Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino-Serrano, M., Vives-Ingla, M., Stocker, B.D., Balzarolo, M., Guerrieri, R., Peaucelle, M., Marañón-Jiménez, S., Bórnez-Mejías, K., Mu, Z., Descals, A., Castellanos, A., Terradas, J. (2017) Impacts of global change on Mediterranean forests and their services. Forests. 8: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.3390/f8120463

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Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota

Gargallo-Garriga A., Sardans J., Pérez-Trujillo M., Guenther A., Llusià J., Rico L., Terradas J., Farré-Armengol G., Filella I., Parella T., Peñuelas J. (2016) Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota. BMC Plant Biology. 16: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1186/s12870-016-0767-7

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Background: The phyllospheric microbiota is assumed to play a key role in the metabolism of host plants. Its role in determining the epiphytic and internal plant metabolome, however, remains to be investigated. We analyzed the Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) profiles of the epiphytic and internal metabolomes of the leaves and flowers of Sambucus nigra with and without external antibiotic treatment application. Results: The epiphytic metabolism showed a degree of complexity similar to that of the plant organs. The suppression of microbial communities by topical applications of antibiotics had a greater impact on the epiphytic metabolome than on the internal metabolomes of the plant organs, although even the latter changed significantly both in leaves and flowers. The application of antibiotics decreased the concentration of lactate in both epiphytic and organ metabolomes, and the concentrations of citraconic acid, acetyl-CoA, isoleucine, and several secondary compounds such as terpenes and phenols in the epiphytic extracts. The metabolite pyrogallol appeared in the floral epiphytic community only after the treatment. The concentrations of the amino acid precursors of the ketoglutarate-synthesis pathway tended to decrease in the leaves and to increase in the foliar epiphytic extracts. Conclusions: These results suggest that anaerobic and/or facultative anaerobic bacteria were present in high numbers in the phyllosphere and in the apoplasts of S. nigra. The results also show that microbial communities play a significant role in the metabolomes of plant organs and could have more complex and frequent mutualistic, saprophytic, and/or parasitic relationships with internal plant metabolism than currently assumed. © 2016 Gargallo-Garriga et al.

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Assessment of the impacts of climate change on Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems based on data from field experiments and long-term monitored field gradients in Catalonia

Peñuelas, J., Sardans, J., Filella, I., Estiarte, M., Llusià, J., Ogaya, R., Carnicer, J., Bartrons, M., Rivas-Ubach, A., Grau, O., Peguero, G., Margalef, O., Pla-Rabés, S., Stefanescu, C., Asensio, D., Preece, C., Liu, L., Verger, A., Rico, L., Barbeta, A., Achotegui-Castells, A., Gargallo-Garriga, A., Sperlich, D., Farré-Armengol, G., Fernández-Martínez, M., Liu, D., Zhang, C., Urbina, I., Camino, M., Vives, M., Nadal-Sala, D., Sabaté, S., Gracia, C., Terradas, J. (2016) Assessment of the impacts of climate change on Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems based on data from field experiments and long-term monitored field gradients in Catalonia. Environmental and Experimental Botany. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2017.05.012

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Removal of floral microbiota reduces floral terpene emissions

Peñuelas J., Farré-Armengol G., Llusia J., Gargallo-Garriga A., Rico L., Sardans J., Terradas J., Filella I. (2014) Removal of floral microbiota reduces floral terpene emissions. Scientific Reports. 4: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1038/srep06727

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The emission of floral terpenes plays a key role in pollination in many plant species. We hypothesized that the floral phyllospheric microbiota could significantly influence these floral terpene emissions because microorganisms also produce and emit terpenes. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing the effect of removing the microbiota from flowers. We fumigated Sambucus nigra L. plants, including their flowers, with a combination of three broad-spectrum antibiotics and measured the floral emissions and tissular concentrations in both antibiotic-fumigated and non-fumigated plants. Floral terpene emissions decreased by ca. two thirds after fumigation. The concentration of terpenes in floral tissues did not decrease, and floral respiration rates did not change, indicating an absence of damage to the floral tissues. The suppression of the phyllospheric microbial communities also changed the composition and proportion of terpenes in the volatile blend. One week after fumigation, the flowers were not emitting β-ocimene, linalool, epoxylinalool, and linalool oxide. These results show a key role of the floral phyllospheric microbiota in the quantity and quality of floral terpene emissions and therefore a possible key role in pollination.

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Complex spatiotemporal phenological shifts as a response to rainfall changes

Peñuelas J., Filella I., Zhang X., Llorens L., Ogaya R., Lloret F., Comas P., Estiarte M., Terradas J. (2004) Complex spatiotemporal phenological shifts as a response to rainfall changes. New Phytologist. 161: 837-846.
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Doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01003.x

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• Climatic warming produces significant gradual alterations in the timing of life-cycle events, and here we study the phenological effects of rainfall-pattern changes. • We conducted ecosystem field experiments that partially excluded rain and runoff during the growing season in a Mediterranean forest and in a mediterranean shrubland. Studies of time-series of leaf-unfolding, flowering and fruiting over the last 50 yr in central Catalonia were carried out, and greenup onset in the Iberian Peninsula was monitored by satellite images. • Experimental, historical and geographical changes in rainfall produced significant, complex and strongly species-specific, as well as spatially and temporally variable, phenological effects. Among these changes, it was found that in the Iberian Peninsula, greenup onset changes from spring (triggered by rising temperatures) in the northern cool-wet regions to autumn (triggered by the arrival of autumn rainfalls) in the southern warm-dry regions. Even in the mesic Mediterranean central Catalonia (NE of the peninsula) rainfall had a stronger relative influence than temperature on fruiting phenology. • The results show that changes in rainfall and water availability, an important driver of climate change, can cause complex phenological changes with likely far-reaching consequences for ecosystem and biosphere functioning and structure. The seasonal shift in the Iberian Peninsula further highlights this importance and indicates that vegetation may respond to climate change not only with gradual, but also with abrupt temporal and spatial, changes in the timing of greenup onset.

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Variability of plant nitrogen and water use in a 100-m transect of a subdesertic depression of the Ebro valley (Spain) characterized by leaf δ13C and δ15N

Peñuelas J., Filella I., Terradas J. (1999) Variability of plant nitrogen and water use in a 100-m transect of a subdesertic depression of the Ebro valley (Spain) characterized by leaf δ13C and δ15N. Acta Oecologica. 20: 119-123.
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Doi: 10.1016/S1146-609X(99)80024-1

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We studied carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition (δ13C and δ15N) in sunlit leaves of four dominant species (Rosmarinus officinalis L., Stipa parviflora L., Juniperus thurifera L. and Pinus halepensis L.) in a characteristic gradient of water and nitrogen availability produced by relief and micrometeorology in a subdesertic valley of central-NE Spain. Minimum values of δ13C were found at the foothills, and higher values were found both in the valley and oil the top of the hill where water availability was lower. However, different species (functional groups) presented different δ13C values in the same valley. The lowest values of δ15N were found on the top of the hill and the highest ones in the valley, where N losses would thus be higher. In general, when growing together, trees showed 2 ‰ higher values for δ13C as well as for δ15N than shrubs and grasses. The specific responses show that they use different available water and nitrogen resources within small catchments. For this ecosystem type, C and N isotope analyses are sensitive enough to resolve fine spatial and functional patterns even over a very short distance (100 m), where topography generates great gradients in microclimate, hydrology, soil physical conditions, vegetation and biogeochemistry.

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