealed several chickpea microsymbionts with potential as PGP rhizobacteria as well as for utilization in phytoremediation strategies.

  2. Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim of the present study was to describe the use of medicinal plants within two municipalities, Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, both in the department of Boyacá, Colombia and to assess the importance of native and introduced plants to healers, amateur healers and local people. As local healers including amateur healers have no history of introduced species our working hypotheses (H1-2) were that H1: native and introduced medicinal plant species are of equal importance and H2: healers and amateur healers do not differentiate in their preferences between native and introduced medicinal plant species. Methods Ten villages were included in the study. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, in- depth interviews, and open talks. Voucher specimens were collected in home gardens and during field walks. For data analysis, we calculated use value indices and Jaccard index and tested for the above hypothesis using Spearman rank-correlation coefficients and Wilcoxon-Mann–Whitney tests. Results Eighty medicinal plant species were described by locals as the most frequently used. Of these, 78 species were taxonomically identified, distributed within 41 families and 74 genera, which included 35 native species and 43 introduced. The highest valued families were: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae and Verbenaceae. The species ranked highest according to their Use Values, in both municipalities, were Mentha suaveolens Ehrh., Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth, and Verbena littoralis Kunth. Introduced species were more important than native ones in Zetaquira, while there was no difference in importance in Campo Hermoso. While healers

  3. Genetic diversity and structure of native and non-native populations of the endangered plant Pinus dabeshanensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Z Y; Wang, H; Chen, W; Pang, X M; Li, Y Y

    2016-06-10

    Owing to a severe decline in its abundance, Pinus dabeshanensis has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Although several restoration events have been undertaken since the 1960s, the natural population genetic structure of this species remains to be investigated. Herein, we examined the level of genetic diversity and structure of two native and two non-native populations using 10 microsatellite loci. A relatively high level of genetic variation (HO = 0.586 ± 0.039) and a low level of population differentiation (FST = 0.016 ± 0.011) were revealed. For forensic investigation, an assignment test was performed. To better understand the genetic differentiation between the native and non-native populations, the individuals in the transplanted and cultivated populations may have derived from populations that were not surveyed in this study. In light of our results, we discuss the real problems faced by all four populations and provide useful information for management decision-making.

  4. Deer browse resistant exotic-invasive understory: an indicator of elevated human risk of exposure to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in southern coastal Maine woodlands.

    PubMed

    Elias, Susan P; Lubelczyk, Charles B; Rand, Peter W; Lacombe, Eleanor H; Holman, Mary S; Smith, Robert P

    2006-11-01

    We evaluated the relationships between forest understory structure and the abundance of questing adult and nymphal blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), in three Maine towns endemic for Lyme disease, 2001-2003. In fragmented New England woodlands, over-abundant white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman, overbrowse palatable species, allowing browse-resistant exotic-invasive species to replace native forest understory structures. We predicted there would be more ticks in plots dominated by exotic-invasive shrubs (such as Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii DC) than in plots dominated by native shrubs, ferns, or open understory. We assessed canopy composition and closure, tree basal area, litter composition, percentage of coverage and stem density of understory species, litter depth, soil moisture, and abundance of small mammals and white-tailed deer pellet groups. We used generalized linear mixed model analysis of covariance to determine the effect of understory structure on tick counts, controlling for continuous habitat and host covariates and adjusting for random spatial effects. There were twice as many adults and nearly twice as many nymphs in plots dominated by exotic-invasives than in plots dominated by native shrubs. Both adult and nymphal counts were lowest in open understory with coniferous litter. Adults were positively associated with increasing litter depth, medium soil moisture, and increasing abundance of white-footed deer mice, Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque, and deer pellet group counts. Nymphs were positively associated with increasing litter depth, moderately wet soil, and mice. We concluded that deer browse-resistant exotic-invasive understory vegetation presented an elevated risk of human exposure to the vector tick of Lyme disease.

  5. Native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi isolated from a saline habitat improved maize antioxidant systems and plant tolerance to salinity.

    PubMed

    Estrada, Beatriz; Aroca, Ricardo; Barea, José Miguel; Ruiz-Lozano, Juan Manuel

    2013-03-01

    High soil salinity is a serious problem for crop production because most of the cultivated plants are salt sensitive, which is also the case for the globally important crop plant maize. Salinity stress leads to secondary oxidative stress in plants and a correlation between antioxidant capacity and salt tolerance has been demonstrated in several plant species. The plant antioxidant capacity may be enhanced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and it has been proposed that AM symbiosis is more effective with native than with collection AMF species. Thus, we investigated whether native AMF isolated from a dry and saline environment can help maize plants to overcome salt stress better than AMF from a culture collection and whether protection against oxidative stress is involved in such an effect. Maize plants inoculated with three native AMF showed higher efficiency of photosystem II and stomatal conductance, which surely decreased photorespiration and ROS production. Indeed, the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, the oxidative damage to lipids and the membrane electrolyte leakage in these AM plants were significantly lower than in non-mycorrhizal plants or in plants inoculated with the collection AMF. The activation of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase or catalase also accounted for these effects.

  6. Nitrogen-addition effects on leaf traits and photosynthetic carbon gain of boreal forest understory shrubs.

    PubMed

    Palmroth, Sari; Bach, Lisbet Holm; Nordin, Annika; Palmqvist, Kristin

    2014-06-01

    Boreal coniferous forests are characterized by fairly open canopies where understory vegetation is an important component of ecosystem C and N cycling. We used an ecophysiological approach to study the effects of N additions on uptake and partitioning of C and N in two dominant understory shrubs: deciduous Vaccinium myrtillus in a Picea abies stand and evergreen Vaccinium vitis-idaea in a Pinus sylvestris stand in northern Sweden. N was added to these stands for 16 and 8 years, respectively, at rates of 0, 12.5, and 50 kg N ha(-1) year(-1). N addition at the highest rate increased foliar N and chlorophyll concentrations in both understory species. Canopy cover of P. abies also increased, decreasing light availability and leaf mass per area of V. myrtillus. Among leaves of either shrub, foliar N content did not explain variation in light-saturated CO2 exchange rates. Instead photosynthetic capacity varied with stomatal conductance possibly reflecting plant hydraulic properties and within-site variation in water availability. Moreover, likely due to increased shading under P. abies and due to water limitations in the sandy soil under P. sylvestris, individuals of the two shrubs did not increase their biomass or shift their allocation between above- and belowground parts in response to N additions. Altogether, our results indicate that the understory shrubs in these systems show little response to N additions in terms of photosynthetic physiology or growth and that changes in their performance are mostly associated with responses of the tree canopy.

  7. Flower and fruit production of understory shrubs in western Washington and Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J. C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  8. Seed and vegetative production of shrubs and growth of understory conifer regeneration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  9. Evaluation of Methods to Estimate Understory Fruit Biomass

    PubMed Central

    Lashley, Marcus A.; Thompson, Jeffrey R.; Chitwood, M. Colter; DePerno, Christopher S.; Moorman, Christopher E.

    2014-01-01

    Fleshy fruit is consumed by many wildlife species and is a critical component of forest ecosystems. Because fruit production may change quickly during forest succession, frequent monitoring of fruit biomass may be needed to better understand shifts in wildlife habitat quality. Yet, designing a fruit sampling protocol that is executable on a frequent basis may be difficult, and knowledge of accuracy within monitoring protocols is lacking. We evaluated the accuracy and efficiency of 3 methods to estimate understory fruit biomass (Fruit Count, Stem Density, and Plant Coverage). The Fruit Count method requires visual counts of fruit to estimate fruit biomass. The Stem Density method uses counts of all stems of fruit producing species to estimate fruit biomass. The Plant Coverage method uses land coverage of fruit producing species to estimate fruit biomass. Using linear regression models under a censored-normal distribution, we determined the Fruit Count and Stem Density methods could accurately estimate fruit biomass; however, when comparing AIC values between models, the Fruit Count method was the superior method for estimating fruit biomass. After determining that Fruit Count was the superior method to accurately estimate fruit biomass, we conducted additional analyses to determine the sampling intensity (i.e., percentage of area) necessary to accurately estimate fruit biomass. The Fruit Count method accurately estimated fruit biomass at a 0.8% sampling intensity. In some cases, sampling 0.8% of an area may not be feasible. In these cases, we suggest sampling understory fruit production with the Fruit Count method at the greatest feasible sampling intensity, which could be valuable to assess annual fluctuations in fruit production. PMID:24819253

  10. Comparative life history and physiology of two understory Neotropical herbs.

    PubMed

    Mulkey, Stephen S; Smith, Alan P; Wright, S Joseph

    1991-10-01

    Demography and physiology of two broad-leaved understory tropical herbs (Marantaceae) were studied in gaps and shaded understory in large-scale irrigated and control treatments during the dry season at Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. Because photosynthetic acclimation potential may not predict light environments where tropical species are found, we studied a suite of physiological features to determine if they uniquely reflect the distribution of each species. Calathea inocephala and Pleiostachya pruinosa grow and reproduce in gaps, persist in shade, and have equivalent rates of leaf production. Calathea leaves survived 2 to 3 times as long as leaves of Pleiostachya and plants of Pleiostachya were 6 to 8 times more likely to die as plants of Calathea during 3.5 years of study. Pleiostachya had lowest survival in shade and when not irrigated during the dry season, while Calathea survived well in both habitats and both treatments. Pleiostachya had higher photosynthetic capacity and stomatal conductance than Calathea and acclimated to gaps by producing leaves with higher photosynthetic capacity. Calathea had lower mesophyll CO2 concentrations than Pleiostachya. Both species had similar dark respiration rates and light compensation points, and water-use and nitrogen-use efficiencies were inversely related between species. Species showed no differences in leaf osmotic potentials at full turgor. Calathea roots were deeper and had tuberous swellings.Leaf-level assimilation and potential water loss are consistent with where these species are found, but photosynthetic acclimation to high light does not reflect both species' abilities to grow and reproduce in gaps. Pleiostachya's gap-dependent, rapid growth and reproduction require high rates of carbon gain in short-lived leaves, which can amortize their cost quickly. High rates of water loss are associated with reduced longevity during drought. Calathea's roots may confer greater capacitance, while its leaves are

  11. Persistence of native and exotic plants ten years after prairie reconstruction data set

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.; Bright, J. B.; Drobney, Pauline; Larson, Jennifer L.; Vacek, Sara

    2016-01-01

    These data sets consist of data collected during 2005-2007, 2010, and 2015 at Neal Smith NWR (IA) and Fergus Falls, Litchfield, and Morris Wetland Management Districts (MN) that were used in the analysis in support of the article titled "Integrity of tallgrass prairie reconstructions ten years after planting: native plant persistence and exotic weed resistance," which has been submitted to the journal Restoration Ecology. The primary goal of this study was to understand what influence early reconstruction practices have 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. Cover by species was estimated in 2005-2007, 2010 and 2015, and richness data for treatment plots was determined in 2007, 2010, and 2015. Data from Minnesota and Iowa sites were analyzed separately, and are housed in separate files.

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi protect a native plant from allelopathic effects of an invader.

    PubMed

    Barto, Kathryn; Friese, Carl; Cipollini, Don

    2010-04-01

    The allelopathic potential of the Eurasian invasive plant Alliaria petiolata has been well documented, with the bulk of the effects believed to be mediated by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We exposed the herbaceous annual Impatiens pallida, which is native to North America, to fractionated A. petiolata extracts at four developmental stages (germination, presymbiosis growth, symbiosis formation, and symbiosis growth) by using exposure levels expected to be similar to field levels. Surprisingly, we found strong direct effects on I. pallida germination and growth, but no indirect effects on I. pallida growth mediated by AMF. We also observed strong synergistic effects with a complete A. petiolata extract that inhibited I. pallida germination and presymbiosis root growth more than either a glucosinolate or flavonoid enriched fraction alone. In fact, the flavonoid enriched fraction tended to stimulate germination and presymbiosis root growth. In contrast to these strong direct effects, I. pallida plant growth during both the symbiosis formation and symbiosis growth phases was unaffected by A. petiolata extracts. We also found no inhibition of AMF colonization of roots or soils by A. petiolata extracts. We show that AMF can actually ameliorate allelopathic effects of an invasive plant, and suggest that previously observed allelopathic effects of A. petiolata may be due to direct inhibition of plant and fungal growth before symbiosis formation.

  13. Native pollen thieves reduce the reproductive success of a hermaphroditic plant, Aloe maculata.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2010-06-01

    Pollen is unique among floral rewards in functioning as both a carrier of gametes and an attractant and nutritious resource for floral visitors. Animals that collect pollen without pollinating (pollen thieves) could reduce siring success of thieved plants and cause pollen limitation of seed set at the population level; however, such impacts on plant reproduction have not been demonstrated experimentally. To test these effects we added hives of native honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to populations of a primarily bird-pollinated plant, Aloe maculata, in eastern South Africa. In field and aviary trials, bee addition increased pollen removal from anthers but decreased pollen deposition on stigmas, and so reduced both male and female pollination components. Further, total seed production decreased with hive addition in the aviary experiment and in three of four field populations, indicating that population-level pollen theft can also compromise reproductive success. In the field, naturally occurring allodapine bees also seemed to act as pollen thieves, outweighing the effect of honey bee hive addition at one of the four aloe populations. Our results highlight the importance of social bees as pollen thieves, even of plants that have evolved in their presence, and the role of dichogamy in promoting pollen theft. Given the commonness of both social bees and dichogamy, pollen theft is likely a much more common influence on floral ecology and evolution than suggested by the sparse literature.

  14. Arsenic and heavy metals in native plants at tailings impoundments in Queretaro, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Jallath, José; Castro-Rodríguez, Alejandrina; Huezo-Casillas, José; Torres-Bustillos, Luis

    Ten native plants species that grow in three tailings dams from Ag, Pb, Cu and Zn mine in Queretaro, Mexico were studied. Total concentrations in tailings were 183-14,660 mg/kg As, 45-308 mg/kg Cd, 327-1754 mg/kg Pb, 149-459 mg/kg Cu and 448-505 mg/kg Zn. In the three tailings dams, the solubility of these elements is low. Tailings in dam 1 are acid generating while tailings in dams 2 and 3 are not acid-generating potential. Plants species that accumulate arsenic and heavy metals was identified; Nicotina glauca generally presented the highest concentrations (92 mg/kg As, 106 mg/kg Cd, 189 mg/kg Pb, 95 mg/kg Cu and 1985 mg/kg Zn). Other species that accumulate these elements are Flaveria pubescens, Tecoma stans, Prosopis Sp, Casuarina Sp and Maurandia antirrhiniflora. Two species were found that accumulates a large amount of metals in the root, Cenchrus ciliaris and Opuntia lasiacantha. Concentrations in soils in which plants grow were 488-5990 mg/kg As, 5-129 mg/kg Cd, 169-3638 mg/kg Pb, 159-1254 mg/kg Cu and 1431-13,488 mg/kg Zn. The Accumulation Factor (AF) determined for plants was less than 1, with exception of N. glauca for Cd. The correlation between arsenic and heavy metals found in soils and plants was low. Knowledge of plant characteristics allows it use in planning the reforestation of tailings dams in controlled manner. This will reduce the risk of potentially toxic elements are integrated into the food chain of animal species.

  15. Role of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the pollination biology of a California native plant, Triteleia laxa (Asparagales: Themidaceae).

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, S A; Schlising, R A

    2008-06-01

    A central focus of pollination biology is to document the relative effectiveness of different flower visitors as pollinators. Ongoing research seeks to determine the role that introduced honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) play in the pollination of both invasive and native plants. Here we report on the importance of A. mellifera as pollinators of a California native plant, Triteleia laxa Bentham. In observation plots and transect censuses, A. mellifera overwhelmingly dominated the T. laxa flower visitor assemblage. We believe the proximity to agriculture, where A. mellifera density is higher relative to areas far from agriculture, contributes to the discrepancy between A. mellifera abundance at the two sites. Although A. mellifera were inferior flower visitors qualitatively (visited less flowers per minute), they were the most frequent interactors with flowers. Furthermore, the proportion of visits to flowers on the same plant among flower visitor species did not differ, suggesting a general mechanism by which insects forage at T. laxa flowers and that A. mellifera do not cause more deleterious geitonogamy than do native pollinators. Flower visitation rates as a function of floral display size did not differ between A. mellifera and other flower visitors. The difference in the magnitude of flower visitation (largely by A. mellifera) between sites is consistent with a difference in seed set between sites. These results suggest that non-native A. mellifera bees can play an important role in the pollination of native plant species.

  16. Thinning increases understory diversity and biomass, and improves soil properties without decreasing growth of Chinese fir in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lili; Cai, Liping; He, Zongming; Wang, Rongwei; Wu, Pengfei; Ma, Xiangqing

    2016-12-01

    Sustainable forestry requires adopting more ecosystem-informed perspectives. Tree thinning improves forest productivity by encouraging the development of the understory, which in turn improves species diversity and nutrient cycling, thereby altering the ecophysiological environment of the stand. This study aimed to quantify tree growth, understory vegetation, and soil quality of 9- and 16-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) plantations in South China, 1-7 years after pre-commercial thinning. The quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and individual tree volume were greatly increased and compensated for the reduced stand yield in thinned stands. In 2011, the stand volume in unthinned and thinned stands were 276.33 and 226.46 and 251.30 and 243.64 m(3) ha(-1), respectively, for young and middle stage. Therefore, we predicted that over time, the stand volume in thinned stands should exceed that in unthinned stands. The composition, diversity, and biomass of understory vegetation of the plantation monocultures significantly increased after thinning. The effects of thinning management on understory development were dynamic and apparent within 1-2 years post-thinning. Some light-demanding plant species such as Styrax faberi, Callicarpa formosana, Lophatherum gracile, and Gahnia tristis emerged in the shrub and herb layer and became dominant with the larger gaps in the canopy in thinned stands. The trigger effects of thinning management on understory and tree growth were more pronounced in the young stage. The beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties were measurable at later stages (7 years after thinning). The strong positive relationship between understory biomass and volume increment (at the tree and stand levels) indicated that understory improvement after thinning did not restrict productivity within Chinese fir stands but rather, benefited soil water content and nutrient status and promoted tree growth.

  17. Herbivory-induced volatiles function as defenses increasing fitness of the native plant Nicotiana attenuata in nature.

    PubMed

    Schuman, Meredith C; Barthel, Kathleen; Baldwin, Ian T

    2012-10-15

    From an herbivore's first bite, plants release herbivory-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) which can attract enemies of herbivores. However, other animals and competing plants can intercept HIPVs for their own use, and it remains unclear whether HIPVs serve as an indirect defense by increasing fitness for the emitting plant. In a 2-year field study, HIPV-emitting N. attenuata plants produced twice as many buds and flowers as HIPV-silenced plants, but only when native Geocoris spp. predators reduced herbivore loads (by 50%) on HIPV-emitters. In concert with HIPVs, plants also employ antidigestive trypsin protease inhibitors (TPIs), but TPI-producing plants were not fitter than TPI-silenced plants. TPIs weakened a specialist herbivore's behavioral evasive responses to simulated Geocoris spp. attack, indicating that TPIs function against specialists by enhancing indirect defense.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00007.001.

  18. Herbivory-induced volatiles function as defenses increasing fitness of the native plant Nicotiana attenuata in nature

    PubMed Central

    Schuman, Meredith C; Barthel, Kathleen; Baldwin, Ian T

    2012-01-01

    From an herbivore's first bite, plants release herbivory-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) which can attract enemies of herbivores. However, other animals and competing plants can intercept HIPVs for their own use, and it remains unclear whether HIPVs serve as an indirect defense by increasing fitness for the emitting plant. In a 2-year field study, HIPV-emitting N. attenuata plants produced twice as many buds and flowers as HIPV-silenced plants, but only when native Geocoris spp. predators reduced herbivore loads (by 50%) on HIPV-emitters. In concert with HIPVs, plants also employ antidigestive trypsin protease inhibitors (TPIs), but TPI-producing plants were not fitter than TPI-silenced plants. TPIs weakened a specialist herbivore's behavioral evasive responses to simulated Geocoris spp. attack, indicating that TPIs function against specialists by enhancing indirect defense. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00007.001 PMID:23066503

  19. Taxonomic similarity, more than contact opportunity, explains novel plant-pathogen associations between native and alien taxa.

    PubMed

    Bufford, Jennifer L; Hulme, Philip E; Sikes, Benjamin A; Cooper, Jerry A; Johnston, Peter R; Duncan, Richard P

    2016-11-01

    Novel associations between plants and pathogens can have serious impacts on managed and natural ecosystems world-wide. The introduction of alien plants increases the potential for biogeographically novel plant-pathogen associations to arise when pathogens are transmitted from native to alien plant species and vice versa. We quantified biogeographically novel associations recorded in New Zealand over the last 150 yr between plant pathogens (fungi, oomycetes and plasmodiophorids) and vascular plants. We examined the extent to which taxonomic similarity, pathogen traits, contact opportunity and sampling effort could explain the number of novel associates for host and pathogen species. Novel associations were common; approximately one-third of surveyed plants and pathogens were recorded with at least one biogeographically novel associate. Native plants had more alien pathogens than vice versa. Taxonomic similarity between the native and alien flora and the total number of recorded associations (a measure of sampling effort) best explained the number of novel associates among species. The frequency of novel associations and the importance of sampling effort as an explanatory variable emphasize the need for effective monitoring and risk assessment tools to mitigate the potential environmental and economic impact of novel pathogen associations.

  20. Conversion of native terrestrial ecosystems in Hawai‘i to novel grazing systems: a review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leopold, Christina R.; Hess, Steven C.

    2017-01-01

    The remote oceanic islands of Hawai‘i exemplify the transformative effects that non-native herbivorous mammals can bring to isolated terrestrial ecosystems. We reviewed published literature containing systematically collected, analyzed, and peer-reviewed original data specifically addressing direct effects of non-native hoofed mammals (ungulates) on terrestrial ecosystems, and indirect effects and interactions on ecosystem processes in Hawai‘i. The effects of ungulates on native vegetation and ecosystems were addressed in 58 original studies and mostly showed strong short-term regeneration of dominant native trees and understory ferns after ungulate removal, but unassisted recovery was dependent on the extent of previous degradation. Ungulates were associated with herbivory, bark-stripping, disturbance by hoof action, soil erosion, enhanced nutrient cycling from the interaction of herbivory and grasses, and increased pyrogenicity and competition between native plants and pasture grasses. No studies demonstrated that ungulates benefitted native ecosystems except in short-term fire-risk reduction. However, non-native plants became problematic and continued to proliferate after release from herbivory, including at least 11 species of non-native pasture grasses that had become established prior to ungulate removal. Competition from non-native grasses inhibited native species regeneration where degradation was extensive. These processes have created novel grazing systems which, in some cases, have irreversibly altered Hawaii’s terrestrial ecology. Non-native plant control and outplanting of rarer native species will be necessary for recovery where degradation has been extensive. Lack of unassisted recovery in some locations should not be construed as a reason to not attempt restoration of other ecosystems.

  1. Plant pollinator interactions: comparison between an invasive and a native congeneric species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanparys, Valérie; Meerts, Pierre; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2008-11-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions determine reproductive success for animal-pollinated species and, in the case of invasive plants, they are supposed to play an important role in invasive success. We compared the invasive Senecio inaequidens to its native congener S. jacobaea in terms of interactions with pollinators. Visitor guild, visitation rate, and seed set were compared over 3 years in three sites in Belgium. Floral display (capitula number and arrangement) and phenology were quantified, and visiting insects were individually censused, i.e. number of visited capitula and time per visited capitulum. As expected from capitula resemblance, visitor guilds of both species were very similar (proportional similarity = 0.94). Senecio inaequidens was visited by 33 species, versus 36 for S. jacobaea. For both species, main visitors were Diptera, especially Syrphidae, and Hymenoptera. Visitation rate averaged 0.13 visitor per capitulum per 10 min for S. inaequidens against 0.08 for S. jacobaea. However, insects visited more capitula per plant on S. jacobaea, due to high capitula density (886 m -2 versus 206 m -2 for S. inaequidens), which is likely to increase self-pollen deposition considerably. Seed set of S. jacobaea was lower than that of S. inaequidens. We suggest that floral display is the major factor explaining the differences in insect visitation and seed set between the two Senecio species.

  2. Competition and soil resource environment alter plant-soil feedbacks for native and exotic grasses.

    PubMed

    Larios, Loralee; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-11-24

    Feedbacks between plants and soil biota are increasingly identified as key determinants of species abundance patterns within plant communities. However, our understanding of how plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) may contribute to invasions is limited by our understanding of how feedbacks may shift in the light of other ecological processes. Here we assess how the strength of PSFs may shift as soil microbial communities change along a gradient of soil nitrogen (N) availability and how these dynamics may be further altered by the presence of a competitor. We conducted a greenhouse experiment where we grew native Stipa pulchra and exotic Avena fatua, alone and in competition, in soils inoculated with conspecific and heterospecific soil microbial communities conditioned in low, ambient and high N environments. Stipa pulchra decreased in heterospecific soil and in the presence of a competitor, while the performance of the exotic A. fatua shifted with soil microbial communities from altered N environments. Moreover, competition and soil microbial communities from the high N environment eliminated the positive PSFs of Stipa. Our results highlight the importance of examining how individual PSFs may interact in a broader community context and contribute to the establishment, spread and dominance of invaders.

  3. Native Brazilian plants against nosocomial infections: a critical review on their potential and the antimicrobial methodology.

    PubMed

    H Moreno, Paulo Roberto; da Costa-Issa, Fabiana Inácio; Rajca-Ferreira, Agnieszka K; Pereira, Marcos A A; Kaneko, Telma M

    2013-01-01

    The growing incidences of drug-resistant pathogens have increased the attention on several medicinal plants and their metabolites for antimicrobial properties. These pathogens are the main cause of nosocomial infections which led to an increasing mortality among hospitalized patients. Taking into consideration those factors, this paper reviews the state-of-the-art of the research on antibacterial agents from native Brazilian plant species related to nosocomial infections as well as the current methods used in the investigations of the antimicrobial activity and points out the differences in techniques employed by the authors. The antimicrobial assays most frequently used were broth microdilution, agar diffusion, agar dilution and bioautography. The broth microdilution method should be the method of choice for testing new antimicrobial agents from plant extracts or isolated compounds due to its advantages. At the moment, only a small part of the rich Brazilian flora has been investigated for antimicrobial activity, mostly with unfractionated extracts presenting a weak or moderate antibacterial activity. The combination of crude extract with conventional antibiotics represents a largely unexploited new form of chemotherapy with novel and multiple mechanisms of action that can overcome microbial resistance that needs to be further investigated. The antibacterial activity of essential oil vapours might also be an interesting alternative treatment of hospital environment due to their ability in preventing biofilm formation. However, in both alternatives more studies should be done on their mode of action and toxicological effects in order to optimize their use.

  4. Nutrient Limitation of Native and Invasive N2-Fixing Plants in Northwest Prairies

    PubMed Central

    Thorpe, Andrea S.; Perakis, Steven; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N.

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ15N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ15N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ15N averaged −0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ15N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications. PMID

  5. Nutrient limitation of native and invasive N2-fixing plants in northwest prairies.

    PubMed

    Thorpe, Andrea S; Perakis, Steven; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ(15)N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ(15)N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ(15)N averaged -0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ(15)N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications.

  6. Biotic context and soil properties modulate native plant responses to enhanced rainfall

    PubMed Central

    Eskelinen, Anu; Harrison, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims The environmental and biotic context within which plants grow have a great potential to modify responses to climatic changes, yet few studies have addressed both the direct effects of climate and the modulating roles played by variation in the biotic (e.g. competitors) and abiotic (e.g. soils) environment. Methods In a grassland with highly heterogeneous soils and community composition, small seedlings of two native plants, Lasthenia californica and Calycadenia pauciflora, were transplanted into factorially watered and fertilized plots. Measurements were made to test how the effect of climatic variability (mimicked by the watering treatment) on the survival, growth and seed production of these species was modulated by above-ground competition and by edaphic variables. Key Results Increased competition outweighed the direct positive impacts of enhanced rainfall on most fitness measures for both species, resulting in no net effect of enhanced rainfall. Both species benefitted from enhanced rainfall when the absence of competitors was accompanied by high soil water retention capacity. Fertilization did not amplify the watering effects; rather, plants benefitted from enhanced rainfall or competitor removal only in ambient nutrient conditions with high soil water retention capacity. Conclusions The findings show that the direct effects of climatic variability on plant fitness may be reversed or neutralized by competition and, in addition, may be strongly modulated by soil variation. Specifically, coarse soil texture was identified as a factor that may limit plant responsiveness to altered water availability. These results highlight the importance of considering the abiotic as well as biotic context when making future climate change forecasts. PMID:26159934

  7. Nutrient limitation of native and invasive N2-fixing plants in northwest prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorpe, Andrea S.; Perakis, Steven S.; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N.

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ15N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ15N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ15N averaged −0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ15N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications.

  8. Levels of toxic arsenic species in native terrestrial plants from soils polluted by former mining activities.

    PubMed

    García-Salgado, Sara; Quijano, M Ángeles

    2014-03-01

    Ten native terrestrial plants from soils polluted by former mining activities (Mónica mine, NW Madrid, Spain), with high total arsenic concentration levels (up to 3500 μg g(-1)), have been studied to determine the fraction of arsenic present as toxic forms (inorganic and methylated species), which present a higher mobility and therefore the potential risk associated with their reintegration into the environment is high. Roots and aboveground parts were analyzed separately to assess possible transformations from translocation processes. Extractions were carried out with deionized water by microwave-assisted extraction at a temperature of 90 °C and three extraction steps of 7.5 min each. Total extracted arsenic concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, showing extraction percentages from 9 to 39% (calculated as the ratio between total extracted arsenic (Asext) and total arsenic (AsT) concentrations in plants). Speciation studies, performed by high performance liquid chromatography-photo-oxidation-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry, showed the main presence of arsenate (As(v)) (up to 350 μg g(-1)), followed by arsenite (As(iii)), in both plant parts. Monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO) were also found only in some plants. On the other hand, the use of 0.5 mol L(-1) acetic acid as an extractant led to higher extraction percentages (33-87%), but lower column recoveries, probably due to the extraction of arsenic compounds different to the toxic free ions studied, which may come from biotransformation mechanisms carried out by plants to reduce arsenic toxicity. However, As(v) concentrations increased up to 800 μg g(-1) in acid medium, indicating the probable release of As(v) from organoarsenic compounds and therefore a higher potential risk for the environment.

  9. Analysis of genetic diversity of a native population of Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk. plants using ISSR markers.

    PubMed

    Alves, M F; Nizio, D A C; Brito, F A; Sampaio, T S; Silva, A V C; Arrigoni-Blank, M F; Carvalho, S V A; Blank, A F

    2016-12-02

    Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk. is a tree of the family Myrtaceae found in tropical and subtropical areas of the southern hemisphere that produces essential oil. The aim of this study was to characterize the genetic diversity of M. lundiana plants from a native population of Parque Nacional de Itabaiana, using inter-simple sequence repeat molecular markers. Thirty-five primers were tested, 20 of which were polymorphic, resulting in 135 polymorphic and informative bands. Results of the cluster analysis, obtained using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean, grouped plants into three clusters: Cluster I - MLU001, MLU002, MLU003, MLU004, MLU005, MLU006, MLU018, MLU019, MLU020, MLU021, MLU022; MLU008, MLU011, MLU012, MLU014, MLU015, MLU017, MLU026, and MLU028; Cluster II - MLU007, MLU009, MLU010, MLU013, and MLU016; and Cluster III - MLU023, MLU024, MLU025, and MLU027. Jaccard similarity coefficients for pair-wise comparisons of plants ranged between 0.15 and 0.87. MLU014 and MLU015 presented low genetic diversity, with a similarity index of 0.87. Conversely, MLU007 and MLU019 presented high diversity, with a similarity index of 0.15. According to the structure analysis, three distinct clusters were formed. Genetic diversity of M. lundiana plants was intermediate, and expansion of its genetic diversity is necessary. MLU026 and MLU028 are the most suitable for selection in breeding programs, since they clearly represent all of the diversity present in these plants. Moreover, these results provide important information on the existing genetic variability, highlighting the importance of Parque Nacional de Itabaiana for the conservation of this species.

  10. Restoration of Degraded Soil in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest with Native Tree Species: Effect of Indigenous Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Andimuthu; Radhapriya, Parthasarathy

    2016-01-01

    Restoration of a highly degraded forest, which had lost its natural capacity for regeneration, was attempted in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest in Eastern Ghats of India. In field experiment, 12 native tree species were planted. The restoration included inoculation with a consortium of 5 native plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), with the addition of small amounts of compost and a chemical fertilizer (NPK). The experimental fields were maintained for 1080 days. The growth and biomass varied depending on the plant species. All native plants responded well to the supplementation with the native PGPB. The plants such as Pongamia pinnata, Tamarindus indica, Gmelina arborea, Wrightia tinctoria, Syzygium cumini, Albizia lebbeck, Terminalia bellirica, and Azadirachta indica performed well in the native soil. This study demonstrated, by using native trees and PGPB, a possibility to restore the degraded forest. PMID:27195310

  11. Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yoshito; Ichikawa, San'ei; Kubota, Masahide; Hoshino, Junko; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Maruyama, Kouichi; Fuma, Shoichi; Kawaguchi, Isao; Yoschenko, Vasyl I; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-08-28

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) in March 2011, much attention has been paid to the biological consequences of the released radionuclides into the surrounding area. We investigated the morphological changes in Japanese fir, a Japanese endemic native conifer, at locations near the F1NPP. Japanese fir populations near the F1NPP showed a significantly increased number of morphological defects, involving deletions of leader shoots of the main axis, compared to a control population far from the F1NPP. The frequency of the defects corresponded to the radioactive contamination levels of the observation sites. A significant increase in deletions of the leader shoots became apparent in those that elongated after the spring of 2012, a year after the accident. These results suggest possibility that the contamination by radionuclides contributed to the morphological defects in Japanese fir trees in the area near the F1NPP.

  12. Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Yoshito; Ichikawa, San’ei; Kubota, Masahide; Hoshino, Junko; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Maruyama, Kouichi; Fuma, Shoichi; Kawaguchi, Isao; Yoschenko, Vasyl I.; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) in March 2011, much attention has been paid to the biological consequences of the released radionuclides into the surrounding area. We investigated the morphological changes in Japanese fir, a Japanese endemic native conifer, at locations near the F1NPP. Japanese fir populations near the F1NPP showed a significantly increased number of morphological defects, involving deletions of leader shoots of the main axis, compared to a control population far from the F1NPP. The frequency of the defects corresponded to the radioactive contamination levels of the observation sites. A significant increase in deletions of the leader shoots became apparent in those that elongated after the spring of 2012, a year after the accident. These results suggest possibility that the contamination by radionuclides contributed to the morphological defects in Japanese fir trees in the area near the F1NPP. PMID:26314382

  13. Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Todd M.

    2015-01-01

    The Williston Basin, located in the Northern Great Plains, is experiencing rapid energy development with North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter of current and projected development in the USA. The average single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated 58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscape-level disturbance may provide a pathway for the establishment of non-native plants. To evaluate potential influences of energy development on the presence and abundance of non-native species, vegetation surveys were conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-old and 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in native prairie environments across the Williston Basin. Non-native species richness and cover were recorded in four quadrats, located at equal distances, along four transects for a total of 16 quadrats per site. Non-natives were recorded at all 44 sites and ranged from 5 to 13 species, 7 to 15 species, and 2 to 8 species at the 10-year, 5-year, and control sites, respectively. Respective non-native cover ranged from 1 to 69, 16 to 76, and 2 to 82 %. Total, forb, and graminoid non-native species richness and non-native forb cover were significantly greater at oil well sites compared to control sites. At oil well sites, non-native species richness and forb cover were significantly greater adjacent to the well pads and decreased with distance to values similar to control sites. Finally, non-native species whose presence and/or abundance were significantly greater at oil well sites relative to control sites were identified to aid management efforts.

  14. Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin.

    PubMed

    Preston, Todd M

    2015-04-01

    The Williston Basin, located in the Northern Great Plains, is experiencing rapid energy development with North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter of current and projected development in the USA. The average single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated 58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscape-level disturbance may provide a pathway for the establishment of non-native plants. To evaluate potential influences of energy development on the presence and abundance of non-native species, vegetation surveys were conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-old and 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in native prairie environments across the Williston Basin. Non-native species richness and cover were recorded in four quadrats, located at equal distances, along four transects for a total of 16 quadrats per site. Non-natives were recorded at all 44 sites and ranged from 5 to 13 species, 7 to 15 species, and 2 to 8 species at the 10-year, 5-year, and control sites, respectively. Respective non-native cover ranged from 1 to 69, 16 to 76, and 2 to 82%. Total, forb, and graminoid non-native species richness and non-native forb cover were significantly greater at oil well sites compared to control sites. At oil well sites, non-native species richness and forb cover were significantly greater adjacent to the well pads and decreased with distance to values similar to control sites. Finally, non-native species whose presence and/or abundance were significantly greater at oil well sites relative to control sites were identified to aid management efforts.

  15. Rare earth elements (REEs): effects on germination and growth of selected crop and native plant species.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philippe J; Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline; Allison, Jane E

    2014-02-01

    The phytotoxicity of rare earth elements (REEs) is still poorly understood. The exposure-response relationships of three native Canadian plant species (common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., showy ticktrefoil, Desmodium canadense (L.) DC. and switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L.) and two commonly used crop species (radish, Raphanus sativus L., and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L.) to the REEs lanthanum (La), yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce) were tested. In separate experiments, seven to eight doses of each element were added to the soil prior to sowing seeds. Effects of REE dose on germination were established through measures of total percent germination and speed of germination; effects on growth were established through determination of above ground biomass. Ce was also tested at two pH levels and plant tissue analysis was conducted on pooled samples. Effects on germination were mostly observed with Ce at low pH. However, effects on growth were more pronounced, with detectable inhibition concentrations causing 10% and 25% reductions in biomass for the two native forb species (A. syriaca and D. canadense) with all REEs and on all species tested with Ce in both soil pH treatments. Concentration of Ce in aboveground biomass was lower than root Ce content, and followed the dose-response trend. From values measured in natural soils around the world, our results continue to support the notion that REEs are of limited toxicity and not considered extremely hazardous to the environment. However, in areas where REE contamination is likely, the slow accumulation of these elements in the environment could become problematic.

  16. Contributions of Understory and/or Overstory Vegetations to Soil Microbial PLFA and Nematode Diversities in Eucalyptus Monocultures

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhanfeng; Zhou, Lixia; Fu, Shenglei

    2014-01-01

    Ecological interactions between aboveground and belowground biodiversity have received many attentions in the recent decades. Although soil biodiversity declined with the decrease of plant diversity, many previous studies found plant species identities were more important than plant diversity in controlling soil biodiversity. This study focused on the responses of soil biodiversity to the altering of plant functional groups, namely overstory and understory vegetations, rather than plant diversity gradient. We conducted an experiment by removing overstory and/or understory vegetation to compare their effects on soil microbial phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and nematode diversities in eucalyptus monocultures. Our results indicated that both overstory and understory vegetations could affect soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities, which manifested as the decrease in Shannon–Wiener diversity index (H′) and Pielou evenness index (J) and the increase in Simpson dominance index (λ) after vegetation removal. Soil microclimate change explained part of variance of soil biodiversity indices. Both overstory and understory vegetations positively correlated with soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities. In addition, the alteration of soil biodiversity might be due to a mixing effect of bottom-up control and soil microclimate change after vegetation removal in the studied plantations. Given the studied ecosystem is common in humid subtropical and tropical region of the world, our findings might have great potential to extrapolate to large scales and could be conducive to ecosystem management and service. PMID:24427315

  17. A nonnative and a native fungal plant pathogen similarly stimulate ectomycorrhizal development but are perceived differently by a fungal symbiont.

    PubMed

    Zampieri, Elisa; Giordano, Luana; Lione, Guglielmo; Vizzini, Alfredo; Sillo, Fabiano; Balestrini, Raffaella; Gonthier, Paolo

    2017-03-01

    The effects of plant symbionts on host defence responses against pathogens have been extensively documented, but little is known about the impact of pathogens on the symbiosis and if such an impact may differ for nonnative and native pathogens. Here, this issue was addressed in a study of the model system comprising Pinus pinea, its ectomycorrhizal symbiont Tuber borchii, and the nonnative and native pathogens Heterobasidion irregulare and Heterobasidion annosum, respectively. In a 6-month inoculation experiment and using both in planta and gene expression analyses, we tested the hypothesis that H. irregulare has greater effects on the symbiosis than H. annosum. Although the two pathogens induced the same morphological reaction in the plant-symbiont complex, with mycorrhizal density increasing exponentially with pathogen colonization of the host, the number of target genes regulated in T. borchii in plants inoculated with the native pathogen (i.e. 67% of tested genes) was more than twice that in plants inoculated with the nonnative pathogen (i.e. 27% of genes). Although the two fungal pathogens did not differentially affect the amount of ectomycorrhizas, the fungal symbiont perceived their presence differently. The results may suggest that the symbiont has the ability to recognize a self/native and a nonself/nonnative pathogen, probably through host plant-mediated signal transduction.

  18. The effects of seeding sterile triticale on a native plant community after wildfire in a pinyon pinemountain mahogany woodland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waitman, B.A.; Draper, T.M.; Esque, T.C.

    2009-01-01

    Post-fire seeding with grasses is a common practice for emergency rehabilitation of burned woodlands. However, most post-seeding monitoring does not address consequences to native flora. In November 2004, the US Forest Service hand-seeded triticale (Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus), a sterile wheatrye hybrid, on a small burned area in the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada, United States. A monitoring project using paired plots was designed to quantify the effects of seeding triticale on density and species richness of native annual and perennial plants, cover of perennial plants, and aboveground production of annual plants. We did not find any effects of triticale seeding on annual plant species or most responses of perennial plants. However, the density of woody perennial seedlings was significantly lower 2 years after triticale was added. Although we found a smaller impact from seeding with exotic grass than other studies, quantifiable costs to native vegetation were observed. We caution against the use of non-native grass for seeding in areas with naturally low perennial recruitment. ?? IAWF 2009.

  19. Impacts of Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. on the germination, establishment and survival of native plants: a clue for assessing its competitive strength.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís

    2014-01-01

    Does Carpobrotus edulis have an impact on native plants? How do C. edulis' soil residual effects affect the maintenance of native populations? What is the extent of interspecific competition in its invasion process? In order to answer those questions, we established pure and mixed cultures of native species and C. edulis on soil collected from invaded and native areas of Mediterranean coastal dunes in the Iberian Peninsula. We examined the impact of the invader on the germination, growth and survival of seeds and adult plants of two native plant species (Malcolmia littorea (L.) R.Br, and Scabiosa atropurpurea L.) growing with ramets or seeds of C. edulis. Residual effects of C. edulis on soils affected the germination process and early growth of native plants in different ways, depending on plant species and density. Interspecific competition significantly reduced the germination and early growth of native plants but this result was soil, density, timing and plant species dependent. Also, at any density of adult individuals of C. edulis, established native adult plants were not competitive. Moreover, ramets of C. edulis had a lethal effect on native plants, which died in a short period of time. Even the presence of C. edulis seedlings prevents the recruitment of native species. In conclusion, C. edulis have strong negative impacts on the germination, growth and survival of the native species M. littorea and S. atropurpurea. These impacts were highly depended on the development stages of native and invasive plants. Our findings are crucial for new strategies of biodiversity conservation in coastal habitats.

  20. Impacts of Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E.Br. on the Germination, Establishment and Survival of Native Plants: A Clue for Assessing Its Competitive Strength

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; González, Luís

    2014-01-01

    Does Carpobrotus edulis have an impact on native plants? How do C. edulis’ soil residual effects affect the maintenance of native populations? What is the extent of interspecific competition in its invasion process? In order to answer those questions, we established pure and mixed cultures of native species and C. edulis on soil collected from invaded and native areas of Mediterranean coastal dunes in the Iberian Peninsula. We examined the impact of the invader on the germination, growth and survival of seeds and adult plants of two native plant species (Malcolmia littorea (L.) R.Br, and Scabiosa atropurpurea L.) growing with ramets or seeds of C. edulis. Residual effects of C. edulis on soils affected the germination process and early growth of native plants in different ways, depending on plant species and density. Interspecific competition significantly reduced the germination and early growth of native plants but this result was soil, density, timing and plant species dependent. Also, at any density of adult individuals of C. edulis, established native adult plants were not competitive. Moreover, ramets of C. edulis had a lethal effect on native plants, which died in a short period of time. Even the presence of C. edulis seedlings prevents the recruitment of native species. In conclusion, C. edulis have strong negative impacts on the germination, growth and survival of the native species M. littorea and S. atropurpurea. These impacts were highly depended on the development stages of native and invasive plants. Our findings are crucial for new strategies of biodiversity conservation in coastal habitats. PMID:25210924

  1. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings in a temperate continental climate effectively sequesters and stabilizes carbon within decades.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Shaun C; Cavagnaro, Timothy R; Mac Nally, Ralph; Paul, Keryn I; Baker, Patrick J; Beringer, Jason; Thomson, James R; Thompson, Ross M

    2015-04-01

    Reforestation has large potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Native mixed-species plantings have a higher potential to reverse biodiversity loss than do plantations of production species, but there are few data on their capacity to store carbon. A chronosequence (5-45 years) of 36 native mixed-species plantings, paired with adjacent pastures, was measured to investigate changes to stocks among C pools following reforestation of agricultural land in the medium rainfall zone (400-800 mm yr(-1)) of temperate Australia. These mixed-species plantings accumulated 3.09 ± 0.85 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in aboveground biomass and 0.18 ± 0.05 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in plant litter, reaching amounts comparable to those measured in remnant woodlands by 20 years and 36 years after reforestation respectively. Soil C was slower to increase, with increases seen only after 45 years, at which time stocks had not reached the amounts found in remnant woodlands. The amount of trees (tree density and basal area) was positively associated with the accumulation of carbon in aboveground biomass and litter. In contrast, changes to soil C were most strongly related to the productivity of the location (a forest productivity index and soil N content in the adjacent pasture). At 30 years, native mixed-species plantings had increased the stability of soil C stocks, with higher amounts of recalcitrant C and higher C:N ratios than their adjacent pastures. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings did not significantly change the availability of macronutrients (N, K, Ca, Mg, P, and S) or micronutrients (Fe, B, Mn, Zn, and Cu), content of plant toxins (Al, Si), acidity, or salinity (Na, electrical conductivity) in the soil. In this medium rainfall area, native mixed-species plantings provided comparable rates of C sequestration to local production species, with the probable additional benefit of providing better quality habitat for native biota. These results

  2. Partitioning understory evapotranspiration in semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia using the isotopic composition of water vapour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Blécourt, Marleen; Gaj, Marcel; Holtorf, Kim-Kirsten; Gröngröft, Alexander; Brokate, Ralph; Himmelsbach, Thomas; Eschenbach, Annette

    2016-04-01

    In dry environments with a sparse vegetation cover, understory evapotranspiration is a major component of the ecosystem water balance. Consequently, knowledge on the size of evapotranspiration fluxes and the driving factors is important for our understanding of the hydrological cycle. Understory evapotranspiration is made up of soil evaporation and plant transpiration. Soil evaporation can be measured directly from patches free of vegetation. However, when understory vegetation is present distinguishing between soil evaporation and plant transpiration is challenging. In this study, we aim to partition understory evapotranspiration based on an approach that combines the measurements of water-vapour fluxes using the closed chamber method with measurements of the isotopic composition of water vapour. The measurements were done in the framework of SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management). The study sites were located in three different semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia: thornbush savanna, Baikiaea woodland and shrubland. At each site measurements were done under tree canopies as well as at unshaded areas between the canopies. We measured evaporation from the bare soil and evapotranspiration from patches covered with herbaceous species and shrubs using a transparent chamber connected with an infrared gas analyser (LI-8100A, LICOR Inc.). The stable isotope composition of water vapour inside the chamber and depth profiles of soil water stable isotopes were determined in-situ using a tuneable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope (OA-ICOS, Los Gatos Research, DLT 100). Xylem samples were extracted using the cryogenic vacuum extraction method and the isotopic composition of the extracted water was measured subsequently with a cavity-ring-down spectrometer (CRDS L2120-i, Picarro Inc.). We will present the quantified fluxes of understory evapotranspiration measured in the three different ecosystems, show the

  3. Long-term livestock exclusion facilitates native woody plant encroachment in a sandy semiarid rangeland

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hua; Liu, Wei; Xu, Hong; Wang, Zongshuai; Zhang, Huifang; Hu, Haixiao; Li, Yonggeng

    2015-01-01

    The role of livestock grazing in regulating woody cover and biomass in grass-dominant systems is well recognized. However, the way in which woody plant populations in respond when livestock are removed from grazing in the absence of other disturbances, such as fire, remains unclear. We conducted a 10-year, replicated fencing experiment in a sandy semiarid rangeland in northern China (which has a mean annual rainfall of 365 mm), where fires have been actively suppressed for decades. Fencing dramatically influenced the growth and age structure of the native tree species, Ulmus pumila, which is the sole dominant tree in the area. After a decade, the density of the U. pumila tree population in the fencing plots increased doubly and canopy cover increased triply. The proportion of both saplings (U2) and young trees (U3) increased in fencing plots but decreased in grazing plots after the 10-year treatment period. The effects of fencing on U. pumila trees varied by age class, with potential implications for the future structure of the U. pumila tree community. Decadal fencing led to approximately 80-fold increase in recruitment and a nearly 2.5-fold decrease in the mortality of both U2 and U3. Further, livestock grazing generated a “browsing trap” to the recruitment of both U2 and U3, and had a small impact on the mortality of old trees. A long-term, fencing-driven shift in woody species composition was mediated via its effects on both recruitment and mortality rates. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that in the long-term absence of both fire and livestock, native woody plant encroachment tends to occur in sandy rangelands, transforming the woody plant demography in the process. The feasibility of full livestock exclusion in sandy rangelands requires further discussion. A balanced amount of livestock grazing may provide critical ecosystem services by regulating woody cover and mediating woody plant encroachment. PMID:26120433

  4. Long-term livestock exclusion facilitates native woody plant encroachment in a sandy semiarid rangeland.

    PubMed

    Su, Hua; Liu, Wei; Xu, Hong; Wang, Zongshuai; Zhang, Huifang; Hu, Haixiao; Li, Yonggeng

    2015-06-01

    The role of livestock grazing in regulating woody cover and biomass in grass-dominant systems is well recognized. However, the way in which woody plant populations in respond when livestock are removed from grazing in the absence of other disturbances, such as fire, remains unclear.We conducted a 10-year, replicated fencing experiment in a sandy semiarid rangeland in northern China (which has a mean annual rainfall of 365 mm), where fires have been actively suppressed for decades.Fencing dramatically influenced the growth and age structure of the native tree species, Ulmus pumila, which is the sole dominant tree in the area. After a decade, the density of the U. pumila tree population in the fencing plots increased doubly and canopy cover increased triply. The proportion of both saplings (U 2 ) and young trees (U 3 ) increased in fencing plots but decreased in grazing plots after the 10-year treatment period. The effects of fencing on U. pumila trees varied by age class, with potential implications for the future structure of the U. pumila tree community. Decadal fencing led to approximately 80-fold increase in recruitment and a nearly 2.5-fold decrease in the mortality of both U 2 and U 3 . Further, livestock grazing generated a "browsing trap" to the recruitment of both U 2 and U 3 , and had a small impact on the mortality of old trees. A long-term, fencing-driven shift in woody species composition was mediated via its effects on both recruitment and mortality rates.Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that in the long-term absence of both fire and livestock, native woody plant encroachment tends to occur in sandy rangelands, transforming the woody plant demography in the process. The feasibility of full livestock exclusion in sandy rangelands requires further discussion. A balanced amount of livestock grazing may provide critical ecosystem services by regulating woody cover and mediating woody plant encroachment.

  5. Invasive plants transform the three-dimensional structure of rain forests.

    PubMed

    Asner, Gregory P; Hughes, R Flint; Vitousek, Peter M; Knapp, David E; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Boardman, Joseph; Martin, Roberta E; Eastwood, Michael; Green, Robert O

    2008-03-18

    Biological invasions contribute to global environmental change, but the dynamics and consequences of most invasions are difficult to assess at regional scales. We deployed an airborne remote sensing system that mapped the location and impacts of five highly invasive plant species across 221,875 ha of Hawaiian ecosystems, identifying four distinct ways that these species transform the three-dimensional (3D) structure of native rain forests. In lowland to montane forests, three invasive tree species replace native midcanopy and understory plants, whereas one understory invader excludes native species at the ground level. A fifth invasive nitrogen-fixing tree, in combination with a midcanopy alien tree, replaces native plants at all canopy levels in lowland forests. We conclude that this diverse array of alien plant species, each representing a different growth form or functional type, is changing the fundamental 3D structure of native Hawaiian rain forests. Our work also demonstrates how an airborne mapping strategy can identify and track the spread of certain invasive plant species, determine ecological consequences of their proliferation, and provide detailed geographic information to conservation and management efforts.

  6. Invasive plants transform the three-dimensional structure of rain forests

    PubMed Central

    Asner, Gregory P.; Hughes, R. Flint; Vitousek, Peter M.; Knapp, David E.; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Boardman, Joseph; Martin, Roberta E.; Eastwood, Michael; Green, Robert O.

    2008-01-01

    Biological invasions contribute to global environmental change, but the dynamics and consequences of most invasions are difficult to assess at regional scales. We deployed an airborne remote sensing system that mapped the location and impacts of five highly invasive plant species across 221,875 ha of Hawaiian ecosystems, identifying four distinct ways that these species transform the three-dimensional (3D) structure of native rain forests. In lowland to montane forests, three invasive tree species replace native midcanopy and understory plants, whereas one understory invader excludes native species at the ground level. A fifth invasive nitrogen-fixing tree, in combination with a midcanopy alien tree, replaces native plants at all canopy levels in lowland forests. We conclude that this diverse array of alien plant species, each representing a different growth form or functional type, is changing the fundamental 3D structure of native Hawaiian rain forests. Our work also demonstrates how an airborne mapping strategy can identify and track the spread of certain invasive plant species, determine ecological consequences of their proliferation, and provide detailed geographic information to conservation and management efforts. PMID:18316720

  7. Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: Effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, M.E.; Omi, Philip N.; Martinson, E.J.; Chong, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Establishment and spread of non-native species following wildfires can pose threats to long-term native plant recovery. Factors such as disturbance severity, resource availability, and propagule pressure may influence where non-native species establish in burned areas. In addition, pre- and post-fire management activities may influence the likelihood of non-native species establishment. In the present study we examine the establishment of non-native species after wildfires in relation to native species richness, fire severity, dominant native plant cover, resource availability, and pre- and post-fire management actions (fuel treatments and post-fire rehabilitation treatments). We used an information-theoretic approach to compare alternative hypotheses. We analysed post-fire effects at multiple scales at three wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico. For large and small spatial scales at all fires, fire severity was the most consistent predictor of non-native species cover. Non-native species cover was also correlated with high native species richness, low native dominant species cover, and high seeded grass cover. There was a positive, but non-significant, association of non-native species with fuel-treated areas at one wildfire. While there may be some potential for fuels treatments to promote non-native species establishment, wildfire and post-fire seeding treatments seem to have a larger impact on non-native species. ?? IAWF 2006.

  8. Unique competitive effects of lianas and trees in a tropical forest understory.

    PubMed

    Wright, Alexandra; Tobin, Mike; Mangan, Scott; Schnitzer, Stefan A

    2015-02-01

    Lianas are an important component of tropical forests, contributing up to 25% of the woody stems and 35% of woody species diversity. Lianas invest less in structural support but more in leaves compared to trees of similar biomass. These physiological and morphological differences suggest that lianas may interact with neighboring plants in ways that are different from similarly sized trees. However, the vast majority of past liana competition studies have failed to identify the unique competitive effects of lianas by controlling for the amount of biomass removed. We assessed liana competition in the forest understory over the course of 3 years by removing liana biomass and an equal amount of tree biomass in 40 plots at 10 sites in a secondary tropical moist forest in central Panama. We found that growth of understory trees and lianas, as well as planted seedlings, was limited due to competitive effects from both lianas and trees, though the competitive impacts varied by species, season, and size of neighbors. The removal of trees resulted in greater survival of planted seedlings compared to the removal of lianas, apparently related to a greater release from competition for light. In contrast, lianas had a species-specific negative effect on drought-tolerant Dipteryx oleifera seedlings during the dry season, potentially due to competition for water. We conclude that, at local scales, lianas and trees have unique and differential effects on understory dynamics, with lianas potentially competing more strongly during the dry season, and trees competing more strongly for light.

  9. Introducing Urtica dioica, A Native Plant of Khuzestan, As an Antibacterial Medicinal Plant

    PubMed Central

    Motamedi, Hossein; Seyyednejad, Seyyed Mansour; Bakhtiari, Ameneh; Vafaei, Mozhan

    2014-01-01

    Background: Urtica dioica is a flowering plant with long history of use in folk medicine and as a food source. Objectives: This study examined in vitro antibacterial potential of alcoholic extracts of U. dioica. Materials and Methods: Hydroalcoholic extracts from aerial parts were prepared using aqueous solution of ethanol and methanol and their inhibitory effects against clinical isolates was examined by disc diffusion method at different doses. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) indexes were also investigated. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was also performed to find structural changes of affected bacteria consequent to exposing with extracts. Results: Both extracts were active against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Escherichia coli with respectively 16, 10, 18, and 14 mm (methanolic) and 11, 9, 17, and 16 mm (ethanolic) inhibition zone. The MIC of ethanolic extract against S. epidermidis and E. coli was respectively 10 and 40 mg/mL. The MIC of methanolic extract against S. aureus and S. epidermidis was 40 and 10 mg/mL, respectively. The MBC was found only for S. epidermidis (20 mg/mL). In SEM analysis the round shape of S. epidermidis was changed and irregular shapes were appeared, which suggest that the main target of these extracts was cell wall. Conclusions: Extracts of U. dioica showed significant antibacterial effect against some clinically important pathogenic bacteria. Based on the obtained results it can be concluded that U. dioica is useful as antibacterial and bactericidal agent in treating infectious diseases. PMID:25625045

  10. Plant and bird diversity in natural forests and in native and exotic plantations in NW Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proença, Vânia M.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Guilherme, João; Vicente, Luís

    2010-03-01

    Forest ecosystems have been subjected to continuous dynamics between deforestation and forestation. Assessing the effects of these processes on biodiversity could be essential for conservation planning. We analyzed patterns of species richness, diversity and evenness of plants and birds in patches of natural forest of Quercus spp. and in stands of native Pinus pinaster and exotic Eucalyptus globulus in NW Portugal. We analyzed data of forest and non-forest species separately, at the intra-patch, patch and inter-patch scales. Forest plant richness, diversity and evenness were higher in oak forest than in pine and eucalypt plantations. In total, 52 species of forest plants were observed in oak forest, 33 in pine plantation and 28 in eucalypt plantation. Some forest species, such as Euphorbia dulcis, Omphalodes nitida and Eryngium juresianum, were exclusively or mostly observed in oak forest. Forest bird richness and diversity were higher in both oak and pine forests than in eucalypt forest; evenness did not differ among forests. In total, 16 species of forest birds were observed in oak forest, 18 in pine forest and 11 in eucalypt forest. Species such as Certhia brachydactyla, Sitta europaea and Dendrocopos major were common in oak and/or pine patches but were absent from eucalypt stands. Species-area relationships of forest plants and forest birds in oak patches had consistently a higher slope, at both the intra and inter-patch scales, than species-area relationships of forest species in plantations and non-forest species in oak forest. These findings demonstrate the importance of oak forest for the conservation of forest species diversity, pointing the need to conserve large areas of oak forest due to the apparent vulnerability of forest species to area loss. Additionally, diversity patterns in pine forest were intermediate between oak forest and eucalypt forest, suggesting that forest species patterns may be affected by forest naturalness.

  11. Nectar alkaloids decrease pollination and female reproduction in a native plant.

    PubMed

    Adler, Lynn S; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2012-04-01

    The evolution of floral traits may be shaped by a community of floral visitors that affect plant fitness, including pollinators and floral antagonists. The role of nectar in attracting pollinators has been extensively studied, but its effects on floral antagonists are less understood. Furthermore, the composition of non-sugar nectar components, such as secondary compounds, may affect plant reproduction via changes in both pollinator and floral antagonist behavior. We manipulated the nectar alkaloid gelsemine in wild plants of the native perennial vine Gelsemium sempervirens. We crossed nectar gelsemine manipulations with a hand-pollination treatment, allowing us to determine the effect of both the trait and the interaction on plant female reproduction. We measured pollen deposition, pollen removal, and nectar robbing to assess whether gelsemine altered the behavior of mutualists and antagonists. High nectar gelsemine reduced conspecific pollen receipt by nearly half and also reduced the proportion of conspecific pollen grains received, but had no effect on nectar robbing. Although high nectar gelsemine reduced pollen removal, an estimate of male reproduction, by one-third, this effect was not statistically significant. Fruit set was limited by pollen receipt. However, this effect varied across sites such that the sites that were most pollen-limited were also the sites where nectar alkaloids had the least effect on pollen receipt, resulting in no significant effect of nectar alkaloids on fruit set. Finally, high nectar gelsemine significantly reduced seed weight; however, this effect was mediated by a mechanism other than pollen limitation. Taken together, our work suggests that nectar alkaloids are more costly than beneficial in our system, and that relatively small-scale spatial variation in trait effects and interactions could determine the selective impacts of traits such as nectar composition.

  12. Possible Impacts of the Invasive Plant Rubus niveus on the Native Vegetation of the Scalesia Forest in the Galapagos Islands

    PubMed Central

    Rentería, Jorge Luis; Gardener, Mark R.; Panetta, F. Dane; Atkinson, Rachel; Crawley, Mick J.

    2012-01-01

    Originally from Asia, Rubus niveus has become one of the most widespread invasive plant species in the Galapagos Islands. It has invaded open vegetation, shrubland and forest alike. It forms dense thickets up to 4 m high, appearing to displace native vegetation, and threaten the integrity of several native communities. This study used correlation analysis between a R. niveus cover gradient and a number of biotic (vascular plant species richness, cover and vegetation structure) and abiotic (light and soil properties) parameters to help understand possible impacts in one of the last remaining fragments of the Scalesia forest in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Higher cover of R. niveus was associated with significantly lower native species richness and cover, and a different forest structure. Results illustrated that 60% R. niveus cover could be considered a threshold for these impacts. We suggest that a maximum of 40% R. niveus cover could be a suitable management target. PMID:23118934

  13. Possible impacts of the invasive plant Rubus niveus on the native vegetation of the Scalesia forest in the Galapagos islands.

    PubMed

    Rentería, Jorge Luis; Gardener, Mark R; Panetta, F Dane; Atkinson, Rachel; Crawley, Mick J

    2012-01-01

    Originally from Asia, Rubus niveus has become one of the most widespread invasive plant species in the Galapagos Islands. It has invaded open vegetation, shrubland and forest alike. It forms dense thickets up to 4 m high, appearing to displace native vegetation, and threaten the integrity of several native communities. This study used correlation analysis between a R. niveus cover gradient and a number of biotic (vascular plant species richness, cover and vegetation structure) and abiotic (light and soil properties) parameters to help understand possible impacts in one of the last remaining fragments of the Scalesia forest in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Higher cover of R. niveus was associated with significantly lower native species richness and cover, and a different forest structure. Results illustrated that 60% R. niveus cover could be considered a threshold for these impacts. We suggest that a maximum of 40% R. niveus cover could be a suitable management target.

  14. Developing and Testing a Robust, Multi-Scale Framework for the Recovery of Longleaf Pine Understory Communities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-01

    quantifying ecological reference models, (2) developing a means to assessing how degraded stands differ from reference stands, (3) determining which...objectives aimed at achieving these four goals. In Phase 1, longleaf pine savanna understory plant communities were assessed using ecological reference...models parameterized with available datasets related to historic and contemporary drivers of degradation. In Phase 2, the importance of ecological

  15. Effects of intermediate-term grazing rest on sagebrush communities with depleted understories: evidence of a threshold

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares of sagebrush (Artemisia L.) plant communities have been degraded by past improper management resulting in dense sagebrush stands with depleted herbaceous understories. Rest from grazing is often applied to promote herbaceous recovery from past mismanagement. However, the effe...

  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

    ...In this Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Identification of candidate species can......

  17. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for Lychnophora pinaster: a study for the conservation of a native medicinal plant.

    PubMed

    Haber, L H; Cavallari, M M; Santos, F R C; Marques, M O M; Gimenes, M A; Zucchi, M I

    2009-05-01

    Lychnophora pinaster Mart. (Asteraceae) is a Brazilian medicinal plant, extensively employed in popular medicine as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and healing agent. Thirteen polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed and optimized for L. pinaster from an enriched genomic library. The markers were used to analyse 37 plants from two native populations, generating an average number of 6.6 alleles per polymorphic locus. These loci are important tools for future studies of population genetics.

  18. 77 FR 69993 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-21

    ...In this Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Identification of candidate species can......

  19. 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

    ...In this Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Identification of candidate species can......

  20. Growth-form and spatiality driving the functional difference of native and alien aquatic plants in Europe.

    PubMed

    Lukács, Balázs A; Vojtkó, Anna E; Mesterházy, Attila; Molnár V, Attila; Süveges, Kristóf; Végvári, Zsolt; Brusa, Guido; Cerabolini, Bruno E L

    2017-02-01

    Trait-based approaches are widely used in community ecology and invasion biology to unravel underlying mechanisms of vegetation dynamics. Although fundamental trade-offs between specific traits and invasibility are well described among terrestrial plants, little is known about their role and function in aquatic plant species. In this study, we examine the functional differences of aquatic alien and native plants stating that alien and native species differ in selected leaf traits. Our investigation is based on 60 taxa (21 alien and 39 native) collected from 22 freshwater units of Hungarian and Italian lowlands and highlands. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effects of nativeness on four fundamental traits (leaf area, leaf dry matter content, specific leaf area, and leaf nitrogen content), while the influence of growth-form, altitude, and site were employed simultaneously. We found significantly higher values of leaf areas and significantly lower values of specific leaf areas for alien species if growth-form was included in the model as an additional predictor.We showed that the trait-based approach of autochthony can apply to aquatic environments similar to terrestrial ones, and leaf traits have relevance in explaining aquatic plant ecology whether traits are combined with growth-forms as a fixed factor. Our results confirm the importance of traits related to competitive ability in the process of aquatic plant invasions. Alien aquatic plants can be characterized as species producing soft leaves faster. We argue that the functional traits of alien aquatic plants are strongly growth-form dependent. Using the trait-based approach, we found reliable characteristics of aquatic plants related to species invasions, which might be used, for example, in conservation management.

  1. 78 FR 70103 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That are Candidates for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-22

    ...In this Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Identification of candidate species can......

  2. Use of reflectance spectra of native plant species for interpreting airborne multispectral scanner data in the East Tintic Mountains, Utah.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milton, N.M.

    1983-01-01

    Analysis of in situ reflectance spectra of native vegetation was used to interpret airborne MSS data. Representative spectra from three plant species in the E Tintic Mountains, Utah, were used to interpret the color components on a color ratio composite image made from MSS data in the visible and near-infrared regions. A map of plant communities was made from the color ratio composite image and field checked. -from Author

  3. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects...

  4. Neutrality, niches, and dispersal in a temperate forest understory

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Benjamin; Lechowicz, Martin J.

    2004-01-01

    A fundamental goal of ecology is to understand what controls the distribution and abundance of species. Both environmental niches and trade-offs among species in dispersal and competitive ability have traditionally been cited as determinants of plant community composition. More recently, neutral models have shown that communities of species with identical life-history characteristics and no adaptation to environmental niches can form spatial distribution patterns similar to those found in nature, so long as the species have a limited dispersal distance. If there is a strong correlation between geographic distance and change in environmental conditions, however, such spatial patterns can arise through either neutral or niche-based processes. To test these competing theories, we developed a sampling design that decoupled distance and environment in the understory plant communities of an old-growth, temperate forest. We found strong evidence of niche-structuring but almost no support for neutral predictions. Dispersal limitation acted in conjunction with environmental gradients to determine species' distributions, and both functional and phylogenetic constraints appear to contribute to the niche differentiation that structures community assembly. Our results indicate that testing a neutral hypothesis without accounting for environmental gradients will at best cause unexplained variation in plant distributions and may well provide misleading support for neutrality because of a correlation between geographic distance and environment. PMID:15128948

  5. Flowering phenology of invasive alien plant species compared with native species in three Mediterranean-type ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Oscar; Richardson, David M.; Valladares, Fernando; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Flowering phenology is a potentially important component of success of alien species, since elevated fecundity may enhance invasiveness. The flowering patterns of invasive alien plant species and related natives were studied in three regions with Mediterranean-type climate: California, Spain and South Africa's Cape region. Methods A total of 227 invasive–native pairs were compared for seven character types across the regions, with each pair selected on the basis that they shared the same habitat type within a region, had a common growth form and pollination type, and belonged to the same family or genus. Key Results Invasive alien plant species have different patterns of flowering phenology from native species in the three regions. Whether the alien species flower earlier, later or at the same time as natives depends on the climatic regime in the native range of the aliens and the proportion of species in the invasive floras originating from different regions. Species invading at least two of the regions displayed the same flowering pattern, showing that flowering phenology is a conservative trait. Invasive species with native ranges in temperate climates flower earlier than natives, those from Mediterranean-type climates at the same time, and species from tropical climates flower later. In California, where the proportion of invaders from the Mediterranean Basin is high, the flowering pattern did not differ between invasive and native species, whereas in Spain the high proportion of tropical species results in a later flowering than natives, and in the Cape region early flowering than natives was the result of a high proportion of temperate invaders. Conclusions Observed patterns are due to the human-induced sympatry of species with different evolutionary histories whose flowering phenology evolved under different climatic regimes. The severity of the main abiotic filters imposed by the invaded regions (e.g. summer drought) has not been

  6. Seasonality and nitrogen supply modify carbon partitioning in understory vegetation of a boreal coniferous forest.

    PubMed

    Hasselquist, N J; Metcalfe, D B; Marshall, J D; Lucas, R W; Högberg, P

    2016-03-01

    Given the strong coupling between the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, there is substantial interest in understanding how N availability affects C cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in ecosystems limited by N. However, most studies in temperate and boreal forests have focused on the effects of N addition on tree growth. By comparison, less is known about the effects of N availability on the cycling of C in understory vegetation despite some evidence that dwarf shrubs, mosses, and lichens play an important role in the forest C balance. In this study, we used an in situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling technique to examine the short-term dynamics of C partitioning in understory vegetation in three boreal Pinus sylvestris forest stands exposed to different rates of N addition: a low and high N addition that receive annual additions of NH4NO3 of 20 and 100 kg N/ha, respectively, and this is a typo. It should be an unfertilized control. Labeling was conducted at two distinct periods (early vs. late growing season), which provided a seasonal picture of how N addition affects C dynamics in understory vegetation. In contrast to what has been found in trees, there was no obvious trend in belowground C partitioning in ericaceous plants in response to N additions or seasonality. Increasing N addition led to a greater percentage of 13C being incorporated into ericaceous leaves with a high turnover, whereas high rates of N addition strongly reduced the incorporation of 13C into less degradable moss tissues. Addition of N also resulted in a greater percentage of the 13C label being respired back to the atmosphere and an overall reduction in total understory carbon use efficiency. Taken together, our results suggest a faster cycling of C in understory vegetation with increasing N additions; yet the magnitude of this general response was strongly dependent on the amount of N added and varied seasonally. These results provide some of the first in situ C and N partitioning

  7. An Invasive Clonal Plant Benefits from Clonal Integration More than a Co-Occurring Native Plant in Nutrient-Patchy and Competitive Environments

    PubMed Central

    You, Wenhua; Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Xie, Dong; Liu, Chunhua

    2014-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, however, little is known about the different roles of clonal integration effects between invasive and native plants. Here, we hypothesize that clonal integration affect growth, photosynthetic performance, biomass allocation and thus competitive ability of invasive and native clonal plants, and invasive clonal plants benefit from clonal integration more than co-occurring native plants in heterogeneous habitats. To test these hypotheses, two stoloniferous clonal plants, Alternanthera philoxeroides (invasive), Jussiaea repens (native) were studied in China. The apical parts of both species were grown either with or without neighboring vegetation and the basal parts without competitors were in nutrient- rich or -poor habitats, with stolon connections were either severed or kept intact. Competition significantly reduced growth and photosynthetic performance of the apical ramets in both species, but not the biomass of neighboring vegetation. Without competition, clonal integration greatly improved the growth and photosynthetic performance of both species, especially when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. When grown with neighboring vegetation, growth of J. repens and photosynthetic performance of both species were significantly enhanced by clonal integration with the basal parts in both nutrient-rich and -poor habitats, while growth and relative neighbor effect (RNE) of A. philoxeroides were greatly improved by clonal integration only when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. Moreover, clonal integration increased A. philoxeroides's biomass allocation to roots without competition, but decreased it with competition, especially when the basal ramets were in nutrient-rich sections. Effects of clonal integration on biomass allocation of J. repens was similar to that of A. philoxeroides but with less significance. These results supported our hypothesis that invasive clonal plants A. philoxeroides benefits

  8. An invasive clonal plant benefits from clonal integration more than a co-occurring native plant in nutrient-patchy and competitive environments.

    PubMed

    You, Wenhua; Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Xie, Dong; Liu, Chunhua

    2014-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, however, little is known about the different roles of clonal integration effects between invasive and native plants. Here, we hypothesize that clonal integration affect growth, photosynthetic performance, biomass allocation and thus competitive ability of invasive and native clonal plants, and invasive clonal plants benefit from clonal integration more than co-occurring native plants in heterogeneous habitats. To test these hypotheses, two stoloniferous clonal plants, Alternanthera philoxeroides (invasive), Jussiaea repens (native) were studied in China. The apical parts of both species were grown either with or without neighboring vegetation and the basal parts without competitors were in nutrient- rich or -poor habitats, with stolon connections were either severed or kept intact. Competition significantly reduced growth and photosynthetic performance of the apical ramets in both species, but not the biomass of neighboring vegetation. Without competition, clonal integration greatly improved the growth and photosynthetic performance of both species, especially when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. When grown with neighboring vegetation, growth of J. repens and photosynthetic performance of both species were significantly enhanced by clonal integration with the basal parts in both nutrient-rich and -poor habitats, while growth and relative neighbor effect (RNE) of A. philoxeroides were greatly improved by clonal integration only when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. Moreover, clonal integration increased A. philoxeroides's biomass allocation to roots without competition, but decreased it with competition, especially when the basal ramets were in nutrient-rich sections. Effects of clonal integration on biomass allocation of J. repens was similar to that of A. philoxeroides but with less significance. These results supported our hypothesis that invasive clonal plants A. philoxeroides benefits

  9. Development of sustainable, native grass-based bioenergy production systems in the prairie region of Minnesota: Biomass production and plant community response to fertilizer and harvest treatments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native perennial plants are emerging as an alternative, low-carbon, bioenergy feedstock. Land restored from crop monocultures to diverse, native plantings has the potential to provide a host of ecological services, as well as farm income. However, best management practices for maintaining a diverse,...

  10. USE OF NATIVE PLANTS FOR REMEDIATION OF TRICHLOROETHYLENE: II. CONIFEROUS TREES.

    PubMed

    Strycharz, S; Newman, L

    2009-02-01

    The phytoremediation of trichloroethylene (TCE) from contaminated groundwater has been extensively studied using the hybrid poplar tree (Populus spp.). Several metabolites of TCE have been identified in the tissue of poplar including trichloroethanol (TCEOH) and dichloroacetic acid (DCAA) and trichloroacetic acid (TCAA). In addition to the use of hybrid poplar for the phytoremediation of TCE, it is important to screen native tree species that could be successful candidates for field use. This study involves a greenhouse-based comparison of four different native southeastern conifers to a hybrid poplar species for their potential to phytoremediate TCE through the analysis of various plant tissues for TCE and major TCE metabolites, as well as several growth parameters that are desirable for phytoremediation. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii), two varieties of Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), and hybrid poplar species H11-11 (Populus trichocarpa x deltoides) were examined for the concentration of TCE and its metabolites in their tissue following treatment with either a low (50 mg L(-1)) or high dose of TCE (150 mg L(-1)) for 2 mo. The amount of water taken up, change in height of the tree, TCE transpiration, and total fresh weight of various tissue types were also measured. All trees contained detectable levels of TCE in their root and stem tissue. TCEOH was found only in the tissue of longleaf pine, suggesting that TCE metabolism was occurring in this tree. TCAA was only detected in the leaves of hybrid poplar and piedmont loblolly pine. Conifers took up less water over the 2-mo treatment period than hybrid poplar and grew at a slower rate. However, phytoremediation field sites may benefit from the evergreen's ability to transpire water throughout the winter months.

  11. Elevated CO₂ does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants.

    PubMed

    Perry, Laura G; Shafroth, Patrick B; Blumenthal, Dana M; Morgan, Jack A; LeCain, Daniel R

    2013-01-01

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO₂ might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. We examined the effects of CO₂ and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoides spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO₂-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70-97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO₂ increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO₂ increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ¹³C(leaf) ), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. The moderate positive effects of elevated CO₂ on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO₂, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  12. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, Laura G.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    * In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. * We examined the effects of CO2 and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoides spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO2-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. * Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70–97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO2 increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO2 increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ13Cleaf), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. * The moderate positive effects of elevated CO2 on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO2, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  13. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, Laura G.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. We examined the effects of CO2 and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoids spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO2-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70–97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO2 increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO2 increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ13Cleaf), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. The moderate positive effects of elevated CO2 on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO2, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  14. Models of experimentally derived competitive effects predict biogeographical differences in the abundance of invasive and native plant species.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Sa; Ni, Guangyan; Callaway, Ragan M

    2013-01-01

    Mono-dominance by invasive species provides opportunities to explore determinants of plant distributions and abundance; however, linking mechanistic results from small scale experiments to patterns in nature is difficult. We used experimentally derived competitive effects of an invader in North America, Acroptilon repens, on species with which it co-occurs in its native range of Uzbekistan and on species with which it occurs in its non-native ranges in North America, in individual-based models. We found that competitive effects yielded relative abundances of Acroptilon and other species in models that were qualitatively similar to those observed in the field in the two ranges. In its non-native range, Acroptilon can occur in nearly pure monocultures at local scales, whereas such nearly pure stands of Acroptilon appear to be much less common in its native range. Experimentally derived competitive effects of Acroptilon on other species predicted Acroptilon to be 4-9 times more proportionally abundant than natives in the North American models, but proportionally equal to or less than the abundance of natives in the Eurasian models. Our results suggest a novel way to integrate complex combinations of interactions simultaneously, and that biogeographical differences in the competitive effects of an invader correspond well with biogeographical differences in abundance and impact.

  15. Exotic plant species associations with horse trails, old roads, and intact native communities in the Missouri Ozarks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stroh, E.D.; Struckhoff, M.A.

    2009-01-01

    We compared the extent to which exotic species are associated with horse trails, old roads, and intact communities within three native vegetation types in Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri. We used a general linear model procedure and a Bonferroni multiple comparison test to compare exotic species richness, exotic to native species ratios, and exotic species percent cover across three usage types (horse trails, old roads, and intact communities) and three community types (river bottoms, upland waterways, and glades). We found that both exotic species richness and the ratio of exotic species to native species were greater in plots located along horse trails than in plots located either in intact native communities or along old roads. Native community types did not differ in the number of exotic species present, but river bottoms had a significantly higher exotic to native species ratio than glades. Continued introduction of exotic plant propagules may explain why horse trails contain more exotic species than other areas in a highly disturbed landscape.

  16. Comparison of crenarchaeal consortia inhabiting the rhizosphere of diverse terrestrial plants with those in bulk soil in native environments.

    PubMed

    Sliwinski, Marek K; Goodman, Robert M

    2004-03-01

    To explore whether the crenarchaeal consortium found in the rhizosphere is distinct from the assemblage of crenarchaeotes inhabiting bulk soil, PCR-single-stranded-conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) profiles were generated for 76 plant samples collected from native environments. Divergent terrestrial plant groups including bryophytes (mosses), lycopods (club mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), gymnosperms (conifers), and angiosperms (seed plants) were collected for this study. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between rhizosphere and bulk soil PCR-SSCP profiles (Hotelling paired T(2) test, P < 0.0001), suggesting that a distinct crenarchaeal consortium is associated with plants. In general, phylotype richness increased in the rhizosphere compared to the corresponding bulk soil, although the range of this increase was variable. Examples of a major change in rhizosphere (versus bulk soil) PCR-SSCP profiles were detected for all plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeotes form associations with phylogenetically diverse plants in native environments. In addition, examples of minor to no detectable difference were found for all terrestrial plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeal associations with plants are mediated by environmental conditions.

  17. Comparison of Crenarchaeal Consortia Inhabiting the Rhizosphere of Diverse Terrestrial Plants with Those in Bulk Soil in Native Environments

    PubMed Central

    Sliwinski, Marek K.; Goodman, Robert M.

    2004-01-01

    To explore whether the crenarchaeal consortium found in the rhizosphere is distinct from the assemblage of crenarchaeotes inhabiting bulk soil, PCR-single-stranded-conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) profiles were generated for 76 plant samples collected from native environments. Divergent terrestrial plant groups including bryophytes (mosses), lycopods (club mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), gymnosperms (conifers), and angiosperms (seed plants) were collected for this study. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between rhizosphere and bulk soil PCR-SSCP profiles (Hotelling paired T2 test, P < 0.0001), suggesting that a distinct crenarchaeal consortium is associated with plants. In general, phylotype richness increased in the rhizosphere compared to the corresponding bulk soil, although the range of this increase was variable. Examples of a major change in rhizosphere (versus bulk soil) PCR-SSCP profiles were detected for all plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeotes form associations with phylogenetically diverse plants in native environments. In addition, examples of minor to no detectable difference were found for all terrestrial plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeal associations with plants are mediated by environmental conditions. PMID:15006809

  18. Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    The spread of exotic, invasive species is a global phenomenon that is recognized as a major source of environmental change. Although many studies have addressed the effects of exotic plants on the communities they invade, few have quantified the effects of invader removal on plant communities, or considered the degree to which different plant groups vary in response to invasion and invader removal. We evaluated the effects of an exotic succulent, iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), on a coastal dune plant community in northern California, as well as the community responses to its removal. To assess possible mechanisms by which iceplant affects other plants, we also evaluated its above- and belowground influences on the germination and growth of a dominant exotic annual grass, Bromus diandrus. We found that iceplant invasion was associated with reduced native plant cover as well as increased cover and density of some exotic plants-especially exotic annual grasses. However, iceplant removal did not necessarily lead to a reversal of these effects: removal increased the cover and density of both native and exotic species. We also found that B. diandrus grown in iceplant patches, or in soil where iceplant had been removed, had poorer germination and growth than B. diandrus grown in soil not influenced by iceplant. This suggests that the influence of iceplant on this dune plant community occurs, at least in part, due to belowground effects, and that these effects remain after iceplant has been removed. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering how exotic invasive plants affect not only native species, but also co-occurring exotic taxa. It also shows that combining observational studies with removal experiments can lead to important insights into the influence of invaders and the mechanisms of their effects.

  19. The Frequency and Fate of Understory Forest Fires in Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, D. C.; le page, Y.; Wang, D.; Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; Collatz, G. J.; Giglio, L.; Hurtt, G. C.; DeFries, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    Fires for deforestation or agricultural management frequently escape their intended boundaries and burn standing Amazon forests. The extent and frequency of understory forest fires are critical to assess forest carbon emissions and the long-term legacy of understory fires in Amazonia. Patterns of understory fire activity under current climate conditions also offer a blueprint for potential changes in Amazon forests under scenarios of future climate and land use. Here, we estimated of the extent and frequency of understory forest fires for the entire arc of deforestation in southern Amazonia using a time series of annual Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Understory forest fires burned more than 80,000 km2 during 1999-2010. Fires were widespread along the southern and eastern extents of Amazon forests during the four years with highest fire activity (1999, 2005, 2007, 2010). The interannual variability in understory fires offered new insights into fire-climate dynamics in Amazonia over a range of temporal scales, based on the combination of burned area, MODIS active fire detections, and reanalysis climate data. Initial fire exposure reduces aboveground carbon stocks, and frequent fires are one possible mechanism for long-term changes the structure of Amazon forests. Repeated burning was concentrated in southeastern Amazonia, and >95% of all repeated fires occurred in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará. Forests that burned two or more times during this period accounted for 16% of understory fire activity. Finally, deforestation of burned forests was rare, suggesting that forest degradation from understory fires was an independent source of carbon emissions during this period. Modeling the time scales of carbon loss and recovery in burned forests is therefore critical to estimate the net carbon emissions from these fires. The results of this study suggest that understory fires operate as a large-scale edge effect in Amazonia, as

  20. Measuring and modeling the spatial pattern of understory bamboo across landscapes: Implications for giant panda habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linderman, Marc Alan

    habitat research and management. The success here to map bamboo has important implications for giant panda conservation and provides a good foundation for developing methods to map the spatial distributions of understory plant species. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of bamboo is necessary to accurately measure the quantity and landscape characteristics of giant panda habitat. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  1. Adaptation of the pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, during experimental evolution on a native versus alternative host plant.

    PubMed

    Meaden, Sean; Koskella, Britt

    2017-02-16

    The specialization and distribution of pathogens among species has substantial impact on disease spread, especially when reservoir hosts can maintain high pathogen densities or select for increased pathogen virulence. Theory predicts that optimal within-host growth rate will vary among host genotypes/species, and therefore that pathogens infecting multiple hosts should experience different selection pressures depending on the host environment in which they are found. This should be true for pathogens with broad host ranges, but also those experiencing opportunistic infections on novel hosts or that spill over among host populations. There is very little empirical data, however, regarding how adaptation to one host might directly influence infectivity and growth on another. We took an experimental evolution approach to examine short-term adaptation of the plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tomato, to its native tomato host compared with an alternative host, Arabidopsis, in either the presence or absence of bacteriophages. After 4 serial passages (20 days of selection in planta) we measured bacterial growth of selected lines in leaves of either the focal or alternative host. We found that passage through Arabidopsis led to greater within-host bacterial densities in both hosts than did passage through tomato. Whole genome re-sequencing of evolved isolates identified numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms based on our novel draft assembly for strain PT23. However, there was no clear pattern of clustering among plant selection lines at the genetic level despite the phenotypic differences observed. Together, the results emphasize that previous host associations can influence the within-host growth rate of pathogens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Mercury capture by native fly ash carbons in coal-fired power plants.

    PubMed

    Hower, James C; Senior, Constance L; Suuberg, Eric M; Hurt, Robert H; Wilcox, Jennifer L; Olson, Edwin S

    2010-08-01

    The control of mercury in the air emissions from coal-fired power plants is an on-going challenge. The native unburned carbons in fly ash can capture varying amounts of Hg depending upon the temperature and composition of the flue gas at the air pollution control device, with Hg capture increasing with a decrease in temperature; the amount of carbon in the fly ash, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in carbon; and the form of the carbon and the consequent surface area of the carbon, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in surface area. The latter is influenced by the rank of the feed coal, with carbons derived from the combustion of low-rank coals having a greater surface area than carbons from bituminous- and anthracite-rank coals. The chemistry of the feed coal and the resulting composition of the flue gas enhances Hg capture by fly ash carbons. This is particularly evident in the correlation of feed coal Cl content to Hg oxidation to HgCl2, enhancing Hg capture. Acid gases, including HCl and H2SO4 and the combination of HCl and NO2, in the flue gas can enhance the oxidation of Hg. In this presentation, we discuss the transport of Hg through the boiler and pollution control systems, the mechanisms of Hg oxidation, and the parameters controlling Hg capture by coal-derived fly ash carbons.

  3. Mercury capture by native fly ash carbons in coal-fired power plants

    PubMed Central

    Hower, James C.; Senior, Constance L.; Suuberg, Eric M.; Hurt, Robert H.; Wilcox, Jennifer L.; Olson, Edwin S.

    2013-01-01

    The control of mercury in the air emissions from coal-fired power plants is an on-going challenge. The native unburned carbons in fly ash can capture varying amounts of Hg depending upon the temperature and composition of the flue gas at the air pollution control device, with Hg capture increasing with a decrease in temperature; the amount of carbon in the fly ash, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in carbon; and the form of the carbon and the consequent surface area of the carbon, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in surface area. The latter is influenced by the rank of the feed coal, with carbons derived from the combustion of low-rank coals having a greater surface area than carbons from bituminous- and anthracite-rank coals. The chemistry of the feed coal and the resulting composition of the flue gas enhances Hg capture by fly ash carbons. This is particularly evident in the correlation of feed coal Cl content to Hg oxidation to HgCl2, enhancing Hg capture. Acid gases, including HCl and H2SO4 and the combination of HCl and NO2, in the flue gas can enhance the oxidation of Hg. In this presentation, we discuss the transport of Hg through the boiler and pollution control systems, the mechanisms of Hg oxidation, and the parameters controlling Hg capture by coal-derived fly ash carbons. PMID:24223466

  4. Impact of an Invasive Insect and Plant Defense on a Native Forest Defoliator

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Claire M.; Vendettuoli, Justin F.; Orwig, David A.; Preisser, Evan L.

    2016-01-01

    Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis [L.] Carriére) in the United States is threatened by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand). The native hemlock looper (Lambdina fiscellaria Guenée) also appears to have played a role in previous population declines of this conifer. Although these two insects co-occur in much of the adelgid’s invaded range, their interactions remain unstudied. We assessed looper performance and preference on both uninfested and adelgid-infested foliage from adelgid-susceptible hemlocks, as well as on uninfested foliage from an eastern hemlock that is naturally adelgid-resistant. Larvae reared on uninfested foliage from adelgid-susceptible hemlocks experienced 60% mortality within the first two weeks of the experiment, and pupated at a lower weight than larvae fed adelgid-infested foliage. Despite differences in foliage source, this first look and strong pattern suggests that the hemlock looper performs better (pupates earlier, weighs more) on adelgid-infested foliage. In addition, trends suggested that larvae reared on foliage from the adelgid-resistant tree survived better, pupated earlier, and weighed more than in the other treatments. Larvae preferred adelgid-resistant over adelgid-susceptible foliage. Our results suggest that looper perform slightly better on adelgid-infested foliage and that plant resistance to xylem-feeding adelgid may increase susceptibility to foliar-feeding looper larvae. PMID:27649247

  5. Employing native shrubs to improve agricultural potential of arid lands: Drawing on plants to draw water (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragila, M. I.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.

    2009-12-01

    Even though soil moisture poses limits on landscape dynamics, plant communities within the landscape can also regulate the spatial distribution of moisture, thus creating a biofeedback system that advances the system towards a specific landscape order. This behavior is evident in arid climates where specific parameters, such as soil moisture, are close to sustainability limits and result in a distinct spatial distribution of plant communities. Understanding plant-soil water relationships can lead to management tools to improve landscape function. Plant-soil interactions that influence soil moisture include, local changes in soil texture when plants trap airborne soil particles, increases in organic matter content below their foliage, and root distribution. We specifically focus on a process commonly referred to as hydraulic redistribution wherein plant roots draw moisture vertically to the near surface, raising the potential for seed germination and maintenance through short drought periods. Two fieldwork sites in Senegal were used to investigate the role of native shrubs in controlling soil moisture movement, and in particular, using these native plants to enhance agricultural potential.

  6. Germination and growth of native and invasive plants on soil associated with biological control of tamarisk (Tamarix spp.)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherry, Rebecca A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Belnap, Jayne; Ostoja, Steven M.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of biocontrol beetles (tamarisk beetles) are causing dieback of exotic tamarisk in riparian zones across the western United States, yet factors that determine plant communities that follow tamarisk dieback are poorly understood. Tamarisk-dominated soils are generally higher in nutrients, organic matter, and salts than nearby soils, and these soil attributes might influence the trajectory of community change. To assess physical and chemical drivers of plant colonization after beetle-induced tamarisk dieback, we conducted separate germination and growth experiments using soil and litter collected beneath defoliated tamarisk trees. Focal species were two common native (red threeawn, sand dropseed) and two common invasive exotic plants (Russian knapweed, downy brome), planted alone and in combination. Nutrient, salinity, wood chip, and litter manipulations examined how tamarisk litter affects the growth of other species in a context of riparian zone management. Tamarisk litter, tamarisk litter leachate, and fertilization with inorganic nutrients increased growth in all species, but the effect was larger on the exotic plants. Salinity of 4 dS m−1 benefitted Russian knapweed, which also showed the largest positive responses to added nutrients. Litter and wood chips generally delayed and decreased germination; however, a thinner layer of wood chips increased growth slightly. Time to germination was lengthened by most treatments for natives, was not affected in exotic Russian knapweed, and was sometimes decreased in downy brome. Because natives showed only small positive responses to litter and fertilization and large negative responses to competition, Russian knapweed and downy brome are likely to perform better than these two native species following tamarisk dieback.

  7. Hawaiian native forest conserves water relative to timber plantation: species and stand traits influence water use.

    PubMed

    Kagawa, Aurora; Sack, Lawren; Duarte, Ka'eo; James, Shelley

    2009-09-01

    Tropical forests are becoming increasingly alien-dominated through the establishment of timber plantations and secondary forests. Despite widespread recognition that afforestation results in increased evapotranspiration and lower catchment yields, little is known of the impacts of timber plantations on water balance relative to native forest. Native forest trees have been claimed to use water conservatively and enhance groundwater recharge relative to faster-growing alien species, and this argument should motivate native forest preservation and restoration. However, data have been available primarily for leaf-level gas exchange rather than for whole-plant and stand levels. We measured sap flow of dominant tree and tree fern species over eight weeks in native Metrosideros polymorpha forest and adjacent alien timber plantations on the island of Hawai'i and estimated total stand transpiration. Metrosideros polymorpha had the lowest values of sap flux density and whole-tree water use (200 kg m(-2) sapwood d(-1), or 8 kg/d for trees of 35 cm mean diameter at breast height, D), substantially less than timber species Eucalyptus saligna or Fraxinus uhdei (33 and 34 kg/d for trees of 73 and 30 cm mean D, respectively). At the stand level, E. saligna and F. uhdei trees had three- and ninefold higher water use, respectively, than native M. polymorpha trees. Understory Cibotium tree ferns were most abundant in M. polymorpha-dominated forest where they accounted for 70% of water use. Overall, F. uhdei plantation had the highest water use at 1.8 mm/d, more than twice that of either E. saligna plantation or M. polymorpha forest. Forest water use was influenced by species composition, stem density, tree size, sapwood allocation, and understory contributions. Transpiration varied strongly among forest types even within the same wet tropical climate, and in this case, native forest had strikingly conservative water use. Comparisons of vegetation cover in water use should provide

  8. Visitation by wild and managed bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) to eastern U.S. native plants for use in conservation programs.

    PubMed

    Tuell, Julianna K; Fiedler, Anna K; Landis, Douglas; Isaacs, Rufus

    2008-06-01

    Addition of floral resources to agricultural field margins has been shown to increase abundance of beneficial insects in crop fields, but most plants recommended for this use are non-native annuals. Native perennial plants with different bloom periods can provide floral resources for bees throughout the growing season for use in pollinator conservation projects. To identify the most suitable plants for this use, we examined the relative attractiveness to wild and managed bees of 43 eastern U.S. native perennial plants, grown in a common garden setting. Floral characteristics were evaluated for their ability to predict bee abundance and taxa richness. Of the wild bees collected, the most common species (62%) was Bombus impatiens Cresson. Five other wild bee species were present between 3 and 6% of the total: Lasioglossum admirandum (Sandhouse), Hylaeus affinis (Smith), Agapostemon virescens (F.), Halictus ligatus Say, and Ceratina calcarata/dupla Robertson/Say. The remaining wild bee species were present at <2% of the total. Abundance of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) was nearly identical to that of B. impatiens. All plant species were visited at least once by wild bees; 9 were highly attractive, and 20 were moderately attractive. Honey bees visited 24 of the 43 plant species at least once. Floral area was the only measured factor accounting for variation in abundance and richness of wild bees but did not explain variation in honey bee abundance. Results of this study can be used to guide selection of flowering plants to provide season-long forage for conservation of wild bees.

  9. Remote sensing-based determination of understory grass greening stage over boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Quazi K.; Rahman, K. Mahmud

    2013-01-01

    Our objective was the determination of understory grass greening stage (GGS: defined as the date when 75% of the grass in the surrounding area of a particular location would be green) using remote sensing data over the boreal-dominant forested regions in the Canadian province of Alberta. We used moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) and normalized difference water index (NDWI) with ground-based understory GGS observations at approximately 120 lookout tower sites during the period 2006 to 2008. During 2006, we extracted the temporal dynamics of AGDD/NDWI at the lookout tower sites and determined the best thresholds (i.e., 90 degree-days for AGDD and 0.45 for NDWI). These AGDD/NDWI thresholds were then implemented during 2007 and 2008; and observed that AGDD had better prediction capabilities in comparison to NDWI (i.e., ˜94% and ˜65% of the incidents fall within ±2 periods or ±16 days of deviations with the ground-based understory GGS observations using AGDD and NDWI thresholds, respectively). The outcomes would potentially be useful in understanding availability of food and habitat for wildlife species/animals; microclimatic environment, composition, and diversity of plant community; and forest fire danger and fire behavior in case of fire occurrences.

  10. Predicting the impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of major native non-food bioenergy plants in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenguo; Tang, Xiaoyu; Zhu, Qili; Pan, Ke; Hu, Qichun; He, Mingxiong; Li, Jiatang

    2014-01-01

    Planting non-food bioenergy crops on marginal lands is an alternative bioenergy development solution in China. Native non-food bioenergy plants are also considered to be a wise choice to reduce the threat of invasive plants. In this study, the impacts of climate change (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a for 2080) on the potential distribution of nine non-food bioenergy plants native to China (viz., Pistacia chinensis, Cornus wilsoniana, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Vernicia fordii, Sapium sebiferum, Miscanthus sinensis, M. floridulus, M. sacchariflorus and Arundo donax) were analyzed using a MaxEnt species distribution model. The suitable habitats of the nine non-food plants were distributed in the regions east of the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, where the arable land is primarily used for food production. Thus, the large-scale cultivation of those plants for energy production will have to rely on the marginal lands. The variables of "precipitation of the warmest quarter" and "annual mean temperature" were the most important bioclimatic variables for most of the nine plants according to the MaxEnt modeling results. Global warming in coming decades may result in a decrease in the extent of suitable habitat in the tropics but will have little effect on the total distribution area of each plant. The results indicated that it will be possible to grow these plants on marginal lands within these areas in the future. This work should be beneficial for the domestication and cultivation of those bioenergy plants and should facilitate land-use planning for bioenergy crops in China.

  11. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25709807

  12. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  13. High N, dry: Experimental nitrogen deposition exacerbates native shrub loss and nonnative plant invasion during extreme drought.

    PubMed

    Valliere, Justin M; Irvine, Irina C; Santiago, Louis; Allen, Edith B

    2017-03-20

    Hotter, longer, and more frequent global change-type drought events may profoundly impact terrestrial ecosystems by triggering widespread vegetation mortality. However, severe drought is only one component of global change, and ecological effects of drought may be compounded by other drivers, such as anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition and nonnative plant invasion. Elevated N deposition, for example, may reduce drought tolerance through increased plant productivity, thereby contributing to drought-induced mortality. High N availability also often favors invasive, nonnative plant species, and the loss of woody vegetation due to drought may create a window of opportunity for these invaders. We investigated the effects of multiple levels of simulated N deposition on a Mediterranean-type shrubland plant community in southern California from 2011 to 2016, a period coinciding with an extreme, multi-year drought in the region. We hypothesized that N addition would increase native shrub productivity, but that this would increase susceptibility to drought and result in increased shrub loss over time. We also predicted that N addition would favor nonnatives, especially annual grasses, leading to higher biomass and cover of these species. Consistent with these hypotheses, we found that high N availability increased native shrub canopy loss and mortality, likely due to the higher productivity and leaf area and reduced water-use efficiency we observed in shrubs subject to N addition. As native shrub cover declined, we also observed a concomitant increase in cover and biomass of nonnative annuals, particularly under high levels of experimental N deposition. Together, these results suggest that the impacts of extended drought on shrubland ecosystems may be more severe under elevated N deposition, potentially contributing to the widespread loss of native woody species and vegetation type-conversion. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Glyphosate and dicamba herbicide tank mixture effects on native plant and non-genetically engineered soybean seedlings.

    PubMed

    Olszyk, David; Pfleeger, Thomas; Lee, E Henry; Plocher, Milton

    2015-07-01

    Crops engineered to contain genes for tolerance to multiple herbicides may be treated with several herbicides to manage weeds resistant to each herbicide. Thus, nearby non-target plants may be subjected to increased exposure to several herbicides used in combination. Of particular concern are native plants, as well as adjacent crops which have not been genetically engineered for tolerance to herbicides. We evaluated responses of seven species of native plants grown in a greenhouse and treated less than field application rates of glyphosate and/or dicamba: Andropogon gerardii, Asclepias syriaca, Eutrochium purpureum, Oenothera biennis, Polyganum lapathifolium, Solidago canadensis and Tridens flavus, and non-herbicide resistant soybean (Glycine max, Oregon line M4). Herbicide concentrations were 0.03 or 0.1 × field application rates of 1122 g ha(-1) active ingredient (a.i) (831 g ha(-1) acid glyphosate) for glyphosate and 562 g ha(-1) a.i. for dicamba. In general, plant growth responses to combinations of glyphosate and dicamba were less than the sum of growth responses to the individual herbicides (i.e., antagonistic effect), primarily when one or both herbicides alone caused a large reduction in growth. E. purpureum, P. lapathifolium and S. canadensis were the most sensitive species to both herbicides, while A. gerardii was the most tolerant, with no response to either herbicide. The combinations of herbicides resulted in responses most similar to that from dicamba alone for G. max and from glyphosate alone for T. flavus. The results of this study indicated the need for more data such as effects on native plants in the field to assess risks to non-target plants from combinations of herbicides.

  15. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens.

    PubMed

    Makino, Takashi T; Yokoyama, Jun

    2015-01-01

    When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies), and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant-pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly.

  16. Native herbaceous plant species with potential use in phytoremediation of heavy metals, spotlight on wetlands - A review.

    PubMed

    Oyuela Leguizamo, Mayerly Alexandra; Fernández Gómez, Wilmar Darío; Sarmiento, Martha Cecilia Gutiérrez

    2017-02-01

    Soil, air and water pollution caused by the mobility and solubility of heavy metals significantly damages the environment, human health, plants and animals. One common in situ method used for the decontamination of heavy metals is phytoremediation. This usually involves the use of exotic species. However, these species may exhibit invasive behavior, thereby, affect the environmental and ecological dynamics of the ecosystem into which they are introduced. This paper focuses on some native herbaceous plant species reported on the wetlands of Bogota, Colombia, with potential use in phytoremediation of heavy metals. To do that, the authors identified and searched a bibliography based on key words related to heavy metal decontamination. In addition, authors gathered and analyzed relevant information that allowed the comprehension of the phytoremediation process. This paper suggests the study of 41 native or endemic species regarding their behavior towards heavy metal contamination. From a survey of herbaceous plants reported in Bogota, native and endemic species that belong to predominant families in heavy metal accumulation processes were selected. Although found in Colombian's wetlands, these can also be found worldwide. Therefore, they are of great interest due to their global presence and their potential for use in phytoremediation. The current research about the development of phytoremediation focuses on the identification of new herbaceous species able to decontaminate substratum polluted with heavy metals to contribute with the investigation of the ecology and environment of the nature's remnants in urban wetland ecosystems.

  17. Genetic diversity and antifungal activity of native Pseudomonas isolated from maize plants grown in a central region of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Paula; Cavigliasso, Andrea; Príncipe, Analía; Godino, Agustina; Jofré, Edgardo; Mori, Gladys; Fischer, Sonia

    2012-07-01

    Pseudomonas strains producing antimicrobial secondary metabolites play an important role in the biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi. In this study, native Pseudomonas spp. isolates were obtained from the rhizosphere, endorhizosphere and bulk soil of maize fields in Córdoba (Argentina) during both the vegetative and reproductive stages of plant growth. However, the diversity based on repetitive-element PCR (rep-PCR) and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) fingerprinting was not associated with the stage of plant growth. Moreover, the antagonistic activity of the native isolates against phytopathogenic fungi was evaluated in vitro. Several strains inhibited members of the genera Fusarium, Sclerotinia or Sclerotium and this antagonism was related to their ability to produce secondary metabolites. A phylogenetic analysis based on rpoB or 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that the isolates DGR22, MGR4 and MGR39 with high biocontrol potential belonged to the genus Pseudomonas. Some native strains of Pseudomonas were also able to synthesise indole acetic acid and to solubilise phosphate, thus possessing potential plant growth-promoting (PGPR) traits, in addition to their antifungal activity. It was possible to establish a relationship between PGPR or biocontrol activity and the phylogeny of the strains. The study allowed the creation of a local collection of indigenous Pseudomonas which could be applied in agriculture to minimise the utilisation of chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

  18. Educational outreach and impacts of white-tailed deer browse on native and invasive plants at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindsay, Lisa O.

    Overabundance of deer can assist the intrusion of invasive plants through browse, leading to homogenization of plant communities. Public attitudes towards native and invasive plant species and white-tailed deer browse related to personal experiences, can be changed through education focusing public awareness of ramifications of deer browse on native and invasive plants. I developed an interactive, interpretive Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure of the "You Can Trail" to provide an educational outreach program for visitors of Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center that includes ecologically important native and invasive plants species from my investigation. This research study focuses on the overall abundance of native and invasive plant species once Odocoileus virginianus have been removed from the landscape during collection periods in June and September 2013 from exclosure and access plots that were maintained for seven years. Similarity of abundance were found in native and invasive abundance of forbs, bushes and percentage of ground cover. Differences included native bush volume being greater than invasive bush volume in the access plot in June with opposing results in the exclosure plot, being greater in invasive bush volume. However, in September, native and invasive bush volume was similar within the exclosure plot, while invasive bush volume decreased in the access plot. Invasive vines recorded in the June access plot were absent in the September collection period.

  19. Rapid nutrient cycling in leaf litter from invasive plants in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Allison, Steven D; Vitousek, Peter M

    2004-12-01

    Physiological traits that contribute to the establishment and spread of invasive plant species could also have impacts on ecosystem processes. The traits prevalent in many invasive plants, such as high specific leaf areas, rapid growth rates, and elevated leaf nutrient concentrations, improve litter quality and should increase rates of decomposition and nutrient cycling. To test for these ecosystem impacts, we measured initial leaf litter properties, decomposition rates, and nutrient dynamics in 11 understory plants from the Hawaiian islands in control and nitrogen + phosphorus fertilized plots. These included five common native species, four of which were ferns, and six aggressive invasive species, including five angiosperms and one fern. We found a 50-fold variation in leaf litter decay rates, with natives decaying at rates of 0.2-2.3 year(-1) and invaders at 1.4-9.3 year(-1). This difference was driven by very low decomposition rates in native fern litter. Fertilization significantly increased the decay rates of leaf litter from two native and two invasive species. Most invasive litter types lost nitrogen and phosphorus more rapidly and in larger quantities than comparable native litter types. All litter types except three native ferns lost nitrogen after 100 days of decomposition, and all litter types except the most recalcitrant native ferns lost >50% of initial phosphorus by the end of the experiment (204-735 days). If invasive understory plants displace native species, nutrient cycling rates could increase dramatically due to rapid decomposition and nutrient release from invasive litter. Such changes are likely to cause a positive feedback to invasion in Hawai'i because many invasive plants thrive on nutrient-rich soils.

  20. Landscape genetic approaches to guide native plant restoration in the Mojave Desert.

    PubMed

    Shryock, Daniel F; Havrilla, Caroline A; DeFalco, Lesley A; Esque, Todd C; Custer, Nathan A; Wood, Troy E

    2017-03-01

    divergence in Sphaeralcea. We describe multivariate statistical approaches for interpolating spatial patterns of adaptive divergence while accounting for potential bias due to neutral genetic structure. Through a spatial bootstrapping procedure, we also visualize patterns in the magnitude of model uncertainty. Finally, we introduce an interactive, distance-based mapping approach that explicitly links marker-based models of adaptive divergence with local or admixture seed sourcing strategies, promoting effective native plant restoration.

  1. Role of Native and Exotic Earthworms in Plant Biopolymer Dynamics in Forest Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, Timothy

    2010-05-01

    Many forests within northern North America are experiencing the introduction of earthworms for the first time, presumably since before the last major glaciation. Forest dynamics are undergoing substantial changes because of the activity of the mainly European lumbricid species. Documented losses in litter layers, expansion of A-horizons, loss of the organic horizon, changes in fine root density, and shifts in microbial populations have all been documented in invaded zones. Two free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) forest experiments (aspen FACE at Rhinelander, Wisconsin and sweet gum FACE at Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee) lie within the zones of invasion and exhibit differences in amounts of exotic and native species as well as endogeic (predominantly mineral soil dwelling) and epigeic (litter and organic matter horizon dwelling) types. Considerations of carbon accrual dynamics and relative input of above vs. below ground plant input in these young successional systems do not consider the potential impact of these ecosystem engineers. We investigated the impact of earthworm activity by tracking the relative abundance and stable carbon isotope compositions of lignin and substituted fatty acids extracted from isolated earthworms and their fecal pellets and from host soils. Indications of root vs leaf input to earthworm casts and fecal matter were derived from differences in the chemical composition of cutin, suberin, and lignin. The isotopically depleted CO2 used in FACE and the resulting isotopically depleted plant organic matter afford an excellent opportunity to assess biopolymer-specific turnover dynamics. We find that endogeic species are proportionately more responsible for fine root cycling while some epigeic species are responsible for microaggregation of foliar cutin. CSIA of fecal pellet lignin and SFA indicates how these biopolymer pools can be derived from variable sources, roots, background soil, foliar tissue within one earthworm. Additionally, CSIA

  2. Landscape genetic approaches to guide native plant restoration in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Havrilla, Caroline A.; DeFalco, Lesley; Esque, Todd; Custer, Nathan; Wood, Troy E.

    2016-01-01

    divergence in Sphaeralcea. We describe multivariate statistical approaches for interpolating spatial patterns of adaptive divergence while accounting for potential bias due to neutral genetic structure. Through a spatial bootstrapping procedure, we also visualize patterns in the magnitude of model uncertainty. Finally, we introduce an interactive, distance-based mapping approach that explicitly links marker-based models of adaptive divergence with local or admixture seed sourcing strategies, promoting effective native plant restoration.

  3. Physiological variation among native and exotic winter annual plants associated with microbiotic crusts in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Detling, J.K.; Tracy, C.R.; Warren, S.D.

    2001-01-01

    Microbiotic crusts are important components of many aridland soils. Research on crusts typically focuses on the increase in soil fertility due to N-fixing micro-organisms, the stabilization of soils against water and wind erosion and the impact of disturbance on N-cycling. The effect of microbiotic crusts on the associated plant community has received little attention. We quantified the influence of crusts on the production, species diversity, nutrient content and water relations of winter annual plant species associated with microbiotic soil crusts in the northeast Mojave Desert. Shoot biomass of winter annuals was 37% greater and plant density was 77% greater on crusts than were biomass and density on soils lacking crust cover (=bare soils). This greater production of annuals on crusts was likely due to enhanced soil conditions including an almost two-fold increase in soil organic matter and inorganic N compared to bare soils. Crusted soils also had 53% greater volumetric water content than bare soils during November and December, the time when winter annuals become established. As plant development progressed into spring, however, soil water availability decreased: More negative plant xylem water potentials were associated with greater plant biomass on crusted soils. Plants associated with microbiotic soil crusts had lower concentrations of N in shoots (mg N g-1 dry mass). However, total shoot N (mg N m-2) was the same in plants growing on the different soil types when biomass production peaked in April. Shoots had similar patterns in their concentration and content of P. Species diversity of annuals was not statistically different between the two soil types. Yet, while native annuals comprised the greatest proportion of shoot biomass on bare soils, exotic forbs and grasses produced more biomass on crusts. Total shoot nutrient content (biomass x concentration) of the two exotic annual species examined was dramatically greater on crusts than bare soils; only one

  4. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0-30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant-soil-water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation.

  5. Forest floor depth mediates understory vigor in xeric Pinus palustris ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hiers, J Kevin; O'Brien, Joseph J; Will, Rodney E; Mitchell, Robert J

    2007-04-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands and savannas are among the most frequently burned ecosystems in the world with fire return intervals of 1-10 years. This fire regime has maintained high levels of biodiversity in terms of both species richness and endemism. Land use changes have reduced the area of this ecosystem by >95%, and inadequate fire frequencies threaten many of the remnants today. In the absence of frequent fire, rapid colonization of hardwoods and shrubs occurs, and a broad-leaved midstory develops. This midstory encroachment has been the focus of much research and management concern, largely based on the assumption that the midstory reduces understory plant diversity through direction competition via light interception. The general application of this mechanism of degradation is questionable, however, because midstory density, leaf area, and hardwood species composition vary substantially along a soil moisture gradient from mesic to extremely xeric sites. Reanalysis of recently reported data from xeric longleaf pine communities suggests that the development of the forest floor, a less conspicuous change in forest structure, might cause a decline in plant biodiversity when forests remain unburned. We report here a test of the interactions among fire, litter accumulation, forest floor development, and midstory canopy density on understory plant diversity. Structural equation modeling showed that within xeric sites, forest floor development was the primary factor explaining decreased biodiversity. The only effects of midstory development on biodiversity were those mediated through forest floor development. Boundary line analysis of functional guilds of understory plants showed sensitivity to even minor development of the forest floor in the absence of fire. These results challenge the prevailing management paradigm and suggest that within xeric longleaf pine communities, the primary focus of managed fire regime should be directed toward the

  6. Allelopathic exudates of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica): implications for the performance of native pine savanna plant species in the southeastern US.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Donald L; Jose, Shibu; Lin, Chung-Ho

    2013-02-01

    We conducted a greenhouse study to assess the effects of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) rhizochemicals on a suite of plants native to southeastern US pine savanna ecosystems. Our results indicated a possible allelopathic effect, although it varied by species. A ruderal grass (Andropogon arctatus) and ericaceous shrub (Lyonia ferruginea) were unaffected by irrigation with cogongrass soil "leachate" (relative to leachate from mixed native species), while a mid-successional grass (Aristida stricta Michx. var. beyrichiana) and tree (Pinus elliottii) were negatively affected. For A. stricta, we observed a 35.7 % reduction in aboveground biomass, a 21.9 % reduction in total root length, a 24.6 % reduction in specific root length and a 23.5 % reduction in total mycorrhizal root length, relative to the native leachate treatment. For P. elliottii, there was a 19.5 % reduction in percent mycorrhizal colonization and a 20.1 % reduction in total mycorrhizal root length. Comparisons with a DI water control in year two support the possibility that the treatment effects were due to the negative effects of cogongrass leachate, rather than a facilitative effect from the mixed natives. Chemical analyses identified 12 putative allelopathic compounds (mostly phenolics) in cogongrass leachate. The concentrations of most compounds were significantly lower, if they were present at all, in the native leachate. One compound was an alkaloid with a speculated structure of hexadecahydro-1-azachrysen-8-yl ester (C23H33NO4). This compound was not found in the native leachate. We hypothesize that the observed treatment effects may be attributable, at least partially, to these qualitative and quantitative differences in leachate chemistry.

  7. When is an invasive not an invasive? Macrofossil evidence of doubtful native plant species in the Galápagos Islands.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Emily E D; Froyd, Cynthia A; Willis, Katherine J

    2011-04-01

    The Galápagos Islands are globally renowned for their ecological value and as a world symbol of scientific discovery; however the native biodiversity of this unique region is currently under threat. One of the primary concerns is the detrimental impact of approximately 750 nonnative plants introduced over the last 500 years of human presence in the archipelago. In addition to these known introduced species, there are an additional 62 vascular plants classified as "doubtful natives," where native status remains unclear. To help address the questions of provenance regarding these doubtfully native species and their impact on highland ecosystems over the past 500-1000 years, we analyzed plant macrofossils in sedimentary records. Appropriate species classification (native or introduced) was determined using baseline data of species presence on the islands. We confirmed that six plants (Ageratum conyzoides, Solanum americanum, Ranunculus flagelliformis, Brickellia diffusa, Galium canescens, and Anthephora hermaphrodita) once considered doubtful natives or introduced are actually native to the Galápagos flora. These results have relevance not just for the Galápagos but also many other oceanic islands in demonstrating the application of palaeobotanical data to conserving and restoring native biodiversity.

  8. The Dark Side Is Not Fastidious – Dark Septate Endophytic Fungi of Native and Invasive Plants of Semiarid Sandy Areas

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Dániel G.; Pintye, Alexandra; Kovács, Gábor M.

    2012-01-01

    Dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi represent a frequent root-colonizing fungal group common in environments with strong abiotic stress, such as (semi)arid ecosystems. This work aimed to study the DSE fungi colonizing the plants of semiarid sandy grasslands with wood steppe patches on the Great Hungarian Plain. As we may assume that fungi colonizing both invasive and native species are generalists, root associated fungi (RAF) were isolated from eight native and three invasive plant species. The nrDNA sequences of the isolates were used for identification. To confirm that the fungi were endophytes an artificial inoculation system was used to test the isolates: we considered a fungus as DSE if it colonized the roots without causing a negative effect on the plant and formed microsclerotia in the roots. According to the analyses of the ITS sequence of nrDNA the 296 isolates clustered into 41 groups. We found that 14 of these 41 groups were DSE, representing approximately 60% of the isolates. The main DSE groups were generalist and showed no specificity to area or season and colonized both native and invasive species, demonstrating that exotic plants are capable of using the root endophytic fungi of the invaded areas. The DSE community of the region shows high similarity to those found in arid grasslands of North America. Taking into account a previous hypothesis about the common root colonizers of those grasslands and our results reported here, we hypothesize that plants of (semi)arid grasslands share common dominant members of the DSE fungal community on a global scale. PMID:22393417

  9. The dark side is not fastidious--dark septate endophytic fungi of native and invasive plants of semiarid sandy areas.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Dániel G; Pintye, Alexandra; Kovács, Gábor M

    2012-01-01

    Dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi represent a frequent root-colonizing fungal group common in environments with strong abiotic stress, such as (semi)arid ecosystems. This work aimed to study the DSE fungi colonizing the plants of semiarid sandy grasslands with wood steppe patches on the Great Hungarian Plain. As we may assume that fungi colonizing both invasive and native species are generalists, root associated fungi (RAF) were isolated from eight native and three invasive plant species. The nrDNA sequences of the isolates were used for identification. To confirm that the fungi were endophytes an artificial inoculation system was used to test the isolates: we considered a fungus as DSE if it colonized the roots without causing a negative effect on the plant and formed microsclerotia in the roots. According to the analyses of the ITS sequence of nrDNA the 296 isolates clustered into 41 groups. We found that 14 of these 41 groups were DSE, representing approximately 60% of the isolates. The main DSE groups were generalist and showed no specificity to area or season and colonized both native and invasive species, demonstrating that exotic plants are capable of using the root endophytic fungi of the invaded areas. The DSE community of the region shows high similarity to those found in arid grasslands of North America. Taking into account a previous hypothesis about the common root colonizers of those grasslands and our results reported here, we hypothesize that plants of (semi)arid grasslands share common dominant members of the DSE fungal community on a global scale.

  10. Native weeds and exotic plants: relationships to disturbance in mixed grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    The paper compares distributions of native weedy species and exotic species with respect to three kinds of disturbance, roads, trails, and prairie dog towns. Data were collected at the north and south units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and at Wind Cave National Park. The paper concludes that many exotic species differ substantially from native weeds in their exploitation of disturbance. It is thus not useful to manage exotics as if they were just another weed.

  11. Purification and characterization of native and recombinant SaPIN2a, a plant sieve element-localized proteinase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen-Yu; Ding, Ling-Wen; Ge, Zhi-Juan; Wang, Zhaoyu; Wang, Fanghai; Li, Ning; Xu, Zeng-Fu

    2007-01-01

    SaPIN2a encodes a proteinase inhibitor in nightshade (Solanum americanum), which is specifically localized to the enucleate sieve elements. It has been proposed to play an important role in phloem development by regulating proteolysis in sieve elements. In this study, we purified and characterized native SaPIN2a from nightshade stems and recombinant SaPIN2a expressed in Escherichia coli. Purified native SaPIN2a was found as a charge isomer family of homodimers, and was weakly glycosylated. Native SaPIN2a significantly inhibited serine proteinases such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, and subtilisin, with the most potent inhibitory activity on subtilisin. It did not inhibit cysteine proteinase papain and aspartic proteinase cathepsin D. Recombinant SaPIN2a had a strong inhibitory effect on chymotrypsin, but its inhibitory activities toward trypsin and especially toward subtilisin were greatly reduced. In addition, native SaPIN2a can effectively inhibit midgut trypsin-like activities from Trichoplusia ni and Spodoptera litura larvae, suggesting a potential for the production of insect-resistant transgenic plants.

  12. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens

    PubMed Central

    Makino, Takashi T.; Yokoyama, Jun

    2015-01-01

    When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies), and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant–pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly. PMID:26650121

  13. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass.

    PubMed

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G; Dale, Bruce E; Chundawat, Shishir P S

    2015-07-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance.

  14. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass

    PubMed Central

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-01-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. PMID:25911738

  15. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM -pre-treated biomass

    DOE PAGES

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; ...

    2015-04-23

    We report that cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is amore » trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. Lastly, we found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance.« less

  16. A native plant growth promoting bacterium, Bacillus sp. B55, rescues growth performance of an ethylene-insensitive plant genotype in nature

    PubMed Central

    Meldau, Dorothea G.; Long, Hoang H.; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2012-01-01

    Many plants have intimate relationships with soil microbes, which improve the plant’s growth and fitness through a variety of mechanisms. Bacillus sp. isolates are natural root-associated bacteria, isolated from Nicotiana attenuata plant roots growing in native soils. A particular isolate B55, was found to have dramatic plant growth promotion (PGP) effects on wild type (WT) and transgenic plants impaired in ethylene (ET) perception (35S-etr1), the genotype from which this bacterium was first isolated. B55 not only improves N. attenuata growth under in vitro, glasshouse, and field conditions, but it also “rescues” many of the deleterious phenotypes associated with ET insensitivity. Most notably, B55 dramatically increases the growth and survival of 35S-etr1 plants under field conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a PGP effect in a native plant–microbe association under natural conditions. Our study demonstrates that this facultative mutualistic plant–microbe interaction should be viewed as part of the plant’s extended phenotype. Possible modalities of recruitment and mechanisms of PGP are discussed. PMID:22701461

  17. Modeling Forest Understory Fires in an Eastern Amazonian Landscape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alencar, A. A. C.; Solorzano, L. A.; Nepstad, D. C.

    2004-01-01

    Forest understory fires are an increasingly important cause of forest impoverishment in Ammonia, but little is known of the landscape characteristics and climatic phenomena that determine their occurrence. We developed empirical functions relating the occurrence of understory fires to landscape features near Paragominas, a 35- yr-old ranching and logging center in eastern Ammonia. An historical sequence of maps of forest understory fire was created based on field interviews With local farmers and Landsat TM images. Several landscape features that might explain spatial variations in the occurrence of understory fires were also mapped and co-registered for each of the sample dates, including: forest fragment size and shape, forest impoverishment through logging and understory fires, source of ignition (settlements and charcoal pits), roads, forest edges, and others. The spatial relationship between forest understory fire and each landscape characteristic was tested by regression analyses. Fire probability models were then developed for various combinations of landscape characteristics. The analyses were conducted separately for years of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which are associated with severe drought in eastern Amazonia, and non-ENS0 years. Most (91 %) of the forest area that burned during the 10-yr sequence caught fire during ENSO years, when severe drought may have increased both forest flammability and the escape of agricultural management fires. Forest understory fires were associated with forest edges, as reported in previous studies from Ammonia. But the strongest predictor of forest fire was the percentage of the forest fragment that had been previously logged or burned. Forest fragment size, distance to charcoal pits, distance to agricultural settlement, proximity to forest edge, and distance to roads were also correlated with forest understory fire. Logistic regression models using information on fragment degradation and distance to ignition

  18. Model-based estimates of water loss from ``patches'' of the understory mosaic of the Hartheim Scots pine plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wedler, M.; Heindl, B.; Hahn, S.; Köstner, B.; Bernhofer, Ch.; Tenhunen, J. D.

    1996-03-01

    During the Hartheim Experiment (HartX) 1992 conducted in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany, we estimated water vapor flux from the understory and the forest floor by several methods. At the vegetation “patch” level, direct estimates were made with small weighing lysimeters, and water loss was scaled-up to the stand level based on vegetation “patchtype” distribution. At the leaf level, transpiration flux was determined with a CO2/H2O porometer for the dominant understory plant species, Brachypodium pinnatum, Carex alba, and Carex flacca. Measured leaf transpiration was scaled-up to patch level with a canopy light interception and leaf gas exchange model, and then to stand level as in the case of lysimeter data, but with further consideration of patchtype leaf area index (LAI). On two days, total understory latent heat flux was estimated by eddy correlation methods below the tree canopy. The understory vegetation was subdivided into five major patch-types which covered 62% of the ground area and resulted in a cumulative LAI of approx. 1.54 when averaged over total stand ground area and compared to the average tree canopy LAI of 2.8. The remaining 38% of ground area was unvegetated bare soil and/or covered by moss (mainly by Scleropodium purum) or litter. The evapotranspiration from the understory and unvegetated areas equaled approx. 20% of total forest stand transpiration during the HartX period. The understory vegetation transpired about 0.4 mm d-1 (13%) estimated over the period of May 13 to 21, whereas evaporation from moss and soil patches amounted 0.23 mm d-1 (7.0%). On dry, sunny days, total water vapor flux below the tree canopy exceeded 0.66 mm d-1. Using the transpiration rates derived from the GAS-FLUX model together with estimates of evaporation from moss and soil areas and a modified application of the Penman-Monteith equation, the average daily maximum conductance of the understory and the forest floor was 1.7 mm s-1 as compared to 5.5 mm s-1 for

  19. Native plant growth promoting bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and mixed or individual mycorrhizal species improved drought tolerance and oxidative metabolism in Lavandula dentata plants.

    PubMed

    Armada, E; Probanza, A; Roldán, A; Azcón, R

    2016-03-15

    This study evaluates the responses of Lavandula dentata under drought conditions to the inoculation with single autochthonous arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (five fungal strains) or with their mixture and the effects of these inocula with a native Bacillus thuringiensis (endophytic bacteria). These microorganisms were drought tolerant and in general, increased plant growth and nutrition. Particularly, the AM fungal mixture and B. thuringiensis maximized plant biomass and compensated drought stress as values of antioxidant activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase APX)] shown. The AMF-bacteria interactions highly reduced the plant oxidative damage of lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA)] and increased the mycorrhizal development (mainly arbuscular formation representative of symbiotic functionality). These microbial interactions explain the highest potential of dually inoculated plants to tolerate drought stress. B. thuringiensis "in vitro" under osmotic stress does not reduce its PGPB (plant growth promoting bacteria) abilities as indole acetic acid (IAA) and ACC deaminase production and phosphate solubilization indicating its capacity to improve plant growth under stress conditions. Each one of the autochthonous fungal strains maintained their particular interaction with B. thuringiensis reflecting the diversity, intrinsic abilities and inherent compatibility of these microorganisms. In general, autochthonous AM fungal species and particularly their mixture with B. thuringiensis demonstrated their potential for protecting plants against drought and helping plants to thrive in semiarid ecosystems.

  20. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Grandez-Rios, Julio Miguel; Lima Bergamini, Leonardo; Santos de Araújo, Walter; Villalobos, Fabricio; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic) on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin. PMID:26379159

  1. Radish introduction affects soil biota and has a positive impact on the growth of a native plant.

    PubMed

    Pearse, Ian S; Bastow, Justin L; Tsang, Alia

    2014-02-01

    Introduced plants may out-compete natives by belowground allelopathic effects on soil communities including the symbionts of native plants. We tested for an allelopathic effect of an introduced crucifer, Raphanus sativus, on a common neighboring legume, Lupinus nanus, on the legume's rhizobium affiliates, and on the broader soil community. In both field observations and a greenhouse experiment, we found that R. sativus decreased the density of nodules on L. nanus roots. However, in the greenhouse experiment, R. sativus soils only decreased the density of small, likely non-beneficial rhizobium nodules. In the same experiment, R. sativus soils decreased fungivorous nematode abundance, though there was no effect of R. sativus introduction on fungal density. In the greenhouse experiment, R. sativus soils had a net positive effect on L. nanus biomass. One explanation of this effect is that R. sativus introduction might alter the mutualistic/parasitic relationship between L. nanus and its rhizobial associates with a net benefit to L. nanus. Our results suggest that introduced brassicas can quickly alter belowground communities, but that the net effect of this on neighboring plants is not necessarily negative.

  2. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor to inconsistent success. The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. In partnership with the FWS, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. This joint partnership is known as the Native Prairie Adaptive Management (NPAM) initiative. The NPAM decision framework is built around practical constraints faced by FWS refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen FWS field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, have participated in the initiative. These FWS cooperators share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. Though the scope is broad, the initiative interfaces with individual land managers who provide site-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. We describe the technical components of this approach, how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. During an initial scoping workshop, FWS cooperators developed a consensus management objective

  3. Deer over-browsing of forest understory vegetation alters the pattern of nitrate loss to streamwater in forested watersheds in Ashiu, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukushima, K.; Sakai, M.; Sakaguchi, S.; Iwai, Y.; Hasegawa, A.; Nishioka, Y.; Fujii, H.; Tokuchi, N.; Yoshioka, T.; Takayanagi, A.

    2011-12-01

    Ecosystem degradation by large herbivorous mammals becomes a serious issue worldwide. Since 2000's in Japan, over-browsing of forest understory vegetation by Japanese deer (Cervus nippon centrails) has been pronounced. Loss of plant biodiversity and decreasing in biomass at the forest understory may result in the changes in streamwater chemistry and nutrient loss from forest ecosystem, but the knowledge remains still limited. The main goal of this study was to elucidate the effects of deer over-browsing on streamwater chemistry and nitrogen (N) loss; especially focusing on the seasonality of nitrate concentration and annual nitrate loss, by comparing a 13 ha watershed surrounded by the deer-excluded fence to its adjacent 19 ha control watershed, in cool-temperate forest in Ashiu, Japan. We have collected streamwater samples monthly at 4 first-order streams (0.3 - 2.3 ha) and 1 second-order stream (13 - 19 ha) within each watershed, and analyzed nitrate concentration by ion chromatography since June 2006 when the fence was established. The rate of streamwater discharge was obtained from a Parshall flume by measuring water level. Annual loss of nitrate was calculated by multiplying stream flow by the concentration. As for the understory vegetation, number of species, vegetation cover, and Shannon's H' as an indicator of biodiversity were observed in two 800 m2 plots established in the lower slope and upper slope within each watershed. Nitrogen uptake by understory vegetation was determined by cutting all grasses and seedlings within 145 1 m2 quadrats throughout watersheds and measuring dry weights and N contents by NC analyzer. In the fenced watershed, number of species, vegetation cover, and Shannon's H' of understories remarkably increased at the lower-stream slope and slightly increased at the upper-ridge slope, while in the unfenced watershed, they had no change or decreased at the both slope. The nitrate concentration of stream water was lower during plant

  4. Non-native plants and soil microbes: potential contributors to the consistent reduction in soil aggregate stability caused by the disturbance of North American grasslands.

    PubMed

    Duchicela, Jessica; Vogelsang, Keith M; Schultz, Peggy A; Kaonongbua, Wittaya; Middleton, Elizabeth L; Bever, James D

    2012-10-01

    • Soil aggregate stability is an important ecosystem property that is altered by anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, the generalization of these alterations and the identification of the main contributors are limited by the absence of cross-site comparisons and the application of inconsistent methodologies across regions. • We assessed aggregate stability in paired remnant and post-disturbance grasslands across California, shortgrass and tallgrass prairies, and in manipulative experiments of plant composition and soil microbial inoculation. • Grasslands recovering from anthropogenic disturbance consistently had lower aggregate stability than remnants. Across all grasslands, non-native plant diversity was significantly associated with reduced soil aggregate stability. A negative effect of non-native plants on aggregate stability was also observed in a mesocosm experiment comparing native and non-native plants from California grasslands. Moreover, an inoculation study demonstrated that the degradation of the microbial community also contributes to the decline in soil aggregate stability in disturbed grasslands. • Anthropogenic disturbance consistently reduced water-stable aggregates. The stability of aggregates was reduced by non-native plants and the degradation of the native soil microbial community. This latter effect might contribute to the sustained decline in aggregate stability following anthropogenic disturbance. Further exploration is advocated to understand the generality of these potential mechanisms.

  5. Land-use history, historical connectivity, and land management interact to determine longleaf pine woodland understory richness and composition.

    SciTech Connect

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Damschen, Ellen L.

    2010-08-13

    Restoration and management activities targeted at recovering biodiversity can lead to unexpected results. In part, this is due to a lack of understanding of how site-level characteristics, landscape factors, and land-use history interact with restoration and management practices to determine patterns of diversity. For plants, such factors may be particularly important since plant populations often exhibit lagged responses to habitat loss and degradation. Here, we assess the importance of site-level, landscape, and historical effects for understory plant species richness and composition across a set of 40 longleaf pine Pinus palustris woodlands undergoing restoration for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker in the southeastern United States. Land-use history had an overarching effect on richness and composition. Relative to historically forested sites, sites with agricultural histories (i.e. former pastures or cultivated fields) supported lower species richness and an altered species composition due to fewer upland longleaf pine woodland community members. Landscape effects did not influence the total number of species in either historically forested or post-agricultural sites; however, understory species composition was affected by historical connectivity, but only for post-agricultural sites. The influences of management and restoration activities were only apparent once land-use history was accounted for. Prescribed burning and mechanical overstory thinning were key drivers of understory composition and promoted understory richness in post-agricultural sites. In historically forested sites these activities had no impact on richness and only prescribed fire influenced composition. Our findings reveal complex interplays between site-level, landscape, and historical effects, suggest fundamentally different controls over plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands with varying land-use history, and underscore the importance of considering land

  6. Seed enhancement technologies for restoring native plants in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The success rates on rangeland seeding projects with native species in the arid regions of the western United States are unacceptably low and predicted to further decline with climate change increasing aridity and more erratic precipitation. Seed enhancement technologies allow for the physical manip...

  7. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary goal of this research was to investigate the prokaryotic and fungal communities associated with the bulk soil, the rhizosphere, the phyllosphere, and the root and leaf endospheres, for three Agave species: the cultivated Agave tequilana and the native species, A. salmiana and A. deserti ...

  8. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants: reply to critique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A meta-analysis contrasting morphological and physiological traits of invasive species and native species was conducted using data acquired from journal articles published between the years 1995 and 2010. This study (Leffler et al. 2014, Ecology 95:298-305), generated a comment from Dawson et al. (...

  9. A Rapid Screening Analysis of Antioxidant Compounds in Native Australian Food Plants Using Multiplexed Detection with Active Flow Technology Columns.

    PubMed

    Rupesinghe, Emmanuel Janaka Rochana; Jones, Andrew; Shalliker, Ross Andrew; Pravadali-Cekic, Sercan

    2016-01-20

    Conventional techniques for identifying antioxidant and phenolic compounds in native Australian food plants are laborious and time-consuming. Here, we present a multiplexed detection technique that reduces analysis time without compromising separation performance. This technique is achieved using Active Flow Technology-Parallel Segmented Flow (AFT-PSF) columns. Extracts from cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) and lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) leaves were analysed via multiplexed detection using an AFT-PSF column with underivatised UV-VIS, mass spectroscopy (MS), and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH(•)) derivatisation for antioxidants as detection methods. A number of antioxidant compounds were detected in the extracts of each leaf extract.

  10. Can local adaptation research in plants inform selection of native plant materials? An analysis of experimental methodologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Local adaptation research in plants: limitations to synthetic understanding Local adaptation is used as a criterion to select plant materials that will display high fitness in new environments. A large body of research has explored local adaptation in plants, however, to what extent findings can inf...

  11. Non-random co-occurrence of native and exotic plant species in Mediterranean grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Miguel, José M.; Martín-Forés, Irene; Acosta-Gallo, Belén; del Pozo, Alejandro; Ovalle, Carlos; Sánchez-Jardón, Laura; Castro, Isabel; Casado, Miguel A.

    2016-11-01

    Invasion by exotic species in Mediterranean grasslands has determined assembly patterns of native and introduced species, knowledge of which provides information on the ecological processes underlying these novel communities. We considered grasslands from Spain and Chile. For each country we considered the whole grassland community and we split species into two subsets: in Chile, species were classified as natives or colonizers (i.e. exotics); in Spain, species were classified as exclusives (present in Spain but not in Chile) or colonizers (Spanish natives and exotics into Chile). We used null models and co-occurrence indices calculated in each country for each one of 15 sites distributed along a precipitation gradient and subjected to similar silvopastoral exploitation. We compared values of species co-occurrence between countries and between species subsets (natives/colonizers in Chile; exclusives/colonizers in Spain) within each country and we characterised them according to climatic variables. We hypothesized that: a) the different coexistence time of the species in both regions should give rise to communities presenting a spatial pattern further from random in Spain than in Chile, b) the co-occurrence patterns in the grasslands are affected by mesoclimatic factors in both regions. The patterns of co-occurrence are similar in Spain and Chile, mostly showing a spatial pattern more segregated than expected by random. The colonizer species are more segregated in Spain than in Chile, possibly determined by the longer residence time of the species in the source area than in the invaded one. The segregation of species in Chile is related to water availability, being species less segregated in habitat with greater water deficit; in Spain no relationship with climatic variables was found. After an invasion process, our results suggest that the possible process of alteration of the original Chilean communities has not prevented the assembly between the native and

  12. Leishmanicidal evaluation of extracts from native plants of the Yucatan peninsula.

    PubMed

    Peraza-Sánchez, S R; Cen-Pacheco, F; Noh-Chimal, A; May-Pat, F; Simá-Polanco, P; Dumonteil, E; García-Miss, M R; Mut-Martín, M

    2007-06-01

    Methanol extracts were prepared from different parts of 18 plants collected in the Yucatan peninsula and evaluated in an in vitro bioassay for leishmanicidal activity against Leishmania mexicana promastigotes. The ten most potent plant extracts (IC(50)<50 microg/ml) were Aphelandra scabra leaves, Byrsonima bucidaefolia bark, Byrsonima crassifolia bark, Clusia flava leaves, Cupania dentata bark, Diphysa carthagenensis leaves, Dorstenia contrajerva whole plant, Milleria quinqueflora roots, Tridax procumbens whole plant, and Vitex gaumeri bark.

  13. Non-Additive Effects on Decomposition from Mixing Litter of the Invasive Mikania micrantha H.B.K. with Native Plants

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bao-Ming; Peng, Shao-Lin; D’Antonio, Carla M.; Li, Dai-Jiang; Ren, Wen-Tao

    2013-01-01

    A common hypothesis to explain the effect of litter mixing is based on the difference in litter N content between mixed species. Although many studies have shown that litter of invasive non-native plants typically has higher N content than that of native plants in the communities they invade, there has been surprisingly little study of mixing effects during plant invasions. We address this question in south China where Mikania micrantha H.B.K., a non-native vine, with high litter N content, has invaded many forested ecosystems. We were specifically interested in whether this invader accelerated decomposition and how the strength of the litter mixing effect changes with the degree of invasion and over time during litter decomposition. Using litterbags, we evaluated the effect of mixing litter of M. micrantha with the litter of 7 native resident plants, at 3 ratios: M1 (1∶4, = exotic:native litter), M2 (1∶1) and M3 (4∶1, = exotic:native litter) over three incubation periods. We compared mixed litter with unmixed litter of the native species to identify if a non-additive effect of mixing litter existed. We found that there were positive significant non-additive effects of litter mixing on both mass loss and nutrient release. These effects changed with native species identity, mixture ratio and decay times. Overall the greatest accelerations of mixture decay and N release tended to be in the highest degree of invasion (mix ratio M3) and during the middle and final measured stages of decomposition. Contrary to expectations, the initial difference in litter N did not explain species differences in the effect of mixing but overall it appears that invasion by M. micrantha is accelerating the decomposition of native species litter. This effect on a fundamental ecosystem process could contribute to higher rates of nutrient turnover in invaded ecosystems. PMID:23840435

  14. Differential modulation of host plant delta13C and delta18O by native and nonnative arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a semiarid environment.

    PubMed

    Querejeta, J I; Allen, M F; Caravaca, F; Roldán, A

    2006-01-01

    Native, drought-adapted arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) often improve host-plant performance to a greater extent than nonnative AMF in dry environments. However, little is known about the physiological basis for this differential plant response. Seedlings of Olea europaea and Rhamnus lycioides were inoculated with either a mixture of eight native Glomus species or with the nonnative Glomus claroideum before field transplanting in a semiarid area. Inoculation with native AMF produced the greatest improvement in nutrient and water status as well as in long-term growth for both Olea and Rhamnus. Foliar delta18O measurements indicated that native AMF enhanced stomatal conductance to a greater extent than nonnative AMF in Olea and Rhamnus.delta13C data showed that intrinsic water-use efficiency in Olea was differentially stimulated by native AMF compared with nonnative AMF. Our results suggest that modulation of leaf gas exchange by native, drought-adapted AMF is critical to the long-term performance of host plants in semiarid environments. delta18O can provide a time-integrated measure of the effect of mycorrhizal infection on host-plant water relations.

  15. Assessment of native plant species for phytoremediation of heavy metals growing in the vicinity of NTPC sites, Kahalgaon, India.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Alka; Lal, Brij; Rai, Upendra Nath

    2016-01-01

    The present investigation was carried out to screen native plants growing in fly ash (FA) contaminated areas near National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Kahalgaon, Bihar, India with a view to using them for the eco-restoration of the area. A total number of 30 plant species (5 aquatic and 25 terrestrial including 6 ferns) were collected and their diversity status and dominance were also studied. After screening of dominant species at highly polluted site, 8 terrestrial and 5 aquatic plants were analyzed for heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Ni, Si, Al, Pb, Cr, and Cd). Differential accumulations of various heavy metals by different species of plants were observed. Typha latifolia was found to be most efficient metal accumulator of Fe (927), Cu (58), Zn (87), Ni (57), Al (67), Cd (95), and Pb (69), and Azolla pinnata as Cr (93) hyper-accumulator among aquatic species in µg g(-1). In terrestrial species the maximum levels of Fe (998), Zn (81), Ni (93), Al (121), and Si (156) were found in Croton bonplandium. However, there was high spatial variability in total metal accumulation in different species indicated by coefficient of variation (CV%). These results suggest that various aquatic, some dominant terrestrial plants including fern species may be used in a synergistic way to remediate and restore the FA contaminated wastelands.

  16. Scouting contaminated estuaries: heavy metal resistant and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in the native metal rhizoaccumulator Spartina maritima.

    PubMed

    Mesa, J; Mateos-Naranjo, E; Caviedes, M A; Redondo-Gómez, S; Pajuelo, E; Rodríguez-Llorente, I D

    2015-01-15

    Spartina maritima is a native endangered heavy metal rhizoaccumulator cordgrass naturally growing in southwest coasts of Spain, where is used as a biotool to rehabilitate degraded salt marshes. Fifteen bacterial strains were isolated from the rhizosphere of S. maritima growing in the estuary of the Tinto River, one of the most polluted areas in the world. A high proportion of bacteria were resistant towards several heavy metals. They also exhibited multiple plant growth promoting (PGP) properties, in the absence and the presence of Cu. Bacillus methylotrophicus SMT38, Bacillusaryabhattai SMT48, B. aryabhattai SMT50 and Bacilluslicheniformis SMT51 were selected as the best performing strains. In a gnobiotic assay, inoculation of Medicago sativa seeds with the selected isolates induced higher root elongation. The inoculation of S. maritima with these indigenous metal-resistant PGP rhizobacteria could be an efficient method to increase plant adaptation and growth in contaminated estuaries during restoration programs.

  17. Differences in preference and performance of the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae populations on native and introduced aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Ding, Jianqing; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-12-01

    Plant invasions represent ecological opportunities for herbivorous insects able to exploit novel host plants. The availability of new hosts and rapid adaptations may lead to host race formation and ultimately speciation. We studied potential host race formation in the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae, in response to invasion by water chestnut, Trapa natans, in eastern North America. This leaf beetle is well suited for such studies because previous work showed that different herbivore populations follow different "evolutionary pathways" and specialize locally in response to differences in habitat preferences and host plant availability. We compared host preference and performance of G. nymphaeae offspring originating from T. natans and offspring of individuals originating from an ancestral host Nuphar lutea, yellow water lily, on T. natans and three native hosts (N. lutea, Nympheae odorata, and Brasenia schreberi). Regardless of origin (Trapa or Nuphar), adults strongly preferred their native host, N. lutea, over T. natans. Although laboratory survival rates (larva to pupa) were extremely high (80%) regardless of origin or host offered, survival rates in a common garden were greatly reduced, particularly for T. natans (24%) and to a lesser extent on N. lutea (54%), regardless of beetle origin. Larval drowning during more frequent leaf changes when developing on small Trapa leaves seems to be responsible for this difference. Preference of females for N. lutea is beneficial considering the much higher larval survival on the ancestral host. Abundant T. natans where the plant is invasive provides an alternative food source that beetles can use after egg/larval loads on their preferred host reach carrying capacity, but this utilization comes at a cost of high larval mortality.

  18. Polymorphism in jasmonate signaling partially accounts for the variety of volatiles produced by Nicotiana attenuata plants in a native population.

    PubMed

    Schuman, Meredith C; Heinzel, Nicolas; Gaquerel, Emmanuel; Svatos, Ales; Baldwin, Ian T

    2009-01-01

    Herbivore- and jasmonate-induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which mediate indirect defense, must provide reliable information for predators that frequently learn to associate their release with feeding herbivores. Yet little is known about variation of these cues within populations of native plants, on a scale encountered by predators. We examined variation in herbivore-elicited VOC emissions and patterns of herbivore-induced jasmonate signaling from accessions of Nicotiana attenuata co-occurring in a native population. VOC emissions elicited by herbivore oral secretions (OS) and by methyl jasmonate (MJ) were characterized using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high-resolution two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-ToF-MS) and micro-hydrolysis and micro-hydrogenation reactions. Accessions varied in emissions of abundant (trans-alpha-bergamotene, alpha-duprezianene, trans-beta-ocimene, and cis-3-hexenol) and total detectable VOCs, as well as the accumulation of jasmonates, the jasmonate antagonist salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonate signaling-related transcripts after OS elicitation. Yet MJ treatment exacerbated differences in VOC emission, suggesting that much variation in VOC emission is caused by processes downstream of jasmonate signaling. Co-occurring N. attenuata plants emit different VOCs following simulated herbivore elicitation as a result in part of differences in jasmonate production and responsiveness, which could reduce the effectiveness of induced indirect defense.

  19. A native Zn/Cd pumping P(1B) ATPase from natural overexpression in a hyperaccumulator plant.

    PubMed

    Parameswaran, Aravind; Leitenmaier, Barbara; Yang, Mingjie; Kroneck, Peter M H; Welte, Wolfram; Lutz, Gabriela; Papoyan, Ashot; Kochian, Leon V; Küpper, Hendrik

    2007-11-09

    We report here the first purification of a P(1B) type ATPase, a group of transporters that occurs in bacteria, plants and animals incl. humans, from a eukaryotic organism in native state. TcHMA4 is a P(1B) type ATPase that is highly expressed in the Cd/Zn hyperaccumulator plant Thlaspi caerulescens and contains a C-terminal 9-histidine repeat. After isolation from roots, we purified TcHMA4 protein via metal affinity chromatography. The purified protein exhibited Cd- and Zn-activated ATPase activity after reconstitution into lipid vesicles, showing that it was in its native state. Gels of crude root extract and of the purified protein revealed TcHMA4-specific bands of about 50 and 60kDa, respectively, while the TcHMA4 mRNA predicts a single protein with a size of 128kDa. This indicates the occurrence of post-translational processing; the properties of the two bands were characterised by their activity and binding properties.

  20. Changes in plant community of Seasonally Semideciduous Forest after invasion by Schizolobium parahyba at southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abreu, Rodolfo Cesar Real de; Santos, Francisco Ferreira de Miranda; Durigan, Giselda

    2014-01-01

    The recognition of a species as invasive is generally accepted when it comes from another continent or even from another country, but requires strong evidences of negative impacts to support control actions when the invasive species comes from another region in the same country. Schyzolobium parahyba - the 'guapuruvu', is a Brazilian tree native from the evergreen type of the Atlantic Forest, which has been recorded as invader in a number of remnants of the Seasonally Semideciduous Forest - SSF. We hypothesized that this giant and fast growing invasive tree changes the structure and composition of the understory, thus impairing the forest dynamics. We assessed the invasive population in the whole fragment, and, within the portion invaded, we sampled the regenerating plant community 1) under the largest alien trees, 2) under a native species with similar ecology (Peltophorum dubium), and 3) randomly in the forest. Density, basal area and richness under S. parahyba were remarkably lower than under the equivalent native species or in the understory as a whole. Floristic composition of the plant community was also distinct under S. parahyba, possibly due to increased competition for soil water. Even though the alien species has occupied, as yet, a small proportion of the forest fragment, it dominates the overstory and threatens the regeneration processes under its canopy. In view of our findings, we recommend extirpation of the species from SSF, as well as avoiding cultivation of the species away from its native range.

  1. Seedling growth responses to soil resources in the understory of a wet tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Holste, Ellen K; Kobe, Richard K; Vriesendorp, Corine F

    2011-09-01

    Plant growth responses to resources may be an important mechanism that influences species' distributions, coexistence, and community structure. Irradiance is considered the most important resource for seedling growth in the understory of wet tropical forests, but multiple soil nutrients and species have yet to be examined simultaneously with irradiance under field conditions. To identify potentially limiting resources, we modeled tree seedling growth as a function of irradiance and soil nutrients across five sites, spanning a soil fertility gradient in old-growth, wet tropical forests at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We measured an array of soil nutrients including total nitrogen (total N), inorganic N (nitrate [NO3-] and ammonium [NH4+]), phosphate (PO4-), and sum of base cations (SBC; potassium, magnesium, and calcium). Shade in the forest understory did not preclude seedling growth correlations with soil nutrients. Irradiance was a significant predictor of growth in 52% of the species, inorganic N in 54% (NO3- in 32%; NH4+ in 34%), total N in 47%, SBC in 39%, and PO4- in 29%. Overall, growth was correlated with both irradiance and soil nutrients in 45% of species and with soil nutrients only in an additional 48%; rarely was irradiance alone correlated with growth. Contrary to expectations, the magnitudes of growth effects, assessed as the maximum growth response to significant resources for each species, were similar for irradiance and most soil nutrients. Among species whose growth correlated with soil nutrients, the rank importance of nutrient effects was SBC, followed by N (total N, NO3-, and/or NH4+) and PO4-. Species' growth responsiveness (i.e., magnitudes of effect) to irradiance and soil nutrients was negatively correlated with species' shade tolerance (survival under 1% full sun). In this broad survey of species and resou