257,839 research outputs found

    Light is more important than nutrient ratios of fertilization for cymodocea nodosa seedling development

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    Restoration of seagrass beds through seedlings is an alternative to the transplantation of adult plants that reduces the impact over donor areas and increases the genetic variability of restored meadows. To improve the use of Cymodocea nodosa seedlings, obtained from seeds germinated in vitro, in restoration programs, we investigated the ammonium and phosphate uptake rates of seedlings, and the synergistic effects of light levels (20 and 200 mu mol quanta m(-2) s(-1)) and different nitrogen to phosphorus molar ratios (40 mu M N:10 mu M P, 25 mu M N:25 mu M P, and 10 mu N:40 mu M P) on the photosynthetic activity and growth of seedlings. The nutrient content of seedlings was also compared to the seed nutrient reserves to assess the relative importance of external nutrient uptake for seedling development. Eighty two percent of the seeds germinated after 48 days at a mean rate of 1.5 seeds per day. All seedlings under all treatments survived and grew during the 4 weeks of the experiment. Seedlings of C. nodosa acquired ammonium and phosphate from the incubation media while still attached to the seed, at rates of about twice of adult plants. The relevance of external nutrient uptake was further highlighted by the observation that seedlings' tissues were richer in nitrogen and phosphorus than non-germinated seeds. The uptake of ammonium followed saturation kinetics with a half saturation constant of 32 mu M whereas the uptake of phosphate increased linearly with nutrient concentration within the range tested (5 - 100 mu M). Light was more important than the nutrient ratio of fertilization for the successful development of the young seedlings. The seedlings' photosynthetic and growth rates were about 20% higher in the high light treatment, whereas different nitrogen to phosphorus ratios did not significantly affect growth. The photosynthetic responses of the seedlings to changes in the light level and their capacity to use external nutrient sources showed that seedlings of C. nodosa have the ability to rapidly acclimate to the surrounding light and nutrient environment while still attached to the seeds. C. nodosa seedlings experiencing fertilization under low light levels showed slightly enhanced growth if nourished with a balanced formulation, whereas a slight increase in growth was also observed with unbalanced formulations under a higher light level. Our results highlight the importance of high light availability at the seedling restoration sites.Department of the Environment, Heritage and Climate Change of Gibraltar; FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology [SFRH/BPD/91629/2012]; FCT [UID/Multi/04326/2013

    Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Monoterpenes of Jack Pine Seedlings and Weight Gain of Jack Pine Budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

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    Nine-month old jack pine (Pinus banksiana) seedlings were grown in a greenhouse under four nitrogen fertilization regimes. Levels of total nitrogen and five monoterpenes in new foliage were measured. Fertilization resulted in four significantly different levels of foliar nitrogen; means ranged from 1.8-4.5 percent dry weight. Contrary to predictions of resource availability theory, seedlings grown under the highest fertilization regime had higher foliar monoterpene levels than seedlings in the other treatments. Newly molted, sixth-instar female jack pine budworm (Choristoneura pinus pinus [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae]) larvae were allowed to feed for four days on new foliage of the seedlings. Larvae that fed on low-nitrogen seedling gained less weight and process more vegetation than did larvae on high- nitrogen seedlings. Larval weight gain was positively related to foliar nitrogen

    Genetic Family and Stock Type Influence Simulated Loblolly Pine Yields from Wet Sites

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    Planting adapted families or a bulked seedlot of bare-root and container-grown-seedlings of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L) were contrasted as cost effective alternatives for regenerating Arkansas\u27 wet sites. Survival data from two wet sites were used to simulate 15 years of growth. Containerized seedlings provided 17% greater survival than bare-root seedlings, but yielded a lower present net worth than bare-root seedlings. Planting families adapted to excessive moisture provided 7% greater survival and yielded a greater present net worth than planting a bulked seedlot consisting of adapted and poorly adapted families

    Effects of sediment disturbance regimes on Spartina seedling establishment: implications for salt marsh creation and restoration

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    Seedling establishment is an important process relevant for the restoration of salt marsh within the framework of sustainable coastal defense schemes. Recent studies have increasingly highlighted how the short-term (i.e., the day-to-day) sediment dynamics can form major bottlenecks for seedling establishment. Until recently, studies on quantifying the threshold values of such short-term sediment dynamics for marsh seedlings remain rare. As accretion/erosion trends and dynamics may differ greatly under global change, we study the effects of short-term sediment disturbance-regimes on seedling establishment of two globally distributed foundation species: Spartina alterniflora and Spartina anglica. Seedlings with different disturbance-free periods were exposed to a set of different accretion/erosion-regimes in the laboratory. Seedling survival appeared to be much more sensitive to erosion than accretion, seedlings with short disturbance-free periods were more sensitive than seedlings with longer ones, and S. alterniflora was more sensitive than S. anglica. Seedlings were less sensitive to gradual changes in sediment height (accretion/erosion) than to abrupt changes where time for morphological adjustment is lacking. Critical erosion depth (the maximum erosion that seedlings are able to withstand) was shown to mainly depend on sedimentation history. Our results confirm that the establishment of Spartina seedlings requires a flooding disturbance-free “window of opportunity” and that sediment disturbances affect their survival both directly and via morphological adjustment. These results provide fundamental insights into seedling establishment that can be used for designing engineering measures to create suitable conditions and enable marsh creation/restoration for nature goals or as part of coastal defense schemes under global change

    Effects of light and soil flooding on the growth and photosynthesis of ramin (Gonystylus bancanus) seedlings in Malaysia

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    We studied the ecophysiology of ramin (Gonystylus bancanus) seedlings in an experimental set up at the Forest Research Centre in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Ramin seedlings were grown on flooded and drained peat soil under 100, 76, 46 and 23% sunlight, thus simulating effects of different light conditions (canopy gap size) and drainage that occur in natural ramin populations. Seedling growth was highest in partial sunlight (76%) and reduced with reducing light levels. Aboveground productivity and fine root development were significantly higher in seedlings grown on flooded soil compared with those on drained soil. In contrast, investment in coarse root biomass was significantly higher in seedlings grown on drained soil. It appeared that the aboveground growth benefits in flooded conditions were the result of more advantageous conditions for allocation of carbon to leaves, thus enhancing overall relative growth rates through higher light interception rates despite lower photosynthetic capacity. The results of this experiment suggested that drainage of peat swamp forests would seriously hamper natural regeneration of ramin by limiting the growth of seedlings. It is also suggested that selective logging operations which produce medium-size canopy gaps improve ramin regeneration in hydrologically undisturbed mixed swamp forest

    Survivorship and Growth of Seedlings and Saplings in Urban Forests

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    Research in 1993, 2003, and 2013 showed high rates of tree mortality and low rates of recruitment (new trees) in Portland, Oregon’s Forest Park. To determine if the lack of young trees was an urban phenomenon, we added three control sites in the Mount Hood National Forest in 2013. Last summer, seedlings and saplings were measured at all sites in Forest Park, the Ancient Forest Preserve, and at the control sites. Seedlings are trees less than 2 meters tall, and saplings are trees greater than 2 meters tall but having a dbh of less than 10cm. The 2018 data was compared to that collected in 2013. We measured dbh (diameter at breast height) of saplings and the basal area for seedlings, as well as the tree height and the height of the lowest living branch. In 2018, the control sites had significantly more live trees, more coniferous trees, more shade tolerant trees, and more seedlings and saplings. We also found that the seedlings and saplings in 2018 had a greater diameter at the control sites than the urban sites. We found significantly more dead trees in 2018 than 2013 in Forest Park

    Stable gene transformation in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) using particle gun method

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    We investigated the possibility of transforming and obtaining transgenic cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L Walp) plants using the particle bombardment process. Meristematic explants that could give rise to whole fertile plants were used in transformation experiments with reporter and selectable marker genes driven by a 35S CaMV promoter. Conditions for optimal delivery of DNA to explants were established based on transient gus expression assays two days after bombardment. The size of microcarriers, microflight distance and helium pressure significantly affected transient expression of reporter genes. A total of 1692 explants were bombarded with DNA-coated particles and placed on 3 mg/l bialaphos selective medium. Only 12 regenerated shoots produced seeds eventually, and all were Gus negative even though 7 gave positive PCR signals with the bar primer. Eight out of 1400 seeds from To plants were GUS positive. DNA from eight of the GUS positive seedlings were amplified with both the gus and bar primers in PCR analysis but only two gave a positive Southern signal. Only two of the 3557 T2 seedlings obtained were GUS positive. However, 3 seedlings survived Basta spray. The two GUS positive and 3 Basta surviving seedlings gave positive Southern hybridisation signals. Twelve T3 seedlings from these were GUS positive and also gave positive Southern hybridisation signals. The positive reaction of T1, T2 and T3 seedlings under Southern analysis confirms the stable integration of introduced genes and the transfer of such genes to progenies. However, the level of expression of introduced genes in cowpea cells is very low and this accounted for the high mortality rate of progenies under Basta spray

    Long- and short-term induction of defences in seedlings of Shorea leprosula (Dipterocarpaceae): support for the carbon: nutrient balance hypothesis

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    The induction of carbon-based secondary metabolites in leaves following damage has been proposed to be a result of a shift in the carbon:nutrient balance, when growth is limited by nutrients in relation to carbon. Here we test this hypothesis using seedlings of a tropical tree, Shorea leprosula (Dipterocarpaceae). In the short term, we analysed the phenolic content of leaves 7 d after damage on seedlings grown under differing light and nutrient treatments. In the long term, we examined the effect of nutrients, over 12 mo, on leaf phenolic concentration and seedling growth. In both the long and short term, levels of phenolics increased in damaged leaves under low nutrient treatments. No changes in leaf phenolics were detected under high nutrient regimes, or in the short term under low light. In addition, it was found that defoliation of seedlings in high-nutrient environments led to greater rates of leaf production than in undamaged seedlings, suggesting compensation

    Seasonal facilitative and competitive trade‐offs between shrub seedlings and coastal grasses

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    Shrub expansion is occurring in grasslands globally and may be impacted by the balance of competition and facilitation with existing grasses. Along the mid‐Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the native shrub Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) is rapidly expanding and displacing other native coastal species. Recent research suggests that much of this expansion is due to warming winter temperatures, as temperatures below −15°C kill M. cerifera. The objective of this project was to understand the importance of species interactions with grasses on the growth and physiology of M. cerifera at the seedling life stage through both field and laboratory experiments. In the field, grasses were removed around seedlings and microclimate and shrub physiology and growth were measured. Seeds and seedlings were experimentally frozen to measure the freeze tolerance at both life stages. We found that grasses provided ~1.3°C insulation to shrubs during winter. A freezing threshold for M. cerifera seedlings was experimentally found between −6°C and −11°C, but seeds remained viable after being frozen to the coldest ecologically relevant temperatures. Seedlings competed for light with grasses during warm months and grew more where grasses were clipped, revealing a trade‐off between winter insulation and summer light competition. Morella cerifera exhibits ecosystem engineering at the seedling stage by significantly reducing summer maximum temperatures. When seedlings are very young (less than one year), grasses appear to improve germination and seedling survival. These phenomena enable rapid expansion of M. cerifera across the landscape and likely inform shrub expansion mechanisms in other systems. Although seedlings are small and relatively vulnerable, this life stage appears to have significant implications for ecosystem trajectory in grasslands undergoing shrub encroachment