Long-­term monitoring across elevational gradients to assess ecological hypothesis: a description of standardized sampling methods in oceanic islands and first results

http://www.horta.uac.pt/intradop/index.php/pt/2013-2014-no-31

Abstract

We are launching a long-term study to characterize the biodiversity at different elevations in several Azorean Islands. Our aim is to use the Azores as a model archipelago to answer the fundamental question of what generates and maintains the global spatial heterogeneity of diversity in islands and to be able to understand the dynamics of change across time. An extensive, standardized sampling protocol was applied in most of the remnant forest fragments of five Azorean Islands. Lire la suite

A Functional Characterisation of a Wide Range of Cover Crop Species: Growth and Nitrogen Acquisition Rates, Leaf Traits and Ecological Strategies

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122156

Abstract

Cover crops can produce ecosystem services during the fallow period, as reducing nitrate leaching and producing green manure. Crop growth rate (CGR) and crop nitrogen acquisition rate (CNR) can be used as two indicators of the ability of cover crops to produce these services in agrosystems. We used leaf functional traits to characterise the growth strategies of 36 cover crops as an approach to assess their ability to grow and acquire N rapidly. We measured specific leaf area (SLA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), leaf nitrogen content (LNC) and leaf area (LA) and we evaluated their relevance to characterise CGR and CNR. Lire la suite

Functional Diversity of Subalpine Bryophyte Communities in an Oceanic Island (La Réunion)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1657/1938-4246-46.4.841

Abstract

AAAR2014Increasing temperature imperils worldwide tropical subalpine and alpine ecosystems with the threat of mountaintop extinctions and a subsequent loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. This paper provides a first assessment of functional diversity along a high climatic gradient for bryophytes, which represent a major plant compartment in these ecosystems. Lire la suite