Publications by authors named "Martin Schütz"

88 Publications

Non-Native Impacts Diversity of Pastures in South-Eastern Australia Even When Native Remains Co-Dominant.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Mar 22;10(3). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Faculty of Science and the Centre for the Environment, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia.

Lowland grassy woodlands in Australia's south-east face reductions in native plant diversity because of invasion by non-native plants. We compared the relative abundance and diversity of plant species among sites dominated by the native Kangaroo grass (KG) with sites co-dominated by the non-native African lovegrass (ALG) and KG. We found significant differences in plant species composition depending on the dominant species. Furthermore, our results revealed differences in several diversity parameters such as a lower species richness and forb diversity on sites co-dominated by ALG and KG. This was the case despite the functional similarity of both ALG and KG-both C perennial tussock grasses of a similar height. Therefore, our results highlight the critical function of the native KG in maintaining and enhancing the target plant species composition and diversity within these grassy woodlands. Herbivore grazing potentially impacts on the abundance of the dominant grass and forb species in various ways, but its impact likely differs depending on their evolutionary origin. Therefore, disentangling the role of individual herbivore groups (native-, non-native mammals, and invertebrates) on the plant community composition of the lowland grassy woodlands is essential to find appropriate grazing regimes for ALG management in these ecosystems.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10030596DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005164PMC
March 2021

Fertilized graminoids intensify negative drought effects on grassland productivity.

Glob Chang Biol 2021 Jun 21;27(11):2441-2457. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Soil and Environment, Sveriges Landbruksuniversitet (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden.

Droughts can strongly affect grassland productivity and biodiversity, but responses differ widely. Nutrient availability may be a critical factor explaining this variation, but is often ignored in analyses of drought responses. Here, we used a standardized nutrient addition experiment covering 10 European grasslands to test if full-factorial nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium addition affected plant community responses to inter-annual variation in drought stress and to the extreme summer drought of 2018 in Europe. We found that nutrient addition amplified detrimental drought effects on community aboveground biomass production. Drought effects also differed between functional groups, with a negative effect on graminoid but not forb biomass production. Our results imply that eutrophication in grasslands, which promotes dominance of drought-sensitive graminoids over forbs, amplifies detrimental drought effects. In terms of climate change adaptation, agricultural management would benefit from taking into account differential drought impacts on fertilized versus unfertilized grasslands, which differ in ecosystem services they provide to society.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15583DOI Listing
June 2021

Evaluating long-term success in grassland restoration: an ecosystem multifunctionality approach.

Ecol Appl 2021 04 23;31(3):e02271. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Community Ecology, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf, 8903, Switzerland.

It is generally assumed that restoring biodiversity will enhance diversity and ecosystem functioning. However, to date, it has rarely been evaluated whether and how restoration efforts manage to rebuild biodiversity and multiple ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) simultaneously. Here, we quantified how three restoration methods of increasing intervention intensity (harvest only < topsoil removal < topsoil removal + propagule addition) affected grassland ecosystem multifunctionality 22 yr after the restoration event. We compared restored with intensively managed and targeted seminatural grasslands based on 13 biotic and abiotic, above- and belowground properties. We found that all three restoration methods improved ecosystem multifunctionality compared to intensively managed grasslands and developed toward the targeted seminatural grasslands. However, whereas higher levels of intervention intensity reached ecosystem multifunctionality of targeted seminatural grasslands after 22 yr, lower intervention missed this target. Moreover, we found that topsoil removal with and without seed addition accelerated the recovery of biotic and aboveground properties, and we found no negative long-term effects on abiotic or belowground properties despite removing the top layer of the soil. We also evaluated which ecosystem properties were the best indicators for restoration success in terms of accuracy and cost efficiency. Overall, we demonstrated that low-cost measures explained relatively more variation of ecosystem multifunctionality compared to high-cost measures. Plant species richness was the most accurate individual property in describing ecosystem multifunctionality, as it accounted for 54% of ecosystem multifunctionality at only 4% of the costs of our comprehensive multifunctionality approach. Plant species richness is the property that typically is used in restoration monitoring by conservation agencies. Vegetation structure, soil carbon storage and water-holding capacity together explained 70% of ecosystem multifunctionality at only twice the costs (8%) of plant species richness, which is, in our opinion, worth considering in future restoration monitoring projects. Hence, our findings provide a guideline for land managers how they could obtain an accurate estimate of aboveground-belowground ecosystem multifunctionality and restoration success in a highly cost-efficient way.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.2271DOI Listing
April 2021

Exploiting the Amazing Diversity of Natural Source-Derived Polysaccharides: Modern Procedures of Isolation, Engineering, and Optimization of Antiviral Activities.

Polymers (Basel) 2020 Dec 30;13(1). Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Department of Chemistry, The University of Burdwan, Burdwan, West Bengal 713104, India.

Naturally occurring polysaccharide sulfates are highly diverse, owning variations in the backbone structure, linkage pattern and stereochemistry, branching diversity, sulfate content and positions of sulfate group(s). These structural characteristics bring about diverse sulfated polymers with dissimilar negative charge densities and structure-activity relationships. Herein, we start with a short discussion of techniques needed for extraction, purification, chemical sulfation, and structural characterization of polysaccharides. Processes of isolation and sulfation of plant-derived polysaccharides are challenging and usually involve two steps. In this context, we describe an integrated extraction-sulfation procedure that produces polysaccharide sulfates from natural products in one step, thereby generating additional pharmacological activities. Finally, we provide examples of the spectrum of natural source-derived polysaccharides possessing specific features of bioactivity, in particular focusing on current aspects of antiviral drug development and drug-target interaction. Thus, the review presents a detailed view on chemically engineered polysaccharides, especially sulfated derivatives, and underlines their promising biomedical perspectives.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13010136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794815PMC
December 2020

General destabilizing effects of eutrophication on grassland productivity at multiple spatial scales.

Nat Commun 2020 10 23;11(1):5375. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA.

Eutrophication is a widespread environmental change that usually reduces the stabilizing effect of plant diversity on productivity in local communities. Whether this effect is scale dependent remains to be elucidated. Here, we determine the relationship between plant diversity and temporal stability of productivity for 243 plant communities from 42 grasslands across the globe and quantify the effect of chronic fertilization on these relationships. Unfertilized local communities with more plant species exhibit greater asynchronous dynamics among species in response to natural environmental fluctuations, resulting in greater local stability (alpha stability). Moreover, neighborhood communities that have greater spatial variation in plant species composition within sites (higher beta diversity) have greater spatial asynchrony of productivity among communities, resulting in greater stability at the larger scale (gamma stability). Importantly, fertilization consistently weakens the contribution of plant diversity to both of these stabilizing mechanisms, thus diminishing the positive effect of biodiversity on stability at differing spatial scales. Our findings suggest that preserving grassland functional stability requires conservation of plant diversity within and among ecological communities.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19252-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7585434PMC
October 2020

Global impacts of fertilization and herbivore removal on soil net nitrogen mineralization are modulated by local climate and soil properties.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Dec 22;26(12):7173-7185. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Grupo de Investigaciones en Biología de la Conservación, INIBIOMA (CONICET-UNCOMA), Bariloche, Argentina.

Soil nitrogen (N) availability is critical for grassland functioning. However, human activities have increased the supply of biologically limiting nutrients, and changed the density and identity of mammalian herbivores. These anthropogenic changes may alter net soil N mineralization (soil net N ), that is, the net balance between N mineralization and immobilization, which could severely impact grassland structure and functioning. Yet, to date, little is known about how fertilization and herbivore removal individually, or jointly, affect soil net N across a wide range of grasslands that vary in soil and climatic properties. Here we collected data from 22 grasslands on five continents, all part of a globally replicated experiment, to assess how fertilization and herbivore removal affected potential (laboratory-based) and realized (field-based) soil net N . Herbivore removal in the absence of fertilization did not alter potential and realized soil net N . However, fertilization alone and in combination with herbivore removal consistently increased potential soil net N Realized soil net N , in contrast, significantly decreased in fertilized plots where herbivores were removed. Treatment effects on potential and realized soil net N were contingent on site-specific soil and climatic properties. Fertilization effects on potential soil net N were larger at sites with higher mean annual precipitation (MAP) and temperature of the wettest quarter (T.q.wet). Reciprocally, realized soil net N declined most strongly with fertilization and herbivore removal at sites with lower MAP and higher T.q.wet. In summary, our findings show that anthropogenic nutrient enrichment, herbivore exclusion and alterations in future climatic conditions can negatively impact soil net N across global grasslands under realistic field conditions. This is an important context-dependent knowledge for grassland management worldwide.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15308DOI Listing
December 2020

The Artemisinin-Derived Autofluorescent Compound BG95 Exerts Strong Anticytomegaloviral Activity Based on a Mitochondrial Targeting Mechanism.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Aug 4;21(15). Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Institute for Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Schlossgarten 4, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a major human pathogen associated with severe pathology. Current options of antiviral therapy only partly satisfy the needs of a well-tolerated long-term treatment/prophylaxis free from drug-induced viral resistance. Recently, we reported the strong antiviral properties in vitro and in vivo of the broad-spectrum anti-infective drug artesunate and its optimized derivatives. NF-κB signaling was described as a targeting mechanism and additional target proteins have recently been identified. Here, we analyzed the autofluorescent hybrid compound BG95, which could be utilized for intracellular visualization by confocal imaging and a tracking analysis in virus-infected primary human fibroblasts. As an important finding, BG95 accumulated in mitochondria visualized by anti-prohibitin and MitoTracker staining, and induced statistically significant changes of mitochondrial morphology, distinct from those induced by HCMV infection. Notably, mitochondrial membrane potential was found substantially reduced by BG95, an effect apparently counteracting efficient HCMV replication, which requires active mitochondria and upregulated energy levels. This finding was consistent with binding properties of artesunate-like compounds to mitochondrial proteins and thereby suggested a new mechanistic aspect. Combined, the present study underlines an important role of mitochondria in the multifaceted, host-directed antiviral mechanism of this drug class, postulating a new mitochondria-specific mode of protein targeting.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432203PMC
August 2020

Microbial processing of plant remains is co-limited by multiple nutrients in global grasslands.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 08 10;26(8):4572-4582. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Microbial processing of aggregate-unprotected organic matter inputs is key for soil fertility, long-term ecosystem carbon and nutrient sequestration and sustainable agriculture. We investigated the effects of adding multiple nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium plus nine essential macro- and micro-nutrients) on decomposition and biochemical transformation of standard plant materials buried in 21 grasslands from four continents. Addition of multiple nutrients weakly but consistently increased decomposition and biochemical transformation of plant remains during the peak-season, concurrent with changes in microbial exoenzymatic activity. Higher mean annual precipitation and lower mean annual temperature were the main climatic drivers of higher decomposition rates, while biochemical transformation of plant remains was negatively related to temperature of the wettest quarter. Nutrients enhanced decomposition most at cool, high rainfall sites, indicating that in a warmer and drier future fertilized grassland soils will have an even more limited potential for microbial processing of plant remains.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15146DOI Listing
August 2020

The peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase Pin1 interacts with three early regulatory proteins of human cytomegalovirus.

Virus Res 2020 08 16;285:198023. Epub 2020 May 16.

Institute for Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen- Nürnberg (FAU), Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address:

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous human pathogen of high clinical relevance. Despite intensive research of virus-host interaction, crucial details still remain unknown. In this study, the role of the cellular peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase Pin1 during HCMV infection was investigated. Pin1 is able to recognize phosphorylated serine/threonine-proline motifs and regulates the structural conformation, stability and function of its substrates. Concerning HCMV replication, our recent studies revealed that Pin1 plays an important role in viral nuclear egress by contributing to the depletion of the nuclear lamina at distinct sites through the cis/trans conversion of lamin proteins. Here, novel data illustrate the HCMV-induced upregulation of Pin1 including various cell types being permissive, semi-permissive or non-permissive for productive HCMV replication. Addressing the question of functional impact, Pin1 knock-out (KO) did not show a measurable effect on viral protein expression, at least when assessed by Western blot analysis. Applying highly sensitive methods of qPCR and plaque titration, a pharmacological inhibition of Pin1 activity, however, led to a significant decrease of viral genome equivalents and production of infectious virus, respectively. When focusing on the identification of viral proteins interacting with Pin1 by various coimmunoprecipitation (CoIP) settings, we obtained positive signals for (i) the core nuclear egress complex protein pUL50, (ii) the viral mRNA export factor pUL69 and (iii) the viral DNA polymerase processivity factor pUL44. Confocal immunofluorescence analysis focusing on partial colocalization between Pin1 and the coexpressed viral proteins pUL50, pUL69 or pUL44, respectively, was consistent with the CoIP experiments. Mapping experiments, using transient expression constructs for a series of truncated protein versions and specific replacement mutants, revealed a complex pattern of Pin1 interaction with these three early regulatory HCMV proteins. Data suggest a combination of different modes of Pin1 interactions, involving both classical phosphorylation-dependent Pin1 binding motifs and additional phosphorylation-independent binding sites. Combined, these results support the concept that Pin1 may play an important role in several stages of HCMV infection, thus determining viral replicative efficiency.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198023DOI Listing
August 2020

Long-term restoration success of insect herbivore communities in seminatural grasslands: a functional approach.

Ecol Appl 2020 09 14;30(6):e02133. Epub 2020 May 14.

Forest Entomology, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, 8903, Switzerland.

Seminatural grasslands are important biodiversity hotspots, but they are increasingly degraded by intensive agriculture. Grassland restoration is considered to be promising in halting the ongoing loss of biodiversity, but this evaluation is mostly based on plant communities. Insect herbivores contribute substantially to grassland biodiversity and to the provisioning of a variety of ecosystem functions. However, it is unclear how they respond to different measures that are commonly used to restore seminatural grasslands from intensively used agricultural land. We studied the long-term success of different restoration techniques, which were originally targeted at reestablishing seminatural grassland plant communities, for herbivorous insect communities on taxonomic as well as functional level. Therefore, we sampled insect communities 22 yr after the establishment of restoration measures. These measures ranged from harvest and removal of biomass to removal of the topsoil layer and subsequent seeding of plant propagules. We found that insect communities in restored grasslands had higher taxonomic and functional diversity compared to intensively managed agricultural grasslands and were more similar in composition to target grasslands. Restoration measures including topsoil removal proved to be more effective, in particular in restoring species characterized by functional traits susceptible to intensive agriculture (e.g., large-bodied species). Our study shows that long-term success in the restoration of herbivorous insect communities of seminatural grasslands can be achieved by different restoration measures and that more invasive approaches that involve the removal of the topsoil layer are more effective. We attribute these restoration successes to accompanying changes in the plant community, resulting in bottom-up control of the herbivore community. Our results are of critical importance for management decisions aiming to restore multi-trophic communities, their functional composition and consequently the proliferation of ecosystem functions.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.2133DOI Listing
September 2020

Nutrient availability controls the impact of mammalian herbivores on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in grasslands.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Feb 3. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Grasslands are subject to considerable alteration due to human activities globally, including widespread changes in populations and composition of large mammalian herbivores and elevated supply of nutrients. Grassland soils remain important reservoirs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Herbivores may affect both C and N pools and these changes likely interact with increases in soil nutrient availability. Given the scale of grassland soil fluxes, such changes can have striking consequences for atmospheric C concentrations and the climate. Here, we use the Nutrient Network experiment to examine the responses of soil C and N pools to mammalian herbivore exclusion across 22 grasslands, under ambient and elevated nutrient availabilities (fertilized with NPK + micronutrients). We show that the impact of herbivore exclusion on soil C and N pools depends on fertilization. Under ambient nutrient conditions, we observed no effect of herbivore exclusion, but under elevated nutrient supply, pools are smaller upon herbivore exclusion. The highest mean soil C and N pools were found in grazed and fertilized plots. The decrease in soil C and N upon herbivore exclusion in combination with fertilization correlated with a decrease in aboveground plant biomass and microbial activity, indicating a reduced storage of organic matter and microbial residues as soil C and N. The response of soil C and N pools to herbivore exclusion was contingent on temperature - herbivores likely cause losses of C and N in colder sites and increases in warmer sites. Additionally, grasslands that contain mammalian herbivores have the potential to sequester more N under increased temperature variability and nutrient enrichment than ungrazed grasslands. Our study highlights the importance of conserving mammalian herbivore populations in grasslands worldwide. We need to incorporate local-scale herbivory, and its interaction with nutrient enrichment and climate, within global-scale models to better predict land-atmosphere interactions under future climate change.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7155038PMC
February 2020

Secondary Radar Beacons for Local Ad-Hoc Autonomous Robot Localization Systems.

Sensors (Basel) 2019 Dec 12;19(24). Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Institute of Microwaves and Photonics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany.

In this paper, we present a detailed analysis and implementation of secondary radar beacons designed for a local ad-hoc localization and landing system (LAOLa) to support the navigation of autonomous ground and aerial vehicles. We discuss a switched linear feedback network as a virtually coherent oscillator and show how to use it as a secondary radar transponder. Further, we present a signal model for the beat signal of the transponder response in an FMCW radar system, which is more detailed than in previously published papers. An actual transponder realization in the 24 GHz ISM band is presented. Its RF performance was evaluated both in the laboratory and in the field. Finally, we put forward some ideas on how to overcome the range measurement inaccuracy inherent in this transponder concept.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s19245484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6960666PMC
December 2019

Leaf trait variability between and within subalpine grassland species differs depending on site conditions and herbivory.

Proc Biol Sci 2019 07 24;286(1907):20190429. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

Plant traits are commonly used to predict ecosystem-level processes, but the validity of such predictions is dependent on the assumption that trait variability between species is greater than trait variability within a species-the robustness assumption. Here, we compare leaf trait intraspecific and interspecific variability depending on geographical differences between sites and 5 years of experimental herbivore exclusion in two vegetation types of subalpine grasslands in Switzerland. Four leaf traits were measured from eight herbaceous species common to all 18 sites. Intraspecific trait variability differed significantly depending on site and herbivory. However, the amount and structure of variability depended on the trait measured and whether considering leaf traits separately or multiple leaf traits simultaneously. Leaf phosphorus concentration showed the highest intraspecific variability, while specific leaf area showed the highest interspecific variability and displayed intraspecific variability only in response to herbivore exclusion. Species identity based on multiple traits was not predictable. We find intraspecific variability is an essential consideration when using plant functional traits as a common currency not just species mean traits. This is particularly true for leaf nutrient concentrations, which showed high intraspecific variability in response to site differences and herbivore exclusion, a finding which suggests that the robustness assumption does not always hold.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661350PMC
July 2019

Leaf nutrients, not specific leaf area, are consistent indicators of elevated nutrient inputs.

Nat Ecol Evol 2019 03 4;3(3):400-406. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Forest Research Centre, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

Leaf traits are frequently measured in ecology to provide a 'common currency' for predicting how anthropogenic pressures impact ecosystem function. Here, we test whether leaf traits consistently respond to experimental treatments across 27 globally distributed grassland sites across 4 continents. We find that specific leaf area (leaf area per unit mass)-a commonly measured morphological trait inferring shifts between plant growth strategies-did not respond to up to four years of soil nutrient additions. Leaf nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium concentrations increased in response to the addition of each respective soil nutrient. We found few significant changes in leaf traits when vertebrate herbivores were excluded in the short-term. Leaf nitrogen and potassium concentrations were positively correlated with species turnover, suggesting that interspecific trait variation was a significant predictor of leaf nitrogen and potassium, but not of leaf phosphorus concentration. Climatic conditions and pretreatment soil nutrient levels also accounted for significant amounts of variation in the leaf traits measured. Overall, we find that leaf morphological traits, such as specific leaf area, are not appropriate indicators of plant response to anthropogenic perturbations in grasslands.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0790-1DOI Listing
March 2019

Change in dominance determines herbivore effects on plant biodiversity.

Nat Ecol Evol 2018 12 29;2(12):1925-1932. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

Institut Polytechnique Rural/Institut de Formation et de Recherche Appliquee, Katibougou, Mali.

Herbivores alter plant biodiversity (species richness) in many of the world's ecosystems, but the magnitude and the direction of herbivore effects on biodiversity vary widely within and among ecosystems. One current theory predicts that herbivores enhance plant biodiversity at high productivity but have the opposite effect at low productivity. Yet, empirical support for the importance of site productivity as a mediator of these herbivore impacts is equivocal. Here, we synthesize data from 252 large-herbivore exclusion studies, spanning a 20-fold range in site productivity, to test an alternative hypothesis-that herbivore-induced changes in the competitive environment determine the response of plant biodiversity to herbivory irrespective of productivity. Under this hypothesis, when herbivores reduce the abundance (biomass, cover) of dominant species (for example, because the dominant plant is palatable), additional resources become available to support new species, thereby increasing biodiversity. By contrast, if herbivores promote high dominance by increasing the abundance of herbivory-resistant, unpalatable species, then resource availability for other species decreases reducing biodiversity. We show that herbivore-induced change in dominance, independent of site productivity or precipitation (a proxy for productivity), is the best predictor of herbivore effects on biodiversity in grassland and savannah sites. Given that most herbaceous ecosystems are dominated by one or a few species, altering the competitive environment via herbivores or by other means may be an effective strategy for conserving biodiversity in grasslands and savannahs globally.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0696-yDOI Listing
December 2018

Novel cytomegalovirus-inhibitory compounds of the class pyrrolopyridines show a complex pattern of target binding that suggests an unusual mechanism of antiviral activity.

Antiviral Res 2018 11 27;159:84-94. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Institute for Clinical and Molecular Virology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schlossgarten 4, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. Electronic address:

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a major human pathogen with seropositivity rates in the adult population ranging between 40% and 95%. HCMV infection is associated with severe pathology, such as life-threatening courses of infection in immunocompromised individuals and neonates. Current standard therapy with valganciclovir has the disadvantage of adverse side effects and viral drug resistance. A novel anti-HCMV drug, letermovir, has been approved recently, so that improved therapy options are available. Nevertheless, even more so far unexploited classes of compounds and molecular modes of action will be required for a next generation of antiherpesviral treatment strategies. In this study, we focused on the analysis of the antiviral potency of a novel class of compounds, i.e. pyrrolopyridine analogs, and identified both hit compounds and their target protein candidates. In essence, we provide novel evidence as follows: (i) screening hit SC88941 is highly active in inhibiting HCMV replication in primary human fibroblasts with an EC value of 0.20 ± 0.01 μM in the absence of cytotoxicity, (ii) inhibition occurs at the early-late stage of viral protein production and shows reinforcing effects upon LMV cotreatment, (iii) among the viruses analyzed, antiviral activity was most pronounced against β-herpesviruses (HCMV, HHV-6A) and intermediate against adenovirus (HAdV-2), (iv) induction of SC88941 resistance was not detectable, thus differed from the induction of ganciclovir resistance, (v) a linker-coupled model compound was used for mass spectrometry-based target identification, thus yielding several drug-binding target proteins and (vi) a first confocal imaging approach used for addressing intracellular effects of SC88941 indicated qualitative and quantitative alteration of viral protein expression and localization. Thus, our findings suggest a multifaceted pattern of compound-target binding in connection with an unusual mode of action, opening up further opportunities of antiviral drug development.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.09.012DOI Listing
November 2018

On the exfoliation and anisotropic thermal expansion of black phosphorus.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2018 Aug;54(70):9793-9796

Dipartimento di Chimica and NIS Centre, Università di Torino, via Giuria 5, I-10125 Torino, Italy.

Black phosphorus is a bulk solid allotrope of elemental phosphorus and can be seen as an infinite stack of phosphorene sheets. It is interesting from a technological point of view as well as from an electronic structure perspective due to the importance of electron correlation effects. In a recent paper [M. Schütz, L. Maschio, A. J. Karttunen and D. Usvyat, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2017, 8, 1290-1294] a highly accurate exfoliation energy has been computed. Building upon these results we carefully benchmark various dispersion-corrected density functional approximations. The choice of the range-separating function that suppresses London dispersion at short interatomic distances apparently has a substantial influence on the results. Having chosen the suitable functional, we have computed the thermal expansion coefficients of black phosphorous via a quasi-harmonic approximation. The computed coefficients manifest a strong anisotropy between the two in-plane directions. Our calculations, however, do not support the existence of negative thermal expansion in black phosphorus, as reported in some theoretical studies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8cc04855jDOI Listing
August 2018

Spatial heterogeneity in species composition constrains plant community responses to herbivory and fertilisation.

Ecol Lett 2018 09 27;21(9):1364-1371. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, 27708, USA.

Environmental change can result in substantial shifts in community composition. The associated immigration and extinction events are likely constrained by the spatial distribution of species. Still, studies on environmental change typically quantify biotic responses at single spatial (time series within a single plot) or temporal (spatial beta diversity at single time points) scales, ignoring their potential interdependence. Here, we use data from a global network of grassland experiments to determine how turnover responses to two major forms of environmental change - fertilisation and herbivore loss - are affected by species pool size and spatial compositional heterogeneity. Fertilisation led to higher rates of local extinction, whereas turnover in herbivore exclusion plots was driven by species replacement. Overall, sites with more spatially heterogeneous composition showed significantly higher rates of annual turnover, independent of species pool size and treatment. Taking into account spatial biodiversity aspects will therefore improve our understanding of consequences of global and anthropogenic change on community dynamics.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.13102DOI Listing
September 2018

A Two-Dimensional 'Zigzag' Silica Polymorph on a Metal Support.

J Am Chem Soc 2018 05 2;140(19):6164-6168. Epub 2018 May 2.

Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft , Faradayweg 4-6 , 14195 Berlin , Germany.

We present a new polymorph of the two-dimensional (2D) silica film with a characteristic 'zigzag' line structure and a rectangular unit cell which forms on a Ru(0001) metal substrate. This new silica polymorph may allow for important insights into growth modes and transformations of 2D silica films as a model system for the study of glass transitions. Based on scanning tunneling microscopy, low energy electron diffraction, infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements on the one hand, and density functional theory calculations on the other, a structural model for the 'zigzag' polymorph is proposed. In comparison to established monolayer and bilayer silica, this 'zigzag' structure system has intermediate characteristics in terms of coupling to the substrate and stoichiometry. The silica 'zigzag' phase is transformed upon reoxidation at higher annealing temperature into a SiO silica bilayer film which is chemically decoupled from the substrate.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.8b02905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6078382PMC
May 2018

Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient.

Ecology 2018 04 31;99(4):822-831. Epub 2018 Mar 31.

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55108, USA.

Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring plant elemental (C, N, P and K) responses to eutrophication and vertebrate herbivore exclusion at eighteen sites on six continents. Across sites, climate and atmospheric N deposition emerged as strong predictors of plot-level tissue nutrients, mediated by biomass and plant chemistry. Within sites, fertilization increased total plant nutrient pools, but results were contingent on soil fertility and the proportion of grass biomass relative to other functional types. Total plant nutrient pools diverged strongly in response to herbivore exclusion when fertilized; responses were largest in ungrazed plots at low rainfall, whereas herbivore grazing dampened the plant community nutrient responses to fertilization. Our study highlights (1) the importance of climate in determining plant nutrient concentrations mediated through effects on plant biomass, (2) that eutrophication affects grassland nutrient pools via both soil and atmospheric pathways and (3) that interactions among soils, herbivores and eutrophication drive plant nutrient responses at small scales, especially at water-limited sites.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2175DOI Listing
April 2018

Range dynamics of mountain plants decrease with elevation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 02 29;115(8):1848-1853. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria.

Many studies report that mountain plant species are shifting upward in elevation. However, the majority of these reports focus on shifts of upper limits. Here, we expand the focus and simultaneously analyze changes of both range limits, optima, and abundances of 183 mountain plant species. We therefore resurveyed 1,576 vegetation plots first recorded before 1970 in the European Alps. We found that both range limits and optima shifted upward in elevation, but the most pronounced trend was a mean increase in species abundance. Despite huge species-specific variation, range dynamics showed a consistent trend along the elevational gradient: Both range limits and optima shifted upslope faster the lower they were situated historically, and species' abundance increased more for species from lower elevations. Traits affecting the species' dispersal and persistence capacity were not related to their range dynamics. Using indicator values to stratify species by their thermal and nutrient demands revealed that elevational ranges of thermophilic species tended to expand, while those of cold-adapted species tended to contract. Abundance increases were strongest for nutriphilous species. These results suggest that recent climate warming interacted with airborne nitrogen deposition in driving the observed dynamics. So far, the majority of species appear as "winners" of recent changes, yet "losers" are overrepresented among high-elevation, cold-adapted species with low nutrient demands. In the decades to come, high-alpine species may hence face the double pressure of climatic changes and novel, superior competitors that move up faster than they themselves can escape to even higher elevations.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713936115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828587PMC
February 2018

Mammal-induced trophic cascades in invertebrate food webs are modulated by grazing intensity in subalpine grassland.

J Anim Ecol 2017 10 10;86(6):1434-1446. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Research Unit Community Ecology, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

Even though mammalian herbivores can exert strong indirect effects on other animals by altering the vegetation, the study of trophic cascades retains a focus on apex predators and their top-down forces. Bottom-up trophic interaction chains induced by mammalian herbivores, particularly in invertebrate food webs, remain largely unexplored. We tested whether effects of mammalian herbivores on the vegetation ricochet back up several trophic levels of the invertebrate food web. We further tested two alternative hypotheses: the strength of herbivore-induced indirect interactions either increases with plant productivity because of a concurrent higher grazing intensity, or it decreases because of a higher plant tolerance to grazing. We progressively excluded large, medium and small herbivorous mammals from replicated plots of 6 m in productive, intensively grazed short-grass vegetation and less productive, less intensively grazed tall-grass vegetation of subalpine grasslands. We measured vegetation quantity, quality, structure and composition, and determined the abundance of invertebrate herbivores, detritivores, omnivores and predators. We used structural equation modelling to test vegetation-mediated cascading effects of the different mammalian herbivores across different trophic groups of invertebrates. In the short-grass vegetation, mammals caused changes in vegetation quantity and thickness. These changes directly affected detritivorous and predatory invertebrate abundance, yet indirectly affected predatory and omnivorous invertebrates through a bottom-up trophic cascade via changes in herbivorous invertebrate abundance. In the tall-grass vegetation, mammal-induced changes in vegetation quality and composition affected detritivorous invertebrates and in turn omnivorous invertebrates, but these cascading effects were weaker than those in the short-grass vegetation. Smaller mammals were at least as important as large mammals in structuring the invertebrate food web. Our results demonstrate that differently sized mammalian herbivores can trigger trophic cascades in the local invertebrate food web. Our findings further support the hypothesis that herbivore-induced indirect interactions are stronger in more productive systems because of higher foraging intensity, as opposed to the hypothesis that a higher grazing tolerance of plants should dampen herbivore-induced indirect interactions in productive systems.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12744DOI Listing
October 2017

A comparison between quantum chemistry and quantum Monte Carlo techniques for the adsorption of water on the (001) LiH surface.

J Chem Phys 2017 May;146(20):204108

Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Heisenbergstraße 1, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany.

We present a comprehensive benchmark study of the adsorption energy of a single water molecule on the (001) LiH surface using periodic coupled cluster and quantum Monte Carlo theories. We benchmark and compare different implementations of quantum chemical wave function based theories in order to verify the reliability of the predicted adsorption energies and the employed approximations. Furthermore we compare the predicted adsorption energies to those obtained employing widely used van der Waals density-functionals. Our findings show that quantum chemical approaches are becoming a robust and reliable tool for condensed phase electronic structure calculations, providing an additional tool that can also help in potentially improving currently available van der Waals density-functionals.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4984048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5446292PMC
May 2017

Dispersion interactions in silicon allotropes.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2017 Mar;19(11):7699-7707

Dipartimento di Chimica, and NIS (Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces) centre, Universitá di Torino, via, Giuria 5, Torino I-10125, Italy.

van der Waals interactions are known to play a key role in the formation of weakly bound solids, such as molecular or layered crystals. Here we show that the correct quantum-chemical description of van der Waals dispersion is also essential for a correct description of the relative stability between purely covalently-bound solids like silicon allotropes. To this end, we apply periodic local MP2 and DFT with Grimme's empirical -D3 correction to 11 experimentally determined or yet hypothetical crystalline silicon structures, including the most recently discovered silicon allotropes. Both methods provide similar energy ordering of the polymorphs, which, at the same time, noticeably deviate from the order predicted by standard DFT without an appropriate description of the van der Waals dispersion.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6cp08873bDOI Listing
March 2017

Exfoliation Energy of Black Phosphorus Revisited: A Coupled Cluster Benchmark.

J Phys Chem Lett 2017 Mar 6;8(6):1290-1294. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Institut für Chemie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin , Brook-Taylor-Strasse 2, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.

Black phosphorus (black-P) consists of phosphorene sheets, stacked by van der Waals dispersion. In a recent study based on periodic local second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (LMP2) with higher-order corrections evaluated on finite clusters, we obtained a value of -151 meV/atom for the exfoliation energy. This is almost twice as large as another recent theoretical result (around -80 meV/atom) obtained with quantum Monte Carlo (QMC). Here, we revisit this system on the basis of the recently implemented, periodically embedded ring coupled cluster (rCCD) model instead of LMP2. Higher-order coupled cluster corrections on top of rCCD are obtained from finite clusters by utilizing our new "unit-cell-in-cluster" scheme. Our new value of -92 meV/atom is noticeably lower than that based on LMP2 and in reasonably close agreement with the QMC result. However, in contrast to QMC, no strong effect from the second-neighbor and farther layers in black-P are observed in our calculations.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00253DOI Listing
March 2017

Herbivores sculpt leaf traits differently in grasslands depending on life form and land-use histories.

Ecology 2017 Jan;98(1):239-252

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

Vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores alter plant communities directly by selectively consuming plant species; and indirectly by inducing morphological and physiological changes to plant traits that provide competitive or survivorship advantages to some life forms over others. Progressively excluding aboveground herbivore communities (ungulates, medium and small sized mammals, invertebrates) over five growing seasons, we explored how leaf morphology (specific leaf area or SLA) and nutrition (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and calcium) of different plant life forms (forbs, legumes, grasses, sedges) correlated with their dominance. We experimented in two subalpine grassland types with different land-use histories: (1) heavily grazed, nutrient-rich, short-grass vegetation and (2) lightly grazed, lower nutrient tall-grass vegetation. We found differences in leaf traits between treatments where either all herbivores were excluded or all herbivores were present, showing the importance of considering the impacts of both vertebrates and invertebrates on the leaf traits of plant species. Life forms responses to the progressive exclusion of herbivores were captured by six possible combinations: (1) increased leaf size and resource use efficiency (leaf area/nutrients) where lower nutrient levels are invested in leaf construction, but a reduction in the number of leaves, for example, forbs in both vegetation types, (2) increased leaf size and resource use efficiency, for example, legumes in short grass, (3) increased leaf size but a reduction in the number of leaves, for example, legumes in the tall grass, (4) increased number of leaves produced and increased resource use efficiency, for example, grasses in the short grass, (5) increased resource use efficiency of leaves only, for example, grasses and sedges in the tall grass, and (6) no response in terms of leaf construction or dominance, for example, sedges in the short grass. Although we found multiple possible responses by life forms to progressive exclusion of herbivores, we also found some important generalities. Changes in leaf traits of legumes and grasses correlated with their increasing dominance in the short-grass vegetation and plants were more efficient at constructing photosynthetic tissue when herbivores are present with few exceptions. These results demonstrate that vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores are essential to maintain plant species richness and resource-use efficiency.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.1637DOI Listing
January 2017

Description of the sexuales of Myzodium modestum (Hottes) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) discovered in the Swiss Alps.

Zootaxa 2016 Nov 24;4196(4):zootaxa.4196.4.8. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Departamento de Biodiversidad y Gestión Ambiental, Universidad de León, 24071 León, Spain.

The sexuales (apterous oviparous female and alate male) of Myzodium modestum (Hottes) are described for the first time from specimens captured in the Swiss Alps. This is also the first record of this species in Switzerland. This is the first evidence that an aphid may be able to complete its life cycle on mosses.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4196.4.8DOI Listing
November 2016

Fragment-Based Direct-Local-Ring-Coupled-Cluster Doubles Treatment Embedded in the Periodic Hartree-Fock Solution.

J Chem Theory Comput 2016 Oct 7;12(10):5145-5156. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Universität Regensburg , 93049 Regensburg, Germany.

We present a periodic/finite-cluster interface for fragment-based direct local ring-coupled-cluster doubles (d-LrCCD) calculations embedded in the periodic mean field. The fragment is defined by a set of Wannier functions (WFs), obtained from a periodic Hartree-Fock calculation. The pair-specific virtual space is spanned by projected atomic orbitals (PAOs) truncated to pair domains. The computational procedure is initiated by a periodic local Møller-Plesset (LMP2) calculation. A subset of the WF pairs is then subsequently subjected to a finite-cluster d-LrCCD treatment using the local coupled cluster program of Molpro; this subset is specified by an interorbital cutoff distance. The orbital, pair, and domain lists, as well as other essential quantities needed for d-LrCCD such as the Fock and overlap matrices, and the electron repulsion integrals (ERIs) in the basis of WFs and PAOs are evaluated in the periodic framework and passed to Molpro via an interface. These periodic quantities provide the correct periodic mean-field embedding for the fragment d-LrCCD. Moreover, no expensive orbital transformations involving orbital coefficients related to large supporting clusters are necessary. ERIs appearing in the d-LrCCD diagrams are factorized via density fitting, which enables an efficient processing of the corresponding terms via three-index intermediates. The corresponding 3-index and the metric 2-index ERIs involving auxiliary functions are also computed and transformed to the WF-PAO basis (the 3-index ERI) on the periodic side. Although the direct ring-CCD method itself is not generally more accurate than MP2, it is more stable in the case of small band gap systems, as it sums up the ring diagrams to infinite order. Furthermore, this interface is a first step toward a high-level fragment-based quantum chemical treatment such as local CCSD(T) within a periodic embedding that is treated at a lower level. As two test examples we study the physisorption of H and argon on graphane.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jctc.6b00651DOI Listing
October 2016