The spatial distribution of bivalves in relation to environmental conditions was studied along a second- and third order stream — medium-sized river (River Ipoly) — large river (River Danube) continuum in the Hungarian Danube River system. Quantitative samples were collected four times in 2007 and a total of 1662 specimens, belonging to 22 bivalve species were identified. Among these species, two are endangered (Pseudanodonta complanata, Unio crassus) and five are invasive (Dreissena polymorpha, D. rostriformis bugensis, Corbicula fluminea, C. fluminalis, Anodonta woodiana) in Hungary. The higher density presented by Pisidium subtruncatum, P. supinum, P. henslowanum and C. fluminea suggests that these species may have a key role in this ecosystem. Three different faunal groups were distinguished but no significant temporal change was detected. The lowest density and diversity with two species (P. casertanum and P. personatum) occurred in streams. The highest density and diversity was found in the River Ipoly, in the side arms of the Danube and in the main arm of the Danube with sand and silt substrate, being dominated by P. subtruncatum and P. henslowanum. Moderate density and species richness were observed in the main arm of the Danube with pebble and stone substrate, being dominated by C. fluminea and S. rivicola. Ten environmental variables were found to have significant influence on the distribution of bivalves, the strongest explanatory factors being substrate types, current velocity and sedimentological characteristics.
Invasion by alien plant species may be rapid and aggressive, causing erosion of local biodiversity. This is particularly true for islands, where natural and anthropogenic corridors promote the rapid spread of invasive plants. Although evidence shows that corridors may facilitate plant invasions, the question of how their importance in the spread of alien species varies along environmental gradients deserves more attention. Here, we addressed this issue by examining diversity patterns (species richness of endemic, native and alien species) along and across roads, along an elevation gradient from sea-level up to 2050 m a.s.l. in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), at multiple spatial scales. Species richness was assessed using a multi-scale sampling design consisting of 59 T-transects of 150 m × 2 m, along three major roads each placed over the whole elevation gradient. Each transect was composed of three sections of five plots each: Section 1 was located on the road edges, Section 2 at intermediate distance, and Section 3 far from the road edge, the latter representing the “native community” less affected by road-specific disturbance. The effect of elevation and distance from roadsides was evaluated for the three groups of species (endemic, native and alien species), using parametric and non-parametric regression analyses as well as additive diversity partitioning. Differences among roads explained the majority of the variation in alien species richness and composition. Patterns in alien species richness were also affected by elevation, with a decline in richness with increasing elevation and no alien species recorded at high elevations. Elevation was the most important factor determining patterns in endemic and native species. These findings confirm that climate filtering reflected in varying patterns along elevational gradients is an important determinant of the richness of alien species (which are not adapted to high elevations), while anthropogenic pressures may explain the richness of alien species at low elevation.
Introduction The global challenge of our time is to maintain and improve food production standards while preserving biodiversity. Agricultural production might be threatened by various invasivespecies as their damage might result in tens of
G. Brundu, J. Brock, I. Camarda, L. Child and M. Wade (eds.), 2001. Plant invasions: Species Ecology and Ecosystem Management. 338 pages with 127 figures and 80 tables. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden. ISBN 90-5782-080-3. Paperback; price: EUR 93.00/USD 89.00 D.J. Levey, W.R. Silva and M. Galetti (eds.), 2002. Seed Dispersal and Frugivory: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. xvi + 511 pp. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK. ISBN 0 85199 525 X (hardback). Price: GBP 75.00 / USD 140.00
Recent research indicates that the soil microbial community, particularly arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), can influence plant invasion in several ways. We tested if 1) invasive species are colonised by AMF to a lower degree than resident native species, and 2) AMF colonisation of native plants is lower in a community inhabited by an invasive species than in an uninvaded resident community. The two tests were run in semiarid temperate grasslands on grass (Poaceae) species, and the frequency and intensity of mycorrhizal colonisation, and the proportion of arbuscules and vesicles in plant roots have been measured. In the first test, grasses representing three classes of invasiveness were included: invasive species, resident species becoming abundant upon disturbance, and non-invasive native species. Each class contained one C3 and one C4 species. The AMF colonisation of the invasive Calamagrostis epigejos and Cynodon dactylon was consistently lower than that of the non-invasive native Chrysopogon gryllus and Bromus inermis, and contained fewer arbuscules than the post-disturbance dominant resident grasses Bothriochloa ischaemum and Brachypodium pinnatum. The C3 and C4 grasses behaved alike despite their displaced phenologies in these habitats. The second test compared AMF colonisation for sand grassland dominant grasses Festuca vaginata and Stipa borysthenica in stands invaded by either C. epigejos or C. dactylon, and in the uninvaded natural community. Resident grasses showed lower degree of AMF colonisation in the invaded stand compared to the uninvaded natural community with F. vaginata responding so to both invaders, while S. borysthenica responding to C. dactylon only. These results indicate that invasive grasses supposedly less reliant on AMF symbionts have the capacity of altering the soil mycorrhizal community in such a way that resident native species can establish a considerably reduced extent of the beneficial AMF associations, hence their growth, reproduction and ultimately abundance may decline. Accumulating evidence suggests that such indirect influences of invasive alien plants on resident native species mediated by AMF or other members of the soil biota is probably more the rule than the exception.
The choice of stress resistant and highly adaptable species is a fundamental step for landscaping and ornamental purposes in arid and coastal environments such as those in the Mediterranean basin. The genus Tamarix L. includes about 90 species with a high endurance of adversity. We investigated the water relations and photosynthetic response of Tamarix arborea (Sieb. ex Ehrenb.) Bge. var. arborea and T. parviflora DC. growing in an urban environment. Both species showed no evidence of drought or salt stress in summer, and appeared to follow two strategies with T. arborea var. arborea investing in high carbon gain at the beginning of the summer, and then reducing photosynthetic activity at the end of the season, and T. parviflora showing lower but constant levels of photosynthetic activity throughout the vegetative season. For landscaping and ornamental purposes, we suggest T. arborea var. arborea when a fast-growing, high-cover species is necessary, and T. parviflora when less-invasive species are required.
The montane (shola) grasslands of Western Ghats, South India are a component of a landscape mosaic including the better-studied shola forests. The conservation of the grasslands depends upon understanding their ecology. This review compiles available information and aims to evaluate the conservation potential of these grasslands. Most studies on these grasslands are descriptive in nature. There is little information regarding habitat heterogeneity, landscape configuration, natural disturbance, grazing and productivity in maintaining the grasslands. Succession is poorly understood because of the short-term nature of most studies. Human activities have historically influenced these grasslands and will continue to do so in more intensive manner. Threats to these grasslands include habitat loss, fragmentation, fires, and invasive species.
Seeds ensure the survival and dispersal of the majority of vascular plant species. Seeds require species-specific germination conditions and display very different germination capacities using different germination methods. Despite the importance of plant generative reproduction, little is known about the germination capacity of the seeds of the Pannonian flora, particularly under field conditions. Our aim was to reduce this knowledge gap by providing original data on the germination capacity of 75 herbaceous species. We reported the germination capacity of 8 species for the first time. We also highlighted the year-to-year differences in the germination capacity of 11 species which could be highly variable between years. The data regarding the germination capacity of target species, as well as weeds and invasive species, can be informative for nature conservation and restoration projects. Our findings support the composition of proper seed mixtures for ecological restoration and also highlight the importance of testing seed germination capacity before sowing.
Leaf morphology, coarse structure and anatomy were compared for two invasive C
, two non-invasive C
, and two expanding native C
grass species grown in their original, high-light semiarid temperate habitat, and in a growth room under variable moderate light and favourable supply of water and nutrients. It was hypothesised that (H
) among C
grasses leaf structural response will be greater for invasive than for non-invasive species, and (H
) for plants of high spreading capacity C
species will be less responsive than C
species. Leaf mass per area was lower in the growth room than in the field by 43.4–54% and 5.7–21.2% for grasses of high spreading capacity and for non-invasive C
species, respectively. Little or no response was observed in the proportion of epidermis and mesophyll, but the proportional area of veins plus sclerenchyma was greater in the field than in the growth room for the invasive C
, and the spreading C
, while it did not differ for the two non-invasive C
grasses and the invasive C
. Leaf intervential distance was invariant for C
grasses (except for the non-invasive
) and the C
, but changed by 25.1% for the C
. These results suggest that among C
grasses invasive species expceed non-invasive ones in the plasticity of leaf coarse structure, but not that of leaf morphology and anatomy. However, leaf structure was not less plastic in invasive C
than in expanding C
grasses except for intervential distance.