472 research outputs found

    Exchange of carbon dioxide in tropical forest

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    Adenoid cystic carcinoma: emerging role of translocations and gene fusions.

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    Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), the second most common salivary gland malignancy, is notorious for poor prognosis, which reflects the propensity of ACC to progress to clinically advanced metastatic disease. Due to high long-term mortality and lack of effective systemic treatment, the slow-growing but aggressive ACC poses a particular challenge in head and neck oncology. Despite the advancements in cancer genomics, up until recently relatively few genetic alterations critical to the ACC development have been recognized. Although the specific chromosomal translocations resulting in MYB-NFIB fusions provide insight into the ACC pathogenesis and represent attractive diagnostic and therapeutic targets, their clinical significance is unclear, and a substantial subset of ACCs do not harbor the MYB-NFIB translocation. Strategies based on detection of newly described genetic events (such as MYB activating super-enhancer translocations and alterations affecting another member of MYB transcription factor family-MYBL1) offer new hope for improved risk assessment, therapeutic intervention and tumor surveillance. However, the impact of these approaches is still limited by an incomplete understanding of the ACC biology, and the manner by which these alterations initiate and drive ACC remains to be delineated. This manuscript summarizes the current status of gene fusions and other driver genetic alterations in ACC pathogenesis and discusses new therapeutic strategies stemming from the current research

    Equivalence of foliar water uptake and stomatal conductance?

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    Foliar water uptake, FWU, the uptake of atmospheric water directly into leaves, has been reported to occur in nearly 200 species spanning a wide range of ecosystems distributed globally. In order to represent FWU in land‐surface models, a conductance term is required to scale the process to the canopy level. Here we show that conductance to FWU is theoretically equivalent to stomatal conductance and that under commonly occurring conditions vapour could diffuse into leaves at rates equivalent to those reported as FWU. We therefore conclude that such 'reverse transpiration' could partially, or even wholly, account for FWU in some plants.Australian Research Council, Grant/Award Number: FT11010045

    Microbial carbon mineralization in tropical lowland and montane forest soils of Peru

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    Climate change is affecting the amount and complexity of plant inputs to tropical forest soils. This is likely to influence the carbon (C) balance of these ecosystems by altering decomposition processes e.g., "positive priming effects" that accelerate soil organic matter mineralization. However, the mechanisms determining the magnitude of priming effects are poorly understood. We investigated potential mechanisms by adding (13)C labeled substrates, as surrogates of plant inputs, to soils from an elevation gradient of tropical lowland and montane forests. We hypothesized that priming effects would increase with elevation due to increasing microbial nitrogen limitation, and that microbial community composition would strongly influence the magnitude of priming effects. Quantifying the sources of respired C (substrate or soil organic matter) in response to substrate addition revealed no consistent patterns in priming effects with elevation. Instead we found that substrate quality (complexity and nitrogen content) was the dominant factor controlling priming effects. For example a nitrogenous substrate induced a large increase in soil organic matter mineralization whilst a complex C substrate caused negligible change. Differences in the functional capacity of specific microbial groups, rather than microbial community composition per se, were responsible for these substrate-driven differences in priming effects. Our findings suggest that the microbial pathways by which plant inputs and soil organic matter are mineralized are determined primarily by the quality of plant inputs and the functional capacity of microbial taxa, rather than the abiotic properties of the soil. Changes in the complexity and stoichiometry of plant inputs to soil in response to climate change may therefore be important in regulating soil C dynamics in tropical forest soils.This study was financed by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant NE/G018278/1 and is a product of the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group consortium (www.andesconservation.org); Patrick Meir was also supported by ARC FT110100457

    Does Economic Optimisation Explain LAI and Leaf Trait Distributions Across an Amazon Soil Moisture Gradient?

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    Leaf area index (LAI) underpins terrestrial ecosystem functioning, yet our ability to predict LAI remains limited. Across Amazon forests, mean LAI, LAI seasonal dynamics and leaf traits vary with soil moisture stress. We hypothesise that LAI variation can be predicted via an optimality‐based approach, using net canopy C export (NCE, photosynthesis minus the C cost of leaf growth and maintenance) as a fitness proxy. We applied a process‐based terrestrial ecosystem model to seven plots across a moisture stress gradient with detailed in situ measurements, to determine nominal plant C budgets. For each plot, we then compared observations and simulations of the nominal (i.e. observed) C budget to simulations of alternative, experimental budgets. Experimental budgets were generated by forcing the model with synthetic LAI timeseries (across a range of mean LAI and LAI seasonality) and different leaf trait combinations (leaf mass per unit area, lifespan, photosynthetic capacity and respiration rate) operating along the leaf economic spectrum. Observed mean LAI and LAI seasonality across the soil moisture stress gradient maximised NCE, and were therefore consistent with optimality‐based predictions. Yet, the predictive power of an optimality‐based approach was limited due to the asymptotic response of simulated NCE to mean LAI and LAI seasonality. Leaf traits fundamentally shaped the C budget, determining simulated optimal LAI and total NCE. Long‐lived leaves with lower maximum photosynthetic capacity maximised simulated NCE under aseasonal high mean LAI, with the reverse found for short‐lived leaves and higher maximum photosynthetic capacity. The simulated leaf trait LAI trade‐offs were consistent with observed distributions. We suggest that a range of LAI strategies could be equally economically viable at local level, though we note several ecological limitations to this interpretation (e.g. between‐plant competition). In addition, we show how leaf trait trade‐offs enable divergence in canopy strategies. Our results also allow an assessment of the usefulness of optimality‐based approaches in simulating primary tropical forest functioning, evaluated against in situ data.The authors would like to thank the PhD project funding body, the UK Natural Environment Research Council E3 DTP, NERC, the GHG program GREENHOUSE (NE/K002619/1), the UK's National Centre for Earth Observation (NE/R016518/1), the UKSA project Forests 2020, a Royal Society Wolfson Award to M.W., the UK Met Office, the Newton Fund and the CSSP-Brazil project. P.M. also acknowl-edges support from NERC grant NE/J011002/1 and ARC grant DP170104091. The TRY trait database is thanked for the data used in model parameterisation and the authors would like to thank the Global Ecosystems Monitoring network team for the field data used in this study, collected through funding from NERC and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and an ERC Advanced Investigator Award to Y.M. (GEM-TRAIT). In addition, the authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback on the manuscrip

    Plumbing the depths: extracellular water storage in specialized leaf structures and its functional expression in a three-domain pressure-volume relationship

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    A three-domain pressure-volume relationship (PV curve) was studied in relation to leaf anatomical structure during dehydration in the grey mangrove, Avicennia marina. In domain 1, relative water content (RWC) declined 13% with 0.85 MPa decrease in leaf water potential, reflecting a decrease in extracellular water stored primarily in trichomes and petiolar cisternae. In domain 2, RWC decreased by another 12% with a further reduction in leaf water potential to -5.1 MPa, the turgor loss point. Given the osmotic potential at full turgor (-4.2 MPa) and the effective modulus of elasticity (~40 MPa), domain 2 emphasized the role of cell wall elasticity in conserving cellular hydration during leaf water loss. Domain 3 was dominated by osmotic effects and characterized by plasmolysis in most tissues and cell types without cell wall collapse. Extracellular and cellular water storage could support an evaporation rate of 1 mmol m-2 s-1 for up to 54 and 50 min, respectively, before turgor loss was reached. This study emphasized the importance of leaf anatomy for the interpretation of PV curves, and identified extracellular water storage sites that enable transient water use without substantive turgor loss when other factors, such as high soil salinity, constrain rates of water transport.HTN was supported by an Australia Awards PhD scholarshipand the research was supported by Australian ResearchCouncil Discovery Grant (DP150104437) to MCB and MM;PM was supported by ARC grant FT11010045

    Measuring the vertical profile of leaf wetness in a forest canopy

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    Plant canopies are wet for substantial amounts of time and this influences physiological performance and fluxes of energy, carbon and water at the ecosystem level. Leaf wetness sensors enable us to quantify the duration of leaf wetness and spatially map this to canopy structure. However, manually analysing leaf wetness data from plot-level experiments can be time-consuming, and requires a degree of subjective judgement in delineating wetness events which can lead to inconsistencies in the analysis. Here we: • Describe how to set up an array of leaf wetness sensors (Phytos 31, Meter) enabling the measurement of leaf wetness duration through the profile of a forest canopy, • Present a method and R script to objectively identify and distinguish periods of rain and dew from the output of leaf wetness sensors, • Provide a criteria for separating the leaf wetness sensor output into dew and rain events which may form a reference standard, or be modified for use, in future studies

    Transport Through a Quantum Dot

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    Contains description of one research project.Joint Services Electronics Program Contract DAAL03-89-C-0001Joint Services Electronics Program Contract DAAL03-92-C-000
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