Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Aspen

  • european aspen
  • hybrid aspen
  • quaking aspen
  • trembling aspen

  • Terms modified by Aspen

  • aspen forest
  • aspen stand

  • Selected Abstracts


    EVOLUTION, Issue 12 2007
    David Hall
    A correct timing of growth cessation and dormancy induction represents a critical ecological and evolutionary trade-off between survival and growth in most forest trees (Rehfeldt et al. 1999; Horvath et al. 2003; Howe et al. 2003). We have studied the deciduous tree European Aspen (Populus tremula) across a latitudinal gradient and compared genetic differentiation in phenology traits with molecular markers. Trees from 12 different areas covering 10 latitudinal degrees were cloned and planted in two common gardens. Several phenology traits showed strong genetic differentiation and clinal variation across the latitudinal gradient, with QST values generally exceeding 0.5. This is in stark contrast to genetic differentiation at several classes of genetic markers (18 neutral SSRs, 7 SSRs located close to phenology candidate genes and 50 SNPs from five phenology candidate genes) that all showed FST values around 0.015. We thus find strong evidence for adaptive divergence in phenology traits across the latitudinal gradient. However, the strong population structure seen at the quantitative traits is not reflected in underlying candidate genes. This result fit theoretical expectations that suggest that genetic differentiation at candidate loci is better described by FST at neutral loci rather than by QST at the quantitative traits themselves. [source]

    Tropospheric O3 moderates responses of temperate hardwood forests to elevated CO2: a synthesis of molecular to ecosystem results from the Aspen FACE project

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2003
    D. F. Karnosky
    Summary 1The impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 and/or O3 have been examined over 4 years using an open-air exposure system in an aggrading northern temperate forest containing two different functional groups (the indeterminate, pioneer, O3 -sensitive species Trembling Aspen, Populus tremuloides and Paper Birch, Betula papyrifera, and the determinate, late successional, O3 -tolerant species Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum). 2The responses to these interacting greenhouse gases have been remarkably consistent in pure Aspen stands and in mixed Aspen/Birch and Aspen/Maple stands, from leaf to ecosystem level, for O3 -tolerant as well as O3 -sensitive genotypes and across various trophic levels. These two gases act in opposing ways, and even at low concentrations (1·5 × ambient, with ambient averaging 34,36 nL L,1 during the summer daylight hours), O3 offsets or moderates the responses induced by elevated CO2. 3After 3 years of exposure to 560 µmol mol,1 CO2, the above-ground volume of Aspen stands was 40% above those grown at ambient CO2, and there was no indication of a diminishing growth trend. In contrast, O3 at 1·5 × ambient completely offset the growth enhancement by CO2, both for O3 -sensitive and O3 -tolerant clones. Implications of this finding for carbon sequestration, plantations to reduce excess CO2, and global models of forest productivity and climate change are presented. [source]

    Conservation of Insect Diversity: a Habitat Approach

    Jennifer B. Hughes
    To explore the feasibility of basing conservation action on community-level biogeography, we sampled a montane insect community. We addressed three issues: (1) the appropriate scale for sampling insect communities; (2) the association of habitat specialization,perhaps a measure of extinction vulnerability,with other ecological or physical traits; and (3) the correlation of diversity across major insect groups. Using malaise traps in Gunnison County, Colorado, we captured 8847 Diptera (identified to family and morphospecies), 1822 Hymenoptera (identified to morphospecies), and 2107 other insects (identified to order). We sampled in three habitat types,meadow, aspen, and conifer,defined on the basis of the dominant vegetation at the scale of hundreds of meters. Dipteran communities were clearly differentiated by habitat type rather than geographic proximity. This result also holds true for hymenopteran communities. Body size and feeding habits were associated with habitat specialization at the family level. In particular, habitat generalists at the family level,taxa perhaps more likely to survive anthropogenic habitat alteration,tended to be trophic generalists. Dipteran species richness was marginally correlated with hymenopteran species richness and was significantly correlated with the total number of insect orders sampled by site. Because these correlations result from differences in richness among habitat types, insect taxa may be reasonable surrogates for one another when sampling is done across habitat types. In sum, community-wide studies appear to offer a practical way to gather information about the diversity and distribution of little-known taxa. Resumen:No existe ni el tiempo ni los recursos para diseñar planes de conservación para cada especie, particularmente para los taxones poco estudiados, no carismáticas, pero ecológicamente importantes que componen la mayoría de la biodiversidad. Para explorar la factibilidad de basar acciones de conservación en biogegrafía a nivel comunitario, muestreamos una comunidad de insectos de montaña. Evaluamos tres aspectos: (1) la escala adecuada para el muestreo de comunidades de insectos; (2) la asociación de especialización de hábitat,quizá una medida de vulnerabilidad de extinción,con otras características ecológicas o físicas; y (3) la correlación de la diversidad a lo largo de los grupos principales de insectos. Mediante el uso de trampas en el condado Gunnison, en Colorado, capturamos 8847 dípteros (identificados a nivel de familia y morfoespecies), 1822 himenópteros (identificadas hasta morfoespecies) y 2107 otros insectos (identificados a nivel de orden). Muestreamos tres tipos de hábitats,vega, álamos temblones y coníferas,definidos en base a la vegetación dominante a escala de cientos de metros. Las comunidades de dípteros estuvieron claramente diferenciadas por tipos de hábitat y no por la proximidad geográfica. Este resultado también se mantiene para las comunidades de himenópteros. El tamaño del cuerpo y los hábitos alimenticios estuvieron asociados con la especialización del hábitat a nivel de familia. En particular, los generalistas de hábitat a nivel de familia,los taxones que posiblemente tengan mayor probabilidad de sobrevivir alteraciones antropogénicas del hábitat,tendieron a ser generalistas tróficos. La riqueza de las especies de dípteros estuvo marginalmente correlacionada con la riqueza de especies de himenópteros y estuvo significativamente correlacionada con el número total de órdenes de insectos muestreadas por sitio. Debido a que estas correlaciones resultaron de diferencias en la riqueza de especies entre tipos de hábitats, los taxones de insectos podrían ser substitutos mutuos razonables cuando se muestrea entre diferentes tipos de hábitats. En resumen, los estudios a lo largo de comunidades parecen ofrecer una forma práctica de recolectar información sobre la diversidad y distribución de los taxones poco estudiados. [source]

    Dendrogeomorphic reconstruction of past debris-flow activity using injured broad-leaved trees

    Estelle Arbellay
    Abstract Tree-ring records from conifers have been regularly used over the last few decades to date debris-flow events. The reconstruction of past debris-flow activity was, in contrast, only very rarely based on growth anomalies in broad-leaved trees. Consequently, this study aimed at dating the occurrence of former debris flows from growth series of broad-leaved trees and at determining their suitability for dendrogeomorphic research. Results were obtained from gray alder (Alnus incana (L.) Moench), silver birch and pubescent birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.), aspen (Populus tremula L.), white poplar, black poplar and gray poplar (Populus alba L., Populus nigra L. and Populus x canescens (Ait.) Sm.), goat willow (Salix caprea L.) and black elder (Sambucus nigra L.) injured by debris-flow activity at Illgraben (Valais, Swiss Alps). Tree-ring analysis of 104 increment cores, 118 wedges and 93 cross-sections from 154 injured broad-leaved trees allowed the reconstruction of 14 debris-flow events between AD 1965 and 2007. These events were compared with archival records on debris-flow activity at Illgraben. It appears that debris flows are very common at Illgraben, but only very rarely left the channel over the period AD 1965,2007. Furthermore, analysis of the spatial distribution of disturbed trees contributed to the identification of six patterns of debris-flow routing and led to the determination of preferential breakout locations of events. The results of this study demonstrate the high potential of broad-leaved trees for dendrogeomorphic research and for the assessment of the travel distance and lateral spread of debris-flow surges. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Species-specific responses to atmospheric carbon dioxide and tropospheric ozone mediate changes in soil carbon

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 11 2009
    Alan F. Talhelm
    Abstract We repeatedly sampled the surface mineral soil (0,20 cm depth) in three northern temperate forest communities over an 11-year experimental fumigation to understand the effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or elevated phyto-toxic ozone (O3) on soil carbon (C). After 11 years, there was no significant main effect of CO2 or O3 on soil C. However, within the community containing only aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), elevated CO2 caused a significant decrease in soil C content. Together with the observations of increased litter inputs, this result strongly suggests accelerated decomposition under elevated CO2. In addition, an initial reduction in the formation of new (fumigation-derived) soil C by O3 under elevated CO2 proved to be only a temporary effect, mirroring trends in fine root biomass. Our results contradict predictions of increased soil C under elevated CO2 and decreased soil C under elevated O3 and should be considered in models simulating the effects of Earth's altered atmosphere. [source]

    Elevated atmospheric CO2 affects soil microbial diversity associated with trembling aspen

    Celine Lesaulnier
    Summary The effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 (560 p.p.m.) and subsequent plant responses on the soil microbial community composition associated with trembling aspen was assessed through the classification of 6996 complete ribosomal DNA sequences amplified from the Rhinelander WI free-air CO2 and O3 enrichment (FACE) experiments microbial community metagenome. This in-depth comparative analysis provides an unprecedented, detailed and deep branching profile of population changes incurred as a response to this environmental perturbation. Total bacterial and eukaryotic abundance does not change; however, an increase in heterotrophic decomposers and ectomycorrhizal fungi is observed. Nitrate reducers of the domain bacteria and archaea, of the phylum Crenarchaea, potentially implicated in ammonium oxidation, significantly decreased with elevated CO2. These changes in soil biota are evidence for altered interactions between trembling aspen and the microorganisms in its surrounding soil, and support the theory that greater plant detritus production under elevated CO2 significantly alters soil microbial community composition. [source]

    Toxicity and chemistry of aspen wood leachate to aquatic life: Field study

    Barry R. Taylor
    Abstract A dark, toxic leachate has been observed around woodpiles of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) cut in winter for pulp or structural lumber. We measured production of leachate from 18 m3 of harvestable aspen logs stacked in an open field near Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada. The logpile began producing leachate during the first winter thaw and continued to do so for the duration of the two-year study (mean, 250 L/collection). Aspen leachate was characterized by dark color, acidic pH (5.0-6.5), elevated conductivity (200-500 ,S/cm), high to very high biochemical oxygen demand (500-5,000 mg/L) and total organic carbon concentrations (500-2,000 mg/L), variable levels of phenolic compounds (2-27 mg/L), and low dissolved oxygen tensions (<2 mg/L). In tests with rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Daphnia magna, and luminescent bacteria, the leachate varied from weakly toxic (median lethal concentration, >10%) to very toxic (median lethal concentration, <1%). The volume of leachate generated by the logpile was correlated with total precipitation (rain or snow) since the last collection. Loads of chemical constituents or toxicity (lethal concentration × volume) in the leachate did not decline over the duration of the study. Less than 10% of the total mass of leachable material in the aspen logs was removed during two years of exposure. [source]


    Susy Svatek Ziegler
    ABSTRACT. Landscape diversity has increased with the surprising postfire establishment of aspen at upper elevations (700,945 meters above sea level) in the High Peaks of Adirondack Park in upstate New York. Tree seedlings returned quickly to the charred slopes west of Noonmark Mountain after an accidental fire consumed the forest in 1999. Aspen stands have replaced the spruce-fir-birch forests in the burned area even though mountain paper birch is expected to colonize burned sites at these elevations. Environmental conditions, historical events, and unique circumstances help explain why quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen rather than paper birch blanket the burned mountainside. Climate change over the past century to warmer, wetter conditions may have fostered this marked shift in species composition. In the unburned firebreak that people cleared to contain the flames, pin cherry has regenerated from seeds stored in the soil for nearly a century. The history of pin cherry on the site suggests that large fires or severe windthrow may have been more common in the region than was previously documented. [source]

    Use of tree rings to study the effect of climate change on trembling aspen in Québec

    Abstract In this paper, we present a new approach, based on a mixed model procedure, to quantify the tree-ring-based growth-climate relationship of trembling aspen along a latitudinal gradient from 46 to 54 °N in eastern Canada. This approach allows breaking down the growth response into general intersite and local climatic responses, and analyzing variations of absolute ring width as well as interannual variations in tree growth. The final model also integrates nonclimatic variables such as soil characteristics and the occurrence of insect outbreaks into the growth predictions. Tree level random effects on growth were important as intercepts but were nonsignificant for the climatic variables, indicating that a single climate,growth relationship was justified in our case. The response of tree growth to climate showed, however, a strong dependence on the spatial scale at which the analysis was performed. Intersite variations in tree growth were mostly dependent on variations in the thermal heat sum, a variable that showed low interannual and high intersite variation. When variation for a single site was analyzed, other variables showed up to be important while the heat sum was unimportant. Finally, future growth under six different climate change scenarios was simulated in order to study the potential impact of climate change. Results suggest only moderate growth increases in the northern portion of the gradient and a growth decrease in the southern portion under future climatic conditions. [source]

    Moisture availability influences the effect of ultraviolet-B radiation on leaf litter decomposition

    Abstract Altered surface ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation resulting from a combination of factors that include changes in stratospheric ozone concentrations, cloud cover, and aerosol conditions may affect litter decomposition and, thus, terrestrial nutrient cycling on a global scale. Although litter decomposition rates vary across biomes, patterns of decomposition suggest that UV-B radiation accelerates litter decay in xeric environments where precipitation is infrequent. However, under more frequent precipitation regimes where litter decay rates are characteristically high, the effect of UV-B radiation on litter decomposition has not been fully elucidated. To evaluate this association between moisture regime and UV-B exposure, a litter decomposition experiment was designed for aspen (Populus tremuloides) leaf litter, where conditions that influence both abiotic (photodegradation) and biotic (microbial) processes could be manipulated quantitatively. We found that experimentally increasing UV-B exposure (0, 7.4, and 11.2 kJ m,2 day,1, respectively) did not consistently increase litter decomposition rates across simulated precipitation frequencies of 4, 12, and 24 days. Instead, a UV-B exposure of 11.2 kJ m,2 day,1 resulted in a 13% decrease in decomposition rates under the 4-day precipitation frequency, but an increase of 80% under the 24-day frequency. Furthermore, the same UV-B dose increased litter decomposition rates under the 24-day precipitation frequency by 78% even in conditions where microbial activity was suppressed. Therefore, under more xeric conditions, greater exposure to UV-B radiation increased decomposition rates, presumably through photodegradation. In contrast, when decomposition was not moisture-limited, greater UV-B exposure slowed decomposition rates, most likely from the resulting inhibition of microbial activity. Ultimately, these experimental results highlight UV-B radiation as a potential driver of decomposition, as well as indicate that both the direction and magnitude of the UV-B effect is dependent on moisture availability, a factor that may change according to future patterns in global precipitation. [source]

    Soil carbon fluxes and stocks in a Great Lakes forest chronosequence

    Abstract We measured soil respiration and soil carbon stocks, as well as micrometeorological variables in a chronosequence of deciduous forests in Wisconsin and Michigan. The chronosequence consisted of (1) four recently disturbed stands, including a clearcut and repeatedly burned stand (burn), a blowdown and partial salvage stand (blowdown), a clearcut with sparse residual overstory (residual), and a regenerated stand from a complete clearcut (regenerated); (2) four young aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in average age of 10 years; (3) four intermediate aspen stands in average age of 26 years; (4) four mature northern hardwood stands in average age of 73 years; and (5) an old-growth stand approximately 350-years old. We fitted site-based models and used continuous measurements of soil temperature to estimate cumulative soil respiration for the growing season of 2005 (days 133,295). Cumulative soil respiration in the growing season was estimated to be 513, 680, 747, 747, 794, 802, 690, and 571 g C m,2 in the burn, blowdown, residual, regenerated, young, intermediate, mature, and old-growth stands, respectively. The measured apparent temperature sensitivity of soil respiration was the highest in the regenerated stand, and declined from the young stands to the old-growth. Both, cumulative soil respiration and basal soil respiration at 10 °C, increased during stand establishment, peaked at intermediate age, and then decreased with age. Total soil carbon at 0,60 cm initially decreased after harvest, and increased after stands established. The old-growth stand accumulated carbon in deep layers of soils, but not in the surface soils. Our study suggests a complexity of long-term soil carbon dynamics, both in vertical depth and temporal scale. [source]

    Interannual climatic variation mediates elevated CO2 and O3 effects on forest growth

    Abstract We analyzed growth data from model aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest ecosystems grown in elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide ([CO2]; 518 ,L L,1) and ozone concentrations ([O3]; 1.5 × background of 30,40 nL L,1 during daylight hours) for 7 years using free-air CO2 enrichment technology to determine how interannual variability in present-day climate might affect growth responses to either gas. We also tested whether growth effects of those gasses were sustained over time. Elevated [CO2] increased tree heights, diameters, and main stem volumes by 11%, 16%, and 20%, respectively, whereas elevated ozone [O3] decreased them by 11%, 8%, and 29%, respectively. Responses similar to these were found for stand volume and basal area. There were no growth responses to the combination of elevated [CO2+O3]. The elevated [CO2] growth stimulation was found to be decreasing, but relative growth rates varied considerably from year to year. Neither the variation in annual relative growth rates nor the apparent decline in CO2 growth response could be explained in terms of nitrogen or water limitations. Instead, growth responses to elevated [CO2] and [O3] interacted strongly with present-day interannual variability in climatic conditions. The amount of photosynthetically active radiation and temperature during specific times of the year coinciding with growth phenology explained 20,63% of the annual variation in growth response to elevated [CO2] and [O3]. Years with higher photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) during the month of July resulted in more positive growth responses to elevated [CO2] and more negative growth responses to elevated [O3]. Mean daily temperatures during the month of October affected growth in a similar fashion the following year. These results indicate that a several-year trend of increasingly cloudy summers and cool autumns were responsible for the decrease in CO2 growth response. [source]

    The canopy conductance of a boreal aspen forest, Prince Albert National Park, Canada

    P. D. Blanken
    Abstract Annual fluxes of canopy-level heat, water vapour and carbon dioxide were measured using eddy covariance both above the aspen overstory (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and hazelnut understory (Corylus cornuta Marsh.) of a boreal aspen forest (53·629 °N 106·200 °W). Partitioning of the fluxes between overstory and understory components allowed the calculation of canopy conductance to water vapour for both species. On a seasonal basis, the canopy conductance of the aspen accounted for 70% of the surface conductance, with the latter a strong function of the forest's leaf area index. On a half-hour basis, the canopy conductance of both species decreased non-linearly as the leaf-surface saturation deficits increased, and was best parameterized and showed similar sensitivities to a modified form of the Ball,Berry,Woodrow index, where relative humidity was replaced with the reciprocal of the saturation deficit. The negative feedback between the forest evaporation and the saturation deficit in the convective boundary layer varied from weak when the forest was at full leaf to strong when the forest was developing or loosing leaves. The coupling between the air at the leaf surface and the convective boundary layer also varied seasonally, with coupling decreasing with increasing leaf area. Compared with coniferous boreal forests, the seasonal changes in leaf area had a unique impact on vegetation,atmosphere interactions. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Disturbance facilitates rapid range expansion of aspen into higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains under a warming climate

    Simon M. Landhäusser
    Abstract Aim, Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is absent in the upper foothills region of west-central Alberta because of the cold conditions and short growing season at this high elevation. However, in recent years it appears that aspen has been establishing from seed in this zone and that it has been doing so mainly as a result of forest harvesting. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency of and types of microsite required for the successful establishment of aspen seedlings at these higher elevations. Location, Rocky Mountains Upper Foothills Natural Subregion of west-central Alberta, Canada. Methods, The current distribution of mature aspen and the presence and absence of aspen seedlings in harvested areas were determined in an area c. 300 km2 in size, using ground and aerial surveys. In an intensive study, 12 belt transects (180 m long and 5 m wide) were established in areas disturbed by forest harvesting at high elevations where no aspen was present prior to harvesting. Transects were surveyed seven growing seasons after disturbance and the microsites occupied by aspen seedlings were characterized according to their substrate and microtopography. Similarly, the availability of different substrates and microtopographic positions were assessed by systematic point sampling on these sites. Results, On level surfaces, aspen seedling regeneration was found up to 200 m higher in elevation than the mature aspen in the original undisturbed forests. Overall, there were 428 seedlings ha,1 established on these transects, and the age distribution indicates that aspen seedlings had established in each of the seven growing seasons since the disturbance. Nearly all of the seedlings (93%) were established on mineral soil microsites and virtually no seedlings were established on undisturbed forest floor layers. Significantly more seedlings were found in concave microtopographic positions. Main conclusions, This study indicates that aspen establishment from seed is currently not a stochastic event and demonstrates that aspen is rapidly expanding its range upslope in the Canadian Rocky Mountain region as a result of forest management practices that expose mineral soil substrates in conjunction with a warming climate. The change in canopy composition from conifer to deciduous forests at these higher elevations will have far-reaching implications for ecosystem processes and functions. [source]

    Effects of genotype, elevated CO2 and elevated O3 on aspen phytochemistry and aspen leaf beetle Chrysomela crotchi performance

    Leanne M. Vigue
    1Trembling aspen Populus tremuloides Michaux is an important forest species in the Great Lakes region and displays tremendous genetic variation in foliar chemistry. Elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) may also influence phytochemistry and thereby alter the performance of insect herbivores such as the aspen leaf beetle Chrysomela crotchi Brown. 2The present study aimed to relate genetic- and atmospheric-based variation in aspen phytochemistry to C. crotchi performance (larval development time, adult mass, survivorship). The experiment was conducted at the Aspen Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) site in northern Wisconsin. Beetles were reared on three aspen genotypes under elevated CO2 and/or O3. Leaves were collected to determine chemical characteristics. 3The foliage exhibited significant variation in nitrogen, condensed tannins and phenolic glycosides among genotypes. CO2 and O3, however, had little effect on phytochemistry. Nonetheless, elevated CO2 decreased beetle performance on one aspen genotype and had inconsistent effects on beetles reared on two other genotypes. Elevated O3 decreased beetle performance, especially for beetles reared on an O3 -sensitive genotype. Regression analyses indicated that phenolic glycosides and nitrogen explain a substantial amount (27,45%) of the variation in herbivore performance. 4By contrast to the negative effects that are typically observed with generalist herbivores, aspen leaf beetles appear to benefit from phenolic glycosides, chemical components that are largely genetically-determined in aspen. The results obtained in the present study indicate that host genetic variation and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will be important factors in the performance of specialist herbivores, such as C. crotchi, in future climates. [source]

    Performance of the invasive weevil Polydrusus sericeus is influenced by atmospheric CO2 and host species

    Michael L. Hillstrom
    1Natural forest systems constitute a major portion of the world's land area, and are subject to the potentially negative effects of both global climate change and invasion by exotic insects. A suite of invasive weevils has become established in the northern hardwood forests of North America. How these insects will respond to increasing CO2 or O3 is unknown. 2The present study examined the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 and O3 on the invasive weevil Polydrusus sericeus Schaller at the Aspen Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) site near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. A performance assay was conducted in the laboratory during the summer of 2007 using mated pairs of P. sericeus fed a combination of aspen, birch and maple foliage. We recorded leaf area consumption, oviposition and adult longevity. We also conducted visual abundance surveys in the field from 2004 to 2007 on aspen and birch at Aspen FACE. 3Elevated CO2, but not O3, significantly affected P. sericeus performance. Female, but not male, longevity was reduced under elevated CO2. Polydrusus sericeus also produced fewer eggs under elevated CO2 conditions compared with ambient conditions. Adult P. sericeus strongly preferred birch over both aspen and maple, regardless of fumigation treatment. 4The effects of elevated CO2 on P. sericeus populations at Aspen FACE were minimal, and varied among years and host tree species. Polydrusus sericeus abundance was significantly greater on birch than aspen. Over the long term, elevated CO2 may reduce adult female longevity and fecundity of P. sericeus. Further studies are needed to evaluate how this information may scale to ecosystem impacts. [source]

    Temptations of weevil: feeding and ovipositional behaviour of Hylobius warreni Wood on host and nonhost bark in laboratory bioassays

    Gareth R. Hopkins
    Abstract 1Warren root collar weevil Hylobius warreni Wood (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a long-lived, flightless insect native to coniferous forests across northern North America. Girdling by larval feeding causes significant mortality on young trees. The insect poses considerable challenges to reforestation. 2Adult weevils feed on all life stages of a variety of coniferous hosts prior to oviposition. Their relative feeding preferences, however, have not been quantified. Moreover, it is not known whether host bark influences oviposition behaviour. 3Feeding preferences of adult weevils were tested in both choice and no-choice laboratory bioassays using small branches from three conifers (lodgepole pine Pinus contorta var. latifolia, interior hybrid spruce Picea glauca×engelmannii, and Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii) and one deciduous tree (trembling aspen Populus tremuloides). Measurements included the surface area of bark consumed, rate of consumption, the number of days of feeding, and, in the no-choice assay, the number of eggs oviposited. 4Bark consumption was greatest on pine and Douglas-fir, followed by spruce. Little to no feeding occurred on aspen. Consumption did not vary between male versus female insects for any of the feeding metrics quantified. 5The presence of aspen branches did not inhibit feeding on any of the other species in the choice bioassays. 6The number of eggs laid by female insects did not differ significantly among tree species in the no-choice assay. Eggs were laid indiscriminately in the presence of all four host types. 7Results and opportunities for future research are discussed in the context of formulating new integrated pest management strategies for this insect, which is increasingly important in the period of reforestation subsequent to the mountain pine beetle epidemic in western Canada. [source]

    Effects of variable phytochemistry and budbreak phenology on defoliation of aspen during a forest tent caterpillar outbreak

    Jack R. Donaldson
    Abstract 1,The present study assessed the relationship between clonally variable rates of defoliation in trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and two potential resistance traits: defensive chemistry and leaf phenology. 2,In 2001, coincident with a major outbreak of the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria Hubner) in the northcentral U.S.A., we monitored defoliation rates, phytochemical composition, and foliar development in 30 clones of trembling aspen. Leaf chemistry was also assessed in re-flushed leaves and 2 years post-outbreak. 3,Early in the season, differences in defoliation among clones were substantial but, by mid-June, all clones were completely defoliated. Leaf nitrogen, condensed tannins, and phenolic glycosides varied among clones but did not relate to defoliation levels. Budbreak phenology differed by 3 weeks among clones and clones that broke bud early or late relative to forest tent caterpillar eclosion experienced reduced rates of defoliation. 4,Defoliation led to increased tannins and slight decreases in phenolic glycoside concentrations in damaged leaf remnants, but to moderately decreased tannins and a six-fold increase in phenolic glycosides in reflushed leaves. This shift in chemical composition may significantly affect late season herbivores. 5,These results suggest that aspen chemical resistance mechanisms are ineffective during intense episodic eruptions of outbreak folivores such as the forest tent caterpillar. Variable budbreak phenology may lead to differential susceptibility during less intense outbreak years and, at peak forest tent caterpillar population densities, mechanisms affording tolerance are probably more important than chemical defences. [source]

    Influence of boreal forest succession and dead wood qualities on saproxylic beetles

    Joshua M. Jacobs
    Abstract 1,Saproxylic insects, a functional group dominated by beetles, are dependent on dead or moribund trees as habitat elements. 2,Although there are few studies of saproxylic insects from the North American boreal zone, European studies demonstrate that forest harvest can lead to a biologically significant decrease in saproxylic beetle diversity. 3,We studied saproxylic beetles in the North American boreal mixedwood forest using flight intercept traps established on naturally dead and girdled trembling aspen and spruce trees along a successional gradient of undisturbed stands from deciduous to coniferous overstory trees. 4,Composition and diversity of beetle assemblages differed among forest successional types. 5,Snag age class was an important determinant of composition for saproxylic beetle assemblages. 6,Multivariate regression analysis of these data indicated that saproxylic beetles are responding to changes in coarse woody debris, and not to the relative densities of canopy tree species, although these variables are strongly correlated. 7,Coarse woody debris management should be a primary concern in forest management plans seeking to conserve saproxylic organisms and the critical ecosystem functions (i.e. nutrient cycling) in which they participate. [source]

    Adult large pine weevils Hylobius abietis feed on silver birch Betula pendula even in the presence of conifer seedlings

    Riitta Toivonen
    Abstract 1,The feeding preference of the adult pine weevil Hylobius abietis (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for Betula pendula Roth was studied in no-choice and paired-choice feeding experiments. 2,In the first no-choice test, large quantities of silver birch bark in Petri dishes were consumed; on average, the daily consumption of each weevil was 67 mm2. 3,In the second no-choice test, the weevils were offered 1-year-old silver birch seedlings for 6 days. Initially, the weevils fed mostly on the stem bases; later, they moved upward to feed on other parts of the stems. In addition to the main shoots, scars caused by gnawing were also found on leaf bases, blades, veins and petioles. Feeding resulted in the death of the main stems in 15% of the seedlings. 4,In the paired-choice tests, the conifers were preferred to silver birch, even though a large amount of silver birch was also consumed in the presence of conifers. 5,In the paired-choice tests, equal amounts of Scots pine and Norway spruce were always consumed. When hybrid aspen was offered, only small amounts were gnawed. [source]

    Response of quaking aspen genotypes to enriched CO2: foliar chemistry and tussock moth performance

    Richard L. Lindroth
    Abstract 1Genetic variation in the phytochemical responses of plants to CO2 enrichment is likely to alter trophic dynamics, and to shift intraspecific selection pressures on plant populations. We evaluated the independent and interactive effects of atmospheric CO2 and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) genotype on chemical composition of foliage and performance of the whitemarked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma J. E. Sm.). 2This research was conducted at the Aspen FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) site in northern Wisconsin, U.S.A. Leaf samples were collected periodically from each of three genetically variable aspen genotypes growing under ambient and elevated CO2, and analysed for levels of primary and secondary metabolites. Tussock moth larvae were reared in situ on experimental trees, and development times and pupal masses were recorded. 3Foliar chemical composition varied among aspen genotypes and in response to CO2 enrichment. However, chemical responses of trees to elevated CO2 were generally consistent across genotypes. 4Larval development times varied among host genotypes and increased slightly for insects on high-CO2 plants. Enriched CO2 tended to reduce insect pupal masses, particularly for females on one of the three aspen genotypes. 5CO2 × genotype interactions observed for plant chemistry and insect performance in this study with a small number of genotypes are probably too few, and too weak, to shift selection pressures in aspen populations. These results differ, however, from earlier work in which more substantial CO2 × genotype interactions were observed for plant chemistry. [source]

    Aspen succession and nitrogen loading: a case for epiphytic lichens as bioindicators in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    Paul C. Rogers
    Abstract Question: Can lichen communities be used to assess short- and long-term factors affecting seral quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) communities at the landscape scale? Location: Bear River Range, within the Rocky Mountains, in northern Utah and southern Idaho, USA. Method: Forty-seven randomly selected mid-elevation aspen stands were sampled for lichens and stand conditions. Plots were characterized according to tree species cover, basal area, stand age, bole scarring, tree damage, and presence of lichen species. We also recorded ammonia emissions with passive sensors at 25 urban and agricultural sites throughout an adjacent populated valley upwind of the forest stands. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) ordination was used to evaluate an array of 20 variables suspected to influence lichen communities. Results: In NMS, forest succession explained most variance in lichen composition and abundance, although atmospheric nitrogen from local agricultural and urban sources also significantly influenced the lichen communities. Abundance of nitrophilous lichen species decreased with distance from peak ammonia sources and the urban center in all aspen succession classes. One lichen, Phaeophyscia nigricans, was found to be an effective bioindicator of nitrogen loading. Conclusions: Lichen communities in this landscape assessment of aspen forests showed clear responses to long-term (stand succession) and short-term (nitrogen deposition) influences. At the same time, several environmental factors (e.g. tree damage and scarring, distance to valley, topography, and stand age) had little influence on these same lichen communities. We recommend further use of epiphytic lichens as bioindicators of dynamic forest conditions. [source]

    Characterization of nonderivatized plant cell walls using high-resolution solution-state NMR spectroscopy,

    Daniel J. Yelle
    Abstract A recently described plant cell wall dissolution system has been modified to use perdeuterated solvents to allow direct in-NMR-tube dissolution and high-resolution solution-state NMR of the whole cell wall without derivatization. Finely ground cell wall material dissolves in a solvent system containing dimethylsulfoxide- d6 and 1-methylimidazole- d6 in a ratio of 4:1 (v/v), keeping wood component structures mainly intact in their near-native state. Two-dimensional NMR experiments, using gradient-HSQC (heteronuclear single quantum coherence) 1-bond 13C1H correlation spectroscopy, on nonderivatized cell wall material from a representative gymnosperm pinus taeda (loblolly pine), an angiosperm Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen), and a herbaceous plant Hibiscus cannabinus (kenaf) demonstrate the efficacy of the system. We describe a method to synthesize 1-methylimidazole- d6 with a high degree of perdeuteration, thus allowing cell wall dissolution and NMR characterization of nonderivatized plant cell wall structures. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Admixture facilitates adaptation from standing variation in the European aspen (Populus tremula L.), a widespread forest tree

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 8 2010
    Abstract Adaptation to new environments can start from new mutations or from standing variation already present in natural populations. Whether admixture constrains or facilitates adaptation from standing variation is largely unknown, especially in ecological keystone or foundation species. We examined patterns of neutral and adaptive population divergence in Populus tremula L., a widespread forest tree, using mapped molecular genetic markers. We detected the genetic signature of postglacial admixture between a Western and an Eastern lineage of P. tremula in Scandinavia, an area suspected to represent a zone of postglacial contact for many species of animals and plants. Stringent divergence-based neutrality tests provided clear indications for locally varying selection at the European scale. Six of 12 polymorphisms under selection were located less than 1 kb away from the nearest gene predicted by the Populus trichocarpa genome sequence. Few of these loci exhibited a signature of ,selective sweeps' in diversity-based tests, which is to be expected if adaptation occurs primarily from standing variation. In Scandinavia, admixture explained genomic patterns of ancestry and the nature of clinal variation and strength of selection for bud set, a phenological trait of great adaptive significance in temperate trees, measured in a common garden trial. Our data provide a hitherto missing direct link between past range shifts because of climatic oscillations, and levels of standing variation currently available for selection and adaptation in a terrestrial foundation species. [source]

    Can clone size serve as a proxy for clone age?An exploration using microsatellite divergence in Populus tremuloides

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 22 2008
    D. ALLY
    Abstract In long-lived clonal plants, the overall size of a clone is often used to estimate clone age. The size of a clone, however, might be largely determined by physical or biotic interactions, obscuring the relationship between clone size and age. Here, we use the accumulation of mutations at 14 microsatellite loci to estimate clone age in trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) from southwestern Canada. We show that the observed patterns of genetic divergence are consistent with a model of increasing ramet population size, allowing us to use pairwise genetic divergence as an estimator of clone age. In the populations studied, clone size did not exhibit a significant relationship with microsatellite divergence, indicating that clone size is not a good proxy for clone age. In P. tremuloides, the per-locus per-year neutral somatic mutation rate across 14 microsatellite loci was estimated to lie between 6 × 10,7 (lower bound) and 4 × 10,5 (upper bound). [source]

    Inferring colonization history from analyses of spatial genetic structure within populations of Pinus strobus and Quercus rubra

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2006
    F. A. JONES
    Abstract Many factors interact to determine genetic structure within populations including adult density, the mating system, colonization history, natural selection, and the mechanism and spatial patterns of gene dispersal. We examined spatial genetic structure within colonizing populations of Quercus rubra seedlings and Pinus strobus juveniles and adults in an aspen,white pine forest in northern Michigan, USA. A 20-year spatially explicit demographic study of the forest enables us to interpret the results in light of recent colonization of the site for both species. We assayed 217 Q. rubra seedlings and 171 P. strobus individuals at 11 polymorphic loci using nine allozyme systems. Plant genotypes and locations were used in an analysis of spatial genetic structure. Q. rubra and P. strobus showed similar observed levels of heterozygosity, but Q. rubra seedlings have less heterozygosity than expected. Q. rubra seedlings show spatial genetic clumping of individuals on a scale to 25 m and levels of genetic relatedness expected from the clumped dispersion of half-siblings. In contrast, P. strobus has low levels of genetic relatedness at the smallest distance class and positive spatial genetic structure at scales < 10 m within the plot. The low density of adult Q. rubra outside the study plot and limited, spatially clumped rodent dispersal of acorns is likely responsible for the observed pattern of spatial genetic structure and the observed heterozygote deficit (i.e. a Wahlund effect). We attribute weaker patterns observed in P. strobus to the longer dispersal distance of seeds and the historical overlap of seed shadows from adults outside of the plot coupled with the overlap of seed shadows from younger, more recently established reproductive adults. The study demonstrates the utility of long-term demographic data in interpreting mechanisms responsible for generating contemporary patterns of genetic structure within populations. [source]

    Barrier to gene flow between two ecologically divergent Populus species, P. alba (white poplar) and P. tremula (European aspen): the role of ecology and life history in gene introgression

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2005
    C. LEXER
    Abstract The renewed interest in the use of hybrid zones for studying speciation calls for the identification and study of hybrid zones across a wide range of organisms, especially in long-lived taxa for which it is often difficult to generate interpopulation variation through controlled crosses. Here, we report on the extent and direction of introgression between two members of the ,model tree' genus Populus: Populus alba (white poplar) and Populus tremula (European aspen), across a large zone of sympatry located in the Danube valley. We genotyped 93 hybrid morphotypes and samples from four parental reference populations from within and outside the zone of sympatry for a genome-wide set of 20 nuclear microsatellites and eight plastid DNA restriction site polymorphisms. Our results indicate that introgression occurs preferentially from P. tremula to P. alba via P. tremula pollen. This unidirectional pattern is facilitated by high levels of pollen vs. seed dispersal in P. tremula (pollen/seed flow = 23.9) and by great ecological opportunity in the lowland floodplain forest in proximity to P. alba seed parents, which maintains gene flow in the direction of P. alba despite smaller effective population sizes (Ne) in this species (P. alba Nec. 500,550; P. tremula Nec. 550,700). Our results indicate that hybrid zones will be valuable tools for studying the genetic architecture of the barrier to gene flow between these two ecologically divergent Populus species. [source]

    Effects of CO2 and light on tree phytochemistry and insect performance

    OIKOS, Issue 2 2000
    Jep Agrell
    Direct and interactive effects of CO2 and light on tree phytochemistry and insect fitness parameters were examined through experimental manipulations of plant growth conditions and performance of insect bioassays. Three species of deciduous trees (quaking aspen, Populus tremuloides; paper birch, Betula papyrifera; sugar maple, Acer saccharum) were grown under ambient (387±8 ,L/L) and elevated (696±2 ,L/L) levels of atmospheric CO2, with low and high light availability (375 and 855 ,mol×m,2×s,1 at solar noon). Effects on the population and individual performance of a generalist phytophagous insect, the white-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma) were evaluated. Caterpillars were reared on experimental trees for the duration of the larval stage, and complementary short-term (fourth instar) feeding trials were conducted with insects fed detached leaves. Phytochemical analyses demonstrated strong effects of both CO2 and light on all foliar nutritional variables (water, starch and nitrogen). For all species, enriched CO2 decreased water content and increased starch content, especially under high light conditions. High CO2 availability reduced levels of foliar nitrogen, but effects were species specific and most pronounced for high light aspen and birch. Analyses of secondary plant compounds revealed that levels of phenolic glycosides (salicortin and tremulacin) in aspen and condensed tannins in birch and maple were positively influenced by levels of both CO2 and light. In contrast, levels of condensed tannins in aspen were primarily affected by light, whereas levels of ellagitannins and gallotannins in maple responded to light and CO2, respectively. The long-term bioassays showed strong treatment effects on survival, development time, and pupal mass. In general, CO2 effects were pronounced in high light and decreased along the gradient aspen birch maple. For larvae reared on high light aspen, enriched CO2 resulted in 62% fewer survivors, with increased development time, and reduced pupal mass. For maple-fed insects, elevated CO2 levels had negative effects on survival and pupal mass in low light. For birch, the only negative CO2 effects were observed in high light, where female larvae showed prolonged development. Fourth instar feeding trials demonstrated that low food conversion efficiency reduced insect performance. Elevated levels of CO2 significantly reduced total consumption, especially by insects on high light aspen and low light maple. This research demonstrates that effects of CO2 on phytochemistry and insect performance can be strongly light-dependent, and that plant responses to these two environmental variables differ among species. Overall, increased CO2 availability appeared to increase the defensive capacity of early-successional species primarily under high light conditions, and of late-successional species under low light conditions. Due to the interactive effects of tree species, light, CO2, and herbivory, community composition of forests may change in the future. [source]

    Kinetics of leaf oxygen uptake represent in planta activities of respiratory electron transport and terminal oxidases

    Agu Laisk
    We present, for the first time, the oxygen response kinetics of mitochondrial respiration measured in intact leaves (sunflower and aspen). Low O2 concentrations in N2 (9,1500 ppm) were preset in a flow-through gas exchange measurement system, and the decrease in O2 concentration and the increase in CO2 concentration as result of leaf respiration were measured by a zirconium cell O2 analyser and infrared-absorption CO2 analyser, respectively. The low O2 concentrations little influenced the rate of CO2 evolution during the 60-s exposure. The initial slope of the O2 uptake curve on the dissolved O2 concentration basis was relatively constant in leaves of a single species, 1.5 mm s,1 in sunflower and 1.8 mm s,1 in aspen. The apparent K0.5(O2) values ranged from 0.33 to 0.67 ,M in sunflower and from 0.33 to 1.1 ,M in aspen, mainly because of the variation of the maximum rate, Vmax (leaf temperature 22°C). The initial slope of the O2 response of respiration characterizes the catalytic efficiency of terminal oxidases, an important parameter of the respiratory machinery in leaves. The plateau of the response characterizes the activity of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and is subject to regulations in accordance with the necessity for ATP production. The relatively low oxygen conductivity of terminal oxidases means that in leaves, less than 10% of the photosynthetic oxygen can be reassimilated by mitochondria. [source]

    Thermal acclimation of photosynthesis: a comparison of boreal and temperate tree species along a latitudinal transect

    PLANT CELL & ENVIRONMENT, Issue 6 2010
    ABSTRACT Common gardens were established along a ,900 km latitudinal transect to examine factors limiting geographical distributions of boreal and temperate tree species in eastern North America. Boreal representatives were trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.), while temperate species were eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr ex. Marsh var. deltoides) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.). The species were compared with respect to adjustments of leaf photosynthetic metabolism along the transect, with emphasis on temperature sensitivities of the maximum rate of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylation (EV) and regeneration (EJ). During leaf development, the average air temperature (Tgrowth) differed between the coolest and warmest gardens by 12 °C. Evidence of photosynthetic thermal acclimation (metabolic shifts compensating for differences in Tgrowth) was generally lacking in all species. Namely, neither EV nor EJ was positively related to Tgrowth. Correspondingly, the optimum temperature (Topt) of ambient photosynthesis (Asat) did not vary significantly with Tgrowth. Modest variation in Topt was explained by the combination of EV plus the slope and curvature of the parabolic temperature response of mesophyll conductance (gm). All in all, species differed little in photosynthetic responses to climate. Furthermore, the adaptive importance of photosynthetic thermal acclimation was overshadowed by gm's influence on Asat's temperature response. [source]