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Seed dispersal

Gema Hernán, Laura Ramajo, Lorena Basso, Antonio Delgado, Jorge Terrados, Carlos M Duarte, Fiona Tomas
Under future increased CO2 concentrations, seagrasses are predicted to perform better as a result of increased photosynthesis, but the effects in carbon balance and growth are unclear and remain unexplored for early life stages such as seedlings, which allow plant dispersal and provide the potential for adaptation under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, the outcome of the concomitant biochemical changes in plant-herbivore interactions has been poorly studied, yet may have important implications in plant communities...
December 1, 2016: Scientific Reports
Rebecca L Chancellor, Aaron S Rundus, Sylvain Nyandwi
: Primate seed dispersal plays an important role in forest regeneration. It may be particularly important to anthropogenically disturbed habitats such as forest fragments. However, few studies have examined primate seed dispersal in these types of environments. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are frugivorous and large-bodied, and are therefore able to disperse both large and small seeds, making them an important seed dispersal species. We examined chimpanzee seed dispersal in Gishwati forest, a 14 km(2) montane rainforest fragment in Rwanda...
November 29, 2016: American Journal of Primatology
Patricia Ballester, Cristina Ferrándiz
Fruits are seed dispersal units, and for that they have evolved different strategies to facilitate separation and dispersal of the progeny from the mother plant. A great proportion of fruits from different clades are dry and dehiscent, opening upon maturity to disperse the seeds. In the last two decades, intense research mainly in Arabidopsis has uncovered the basic network that controls the differentiation of the Arabidopsis fruit dehiscence zone. This review focuses on recent discoveries that have helped to complete the picture, as well as the insights from evo-devo and crop domestication studies that show how the conservation/variation of the elements of this network across species accounts for its evolutionary plasticity and the origin of evolutionary innovations...
November 23, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Javier Valverde, José María Gómez, Cristina García, Timothy F Sharbel, María Noelia Jiménez, Francisco Perfectti
Within plant populations, space-restricted gene movement, together with environmental heterogeneity, can result in a spatial variation in gene frequencies. In biennial plants, inter-annual flowering migrants can homogenize gene frequencies between consecutive cohorts. However, the actual impact of these migrants on spatial genetic variation remains unexplored. Here, we used 10 nuclear microsatellite and one plastid genetic marker to characterize the spatial genetic structure within two consecutive cohorts in a population of the biennial plant Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae)...
November 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Wesley Dáttilo, Nubia Lara-Rodríguez, Pedro Jordano, Paulo R Guimarães, John N Thompson, Robert J Marquis, Lucas P Medeiros, Raul Ortiz-Pulido, Maria A Marcos-García, Victor Rico-Gray
Trying to unravel Darwin's entangled bank further, we describe the architecture of a network involving multiple forms of mutualism (pollination by animals, seed dispersal by birds and plant protection by ants) and evaluate whether this multi-network shows evidence of a structure that promotes robustness. We found that species differed strongly in their contributions to the organization of the multi-interaction network, and that only a few species contributed to the structuring of these patterns. Moreover, we observed that the multi-interaction networks did not enhance community robustness compared with each of the three independent mutualistic networks when analysed across a range of simulated scenarios of species extinction...
November 30, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Sibel Ciftci, Annabel Mikosch, Bastian Haehnle, Łukasz Witczak, Alexander J C Kuehne
Here, we present a seeded Knoevenagel dispersion polymerization to generate hybrid particles with a conjugated polymer shell on inorganic silica cores. This seeded dispersion polymerization facilitates the generation of core-shell particles, which exhibit whispering gallery mode lasing. The lasing threshold decreases while the spectral range of emission increases with increasing shell thickness. This novel seeded Knoevenagel dispersion polymerization opens up a facile and metal free pathway towards single particle conjugated polymer lasers on the micrometer scale...
November 22, 2016: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
K Ogawa, H Miyaji, A Kato, Y Kosen, T Momose, T Yoshida, E Nishida, S Miyata, S Murakami, H Takita, B Fugetsu, T Sugaya, M Kawanami
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Nanoparticle bioceramics are being investigated for biomedical applications. We fabricated a regenerative scaffold comprising type I collagen and beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) nanoparticles. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) is a bioeffective signaling molecule that stimulates cell proliferation and wound healing. This study examined the effects, on bioactivity, of a nano-β-TCP/collagen scaffold loaded with FGF-2, particularly on periodontal tissue wound healing...
December 2016: Journal of Periodontal Research
Lin Cao, Zhenyu Wang, Chuan Yan, Jin Chen, Cong Guo, Zhibin Zhang
Rodent preference for scatter-hoarding large seeds has been widely considered to favor the evolution of large seeds. Previous studies supporting this conclusion were primarily based on observations at earlier stages of seed dispersal, or on a limited sample of successfully established seedlings. Because seed dispersal comprises multiple dispersal stages, we hypothesized that differential foraging preference on seed size by animal dispersers at different dispersal stages would ultimately result in medium-sized seeds having the highest dispersal success rates...
November 2016: Ecology
Simon T Segar, Martin Volf, Jan Zima, Brus Isua, Mentap Sisol, Legi Sam, Katerina Sam, Daniel Souto-Vilarós, Vojtech Novotny
Much of the world's insect and plant biodiversity is found in tropical and subtropical 'hotspots', which often include long elevational gradients. These gradients may function as 'diversity pumps' and contribute to both regional and local species richness. Climactic conditions on such gradients often change rapidly along short vertical distances, and may result in local adaptation and high levels of population genetic structure in plants and insects. We investigated the population genetic structure of two species of Ficus (Moraceae) along a continuously forested elevational gradient in Papua New Guinea...
November 21, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Pablo Riba-Hernández, Jorge Lobo Segura, Jenny Muñoz-Valverde
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Factors related to pollen and resource limitation were evaluated to predict female fruit production in a tropical dioecious tree. Pollen limitation via variation in the male density at local scales is expected to limit female reproduction success in dioecious plants. METHODOLOGY: We modeled the roles of local male density, female crown size, crown illumination, and female flower production on female fruit initiation and mature fruit production in a continuous population (62 ha plot) of a tropical dioecious tree (Virola surinamensis)...
November 18, 2016: American Journal of Botany
T Trevor Caughlin, Stephen Elliott, Jeremy W Lichstein
Restoring forest to hundreds of millions of hectares of degraded land has become a centerpiece of international plans to sequester carbon and conserve biodiversity. Forest landscape restoration will require scaling up ecological knowledge of secondary succession from small-scale field studies to predict forest recovery rates in heterogeneous landscapes. However, ecological field studies reveal widely divergent times to forest recovery, in part due to landscape features that are difficult to replicate in empirical studies...
December 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Claudia A Luna, Andrea P Loayza, Francisco A Squeo
Scatter-hoarding rodents can act as both predators and dispersers for many large-seeded plants because they cache seeds for future use, but occasionally forget them in sites with high survival and establishment probabilities. The most important fruit or seed trait influencing rodent foraging behavior is seed size; rodents prefer large seeds because they have higher nutritional content, but this preference can be counterbalanced by the higher costs of handling larger seeds. We designed a cafeteria experiment to assess whether fruit and seed size of Myrcianthes coquimbensis, an endangered desert shrub, influence the decision-making process during foraging by three species of scatter-hoarding rodents differing in body size: Abrothrix olivaceus, Phyllotis darwini and Octodon degus...
2016: PloS One
Flávia Rogério, Maisa Ciampi-Guillardi, Marina Coan Goldoni Barbieri, Carlos Augusto Dórea Bragança, Claudine Dinali Santos Seixas, Álvaro Manuel Rodrigues Almeida, Nelson Sidnei Massola
AIMS: Fungal diseases are among the main factors limiting high yields of soybean crop. Colletotrichum isolates from soybean plants with anthracnose symptoms were studied from different regions and time periods in Brazil using molecular, morphological and pathogenic analyses. METHODS AND RESULTS: Bayesian phylogenetic inference of GAPDH, HIS3 and ITS-5.8S rDNA sequences, the morphologies of colony and conidia and inoculation tests on seeds and seedlings were performed...
November 8, 2016: Journal of Applied Microbiology
L L Jiang, S P Wang, F D Meng, J C Duan, H S Niu, G P Xu, X X Zhu, Z H Zhang, C Y Luo, S J Cui, Y M Li, X E Li, Q Wang, Y Zhou, X Y Bao, Y N Li, T Dorji, S L Piao, P Ciais, J Peñuelas, M Y Du, X Q Zhao, L Zhao, F W Zhang, G J Wang
The timing of the fruit-set stage (i.e., start and end of fruit set) is crucial in a plant's life cycle, but its response to temperature change is still unclear. We investigated the timing of seven phenological events, including fruit-set dates during 3 yr for six alpine plants transplanted to warmer (approximately +3.5°C in soils) and cooler (approximately -3.5°C in soils) locations along an altitudinal gradient in the Tibetan area. We found that fruit-set dates remained relatively stable under both warming and cooling during the 3-yr transplant experiment...
August 2016: Ecology
Onja H Razafindratsima, Amy E Dunham
Frugivores are the main seed dispersers in many ecosystems, such that behaviorally driven, nonrandom patterns of seed dispersal are a common process; but patterns are poorly understood. Characterizing these patterns may be essential for understanding spatial organization of fruiting trees and drivers of seed-dispersal limitation in biodiverse forests. To address this, we studied resulting spatial associations between dispersed seeds and adult tree neighbors in a diverse rainforest in Madagascar, using a temporal and phylogenetic approach...
August 2016: Ecology
Tomás A Carlo, Juan M Morales
Regenerated forests now compose over half of the world's tropical forest cover and are increasingly important as providers of ecosystem services, freshwater, and biodiversity conservation. Much of the value and functionality of regenerating forests depends on the plant diversity they contain. Tropical forest diversity is strongly shaped by mutualistic interactions between plants and fruit-eating animals (frugivores) that disperse seeds. Here we show how seed dispersal by birds can influence the speed and diversity of early successional forests in Puerto Rico...
July 2016: Ecology
Alexandro B Leverkus, José María Rey Benayas, Jorge Castro
Seed dispersal effectiveness, which measures the number of adult plant individuals produced by seed dispersal, is the product of the number of seeds dispersed and the probability a seed produces an adult. Directed dispersal to certain habitat types may enhance some stages of recruitment but disfavor others, generating demographic conflicts in plant ontogeny. We asked whether temporal changes in habitat features may affect the distribution of seedlings recruited from dispersed acorns, and whether this could induce shifts in the life-stage conflicts experienced by successive cohorts of naturally recruited plants...
October 2016: Ecology
S Joseph Wright, Osvaldo Calderón, Andrés Hernandéz, Matteo Detto, Patrick A Jansen
Contagious seed dispersal refers to the tendency for some sites to receive many dispersed seeds while other sites receive few dispersed seeds. Contagious dispersal can lead to interspecific associations in seed arrival, and this in turn might lead to interspecific associations in seedling recruitment. We evaluate the extent of spatially contagious seed arrival, the frequency of positive interspecific associations in seed arrival, and their consequences for seedling recruitment at the community level in a tropical moist forest...
October 2016: Ecology
Mariano Moreno-de Las Heras, Laura Turnbull, John Wainwright
Large areas of desert grasslands in the southwestern United States have shifted to sparse shrublands dominated by drought-tolerant woody species over the last 150 yr, accompanied by accelerated soil erosion. An important step toward the understanding of patterns in species dominance and vegetation change at desert grassland-shrubland transitions is the study of environmental limitations imposed by the shrub-encroachment phenomenon on plant establishment. Here, we analyze the structure of soil seed banks, environmental limitations for seed germination (i...
September 2016: Ecology
Marinés de la Peña-Domene, Emily S Minor, Henry F Howe
Many large-seeded Neotropical trees depend on a limited guild of animals for seed dispersal. Fragmented landscapes reduce animal abundance and movement, limiting seed dispersal between distant forest remnants. In 2006, experimental plantings were established in pasture to determine whether plantings enhance seed dispersal and, ultimately, seedling recruitment. We examined patterns of naturally recruited seedlings of Ocotea uxpanapana, a large-seeded bird-dispersed tree endemic to southern Mexico that occurs in the surrounding landscape...
September 2016: Ecology
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