Poblador S., Thomas Z., Rousseau-Gueutin P., Sabaté S., Sabater F. (2019) Riparian forest transpiration under the current and projected Mediterranean climate: Effects on soil water and nitrate uptake. Ecohydrology. 12: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1002/eco.2043
Vegetation plays a key role in riparian area functioning by controlling water and nitrate (N─NO3 −) transfers to streams. We investigated how spatial heterogeneity modifies the influence of vegetation transpiration on soil water and N─NO3 − balances in the vadose soil of a Mediterranean riparian forest. On the basis of field data, we simulated water flow and N─NO3 − transport in three riparian zones (i.e., near-stream, intermediate, and hillslope) using HYDRUS-1D model. We investigated spatiotemporal patterns across the riparian area over a 3-year period and future years using an IPCC/CMIP5 climate projection for the Mediterranean region. Potential evapotranspiration was partitioned between evaporation and transpiration to estimate transpiration rates at the area. Denitrification in the forest was negligible, thus N─NO3 − removal was only considered through plant uptake. For the three riparian zones, the model successfully predicted field soil moisture (θ). The near-stream zone exchanged larger volumes of water and supported higher θ and transpiration rates (666 ± 75 mm) than the other two riparian zones. Total water fluxes, θ, and transpiration rates decreased near the intermediate (536 ± 46 mm transpired) and hillslope zones (406 ± 26 mm transpired), suggesting that water availability was restricted due to deeper groundwater. Transpiration strongly decreased θ and soil N─NO3 − in the hillslope and intermediate zones. Our climate projections highlight the importance of groundwater availability and indicate that soil N─NO3 − would be expected to increase due to changes in plant-root uptake. Lower water availability in the hillslope zone may reduce the effectiveness of N─NO3 − removal in the riparian area, increasing the risk of excess N─NO3 − leaching into the stream. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Poyatos R., Aguadé D., Martínez-Vilalta J. (2019) Correction to: Below-ground hydraulic constraints during drought-induced decline in Scots pine (Annals of Forest Science, (2018), 75, 4, (100), 10.1007/s13595-018-0778-7). Annals of Forest Science. 76: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s13595-019-0825-z
The article was published without the submitted data availability statement linking readers to a public repository. Due to publication modifications, the information appears missing in the original article. The following corrects previous version of the statement: Data availability The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in Zenodo Repository (Poyatos et al. 2018). The datasets were not peer reviewed. The original article has been corrected. © 2019, INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature.
Preece C., Verbruggen E., Liu L., Weedon J.T., Peñuelas J. (2019) Effects of past and current drought on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 131: 28-39.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.12.022
Drought is well known to have strong effects on the composition and activity of soil microbial communities, and may be determined by drought history and drought duration, but the characterisation and prediction of these effects remains challenging. This is because soil microbial communities that have previously been exposed to drought may change less in response to subsequent drought events, due to the selection of drought-resistant taxa. We set up a 10-level drought experiment to test the effect of water stress on the composition and diversity of soil bacterial and fungal communities. We also investigated the effect of a previous long-term drought on communities in soils with different historical precipitation regimes. Saplings of the holm oak, Quercus ilex L., were included to assess the impact of plant presence on the effects of the drought treatment. The composition and diversity of the soil microbial communities were analysed using DNA amplicon sequencing of bacterial and fungal markers and the measurement of phospholipid fatty acids. The experimental drought affected the bacterial community much more than the fungal community, decreasing alpha diversity and proportion of total biomass, whereas fungal diversity tended to increase. The experimental drought altered the relative abundances of specific taxa of both bacteria and fungi, and in many cases these effects were modified by the presence of the plant and soil origin. Soils with a history of drought had higher overall bacterial alpha diversity at the end of the experimental drought, presumably because of adaptation of the bacterial community to drought conditions. However, some bacterial taxa (e.g. Chloroflexi) and fungal functional groups (plant pathogens and saprotrophic yeasts) decreased in abundance more in the pre-droughted soils. Our results suggest that soil communities will not necessarily be able to maintain the same functions during more extreme or more frequent future droughts, when functions are influenced by community composition. Drought is likely to continue to affect community composition, even in soils that are acclimated to it, tending to increase the proportion of fungi and reduce the proportion and diversity of bacteria. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
Radchuk V., Reed T., Teplitsky C., van de Pol M., Charmantier A., Hassall C., Adamík P., Adriaensen F., Ahola M.P., Arcese P., Miguel Avilés J., Balbontin J., Berg K.S., Borras A., Burthe S., Clobert J., Dehnhard N., de Lope F., Dhondt A.A., Dingemanse N.J., Doi H., Eeva T., Fickel J., Filella I., Fossøy F., Goodenough A.E., Hall S.J.G., Hansson B., Harris M., Hasselquist D., Hickler T., Joshi J., Kharouba H., Martínez J.G., Mihoub J.-B., Mills J.A., Molina-Morales M., Moksnes A., Ozgul A., Parejo D., Pilard P., Poisbleau M., Rousset F., Rödel M.-O., Scott D., Senar J.C., Stefanescu C., Stokke B.G., Kusano T., Tarka M., Tarwater C.E., Thonicke K., Thorley J., Wilting A., Tryjanowski P., Merilä J., Sheldon B.C., Pape Møller A., Matthysen E., Janzen F., Dobson F.S., Visser M.E., Beissinger S.R., Courtiol A., Kramer-Schadt S. (2019) Adaptive responses of animals to climate change are most likely insufficient. Nature Communications. 10: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10924-4
Biological responses to climate change have been widely documented across taxa and regions, but it remains unclear whether species are maintaining a good match between phenotype and environment, i.e. whether observed trait changes are adaptive. Here we reviewed 10,090 abstracts and extracted data from 71 studies reported in 58 relevant publications, to assess quantitatively whether phenotypic trait changes associated with climate change are adaptive in animals. A meta-analysis focussing on birds, the taxon best represented in our dataset, suggests that global warming has not systematically affected morphological traits, but has advanced phenological traits. We demonstrate that these advances are adaptive for some species, but imperfect as evidenced by the observed consistent selection for earlier timing. Application of a theoretical model indicates that the evolutionary load imposed by incomplete adaptive responses to ongoing climate change may already be threatening the persistence of species. © 2019, The Author(s).
Rao K., Anderegg W.R.L., Sala A., Martínez-Vilalta J., Konings A.G. (2019) Satellite-based vegetation optical depth as an indicator of drought-driven tree mortality. Remote Sensing of Environment. 227: 125-136.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.rse.2019.03.026
Drought-induced tree mortality events are expected to increase in frequency under climate change. However, monitoring and modeling of tree mortality is limited by the high spatial variability in vegetation response to climatic drought stress and lack of physiologically meaningful stress variables that can be monitored at large scales. In this study, we test the hypothesis that relative water content (RWC) estimated by passive microwave remote sensing through vegetation optical depth can be used as an empirical indicator of tree mortality that both integrates variations in plant drought stress and is accessible across large areas. The hypothesis was tested in a recent severe drought in California, USA. The RWC showed a stronger threshold relationship with mortality than climatic water deficit (CWD) – a commonly used mortality indicator – although both relationships were noisy due to the coarse spatial resolution of the data (0.25° or approximately 25 km). In addition, the threshold for RWC was more uniform than that for CWD when compared between Northern and Southern regions of California. A random forests regression (machine learning) with 32 variables describing topography, climate, and vegetation characteristics predicted forest mortality extent i.e. fractional area of mortality (FAM) with satisfactory accuracy-coefficient of determination R test 2 = 0.66, root mean square error = 0.023. Importantly, RWC was more than twice as important as any other variable in the model in estimating mortality, confirming its strong link to mortality rates. Moreover, RWC showed a moderate ability to aid in forecasting mortality, with a relative importance of RWC measured one year in advance of mortality similar to that of other relevant explanatory variables measured in the mortality year. The results of this study present a promising new approach to estimate drought stress of forests linked to mortality risk. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
Ribeiro I., Proença V., Serra P., Palma J., Domingo-Marimon C., Pons X., Domingos T. (2019) Remotely sensed indicators and open-access biodiversity data to assess bird diversity patterns in Mediterranean rural landscapes. Scientific Reports. 9: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43330-3
Biodiversity monitoring at simultaneously fine spatial resolutions and large spatial extents is needed but limited by operational trade-offs and costs. Open-access data may be cost-effective to address those limitations. We test the use of open-access satellite imagery (NDVI texture variables) and biodiversity data, assembled from GBIF, to investigate the relative importance of variables of habitat extent and structure as indicators of bird community richness and dissimilarity in the Alentejo region (Portugal). Results show that, at the landscape scale, forest bird richness is better indicated by the availability of tree cover in the overall landscape than by the extent or structure of the forest habitats. Open-land birds also respond to landscape structure, namely to the spectral homogeneity and size of open-land patches and to the presence of perennial vegetation amid herbaceous habitats. Moreover, structure variables were more important than climate variables or geographic distance to explain community dissimilarity patterns at the regional scale. Overall, summer imagery, when perennial vegetation is more discernible, is particularly suited to inform indicators of forest and open-land bird community richness and dissimilarity, while spring imagery appears to be also useful to inform indicators of open-land bird richness. © 2019, The Author(s).
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.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s10661-019-7205-x
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.
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.LinkDoi: 10.3390/ijms20010059
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.
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.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.09.036
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
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.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.03.057
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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