1-20 von 485 Publikationen

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      Exploring Niches for Short-Season Grain Legumes in Semi-Arid Eastern Kenya - Coping with the Impacts of Climate Variability. 

      Sennhenn, Anne; Njarui, Donald M. G.; Maass, Brigitte L.; Whitbread, Anthony M.
      Frontiers in plant science 2017; 8: Art. 699
      Climate variability is the major risk to agricultural production in semi-arid agroecosystems and the key challenge to sustain farm livelihoods for the 500 million people who inhabit these areas worldwide. Short-season grain legumes have great potential to address this challenge and help to design more resilient and productive farming systems. However, grain legumes display a great diversity and differ widely in growth, development, and resource use efficiency. Three contrasting short season grain legumes common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] and lablab [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet] were selected to assess their agricultural potential with respect to climate variability and change along the Machakos-Makueni transect in semi-arid Eastern Kenya. This was undertaken using measured data [a water response trial conducted during 2012/13 and 2013/14 in Machakos, Kenya] and simulated data using the Agricultural Production System sIMulator (APSIM). The APSIM crop model was calibrated and validated to simulate growth and development of short-season grain legumes in semi-arid environments. Water use efficiency (WUE) was used as indicator to quantify the production potential. The major traits of adaptation include early flowering and pod and seed set before the onset of terminal drought. Early phenology together with adapted canopy architecture allowed more optimal water use and greater partitioning of dry matter into seed (higher harvest index). While common bean followed a comparatively conservative strategy of minimizing water loss through crop transpiration, the very short development time and compact growth habit limited grain yield to rarely exceed 1,000 kg ha-1. An advantage of this strategy was relatively stable yields independent of in-crop rainfall or season length across the Machakos-Makueni transect. The growth habit of cowpea in contrast minimized water loss through soil evaporation with rapid ground cover and dry matter production, reaching very high grain yields at high potential sites (3,000 kg ha-1) but being highly susceptible to in-season drought. Lablab seemed to be best adapted to dry environments. Its canopy architecture appeared to be best in compromising between the investment in biomass as a prerequisite to accumulate grain yield by minimizing water loss through soil evaporation and crop transpiration. This lead to grain yields of up to 2,000 kg ha-1 at high potential sites and >1,000 kg ha-1 at low potential sites. The variance of observed and simulated WUE was high and no clear dependency on total rainfall alone was observed for all three short-season grain legumes, highlighting that pattern of water use is also important in determining final WUEbiomass and WUEgrain. Mean WUEgrain was lowest for cowpea (1.5-3.5 kggrain ha-1 mm-1) and highest for lablab (5-7 kggrain ha-1 mm-1) reflecting the high susceptibility to drought of cowpea and the good adaptation to dry environments of lablab. Results highlight that, based on specific morphological, phonological, and physiological characteristics, the three short-season grain legumes follow different strategies to cope with climate variability. The climate-smart site-specific utilization of the three legumes offers promising options to design more resilient and productive farming systems in semi-arid Eastern Kenya.
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      Modeling Allometric Relationships in Leaves of Young Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) Grown at Different Temperature Treatments. 

      Tian, Tian; Wu, Lingtong; Henke, Michael; Ali, Basharat; Zhou, Weijun; Buck-Sorlin, Gerhard
      Frontiers in plant science 2017; 8: Art. 313
      Functional-structural plant modeling (FSPM) is a fast and dynamic method to predict plant growth under varying environmental conditions. Temperature is a primary factor affecting the rate of plant development. In the present study, we used three different temperature treatments (10/14°C, 18/22°C, and 26/30°C) to test the effect of temperature on growth and development of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) seedlings. Plants were sampled at regular intervals (every 3 days) to obtain growth data during the length of the experiment (1 month in total). Total leaf dry mass, leaf area, leaf mass per area (LMA), width-length ratio, and the ratio of petiole length to leaf blade length (PBR), were determined and statistically analyzed, and contributed to a morphometric database. LMA under high temperature was significantly smaller than LMA under medium and low temperature, while leaves at high temperature were significantly broader. An FSPM of rapeseed seedlings featuring a growth function used for leaf extension and biomass accumulation was implemented by combining measurement with literature data. The model delivered new insights into growth and development dynamics of winter oilseed rape seedlings. The present version of the model mainly focuses on the growth of plant leaves. However, future extensions of the model could be used in practice to better predict plant growth in spring and potential cold damage of the crop.
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      Comparative transcriptomic analysis reveals the roles of overlapping heat-/drought-responsive genes in poplars exposed to high temperature and drought. 

      Jia, Jingbo; Zhou, Jing; Shi, Wenguang; Cao, Xu; Luo, Jie; Polle, Andrea; Luo, Zhi-Bin
      Scientific reports 2017-02-24; 7: Art. 43215
      High temperature (HT) and drought are both critical factors that constrain tree growth and survival under global climate change, but it is surprising that the transcriptomic reprogramming and physiological relays involved in the response to HT and/or drought remain unknown in woody plants. Thus, Populus simonii saplings were exposed to either ambient temperature or HT combined with sufficient watering or drought. RNA-sequencing analysis showed that a large number of genes were differentially expressed in poplar roots and leaves in response to HT and/or desiccation, but only a small number of these genes were identified as overlapping heat-/drought-responsive genes that are mainly involved in RNA regulation, transport, hormone metabolism, and stress. Furthermore, the overlapping heat-/drought-responsive genes were co-expressed and formed hierarchical genetic regulatory networks under each condition compared. HT-/drought-induced transcriptomic reprogramming is linked to physiological relays in poplar roots and leaves. For instance, HT- and/or drought-induced abscisic acid accumulation and decreases in auxin and other phytohormones corresponded well with the differential expression of a few genes involved in hormone metabolism. These results suggest that overlapping heat-/drought-responsive genes will play key roles in the transcriptional and physiological reconfiguration of poplars to HT and/or drought under future climatic scenarios.
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      Realization and Extension of the Xfrog Approach for Plant Modelling in the Graph-Grammar Based Language XL 

      Henke, Michael; Kniemeyer, Ole; Kurth, Winfried
      Computing and Informatics 2017; 36(1) p.33-54
      Two well-known approaches for modelling virtual vegetation are grammar- based methods (L-systems) and the Xfrog method, which is based on graph transformations expanding \multiplier" nodes. We show that both approaches can be uni ed in the framework of \relational growth grammars", a variant of parallel graph grammars. We demonstrate this possibility and the synergistic bene ts of the combination of both methods at simple plant models which were processed using our open-source software GroIMP.
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      Atmosphereic Pressure Plasma Coating of Wood and MDF with Polyester Powder 

      Köhler, Robert; Sauerbier, Philipp; Militz, Holger; Viöl, Wolfgang
      Coatings 2017; 7(10)
      In this study, polyester powder based on iso- and teraphthalic acid was deposited with an atmospheric plasma jet. The powder was fed into the effluent plasma zone and deposited on European beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.), Grand fir (Abies grandis Lindl.) and medium density fiberboard (MDF). The substrates were annealed subsequent to the coating process. To exclude decomposition of the polyester layers by the plasma treatment, the surface chemistry of the layers has been examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and compared with the polyester powder reference. Furthermore, topographical investigations were carried out using laser scanning microscopy (LSM). Adhesive strength of the layers was evaluated by dolly test and gloss measurements with a goniophotometer. The deposited layers showed no chemical changes compared to the reference. The adhesive strength of the layer met practical requirements of >1 MPa. It was demonstrated that the deposition of a macroscopic layer is possible without a pretreatment or the usage of additives. Therefore this coating process by atmospheric pressure plasma for wood and wood based materials could represent an environmental-friendly alternative to conventional coating methods.
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      A holistic approach to determine tree structural complexity based on laser scanning data and fractal analysis 

      Seidel, Dominik
      Ecology and Evolution p.1-7
      The three-dimensional forest structure affects many ecosystem functions and services provided by forests. As forests are made of trees it seems reasonable to approach their structure by investigating individual tree structure. Based on three-dimensional point clouds from laser scanning, a newly developed holistic approach is presented that enables to calculate the box dimension as a measure of structural complexity of individual trees using fractal analysis. It was found that the box dimension of trees was significantly different among the tested species, among trees belonging to the same species but exposed to different growing conditions (at gap vs. forest interior) or to different kinds of competition (intraspecific vs. interspecific). Furthermore, it was shown that the box dimension is positively related to the trees’ growth rate. The box dimension was identified as an easy to calculate measure that integrates the effect of several external drivers of tree structure, such as competition strength and type, while simultaneously providing information on structure-related properties, like tree growth.
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      A new instrument for stable isotope measurements of C-13 and O-18 in CO2 - instrument performance and ecological application of the Delta Ray IRIS analyzer 

      Braden-Behrens, Jelka; Yan, Yuan; Knohl, Alexander
      Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 2017; 10(11) p.4537-4560
      We used the recently developed commercially available Delta Ray isotope ratio infrared spectrometer (IRIS) to continuously measure the CO2 concentration c and its isotopic composition δ13C and δ18O in a managed beech forest in central Germany. Our objectives are (a) to characterize the Delta Ray IRIS and evaluate its internal calibration procedure and (b) to quantify the seasonal variability of c, δ13C, δ18O and the isotopic composition of nighttime net ecosystem CO2 exchange (respiration) Reco13C and Reco18O derived from Keeling plot intercepts. The analyzer's minimal Allan deviation (as a measure of precision) was below 0.01 ppm for the CO2 concentration and below 0.03 ‰ for both δ values. The potential accuracy (defined as the 1σ deviation from the respective linear regression that was used for calibration) was approximately 0.45 ppm for c, 0.24 ‰ for 13C and 0.3 ‰ for 18O. For repeated measurements of a target gas in the field, the long-term standard deviation from the mean was 0.3 ppm for c and below 0.3 ‰ for both δ values. We used measurements of nine different inlet heights to evaluate the isotopic compositions of nighttime net ecosystem CO2 exchange Reco13C and Reco18O in a 3-month measurement campaign in a beech forest in autumn 2015. During this period, an early snow and frost event occurred, coinciding with a change in the observed characteristics of both Reco13C and Reco18O. Before the first snow, Reco13C correlated significantly (p  <  10−4) with time-lagged net radiation Rn, a driver of photosynthesis and photosynthetic discrimination against 13C. This correlation became insignificant (p  >  0.1) for the period after the first snow, indicating a decoupling of δ13C of respiration from recent assimilates. For 18O, we measured a decrease of 30 ‰ within 10 days in Reco18O after the snow event, potentially reflecting the influence of 18O depleted snow on soil moisture. This decrease was 10 times larger than the corresponding decrease in δ18O in ambient CO2 (below 3 ‰) and took 3 times longer to recover (3 weeks vs. 1 week). In summary, we conclude that (1) the new Delta Ray IRIS with its internal calibration procedure provides an opportunity to precisely and accurately measure c, δ13C and δ18O at field sites and (2) even short snow or frost events might have strong effects on the isotopic composition (in particular 18O) of CO2 exchange on an ecosystem scale.
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      Dragonflies and damselflies of the EFForTS study area in Jambi and Bogor (Indonesia) 

      Rembold, Katja; Schröter, Asmus
      Macroecology & Biogeography, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology of the University of Goettingen, 2017
      In context of the vegetation surveys carried out by EFForTS subproject B06, we photographed quite a lot of dragonflies and damselflies inside and near the core plots in Jambi Province (Fig. 1) and in Bogor. The core plots in Jambi cover four land‐use systems: lowland rainforest, jungle rubber agroforest, rubber plantations, and oil palm plantations. With this booklet, we would like to share those photographs and their identifications as they might be useful for others. The color guide is divided into Anisoptera (dragonflies) and Zygoptera (damselflies) and arranged alphabetically by families. The current version includes 54 species from 9 families. Please note that this guide is not based on a systematical study, but was put together just for fun.
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      Common wayside plants of Jambi Province (Sumatra, Indonesia) 

      Rembold, Katja; Tjitrosoedirdjo, Sri Sudarmiyati; Kreft, Holger
      Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology of the University of Goettingen, 2017
      In context of the vegetation surveys carried out by EFForTS subproject B06, we documented common vascular plant species inside and near the core plots in Jambi Province (Fig. 1, for details see Rembold et al. 2017). The core plots cover four land‐use systems: lowland rainforest, jungle rubber agroforest, rubber plantations, and oil palm plantations. With this booklet, we would like to share photographs of selected common or conspicuous species and their identifications as they might be useful for others. The color guide is divided into pteridophytes (lycophytes and ferns) and angiosperms and arranged alphabetically by families. The current version includes 94 plant species from 44 families and provides information about which species are native or alien to Indonesia. For more plant pictures, see the EFForTS Sumatra plant database that is currently under development (http://134.76.19.22/sumatra/home). Please be aware that species and family names are subject to changes due to identification updates or changes in plant taxonomy.
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      Gene flow of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in a fragmented landscape. 

      Semizer-Cuming, Devrim; Kjær, Erik Dahl; Finkeldey, Reiner
      PloS one 2017; 12(10): Art. e0186757
      Gene flow dynamics of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is affected by several human activities in Central Europe, including habitat fragmentation, agroforestry expansion, controlled and uncontrolled transfer of reproductive material, and a recently introduced emerging infectious disease, ash dieback, caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. Habitat fragmentation may alter genetic connectivity and effective population size, leading to loss of genetic diversity and increased inbreeding in ash populations. Gene flow from cultivated trees in landscapes close to their native counterparts may also influence the adaptability of future generations. The devastating effects of ash dieback have already been observed in both natural and managed populations in continental Europe. However, potential long-term effects of genetic bottlenecks depend on gene flow across fragmented landscapes. For this reason, we studied the genetic connectivity of ash trees in an isolated forest patch of a fragmented landscape in Rösenbeck, Germany. We applied two approaches to parentage analysis to estimate gene flow patterns at the study site. We specifically investigated the presence of background pollination at the landscape level and the degree of genetic isolation between native and cultivated trees. Local meteorological data was utilized to understand the effect of wind on the pollen and seed dispersal patterns. Gender information of the adult trees was considered for calculating the dispersal distances. We found that the majority of the studied seeds (55-64%) and seedlings (75-98%) in the forest patch were fathered and mothered by the trees within the same patch. However, we determined a considerable amount of pollen flow (26-45%) from outside of the study site, representing background pollination at the landscape level. Limited pollen flow was observed from neighbouring cultivated trees (2%). Both pollen and seeds were dispersed in all directions in accordance with the local wind directions. Whereas there was no positive correlation between pollen dispersal distance and wind speed, the correlation between seed dispersal distance and wind speed was significant (0.71, p < 0.001), indicating that strong wind favours long-distance dispersal of ash seeds. Finally, we discussed the implications of establishing gene conservation stands and the use of enrichment planting in the face of ash dieback.
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      Expansion of oil palm and other cash crops causes an increase of the land surface temperature in the Jambi province in Indonesia 

      Sabajo, Clifton R.; le Maire, Guerric; June, Tania; Meijide, Ana; Roupsard, Olivier; Knohl, Alexander
      Biogeosciences 2017; 14(20) p.4619-4635
      Indonesia is currently one of the regions with the highest transformation rate of land surface worldwide related to the expansion of oil palm plantations and other cash crops replacing forests on large scales. Land cover changes, which modify land surface properties, have a direct effect on the land surface temperature (LST), a key driver for many ecological functions. Despite the large historic land transformation in Indonesia toward oil palm and other cash crops and governmental plans for future expansion, this is the first study so far to quantify the impacts of land transformation on the LST in Indonesia. We analyze LST from the thermal band of a Landsat image and produce a highresolution surface temperature map (30 m) for the lowlands of the Jambi province in Sumatra (Indonesia), a region which suffered large land transformation towards oil palm and other cash crops over the past decades. The comparison of LST, albedo, normalized differenced vegetation index (NDVI) and evapotranspiration (ET) between seven different land cover types (forest, urban areas, clear-cut land, young and mature oil palm plantations, acacia and rubber plantations) shows that forests have lower surface temperatures than the other land cover types, indicating a local warming effect after forest conversion. LST differences were up to 10.1 2.6 C (mean SD) between forest and clear-cut land. The differences in surface temperatures are explained by an evaporative cooling effect, which offsets the albedo warming effect. Our analysis of the LST trend of the past 16 years based on MODIS data shows that the average daytime surface temperature in the Jambi province increased by 1.05 C, which followed the trend of observed land cover changes and exceeded the effects of climate warming. This study provides evidence that the expansion of oil palm plantations and other cash crops leads to changes in biophysical variables, warming the land surface and thus enhancing the increase of the air temperature because of climate change.
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      Soil trace gas fluxes along orthogonal precipitation and soil fertility gradients in tropical lowland forests of Panama 

      Matson, Amanda L.; Corre, Marife D.; Langs, Kerstin; Veldkamp, Edzo
      Biogeosciences 2017; 14(14) p.3509-3524
      Tropical lowland forest soils are significant sources and sinks of trace gases. In order to model soil trace gas flux for future climate scenarios, it is necessary to be able to predict changes in soil trace gas fluxes along natural gradients of soil fertility and climatic characteristics. We quantified trace gas fluxes in lowland forest soils at five locations in Panama, which encompassed orthogonal precipitation and soil fertility gradients. Soil trace gas fluxes were measured monthly for 1 (NO) or 2 (CO2, CH4, N2O) years (2010–2012) using vented dynamic (for NO only) or static chambers with permanent bases. Across the five sites, annual fluxes ranged from 8.0 to 10.2 Mg CO2-C, −2.0 to −0.3 kg CH4-C, 0.4 to 1.3 kg N2O-N and −0.82 to −0.03 kg NO-N ha−1 yr−1. Soil CO2 emissions did not differ across sites, but they did exhibit clear seasonal differences and a parabolic pattern with soil moisture across sites. All sites were CH4 sinks; within-site fluxes were largely controlled by soil moisture, whereas fluxes across sites were positively correlated with an integrated index of soil fertility. Soil N2O fluxes were low throughout the measurement years, but the highest emissions occurred at a mid-precipitation site with high soil N availability. Net negative NO fluxes at the soil surface occurred at all sites, with the most negative fluxes at the low-precipitation site closest to Panama City; this was likely due to high ambient NO concentrations from anthropogenic sources. Our study highlights the importance of both short-term (climatic) and long-term (soil and site characteristics) factors in predicting soil trace gas fluxes.
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      Tree Growth Rings in Tropical Peat Swamp Forests of Kalimantan, Indonesia 

      Worbes, Martin; Herawati, Hety; Martius, Christopher
      Forests 2017; 8(9): Art. 336
      Tree growth rings are signs of the seasonality of tree growth and indicate how tree productivity relates to environmental factors. We studied the periodicity of tree growth ring formation in seasonally inundated peatlands of Central Kalimantan (southern Borneo), Indonesia. We collected samples from 47 individuals encompassing 27 tree species. About 40% of these species form distinct growth zones, 30% form indistinct ones, and the others were classified as in between. Radiocarbon age datings of single distinct growth zones (or “rings”) of two species showing very distinct rings, Horsfieldia crassifolia and Diospyros evena, confirm annual growth periodicity for the former; the latter forms rings in intervals of more than one year. The differences can be explained with species-specific sensitivity to the variable intensity of dry periods. The anatomical feature behind annual rings in Horsfieldia is the formation of marginal parenchyma bands. Tree ring curves of other investigated species with the same anatomical feature from the site show a good congruence with the curves from H. crassifolia. They can therefore be used as indicator species for growth rate estimations in environments with weak seasonality. The investigated peatland species show low annual growth increments compared to other tropical forests.
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      Leaf-IT: An Android application for measuring leaf area 

      Schrader, Julian; Pillar, Giso; Kreft, Holger
      Ecology and Evolution
      The use of plant functional traits has become increasingly popular in ecological studies because plant functional traits help to understand key ecological processes in plant species and communities. This also includes changes in diversity, inter-and intraspecific interactions, and relationships of species at different spatiotemporal scales. Leaf traits are among the most important traits as they describe key dimensions of a plant’s life history strategy. Further, leaf area is a key parameter with relevance for other traits such as specific leaf area, which in turn correlates with leaf chemical composition, photosynthetic rate, leaf longevity, and carbon investment. Measuring leaf area usually involves the use of scanners and commercial software and can be difficult under field conditions. We present Leaf-IT, a new smartphone application for measuring leaf area and other trait-related areas. Leaf-IT is free, designed for scientific purposes, and runs on Android 4 or higher. We tested the precision and accuracy using objects with standardized area and compared the area measurements of real leaves with the well-established, commercial software WinFOLIA using the Altman–Bland method. Area measurements of standardized objects show that Leaf-IT measures area with high accuracy and precision. Area measurements with Leaf-IT of real leaves are comparable to those of WinFOLIA. Leaf-IT is an easy-to- use application running on a wide range of smartphones. That increases the portability and use of Leaf-IT and makes it possible to measure leaf area under field conditions typical for remote locations. Its high accuracy and precision are similar to WinFOLIA. Currently, its main limitation is margin detection of damaged leaves or complex leaf morphologies.
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      De novo transcriptome assembly and analysis of differential gene expression in response to drought in European beech 

      Müller, Markus; Seifert, Sarah; Lübbe, Torben; Leuschner, Christoph; Finkeldey, Reiner
      PLOS ONE 2017; 12(9): Art. e0184167
      Despite the ecological and economic importance of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) genomic resources of this species are still limited. This hampers an understanding of the molecular basis of adaptation to stress. Since beech will most likely be threatened by the consequences of climate change, an understanding of adaptive processes to climate change-related drought stress is of major importance. Here, we used RNA-seq to provide the first drought stress-related transcriptome of beech. In a drought stress trial with beech saplings, 50 samples were taken for RNA extraction at five points in time during a soil desiccation experiment. De novo transcriptome assembly and analysis of differential gene expression revealed 44,335 contigs, and 662 differentially expressed genes between the stress and normally watered control group. Gene expression was specific to the different time points, and only five genes were significantly differentially expressed between the stress and control group on all five sampling days. GO term enrichment showed that mostly genes involved in lipid- and homeostasis-related processes were upregulated, whereas genes involved in oxidative stress response were downregulated in the stressed seedlings. This study gives first insights into the genomic drought stress response of European beech, and provides new genetic resources for adaptation research in this species.
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      Effect of climate warming on the annual terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 exchange globally in the boreal and temperate regions 

      Zhang, Zhiyuan; Zhang, Renduo; Cescatti, Alessandro; Wohlfahrt, Georg; Buchmann, Nina; Zhu, Juan; Chen, Guanhong; Moyano, Fernando; Pumpanen, Jukka; Hirano, Takashi; et al.
      Takagi, KentaroMerbold, Lutz
      Scientific Reports 2017; 7(1)
      The net ecosystem CO2 exchange is the result of the imbalance between the assimilation process (gross primary production, GPP) and ecosystem respiration (RE). The aim of this study was to investigate temperature sensitivities of these processes and the effect of climate warming on the annual terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 exchange globally in the boreal and temperate regions. A database of 403 site-years of ecosystem flux data at 101 sites in the world was collected and analyzed. Temperature sensitivities of rates of RE and GPP were quantified with Q10, defined as the increase of RE (or GPP) rates with a temperature rise of 10 °C. Results showed that on the annual time scale, the intrinsic temperature sensitivity of GPP (Q10sG ) was higher than or equivalent to the intrinsic temperature sensitivity of RE (Q10sR ). Q10sG was negatively correlated to the mean annual temperature (MAT), whereas Q10sR was independent of MAT. The analysis of the current temperature sensitivities and net ecosystem production suggested that temperature rise might enhance the CO2 sink of terrestrial ecosystems both in the boreal and temperate regions. In addition, ecosystems in these regions with different plant functional types should sequester more CO2 with climate warming.
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      Development of novel genic microsatellite markers from transcriptome sequencing in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) 

      Harmon, Monica; Lane, Thomas; Staton, Margaret; Coggeshall, Mark V.; Best, Teodora; Chen, Chien-Chih; Liang, Haiying; Zembower, Nicole; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I.; Hwee, Yap Zhei; et al.
      Schuster, Stephan C.Schlarbaum, Scott E.Carlson, John E.Gailing, Oliver
      BMC Research Notes 2017; 10(369)
      Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is a hardwood tree species native to northeastern North America and economically valued for its wood and sap. Yet, few molecular genetic resources have been developed for this species to date. Microsatellite markers have been a useful tool in population genetics, e.g., to monitor genetic variation and to analyze gene flow patterns. The objective of this study is to develop a reference transcriptome and microsatellite markers in sugar maple. A set of 117,861 putative unique transcripts were assembled using 29.2 Gb of RNA sequencing data derived from different tissues and stress treatments. From this set of sequences a total of 1068 microsatellite motifs were identified. Out of 58 genic microsatellite markers tested on a population of 47 sugar maple trees in upper Michigan, 22 amplified well, of which 16 were polymorphic and 6 were monomorphic. Values for expected heterozygosity varied from 0.224 to 0.726 for individual loci. Of the 16 polymorphic markers, 15 exhibited transferability to other Acer L. species. Genic microsatellite markers can be applied to analyze genetic variation in potentially adaptive genes relative to genomic reference markers as a basis for the management of sugar maple genetic resources in the face of climate change.
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      Plywood made from plasma-treated veneers: melamine uptake, dimensional stability, and mechanical properties 

      Wascher, Richard; Kühn, Christian; Avramidis, Georg; Bicke, Sascha; Militz, Holger; Ohms, Gisela; Viöl, Wolfgang
      Journal of Wood Science 2017; 63(4) p.338-349
      This study investigates the dimensional stability and mechanical properties of plywood boards made of thermally modified and unmodified beech veneers that have undergone plasma pre-treatment before melamine resin impregnation. The water and melamine resin uptake and resulting weight percent gain of the veneers were investigated, whereby the air plasma pre-treated veneers showed improved liquid uptake. Five-layer plywood boards were then manufactured and tested for their dimensional stability, compressive strength, bending strength, and tensile strength. Plywood boards made of thermally modified and plasma pre-treated veneers showed a significantly improved dimensional stability, along with small influences on their mechanical properties.
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      Atmospheric deposition, CO2, and change in the land carbon sink 

      Fernández-Martínez, M.; Vicca, S.; Janssens, I. A.; Ciais, P.; Obersteiner, M.; Bartrons, M.; Sardans, J.; Verger, A.; Canadell, J. G.; Chevallier, F.; et al.
      Wang, X.Bernhofer, C.Curtis, P. S.Gianelle, D.Grünwald, T.Heinesch, B.Ibrom, A.Knohl, A.Laurila, T.Law, B. E.Limousin, J. M.Longdoz, B.Loustau, D.Mammarella, I.Matteucci, G.Monson, R. K.Montagnani, L.Moors, E. J.Munger, J. W.Papale, D.Piao, S. L.Peñuelas, J.
      Scientific Reports 2017; 7(1): Art. 9632
      Concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have continued to increase whereas atmospheric deposition of sulphur and nitrogen has declined in Europe and the USA during recent decades. Using time series of flux observations from 23 forests distributed throughout Europe and the USA, and generalised mixed models, we found that forest-level net ecosystem production and gross primary production have increased by 1% annually from 1995 to 2011. Statistical models indicated that increasing atmospheric CO2 was the most important factor driving the increasing strength of carbon sinks in these forests. We also found that the reduction of sulphur deposition in Europe and the USA lead to higher recovery in ecosystem respiration than in gross primary production, thus limiting the increase of carbon sequestration. By contrast, trends in climate and nitrogen deposition did not significantly contribute to changing carbon fluxes during the studied period. Our findings support the hypothesis of a general CO2-fertilization effect on vegetation growth and suggest that, so far unknown, sulphur deposition plays a significant role in the carbon balance of forests in industrialized regions. Our results show the need to include the effects of changing atmospheric composition, beyond CO2, to assess future dynamics of carbon-climate feedbacks not currently considered in earth system/climate modelling.
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      Estimating utilization distributions from fitted step-selection functions 

      Signer, Johannes; Fieberg, John; Avgar, Tal
      Ecosphere 2017; 8(4): Art. e01771
      Habitat-selection analyses are often used to link environmental covariates, measured within some spatial domain of assumed availability, to animal location data that are assumed to be independent. Step-selection functions (SSFs) relax this independence assumption, by using a conditional model that explicitly acknowledges the spatiotemporal dynamics of the availability domain and hence the temporal dependence among successive locations. However, it is not clear how to produce an SSF-based map of the expected utilization distribution. Here, we used SSFs to analyze virtual animal movement data generated at a fine spatiotemporal scale and then rarefied to emulate realistic telemetry data. We then compared two different approaches for generating maps from the estimated regression coefficients. First, we considered a na€ıve approach that used the coefficients as if they were obtained by fitting an unconditional model. Second, we explored a simulation-based approach, where maps were generated using stochastic simulations of the parameterized step-selection process. We found that the simulation-based approach always outperformed the na€ıve mapping approach and that the latter overestimated home-range size and underestimated local space-use variability. Differences between the approaches were greatest for complex landscapes and high sampling rates, suggesting that the simulation-based approach, despite its added complexity, is likely to offer significant advantages when applying SSFs to real data.
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