Browsing Faculty Research and Publications by Issue Date
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- ItemThe Biology and Management of Southern Alberta's Cottonwoods(Lethbridge, AB : University of Lethbridge, 1991, 1991-02) Rood, Stewart B.; Mahoney, John M.Proceedings of the University of Lethbridge conference, May 4 to 6, 1990.
- ItemDietary Ca inhibits waterborne Cd uptake in Cd-exposed rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss(Elsevier, 2001) Zohouri, Mohammad Ali; Pyle, Gregory; Wood, Chris M.The effects of chronic exposure to waterborne Cd and elevated dietary Ca, alone and in combination, were examined in juvenile rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Fish were chronically exposed to 0.05 Žcontrol. or 2.56 g l Cd as CdŽNO3.2 4H2O and were fed 2% body mass day of control Ž29.6 mg Ca g. or Ca-supplemented trout food Ž52.8 mg Ca g as CaCl2 2H2O.. Cd accumulated mainly in gill, liver, and kidney. Waterborne Cd inhibited unidirectional Ca uptake from water into the gill and induced hypocalcemia in the plasma on day 40. Waterborne Cd also induced an elevated Ca concentration on day 20 in the gill tissue of trout fed the Ca-supplemented diet and a decreased Ca concentration on day 35 in the gills of trout fed the control diet. Dietary Ca protected against Cd accumulation in gill, liver, and kidney, but did not protect against the inhibition of Ca uptake into the gill or plasma hypocalcemia. When fed Ca-supplemented diet and exposed to waterborne Cd, fish showed 35% mortality, compared to 0 2% in control fish and in the Cd-exposed fish with normal Ca in the diet. Growth, on the other hand, was not affected by any treatment.
- ItemResponses of wild fishes to alarm chemicals in pristine and metal-contaminated lakes(National Research Council of Canada, 2004) McPherson, Taryn D.; Mirza, Reehan S.; Pyle, GregoryResponses of wild fish populations to alarm chemicals were examined in clean and metal-contaminated lakes in northern Ontario. Approximately 20 groups of three minnow traps were placed randomly in the littoral zone of each study lake. Within each minnow trap group, one trap was treated with a chemical alarm stimulus (Iowa darter (Etheostoma exile (Girard, 1859)) skin extract, prey-guild species, alarm cue present), one with swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri Heckel, 1848) skin extract (phylogenetically distant and allopatric from darters, alarm cue present but not recognized by darters), and one with distilled water (neutral control). Data included the identification and enumeration of fish captured in each trap after a 10-h set. Darters avoided areas labelled with the alarm stimulus relative to controls only in the clean lake; in contaminated lakes, darters did not avoid areas labelled with the alarm stimulus relative to controls. No effects of contamination on chemosensory function were observed for heterospecific non-darter prey-guild or predator-guild species. These findings suggest that chemical alarm systems do exist in nature, and that these systems appear to be affected by the presence of metals. Such pollution-related effects could lead to increased susceptibility of some fish species to predation and to population declines.
- ItemOn the use of MODIS EVI to assess gross primary productivity of North American ecosystems(American Geophysical Union, 2006) Sims, Daniel A.; Rahman, Abdullah F.; Cordova, Vicente D.; El-Masri, Bassil Z.; Baldocchi, Dennis D.; Flanagan, Larry B.; Goldstein, Allen H.; Hollinger, David Y.; Misson, Laurent; Monson, Russell K.; Oechel, Walter C.; Schmid, Hans P.; Wofsy, Steven C.; Xu, LiukangCarbon flux models based on light use efficiency (LUE), such as the MOD17 algorithm, have proved difficult to parameterize because of uncertainties in the LUE term, which is usually estimated from meteorological variables available only at large spatial scales. In search of simpler models based entirely on remote-sensing data, we examined direct relationships between the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and gross primary productivity (GPP) measured at nine eddy covariance flux tower sites across North America. When data from the winter period of inactive photosynthesis were excluded, the overall relationship between EVI and tower GPP was better than that between MOD17 GPP and tower GPP. However, the EVI/GPP relationships vary between sites. Correlations between EVI and GPP were generally greater for deciduous than for evergreen sites. However, this correlation declined substantially only for sites with the smallest seasonal variation in EVI, suggesting that this relationship can be used for all but the most evergreen sites. Within sites dominated by either evergreen or deciduous species, seasonal variation in EVI was best explained by the severity of summer drought. Our results demonstrate that EVI alone can provide estimates of GPP that are as good as, if not better than, current versions of the MOD17 algorithm for many sites during the active period of photosynthesis. Preliminary data suggest that inclusion of other remote-sensing products in addition to EVI, such as the MODIS land surface temperature (LST), may result in more robust models of carbon balance based entirely on remote-sensing data
- ItemSummer carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes across a range of northern peatlands(American Geophysical Union, 2006) Humphreys, Elyn R.; Lafleur, Peter M.; Flanagan, Larry B.; Hedstrom, Newell; Syed, Kamran H.; Glenn, Aaron J.; Granger, RaoulNorthern peatlands are a diverse group of ecosystems varying along a continuum of hydrological, chemical, and vegetation gradients. These ecosystems contain about one third of the global soil carbon pool, but it is uncertain how carbon and water cycling processes and response to climate change differ among peatland types. This study examines midsummer CO2 and H2O fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique above seven northern peatlands including a low-shrub bog, two open poor fens, two wooded moderately rich fens, and two open extreme-rich fens. Gross ecosystem production and ecosystem respiration correlated positively with vegetation indices and with each other. Consequently, 24-hour net ecosystem CO2 exchange was similar among most of the sites (an average net carbon sink of 1.5 ± 0.2 g C m 2 d 1) despite large differences in water table depth, water chemistry, and plant communities. Evapotranspiration was primarily radiatively driven at all sites but a decline in surface conductance with increasing water vapor deficit indicated physiological restrictions to transpiration, particularly at the peatlands with woody vegetation and less at the peatlands with 100% Sphagnum cover. Despite these differences, midday evapotranspiration ranged only from 0.21 to 0.34 mm h 1 owing to compensation among the factors controlling evapotranspiration. Water use efficiency varied among sites primarily as a result of differences in productivity and plant functional type. Although peatland classification includes a great variety of ecosystem characteristics,peatland type may not be an effective way to predict the magnitude and characteristics of midsummer CO2 and water vapor exchanges.
- ItemTransgenerational changes in the genome stability and methylation in pathogen-infected plants (virus-induced plant genome instability)(Oxford University Press, 2007) Boyko, Alexander; Kathiria, Palak; Zemp, Franz J.; Yao, Youli; Pogribny, Igor; Kovalchuk, IgorPreviously, we reported the generation of a virusinduced systemic signal that increased the somatic and meiotic recombination rates in tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-infected tobacco plants. Here, we analyzed the progeny of plants that received the signal and found that these plants also have a higher frequency of rearrangements in the loci carrying the homology to LRR region of the gene of resistance to TMV (N-gene). Analysis of the stability of repetitive elements from Nicotiana tabacum loci and 5.8S ribosomal RNA loci did not show any changes. Further analysis of the changes in the progeny of infected plants revealed that they had substantially hypermethylated genomes. At the same time, loci-specific methylation analysis showed: (1) profound hypomethylation in several LRR-containing loci; (2) substantial hypermethylation of actin loci and (3) no change in methylation in the loci of repetitive elements from N. tabacum or 5.8S ribosomal RNA. Global genome hypermethylation of the progeny is believed to be part of a general protection mechanism against stress, whereas locus-specific hypomethylation is associated with a higher frequency of rearrangements. Increased recombination events combined with the specific methylation pattern induced by pathogen attack could be a sign of an adaptive response by plants
- ItemCopper-impaired chemosensory function and behavior in aquatic animals(Taylor & Francis, 2007) Pyle, Gregory; Mirza, Reehan S.Chemosensation is one of the oldest and most important sensory modalities utilized by aquatic animals to provide information about the location of predators, location of prey, sexual status of potential mates, genetic relatedness of kin, and migratory routes, among many other essential processes. The impressive sophistication of chemical communication systems among aquatic animals probably evolved because of the selective pressures exerted by water as a “universal solvent.” Impairment of chemosensation by toxicants at the molecular or cellular level can potentially lead to major perturbations at higher levels of biological organization. We have examined the consequences of metal-impaired chemosensory function in a range of aquatic animals that represents several levels of a typical aquatic ecosystem. In each case, low, environmentally relevant metal concentrations were sufficient to cause chemosensory dysfunction. Because the underlying molecular signal transduction machinery of chemosensory systems demonstrates a high degree of phylogenetic conservation, we speculate that metal-impaired chemosensation among phylogenetically disparate animal groups probably results from a common mechanism of impairment. We propose developing a chronic chemosensory-based biotic ligand model (BLM) that maintains the advantages of the current BLM approach, while simultaneously overcoming known difficulties of the current gill-based approach and increasing the ecological relevance of current BLM predictions.
- ItemModeling stomatal and nonstomatal effects of water deficits on CO2 fixation in a semiarid grassland(American Geophysical Union, 2007) Grant, Robert F.; Flanagan, Larry B.The confidence with which we can model water deficit effects on grassland productivity is limited by uncertainty about the mechanisms, stomatal and nonstomatal, by which soil water deficits reduce CO2 uptake. We propose that these reductions can accurately be modeled from a combination of stomatal effects on gaseous CO2 diffusion and nonstomatal effects on biochemical CO2 fixation. These effects can be combined through a solution for the intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) at which rates of diffusion and fixation are equal for each leaf surface in the canopy. In this model, both stomatal and nonstomatal effects are driven by a common indicator of plant water status calculated in a hydraulically-driven scheme of soil-plant-atmosphere water transfer. As part of the ecosystem model ecosys, this combined model simulated concurrent declines in latent heat effluxes and CO2 influxes measured by eddy covariance during soil drying in a drought-affected semiarid grassland. At the same time, the model simulated the declines in Ci at which CO2 fixation occurred during soil drying as calculated from seasonal measurements of phytomass d13C. Alternative model formulations based on stomatal or nonstomatal effects alone simulated these declines in CO2 influxes and in Ci less accurately than did the formulation in which these effects were combined. We conclude that modeling water deficit effects on CO2 fixation requires the concurrent simulation of stomatal and nonstomatal effects. As part of a larger ecosystem model, this combined model can be used to assess climate effects on grassland productivity.
- ItemTransgenic plants as sensors of environmental pollution genotoxicity(M D P I A G, 2008) Kovalchuk, Igor; Kovalchuk, OlgaRapid technological development is inevitably associated with many environmental problems which primarily include pollution of soil, water and air. In many cases, the presence of contamination is difficult to assess. It is even more difficult to evaluate its potential danger to the environment and humans. Despite the existence of several whole organism-based and cell-based models of sensing pollution and evaluation of toxicity and mutagenicity, there is no ideal system that allows one to make a quick and cheap assessment. In this respect, transgenic organisms that can be intentionally altered to be more sensitive to particular pollutants are especially promising. Transgenic plants represent an ideal system, since they can be grown at the site of pollution or potentially dangerous sites. Plants are ethically more acceptable and esthetically more appealing than animals as sensors of environmental pollution. In this review, we will discuss various transgenic plant-based models that have been successfully used for biomonitoring genotoxic pollutants. We will also discuss the benefits and potential drawbacks of these systems and describe some novel ideas for the future generation of efficient transgenic phytosensors.
- ItemSeasonal and regional variations in metal contamination and condition indicators in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) along two polymetallic gradients. II. Growth patterns, longevity, and condition(Taylor & Francis, 2008) Pyle, Gregory; Busby, Patrick; Gauthier, Charles; Rajotte, James W.; Couture, PatriceWild yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were sampled from five lakes in each of two metal contamination gradients in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (n = 1324) and Rouyn- Noranda, Qu´ebec, Canada (n = 1125) in the spring and summer of 2002 and 2003, respectively, in order to examine growth patterns, longevity, and the influences of season and region on fish condition. Fish from Rouyn-Noranda began rapid growth at a young age, whereas fish from Sudbury lakes showed slow growth rates between ages 0–3, after which growth rates improved. Fish from contaminated lakes grew faster and died younger than fish from reference lakes in both contamination gradients. Fish from Sudbury had lower condition than in Rouyn-Noranda, higher condition occurred in summer than spring, and fish from contaminated lakes had lower condition than those from cleaner lakes. Tissue Zn concentrations were correlated with fish condition and showed strong temporal stability. However, it is more likely that Zn covariates, such as Cd or Cu (which were more temporally variable) influenced condition, suggesting that long-term, broad-scale processes are more important than short-term, lake-specific processes for establishing growth patterns, longevity, and fish condition in metal-contaminated systems. Results from this study reveal that fish condition must be interpreted in the light of regional, seasonal, and other factors that can potentially influence fish growth patterns. Ecological risk assessments that fail to take these factors into account may draw erroneous conclusions about risk to indigenous populations.
- ItemRadiotracer studies on waterborne copper uptake, distribution, and toxicity in rainbow trout and yellow perch: a comparative analysis(Taylor & Francis, 2008) Pyle, Gregory; Wood, Chris M.Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are often used to estimate important biotic ligand model (BLM) parameters, such as metal-binding affinity (log K) and capacity (Bmax). However, rainbow trout do not typically occupy metal-contaminated environments, whereas yellow perch (Perca flavescens) are ubiquitous throughout most of North America. This study demonstrates that dynamic processes that regulate Cu uptake at the gill differ between rainbow trout and yellow perch. Rainbow trout were more sensitive to acute aqueous Cu than yellow perch, and toxicity was exacerbated in soft water relative to similar exposures in hard water. Whole body Na loss rate could account for acute Cu toxicity in both species, as opposed to new Cu uptake rate that was not as predictive. Time course experiments using radiolabelled Cu (64Cu) revealed that branchial Cu uptake was rather variable within the first 12 h of exposure, and appeared to be a function of Cu concentration, water hardness, and fish species. After 12 h, new branchial Cu concentrations stabilized in both species, suggesting that metal exposures used to estimate BLM parameters should be increased in duration from 3 h to 12+ h. In rainbow trout, 71% of the new Cu bound to the gill was exchangeable (i.e., able to either enter the fish or be released back to the water), as opposed to only 48% in yellow perch. This suggests that at equal exposure concentrations, proportionally more branchial Cu can be taken up by rainbow trout than yellow perch, which can then go on to confer toxicity. These qualitative differences in branchial Cu handling between the two species emphasize the need to develop BLM parameters for each species of interest, rather than the current practice of extrapolating BLM results derived from rainbow trout (or other laboratory-reared species) to other species. Data reported here indicate that a one-size-fits-all approach to predictive modeling, mostly based on rainbow trout studies, may not suffice for making predictions about metal toxicity to yellow perch—that is, a species that inhabits metal-contaminated lakes around northern Canadian industrial operations.
- ItemSeasonal and regional variations of metal contamination and condition indicators in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) along two polymetallic gradients. I. Factors influencing tissue metal concentrations(Taylor & Francis, 2008) Couture, Patrice; Busby, Patrick; Gauthier, Charles; Rajotte, James W.; Pyle, GregoryThis study examined relationships among water, sediment, diet, and fish tissue metal (Cd, Cu, Ni, Se, and Zn) concentrations in yellow perch from metal gradients in two regions (Sudbury (S), Ontario, and Rouyn-Noranda (RN), Qu´ebec, Canada) in two seasons (spring and summer). The objectives of this study were (1) to examine the influences of aqueous and dietary metal contamination on yellow perch liver and kidney metal accumulation; (2) to compare the seasonal and regional variations in gut content and tissue metal concentrations along the two gradients studied; and (3) to investigate the potential of metals for tissue accumulation under conditions of life-long chronic exposure. Our results suggest a greater aqueous than dietary influence on tissue metal concentrations for all metals examined except Cd, where the opposite was observed. Metals did not accumulate in older fish, except for Cd that accumulated with age in RN, but not S, fish. Regional, but also metal-specific differences in metal handling capacities are proposed. Fish from neither region appeared capable of regulating tissue Cd concentrations, but fish from both regions regulated Zn tightly. Sudbury fish appeared better at regulating tissue Cu, Ni, and perhaps also Se concentrations than RN fish, suggesting acclimation or selection for metal tolerance. There were several significant seasonal effects on tissue metal concentrations. However, close examination of the dataset does not allow proposing the presence of a season-linked mechanism explaining these variations, precluding a modeling approach and implying that repeat sampling within and among years is required for proper ecological risk assessment.
- ItemLive fast and die young: metal effects on condition and physiology of wild yellow perch from along two metal contamination gradients(Taylor & Francis, 2008) Couture, Patrice; Pyle, GregoryThis review summarizes some of the main findings of our work with the Metals in the Environment Research Network examining seasonal and regional effects on metal accumulation, growth, condition, and physiology in wild yellow perch (Perca flavescens) from 10 lakes comprising two metal contamination gradients in the industrial regions of Sudbury, Ontario and Rouyn-Noranda, Qu´ebec, Canada. The specific objectives of this review are: (1) to propose threshold tissue metal concentrations to discriminate between fish from contaminated and reference sites; (2) to identify factors that can influence metal accumulation and fish condition; and (3) to define an experimental approach for measuring metal effects in wild yellow perch. Using tissue thresholds appeared useful not only for discriminating fish from clean or contaminated environments, but also provided a simple approach to examine metabolic consequences of tissue metal accumulation. Overall, fish from Sudbury grew faster, expressed higher aerobic capacities, and died younger, but also appeared better at limiting accumulation of some metals than Rouyn-Noranda fish. The condition of the latter fish was clearly more affected by metals than Sudbury fish. Finally, our dataset allows us to propose that yellow perch are highly suitable for ecological risk assessment studies of metal effects in wild fish, but that fish size, season, and region must be considered in sampling design and that several reference sites must be studied for meaningful conclusions to be reached.
- ItemSeasonal and regional variations in metal contamination and condition indicators in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) along two polymetallic gradients. III. Energetic and physiological indicators(Taylor & Francis, 2008) Couture, Patrice; Rajotte, James W.; Pyle, GregoryThe influences of metal contamination, fish size, season, and region on tissue metabolic capacities and protein concentrations were examined in yellow perch from two metal gradients (Sudbury, Ontario, and Rouyn-Noranda, Qu´ebec, Canada) in two seasons (spring and summer). In general, increased tissue Cu and Cd contamination was associated with lower aerobic capacities, suggesting direct metal inhibition of aerobic enzymes. However, our data also revealed that tissue Ni contamination positively affected aerobic capacities, possibly due to oxidative damage to mitochondrial membranes leading to compensatory increases in the activity of mitochondrial enzymes. Tissue aerobic capacities decreased, but anaerobic capacities increased, with size. Tissue protein concentrations and metabolic capacities were also influenced by season. A novel finding of this study is that size-corrected tissue enzyme activities can differ markedly in yellow perch sampled in the same season in similar lakes, but separated by a few hundred kilometers. Overall, the results from this large dataset support that tissue metabolic capacities are under seasonal and regional influences, but are also affected by metal contamination. Our study indicates that tissue metabolic enzyme activities should be considered as a tool for ecological risk assessment studies aiming at detecting metal stress in wild fish. However, fish should be sampled over a short period, and reference sites should be close to contaminated sites
- ItemIn silico genomic analyses reveal three distinct lineages of Escherichia coli O 157:H7, one of which is associated with hyper-virulence(BioMed Central, 2009) Laing, Chad R.; Buchanan, Cody J.; Taboada, Eduardo N.; Zhang, Yongxiang; Karmali, Mohamed A.; Thomas, James E.; Gannon, Victor P. J.
- ItemPan-genome sequence analysis using Panseq: an online tool for the rapid analysis of core and accessory genomic regions(BioMed Central, 2010) Laing, Chad R.; Buchanan, Cody J.; Taboada, Eduardo N.; Zhang, Yongxiang; Kropinski, Andrew; Villegas, Andre; Thomas, James E.; Gannon, Victor P. J.Background: The pan-genome of a bacterial species consists of a core and an accessory gene pool. The accessory genome is thought to be an important source of genetic variability in bacterial populations and is gained through lateral gene transfer, allowing subpopulations of bacteria to better adapt to specific niches. Low-cost and high-throughput sequencing platforms have created an exponential increase in genome sequence data and an opportunity to study the pan-genomes of many bacterial species. In this study, we describe a new online pan-genome sequence analysis program, Panseq. Results: Panseq was used to identify Escherichia coli O157:H7 and E. coli K-12 genomic islands. Within a population of 60 E. coli O157:H7 strains, the existence of 65 accessory genomic regions identified by Panseq analysis was confirmed by PCR. The accessory genome and binary presence/absence data, and core genome and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of six L. monocytogenes strains were extracted with Panseq and hierarchically clustered and visualized. The nucleotide core and binary accessory data were also used to construct maximum parsimony (MP) trees, which were compared to the MP tree generated by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). The topology of the accessory and core trees was identical but differed from the tree produced using seven MLST loci. The Loci Selector module found the most variable and discriminatory combinations of four loci within a 100 loci set among 10 strains in 1 s, compared to the 449 s required to exhaustively search for all possible combinations; it also found the most discriminatory 20 loci from a 96 loci E. coli O157:H7 SNP dataset. Conclusion: Panseq determines the core and accessory regions among a collection of genomic sequences based on user-defined parameters. It readily extracts regions unique to a genome or group of genomes, identifies SNPs within shared core genomic regions, constructs files for use in phylogeny programs based on both the presence/absence of accessory regions and SNPs within core regions and produces a graphical overview of the output. Panseq also includes a loci selector that calculates the most variable and discriminatory loci among sets of accessory loci or core gene SNPs.
- ItemTransgenerational adaptation of Arabidopsis to stress requires DNA methylation and the function of dicer-like proteins(Public Library of Science, 2010) Boyko, Alexander; Blevins, Todd; Yao, Youli; Golubov, Andrey; Bilichak, Andriy; Ilnytskyy, Yaroslav; Hollunder, Jens; Meins, Frederick; Kovalchuk, IgorEpigenetic states and certain environmental responses in mammals and seed plants can persist in the next sexual generation. These transgenerational effects have potential adaptative significance as well as medical and agronomic ramifications. Recent evidence suggests that some abiotic and biotic stress responses of plants are transgenerational. For example, viral infection of tobacco plants and exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to UVC and flagellin can induce transgenerational increases in homologous recombination frequency (HRF). Here we show that exposure of Arabidopsis plants to stresses, including salt, UVC, cold, heat and flood, resulted in a higher HRF, increased global genome methylation, and higher tolerance to stress in the untreated progeny. This transgenerational effect did not, however, persist in successive generations. Treatment of the progeny of stressed plants with 5-azacytidine was shown to decrease global genomic methylation and enhance stress tolerance. Dicer-like (DCL) 2 and DCL3 encode Dicer activities important for small RNAdependent gene silencing. Stress-induced HRF and DNA methylation were impaired in dcl2 and dcl3 deficiency mutants, while in dcl2 mutants, only stress-induced stress tolerance was impaired. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that stress-induced transgenerational responses in Arabidopsis depend on altered DNA methylation and smRNA silencing pathways.
- ItemA model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America: results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis(American Geophysical Union, 2010) Schwalm, Christopher R.; Williams, Christopher A.; Schaefer, Kevin; Anderson, Ryan S.; Arain, M. Altaf; Baker, Ian T.; Barr, Alan G.; Black, T. Andrew; Chen, Guangsheng; Chen, Jing M.; Ciais, Philippe; Davis, Kenneth J.; Desai, Ankur R.; Dietze, Michael C.; Dragoni, Danilo; Fischer, Marc L.; Flanagan, Larry B.; Grant, Robert F.; Gu, Lianhong; Hollinger, David Y.; Izaurralde, R. Cesar; Kucharik, Christopher J.; Lafleur, Peter M.; Law, Beverly E.; Li, Longhui; Li, Zhengpeng; Liu, Shuguang; Lokupitiya, Erandathie; Luo, Yiqi; Ma, Siyan; Margolis, Hank; Matamala, Roser; McCaughey, Harry; Monson, Russell K.; Oechel, Walter C.; Peng, Changhui; Poulter, Benjamin; Price, David T.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Riley, William J.; Sahoo, Alok Kumar; Sprintsin, Michael; Sun, Jianfeng; Tian, Hanqin; Tonitto, Christina; Verbeeck, Hans; Verma, Shashi B.Our current understanding of terrestrial carbon processes is represented in various models used to integrate and scale measurements of CO2 exchange from remote sensing and other spatiotemporal data. Yet assessments are rarely conducted to determine how well models simulate carbon processes across vegetation types and environmental conditions. Using standardized data from the North American Carbon Program we compare observed and simulated monthly CO2 exchange from 44 eddy covariance flux towers in North America and 22 terrestrial biosphere models. The analysis period spans ∼220 site‐years, 10 biomes, and includes two large‐scale drought events, providing a natural experiment to evaluate model skill as a function of drought and seasonality. We evaluate models’ ability to simulate the seasonal cycle of CO2 exchange using multiple model skill metrics and analyze links between model characteristics, site history, and model skill. Overall model performance was poor; the difference between observations and simulations was ∼10 times observational uncertainty, with forested ecosystems better predicted than nonforested. Model‐data agreement was highest in summer and in temperate evergreen forests. In contrast, model performance declined in spring and fall, especially in ecosystems with large deciduous components, and in dry periods during the growing season. Models used across multiple biomes and sites, the mean model ensemble, and a model using assimilated parameter values showed high consistency with observations. Models with the highest skill across all biomes all used prescribed canopy phenology, calculated NEE as the difference between GPP and ecosystem respiration, and did not use a daily time step.
- ItemTransgenerational adaptation to heavy metal salts in Arabidopsis(Frontiers Media, 2011) Rahavi, Mohammad Reza; Migicovsky, Zoë; Titov, Viktor; Kovalchuk, IgorExposure to abiotic and biotic stress results in changes in plant physiology and triggers genomic instability. Recent reports suggest that the progeny of stressed plants also exhibit changes in genome stability, stress tolerance, and methylation. Here we analyzed whether exposure to Ni2+, Cd2+, and Cu2+ salts leads to transgenerational changes in homologous recombination frequency and stress tolerance. We found that the immediate progeny of stressed plants exhibited an increased rate of recombination. However, when the progeny of stressed plants was propagated without stress, recombination reverted to normal levels. Exposure of plants to heavy metals for five consecutive generations (S1–S5) resulted in recombination frequency being maintained at a high level. Skipping stress following two to three generations of propagation with 50mM Ni2+ or Cd2+ did not decrease the recombination frequency, suggesting plant acclimation to upregulated recombination. Analysis of the progeny of plants exposed to Cu2+ and Ni2+ indicated higher stress tolerance to the heavy metal parental plants were exposed to. Tolerance was higher in plants propagated with stress for three to five generations, which resulted in longer roots than plants propagated on heavy metals for only one to two generations.Tolerancewas also more prominent upon exposure to a higher concentration of salts.The progeny of stressed plants were also more tolerant to NaCl and methyl methane sulfonate.