Land use change, by disrupting the co-evolved interactions between plants and their pollinators, could be causing plant reproduction to be limited by pollen supply. Using a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis on over 2200 experimental studies and more than 1200 wild plants, we ask if land use intensification is causing plant reproduction to be pollen limited at global scales. Here we report that plants reliant on pollinators in urban settings are more pollen limited than similarly pollinator-reliant plants in other landscapes. Plants functionally specialized on bee pollinators are more pollen limited in natural than managed vegetation, but the reverse is true for plants pollinated exclusively by a non-bee functional group or those pollinated by multiple functional groups. Plants ecologically specialized on a single pollinator taxon were extremely pollen limited across land use types. These results suggest that while urbanization intensifies pollen limitation, ecologically and functionally specialized plants are at risk of pollen limitation across land use categories.
To consider the catastrophic situation of our environment, this environment sends lot of alarming events for us, not limited to the following: global warming, climate change, and pollution. Green purchasing behavior is one of the behaviors recommended to help sustain the environment. Three factors (social influence, environmental attitude, and environmental concern) are tested to see how they affect green purchasing behavior. A significant result was indicated between Social influence, Environmental concern and green purchasing behavior. The results provided empirical support to previous studies. Future research and limitation were discussed as well.
As pollinators decline globally, competition for their services is expected to intensify, and this antagonism may be most severe where the number of plant species is the greatest. Using meta-analysis and comparative phylogenetic analysis, we provide a global-scale test of whether reproduction becomes more limited by pollen receipt (pollen limitation) as the number of coexisting plant species increases. As predicted, we find a significant positive relationship between pollen limitation and species richness. In addition, this pattern is particularly strong for species that are obligately outcrossing and for trees relative to herbs or shrubs. We suggest that plants occurring in species-rich communities may be more prone to pollen limitation because of interspecific competition for pollinators. As a consequence, plants in biodiversity hotspots may have a higher risk of extinction and/or experience increased selection pressure to specialize on certain pollinators or diversify into different phenological niches. The combination of higher pollen limitation and habitat destruction represents a dual risk to tropical plant species that has not been previously identified.
Fireflies flashing in unison is a mesmerizing manifestation of animal collective behavior and an archetype of biological synchrony. To elucidate synchronization mechanisms and inform theoretical models, we recorded the collective display of thousands of Photinus carolinus fireflies in natural swarms, and provide the first spatiotemporal description of the onset of synchronization. At low firefly density, flashes appear uncorrelated. At high density, the swarm produces synchronous flashes within periodic bursts. Using three-dimensional reconstruction, we demonstrate that flash bursts nucleate and propagate across the swarm in a relay-like process. Our results suggest that fireflies interact locally through a dynamic network of visual connections defined by visual occlusion from terrain and vegetation. This model illuminates the importance of the environment in shaping self-organization and collective behavior. Flash bursts relay around vegetation across the swarm, illuminating the role of the environment in shaping self-organization. Flash bursts relay around vegetation across the swarm, illuminating the role of the environment in shaping self-organization.
Recent studies have demonstrated that rapid contemporary evolution can play a significant role in regulating population dynamics on ecological timescales. Here we identify a previously unrecognized mode by which rapid evolution can promote species coexistence via temporal fluctuations and a trade-off between competitive ability and the speed of adaptive evolution. We show that this interaction between rapid evolution and temporal fluctuations not only increases the range of coexistence conditions under a gleaner-opportunist trade-off (i.e., low minimum resource requirement [ ] vs. high maximum growth rate), but also yields stable coexistence in the absence of a classical gleaner-opportunist trade-off. Given the propensity for both oscillatory dynamics and divergent rates of adaptation (including rapid evolution and phenotypic plasticity) in the real world, we argue that this expansion of fluctuation-dependent coexistence theory provides an important overlooked solution to the so-called 'paradox of the plankton'.
Over millennia, ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have shaped macroecological distributions across the tree of life. Research describing patterns of regional and global biogeography has traditionally focussed on the study of conspicuous species. Consequently, there is limited understanding of cross-phyla biogeographic structuring, and an escalating need to understand the macroecology of both microscopic and macroscopic organisms. Here we used environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding to explore the biodiversity of marine metazoans, micro-eukaryotes and prokaryotes along an extensive and highly heterogeneous coastline. Our results showed remarkably consistent biogeographic structure across the kingdoms of life, which were underpinned by environmental and anthropogenic influence. Additionally, metazoan communities displayed biographic patterns that suggest regional biotic homogenisation of conspicuous species. Against the backdrop of global pervasive anthropogenic environmental change, our work highlights the importance of considering multiple domains of life to understand the maintenance and drivers of marine biodiversity across broad taxonomic, ecological and geographical scales.
Bacterial decomposition of organic matter in soils is generally believed to be mainly controlled by the accessibility of bacteria to their substrate. The influence of bacterial metabolic traits on this control has however received little attention in highly heterogeneous spatial conditions under advective-dispersive transport of bacteria and substrates. Here, we develop a biochemical transport model to screen the interactive impacts of dispersion and metabolic traits on mineralization. We compare the model results with two sets of previously performed cm-scale soil-core experiments in which the mineralization of the pesticide 2,4-D was measured under well-controlled initial distributions and transport conditions. Bacterial dispersion away from the source of substrate induced a significant increase in 2,4-D mineralization, revealing the existence of a control of decomposition by the bacterial density, in addition to the accessibility to the substrate. This regulation of degradation by density becomes dominant for bacteria with an efficient uptake of substrate at low substrate concentrations (i.e. oligotrophs). The model output suggests that the distance between bacteria adapted to oligotrophic environments is a stronger regulator of degradation than the distance between substrate source and these bacteria. Such oligotrophs, commonly found in soils, compete with each other for substrate even under remarkably low population densities. The ratio-dependent Contois growth model, which includes a density regulation in the expression of the uptake efficiency, appears more versatile and accurate than the substrate-dependent Monod model. In view of their strong interactions, biochemical and transport processes cannot be handled independently but should be integrated, in particular when biochemical processes of interest are carried out by oligotrophs.
Historical biogeographic events such as mountain orogeny are associated with the creation of environmental gradients, giving rise to the assembly of communities of species observed today. However, key gaps remain in our understanding of the relative importance of different eco-evolutionary processes acting as drivers of community assembly across environmental gradients. In this study, we test two non-exclusive hypotheses of the eco-evolutionary processes that shape tree communities across the Central Andean elevational gradient: Communities are assembled via 1) immigration and ecological sorting of pre-adapted clades, and 2) recent adaptive diversification along the elevational gradient. We used species surveys in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes and a novel phylogenetic framework to test the relative importance of these hypotheses. Although adaptive diversification has previously been observed in specific clades, immigration and sorting of clades pre-adapted to montane habitats is the primary mechanism shaping communities across elevations.
Agriculture is the most comprehensive word used to denote the many ways in which crop plants and domestic animals sustain the global human population by providing food and other products. The English word agriculture derives from the Latin ager (field) and colo (cultivate) signifying, when combined, the Latin agricultura: field or land tillage. But the word has come to subsume a very wide spectrum of activities that are integral to agriculture and have their own descriptive terms, such as cultivation, domestication, horticulture, arboriculture, and vegeculture, as well as forms of livestock management such as mixed crop-livestock farming, pastoralism, and transhumance. Also agriculture is frequently qualified by words such as incipient, proto, shifting, extensive, and intensive, the precise meaning of which is not self-evident. Many different attributes are used too to define particular forms of agriculture, such as soil type, frequency of cultivation, and principal crops or animals. The term agriculture is occasionally restricted to crop cultivation excluding the raising of domestic animals, although it usually implies both activities. The Oxford English Dictionary (1971) defines agriculture very broadly as “The science and art of cultivating the soil, including the allied pursuits of gathering in the crops and rearing live stock (sic); tillage, husbandry, farming (in the widest sense).” In this entry, we too use the term in its broadest, inclusive sense.
Plants protect themselves with a vast array of toxic secondary metabolites, yet most plants serve as food for insects. The evolutionary processes that allow herbivorous insects to resist plant defenses remain largely unknown. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a cosmopolitan, highly polyphagous agricultural pest that vectors several serious plant pathogenic viruses and is an excellent model to probe the molecular mechanisms involved in overcoming plant defenses. Here, we show that, through an exceptional horizontal gene transfer event, the whitefly has acquired the plant-derived phenolic glucoside malonyltransferase gene BtPMaT1. This gene enables whiteflies to neutralize phenolic glucosides. This was confirmed by genetically transforming tomato plants to produce small interfering RNAs that silence BtPMaT1, thus impairing the whiteflies’ detoxification ability. These findings reveal an evolutionary scenario whereby herbivores harness the genetic toolkit of their host plants to develop resistance to plant defenses and how this can be exploited for crop protection.