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Rosie A Fisher, Charles D Koven, William R L Anderegg, Bradley O Christoffersen, Michael C Dietze, Caroline Farrior, Jennifer A Holm, George Hurtt, Ryan G Knox, Peter J Lawrence, Jeremy W Lichststein, Marcos Longo, Ashley M Matheny, David Medvigy, Helene C Muller-Landau, Thomas L Powell, Shawn P Serbin, Hisashi Sato, Jacquelyn Shuman, Benjamin Smith, Anna T Trugman, Toni Viskari, Hans Verbeeck, Ensheng Weng, Chonggang Xu, Xiangtao Xu, Tao Zhang, Paul Moorcroft
Numerous current efforts seek to improve the representation of ecosystem ecology and vegetation demographic processes within Earth System Models (ESMs). These developments are widely viewed as an important step in developing greater realism in predictions of future ecosystem states and fluxes. Increased realism, however, leads to increased model complexity, with new features raising a suite of ecological questions that require empirical constraints. Here, we review the developments that permit the representation of plant demographics in ESMs, and identify issues raised by these developments that highlight important gaps in ecological understanding...
September 18, 2017: Global Change Biology
Jamie Males
Vein placement has been hypothesised to control leaf hydraulic properties, but the ecophysiological significance of variation in vein placement in the angiosperms has remained poorly understood. The highly diverse Neotropical Bromeliaceae offers an excellent system for exploring understudied relationships between leaf vein placement, physiological functions, and species ecology. To test key hypotheses regarding the links between vein placement, functional type divergences, and ecological diversity in the Bromeliaceae, I characterised the ratio of interveinal distance (IVD) to vein-epidermis distance (VED) in 376 species, representing all major functional types and 10% of the species diversity in the family, as well as bioclimatic properties and key leaf traits for subsets of species...
September 15, 2017: Oecologia
Boris Zimmermann
FTIR microspectroscopy, in combination with spectral averaging procedure, enables precise analysis of pollen grains for chemical characterization and identification studies of fresh and fossilised pollen in botany, ecology and palaeosciences. Infrared microspectroscopy (µFTIR) of Pinaceae pollen can provide valuable information on plant phenology, ecophysiology and paleoecology, but measurements are challenging, resulting in unreproducible spectra. The comparative analysis of µFTIR spectra belonging to morphologically different Pinaceae pollen, namely bisaccate Pinus and monosaccate Tsuga pollen, was conducted...
September 14, 2017: Planta
Pamela Y Camejo, Jorge Santo Domingo, Katherine D McMahon, Daniel R Noguera
The recently discovered comammox bacteria have the potential to completely oxidize ammonia to nitrate. These microorganisms are part of the Nitrospira genus and are present in a variety of environments, including biological nutrient removal (BNR) systems. However, the physiological traits within and between comammox and nitrite-oxidizing bacterium (NOB)-like Nitrospira species have not been analyzed in these ecosystems. In this study, we identified Nitrospira strains dominating the nitrifying community of a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) performing BNR under microaerobic conditions...
September 2017: MSystems
Yange Xu, Yuanqin Zhao, Huimin Duan, Na Sui, Fang Yuan, Jie Song
BACKGROUND: Suaeda salsa (S. salsa) is a euhalophyte with high economic value. S. salsa can produce dimorphic seeds. Brown seeds are more salt tolerant, can germinate quickly and maintain the fitness of the species under high saline conditions. Black seeds are less salt tolerant, may become part of the seed bank and germinate when soil salinity is reduced. Previous reports have mainly focused on the ecophysiological traits of seed germination and production under saline conditions in this species...
September 13, 2017: BMC Genomics
Howard Griffiths, Jamie Males
The peculiar morphologies of succulent plants have been variously considered as grotesque monstrosities and exotic curiosities, but succulents have always been perceived as unique. The succulent syndrome is considered to be one of the most remarkable examples of convergent evolution across the plant kingdom. Common to all succulents is the presence of large cells for water storage. However, cellular succulence can occur in any vegetative plant organ, with the level of succulence in roots, stems, and leaves being subject to a certain degree of evolutionary coordination...
September 11, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Ryan M Ziels, Diana Z Sousa, H David Stensel, David A C Beck
Fats, oils and greases (FOG) are energy-dense wastes that can be added to anaerobic digesters to substantially increase biomethane recovery via their conversion through long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). However, a better understanding of the ecophysiology of syntrophic LCFA-degrading microbial communities in anaerobic digesters is needed to develop operating strategies that mitigate inhibitory LCFA accumulation from FOG. In this research, DNA stable isotope probing (SIP) was coupled with metagenomic sequencing for a genome-centric comparison of oleate (C18:1)-degrading populations in two anaerobic codigesters operated with either a pulse feeding or continuous-feeding strategy...
September 12, 2017: ISME Journal
Mamoru Oshiki, Keisuke Mizuto, Zenichiro Kimura, Tomonori Kindaichi, Hisashi Satoh, Satoshi Okabe
Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria affiliated with the genus 'Candidatus Scalindua' are responsible for significant nitrogen loss in oceans, and thus their ecophysiology is of great interest. Here, we enriched a marine anammox bacterium, 'Ca. S. japonica' from a Hiroshima bay sediment in Japan, and comparative genomic and proteomic analyses of 'Ca. S. japonica' were conducted. Sequence of the 4.81-Mb genome containing 4,019 coding regions of genes (CDSs) composed of 47 contigs was determined. In the proteome, 1,762 out of 4,019 CDSs in the 'Ca...
September 11, 2017: Environmental Microbiology Reports
Alex R Gunderson, Brian Tsukimura, Jonathon H Stillman
A major focus of current ecological research is to understand how global change makes species vulnerable to extirpation. To date, mechanistic ecophysiological analyses of global change vulnerability have focused primarily on the direct effects of changing abiotic conditions on whole-organism physiological traits, such as metabolic rate, locomotor performance, cardiac function, and critical thermal limits. However, species do not live in isolation within their physical environments, and direct effects of climate change are likely to be compounded by indirect effects that result from altered interactions with other species, such as competitors and predators...
July 1, 2017: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Elly Spijkerman, Marcus Lukas, Alexander Wacker
Mixing events in stratified lakes result in microalgae being exposed to varying conditions in light and organic carbon concentrations. Stratified lakes consist of an upper illuminated strata and a lower, darker strata where organic carbon accumulates. Therefore, in this contribution we explore the importance of dissolved organic carbon for growth under various light intensities by measuring some ecophysiological adaptations in two green microalgae. We compared the non-motile Chlorella vulgaris with the flagellated Chlamydomonas acidophila under auto-, mixo-, and heterotrophic growth conditions...
September 4, 2017: Phytochemistry
Jürgen Knauer, Sönke Zaehle, Belinda E Medlyn, Markus Reichstein, Christopher A Williams, Mirco Migliavacca, Martin G De Kauwe, Christiane Werner, Claudia Keitel, Pasi Kolari, Jean-Marc Limousin, Maj-Lena Linderson
Intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) characterizes the physiological control on the simultaneous exchange of water and carbon dioxide in terrestrial ecosystems. Knowledge of iWUE is commonly gained from leaf-level gas exchange measurements, which are inevitably restricted in their spatial and temporal coverage. Flux measurements based on the eddy covariance (EC) technique can overcome these limitations, as they provide continuous and long-term records of carbon and water fluxes at the ecosystem scale. However, vegetation gas exchange parameters derived from EC data are subject to scale-dependent and method-specific uncertainties that compromise their ecophysiological interpretation as well as their comparability among ecosystems and across spatial scales...
September 5, 2017: Global Change Biology
Filipa Godoy-Vitorino, Claudia P Ruiz-Diaz, Abigail Rivera-Seda, Juan S Ramírez-Lugo, Carlos Toledo-Hernández
BACKGROUND: Coral reefs are the most biodiverse ecosystems in the marine realm, and they not only contribute a plethora of ecosystem services to other marine organisms, but they also are beneficial to humankind via, for instance, their role as nurseries for commercially important fish species. Corals are considered holobionts (host + symbionts) since they are composed not only of coral polyps, but also algae, other microbial eukaryotes and prokaryotes. In recent years, Caribbean reef corals, including the once-common scleractinian coral Acropora cervicornis, have suffered unprecedented mortality due to climate change-related stressors...
2017: PeerJ
Yaohui Shi, Guangsheng Zhou, Yanling Jiang, Hui Wang, Zhenzhu Xu
Precipitation is a primary environmental factor in the semiarid grasslands of northern China. With increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases, precipitation regimes will change, and high-impact weather events may be more common. Currently, many ecophysiological indicators are known to reflect drought conditions, but these indicators vary greatly among species, and few studies focus on the applicability of these drought indicators under high CO2 conditions. In this study, five precipitation levels (- 30%, - 15%, control, + 15%, and + 30%) were used to simulate the effects of precipitation change on 18 ecophysiological characteristics in Stipa bungeana, including leaf area, plant height, leaf nitrogen (N), and chlorophyll content, among others...
September 1, 2017: International Journal of Biometeorology
Annegret Nicolai, Armelle Ansart
The climate is changing rapidly, and terrestrial ectotherms are expected to be particularly vulnerable to changes in temperature and water regime, but also to an increase in extreme weather events in temperate regions. Physiological responses of terrestrial gastropods to climate change are poorly studied. This is surprising, because they are of biodiversity significance among litter-dwelling species, playing important roles in ecosystem function, with numerous species being listed as endangered and requiring efficient conservation management...
2017: Conservation Physiology
Laura Camacho-Jiménez, Edna Sánchez-Castrejón, Fernando Díaz, Manuel B Aguilar, Ma Enriqueta Muñoz-Márquez, Elizabeth Ponce-Rivas
Crustacean hyperglycemic hormones (CHHs) are multifunctional neuropeptides ubiquitous in crustaceans. In Litopenaeus vannamei, CHH-B2 is a CHH eyestalk isoform whose expression has been shown to vary with enviromental conditions, suggesting its relevance for ecophysiological performance of shrimp, controlling processes related to metabolism and osmo-ionic regulation. To study the involvement of CHH-B2 in these processes, we cloned and expressed a recombinant version with a free C-terminal glycine (rCHH-B2-Gly) in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris...
August 24, 2017: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Zainab Abdulrahman Beiruti, Srijak Bhatnagar, Halina E Tegetmeyer, Jeanine S Geelhoed, Marc Strous, S Emil Ruff
For the anaerobic remineralization of organic matter in marine sediments, sulfate reduction coupled to fermentation plays a key role. Here, we enriched sulfate-reducing/fermentative communities from intertidal sediments under defined conditions in continuous culture. We transiently exposed the cultures to oxygen or nitrate twice daily and investigated the community response. Chemical measurements, provisional genomes and transcriptomic profiles revealed trophic networks of microbial populations. Sulfate reducers coexisted with facultative nitrate reducers or aerobes enabling the community to adjust to nitrate or oxygen pulses...
August 24, 2017: Environmental Microbiology
Xiaomin Zeng, Xiaohong Liu, Kerstin Treydte, Michael N Evans, Wenzhi Wang, Wenling An, Weizhen Sun, Guobao Xu, Guoju Wu, Xuanwen Zhang
Stable isotopes in tree rings are increasingly used as proxies for climatic and ecophysiological changes. However, uncertainties remain about the strength and consistency of their response to environmental variation at different temporal (i.e. seasonal to inter-decadal) scales. We developed 5 yr of intra-seasonal and 62 yr of early- and late-wood δ(13) C and δ(18) O series of Smith fir (Abies georgei var. smithii) on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau, and used a process-based forward model to examine the relative importance of environmental and physiological controls on the isotopic data...
August 23, 2017: New Phytologist
F Z Mendonça, J V Bernardy, C E K Oliveira, P B G Oliveira, P De Marco
Physiological constraints in insects are related to several large-scale processes such as species distribution and thermal adaptation. Here, we fill an important gap in ecophysiology knowledge by accessing the relationship between temperature and embrionary development time in four dragonfly species. We evaluated two questions (1) what is the effect of temperature on the development time of Odonata eggs, and (2) considering a degree-day relationship, could a simple linear model describe the dependence of embrionary development time on temperature or it is better described by a more complex non-linear relation...
August 19, 2017: Neotropical Entomology
Andrea F T Currylow, Angelo Mandimbihasina, Paul Gibbons, Ernest Bekarany, Craig B Stanford, Edward E Louis, Daniel E Crocker
Captive breeding is a vital conservation tool for many endangered species programs. It is often a last resort when wild animal population numbers drop to below critical minimums for natural reproduction. However, critical ecophysiological information of wild counterparts may not be well documented or understood, leading to years of minimal breeding successes. We collected endocrine and associated ecological data on a critically endangered ectotherm concurrently in the wild and in captivity over several years...
2017: PloS One
S Hollis Woodard
Bumble bees are among the most ecologically and economically important pollinators worldwide, yet many of their populations are being threatened by a suite of interrelated, human-mediated environmental changes. Here, I discuss recent progress in our understanding of bumble bee ecophysiology, including advances related to thermal biology in light of global warming; nutritional biology in the context of declining food resources; and the capacity for bumble bees to exhibit physiological plasticity or adaptations to novel or extreme environments, with reference to their evolutionary history and current biogeography...
August 2017: Current Opinion in Insect Science
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