Publications by authors named "Víctor Resco de Dios"

44 Publications

Metal tolerance protein MTP6 is involved in Mn and Co distribution in poplar.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Oct 4;226:112868. Epub 2021 Oct 4.

School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China. Electronic address:

With the booming demand of the electric vehicle industry, the concentration of manganese (Mn) and cobalt (Co) flowing into land ecosystems has also increased significantly. While these transition metals can promote the growth and development of plants, they may become toxic under high concentrations. It is thus important to understand how Mn and Co are distributed in plants to develop novel germplasms for the remediation of these heavy metals in contaminated soils. Here, an MTP gene that encodes the CDF (cation diffusion facilitator) protein in Populus trichocarpa, PtrMTP6, was screened as the key gene involved in the distribution of both Mn and Co in poplar. The PtrMTP6-GFP fusion protein was co-localized with the mRFP-VSR2, showing that PtrMTP6 proteins are present at the pre-vacuolar compartment (PVC). Yeast mutant complementation assays further identified that PtrMTP6 serves as a Mn and Co transporter, reducing yeast cell toxicity after exposure to excessive Mn or Co. Histochemical analyses showed that PtrMTP6 was mainly expressed in phloem, suggesting that PtrMTP6 probably involved in the Mn and Co transport via phloem in plants. Under excess Co, PtrMTP6 overexpressing poplar lines were more severely damaged than the control due to higher Co accumulations in young tissue. PtrMTP6 overexpressing lines showed little change in their tolerance to excess Mn, although young tissues also accumulated more Mn. PtrMTP6 play important roles in Mn and Co distribution in poplar and further research on its regulation will be important to increase bioremediation in Mn and Co polluted ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112868DOI Listing
October 2021

Pretreating poplar cuttings with low nitrogen ameliorates salt stress responses by increasing stored carbohydrates and priming stress signaling pathways.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Dec 21;225:112801. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China. Electronic address:

Soil salinity is a widespread stress in semi-arid forests worldwide, but how to manage nitrogen (N) nutrition to improve plant saline tolerance remains unclear. Here, the cuttings of a widely distributed poplar from central Asia, Populus russikki Jabl., were exposed to either normal or low nitrogen (LN) concentrations for two weeks in semi-controlled greenhouse, and then they were added with moderate salt solution or not for another two weeks to evaluate their physiological, biochemical, metabolites and transcriptomic profile changes. LN-pretreating alleviated the toxicity caused by the subsequent salt stress in the poplar plants, demonstrated by a significant reduction in the influx of Na and Cl and improvement of the K/Na ratio. The other salt-stressed traits were also ameliarated, indicated by the variations of chlorophyll content, PSII photochemical activity and lipid peroxidation. Stress alleviation resulted from two different processes. First, LN pretreatment caused a significant increase of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), allowed for an increased production of osmolytes and a higher potential fueling ion transport under subsequent salt condition, along with increased transcript levels of the cation/H ATPase. Second, LN pretreatment enhanced the transcript levels of stress signaling components and phytohormones pathway as well as antioxidant enzyme activities. The results indicate that early restrictions of N supply could enhance posterior survival under saline stress in poplar plants, which is important for plantation programs and restoration activities in semi-arid areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112801DOI Listing
December 2021

Limits to post-fire vegetation recovery under climate change.

Plant Cell Environ 2021 Aug 28. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

Record-breaking fire seasons in many regions across the globe raise important questions about plant community responses to shifting fire regimes (i.e., changing fire frequency, severity and seasonality). Here, we examine the impacts of climate-driven shifts in fire regimes on vegetation communities, and likely responses to fire coinciding with severe drought, heatwaves and/or insect outbreaks. We present scenario-based conceptual models on how overlapping disturbance events and shifting fire regimes interact differently to limit post-fire resprouting and recruitment capacity. We demonstrate that, although many communities will remain resilient to changing fire regimes in the short-term, longer-term changes to vegetation structure, demography and species composition are likely, with a range of subsequent effects on ecosystem function. Resprouting species are likely to be most resilient to changing fire regimes. However, even these species are susceptible if exposed to repeated short-interval fire in combination with other stressors. Post-fire recruitment is highly vulnerable to increased fire frequency, particularly as climatic limitations on propagule availability intensify. Prediction of community responses to fire under climate change will be greatly improved by addressing knowledge gaps on how overlapping disturbances and climate change-induced shifts in fire regime affect post-fire resprouting, recruitment, growth rates, and species-level adaptation capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.14176DOI Listing
August 2021

Unraveling the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on cadmium uptake and detoxification mechanisms in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne).

Sci Total Environ 2021 Dec 22;798:149222. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

School of Life Sciences and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China; Joint Research Unit CTFC-AGROTECNIO-CERCA Center, Lleida 25198, Spain; Department of Crop and Forest Sciences, Universitat de Lleida, Lleida 25198, Spain. Electronic address:

Cadmium (Cd) is a major environmental pollutant and one of the most toxic metals in the environment. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) assisted phytoremediation can be used to remove Cd from polluted soils but the role of AMF, which mediate in Cd accumulation and tolerance, remains poorly understood. Here we inoculated Lolium perenne with two different AMF species (Glomus etunicatum and Glomus mosseae). Mycorrhizal L. perenne and non-mycorrhizal controls were exposed to Cd stress and we tested the effects of AMF mycorrhization on Cd uptake and subsequent tolerance, as well as the underlying mechanisms. Mycorrhizal infection increased root Cd uptake and we observed that net Cd influx was coupled with net Ca influx. The inactivation of Ca transporter channels decreased Cd uptake in non-inoculated roots to a greater extent than in inoculated roots, indicating that AMF activates additional ion transport channels. In consequence, inoculated plants exhibited higher Cd accumulation in both roots and shoots than non-inoculated controls. However, AMF-inoculated plants showed higher chlorophyll concentrations, photosynthesis, and growth under Cd, indicating lower Cd toxicity in AMF-inoculated plants, despite the increase in Cd uptake. We observed that AMF-inoculated favored the isolation of Cd within cell walls and vacuoles, and had higher concentrations of superoxide dismutase activity and glutathione concentration in roots than non-inoculated plants, consequently experiencing less stress upon Cd exposure. Our results highlight the potential and mechanism of AMF for enhancing phytoremediation of L. perenne in heavy metal contaminated environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149222DOI Listing
December 2021

Climate change induced declines in fuel moisture may turn currently fire-free Pyrenean mountain forests into fire-prone ecosystems.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Nov 17;797:149104. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW, Australia.

Fuel moisture limits the availability of fuel to wildfires in many forest areas worldwide, but the effects of climate change on moisture constraints remain largely unknown. Here we addressed how climate affects fuel moisture in pine stands from Catalonia, NE Spain, and the potential effects of increasing climate aridity on burned area in the Pyrenees, a mesic mountainous area where fire is currently rare. We first quantified variation in fuel moisture in six sites distributed across an altitudinal gradient where the long-term mean annual temperature and precipitation vary by 6-15 °C and 395-933 mm, respectively. We observed significant spatial variation in live (78-162%) and dead (10-15%) fuel moisture across sites. The pattern of variation was negatively linked (r = |0.6|-|0.9|) to increases in vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and in the Aridity Index. Using seasonal fire records over 2006-2020, we observed that summer burned area in the Mediterranean forests of Northeast Spain and Southern France was strongly dependent on VPD (r = 0.93), the major driver (and predictor) of dead fuel moisture content (DFMC) at our sites. Based on the difference between VPD thresholds associated with large wildfire seasons in the Mediterranean (3.6 kPa) and the maximum VPD observed in surrounding Pyrenean mountains (3.1 kPa), we quantified the "safety margin" for Pyrenean forests (difference between actual VPD and that associated with large wildfires) at 0.5 kPa. The effects of live fuel moisture content (LFMC) on burned area were not significant under current conditions, a situation that may change with projected increases in climate aridity. Overall, our results indicate that DFMC in currently fire-free areas in Europe, like the Pyrenees, with vast amounts of fuel in many forest stands, may reach critical dryness thresholds beyond the safety margin and experience large wildfires after only mild increases in VPD, although LFMC can modulate the response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149104DOI Listing
November 2021

Iron and copper micronutrients influences cadmium accumulation in rice grains by altering its transport and allocation.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jul 2;777:146118. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

School of Environment and Resource, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, Sichuan 621010, China.

Cadmium (Cd) contamination in rice paddy fields constitutes a serious health issue in some parts of China. Here we study the potential for remediation of Cd contaminated alkaline paddy soil with low iron (Fe) and high copper (Cu) background by altering the concentrations of Fe and Cu in the growing media, which has been only seldom considered. We assessed how these two micronutrients (Cu and Fe) affect the absorption and transport of Cd in rice. Adding Cu significantly increased rice biomass and grain yield by reducing root Cd influx and Cd upward transport which, consequently, lowered Cd concentrations in roots, culms and leaves. However, excessive Cu also promoted a relatively higher Cd allocation in grains, especially under Fe deficiency, likely because Cu significantly increased the proportion of bioavailable Cd in leaves. Contrastingly, Fe did not alleviate the toxic effects of Cd on rice growth and yield, but it significantly reduced Cd transfer towards grains, which might be attributed to a sharp decrease in the proportion of bioavailable Cd in leaves. Our results demonstrated that Cd remediation may be achieved through altering Fe and Cu inputs, such that Cd accumulation in rice grains is reduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146118DOI Listing
July 2021

Radiation and Drought Impact Residual Leaf Conductance in Two Oak Species With Implications for Water Use Models.

Front Plant Sci 2020 27;11:603581. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

School of Life Sciences and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, China.

Stomatal closure is one of the earliest responses to water stress but residual water losses may continue through the cuticle and incomplete stomatal closure. Residual conductance ( ) plays a large role in determining time to mortality but we currently do not understand how do drought and shade interact to alter because the underlying drivers are largely unknown. Furthermore, may play an important role in models of water use, but the exact form in which should be incorporated into modeling schemes is currently being discussed. Here we report the results of a study where two different oak species were experimentally subjected to highly contrasting levels of drought (resulting in 0, 50 and 80% losses of hydraulic conductivity) and radiation (photosynthetic photon flux density at 1,500 μmol m s or 35-45 μmol m s). We observed that the effects of radiation and drought were interactive and species-specific and correlated positively with concentrations of leaf non-structural carbohydrates and negatively with leaf nitrogen. We observed that different forms of measuring , based on either nocturnal conductance under high atmospheric water demand or on the water mass loss of detached leaves, exerted only a small influence on a model of stomatal conductance and also on a coupled leaf gas exchange model. Our results indicate that, while understanding the drivers of and the effects of different stressors may be important to better understand mortality, small differences in across treatments and measurements exert only a minor impact on stomatal models in two closely related species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.603581DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732681PMC
November 2020

Letter to the editor regarding Rodrigues et al. 2020: Is COVID-19 halting wildfires in the Mediterranean? Insights for wildfire science under a pandemic context.

Sci Total Environ 2021 04 1;766:143347. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, China; Department of Crop and Forest Sciences, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain; Joint Research Unit CTFC-AGROTECNIO, Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Spain. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143347DOI Listing
April 2021

Climate and stomatal traits drive covariation in nighttime stomatal conductance and daytime gas exchange rates in a widespread C grass.

New Phytol 2021 02 4;229(4):2020-2034. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Biology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, 32224, USA.

Nighttime stomatal conductance (g ) varies among plant functional types and species, but factors shaping the evolution of g remain unclear. Examinations of intraspecific variation in g as a function of climate and co-varying leaf traits may provide new insight into the evolution of g and its adaptive significance. We grew 11 genotypes of Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) representing differing home-climates in a common garden experiment and measured nighttime and daytime leaf gas exchange, as well as stomatal density (SD) and size during early-, mid-, and late-summer. We used piecewise structural equation modelling to determine direct and indirect relationships between home-climate, gas exchange, and stomatal traits. We found no direct relationship between home-climate and g . However, genotypes from hotter climates possessed higher SD, which resulted in higher g . Across genotypes, higher g was associated with higher daytime stomatal conductance and net photosynthesis. Our results indicate that higher g may arise in genotypes from hotter climates via increased SD. High SD may provide benefits to genotypes from hotter climates through enhanced daytime transpirational cooling or by permitting maximal gas exchange when conditions are suitable. These results highlight the role of climate and trait coordination in shaping genetic differentiation in g .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.16987DOI Listing
February 2021

Bridging the genotype-phenotype gap for a Mediterranean pine by semi-automatic crown identification and multispectral imagery.

New Phytol 2021 01 7;229(1):245-258. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Joint Research Unit CTFC - AGROTECNIO, Av. Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, Lleida, E-25198, Spain.

Progress in high-throughput phenotyping and genomics provides the potential to understand the genetic basis of plant functional differentiation. We developed a semi-automatic methodology based on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery for deriving tree-level phenotypes followed by genome-wide association study (GWAS). An RGB-based point cloud was used for tree crown identification in a common garden of Pinus halepensis in Spain. Crowns were combined with multispectral and thermal orthomosaics to retrieve growth traits, vegetation indices and canopy temperature. Thereafter, GWAS was performed to analyse the association between phenotypes and genomic variation at 235 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Growth traits were associated with 12 SNPs involved in cellulose and carbohydrate metabolism. Indices related to transpiration and leaf water content were associated with six SNPs involved in stomata dynamics. Indices related to leaf pigments and leaf area were associated with 11 SNPs involved in signalling and peroxisome metabolism. About 16-20% of trait variance was explained by combinations of several SNPs, indicating polygenic control of morpho-physiological traits. Despite a limited availability of markers and individuals, this study is provides a successful proof-of-concept for the combination of high-throughput UAV-based phenotyping with cost-effective genotyping to disentangle the genetic architecture of phenotypic variation in a widespread conifer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.16862DOI Listing
January 2021

Circadian Regulation Does Not Optimize Stomatal Behaviour.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Aug 25;9(9). Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Forest Dynamics, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

The circadian clock is a molecular timer of metabolism that affects the diurnal pattern of stomatal conductance (), amongst other processes, in a broad array of plant species. The function of circadian regulation remains unknown and here, we test whether circadian regulation helps to optimize diurnal variations in stomatal conductance. We subjected bean () and cotton () canopies to fixed, continuous environmental conditions of photosynthetically active radiation, temperature, and vapour pressure deficit (free-running conditions) over 48 h. We modelled variations in free-running conditions to test for two possible optimizations of stomatal behaviour under circadian regulation: (i) that stomata operate to maintain constant marginal water use efficiency; or (ii) that stomata maximize C net gain minus the costs or risks of hydraulic damage. We observed that both optimization models predicted poorly under free-running conditions, indicating that circadian regulation does not directly lead to stomatal optimization. We also demonstrate that failure to account for circadian variation in could potentially lead to biased parameter estimates during calibrations of stomatal models. More broadly, our results add to the emerging field of plant circadian ecology, where circadian controls may partially explain leaf-level patterns observed in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9091091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7570086PMC
August 2020

The FLUXNET2015 dataset and the ONEFlux processing pipeline for eddy covariance data.

Sci Data 2020 07 9;7(1):225. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources, Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, San Michele All'adige, 38010, Italy.

The FLUXNET2015 dataset provides ecosystem-scale data on CO, water, and energy exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere, and other meteorological and biological measurements, from 212 sites around the globe (over 1500 site-years, up to and including year 2014). These sites, independently managed and operated, voluntarily contributed their data to create global datasets. Data were quality controlled and processed using uniform methods, to improve consistency and intercomparability across sites. The dataset is already being used in a number of applications, including ecophysiology studies, remote sensing studies, and development of ecosystem and Earth system models. FLUXNET2015 includes derived-data products, such as gap-filled time series, ecosystem respiration and photosynthetic uptake estimates, estimation of uncertainties, and metadata about the measurements, presented for the first time in this paper. In addition, 206 of these sites are for the first time distributed under a Creative Commons (CC-BY 4.0) license. This paper details this enhanced dataset and the processing methods, now made available as open-source codes, making the dataset more accessible, transparent, and reproducible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-0534-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7347557PMC
July 2020

Hydraulic and photosynthetic limitations prevail over root non-structural carbohydrate reserves as drivers of resprouting in two Mediterranean oaks.

Plant Cell Environ 2020 08 16;43(8):1944-1957. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Unidad de Recursos Forestales, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón, Gobierno de Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain.

Resprouting is an ancestral trait in angiosperms that confers resilience after perturbations. As climate change increases stress, resprouting vigor is declining in many forest regions, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Resprouting in woody plants is thought to be primarily limited by the availability of non-structural carbohydrate reserves (NSC), but hydraulic limitations could also be important. We conducted a multifactorial experiment with two levels of light (ambient, 2-3% of ambient) and three levels of water stress (0, 50 and 80 percent losses of hydraulic conductivity, PLC) on two Mediterranean oaks (Quercus ilex and Q. faginea) under a rain-out shelter (n = 360). The proportion of resprouting individuals after canopy clipping declined markedly as PLC increased for both species. NSC concentrations affected the response of Q. ilex, the species with higher leaf construction costs, and its effect depended on the PLC. The growth of resprouting individuals was largely dependent on photosynthetic rates for both species, while stored NSC availability and hydraulic limitations played minor and non-significant roles, respectively. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our results indicate that resprouting in oaks may be primarily driven by complex interactions between hydraulics and carbon sources, whereas stored NSC play a significant but secondary role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.13781DOI Listing
August 2020

Similar diurnal, seasonal and annual rhythms in radial root expansion across two coexisting Mediterranean oak species.

Tree Physiol 2020 06;40(7):956-968

Joint Research Unit CTFC - AGROTECNIO, Av. Alcalde Rovira Roure 191, E-25198 Lleida, Spain.

Dendrometers are being increasingly used to measure stem radius changes in trees and to unravel the mechanisms underlying stem daily rhythms of radial expansion and contraction. Nevertheless, automated dendrometers have not been often used to measure root radius dynamics, their relationship with environmental variables and the influence of endogenous processes, especially in drought-prone Mediterranean areas. Here, we measured root radius dynamics of two coexisting oak species (the evergreen Quercus ilex L. and the deciduous Quercus faginea Lam). Our goals were to describe annual, seasonal and diurnal scale root radius patterns and to disentangle the role of different environmental parameters as drivers. Long-term high-resolution measurements (every 15 min over 7 years) were collected with automated point dendrometers on the main tree roots of five individuals per species. Root radius annual change patterns were bimodal and similar for both oak species. Quercus faginea Lam showed three times larger root increment in the spring than Q. ilex, but the bimodal pattern was stronger in Q. ilex, which showed a larger root increment in autumn. Quercus faginea Lam showed an earlier root phenological activation in the spring and in late summer compared with Q. ilex. The effects of environmental drivers across species were similar at daily scales: root radius increased with air temperature and soil moisture, and it decreased with rising vapor pressure deficit. Furthermore, daily root radius variations for both oak species were maintained after extracting statistically the environmental effects, which points toward a significant role of endogenous drivers. These differences in root radius change patterns at seasonal to daily scales likely result from the differences in leaf phenology and growth strategy. Quercus faginea Lam is deciduous and has a faster growing rate in spring than the evergreen Q. ilex, which can grow more in summer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpaa041DOI Listing
June 2020

Extreme drought affects the productivity, but not the composition, of a desert plant community in Central Asia differentially across microtopographies.

Sci Total Environ 2020 May 11;717:137251. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China. Electronic address:

Extreme climatic conditions are major drivers of ecosystem function and dynamics and their frequency is increasing under climate change. Climatic conditions interact with local microtopography, which might either buffer or exacerbate the degree of climatic stress. Here we sought to understand how extremely dry growing seasons affected the composition and productivity of desert ephemeral communities growing in sand dunes from the Gurbantunggut desert in Central Asia, and to which extent did microtopography modulate the response. We set up a rainfall manipulation study on four sand dune microtopographies and, during two consecutive years, we measured soil moisture, nutrients and texture, ephemeral layer composition, plant phenology, biomass accumulation and biomass allocation patterns for the dominant species. We observed significant biomass reductions during the extreme drought but plant community richness and composition were not affected, indicating that the composition of the ephemeral layer in this desert ecosystem may resist under extreme conditions. Additionally, extreme drought increased biomass allocation to reproductive organs of the dominant species. There were also significant microtopographic effects as the sensitivity of biomass to drought in western aspects was larger than in eastern aspects. Our results indicate that previously overlooked microtopographical differences may mediate the impact of climate change on plant communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137251DOI Listing
May 2020

Causes and consequences of eastern Australia's 2019-20 season of mega-fires.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 03 22;26(3):1039-1041. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

New South Wales Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub, Parramatta, NSW, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14987DOI Listing
March 2020

TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 01 31;26(1):119-188. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.

Plant traits-the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants-determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research spanning from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology, to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem and landscape management, restoration, biogeography and earth system modelling. Since its foundation in 2007, the TRY database of plant traits has grown continuously. It now provides unprecedented data coverage under an open access data policy and is the main plant trait database used by the research community worldwide. Increasingly, the TRY database also supports new frontiers of trait-based plant research, including the identification of data gaps and the subsequent mobilization or measurement of new data. To support this development, in this article we evaluate the extent of the trait data compiled in TRY and analyse emerging patterns of data coverage and representativeness. Best species coverage is achieved for categorical traits-almost complete coverage for 'plant growth form'. However, most traits relevant for ecology and vegetation modelling are characterized by continuous intraspecific variation and trait-environmental relationships. These traits have to be measured on individual plants in their respective environment. Despite unprecedented data coverage, we observe a humbling lack of completeness and representativeness of these continuous traits in many aspects. We, therefore, conclude that reducing data gaps and biases in the TRY database remains a key challenge and requires a coordinated approach to data mobilization and trait measurements. This can only be achieved in collaboration with other initiatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14904DOI Listing
January 2020

Day length regulates seasonal patterns of stomatal conductance in Quercus species.

Plant Cell Environ 2020 01 14;43(1):28-39. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Department of Crop and Forest Sciences-AGROTECNIO Center, Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, 25198, Spain.

Vapour pressure deficit is a major driver of seasonal changes in transpiration, but photoperiod also modulates leaf responses. Climate warming might enhance transpiration by increasing atmospheric water demand and the length of the growing season, but photoperiod-sensitive species could show dampened responses. Here, we document that day length is a significant driver of the seasonal variation in stomatal conductance. We performed weekly gas exchange measurements across a common garden experiment with 12 oak species from contrasting geographical origins, and we observed that the influence of day length was of similar strength to that of vapour pressure deficit in driving the seasonal pattern. We then examined the generality of our findings by incorporating day-length regulation into well-known stomatal models. For both angiosperm and gymnosperm species, the models improved significantly when adding day-length dependences. Photoperiod control over stomatal conductance could play a large yet underexplored role on the plant and ecosystem water balances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.13665DOI Listing
January 2020

Globe-LFMC, a global plant water status database for vegetation ecophysiology and wildfire applications.

Sci Data 2019 08 21;6(1):155. Epub 2019 Aug 21.

Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, UC-Davis, Davis, USA.

Globe-LFMC is an extensive global database of live fuel moisture content (LFMC) measured from 1,383 sampling sites in 11 countries: Argentina, Australia, China, France, Italy, Senegal, Spain, South Africa, Tunisia, United Kingdom and the United States of America. The database contains 161,717 individual records based on in situ destructive samples used to measure LFMC, representing the amount of water in plant leaves per unit of dry matter. The primary goal of the database is to calibrate and validate remote sensing algorithms used to predict LFMC. However, this database is also relevant for the calibration and validation of dynamic global vegetation models, eco-physiological models of plant water stress as well as understanding the physiological drivers of spatiotemporal variation in LFMC at local, regional and global scales. Globe-LFMC should be useful for studying LFMC trends in response to environmental change and LFMC influence on wildfire occurrence, wildfire behavior, and overall vegetation health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0164-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6704185PMC
August 2019

Life after Harvest: Circadian Regulation in Photosynthetic Pigments of Rocket Leaves during Supermarket Storage Affects the Nutritional Quality.

Nutrients 2019 Jul 4;11(7). Epub 2019 Jul 4.

Department of Plant Biology and Ecology. University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48080 Bilbao, Spain.

Vegetables, once harvested and stored on supermarket shelves, continue to perform biochemical adjustments due to their modular nature and their ability to retain physiological autonomy. They can live after being harvested. In particular, the content of some essential nutraceuticals, such as carotenoids, can be altered in response to environmental or internal stimuli. Therefore, in the present study, we wondered whether endogenous rhythms continue to operate in commercial vegetables and if so, whether vegetable nutritional quality could be altered by such cycles. Our experimental model consisted of rocket leaves entrained under light/darkness cycles of 12/12 h over 3 days, and then we examined free-run oscillations for 2 days under continuous light or continuous darkness, which led to chlorophyll and carotenoid oscillations in both constant conditions. Given the importance of preserving food quality, the existence of such internal rhythms during continuous conditions may open new research perspective in nutrition science. However, while chromatographic techniques employed to determine pigment composition are accurate, they are also time-consuming and expensive. Here we propose for the first time an alternative method to estimate pigment content and the nutritional quality by the use of non-destructive and in situ optical techniques. These results are promising for nutritional quality assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11071519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6682859PMC
July 2019

Assessing the potential functions of nocturnal stomatal conductance in C and C plants.

New Phytol 2019 09 22;223(4):1696-1706. Epub 2019 May 22.

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury Campus, Richmond, NSW, 2753, Australia.

Nocturnal stomatal conductance contributes to water loss at night without carbon gain in C or C plants because photosynthesis does not occur in the dark. The functional relevance of nocturnal conductance thus remains an unresolved conundrum. Here, we review and re-analyse previously published datasets on nocturnal conductance (g ) globally (176 species) to synthesize our current understanding on its potential biological function and to identify remaining research gaps. We found that g was positively correlated with relative growth rate, which is compatible with the postulate that circadian-driven nocturnal conductance enhances predawn stomatal conductance, thereby priming stomata for photosynthesis in early daylight. The variation in g across plant species and functional types was not consistent with the hypotheses that the main function of g is to: remove excess CO which might limit growth; enhance oxygen delivery to the functional sapwood; enhance nutrient supply; or that g is due to stomatal leakiness. We suggest further study regarding the potential of g to be an important functional and ecological trait influencing competitive outcomes and we outline a research programme to achieve that objective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.15881DOI Listing
September 2019

Photosynthesis and carbon allocation are both important predictors of genotype productivity responses to elevated CO2 in Eucalyptus camaldulensis.

Tree Physiol 2018 09;38(9):1286-1301

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW, Australia.

Intraspecific variation in biomass production responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (eCO2) could influence tree species' ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying genotypic variation in responsiveness to eCO2 remain poorly understood. In this study, we grew 17 Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. subsp. camaldulensis genotypes (representing provenances from four different climates) under ambient atmospheric CO2 and eCO2. We tested whether genotype leaf-scale photosynthetic and whole-tree carbon (C) allocation responses to eCO2 were predictive of genotype biomass production responses to eCO2. Averaged across genotypes, growth at eCO2 increased in situ leaf net photosynthesis (Anet) (29%) and leaf starch concentrations (37%). Growth at eCO2 reduced the maximum carboxylation capacity of Rubisco (-4%) and leaf nitrogen per unit area (Narea, -6%), but Narea calculated on a total non-structural carbohydrate-free basis was similar between treatments. Growth at eCO2 also increased biomass production and altered C allocation by reducing leaf area ratio (-11%) and stem mass fraction (SMF, -9%), and increasing leaf mass area (18%) and leaf mass fraction (5%). Overall, we found few significant CO2 × provenance or CO2 × genotype (within provenance) interactions. However, genotypes that showed the largest increases in total dry mass at eCO2 had larger increases in root mass fraction (with larger decreases in SMF) and photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency (PNUE) with CO2 enrichment. These results indicate that genetic differences in PNUE and carbon sink utilization (in roots) are both important predictors of tree productivity responsiveness to eCO2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpy045DOI Listing
September 2018

Woody plants optimise stomatal behaviour relative to hydraulic risk.

Ecol Lett 2018 07 23;21(7):968-977. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544, USA.

Stomatal response to environmental conditions forms the backbone of all ecosystem and carbon cycle models, but is largely based on empirical relationships. Evolutionary theories of stomatal behaviour are critical for guarding against prediction errors of empirical models under future climates. Longstanding theory holds that stomata maximise fitness by acting to maintain constant marginal water use efficiency over a given time horizon, but a recent evolutionary theory proposes that stomata instead maximise carbon gain minus carbon costs/risk of hydraulic damage. Using data from 34 species that span global forest biomes, we find that the recent carbon-maximisation optimisation theory is widely supported, revealing that the evolution of stomatal regulation has not been primarily driven by attainment of constant marginal water use efficiency. Optimal control of stomata to manage hydraulic risk is likely to have significant consequences for ecosystem fluxes during drought, which is critical given projected intensification of the global hydrological cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12962DOI Listing
July 2018

Understorey productivity in temperate grassy woodland responds to soil water availability but not to elevated [CO ].

Glob Chang Biol 2018 06 14;24(6):2366-2376. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW, Australia.

Rising atmospheric [CO ] and associated climate change are expected to modify primary productivity across a range of ecosystems globally. Increasing aridity is predicted to reduce grassland productivity, although rising [CO ] and associated increases in plant water use efficiency may partially offset the effect of drying on growth. Difficulties arise in predicting the direction and magnitude of future changes in ecosystem productivity, due to limited field experimentation investigating climate and CO interactions. We use repeat near-surface digital photography to quantify the effects of water availability and experimentally manipulated elevated [CO ] (eCO ) on understorey live foliage cover and biomass over three growing seasons in a temperate grassy woodland in south-eastern Australia. We hypothesised that (i) understorey herbaceous productivity is dependent upon soil water availability, and (ii) that eCO will increase productivity, with greatest stimulation occurring under conditions of low water availability. Soil volumetric water content (VWC) determined foliage cover and growth rates over the length of the growing season (August to March), with low VWC (<0.1 m m ) reducing productivity. However, eCO did not increase herbaceous cover and biomass over the duration of the experiment, or mitigate the effects of low water availability on understorey growth rates and cover. Our findings suggest that projected increases in aridity in temperate woodlands are likely to lead to reduced understorey productivity, with little scope for eCO to offset these changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14038DOI Listing
June 2018

Fires: degree courses for fire professionals.

Nature 2017 11;551(7680):300

University of Lleida, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-017-06022-4DOI Listing
November 2017

Plant water potential improves prediction of empirical stomatal models.

PLoS One 2017 12;12(10):e0185481. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States of America.

Climate change is expected to lead to increases in drought frequency and severity, with deleterious effects on many ecosystems. Stomatal responses to changing environmental conditions form the backbone of all ecosystem models, but are based on empirical relationships and are not well-tested during drought conditions. Here, we use a dataset of 34 woody plant species spanning global forest biomes to examine the effect of leaf water potential on stomatal conductance and test the predictive accuracy of three major stomatal models and a recently proposed model. We find that current leaf-level empirical models have consistent biases of over-prediction of stomatal conductance during dry conditions, particularly at low soil water potentials. Furthermore, the recently proposed stomatal conductance model yields increases in predictive capability compared to current models, and with particular improvement during drought conditions. Our results reveal that including stomatal sensitivity to declining water potential and consequent impairment of plant water transport will improve predictions during drought conditions and show that many biomes contain a diversity of plant stomatal strategies that range from risky to conservative stomatal regulation during water stress. Such improvements in stomatal simulation are greatly needed to help unravel and predict the response of ecosystems to future climate extremes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185481PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5638234PMC
October 2017
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