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1.
The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical models about the role of shade under dry conditions: the trade-off and the facilitation hypotheses. We performed a meta-analysis of field and greenhouse studies evaluating the effects of drought at two or more irradiance levels on nine response variables describing plant physiological condition, growth, and survival. We explored differences in plant response across plant functional types, ecosystem types and methodological approaches. The data were best fit using quadratic models indicating a humped-back shape response to drought along an irradiance gradient for survival, whole plant biomass, maximum photosynthetic capacity, stomatal conductance and maximal photochemical efficiency. Drought effects were ameliorated at intermediate irradiance, becoming more severe at higher or lower light levels. This general pattern was maintained when controlling for potential variations in the strength of the drought treatment among light levels. Our quantitative meta-analysis indicates that dense shade ameliorates drought especially among drought-intolerant and shade-tolerant species. Wet tropical species showed larger negative effects of drought with increasing irradiance than semiarid and cold temperate species. Non-linear responses to irradiance were stronger under field conditions than under controlled greenhouse conditions. Non-linear responses to drought along the irradiance gradient reconciliate opposing views in plant ecology, indicating that facilitation is more likely within certain range of environmental conditions, fading under deep shade, especially for drought-tolerant species.  相似文献
2.
In the last two decades, widespread tree decline and mortality have been documented in forests worldwide. These mortality events usually show certain level of host-specificity, translating into rapid changes in the relative abundance of the adult community. Despite these short-term changes, it is poorly understood whether the decline and mortality of certain tree species are likely to result in long-term vegetation shifts. Trajectories of forest recovery and the probability of occurrence of permanent vegetation shifts are to a large extent determined by post-mortality regeneration dynamics. Using a spatially explicit neighborhood approach, we evaluated the spatial patterns of natural regeneration of the woody plant community in mixed Mediterranean forests affected by the decline of their dominant tree species, Quercus suber. We predicted the abundance, survival, and richness of the seedling and sapling bank as a function of the distribution and health status of the tree and shrub community. Results indicated that Q. suber decline had detectable effects on seedlings and saplings of coexistent woody species from very different functional groups (trees, shrubs, and lianas). The sign and magnitude of these effects varied substantially among coexistent species, which could imply shifts in the species ranking of seedling and sapling abundance, affecting successional trajectories and potentially leading to vegetation shifts. Because most of these changes pointed towards a loss of dominance of Q. suber, management strategies are urgently needed in order to attenuate adult mortality or promote its regeneration, counteracting the negative effects of global change drivers (exotic pathogens, climate change) on these valuable forests.  相似文献
3.

Aims

Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have been shown to be relevant drivers of forest community dynamics. However, few studies have explored variation of PSFs along environmental gradients. In a framework of climate change, there is a great need to understand how interactions between plants and soil microbes respond along climatic gradients. Therefore, we compared PSFs along a precipitation gradient in Mediterranean oak forests and included trait responses. Following the Stress Gradient Hypothesis (SGH), we expected less negative or even positive PSFs in the physically harsh dry end of our gradient and more negative PSFs in the wettest end.

Methods

We grew Quercus ilex and Quercus suber acorns on soil inoculated with microbes sampled under adults of both species in six sites ranging in annual precipitation. After 4 months, we measured shoot biomass and allocation and morphological traits above and belowground.

Results

We found negative PSFs for Q. ilex independent of precipitation, whereas for Q. suber PSFs ranged from positive in dry sites to negative in wet sites, in agreement with the SGH. The leaf allocation showed patterns similar to shoot biomass, but belowground allocation and morphological traits revealed responses which could not be detected aboveground.

Conclusions

We provide first evidence for context-dependent PSFs along a precipitation gradient. Moreover, we show that measuring root traits can help improve our understanding of climate-dependent PSFs. Such understanding helps to predict plant soil microbe interactions, and their role as drivers of plant community dynamics under ongoing climate change.
  相似文献
4.
Negative interactions have been suggested as a major barrier for species arriving in a new habitat. More recently, positive interactions drew attention from community assembly theory and invasion science. The invasional meltdown hypothesis (IMH) introduced the idea that positive interactions among non-native species could facilitate one another’s invasion, even increasing their impact upon the native community. Many studies have addressed IMH, but with contrasting results, reflecting various types of evidence on a multitude of scales. Here we use the hierarchy-of-hypotheses (HoH) approach to differentiate key aspects of IMH, organizing and linking empirical studies to sub-hypotheses of IMH. We also assess the level of empirical support for each sub-hypothesis based on the evidence reported in the studies. We identified 150 studies addressing IMH. The majority of studies support IMH, but the evidence comes from studies with different aims and questions. Supporting studies at the community or ecosystem level are currently rare. Evidence is scarce for marine habitats and vertebrates. Few sub-hypotheses are questioned by more than 50% of the evaluated studies, indicating that non-native species do not affect each other’s survival, growth, reproduction, abundance, density or biomass in reciprocal A ↔ B interactions. With the HoH for IMH presented here, we can monitor progress in empirical tests and evidences of IMH. For instance, more tests at the community and ecosystem level are needed, as these are necessary to address the core of this hypothesis.  相似文献
5.
In forests, the vulnerable seedling stage is largely influenced by the canopy, which modifies the surrounding environment. Consequently, any alteration in the characteristics of the canopy, such as those promoted by forest dieback, might impact regeneration dynamics. Our work analyzes the interaction between canopy neighbors and seedlings in Mediterranean forests affected by the decline of their dominant species (Quercus suber). Our objective was to understand how the impacts of neighbor trees and shrubs on recruitment could affect future dynamics of these declining forests. Seeds of the three dominant tree species (Quercus suber, Olea europaea and Quercus canariensis) were sown in six sites during two consecutive years. Using a spatially-explicit, neighborhood approach we developed models that explained the observed spatial variation in seedling emergence, survival, growth and photochemical efficiency as a function of the size, identity, health, abundance and distribution of adult trees and shrubs in the neighborhood. We found strong neighborhood effects for all the performance estimators, particularly seedling emergence and survival. Tree neighbors positively affected emergence, independently of species identity or health. Alternatively, seedling survival was much lower in neighborhoods dominated by defoliated and dead Q. suber trees than in neighborhoods dominated by healthy trees. For the two oak species, these negative effects were consistent over the three years of the experimental seedlings. These results indicate that ongoing changes in species’ relative abundance and canopy trees’ health might alter the successional trajectories of Mediterranean oak-forests through neighbor-specific impacts on seedlings. The recruitment failure of dominant late-successional oaks in the gaps opened after Q. suber death would indirectly favor the establishment of other coexisting woody species, such as drought-tolerant shrubs. This could lead current forests to shift into open systems with lower tree cover. Adult canopy decline would therefore represent an additional factor threatening the recruitment of Quercus forests worldwide.  相似文献
6.
Aim There is increasing concern regarding sustainable management and restoration of planted forests, particularly in the Mediterranean Basin where pine species have been widely used. The aim of this study was to analyse the environmental and structural characteristics of Mediterranean planted pine forests in relation to natural pine forests. Specifically, we assessed recruitment and woody species richness along climatic, structural and perturbation gradients to aid in developing restoration guidelines. Location Continental Spain. Methods We conducted a multivariate comparison of ecological characteristics in planted and natural stands of main Iberian native pine species (Pinus halepensis, Pinus pinea, Pinus pinaster, Pinus nigra and Pinus sylvestris). We fitted species‐specific statistical models of recruitment and woody species richness and analysed the response of natural and planted stands along ecological gradients. Results Planted pine forests occurred on average on poorer soils and experienced higher anthropic disturbance rates (fire frequency and anthropic mortality) than natural pine forests. Planted pine forests had lower regeneration and diversity levels than natural pine forests, and these differences were more pronounced in mountain pine stands. The largest differences in recruitment – chiefly oak seedling abundance – and species richness between planted and natural stands occurred at low‐medium values of annual precipitation, stand tree density, distance to Quercus forests and fire frequency, whereas differences usually disappeared in the upper part of the gradients. Main conclusions Structural characteristics and patterns of recruitment and species richness differ in pine planted forests compared to natural pine ecosystems in the Mediterranean, especially for mountain pines. However, management options exist that would reduce differences between these forest types, where restoration towards more natural conditions is feasible. To increase recruitment and diversity, vertical and horizontal heterogeneity could be promoted by thinning in high‐density and homogeneous stands, while enrichment planting would be desirable in mesic and medium‐density planted forests.  相似文献
7.
Question: What is the relative importance of seed mass and abiotic factors in species‐specific seedling growth and morphology during the first and the second growing season? How do oak species respond along gradients of these factors? Location: Mediterranean oak forest in southern Spain. Methods: We analysed seedling growth components and morphology of three co‐occurring Quercus species (two deciduous and one evergreen). Oak seeds with a wide variety of sizes were sown along broad gradients of abiotic conditions. Intra‐ and inter‐specific differences were evaluated by calibrating maximum likelihood estimators of seedling growth during the first two years of life. Results: We found multiple resources and conditions affecting seedling morphology and biomass allocation. However, the integrative variables of seedling growth – total aboveground biomass and relative growth rate (RGR) – were affected by two main factors: seed mass and light conditions. The relative contribution of these two factors depended strongly on seedling age. Seed mass explained most of the growth and morphological variables during the first year, while light conditions were the best predictor in the second growing season. In contrast, soil factors did not play an important role in seedling growth. We found some evidence of regeneration niche partitioning between oak species along the light gradient, a reflection of their distribution patterns as adults at the study site. Conclusions: We conclude that inter‐specific differences in seedling growth, arising from seed size variability and microsite heterogeneity, could be of paramount importance in oak species niche segregation, driving stand dynamics and composition along environmental gradients.  相似文献
8.
Question: How does habitat degradation affect recruitment limitation and its components (seed limitation versus establishment limitation) of woody plant communities in a Mediterranean landscape? Location: 1600‐1900 m a.s.l. in the Sierra Nevada National Park, southern Spain. The landscape is a mosaic composed of native forest and two degraded landscape units: reforestation stands and shrubland. Methods: We evaluated fruit production, seed rain, seedling emergence and seedling survival in two consecutive years with contrasting rainfall patterns. Seed and seedling data were used to calculate values of seed and establishment limitation. Results: In general, the woody community was both severely seed‐ and establishment‐limited. Species were less seed‐limited in the landscape units with higher adult density (i.e. shrub species in shrubland, Pinus spp. in reforestation stands). In contrast, degradation did not exacerbate establishment limitation, which was severe in all landscape units. This general pattern was modulated by the biogeographical distribution, dispersal type, and life form of the species. Boreo‐alpine species were more limited in establishment than species with a typical Mediterranean distribution. Zoochorous species were less seed‐limited in the landscape units preferred by dispersers (i.e. native forest). Tree species were more establishment‐limited than shrub species, irrespective of the landscape unit. Seed limitation, and especially establishment limitation, varied among years, with establishment being almost nil in the very dry year. Conclusion: In the case of Mediterranean landscapes, when degradation from human impact involves a reduction in the adult abundance of the woody plant community (trees and shrubs), seed limitation increases, although establishment limitation is generally high in all landscape units, especially for boreo‐alpine species. Conservation and restoration strategies should take into account our results showing that tree species were unable to recruit in an extremely dry year, because more aridity is expected under a climatic change scenario in Mediterranean ecosystems.  相似文献
9.
Question: Positive interactions are predicted to be common in communities developing under high physical stress or high herbivory pressure due to neighbour amelioration of limiting physical and consumer stresses, respectively. However, when both stress sources meet in the same community, the relative importance of the two facilitation mechanisms is poorly understood. We ask: What is the relative importance of abiotic vs. biotic mechanisms of facilitation of tree saplings by shrubs in Mediterranean mountain forests? Location: Sierra Nevada, SE Spain (1800–1850 m a.s.l.) Methods: Saplings of four tree taxa (Acer opalus ssp. grana‐tense, Quercus ilex, Pinus nigra ssp. salzmanii and P. sylvestris var. nevadensis) were planted following a 2 × 2 factorial design: two levels of herbivory (control and ungulate exclusion) and two microhabitats (under shrubs and in open areas). Sapling survival and growth were monitored for five years. Results: Shrubs had positive effects on sapling survival both in control and ungulate excluded plots. This effect was species‐specific, with shrubs increasing the survival of Acer opalus and Quercus ilex three and twofold, respectively, but having a minor effect on the Pinus species. Herbivory damage was also species‐specific, being much higher for Acer opalus than for any other species. Shrubs did not protect saplings of any species against ungulates. Thus, all Acer saplings (the most damaged species) suffered herbivory outside the exclosures, which largely reduced sapling height. Conclusions: Protection from abiotic stress (summer drought and winter frost) was much more relevant than protection from biotic stress (herbivory). However, we propose that the final balance between the two mechanisms can be expected to vary strongly between sites, depending on the relative magnitude of the different sources of stress and the intrinsic traits (e.g. palatability) of the species interacting.  相似文献
10.
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