plant diversity
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Geoderma ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 411 ◽  
pp. 115694
Yakun Zhang ◽  
Sai Peng ◽  
Xinli Chen ◽  
Han Y.H. Chen

2022 ◽  
Vol 266 ◽  
pp. 109440
Valerie C. Pence ◽  
Abby Meyer ◽  
Jean Linsky ◽  
Joachim Gratzfeld ◽  
Hugh W. Pritchard ◽  

2022 ◽  
Jesse E. D. Miller ◽  
Stella Copeland ◽  
Kendi Davies ◽  
Brian Anacker ◽  
Hugh Safford ◽  

Soils derived from ultramafic parent materials (hereafter serpentine) provide habitat for unique plant communities containing species with adaptations to the low nutrient levels, high magnesium: calcium ratios, and high metal content (Ni, Zn) that characterize serpentine. Plants on serpentine have long been studied in evolution and ecology, and plants adapted to serpentine contribute disproportionately to plant diversity in many parts of the world. In 2000-2003, serpentine plant communities were sampled at 107 locations representing the full range of occurrence of serpentine in California, USA, spanning large gradients in climate. In 2009-2010, plant communities were similarly sampled at 97 locations on nonserpentine soil, near to and paired with 97 of the serpentine sampling locations. (Some serpentine locations were revisited in 2009-2010 to assess the degree of change since 2000-2003, which was minimal.) At each serpentine or nonserpentine location, a north- and a south-facing 50 m x10 m plot were sampled. This design produced 97 “sites” each consisting of four “plots” (north-south exposure, serpentine-nonserpentine soil). All plots were initially visited >3 times over 2 years to record plant diversity and cover, and a subset were revisited in 2014 to examine community change after a drought. The original question guiding the study was how plant diversity is shaped by the spatially patchy nature of the serpentine habitat. Subsequently, we investigated how climate drives plant diversity at multiple scales (within locations, between locations on the same and different soil types, and across entire regions) and at different levels of organization (taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic).

PeerJ ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 10 ◽  
pp. e12771
Jinlan Wang ◽  
Wen Li ◽  
Wenxia Cao ◽  
Shilin Wang

Grazing is the main grassland management strategy applied in alpine shrubland ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, how different intensities of long-term grazing affect plant diversity, biomass accumulation and carbon (C) stock in these ecosystems is poorly understood. In this study, alpine shrubland with different long-term (more than 30 years) grazing intensities (excluded from grazing for 5 years (EX), light grazing (LG), moderate grazing (MG) and heavy grazing (HG)) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau were selected to study changes in plant diversity, aboveground biomass and C accumulation, as well as distribution of C stock among biomass components and soil depths. A structural equation model was used to illustrate the impact of grazing on the soil carbon stock (SOC). The results showed that the Shannon–Wiener diversity index and richness index of herbaceous plants, shrubs, and communities first significantly increased and then decreased with increasing grazing intensity, reaching maxima at the LG site. The aboveground and belowground and litter biomass of understory herbaceous plants, shrubs and communities decreased with increasing grazing intensity, reaching maxima at the EX site. The aboveground and belowground biomass C storage decreased with increasing grazing intensity, reaching maxima at the EX site. The SOC stock and total ecosystem C stock decreased with increasing grazing intensity, reaching maxima at the EX and LG sites. A structural equation model showed that grazing-induced changes in the belowground biomass of understory herbaceous plants greatly contributed to the SOC stock decrease. Thus, considering the utilization and renewal of grassland resources, as well as local economic benefits and ecological effects, LG may be a more rational grazing intensity for species diversity conservation and ecosystem C sequestration in alpine shrubland. Our results provide new insights for incorporating grazing intensity into shrub ecosystem C stock and optimizing grazing management and grassland ecosystem C management.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Martin Hejda ◽  
Jan Čuda ◽  
Klára Pyšková ◽  
Guin Zambatis ◽  
Llewellyn C. Foxcroft ◽  

AbstractTo identify factors that drive plant species richness in South-African savanna and explore their relative importance, we sampled plant communities across habitats differing in water availability, disturbance, and bedrock, using the Kruger National Park as a model system. We made plant inventories in 60 plots of 50 × 50 m, located in three distinct habitats: (i) at perennial rivers, (ii) at seasonal rivers with water available only during the rainy season, and (iii) on crests, at least ~ 5 km away from any water source. We predicted that large herbivores would utilise seasonal rivers’ habitats less intensely than those along perennial rivers where water is available throughout the year, including dry periods. Plots on granite harboured more herbaceous and shrub species than plots on basalt. The dry crests were poorer in herb species than both seasonal and perennial rivers. Seasonal rivers harboured the highest numbers of shrub species, in accordance with the prediction of the highest species richness at relatively low levels of disturbance and low stress from the lack of water. The crests, exposed to relatively low pressure from grazing but stressed by the lack of water, are important from the conservation perspective because they harbour typical, sometimes rare savanna species, and so are seasonal rivers whose shrub richness is stimulated and maintained by the combination of moderate disturbance imposed by herbivores and position in the middle of the water availability gradient. To capture the complexity of determinants of species richness in KNP, we complemented the analysis of the above local factors by exploring large-scale factors related to climate, vegetation productivity, the character of dominant vegetation, and landscape features. The strongest factor was temperature; areas with the highest temperatures reveal lower species richness. Our results also suggest that Colophospermum mopane, a dominant woody species in the north of KNP is not the ultimate cause of the lower plant diversity in this part of the park.

Gabriel Damasco ◽  
Mandy Anhalt ◽  
Ricardo O. Perdiz ◽  
Florian Wittmann ◽  
Rafael L. de Assis ◽  

AbstractThe harvesting of açaí berries (palm fruits from the genus Euterpe) in Amazonia has increased over the last 20 years due to a high local and global market demand and triggered by their widely acclaimed health benefits as a ‘superfood’. Although such increase represents a financial boom for local communities, unregulated extraction in Amazonia risks negative environmental effects including biodiversity loss through açai intensification and deforestation. Alternatively, the introduction of certified sustainable agroforestry production programs of açaí has been strategically applied to reduce the exploitation of Amazonian forests. Local açaí producers are required to follow principles of defined sustainable management practices, environmental guidelines, and social behaviors, paying specific attention to fair trade and human rights. In this study we investigate whether sustainable agroforestry and certification effectively promotes biodiversity conservation in Amazonia. To address this question, we conducted a forestry inventory in two hectares of long-term certified açai harvesting areas to gain further knowledge on the plant diversity and forest structure in açaí managed forests and to understand the contribution of certification towards sustainable forest management. On average, we found that certified managed forests harbor 50% more tree species than non-certified açaí groves. Trees in certified areas also have significantly higher mean basal area, meaning larger and hence older individuals are more likely to be protected. Certified harvesting sites also harbor dense populations of threatened species as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (e.g. Virola surinamensis, classified as ‘endangered’). Besides increasing the knowledge of plant diversity in açaí managed areas, we present baseline information for monitoring the impact of harvesting activities in natural ecosystems in Amazonia.

Science ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 375 (6576) ◽  
pp. 14-14
Elizabeth Pennisi

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