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AoB Plants

Vineet Kumar Singh, Chandan Barman, Divya Mohanty, Rajesh Tandon
Reproductive success of a plant species can be affected by the distribution pattern of its conspecifics in a small population. Besides the low mate availability, the dynamics of breeding system and pollination mechanism may also contribute to low fruit-set in such populations. We examined the relative contribution of these reproductive attributes on fruit-set across the contrasting distribution pattern (denser vs. sparser plots) in two isolated natural populations of a near-threatened tree species, Anogeissus sericea var...
April 2018: AoB Plants
Cecilia E S Dalotto, Rafael B Sühs, Michele S Dechoum, Francisco I Pugnaire, Nivaldo Peroni, Tânia T Castellani
Positive interactions in plant communities are under-reported in subtropical systems most likely because they are not identified as stressful environments. However, environmental factors or disturbance can limit plant growth in any system and lead to stressful conditions. For instance, salinity and low nutrient and water availability generate a gradient of stressful conditions in coastal systems depending on distance to shore. In a tropical coastal system in SE Brazil, we aimed to assess whether Guapira opposita , a shrub common in restinga environments, acted as nurse involved in ecological succession and which factors influenced its facilitation process...
April 2018: AoB Plants
John F Gaskin, Mark Schwarzländer, Robert D Gibson, Heather Simpson, Diane L Marshall, Esther Gerber, Hariet Hinz
Population structure and genetic diversity of invasions are the result of evolutionary processes such as natural selection, drift and founding events. Some invasions are also molded by specific human activities such as selection for cultivars and intentional introduction of desired phenotypes, which can lead to low genetic diversity in the resulting invasion. We investigated the population structure, diversity and origins of a species with both accidental and intentional introduction histories, as well as long-term selection as a cultivar...
April 2018: AoB Plants
Rui Guo, LianXuan Shi, Yang Jiao, MingXia Li, XiuLi Zhong, FengXue Gu, Qi Liu, Xu Xia, HaoRu Li
An in-depth understanding of the effects of drought stress on plant metabolism is necessary to improve the drought tolerance of wheat and to utilize genetic resources for the development of drought stress-tolerant wheat varieties. In this study, the profiles of 58 key metabolites produced by wheat seedlings in response to drought stress were investigated to determine various physiological processes related to drought tolerance between drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive wheat genotypes. Results showed that the wheat metabolome was dominated by sugars, organic acids and amino acids; the wheat metabolome played important roles to enhance the drought tolerance of shoots...
April 2018: AoB Plants
Thomas N Kaye, Isaac J Sandlin, Matt A Bahm
Pollinators in general and monarch butterflies in particular are in decline due to habitat loss. Efforts to restore habitats for insects that rely on specific plant groups as larvae or adults depend on the ability of practitioners to grow and produce these plants. Monarch larvae feed exclusively on milkweed species, primarily in the genus Asclepias , making propagation and restoration of these plants crucial for habitat restoration. Seed germination protocols for milkweeds are not well established, in part due to the large number of milkweed species and conflicting reports of seed dormancy in the genus...
March 2018: AoB Plants
Christopher Dean, Jamie B Kirkpatrick, Jon Osborn, Richard B Doyle, Nicholas B Fitzgerald, Stephen H Roxburgh
There is high uncertainty in the contribution of land-use change to anthropogenic climate change, especially pertaining to below-ground carbon loss resulting from conversion of primary-to-secondary forest. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and coarse roots are concentrated close to tree trunks, a region usually unmeasured during soil carbon sampling. Soil carbon estimates and their variation with land-use change have not been correspondingly adjusted. Our aim was to deduce allometric equations that will allow improvement of SOC estimates and tree trunk carbon estimates, for primary forest stands that include large trees in rugged terrain...
March 2018: AoB Plants
Kim Canavan, Iain D Paterson, Carla Lambertini, Martin P Hill
The tall-statured grasses in the genus Phragmites are dominant vegetation in wetlands worldwide and thus play a vital role in ecosystem functioning. As a result, Phragmites spp. are some of the most widely studied plants; particularly in areas where changes to their abundances have occurred, most notably in Europe and North America. In southern Africa a pattern of reed expansion has occurred in recent decades that has shown a similar trend to cryptic invasions reported in North America. This study used molecular techniques to explore the phylogeography of P...
March 2018: AoB Plants
Mariana Castro, Sílvia Castro, Albano Figueiredo, Brian Husband, João Loureiro
The distribution of cytotypes in mixed-ploidy species is crucial for evaluating ecological processes involved in the establishment and evolution of polyploid taxa. Here, we use flow cytometry and chromosome counts to explore cytotype diversity and distributions within a tetraploid-octoploid contact zone. We then use niche modelling and ploidy seed screening to assess the roles of niche differentiation among cytotypes and reproductive interactions, respectively, in promoting cytotype coexistence. Two cytotypes, tetraploids and octoploids, were dominant within the contact zone...
March 2018: AoB Plants
Sumetha Kannan, Gillian Halter, Tanya Renner, Elizabeth R Waters
Plants have evolved a variety of mechanisms to respond and adapt to abiotic stress. High temperature stress induces the heat shock response. During the heat shock response a large number of genes are up-regulated, many of which code for chaperone proteins that prevent irreversible protein aggregation and cell death. However, it is clear that heat shock is not the only mechanism involved in the plant heat stress response. Alternative splicing (AS) is also important during heat stress since this post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism can produce significant transcriptome and proteome variation...
March 2018: AoB Plants
Tina Heger, Gabriele Nikles, Brooke S Jacobs
Germination, a crucial phase in the life cycle of a plant, can be significantly influenced by competition and facilitation. The aim of this study was to test whether differences in cover of surrounding vegetation can lead to population differentiation in germination behaviour of an annual grassland species, and if so, whether such a differentiation can be found in the native as well as in the introduced range. We used maternal progeny of Erodium cicutarium previously propagated under uniform conditions that had been collected in multiple populations in the native and two introduced ranges, in populations representing extremes in terms of mean and variability of the cover of surrounding vegetation...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Ning-Ning Zhang, Jiao-Jun Yu, Yue-Hua Wang, Xun Gong
Natural hybridization is common in plants and results in different evolutionary consequences to hybridizing species. Pre- and post-zygotic reproductive isolating barriers can impede hybridization between closely related species to maintain their species integrity. In Northwest Yunnan, three Ligularia species ( Ligularia cyathiceps , L. duciformis and L. yunnanensis ) and four types of morphologically intermediate individuals were discovered growing together in an area subject to human disturbance. In this study, we used three low-copy nuclear loci to test the natural hybridization hypothesis and the hybridization direction was ascertained by three chloroplast DNA fragments...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Adam R Martin, Christine E Hale, Bruno E L Cerabolini, Johannes H C Cornelissen, Joseph Craine, William A Gough, Jens Kattge, Cairan K F Tirona
Leaf Economics Spectrum (LES) trait variation underpins multiple agroecological processes and many prominent crop yield models. While there are numerous independent studies assessing trait variation in crops, to date there have been no comprehensive assessments of intraspecific trait variation (ITV) in LES traits for wheat and maize: the world's most widespread crops. Using trait databases and peer-reviewed literature, we compiled over 700 records of specific leaf area (SLA), maximum photosynthetic rates ( A max ) and leaf nitrogen (N) concentrations, for wheat and maize...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Vikki L Rodgers, Nicholas G Smith, Susanne S Hoeppner, Jeffrey S Dukes
Predicting the effects of climate change on tree species and communities is critical for understanding the future state of our forested ecosystems. We used a fully factorial precipitation (three levels; ambient, -50 % ambient, +50 % ambient) by warming (four levels; up to +4 °C) experiment in an old-field ecosystem in the northeastern USA to study the climatic sensitivity of seedlings of six native tree species. We measured whole plant-level responses: survival, total leaf area (TLA), seedling insect herbivory damage, as well as leaf-level responses: specific leaf area (SLA), leaf-level water content (LWC), foliar nitrogen (N) concentration, foliar carbon (C) concentration and C:N ratio of each of these deciduous species in each treatment across a single growing season...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Fang Gou, Martin K van Ittersum, Antoine Couëdel, Yue Zhang, Yajun Wang, Peter E L van der Putten, Lizhen Zhang, Wopke van der Werf
Intercropping is an ancient agricultural practice that provides a possible pathway for sustainable increases in crop yields. Here, we determine how competition with wheat affects nutrient uptake (nitrogen and phosphorus) and leaf traits, such as photosynthetic rate, in maize. In a field experiment, maize was planted as a sole crop, in three different intercrop configurations with wheat (a replacement intercrop and two add-row intercrops), and as a skip-row system with one out of each three maize rows omitted...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Jamie Males
The generation of plant diversity involves complex interactions between geography, environment and organismal traits. Many macroevolutionary processes and emergent patterns have been identified in different plant groups through the study of spatial data, but rarely in the context of a large radiation of tropical herbaceous angiosperms. A powerful system for testing interrelated biogeographical hypotheses is provided by the terrestrial bromeliads, a Neotropical group of extensive ecological diversity and importance...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Lisanna Schmidt, Markus Fischer, Tatjana Oja
Regional genetic differentiation within species is often addressed in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology. Here, we address regional differentiation in two closely related hybridizing taxa, the perennial sedges Carex flava and C. viridula and their hybrid C . × subviridula in 37 populations in the north and centre of their distribution range in Europe (Estonia, Lowland (<1000 m a.s.l.) and Highland Switzerland) using 10 putative microsatellite loci. We ask whether regional differentiation was larger in the less common taxon C...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Barbara Neuffer, Christina Wesse, Ingo Voss, Renate Scheibe
For almost 100 years now, ecotypic differentiation of plant species has been a major topic of research. In changing environments, the question needs to be answered as to how long it takes to adapt, and which parameters are subject to this fast adaptation. Short-living colonizing plant species are excellent examples, especially when they are selfing. Shepherd's Purse Capsella bursa-pastoris (Brassicaceae) is one of the most wide-spread flowering species on earth and avoids only the hot and humid tropics. Many studies demonstrated the ecotypic differentiation of C...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Anastasia E Sniderhan, Gordon G McNickle, Jennifer L Baltzer
Under changing climate conditions, understanding local adaptation of plants is crucial to predicting the resilience of ecosystems. We selected black spruce ( Picea mariana ), the most dominant tree species in the North American boreal forest, in order to evaluate local adaptation vs. plasticity across regions experiencing some of the most extreme climate warming globally. Seeds from three provenances across the latitudinal extent of this species in northwestern Canada were planted in a common garden study in growth chambers...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Nicolas Carton, Christophe Naudin, Guillaume Piva, Rim Baccar, Guénaëlle Corre-Hellou
Early strategies of crop growth and N acquisition can be critical for determining competitive interactions between weeds and crops. Grain legumes and especially lupins are known to be poor competitors against weeds. Grain legumes are known to have low mineral soil N uptake abilities. However, inter- and intraspecific differences in N uptake ability in relation to below-ground traits have received little attention. Our objectives were (i) to measure differences among lupins for a set of traits associated with early growth and N acquisition; (ii) to examine how this variation compares to differences between lupin and a cereal, triticale, and (iii) to assess if mixing lupin with triticale provides a higher potential than does pure lupin regarding plant biomass and mineral soil N acquisition early in the crop cycle...
February 2018: AoB Plants
Giovanni Scopece, Lucia Campese, Karl J Duffy, Salvatore Cozzolino
Plants involved in specialized pollinator interactions, such as nursery pollination, may experience trade-offs in their female fitness, as the larvae of their pollinators may also consume seeds produced by the flowers they pollinate. These interactions could potentially shift between mutualism and parasitism, depending on the presence and abundance of both the nursery pollinator and of other pollinators. We investigated the fitness trade-off in a Mediterranean plant (Silene latifolia), which has a specialist nocturnal nursery pollinator moth (Hadena bicruris) and is also visited by several diurnal pollinators...
February 2018: AoB Plants
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