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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, January 2011, Vol.159(1), pp.324-336
    Description: In order to achieve efficient phytoextraction of heavy metals using trees, the metal allocation to aboveground tissues needs to be characterised. In his study, the distribution of heavy metals, macro- and micronutrients and the metal micro-localisation as a function of the leaf position and heavy metal treatment were analysed in poplars grown on soil with mixed metal contamination. Zinc was the most abundant contaminant in both soil and foliage and, together with cadmium, was preferentially accumulated in older foliage whereas excess copper and lead were not translocated. Changes in other element concentrations indicated an acceleration in aging as a consequence of the metal treatment. Excess zinc was irregularly accumulated inside leaf tissues, tended to saturate the veins and was more frequently stored in cell symplast than apoplast. Storage compartments including metabolically safe and sensitive subcellular sites resulted in sizable metal accumulation as well as stress reactions. Within foliage of poplars growing on contaminated soils, Zinc was stored at metabolically safe as well as sensitive subcellular sites, ensuring sizable bioaccumulation but also causing injuries.
    Keywords: Histochemistry ; Bioaccumulation ; Metal Allocation ; Poplar ; Phytoextraction ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    E-ISSN: 1873-6424
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: 2012, Vol.7(8), p.e43102
    Description: Global environmental changes affect not only the aboveground but also the belowground components of ecosystems. The effects of seasonal drought and air warming on the genus level richness of Collembola, and on the abundance and biomass of the community of Collembola and mites were studied in an acidic and a calcareous forest soil in a model oak-ecosystem experiment (the Querco experiment) at the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Birmensdorf. The experiment included four climate treatments: control, drought with a 60% reduction in rainfall, air warming with a seasonal temperature increase of 1.4°C, and air warming + drought. Soil water content was greatly reduced by drought. Soil surface temperature was slightly increased by both the air warming and the drought treatment. Soil mesofauna samples were taken at the end of the first experimental year. Drought was found to increase the abundance of the microarthropod fauna, but reduce the biomass of the community. The percentage of small mites (body length 0.20 mm) increased, but the percentage of large mites (body length 〉0.40 mm) decreased under drought. Air warming had only minor effects on the fauna. All climate treatments significantly reduced the richness of Collembola and the biomass of Collembola and mites in acidic soil, but not in calcareous soil. Drought appeared to have a negative impact on soil microarthropod fauna, but the effects of climate change on soil fauna may vary with the soil type.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Ecology ; Biophysics
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2013, Vol.8(7), p.e69171
    Description: BACKGROUND: Despite abatement programs of precursors implemented in many industrialized countries, ozone remains the principal air pollutant throughout the northern hemisphere with background concentrations increasing as a consequence of economic development in former or still emerging countries and present climate change. Some of the highest ozone concentrations are measured in regions with a Mediterranean climate but the effect on the natural vegetation is alleviated by low stomatal uptake and frequent leaf xeromorphy in response to summer drought episodes characteristic of this climate. However, there is a lack of understanding of the respective role of the foliage physiology and leaf xeromorphy on the mechanistic effects of ozone in Mediterranean species. Particularly, evidence about morphological and structural changes in evergreens in response to ozone stress is missing. RESULTS: Our study was started after observing ozone -like injury in foliage of holm oak during the assessment of air pollution mitigation by urban trees throughout the Madrid conurbation. Our objectives were to confirm the diagnosis, investigate the extent of symptoms and analyze the ecological factors contributing to ozone injury, particularly, the site water supply. Symptoms consisted of adaxial and intercostal stippling increasing with leaf age. Underlying stippling, cells in the upper mesophyll showed HR-like reactions typical of ozone stress. The surrounding cells showed further oxidative stress markers. These morphological and micromorphological markers of ozone stress were similar to those recorded in deciduous broadleaved species. However, stippling became obvious already at an AOT40 of 21 ppm•h and was primarily found at irrigated sites. Subsequent analyses showed that irrigated trees had their stomatal conductance increased and leaf life -span reduced whereas the leaf xeromorphy remained unchanged. These findings suggest a central role of water availability versus leaf xeromorphy for ozone symptom expression by cell injury in holm oak.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2014, Vol.9(1)
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2013, Vol.369(1), pp.61-71
    Description: Background and aims: Oaks are considered to be drought- and thermo-tolerant tree species. Nevertheless, species and provenances may differ in their ecological requirements. We hypothesised that (i) provenances from xeric sites are better adapted to drought than those from more humid sites, (ii) oaks direct root growth towards resource-rich layers, and (iii) air-warming promotes root growth. Methods: To test different provenances of Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Q. pubescens, we conducted a model ecosystem experiment with young trees, grown on acidic and calcareous soil, subjected to drought, air warming, the combination of warming and drought, and a control. Results: The results were only in partial agreement with the first hypothesis. As expected the provenances originating from drier sites produced more biomass than those from more humid sites under drought conditions. Surprisingly, however, they reacted more sensitive to water limiting conditions, as they produced also substantially more biomass under well-watered conditions. The drought treatment reduced root mass substantially in the upper soil. In agreement with the second hypothesis this led to a shift in the centre of root mass to lower depth, where water was still more available than closer to the soil surface. In contrast to the third hypothesis, the air-warming treatment, which was very mild however compared to climate change scenarios, had no significant effects on root growth. Conclusions: Given that the provenances from drier sites showed more biomass loss at water limiting conditions than provenances from more humid sites, it remains questionable whether provenances from drier sites are better suited for a future climate.
    Keywords: Climate change ; Fine root ; Root mass distribution ; Root:shoot ratio ; Quercus robur ; Quercus petraea ; Quercus pubescens
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2014, Vol.9(2), p.e89724
    Description: Climate change is expected to increase temperature and decrease summer precipitation in Central Europe. Little is known about how warming and drought will affect phenological patterns of oaks, which are considered to possess excellent adaptability to these climatic changes. Here, we investigated bud burst and intra-annual shoot growth of Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Q. pubescens grown on two different forest soils and exposed to air warming and drought. Phenological development was assessed over the course of three growing seasons. Warming advanced bud burst by 1-3 days °C⁻¹ and led to an earlier start of intra-annual shoot growth. Despite this phenological shift, total time span of annual growth and shoot biomass were not affected. Drought changed the frequency and intensity of intra-annual shoot growth and advanced bud burst in the subsequent spring of a severe summer drought by 1-2 days. After re-wetting, shoot growth recovered within a few days, demonstrating the superior drought tolerance of this tree genus. Our findings show that phenological patterns of oaks are modified by warming and drought but also suggest that ontogenetic factors and/or limitations of water and nutrients counteract warming effects on the biomass and the entire span of annual shoot growth.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2015, Vol.10(5), p.e0126701
    Description: Climate change poses direct or indirect influences on physiological mechanisms in plants. In particular, long living plants like trees have to cope with the predicted climate changes (i.e. drought and air warming) during their life span. The present study aimed to quantify the consequences of simulated climate change for foliar N metabolites over a drought-rewetting-drought course. Saplings of three Central European oak species (i.e. Quercus robur, Q. petraea, Q. pubescens) were tested on two different soil types (i.e. acidic and calcareous). Consecutive drought periods increased foliar amino acid-N and soluble protein-N concentrations at the expense of structural N in all three oak species. In addition, transient effects on foliar metabolite dynamics were observed over the drought-rewetting-drought course. The lowest levels of foliar soluble protein-N, amino acid-N and potassium cation with a minor response to drought and air warming were found in the oak species originating from the driest/warmest habitat (Q. pubescens) compared to Q. robur and Q. petraea. Higher foliar osmolyte-N and potassium under drought and air warming were observed in all oak species when grown on calcareous versus acidic soil. These results indicate that species-specific differences in physiological mechanisms to compensate drought and elevated temperature are modified by soil acidity.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, January 2011, Vol.159(1), pp.337-347
    Description: The phytoextraction potential of plants for removing heavy metals from polluted soils is determined by their capacity to store contaminants in aboveground organs and complex them safely. In this study, the metal compartmentation, elemental composition of zinc deposits and zinc complexation within leaves from poplars grown on soil with mixed metal contamination was analysed combining several histochemical and microanalytical approaches. Zinc was the only heavy metal detected and was stored in several organelles in the form of globoid deposits showing β-metachromasy. It was associated to oxygen anions and different cations, noteworthy phosphorous. The deposit structure, elemental composition and element ratios indicated that zinc was chelated by phytic acid ligands. Maturation processes in vacuolar vs. cytoplasmic deposits were suggested by differences in size and amounts of complexed zinc. Hence, zinc complexation by phytate contributed to metal detoxification and accumulation in foliage but could not prevent toxicity reactions therein. Zinc contaminants translocated to symplast of aged leaves were detoxified by phytic acid ligands.
    Keywords: Fesem ; Zinc ; Metal Complexation ; Phytate ; Poplar ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    E-ISSN: 1873-6424
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 2010, Vol.408(8), pp.2013-2013
    Description: Leaf-level microscopical symptom structure and physiological responses were investigated in seedlings experimentally exposed to ozone (O3) in indoor chambers (150 ppb, 8 hd(-1) per 7 weeks), and field trees of Manna ash (Fraxinus ornus) exposed to ambient O3 (max 93 ppb per one growing season). Ozone-induced leaf injury, including leaf reddening and stippling, was observed in both seedlings and mature trees, but the morphology of injury in the stipples differed, being hypersensitive-like (HR-like) in the chamber seedlings and accelerated cell senescence (ACS) in the field trees. In both exposure conditions, the main structural impact of O3 was on the mesophyll and especially the upper assimilating cell layers. The main physiological impact was on carbon assimilation and on stomatal sluggishness. These effects were not due to stomatal structural injury and were more severe in juvenile compared to mature trees because of environmental (water availability, light) and constitutional (gas exchange capacity) factors and differences in the cell physiology processes (HR-like vs. ACS) triggered by ozone stress. Given the plasticity of plant responses to ozone stress, dose/response relationships for tree seedlings in the indoor chambers cannot be extrapolated to mature trees unless ambient conditions are closely simulated.
    Keywords: Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Science of the Total Environment, 2010, Vol.408(8), pp.2014-2024
    Description: Leaf-level microscopical symptom structure and physiological responses were investigated in seedlings experimentally exposed to ozone (O ) in indoor chambers (150 ppb, 8 h d per 7 weeks), and field trees of Manna ash ( ) exposed to ambient O (max 93 ppb per one growing season). Ozone-induced leaf injury, including leaf reddening and stippling, was observed in both seedlings and mature trees, but the morphology of injury in the stipples differed, being hypersensitive-like (HR-like) in the chamber seedlings and accelerated cell senescence (ACS) in the field trees. In both exposure conditions, the main structural impact of O was on the mesophyll and especially the upper assimilating cell layers. The main physiological impact was on carbon assimilation and on stomatal sluggishness. These effects were not due to stomatal structural injury and were more severe in juvenile compared to mature trees because of environmental (water availability, light) and constitutional (gas exchange capacity) factors and differences in the cell physiology processes (HR-like vs. ACS) triggered by ozone stress. Given the plasticity of plant responses to ozone stress, dose/response relationships for tree seedlings in the indoor chambers cannot be extrapolated to mature trees unless ambient conditions are closely simulated.
    Keywords: Tropospheric O 3 ; Histology ; Cytochemistry ; Fraxinus Ornus ; Manna Ash ; Physiology ; Stomata ; Upscaling ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    E-ISSN: 1879-1026
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