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.LinkDoi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13292
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
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.LinkDoi: 10.3390/su11030762
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.
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.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.09.101
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
Schunter C., Pascual M., Raventos N., Garriga J., Garza J.C., Bartumeus F., Macpherson E. (2019) A novel integrative approach elucidates fine-scale dispersal patchiness in marine populations. Scientific Reports. 9: 0-0.LinkDoi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47200-w
Dispersal is one of the main determining factors of population structure. In the marine habitat, well-connected populations with large numbers of reproducing individuals are common but even so population structure can exist on a small-scale. Variation in dispersal patterns between populations or over time is often associated to geographic distance or changing oceanographic barriers. Consequently, detecting structure and variation in dispersal on a fine-scale within marine populations still remains a challenge. Here we propose and use a novel approach of combining a clustering model, early-life history trait information from fish otoliths, spatial coordinates and genetic markers to detect very fine-scale dispersal patterns. We collected 1573 individuals (946 adults and 627 juveniles) of the black-faced blenny across a small-scale (2 km) coastline as well as at a larger-scale area (
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.LinkDoi: 10.1093/ee/nvy105
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.
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.LinkDoi: 10.1111/ele.13210
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
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.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.03.037
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.
Tamar K., Simó-Riudalbas M., Garcia-Porta J., Santos X., Llorente G., Vasconcelos R., Carranza S. (2019) An integrative study of island diversification: Insights from the endemic Haemodracon geckos of the Socotra Archipelago. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 133: 166-175.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.01.009
The Socotra Archipelago in the Arabian Sea is considered one of the most geo-politically isolated landforms on earth and a center of endemism. The archipelago is located at the western edge of the Indian Ocean and comprises four islands: Socotra, Darsa, Samha, and Abd al Kuri. Here we provide an integrative study on Haemodracon geckos, the sole genus of geckos strictly endemic to the archipelago. The sympatric distribution of Haemodracon riebeckii and H. trachyrhinus on Socotra Island provides a unique opportunity to explore evolutionary relationships and speciation patterns, examining the interplay between possible sympatric and allopatric scenarios. We used molecular data for phylogenetic inference, species delimitation analyses, and to infer the diversification timeframe. Multivariate statistics were used to analyze morphological data. Ecological comparisons were explored for macro-niches using species distribution models and observations were used for micro-habitat use. Haemodracon species exhibit great levels of intraspecific genetic diversity. Our calibration estimates revealed that Haemodracon diverged from its closest relative, the mainland genus Asaccus, in the Eocene, before the detachment of the archipelago. The two Haemodracon species diversified in situ on Socotra Island during the Middle Miocene, after the archipelago's isolation, into the two reciprocally monophyletic recognized species. Their divergence is associated mostly with remarkable body size differences and micro-habitat segregation, with low levels of climatic and body shape divergences within their sympatric distributions. These results display how ecological, sympatric speciation, and allopatric speciation followed by secondary contact, may both have varying roles at different evolutionary phases. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
Teruel-Coll M., Pareja J., Bartolomé J., Serrano E., Mentaberre G., Cuenca R., Espunyes J., Pauné F., Calleja J.A. (2019) Effects of boom and bust grazing management on vegetation and health of beef cattle used for wildfire prevention in a Mediterranean forest. Science of the Total Environment. 665: 18-22.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.037
Humans and wildfires have historically driven landscape structure in the Mediterranean basin. The Iberian Peninsula is not an exception to that rule, and therefore, farmers, researchers, and governments seek alternative tools to minimize the loss of biodiversity and wildfire risks. Extensive livestock including beef cattle is currently promoted as a suitable management tool by European agro-environmental policies yet pieces of evidence exist regarding the reciprocal effects between cows and Mediterranean woody vegetation. In this work, we performed a field manipulation to evaluate whether free-ranging beef cattle without supplementary feeding, at high density (2 livestock units (LU)/ha) for a short period of time i.e. “boom and bust grazing” management, are able to adapt their grazing preferences to the Mediterranean woody vegetation without health impairment, and prevent from bush encroachment and wildfires. For our purposes, a native herd of 14 adult cows was kept captive without supplementary feeding in a 14 ha enclosure covered by Mediterranean vegetation for two months (April–June 2016). Plant and cattle fecal and blood samples were collected to assess diet composition (plant cuticle microhistological analysis), fecal nitrogen and protein contents of consumed plants, and the nutritional status (non-esterified fatty acids) of cattle. Our results showed that cattle adapted their feeding habits toward a more woody diet including potentially flammable taxa but with some detrimental effects on health status. Hence, cattle cannot control woody vegetation for long periods of time without supplementary feeding. Further research should be oriented to explore other alternative approaches to minimize the health impairment of cattle used for control flammable vegetation in Mediterranean regions. © 2019
Thomas H.J.D., Myers-Smith I.H., Bjorkman A.D., Elmendorf S.C., Blok D., Cornelissen J.H.C., Forbes B.C., Hollister R.D., Normand S., Prevéy J.S., Rixen C., Schaepman-Strub G., Wilmking M., Wipf S., Cornwell W.K., Kattge J., Goetz S.J., Guay K.C., Alatalo J.M., Anadon-Rosell A., Angers-Blondin S., Berner L.T., Björk R.G., Buchwal A., Buras A., Carbognani M., Christie K., Siegwart Collier L., Cooper E.J., Eskelinen A., Frei E.R., Grau O., Grogan P., Hallinger M., Heijmans M.M.P.D., Hermanutz L., Hudson J.M.G., Hülber K., Iturrate-Garcia M., Iversen C.M., Jaroszynska F., Johnstone J.F., Kaarlejärvi E., Kulonen A., Lamarque L.J., Lévesque E., Little C.J., Michelsen A., Milbau A., Nabe-Nielsen J., Nielsen S.S., Ninot J.M., Oberbauer S.F., Olofsson J., Onipchenko V.G., Petraglia A., Rumpf S.B., Semenchuk P.R., Soudzilovskaia N.A., Spasojevic M.J., Speed J.D.M., Tape K.D., te Beest M., Tomaselli M., Trant A., Treier U.A., Venn S., Vowles T., Weijers S., Zamin T., Atkin O.K., Bahn M., Blonder B., Campetella G., Cerabolini B.E.L., Chapin III F.S., Dainese M., de Vries F.T., Díaz S., Green W., Jackson R.B., Manning P., Niinemets Ü., Ozinga W.A., Peñuelas J., Reich P.B., Schamp B., Sheremetev S., van Bodegom P.M. (2019) Traditional plant functional groups explain variation in economic but not size-related traits across the tundra biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 28: 78-95.LinkDoi: 10.1111/geb.12783
Aim: Plant functional groups are widely used in community ecology and earth system modelling to describe trait variation within and across plant communities. However, this approach rests on the assumption that functional groups explain a large proportion of trait variation among species. We test whether four commonly used plant functional groups represent variation in six ecologically important plant traits. Location: Tundra biome. Time period: Data collected between 1964 and 2016. Major taxa studied: 295 tundra vascular plant species. Methods: We compiled a database of six plant traits (plant height, leaf area, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen, seed mass) for tundra species. We examined the variation in species-level trait expression explained by four traditional functional groups (evergreen shrubs, deciduous shrubs, graminoids, forbs), and whether variation explained was dependent upon the traits included in analysis. We further compared the explanatory power and species composition of functional groups to alternative classifications generated using post hoc clustering of species-level traits. Results: Traditional functional groups explained significant differences in trait expression, particularly amongst traits associated with resource economics, which were consistent across sites and at the biome scale. However, functional groups explained 19% of overall trait variation and poorly represented differences in traits associated with plant size. Post hoc classification of species did not correspond well with traditional functional groups, and explained twice as much variation in species-level trait expression. Main conclusions: Traditional functional groups only coarsely represent variation in well-measured traits within tundra plant communities, and better explain resource economic traits than size-related traits. We recommend caution when using functional group approaches to predict tundra vegetation change, or ecosystem functions relating to plant size, such as albedo or carbon storage. We argue that alternative classifications or direct use of specific plant traits could provide new insights for ecological prediction and modelling. © 2018 The Authors Global Ecology and Biogeography Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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