Marull J., Herrando S., Brotons L., Melero Y., Pino J., Cattaneo C., Pons M., Llobet J., Tello E. (2019) Building on Margalef: Testing the links between landscape structure, energy and information flows driven by farming and biodiversity. Science of the Total Environment. 674: 603-614.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.129
The aim of this paper is to test two methodologies, applicable to different spatial scales (from regional to local), to predict the capacity of agroecosystems to provide habitats for the species richness of butterflies and birds, based on the ways their socio-metabolic flows change the ecological functionality of bio-cultural landscapes. First, we use the more general Intermediate Disturbance-Complexity (IDC) model to assess how different levels of human appropriation of photosynthetic production affect the landscape functional structure that hosts biodiversity. Second, we apply a more detailed Energy-Landscape Integrated Analysis (ELIA) model that focusses on the energy storage carried out by the internal biomass loops, and the energy information held in the network of energy flows driven by farmers, in order to correlate both (the energy reinvested and redistributed) with the energy imprinted in the landscape patterns and processes that sustain biodiversity. The results obtained after applying both models in the province and the metropolitan region of Barcelona support the Margalef's energy-information-structure hypothesis by showing positive relations between butterflies' species richness, IDC and ELIA, and between birds' species richness and energy information. Our findings support the view that strong relationships between farming energy flows, agroecosystem functioning and biodiversity can be detected, and highlight the importance of farmers' knowledge and labour to maintain bio-cultural landscapes. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Mencuccini M., Manzoni S., Christoffersen B. (2019) Modelling water fluxes in plants: from tissues to biosphere. New Phytologist. : 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1111/nph.15681
Models of plant water fluxes have evolved from studies focussed on understanding the detailed structure and functioning of specific components of the soil–plant–atmosphere (SPA) continuum to architectures often incorporated inside eco-hydrological and terrestrial biosphere (TB) model schemes. We review here the historical evolution of this field, examine the basic structure of a simplified individual-based model of plant water transport, highlight selected applications for specific ecological problems and conclude by examining outstanding issues requiring further improvements in modelling vegetation water fluxes. We particularly emphasise issues related to the scaling from tissue-level traits to individual-based predictions of water transport, the representation of nonlinear and hysteretic behaviour in soil–xylem hydraulics and the need to incorporate knowledge of hydraulics within broader frameworks of plant ecological strategies and their consequences for predicting community demography and dynamics. © 2019 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2019 New Phytologist Trust
Morán-Ordóñez A., Roces-Díaz J.V., Otsu K., Ameztegui A., Coll L., Lefevre F., Retana J., Brotons L. (2019) The use of scenarios and models to evaluate the future of nature values and ecosystem services in Mediterranean forests. Regional Environmental Change. 19: 415-428.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s10113-018-1408-5
Science and society are increasingly interested in predicting the effects of global change and socio-economic development on natural systems, to ensure maintenance of both ecosystems and human well-being. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services has identified the combination of ecological modelling and scenario forecasting as key to improving our understanding of those effects, by evaluating the relationships and feedbacks between direct and indirect drivers of change, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Using as case study the forests of the Mediterranean basin (complex socio-ecological systems of high social and conservation value), we reviewed the literature to assess (1) what are the modelling approaches most commonly used to predict the condition and trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services under future scenarios of global change, (2) what are the drivers of change considered in future scenarios and at what scales, and (3) what are the nature and ecosystem service indicators most commonly evaluated. Our review shows that forecasting studies make relatively little use of modelling approaches accounting for actual ecological processes and feedbacks between different socio-ecological sectors; predictions are generally made on the basis of a single (mainly climate) or a few drivers of change. In general, there is a bias in the set of nature and ecosystem service indicators assessed. In particular, cultural services and human well-being are greatly underrepresented in the literature. We argue that these shortfalls hamper our capacity to make the best use of predictive tools to inform decision-making in the context of global change. © 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
Motta L., Ruggiero A., de Mendoza G., Massaferro J. (2019) The species richness-elevation relationship: global patterns of variation in chironomid richness in mountain lakes. Insect Conservation and Diversity. : 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1111/icad.12341
The species richness-elevation relationship (SRE) is predominantly hump-shaped along terrestrial gradients, but has been less explored in aquatic environments. Chironomids were used to evaluate the generality of the SRE in mountain lakes, and the role of methodological and biological factors in determining its shape. The shape of 39 chironomid SREs distributed worldwide was identified by consensus between statistical and visual methods. A ‘coefficient of methodological integrity’ (Cin) was developed to combine information on sampling effort and homogeneity, and elevational extent in order to quantify the adherence of each dataset to methodological standards known to influence the SRE. Differences in the shape of the SRE between biogeographical regions, biomes and climatic regions were tested using Fisher's exact tests. A formal meta-analysis was conducted to quantify the overall strength of the SRE, and its association with geographical extent, sampling technique, biogeography, biomes and climate. The SRE presented multiple forms, with considerable variation between identification methods. The most satisfactory datasets (i.e. lowest Cin values), showed predominance of non-linear (low-plateau and hump-shaped) patterns. The Cin explained ~21% of pattern variation. Neither biogeography, nor biomes or climatic regions accounted for differences in the shape of the SRE. The global predominance of non-linear SRE suggests that chironomid richness generally remains high in lakes at mid-elevations, decreasing sharply towards high elevations. As previously known for terrestrial environments, identification of SRE shape is influenced by analytical method. Whenever possible, tailoring the sampling design to increase methodological integrity will reduce uncertainty in the identification of SRE shape in mountain lakes. © 2019 The Royal Entomological Society
Muhammad-Nor S.M., Huxham M., Salmon Y., Duddy S.J., Mazars-Simon A., Mencuccini M., Meir P., Jackson G. (2019) Exceptionally high mangrove root production rates in the Kelantan Delta, Malaysia; An experimental and comparative study. Forest Ecology and Management. 444: 214-224.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.04.026
Mangroves often allocate a relatively large proportion of their total biomass production to their roots, and the belowground biomass of these forests contributes towards globally significant carbon sinks. However, little information is available on root production in mangroves due to the difficulties in carrying out measurements of belowground processes, particularly if there is regular flooding. In this study, we examined fine and coarse root production in the east coast of the Malaysian Peninsula. Ingrowth cores were used over the course of 17 months. In September 2014, twenty cores were randomly placed in each of five plots. Three cores were collected from each plot (fifteen cores in total), once every three months. Each core was divided into five 10 cm layers and root dry mass was recorded. Standing root biomass was also measured at the time of final collection using an additional 15 cores. There was a seasonal pattern in root production, which peaked in March and December 2015, after and during the monsoon season. Root biomass in the cores peaked at 33.23 ± 6.3 t ha −1 and 21.46 ± 7.3 t ha −1 in March and December respectively. Standing root biomass in February 2016 in the forest was 20.81 ± 2.8 t ha −1 . After 17 months, the final root biomass in the cores was 14% less than the standing root biomass. These data suggest surprisingly rapid growth rates and turnover for mangrove roots. Total root biomass significantly increased with root depth and 78% of the roots, in all soil layers, consisted of fine roots (<3 mm diameter). Soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were investigated in relation to belowground production, as were soil temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen. A data review of global studies reporting similar work was carried out. The results are discussed with consideration to the significance of monsoon rainfall for mangrove ecology. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Padró J.-C., Carabassa V., Balagué J., Brotons L., Alcañiz J.M., Pons X. (2019) Monitoring opencast mine restorations using Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) imagery. Science of the Total Environment. 657: 1602-1614.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.156
Open-pit mine is still an unavoidable activity but can become unsustainable without the restoration of degraded sites. Monitoring the restoration after extractive activities is a legal requirement for mine companies and public administrations in many countries, involving financial provisions for environmental liabilities. The objective of this contribution is to present a rigorous, low-cost and easy-to-use application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for supporting opencast mining and restoration monitoring, complementing the inspections with very high (
Penuelas J., Baldocchi D. (2019) Life and the five biological laws. Lessons for global change models and sustainability. Ecological Complexity. 38: 11-14.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2019.02.001
Life on Earth is the result of a continuous accumulation of information by combination and innovation using endo- (inside the organism) and exosomatic (outside the organism) energy. Sustenance occurs through cycles of life and death. We here define five life laws for these vital processes. These processes cannot exceed natural limits of size and rates because they are constrained by space, matter and energy; biology builds on what is possible within these physicochemical limits. Learning from the way nature deals with the accumulation of information, the limits of size and the rates at which life can acquire and expend energy and resources for maintenance, growth and competition will help us to model and manage our environmental future and sustainability. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Peterson A.T., Anderson R.P., Beger M., Bolliger J., Brotons L., Burridge C.P., Cobos M.E., Cuervo-Robayo A.P., Di Minin E., Diez J., Elith J., Embling C.B., Escobar L.E., Essl F., Feeley K.J., Hawkes L., Jiménez-García D., Jimenez L., Green D.M., Knop E., Kühn I., Lahoz-Monfort J.J., Lira-Noriega A., Lobo J.M., Loyola R., Mac Nally R., Machado-Stredel F., Martínez-Meyer E., McCarthy M., Merow C., Nori J., Nuñez-Penichet C., Osorio-Olvera L., Pyšek P., Rejmánek M., Ricciardi A., Robertson M., Rojas Soto O., Romero-Alvarez D., Roura-Pascual N., Santini L., Schoeman D.S., Schröder B., Soberon J., Strubbe D., Thuiller W., Traveset A., Treml E.A., Václavík T., Varela S., Watson J.E.M., Wiersma Y., Wintle B., Yanez-Arenas C., Zurell D. (2019) Open access solutions for biodiversity journals: Do not replace one problem with another. Diversity and Distributions. 25: 5-8.LinkDoi: 10.1111/ddi.12885
[No abstract available]
Peñuelas J., Fernández-Martínez M., Ciais P., Jou D., Piao S., Obersteiner M., Vicca S., Janssens I.A., Sardans J. (2019) The bioelements, the elementome, and the biogeochemical niche. Ecology. 100: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1002/ecy.2652
Every living creature on Earth is made of atoms of the various bioelements that are harnessed in the construction of molecules, tissues, organisms, and communities, as we know them. Organisms need these bioelements in specific quantities and proportions to survive and grow. Distinct species have different functions and life strategies, and have therefore developed distinct structures and adopted a certain combination of metabolic and physiological processes. Each species is thus also expected to have different requirements for each bioelement. We therefore propose that a “biogeochemical niche” can be associated with the classical ecological niche of each species. We show from field data examples that a biogeochemical niche is characterized by a particular elementome defined as the content of all (or at least most) bioelements. The differences in elementome among species are a function of taxonomy and phylogenetic distance, sympatry (the bioelemental compositions should differ more among coexisting than among non-coexisting species to avoid competitive pressure), and homeostasis with a continuum between high homeostasis/low plasticity and low homeostasis/high plasticity. This proposed biogeochemical niche hypothesis has the advantage relative to other associated theoretical niche hypotheses that it can be easily characterized by actual quantification of a measurable trait: the elementome of a given organism or a community, being potentially applicable across taxa and habitats. The changes in bioelemental availability can determine genotypic selection and therefore have a feedback on ecosystem function and organization, and, at the end, become another driving factor of the evolution of life and the environment. © 2019 by the Ecological Society of America
Poblador S., Lupon A., Martí E., Sabater F., Sabaté S., Bernal S. (2019) The influence of the invasive alien nitrogen-fixing Robinia pseudoacacia L. on soil nitrogen availability in a mixed Mediterranean riparian forest. European Journal of Forest Research. 138: 1083-1093.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s10342-019-01226-x
Robinia pseudoacacia L. occupies large areas of Mediterranean riparian zones of the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. This study investigates the influence of the invasive alien nitrogen-fixing R. pseudoacacia on leaf litter nitrogen (N) inputs and soil N availability in a mixed riparian forest in NE Spain. We measured annual leaf litter N inputs, decomposition rates, soil N processes, and soil N concentrations at three sections (near-stream, intermediate, and hillslope) across a riparian forested zone. Moreover, we explored changes in soil N availability associated with the presence of R. pseudoacacia by means of an empirical forest floor model. Leaf litter N content was higher for R. pseudoacacia than for the native non-fixing species. Although the contribution of R. pseudoacacia to annual leaf litter N inputs increased from the near-stream to the hillslope section, soil N mineralization, nitrification, and N availability were similar among sections. Simulations suggest that soil N availability was higher at the near-stream than at the hillslope section without the presence of R. pseudoacacia. However, this pattern smoothed down as R. pseudoacacia spread across the riparian forest. Overall, our results suggest that the spreading of R. pseudoacacia across the riparian zone contributed to homogenize soil N availability over time, and highlight that an integrated spatiotemporal view of the invasive process is needed to assess its impact on soil N biogeochemistry. © 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
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