ResearchPad - biomass https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mycelial biomass estimation and metabolic quotient of <i>Lentinula edodes</i> using species-specific qPCR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15715 Lentinula edodes, commonly known as shiitake, is an edible mushroom that is cultivated and consumed around the globe, especially in Asia. Monitoring mycelial growth inside a woody substrate is difficult, but it is essential for effective management of mushroom cultivation. Mycelial biomass also affects the rate of wood decomposition under natural conditions and must be known to determine the metabolic quotient, an important ecophysiological parameter of fungal growth. Therefore, developing a method to measure it inside a substrate would be very useful. In this study, as the first step in understanding species-specific rates of fungal decomposition of wood, we developed species-specific primers and qPCR procedures for L. edodes. We tested primer specificity using strains of L. edodes from Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as related species of fungi and plant species for cultivation of L. edodes, and generated a calibration curve for quantification of mycelial biomass in wood dust inoculated with L. edodes. The qPCR procedure we developed can specifically detect L. edodes and allowed us to quantify the increase in L. edodes biomass in wood dust substrate and calculate the metabolic quotient based on the mycelial biomass and respiration rate. Development of a species-specific method for biomass quantification will be useful for both estimation of mycelial biomass and determining the kinetics of fungal growth in decomposition processes.

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<![CDATA[Micro- and mesozooplankton successions in an Antarctic coastal environment during a warm year]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14619 The rapid increase in atmospheric temperature detected in the last decades in the Western Antarctic Peninsula was accompanied by a strong glacier retreat and an increase in production of melting water, as well as changes in the sea-ice dynamic. The objective of this study was to analyze the succession of micro- and mesozooplankton during a warm annual cycle (December 2010-December 2011) in an Antarctic coastal environment (Potter Cove). The biomass of zooplankton body size classes was used to predict predator-prey size relationships (i.e., to test bottom-up/top-down control effects) using a Multiple Linear Regression Analysis. The micro- and mesozooplanktonic successions were graphically analyzed to detect the influence of environmental periods (defined by the degree of glacial melting, sea-ice freezing and sea-ice melting) on coupling/uncoupling planktonic biomass curves associated to possible predator-prey size relationship scenarios. At the beginning of the glacial melting, medium and large mesozooplankton (calanoid copepods, Euphausia superba, and Salpa thompsoni) exert a top-down control on Chl-a and microzooplankton. Stratification of the water column benefitted the availability of adequate food-size (Chl-a <20) for large microzooplankton (tintinnids) development observed during fall. High abundance of omnivores mesozooplankton (Oithona similis and furcilia of E. superba) during sea-ice freezing periods would be due to the presence of available heterotrophic food under or within the sea ice. Finally, the increase in microzooplankton abundance in the middle of spring, when sea-ice melting starts, corresponded to small and medium dinoflagellates and ciliates species, which were possibly part of the biota of sea ice. If glacier retreat continues and the duration and thickness of the sea ice layer fluctuates as predicted by climate models, our results predict a future scenario regarding the zooplankton succession in Antarctic coastal environments.

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<![CDATA[Jellyfish distribution in space and time predicts leatherback sea turtle hot spots in the Northwest Atlantic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14580 Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) migrate to temperate Canadian Atlantic waters to feed on gelatinous zooplankton (‘jellyfish’) every summer. However, the spatio-temporal connection between predator foraging and prey-field dynamics has not been studied at the large scales over which these migratory animals occur. We use 8903 tows of groundfish survey jellyfish bycatch data between 2006–2017 to reveal spatial jellyfish hot spots, and matched these data to satellite-telemetry leatherback data over time and space. We found highly significant overlap of jellyfish and leatherback distribution on the Scotian Shelf (r = 0.89), moderately strong correlations of jellyfish and leatherback spatial hot spots in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (r = 0.59), and strong correlations in the Bay of Fundy (r = 0.74), which supports much lower jellyfish density. Over time, jellyfish bycatch data revealed a slight northward range shift in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, consistent with gradual warming of these waters. Two-stage generalized linear modelling corroborated that sea surface temperature, year, and region were significant predictors of jellyfish biomass, suggesting a climate signal on jellyfish distribution, which may shift leatherback critical feeding habitat over time. These findings are useful in predicting dynamic habitat use for endangered leatherback turtles, and can help to anticipate large-scale changes in their distribution in response to climate-related changes in prey availability.

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<![CDATA[Synthesis of α,β‐ and β‐Unsaturated Acids and Hydroxy Acids by Tandem Oxidation, Epoxidation, and Hydrolysis/Hydrogenation of Bioethanol Derivatives]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6985 A flexible chemical platform is described for the conversion of bioethanol into three distinct specialty chemical building blocks at high yields: crotonic acid (i, 62 %), 3‐hydroxy butanoic acid (ii, 29 %), and 2,3‐dihydroxyacid (iii, 21 %). The products can serve as basis for the production of numerous high‐value chemicals.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative real-time PCR as a promising tool for the detection and quantification of leaf-associated fungal species – A proof-of-concept using Alatospora pulchella]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc5cf

Traditional methods to identify aquatic hyphomycetes rely on the morphology of released conidia, which can lead to misidentifications or underestimates of species richness due to convergent morphological evolution and the presence of non-sporulating mycelia. Molecular methods allow fungal identification irrespective of the presence of conidia or their morphology. As a proof-of-concept, we established a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to accurately quantify the amount of DNA as a proxy for the biomass of an aquatic hyphomycete species (Alatospora pulchella). Our study showed discrimination even among genetically closely-related species, with a high sensitivity and a reliable quantification down to 9.9 fg DNA (3 PCR forming units; LoD) and 155.0 fg DNA (47 PCR forming units; LoQ), respectively. The assay’s specificity was validated for environmental samples that harboured diverse microbial communities and likely contained PCR-inhibiting substances. This makes qPCR a promising tool to gain deeper insights into the ecological roles of aquatic hyphomycetes and other microorganisms.

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<![CDATA[Long-term exposure to more frequent disturbances increases baseline carbon in some ecosystems: Mapping and quantifying the disturbance frequency-ecosystem C relationship]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c785015d5eed0c484007c44

Disturbance regimes have a major influence on the baseline carbon that characterizes any particular ecosystem. Often regimes result in lower average regional baseline C (compared to those same systems if the disturbance processes were lessened/removed). However, in infrequently disturbed systems the role of disturbance as a “background” process that influences broad-scale, baseline C levels is often neglected. Long-term chronosequences suggest disturbances in these systems may serve to increase regional biomass C stocks by maintaining productivity. However, that inference has not been tested spatially. Here, the large forested system of southeast Alaska, USA, is utilized to 1) estimate baseline regional C stocks, 2) test the fundamental disturbance-ecosystem C relationship, 3) estimate the cumulative impact of disturbances on baseline C. Using 1491 ground points with carbon measurements and a novel way of mapping disturbance regimes, the relationship between total biomass C, disturbance exposure, and climate was analyzed statistically. A spatial model was created to determine regional C and compare different disturbance scenarios. In this infrequently disturbed ecosystem, higher disturbance exposure is correlated with higher biomass C, supporting the hypothesis that disturbances maintain productivity at broad scales. The region is estimated to potentially contain a baseline 1.21–1.52 Pg biomass C (when unmanaged). Removal of wind and landslides from the model resulted in lower net C stocks (-2 to -19% reduction), though the effect was heterogeneous on finer scales. There removal of landslides alone had a larger effect then landslide and wind combined removal. The relationship between higher disturbance exposure and higher biomass within the broad ecosystem (which, on average, has a very low disturbance frequency) suggest that disturbances can serve maintain higher levels of productivity in infrequently disturbed but very C dense ecosystems. Carbon research in other systems, especially those where disturbances are infrequent relative to successional processes, should consider the role of disturbances in maintaining baseline ecosystem productivity.

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<![CDATA[Short-term fish predation destroys resilience of zooplankton communities and prevents recovery of phytoplankton control by zooplankton grazing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706772d5eed0c4847c7038

Planktivorous fish predation directly affects zooplankton biomass, community and size structure, and may indirectly induce a trophic cascade to phytoplankton. However, it is not clear how quickly the zooplankton community structure and the cascading effects on phytoplankton recover to the unaffected state (i.e. resilience) once short-term predation by fish stops. The resilience has implications for the ecological quality and restoration measures in aquatic ecosystems. To assess the short-term zooplankton resilience against fish predation, we conducted a mesocosm experiment consisting of 10 enclosures, 6 with fish and 4 without fish. Plankton communities from a natural lake were used to establish phytoplankton and zooplankton in the mesocosms. High biomasses (about 20 g wet mass m-3) of juvenile planktivorous fish (perch, Perca fluviatilis) were allowed to feed on zooplankton in fish enclosures for four days. Thereafter, we removed fish and observed the recovery of the zooplankton community and its cascading effect on trophic interactions in comparison with no fish enclosures for four weeks. Short-term fish predation impaired resilience in zooplankton community by modifying community composition, as large zooplankton, such as calanoids, decreased just after fish predation and did not re-appear afterwards, whereas small cladocerans and rotifers proliferated. Total zooplankton biomass increased quickly within two weeks after fish removal, and at the end even exceeded the biomass measured before fish addition. Despite high biomass, the dominance of small zooplankton released phytoplankton from grazer control in fish enclosures. Accordingly, the zooplankton community did not recover from the effect of fish predation, indicating low short-term resilience. In contrast, in no fish enclosures without predation disturbance, a high zooplankton:phytoplankton biomass ratio accompanied by low phytoplankton yield (Chlorophyll-a:Total phosphorus ratio) reflected phytoplankton control by zooplankton over the experimental period. Comprehensive views on short and long-term resilience of zooplankton communities are essential for restoration and management strategies of aquatic ecosystems to better predict responses to global warming, such as higher densities of planktivorous fish.

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<![CDATA[Sensitivity of the Norwegian and Barents Sea Atlantis end-to-end ecosystem model to parameter perturbations of key species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673075d5eed0c484f37b80

Using end-to-end models for ecosystem-based management requires knowledge of the structure, uncertainty and sensitivity of the model. The Norwegian and Barents Seas (NoBa) Atlantis model was implemented for use in ‘what if’ scenarios, combining fisheries management strategies with the influences of climate change and climate variability. Before being used for this purpose, we wanted to evaluate and identify sensitive parameters and whether the species position in the foodweb influenced their sensitivity to parameter perturbation. Perturbing recruitment, mortality, prey consumption and growth by +/- 25% for nine biomass-dominating key species in the Barents Sea, while keeping the physical climate constant, proved the growth rate to be the most sensitive parameter in the model. Their trophic position in the ecosystem (lower trophic level, mid trophic level, top predators) influenced their responses to the perturbations. Top-predators, being generalists, responded mostly to perturbations on their individual life-history parameters. Mid-level species were the most vulnerable to perturbations, not only to their own individual life-history parameters, but also to perturbations on other trophic levels (higher or lower). Perturbations on the lower trophic levels had by far the strongest impact on the system, resulting in biomass changes for nearly all components in the system. Combined perturbations often resulted in non-additive model responses, including both dampened effects and increased impact of combined perturbations. Identifying sensitive parameters and species in end-to-end models will not only provide insights about the structure and functioning of the ecosystem in the model, but also highlight areas where more information and research would be useful—both for model parameterization, but also for constraining or quantifying model uncertainty.

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<![CDATA[Towards a sampling design for characterizing habitat-specific benthic biodiversity related to oxygen flux dynamics using Aquatic Eddy Covariance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8b6d5eed0c48496f005

The Aquatic Eddy Covariance (AEC) technique has emerged as an important method to quantify in situ seafloor metabolism over large areas of heterogeneous benthic communities, enabling cross-habitat comparisons of seafloor productivity. However, the lack of a corresponding sampling protocol to perform biodiversity comparisons across habitats is impeding a full assessment of marine ecosystem metabolism. Here, we study a range of coastal benthic habitats, from rocky-bed communities defined by either perennial macroalgae or blue mussel beds to soft-sediment communities comprised of either seagrass, patches of different macrophyte species or bare sand. We estimated that the maximum contribution to the AEC metabolic flux can be found for a seafloor area of approximately 80 m2 with a 5 meter upstream distance of the instrument across all the habitats. We conducted a sampling approach to characterize and quantify the dominant features of biodiversity (i.e., community biomass) within the main seafloor area of maximum metabolic contribution (i.e., gross primary production and community respiration) measured by the AEC. We documented a high biomass contribution of the macroalgal Fucus vesiculosus, the seagrass Zostera marina and the macroinvertebrate Mytilus edulis to the net ecosystem metabolism of the habitats. We also documented a significant role of the bare sediments for primary productivity compared to vegetated canopies of the soft sediments. The AEC also provided insight into dynamic short-term drivers of productivity such as PAR availability and water flow velocity for the productivity estimate. We regard this study as an important step forward, setting a framework for upcoming research focusing on linking biodiversity metrics and AEC flux measurements across habitats.

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<![CDATA[An invasive legume increases perennial grass biomass: An indirect pathway for plant community change]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e68ed5eed0c484ef3703

The presence of native grasses in communities can suppress native forbs through competition and indirectly benefit these forbs by suppressing the invasion of highly competitive exotic species. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to examine the potential of direct and indirect interactions to influence the aboveground biomass of four native forb species in the presence of the native perennial grass Schizachyrium scoparium and exotic invasive Lespedeza cuneata. We examined patterns of growth for the invasive legume, the perennial grass, and four native species in four scenarios: 1) native species grown with the grass, 2) native species grown with the legume, 3) native species grown with both the grass and legume together, and 4) native species grown alone. Schizachyrium scoparium significantly decreased biomass of all forb species (p<0.05). In contrast, L. cuneata alone only significantly affected biomass of Asclepias tuberosa; L. cuneata increased the biomass of A. tuberosa only when the grass was present. When S. scoparium and L. cuneata were grown together, L. cuneata had significantly lower biomass (p = 0.007) and S. scoparium had significantly greater biomass (p = 0.002) than when each grew alone. These reciprocal effects suggest a potential pathway by which L. cuneata could alter forb diversity in grassland communities In this scenario, L. cuneata facilitates grass growth and competition with other natives. Our results emphasize the importance of monitoring interactions between exotic invasive plant species and dominant native species in grassland communities to understand pathways of plant community change.

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<![CDATA[Responses of soil respiration to nitrogen addition in the Sanjiang Plain wetland, northeastern China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2b4d5eed0c48441e90e

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that nitrogen (N) addition leads to enhanced soil respiration (SR) in nitrogen deficient marsh. Here, we report the response of SR to simulated N deposition in a temperate marsh of northeastern China from June 2009 to September 2011. The experiment included three-levels of N treatment (control: no N addition, Low-N: 4g N m-2 y-1, and High-N: 8 g N m-2 y-1). Our study showed various responses of SR to level and duration of N addition. Yearly SR was increased by 11.8%-15.2% (P<0.05) under Low-N addition during the three years, while SR showed a strong increase by 27.5% (P<0.05) in the first year and then decreased by 4.4% (P>0.05) and 15.4% (P<0.05) in the next two years under High-N addition. Soil respiration was positively correlated with soil temperature and negatively correlated with soil water content. High-N treatment reduced soil pH value (P<0.05). The negative response of SR to High-N addition in the following two years may attribute to lower microbial activity, microbial biomass and alteration in the microbial community due to lower soil pH, which consequently leads to decreased SR. Meanwhile, we found root biomass were increased under High-N addition. This implies that the increase of autotrophic respiration was lower than the decline of heterotrophic respiration in the following two years. Our findings suggest complex interactions between N deposition and SR, which is needed to be further investigated in the future studies.

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<![CDATA[Functional composition has stronger impact than species richness on carbon gain and allocation in experimental grasslands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2ecd5eed0c48441ed72

Numerous experiments have shown positive diversity effects on plant productivity, but little is known about related processes of carbon gain and allocation. We investigated these processes in a controlled environment (Montpellier European Ecotron) applying a continuous 13CO2 label for three weeks to 12 soil-vegetation monoliths originating from a grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment) and representing two diversity levels (4 and 16 sown species). Plant species richness did not affect community- and species-level 13C abundances neither in total biomass nor in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). Community-level 13C excess tended to be higher in the 16-species than in the 4-species mixtures. Community-level 13C excess was positively related to canopy leaf nitrogen (N), i.e. leaf N per unit soil surface. At the species level, shoot 13C abundances varied among plant functional groups and were larger in legumes and tall herbs than in grasses and small herbs, and correlated positively with traits as leaf N concentrations, stomatal conductance and shoot height. The 13C abundances in NSC were larger in transport sugars (sucrose, raffinose-family oligosaccharides) than in free glucose, fructose and compounds of the storage pool (starch) suggesting that newly assimilated carbon is to a small portion allocated to storage. Our results emphasize that the functional composition of communities is key in explaining carbon assimilation in grasslands.

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<![CDATA[Wetland biomass inversion and space differentiation: A case study of the Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633952d5eed0c484ae64a1

With wetlands categorized as one of the three major ecosystems, the study of wetland health has global environmental implications. Multiple regression models were employed to establish relationships between Landsat-8 images, vegetation indices and field measured biomass in the Yellow River Delta Nature Reserve. These models were then used to estimate the spatial distribution of wetland vegetative biomass. The relationships between wetland vegetative biomass and soil factors (organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, water soluble salt, pH and moisture) were modeled. We were able to achieve higher correlations and improved model fits using vegetative indices and spectral bands 1–5 as independent variables. Several important soil factors were isolated, including soil moisture and salt concentrations, which affect wetland biomass spatial distributions. Overall, wetland biomass decreased from land to the ocean and from the river courses outward.

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<![CDATA[Model uncertainty and simulated multispecies fisheries management advice in the Baltic Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d61ed5eed0c48403168f

Different ecosystem models often provide contrasting predictions (model uncertainty), which is perceived to be a major challenge impeding their use to support ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM). The focus of this manuscript is to examine the extent of model disagreements which could impact management advice for EBFM in the central Baltic Sea. We compare how much three models (EwE, Gadget and a multispecies stock production model) differ in 1) their estimates of fishing mortality rates (Fs) satisfying alternative hypothetical management scenario objectives and 2) the outcomes of those scenarios in terms of performance indicators (spawning stock biomasses, catches, profits). Uncertainty in future environmental conditions affecting fish was taken into account by considering two seal population growth scenarios and two nutrient load scenarios. Differences in the development of the stocks, yields and profits exist among the models but the general patterns are also sufficiently similar to appear promising in the context of strategic fishery advice. Thus, we suggest that disagreements among the ecosystem models will not impede their use for providing strategic advice on how to reach management objectives that go beyond the traditional maximum yield targets and for informing on the potential consequences of pursuing such objectives. This is especially true for scenarios aiming at exploiting forage fish sprat and herring, for which the agreement was the largest among our models. However, the quantitative response to altering fishing pressure differed among models. This was due to the diverse environmental covariates and the different number of trophic relationships and their functional forms considered in the models. This suggests that ecosystem models can be used to provide quantitative advice only after more targeted research is conducted to gain a deeper understanding into the relationship between trophic links and fish population dynamics in the Baltic Sea.

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<![CDATA[Sensitivity of multispecies maximum sustainable yields to trends in the top (marine mammals) and bottom (primary production) compartments of the southern North Sea food-web]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d64ed5eed0c484031b3c

In marine ecosystems, maximum sustainable yield considerations are affected by any substantial changes that occur in the top and bottom compartments of the food-web. This study explores how the southern North Sea’s fisheries may need to adjust their fishing efforts to maintain optimum yields of sole, plaice, cod and brown shrimps under increased marine mammal populations and a reduced primary productivity. We constructed plausible scenarios of ongoing food-web changes using the results of Bayesian age-structured population models to estimate carrying capacities of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Losses in primary productivity were predicted by lower trophic level ecosystem models. These scenarios were implemented in a food-web model of the southern North Sea. For each scenario, we sought mixed-fleet fishing efforts that would deliver maximum yields of sole, plaice, cod and brown shrimp combined. We also did so for a baseline run with unaltered mammal and primary production, and compared the differences in optimal fishing strategies, predicted yields, and states of the stocks between the scenarios. We found stocks and yields to be far more sensitive to changes in primary productivity than to increased marine mammal predation. The latter predominantly impacted cod, and even benefitted brown shrimps compared to the baseline run. Under 30% reduced primary productivity, fishing efforts had to be reduced by 50% to still provide maximum yields, whereas the marine mammal scenario induced no need to adjust the fishing regime. This draws attention to the potential gains of incorporating bottom-up processes into long-term management considerations, while marine mammal predation may be less of a concern, in particular for flatfish fisheries in the North Sea, and may even benefit shrimp trawlers because of reduced predation on shrimp from fish predators.

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<![CDATA[An improved methodology for quantifying causality in complex ecological systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c64495ad5eed0c484c2fab7

This paper provides a statistical methodology for quantifying causality in complex dynamical systems, based on analysis of multidimensional time series data of the state variables. The methodology integrates Granger’s causality analysis based on the log-likelihood function expansion (Partial pair-wise causality), and Akaike’s power contribution approach over the whole frequency domain (Total causality). The proposed methodology addresses a major drawback of existing methodologies namely, their inability to use time series observation of state variables to quantify causality in complex systems. We first perform a simulation study to verify the efficacy of the methodology using data generated by several multivariate autoregressive processes, and its sensitivity to data sample size. We demonstrate application of the methodology to real data by deriving inter-species relationships that define key food web drivers of the Barents Sea ecosystem. Our results show that the proposed methodology is a useful tool in early stage causality analysis of complex feedback systems.

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<![CDATA[Nutrient enhancement of allelopathic effects of exotic invasive on native plant species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521809d5eed0c4847969ef

Many ecosystems may suffer from both nutrient enrichment and exotic plant invasions simultaneously. Much has been known that nutrient inputs can promote growth and expansion of exotic invasive plants in wetlands, and that allelopathic effects of the exotic invasive plants can inhibit the growth of coexisting native plants, contributing to their invasion success. Thus, we hypothesized that allelopathic effects of exotics on natives in invaded ecosystems can be enhanced by nutrient enrichment. To test this hypothesis, we conducted two greenhouse hydroponic experiments. One is the monoculture experiment in which a widespread exotic invasive perennial Alternanthera philoxeroides and a native perennial Ludwigia peploides subsp. stipulacea in monoculture were subjected to five levels of nutrient supply. The other is the mixture experiment in which the two species in mixture were subjected to five levels of nutrient supply, each with and without activated carbon addition. Both A. philoxeroides and L. peploides grew better under higher level of nutrient availability in monoculture experiment. In the mixture experiment, A. philoxeroides formed less total and root biomass while L. peploides formed more in response to activated carbon addition and all of the responses had larger degree at higher level of nutrient availability, indicating A. philoxeroides had significant allelopathic effects on L. peploides and the effects was significantly enhanced by nutrient enrichment. Such results support our hypothesis and reveal a novel mechanism for exotic plant invasion in eutrophicated and invaded wetlands, i.e. nutrient enhancement of allelopathic effects of exotics on natives.

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<![CDATA[Plant biomass and soil organic carbon are main factors influencing dry-season ecosystem carbon rates in the coastal zone of the Yellow River Delta]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466518d5eed0c4845175f4

Coastal wetlands are considered as a significant sink of global carbon due to their tremendous organic carbon storage. Coastal CO2 and CH4 flux rates play an important role in regulating atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations. However, the relative contributions of vegetation, soil properties, and spatial structure on dry-season ecosystem carbon (C) rates (net ecosystem CO2 exchange, NEE; ecosystem respiration, ER; gross ecosystem productivity, GEP; and CH4) remain unclear at a regional scale. Here, we compared dry-season ecosystem C rates, plant, and soil properties across three vegetation types from 13 locations at a regional scale in the Yellow River Delta (YRD). The results showed that the Phragmites australis stand had the greatest NEE (-1365.4 μmol m-2 s-1), ER (660.2 μmol m-2 s-1), GEP (-2025.5 μmol m-2 s-1) and acted as a CH4 source (0.27 μmol m-2 s-1), whereas the Suaeda heteroptera and Tamarix chinensis stands uptook CH4 (-0.02 to -0.12 μmol m-2 s-1). Stepwise multiple regression analysis demonstrated that plant biomass was the main factor explaining all of the investigated carbon rates (GEP, ER, NEE, and CH4); while soil organic carbon was shown to be the most important for explaining the variability in the processes of carbon release to the atmosphere, i.e., ER and CH4. Variation partitioning results showed that vegetation and soil properties played equally important roles in shaping the pattern of C rates in the YRD. These results provide a better understanding of the link between ecosystem C rates and environmental drivers, and provide a framework to predict regional-scale ecosystem C fluxes under future climate change.

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<![CDATA[The influence of infiltration feedback on the characteristic of banded vegetation pattern on hillsides of semiarid area]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c48d5eed0c484bd14b1

The formation and characteristics are two important topics in the study of vegetation pattern. In this paper, we focus on the influence of infiltration feedback of surface runoff on the formation and characteristics of banded vegetation pattern on hillsides of semiarid area. Firstly, it is shown that the infiltration feedback of surface runoff is an important formation mechanics of the banded vegetation pattern in semiarid area. Then it is found that the patterns formed within the reasonable parameter space are periodic both in space and time and the wave speed of the periodic vegetation stripes become larger with the increase of the infiltration feedback strength, while the wavelength is negatively correlated with the infiltration feedback strength. At last, it is shown that the mean productivity of grass pattern is lower than that of homogeneous steady state when the infiltration feedback is weak and it is larger than that with stronger infiltration feedback.

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<![CDATA[Benthic-pelagic coupling mediates interactions in Mediterranean mixed fisheries: An ecosystem modeling approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c92d5eed0c484bd32a0

Benthic—pelagic coupling plays a pivotal role in aquatic ecosystems but the effects of fishery driven interactions on its functioning has been largely overlooked. Disentangling the benthic—pelagic links including effects of mixed fisheries, however, needs sketching a whole description of ecosystem interactions using quantitative tools. A holistic food web model has been here developed in order to understand the interplay between the benthic-pelagic coupling and mixed fisheries in a Mediterranean system such as the Strait of Sicily. The reconstruction of the food web required review and integration of a vast set of local and regional biological information from bacteria to large pelagic species that were aggregated into 72 functional groups. Fisheries were described by 18 fleet segments resulting from combination of fishing gears and fishing vessel size. The input-output analysis on the food web of energy pathways allowed identifying effects of biological and fishery components. Results showed that the structure of the Strait of Sicily food web is complex. Similarly to other Mediterranean areas, the food web of the Strait of Sicily encompasses 4.5 trophic levels (TLs) with the highest TLs reached by bluefin tuna, swordfish and large hake and largely impacted by bottom trawling and large longline. Importantly, benthic-pelagic coupling is affected by direct and indirect impacts among groups of species, fleets and fleets-species through the whole trophic spectrum of the food web. Moreover, functional groups able to move on large spatial scales or life history of which is spent between shelf and slope domains play a key role in linking subsystems together and mediate interactions in the Mediterranean mixed fisheries.

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