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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2012, Vol.351(1), pp.309-324
    Description: Byline: Marie Smilauerova (1), Martina Lokvencova (1), Petr Smilauer (1) Keywords: Arbuscular fungi; Nitrogen; Phosphate; Soil moisture; Fertilization; Morphotypes Abstract: Aims Nutrients play a key role in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis. We quantified the response of AM symbiosis of seedlings and adult plants of Plantago lanceolata to fertilization under field conditions in managed grasslands differing in nutrient availability and soil moisture. Methods The AM symbiosis was measured as the total extent of AM fungal colonization and frequency of arbuscules or vesicles, and as the relative proportions of morphotypes. We further examined the effects of the surrounding vegetation upon AM symbiosis. Results Fertilization decreased total AM colonization and relative arbuscular frequency of the whole mycorrhizal community and of Acaulospora and "fine endophyte" morphotypes in seedling roots, but it had no effect upon the mycorrhiza in adult plants. The decline in arbuscular frequency in seedling roots due to fertilization was greater at the sites with higher nutrient availability and lower N:P ratio. Seedlings surrounded by more forbs had a greater total AM colonization and higher vesicular frequency. Conclusions Increased nutrient availability in the initial stages of seedling development has a prominent effect upon AM symbiosis development, but these effects seem to diminish over the long term, as evidenced by the results obtained for adult plants and from the limited effects of parameters characterizing long-term nutrient availability. Author Affiliation: (1) Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in Ceske BudAjovice, Branisovska 31, Ceske BudAjovice, Czech Republic Article History: Registration Date: 15/08/2011 Received Date: 01/07/2011 Accepted Date: 14/08/2011 Online Date: 10/09/2011 Article note: Responsible Editor: Katharina Pawlowski.
    Keywords: Arbuscular fungi ; Nitrogen ; Phosphate ; Soil moisture ; Fertilization ; Morphotypes
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2010, Vol.328(1), pp.327-336
    Description: Graminoids and forbs are important entities in grassland community assembly, differing in their functional properties. In our study, we asked 1. Do graminoids and forbs differ in the speed of root proliferation into soil patches established under field conditions? 2. Is the patch occupation dynamics affected by the nutrient concentration in the patch? 3. What is the temporal dynamics of available macronutrients in an experimental patch and does it provide comparative advantage to any of these two categories in connection with their root proliferation dynamics? We used ingrowth core technique. Proliferated roots were sampled after 1, 2, 4, 8, or 15 weeks, with forb and graminoid categories distinguished on anatomical basis. We measured root length and root dry weight, concentration of NH4+, NO3−, and of exchangeable phosphorus in the soil. Roots of both functional groups proliferated more intensively in enriched soil patches than in the control ones, but graminoids entered experimental patches more rapidly. Soil concetration of available N fell down to the background level in four weeks. The initial head start by graminoids seems to be crucial for the overall patch exploitation, because the concentration of available nutrient forms, namely nitrate and ammonium, decreases rapidly.
    Keywords: Grassland ; Nitrogen ; Phosphate ; Root proliferation ; Temporal dynamics
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 3
    In: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(2)
    Description: Soil nutrients, dormant axillary meristem availability, and competition can influence plant tolerance to damage. However, the role of potential bud banks (adventitious meristems initiated only after injury) is not known. Examining Central European field populations of 22 species of short-lived monocarpic herbs exposed to various sources of damage, we hypothesized that: (1) with increasing injury severity, the number of axillary branches would decrease, due to axillary meristem limitation, whereas the number of adventitious shoots (typically induced by severe injury) would increase; (2) favorable environmental conditions would allow intact plants to branch more, resulting in stronger axillary meristem limitation than in unfavorable conditions; and (3) consequently, adventitious sprouting would be better enabled in favorable than unfavorable conditions. We found strong support for the first hypothesis, only limited support for the second, and none for the third. Our results imply that whereas soil nutrients and competition marginally influence plant tolerance to damage, potential bud banks enable plants to overcome meristem limitation from severe damage, and therefore better tolerate it. All the significant effects were found in intraspecific comparisons, whereas interspecific differences were not found. Monocarpic plants with potential bud banks therefore represent a distinct strategy occupying a narrow environmental niche. The disturbance regime typical for this niche remains to be examined, as do the costs associated with the banks of adventitious and axillary reserve meristems.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 11009233
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 4
    In: Molecular Ecology, February 2014, Vol.23(3), pp.733-746
    Description: Interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal () species cocolonizing the same host plant are still little understood in spite of major ecological significance of mycorrhizal symbiosis and widespread occurrence of these fungi in communities rather than alone. Furthermore, shifting the composition of communities has demonstrated consequences for the provision of symbiotic benefits to the host as well as for the qualities of ecosystem services. Therefore, here we addressed the nature and strength of interactions between three different species in all possible two‐species combinations on a gradient of inoculation densities. Fungal communities were established in pots with plants, and their composition was assessed with taxon‐specific real‐time markers. Nature of interactions between the fungi was varying from competition to facilitation and was influenced by both the identity and relative abundance of the coinoculated fungi. Plants coinoculated with and grew bigger and contained more phosphorus than with any of these two fungi separately, although these fungi obviously competed for root colonization. On the other hand, plants coinoculated with and , which facilitated each other's root colonization, grew smaller than with any of these fungi separately. Our results point to as yet little understood complexity of interactions in plant‐associated symbiotic fungal communities, which, depending on their composition, can induce significant changes in plant host growth and/or phosphorus acquisition in either direction.
    Keywords: Barrel Medic ; Claroideoglomus Claroideum ; Functional Complementarity ; Gigaspora Margarita ; Quantitative Real‐Time ; Rhizophagus Irregularis
    ISSN: 0962-1083
    E-ISSN: 1365-294X
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  • 5
    In: Molecular Ecology, April 2014, Vol.23(8), pp.2118-2135
    Description: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi () are ubiquitous soil fungi, forming mutualistic symbiosis with a majority of terrestrial plant species. They are abundant in nearly all soils, less diverse than soil prokaryotes and other intensively studied soil organisms and thus are promising candidates for universal indicators of land management legacies and soil quality degradation. However, insufficient data on how the composition of indigenous varies along soil and landscape gradients have hampered the definition of baselines and effect thresholds to date. Here, indigenous communities in 154 agricultural soils collected across Switzerland were profiled by quantitative real‐time PCR with taxon‐specific markers for six widespread species. To identify the key determinants of community composition, the profiles were related to soil properties, land management and site geography. Our results indicate a number of well‐supported dependencies between abundances of certain taxa and soil properties such as , soil fertility and texture, and a surprising lack of effect of available soil phosphorus on the community profiles. Site geography, especially the altitude and large geographical distance, strongly affected communities. Unexpected was the apparent lack of a strong land management effect on the communities as compared to the other predictors, which could be due to the rarity of highly intensive and unsustainable land management in Swiss agriculture. In spite of the extensive coverage of large geographical and soil gradients, we did not identify any taxon suitable as an indicator of land use among the six taxa we studied.
    Keywords: Biotest ; Community Profiling ; Field Soil ; Quantitative Real‐Time Pcr ; Switzerland ; Variation Partitioning
    ISSN: 0962-1083
    E-ISSN: 1365-294X
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  • 6
    In: Oikos, November 2010, Vol.119(11), pp.1700-1710
    Description: Environmental stress leading to a decrease in growth may be compensated for later in ontogeny by a growth plastic response. Such response could be also transmitted to the next generation, which is called transgenerational plasticity. In this study, two species were used to test whether compensation for biomass loss after disturbance is driven by maternal effects (ME) due to nutrients and disturbance, i.e. by the form of transgenerational plasticity. Additionally, we tested whether ME could contribute to a different performance of progeny having different disturbance histories. We also tested whether ME are adaptive and whether they differ between related species. The degree of (over)compensation for biomass loss was affected by ME. Maternal effects resulted in different performance of disturbed over undisturbed progeny in relation to nutrient status of the progeny environment along with disturbance and nutrients experienced by mothers. Progeny of grew more leaf biomass when grown in the same nutrient conditions as experienced by their mothers suggesting that maternal effects might be adaptive. Although overall, there was a consistent role of ME in biomass compensation after disturbance among the two species, there were also some species‐specific effects. We conclude that compensation for biomass loss is driven both by maternal effects and by progeny environment. This may lead to the different success of regenerative strategies in environments with contrasting nutrient levels. The different role of ME even between related species may contribute to ecological diversity among species.
    Keywords: Fighter Planes;
    ISSN: 0030-1299
    E-ISSN: 1600-0706
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 15 February 2017, Vol.580, pp.1429-1438
    Description: expansion to alkaline fens has accelerated during the last decades in Europe, leading to changes in diversity, habitat distributions and carbon storage. The causes are still not clearly understood and involve an interplay between climate change, hydrology, nutrient supply and physiology. We conducted a 4-year field experiment in eight fens in Central European highlands and assessed survival and establishment of individual apical shoot fragments of , and transplanted along the microtopographical gradient. In a laboratory experiment, we tested combined effects of desiccation and high calcium bicarbonate concentration on survival. We found that in unflooded positions, living shoots of and brown mosses lowered [Ca ] and pH in their capillary water, in contrast to dead fragments; yet without differences between species. Survival and expansion of fragments, which did not die of acute calcium toxicity during first weeks/months, was negatively affected by dry weather and alkaline water chemistry, reflecting intolerance to desiccation and to combined high [Ca ] and pH. Shoot fragments expanded to patches only when precipitation was high. Interestingly, non-toxic concentration of calcium bicarbonate reduced desiccation damage in , probably through protection of membranes or other cell components. This mechanism would facilitate survival in elevated, frequently desiccated microhabitats of calcareous fens such as brown-moss hummocks. However, since water-retaining capacity of few shoots is insufficient to change water chemistry in its surroundings, surface acidification may occur only once the environment (e.g. sufficient humidity) enabled expansion to larger mats. Then, the retained rainwater together with hardly decomposable litter would separate mire surface from groundwater, speeding up successional shift towards poor fens. expansion to alkaline fens is therefore more likely in humid regions.
    Keywords: Fen Succession ; Sphagnum Transplants ; Desiccation ; Calcium Tolerance ; Climate Humidity ; Competition ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 8
    In: PLoS ONE, 2015, Vol.10(2)
    Description: Grooming is one of the most conspicuous social interactions among nonhuman primates. The selection of grooming partners can provide important clues about factors relevant for the distribution of grooming within a social group. We analyzed grooming behavior among 17 semi-free ranging female Barbary macaques ( Macaca sylvanus ). We tested whether grooming is related to kinship, rank and friendship. Furthermore, we tested whether grooming is reciprocated or exchanged for rank related benefits (i.e. lower aggression and increased tolerance whilst feeding). We found that in general grooming was reciprocally exchanged, directed up the hierarchy and at the same time affected by friendship and kinship. Grooming was more frequent among individuals with higher friendship values as well as amongst related individuals. We also divided our data set on the basis of rank difference and tested if different power asymmetries between individuals affected the tendency to exchange grooming for rank related benefits and grooming reciprocation. In support of our initial hypothesis our results show that the reciprocation of grooming was a significant predictor of grooming interactions between individuals of similar rank, but not between those individuals more distantly separated in the social hierarchy. However, we did not find any evidence for grooming being exchanged for rank related benefits in either data set. Our results, together with previously published studies, illustrate the behavioral flexibility of macaques. It is clear that multiple studies of the same species are necessary to gather the data required for the solid comparative studies needed to shed light on patterns of grooming behavior in primates.
    Keywords: Research Article
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 01 September 2016, Vol.231, pp.310-319
    Description: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are present in all soils and comprise an important component of soil biota with respect to plant nutrition and growth as well as soil quality. Previous research in a number of agroecosystems had documented large impacts from various management practices (e.g., tillage, fertilization, crop rotation) on the levels of host root colonization and/or composition of the AM fungal communities in the roots and soil. Here, we tested whether a standardized mycorrhizal bioassay could contribute to deciphering soil-use legacy through detection of consistent changes in the colonization pattern of a mycorrhizal bait plant (leek). To this end, we grew the leek in a large number (154) of soils under uniform environmental conditions. Most of the variation in the mycorrhizal colonization of bait plants grown in the different soils could be attributed to soil properties and sampling site altitude, whereas the occurrence of specific structures (vesicles) was particularly correlated with abundance of certain AM fungal taxa such as sp. Contributions of the root colonization of bait plants to explaining agricultural management practices and soil heavy metal concentrations (frequently used as indicators of soil quality) were comparatively small and partly counterintuitive. For example, higher incidence of arbuscules was detected in soils to which mineral fertilizers were applied as compared to organically farmed soils. Moreover, the explanatory power of the bioassay was much less than was that for soil respiration, a well established bioindicator of soil quality. Therefore, the mycorrhizal bioassay tested here appears not to be suitable as an interpreter of soil-use legacy, even though it does uncover very clear trends in colonization patterns of the bait plants by indigenous AM communities across large environmental gradients.
    Keywords: Arbuscular Mycorrhiza ; Geography ; Mycorrhizal Bioassay ; Root Colonization ; Soil Properties ; Variance Partitioning ; Agriculture ; Environmental Sciences ; Geography
    ISSN: 0167-8809
    E-ISSN: 1873-2305
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2010, Vol.64(3), pp.371-379
    Description: Spiny mice of the genus Acomys (Muridae) represent a very suitable mammalian model for studying factors influencing the secondary sex ratio (SSR). The maternal effort in these rodents is extremely biased in favour of the prenatal period and, therefore, maternal manipulation of the SSR is potentially more advantageous. We studied the SSR in four populations/species of spiny mice kept in family groups consisting of two closely related females, one non-relative male and their descendants. The groups were established from founding animals aged about 3 months (maturing age) and were allowed to breed freely for several months. Each litter was sexed after birth, and relevant data were thoroughly recorded. Altogether, data were collected on 1684 litters: 189 of Acomys sp. from Iran, 203 of A. cilicicus , 875 of A. cahirinus , and 417 of A. dimidiatus . We recorded the sex of 4048 newborns of which 1995 were males and 2053 were females. The overall sex ratio was close to 1:1 (49.2%). Generalized linear mixed models and/or generalized linear models were constructed to evaluate the effect of four life history and eight social variables on the sex ratio. No consistent effects of these variables on the sex ratio were found and, interestingly, none of the variables associated with maternal life history had any effect on the sex ratio. Three factors associated with group composition (i.e. the number of immature males, the number of immature females and the number of breeding females) did have significant effects on the sex ratio, but these effects were not consistent across the studied species. In conclusion, our evaluation of this large dataset revealed that the sex ratio in spiny mice is surprisingly stable.
    Keywords: Parental effort ; Rodents ; Sex allocation ; Sex ratio ; Social behaviour
    ISSN: 0340-5443
    E-ISSN: 1432-0762
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