Photochemical reflectance index as an indirect estimator of foliar isoprenoid emissions at the ecosystem level

Peñuelas J., Marino G., Llusia J., Morfopoulos C., Farré-Armengol G., Filella I. (2013) Photochemical reflectance index as an indirect estimator of foliar isoprenoid emissions at the ecosystem level. Nature Communications. 4: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1038/ncomms3604

Resum:

Terrestrial plants re-emit around 1-2% of the carbon they fix as isoprene and monoterpenes. These emissions have major roles in the ecological relationships among living organisms and in atmospheric chemistry and climate, and yet their actual quantification at the ecosystem level in different regions is far from being resolved with available models and field measurements. Here we provide evidence that a simple remote sensing index, the photochemical reflectance index, which is indicative of light use efficiency, is a good indirect estimator of foliar isoprenoid emissions and can therefore be used to sense them remotely. These results open new perspectives for the potential use of remote sensing techniques to track isoprenoid emissions from vegetation at larger scales. On the other hand, our study shows the potential of this photochemical reflectance index technique to validate the availability of photosynthetic reducing power as a factor involved in isoprenoid production. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Llegeix més

Post-fire invasion and subsequent extinction of Conyza spp. in Mediterranean forests is mostly explained by local factors

Pino J., Arnan X., Rodrigo A., Retana J. (2013) Post-fire invasion and subsequent extinction of Conyza spp. in Mediterranean forests is mostly explained by local factors. Weed Research. 53: 470-478.
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Doi: 10.1111/wre.12040

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This work explored the invasion patterns of Conyza species in Mediterranean pine forests after fire and identified their main correlates through a temporal study approach. We hypothesised that wildfires might favour Conyza spp. invasion in these forests, but only transiently and depending on fire regime. We recorded Conyza spp. invasion and subsequent extinction in plots from species' occurrence and cover in vegetation surveys. We also explored the association of Conyza spp. presence and cover with a set of climatic, landscape and local (plot) factors using GLZ and GLM. We assessed changes in significant factors over time with a Wilcoxon test for paired samples. Evidence for Conyza spp. establishment was found in two-thirds of the study plots, with an invasion peak 2 years after fire. Local factors related to resource availability, including high fire severity, low soil stoniness and total vegetation cover and high herbaceous cover, were significantly correlated with Conyza occurrence in plots at the invasion peak. However, Conyza cover was always low (≤6%) and populations did not persist more than several years, thus becoming rarer as plant cover increased. Landscape and climatic factors showed no association with Conyza occurrence. In conclusion, wildfires favour transient invasion of European Mediterranean pine forests by Conyza spp. Invasion is mostly enhanced by local fire severity and constrained by subsequent vegetation recovery, while it is poorly explained by climate and landscape, either current or historical. © 2013 European Weed Research Society.

Llegeix més

Stability and endemicity of benthic diatom assemblages from different substrates in a maritime stream on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica: The role of climate variability

Pla-Rabes S., Toro M., Van De Vijver B., Rochera C., Villaescusa J.A., Camacho A., Quesada A. (2013) Stability and endemicity of benthic diatom assemblages from different substrates in a maritime stream on Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica: The role of climate variability. Antarctic Science. 25: 254-269.
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Doi: 10.1017/S0954102012000922

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Diatom assemblages from four different substrates from a stream on Byers Peninsula were analysed during the summer. The substrate type was the main factor explaining the variability in the diatom assemblages. Sandy biofilms showed a higher diversity and a greater number of endemic species. Two main hydrological regimes were observed: 1) a hydrologically unstable period with high variability in stream flow and successive freezing and thawing periods, 2) a late summer hydrologically stable period, characterized by low stream velocity and variability. The structure of the diatom communities was different between the two hydrological periods, although the substrate modulated the difference. The diatom assemblages showed low similarity among the substrates and high dominance of endemic species during early summer. The late summer community showed high dominance of motile cosmopolitan species on all substrate types. As the length of both hydrological regimes would ultimately be driven by climatic variability, the predicted climate warming could reduce overall stream diversity. Hence, subtle changes could alter the length of both hydrological periods. The relationship between diatom species association with different substrates and hydrological regimes could be relevant for tracking past climate variability using diatom palaeorecords. Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2013.

Llegeix més

Drought-induced defoliation and long periods of near-zero gas exchange play a key role in accentuating metabolic decline of Scots pine

Poyatos R., Aguade D., Galiano L., Mencuccini M., Martinez-Vilalta J. (2013) Drought-induced defoliation and long periods of near-zero gas exchange play a key role in accentuating metabolic decline of Scots pine. New Phytologist. 200: 388-401.
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Doi: 10.1111/nph.12278

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Summary: Drought-induced defoliation has recently been associated with the depletion of carbon reserves and increased mortality risk in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). We hypothesize that defoliated individuals are more sensitive to drought, implying that potentially higher gas exchange (per unit of leaf area) during wet periods may not compensate for their reduced photosynthetic area. We measured sap flow, needle water potentials and whole-tree hydraulic conductance to analyse the drought responses of co-occurring defoliated and nondefoliated Scots pines in northeast Spain during typical (2010) and extreme (2011) drought conditions. Defoliated Scots pines showed higher sap flow per unit leaf area during spring, but were more sensitive to summer drought, relative to nondefoliated pines. This pattern was associated with a steeper decline in soil-to-leaf hydraulic conductance with drought and an enhanced sensitivity of canopy conductance to soil water availability. Near-homeostasis in midday water potentials was observed across years and defoliation classes, with minimum values of -2.5 MPa. Enhanced sensitivity to drought and prolonged periods of near-zero gas exchange were consistent with low levels of carbohydrate reserves in defoliated trees. Our results support the critical links between defoliation, water and carbon availability, and their key roles in determining tree survival and recovery under drought. © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

Llegeix més

Seed arrival in tropical forest tree fall gaps

Puerta-Pinero C., Muller-Landau H.C., Calderon O., Joseph Wright S. (2013) Seed arrival in tropical forest tree fall gaps. Ecology. 94: 1552-1562.
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Doi: 10.1890/12-1012.1

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Tree deaths open gaps in closed-canopy forests, which allow light to reach the forest floor and promote seed germination and seedling establishment. Gap dependence of regeneration is an important axis of life history variation among forest plant species, and many studies have evaluated how plant species differ in seedling and sapling performance in gaps. However, relatively little is known about how seed arrival in gaps compares with seed arrival in the understory, even though seed dispersal by wind and animals is expected to be altered in gaps. We documented seed arrival for the first seven years after gap formation in the moist tropical forests of Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama, and evaluated how the amount and functional composition of arriving seeds compared with understory sites. On average, in the first three years after gap formation, 72% fewer seeds arrived in gaps than in the understory (207 vs. 740 seeds m-2·yr-1). The reduction in number of arriving seeds fell disproportionately on animal-dispersed species, which suffered an 86% reduction in total seed number, while wind-dispersed species experienced only a 47% reduction, and explosively dispersed species showed increased seed numbers arriving. The increase in explosively dispersed seeds consisted entirely of the seeds of several shrub species, a result consistent with greater in situ seed production by explosively dispersed shrubs that survived gap formation or recruited immediately thereafter. Lianas did relatively better in seed arrival into gaps than did trees, suffering less of a reduction in seed arrival compared with understory sites. This result could in large part be explained by the greater predominance of wind dispersal among lianas: there were no significant differences between lianas and trees when controlling for dispersal syndromes. Our results show that seed arrival in gaps is very different from seed arrival in the understory in both total seeds arriving and functional composition. Differential seed arrival in gaps will help to maintain wind-dispersed, explosively dispersed, and possibly other understory species in the community of plants that regenerate in gaps. © 2013 by the Ecological Society of America.

Llegeix més

Selective thinning of Arbutus unedo coppices following fire: Effects on growth at the individual and plot level

Quevedo L., Arnan X., Rodrigo A. (2013) Selective thinning of Arbutus unedo coppices following fire: Effects on growth at the individual and plot level. Forest Ecology and Management. 292: 56-63.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.12.007

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In recent years, several Mediterranean forests subject to fire are becoming increasingly dominated by the resprouter species Arbutus unedo L. (strawberry tree). However, there is little information available about the management of these areas, and it is not clear if the approaches utilized for other, more abundant Mediterranean resprouter species such as Quercus ilex and Quercus cerrioides would produce similar results for A. unedo. In this study, performed in the NE Iberian Peninsula, we analyzed the effect of two post-fire treatment types, selective thinning and selective thinning plus understory clearing, on the growth of retained A. unedo resprouts and the new resprouting induced by the treatment itself. Treatment effects were analyzed at both the individual and plot level. Our results showed that, in the short term, retained resprouts on treated trees grew more in height and diameter (absolute and relative) than those on control trees, with no differences seen between treatment types. In the intermediate term, all the strawberry trees occurring on treated plots grew longer, and this growth was greater in plots that had been both thinned and cleared. New, induced resprouts were unaffected by the type of treatment applied. In contrast to other studies, we failed to find a negative relationship between the degree of induced resprouting and retained resprout growth We therefore conclude that, irrespective of understory clearing, the selective thinning of A. unedo improves coppice vertical structure. Retained resprouts grow more in diameter and will thus more rapidly become exploitable as firewood and timber. Also, the tree is kept free of dead fuel, reducing the risk of spreading fire. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Llegeix més

Evidence of traditional knowledge loss among a contemporary indigenous society

Reyes-Garcia V., Gueze M., Luz A.C., Paneque-Galvez J., Macia M.J., Orta-Martinez M., Pino J., Rubio-Campillo X. (2013) Evidence of traditional knowledge loss among a contemporary indigenous society. Evolution and Human Behavior. 34: 249-257.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.03.002

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As biological and linguistic diversity, the world's cultural diversity is on decline. However, to date there are no estimates of the rate at which the specific cultural traits of a group disappear, mainly because we lack empirical data to assess how the cultural traits of a given population change over time. Here we estimate changes in cultural traits associated to the traditional knowledge of wild plant uses among an Amazonian indigenous society. We collected data among 1151 Tsimane' Amerindians at two periods of time. Results show that between 2000 and 2009, Tsimane' adults experienced a net decrease in the report of plant uses ranging from 9% (for the female subsample) to 26% (for the subsample of people living close to towns), equivalent to 1% to 3% per year. Results from a Monte Carlo simulation show that the observed changes were not the result of randomness. Changes were more acute for men than for women and for informants living in villages close to market towns than for informants settled in remote villages. The Tsimane' could be abandoning their traditional knowledge as they perceive that this form of knowledge does not equip them well to deal with the new socio-economic and cultural conditions they face nowadays. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Llegeix més

Secular trends on traditional ecological knowledge: An analysis of changes in different domains of knowledge among Tsimane' men

Reyes-Garcia V., Luz A.C., Gueze M., Paneque-Galvez J., Macia M.J., Orta-Martinez M., Pino J. (2013) Secular trends on traditional ecological knowledge: An analysis of changes in different domains of knowledge among Tsimane' men. Learning and Individual Differences. 27: 206-212.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.lindif.2013.01.011

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Empirical research provides contradictory evidence of the loss of traditional ecological knowledge across societies. Researchers have argued that culture, methodological differences, and site-specific conditions are responsible for such contradictory evidences. We advance and test a third explanation: the adaptive nature of traditional ecological knowledge systems. Specifically, we test whether different domains of traditional ecological knowledge experience different secular changes and analyze trends in the context of other changes in livelihoods. We use data collected among 651 Tsimane' men (Bolivian Amazon). Our findings indicate that different domains of knowledge follow different secular trends. Among the domains of knowledge analyzed, medicinal knowledge and wild edible knowledge appear as the most vulnerable; canoe building knowledge and firewood knowledge seem to remain constant across generations; whereas house building knowledge seems to experience a slight secular increase. Our analysis reflects on the adaptive nature of traditional ecological knowledge, highlighting how changes in this knowledge system respond to the particular needs of a society in a given point of time. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Llegeix més

Ecometabolomics: Optimized NMR-based method

Rivas-Ubach A., Perez-Trujillo M., Sardans J., Gargallo-Garriga A., Parella T., Penuelas J. (2013) Ecometabolomics: Optimized NMR-based method. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 4: 464-473.
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Doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12028

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Metabolomics is allowing great advances in biological sciences. Recently, an increasing number of ecological studies are using a metabolomic approach to answer ecological questions (ecometabolomics). Ecometabolomics is becoming a powerful tool which allows following the responses of the metabolome of an organism environmental changes and the comparison of populations. Some Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) protocols have been published for metabolomics analyses oriented to other disciplines such as biomedicine, but there is a lack of a description of a detailed protocol applied to ecological studies. Here we propose a NMR-based protocol for ecometabolomic studies that provides an unbiased overview of the metabolome of an organism, including polar and nonpolar metabolites. This protocol is aimed to facilitate the analysis of many samples, as typically required in ecological studies. In addition to NMR fingerprinting, it identifies metabolites for generating metabolic profiles applying strategies of elucidation of small molecules typically used in natural-product research, and allowing the identification of secondary and unknown metabolites. We also provide a detailed description to obtain the numerical data from the 1H-NMR spectra needed to perform the statistical analyses. We tested and optimized this protocol by using two field plant species (Erica multiflora and Quercus ilex) sampled once per season. Both species showed high levels of polar compounds such as sugars and amino acids during the spring, the growing season. E. multiflora was also experimentally submitted to drought and the NMR analyses were sensitive enough to detect some compounds related to the avoidance of water loses. This protocol has been designed for ecometabolomic studies. It identifies changes in the compositions of metabolites between individuals and detects and identifies biological markers associated with environmental changes. © 2013 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution © 2013 British Ecological Society.

Llegeix més

Land use and land cover change in the Colombian Andes: Dynamics and future scenarios

Rodriguez Eraso N., Armenteras-Pascual D., Alumbreros J.R. (2013) Land use and land cover change in the Colombian Andes: Dynamics and future scenarios. Journal of Land Use Science. 8: 154-174.
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Doi: 10.1080/1747423X.2011.650228

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Land use and land cover changes (LUCC) are recognized as one of the most relevant drivers of biodiversity loss in ecosystems. Through the analysis of satellite images, this article quantifies the LUCC that occurred between 1985 and 2008 in the Colombian Andes. Four submodels of changes were analyzed: deforestation, crop intensification, conversion to pastures, and abandonment. We associated these changes with demographic, socioeconomic, and abiotic variables and to some attractors of landscape change, and finally we have considered three scenarios of change: reference, increase in pasture, and crop intensification. The dynamics of LUCC were dominated by systematic transitions between crops, pastures, and secondary vegetation. Of all the submodels, pasture conversion has an important contribution in terms of accuracy rate (84%), and the most relevant variables for explaining land cover changes in the region were elevation, soil type, and distance to roads, cities, and pastures. Our simulations suggest that the pasture conversion scenario would have the biggest impact in natural ecosystems and could cause the loss of 28-30% of the cover area by 2050. The results indicate some that these hotspots of change are currently still under a good conservation state with large extension of forests. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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