Atmo-ecometabolomics: a novel atmospheric particle chemical characterization methodology for ecological research

Rivas-Ubach A., Liu Y., Steiner A.L., Sardans J., Tfaily M.M., Kulkarni G., Kim Y.-M., Bourrianne E., Paša-Tolić L., Peñuelas J., Guenther A. (2019) Atmo-ecometabolomics: a novel atmospheric particle chemical characterization methodology for ecological research. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 191: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10661-019-7205-x

Resumen:

Aerosol particles play important roles in processes controlling the composition of the atmosphere and function of ecosystems. A better understanding of the composition of aerosol particles is beginning to be recognized as critical for ecological research to further comprehend the link between aerosols and ecosystems. While chemical characterization of aerosols has been practiced in the atmospheric science community, detailed methodology tailored to the needs of ecological research does not exist yet. In this study, we describe an efficient methodology (atmo-ecometabolomics), in step-by-step details, from the sampling to the data analyses, to characterize the chemical composition of aerosol particles, namely atmo-metabolome. This method employs mass spectrometry platforms such as liquid and gas chromatography mass spectrometries (MS) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance MS (FT-ICR-MS). For methodology evaluation, we analyzed aerosol particles collected during two different seasons (spring and summer) in a low-biological-activity ecosystem. Additionally, to further validate our methodology, we analyzed aerosol particles collected in a more biologically active ecosystem during the pollination peaks of three different representative tree species. Our statistical results showed that our sampling and extraction methods are suitable for characterizing the atmo-ecometabolomes in these two distinct ecosystems with any of the analytical platforms. Datasets obtained from each mass spectrometry instrument showed overall significant differences of the atmo-ecometabolomes between spring and summer as well as between the three pollination peak periods. Furthermore, we have identified several metabolites that can be attributed to pollen and other plant-related aerosol particles. We additionally provide a basic guide of the potential use ecometabolomic techniques on different mass spectrometry platforms to accurately analyze the atmo-ecometabolomes for ecological studies. Our method represents an advanced novel approach for future studies in the impact of aerosol particle chemical compositions on ecosystem structure and function and biogeochemistry. © 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

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We are what we eat: A stoichiometric and ecometabolomic study of caterpillars feeding on two pine subspecies of Pinus sylvestris

Rivas-Ubach A., Peñuelas J., Hódar J.A., Oravec M., Paša-Tolić L., Urban O., Sardans J. (2019) We are what we eat: A stoichiometric and ecometabolomic study of caterpillars feeding on two pine subspecies of Pinus sylvestris. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 20: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.3390/ijms20010059

Resumen:

Many studies have addressed several plant-insect interaction topics at nutritional, molecular, physiological, and evolutionary levels. However, it is still unknown how flexible the metabolism and the nutritional content of specialist insect herbivores feeding on different closely related plants can be. We performed elemental, stoichiometric, and metabolomics analyses on leaves of two coexisting Pinus sylvestris subspecies and on their main insect herbivore; the caterpillar of the processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa). Caterpillars feeding on different pine subspecies had distinct overall metabolome structure, accounting for over 10% of the total variability. Although plants and insects have very divergent metabolomes, caterpillars showed certain resemblance to their plant-host metabolome. In addition, few plant-related secondary metabolites were found accumulated in caterpillar tissues which could potentially be used for self-defense. Caterpillars feeding on N and P richer needles had lower N and P tissue concentration and higher C:N and C:P ratios, suggesting that nutrient transfer is not necessarily linear through trophic levels and other plant-metabolic factors could be interfering. This exploratory study showed that little chemical differences between plant food sources can impact the overall metabolome of specialist insect herbivores. Significant nutritional shifts in herbivore tissues could lead to larger changes of the trophic web structure. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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Urban development versus wetland loss in a coastal Latin American city: Lessons for sustainable land use planning

Rojas C., Munizaga J., Rojas O., Martínez C., Pino J. (2019) Urban development versus wetland loss in a coastal Latin American city: Lessons for sustainable land use planning. Land Use Policy. 80: 47-56.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.09.036

Resumen:

Urbanization is a primary cause of wetland loss in coastal metropolitan regions. Therefore, it challenges the preservation of biodiversity and the provision of key ecosystem services for urban settlements. These services include leisure and recreation, climate and water regulation, water purification, and especially alleviation of natural hazards. Tsunami flood mitigation is a particularly valuable regulating service provided by these wetlands, as recently evidenced during the 2010 tsunami that hit the central coast of Chile. The Concepción Metropolitan Area (CMA), located on the central coast of Chile, has experienced noticeable wetland loss in recent decades. Our study focused on the Rocuant-Andalién wetland, which has been particularly affected by urbanization. This wetland strongly contributes to flood control, and has provided effective protection against the CMA's latest tsunamis (1835 and 2010). Based on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), we have quantified urban growth over the wetland, both executed and projected under the Metropolitan Urban Plan of Concepción (MUPC). Recent loss in wetland area by urban growth has been quantified using land use and cover change (LUCC) maps from 2004 to 2014, obtained from the classification of Landsat images. Prospective changes (considering the complete MUPC deployment) have been inferred by combining the MUPC with the 2014 land cover map. In addition, we quantified the observed effect and planned urban growth on the wetland protected area, geoforms and potential flooding based on the area affected by the last Tsunami. Results show that urban areas have increased by 28% between 2004 and 2014, while future increase is expected to reach 238%. In contrast, wetland area has decreased by 10% from 2004 to 2014 and is expected to decrease by up to 32 %. Thus, the MUPC is not contributing to the mitigation of wetland loss nor the preservation of its biodiversity and ecosystem services. Implications for coastal planning are discussed. © 2018

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Prescribed fire effects on early recruitment of Mediterranean pine species depend on fire exposure and seed provenance

Sagra J., Moya D., Plaza-Álvarez P.A., Lucas-Borja M.E., González-Romero J., De las Heras J., Alfaro-Sánchez R., Ferrandis P. (2019) Prescribed fire effects on early recruitment of Mediterranean pine species depend on fire exposure and seed provenance. Forest Ecology and Management. 441: 253-261.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.03.057

Resumen:

Prescribed fires are becoming more widely used forest management tool to reduce both fuel load for fire prevention and high-severity wildfires. However, alterations to site conditions and influence on the natural regeneration of these fires in Mediterranean pine forests are still poorly known. Our study investigates how using prescribed fires before or after natural pine seed release could influence changes in germination and individuals’ early survival by altering the composition and structure of these Mediterranean habitats. We ran a seed-sowing experiment to analyse the recruitment patterns of three Mediterranean pine species (Pinus halepensis, Pinus pinaster and Pinus nigra) in three sites where prescribed fires were carried out. In each site, we sowed one representative pine species according to natural habitats. Three treatments (control: sowing without intervention; pre-fire: sowing before prescribed fires; and post-fire: sowing after prescribed fires) were established. In the sown experiment, we tested two biogeographical seed provenances (wetter and drier regions) per species to observe different capabilities of adaptation. Germination and survival of individuals were monitored during one year. We observed that the provenances from drier areas had higher germination and survival rates than those from the wetter ones. The three species seemed to undergo a negative effect in the burned plots. Within the burned area, the pre-fire seeds presented higher germination and early survival rates than post-fire. These outcomes could be useful in fire management planning as a tool to influence forest regeneration. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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Management trade-offs on ecosystem services in apple orchards across Europe: Direct and indirect effects of organic production

Samnegård U., Alins G., Boreux V., Bosch J., García D., Happe A.-K., Klein A.-M., Miñarro M., Mody K., Porcel M., Rodrigo A., Roquer-Beni L., Tasin M., Hambäck P.A. (2019) Management trade-offs on ecosystem services in apple orchards across Europe: Direct and indirect effects of organic production. Journal of Applied Ecology. 56: 802-811.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13292

Resumen:

Apple is considered the most important fruit crop in temperate areas and profitable production depends on multiple ecosystem services, including the reduction of pest damage and the provision of sufficient pollination levels. Management approaches present an inherent trade-off as each affects species differently. We quantified the direct and indirect effects of management (organic vs. integrated pest management, IPM) on species richness, ecosystem services, and fruit production in 85 apple orchards in three European countries. We also quantified how habit composition influenced these effects at three spatial scales: within orchards, adjacent to orchards, and in the surrounding landscape. Organic management resulted in 48% lower yield than IPM, and also that the variation between orchards was large with some organic orchards having a higher yield than the average yield of IPM orchards. The lower yield in organic orchards resulted directly from management practices, and from higher pest damage in organic orchards. These negative yield effects were partly offset by indirect positive effects from more natural enemies and higher flower visitation rates in organic orchards. Two factors other than management affected species richness and ecosystem services. Higher cover of flowering plants within and adjacent to the apple trees increased flower visitation rates by pollinating insects and a higher cover of apple orchards in the landscape decreased species richness of beneficial arthropods. The species richness of beneficial arthropods in orchards was uncorrelated with fruit production, suggesting that diversity can be increased without large yield loss. At the same time, organic orchards had 38% higher species richness than IPM orchards, an effect that is likely due to differences in pest management. Synthesis and applications. Our results indicate that organic management is more efficient than integrated pest management in developing environmentally friendly apple orchards with higher species richness. We also demonstrate that there is no inherent trade-off between species richness and yield. Development of more environmentally friendly means for pest control, which do not negatively affect pollination services, needs to be a priority for sustainable apple production. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society

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Analytical framework to assess the incorporation of climate change adaptation in water management: Application to the tordera river basin adaptation plan

Sanchez-Plaza A., Broekman A., Paneque P. (2019) Analytical framework to assess the incorporation of climate change adaptation in water management: Application to the tordera river basin adaptation plan. Sustainability (Switzerland). 11: 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.3390/su11030762

Resumen:

Projections indicate that the Mediterranean region is an area where drastic changes in climate will occur, which will significantly affect water resources. In a context of increasing pressure on water resources as a result of the reduction in water availability, it is essential and urgent to structure water management in a way that allows for adaptation to the challenges that the changing climate will bring to an already water scarce region. It is necessary to generate experiences and methodologies that are based on real case studies that will lay the foundations for the generalisation of practices of climate change adaptation in water management. In this study, we have developed a ready to use analytical framework to evaluate the coherence of water management plans and programs with climate change adaptation principles. We have tested the applicability of the framework that was developed on the Tordera River Basin Adaptation Plan (TRBAP). The analytical framework has proven to be easy to apply and to allow for identifying the inclusion or exclusion of key climate change adaptation features appropriately. We have structured this analytical framework as a starting point contributing to further assessments of how climate change adaptation is incorporated in water management. © 2019 by the authors.

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Responses of forest ecosystems in Europe to decreasing nitrogen deposition

Schmitz A., Sanders T.G.M., Bolte A., Bussotti F., Dirnböck T., Johnson J., Peñuelas J., Pollastrini M., Prescher A.-K., Sardans J., Verstraeten A., de Vries W. (2019) Responses of forest ecosystems in Europe to decreasing nitrogen deposition. Environmental Pollution. : 980-994.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.09.101

Resumen:

Average nitrogen (N) deposition across Europe has declined since the 1990s. This resulted in decreased N inputs to forest ecosystems especially in Central and Western Europe where deposition levels are highest. While the impact of atmospheric N deposition on forests has been receiving much attention for decades, ecosystem responses to the decline in N inputs received less attention. Here, we review observational studies reporting on trends in a number of indicators: soil acidification and eutrophication, understory vegetation, tree nutrition (foliar element concentrations) as well as tree vitality and growth in response to decreasing N deposition across Europe. Ecosystem responses varied with limited decrease in soil solution nitrate concentrations and potentially also foliar N concentrations. There was no large-scale response in understory vegetation, tree growth, or vitality. Experimental studies support the observation of a more distinct reaction of soil solution and foliar element concentrations to changes in N supply compared to the three other parameters. According to the most likely scenarios, further decrease of N deposition will be limited. We hypothesize that this expected decline will not cause major responses of the parameters analysed in this study. Instead, future changes might be more strongly controlled by the development of N pools accumulated within forest soils, affected by climate change and forest management. We find limited indication for response of Europe's forests to declining N deposition. Reactions have been reported for soil solution NO3 − and potentially foliar N concentrations but not for other indicators. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

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Pesticide Exposure Assessment Paradigm for Solitary Bees

Sgolastra F., Hinarejos S., Pitts-Singer T.L., Boyle N.K., Joseph T., Luckmann J., Raine N.E., Singh R., Williams N.M., Bosch J. (2019) Pesticide Exposure Assessment Paradigm for Solitary Bees. Environmental Entomology. 48: 22-35.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1093/ee/nvy105

Resumen:

Current pesticide risk assessment for bees relies on a single (social) species, the western honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae). However, most of the >20,000 bee species worldwide are solitary. Differences in life history traits between solitary bees (SB) and honey bees (HB) are likely to determine differences in routes and levels of pesticide exposure. The objectives of this review are to: 1) compare SB and HB life history traits relevant for risk assessment; 2) summarize current knowledge about levels of pesticide exposure for SB and HB; 3) identify knowledge gaps and research needs; 4) evaluate whether current HB risk assessment schemes cover routes and levels of exposure of SB; and 5) identify potential SB model species for risk assessment. Most SB exposure routes seem well covered by current HB risk assessment schemes. Exceptions to this are exposure routes related to nesting substrates and nesting materials used by SB. Exposure via soil is of particular concern because most SB species nest underground. Six SB species (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae - Osmia bicornis L., O. cornifrons Radoszkowski, O. cornuta Latreille, O. lignaria Say, Megachile rotundata F., and Halictidae - Nomia melanderi Cockerell) are commercially available and could be used in risk assessment. Of these, only N. melanderi nests underground, and the rest are cavity-nesters. However, the three Osmia species collect soil to build their nests. Life history traits of cavity-nesting species make them particularly suitable for semifield and, to a lesser extent, field tests. Future studies should address basic biology, rearing methods and levels of exposure of ground-nesting SB species. © 2018 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

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Global photosynthetic capacity is optimized to the environment

Smith N.G., Keenan T.F., Colin Prentice I., Wang H., Wright I.J., Niinemets Ü., Crous K.Y., Domingues T.F., Guerrieri R., Yoko Ishida F., Kattge J., Kruger E.L., Maire V., Rogers A., Serbin S.P., Tarvainen L., Togashi H.F., Townsend P.A., Wang M., Weerasinghe L.K., Zhou S.-X. (2019) Global photosynthetic capacity is optimized to the environment. Ecology Letters. : 0-0.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1111/ele.13210

Resumen:

Earth system models (ESMs) use photosynthetic capacity, indexed by the maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate (Vcmax), to simulate carbon assimilation and typically rely on empirical estimates, including an assumed dependence on leaf nitrogen determined from soil fertility. In contrast, new theory, based on biochemical coordination and co-optimization of carboxylation and water costs for photosynthesis, suggests that optimal Vcmax can be predicted from climate alone, irrespective of soil fertility. Here, we develop this theory and find it captures 64% of observed variability in a global, field-measured Vcmax dataset for C3 plants. Soil fertility indices explained substantially less variation (32%). These results indicate that environmentally regulated biophysical constraints and light availability are the first-order drivers of global photosynthetic capacity. Through acclimation and adaptation, plants efficiently utilize resources at the leaf level, thus maximizing potential resource use for growth and reproduction. Our theory offers a robust strategy for dynamically predicting photosynthetic capacity in ESMs. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS

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Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the semi-arid Chaco region of Argentina based on multiproxy lake records over the last six hundred years

Speranza F.C., Giralt S., Lupo L.C., Kulemeyer J.J., Pereira E.D.L.Á., López B.C. (2019) Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the semi-arid Chaco region of Argentina based on multiproxy lake records over the last six hundred years. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 524: 85-100.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.03.037

Resumen:

In this paper, we analyze the paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental evolution of Laguna Yema in semi-arid Chaco region of Argentina over the past six hundred years. High resolution multiproxy studies of lake sediments utilize analyses of lithology, mineralogy, geochemistry, palynology, and are constrained by radiocarbon and gamma spectrometry dating. Laguna Yema sediments were mainly composed of well stratified fine sediments (silts and clays), with variable proportions of quartz, clays (illite) and feldspar (microcline and albite). Twelve light and heavy geochemical elements were registered. Most elements (Al, Si, K, Ti, Fe, Rb, Ba, and Br) are associated with illite and albite. Different material transport processes related to the changes in aridity and humidity of the basin were identified using the main mineralogical origins of geochemical elements. Palynological records indicate cycles of contraction and expansion of the lake, with an increase in concentration of Alternanthera aquatica during wet periods (expansion of lake), and an increase in Ambrosia, Poaceae and fern spores during dry periods (contraction of lake). These changes are linked to fluctuations in moisture conditions in the Subandean Mountains and semi-arid Chaco regions, in response to interactions between the South American Monsoon System (SAMS) and the South American Low Level Jet (SALLJ), which send warm and humid air to northern Argentina. In a regional context, the Laguna Yema records are in accordance with the analyses of the temporal and spatial pattern of moisture distribution for the last six centuries. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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