Ecological diversity – Els Verds http://elsverds.org/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 08:23:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://elsverds.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.png Ecological diversity – Els Verds http://elsverds.org/ 32 32 Reintroducing bison to tallgrass prairie doubles plant diversity – The Wellington Daily News https://elsverds.org/reintroducing-bison-to-tallgrass-prairie-doubles-plant-diversity-the-wellington-daily-news/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 01:43:20 +0000 https://elsverds.org/reintroducing-bison-to-tallgrass-prairie-doubles-plant-diversity-the-wellington-daily-news/ By Tim Charpentier Kansas Reflector Decades of research by Kansas State University scientists have provided evidence that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie has gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resistance to extreme drought. The gains documented in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” were among the largest recorded in the […]]]>

By Tim Charpentier Kansas Reflector

Decades of research by Kansas State University scientists have provided evidence that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie has gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resistance to extreme drought.

The gains documented in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” were among the largest recorded in the world in terms of species richness on grazing grasslands. The research involved more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station near Manhattan.

Zak Ratajczak, principal investigator and assistant professor of biology at Kansas State, said the removal of nearly all prairie bison occurred before quantitative records were established. That meant the effects of removing the dominant grazer were largely unknown, he said.

“Bison were an integral part of the North American grasslands before they were abruptly removed from more than 99% of the Great Plains,” Ratajczak said.

The research took place in the Flint Hills Ecoregion, which is the largest remaining tallgrass prairie landscape. Researchers examined plant composition and diversity on sections of land without mega-grazers, with bison allowed to graze year-round and domestic cattle allowed to graze during the growing season.

“Our results suggest that many grasslands in the central Great Plains have significantly lower plant biodiversity than they would have had before the bison were largely wiped out,” Ratajczak said. “Returning or ‘re-wild’ native megafauna could help restore grassland biodiversity.”

The study confirmed that livestock had a positive impact on plant diversity, compared to the absence of large grazers present. Increases with cattle in plant species richness were significantly lower than those with bison.

In addition to addressing land use, researchers sought to understand how bison influenced plant resilience to climatic extremes. Due to the length of the study, researchers were able to capture one of the most extreme drought events to occur on the Great Plains since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

“The resilience we found in bison grasslands is also consistent with the idea that diversity promotes ecological resilience,” Ratajczak said. “And that resilience will only become more important if our climate becomes more extreme.”

Other State K biology researchers involved in the study were Jesse Nippert and John Blair, professors; Allison Louthan, Assistant Professor; and Jeffrey Taylor, research assistant. Other contributors included Scott Collins, University of New Mexico; Sally Koerner, University of North Carolina; and Melinda Smith, Colorado State University.

“Some of the most significant ecological trends take decades to develop,” Nippert said. “Without this kind of data, fundamental properties of ecosystems can go unnoticed using only short-term experiments.”

A series of six grants totaling more than $31.6 million since 1980 from the National Science Foundation funded the study and was conducted under the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, program.

“The research done at Konza Prairie is truly unique and impressive,” said David Rosowsky, K-State’s vice president of research. “There are very few places in the world that can provide this type of long-term data that can have such a strong impact on how we interact with our natural resources.”

Konza Prairie Biological Station is jointly owned by Kansas State University and the Nature Conservancy.

A new study by researchers at Kansas State University indicates that reintroducing bison to the grasslands increases plant diversity and drought resistance. This herd of bison is grazing on the Konza Grassland Biological Station in Kansa

Photo by Barbara Van Slyke

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Evolution and diversity of reptiles driven by 60 million years of climate change https://elsverds.org/evolution-and-diversity-of-reptiles-driven-by-60-million-years-of-climate-change/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 22:36:30 +0000 https://elsverds.org/evolution-and-diversity-of-reptiles-driven-by-60-million-years-of-climate-change/ Artistic reconstruction of reptile adaptive radiation in an Earth ecosystem during the hottest time in Earth’s history. The image depicts a massive, large-headed carnivorous erythrosuchid (a close relative of crocodiles and dinosaurs) and a tiny gliding reptile about 240 million years ago. The erythrosuchid pursues the gliding reptile and propels itself using a fossilized skull […]]]>

Artistic reconstruction of reptile adaptive radiation in an Earth ecosystem during the hottest time in Earth’s history. The image depicts a massive, large-headed carnivorous erythrosuchid (a close relative of crocodiles and dinosaurs) and a tiny gliding reptile about 240 million years ago. The erythrosuchid pursues the gliding reptile and propels itself using a fossilized skull of the extinct Dimetrodon (ancestor of the first mammals) in a hot and dry river valley. Credit: Henry Sharpe

Reptiles had one hell of a coming out party just over 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period and the beginning of the[{” attribute=””>Triassic.

Their rates of evolution and diversity began exploding, leading to a dizzying variety of abilities, body plans, and traits. This helped to firmly establish both their extinct lineages and those that still exist today as one of the most successful and diverse animal groups the world has ever seen. For the longest time, scientists explained this flourish by reptile competition being wiped out by two of the biggest mass extinction events in the history of the planet. These occurred around 261 and 252 million years ago.

This explanation has been rewritten by a new Harvard-led study that reconstructed how the bodies of ancient reptiles changed and compared it to the effects of millions of years of climate change.

Harvard paleontologist Stephanie Pierce’s lab shows that the morphological evolution and diversification seen in early reptiles started years before these mass extinction events. Moreover, they were directly driven by what caused the mass extinction events in the first place — rising global temperatures due to climate change.

“We are suggesting that we have two major factors at play — not just this open ecological opportunity that has always been thought by several scientists — but also something that nobody had previously come up with, which is that climate change actually directly triggered the adaptive response of reptiles to help build this vast array of new body plans and the explosion of groups that we see in the Triassic,” said Tiago R. Simões, lead author on the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Pierce lab.

“Basically, [rising global temperatures] triggered all these different morphological experiments — some that worked quite well and survived for millions of years to this day, and others that all but disappeared a few million years later,” Simões added.

In the article, which was recently published in the journal Scientists progressthe researchers expose the vast anatomical changes that took place in many groups of reptiles, including the precursors to crocodiles and dinosaurs, in direct response to major climate changes concentrated between 260 and 230 million years ago.

The study takes a close look at how a large group of organisms are changing due to climate change, which is particularly relevant today as global temperatures continually rise. In fact, the rate of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere today is about nine times greater than it was during the period that culminated in the greatest mass extinction due to climate change of all. time 252 million years ago: the Permian-Triassic mass extinction.

“Major changes in global temperature can have dramatic and variable impacts on biodiversity,” said Stephanie E. Pierce. She is the Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. “We show here that rising temperatures during the Permian-Triassic led to the extinction of many animals, including many mammalian ancestors, but also triggered the explosive evolution of others, especially reptiles that dominated the Triassic period.”

The study involved almost eight years of data collection and required a heavy dose of camera, CT scans and tons of passport stamps as Simões traveled to over 20 countries and over 50 different museums to take scans. and snapshots of over 1,000 reptilian fossils. .

With all the information, the scientists created a large dataset which was analyzed with state-of-the-art statistical methods to build a diagram called an evolutionary time tree. Time trees reveal how closely the earliest reptiles were related to each other, when their lineages first appeared, and how quickly they evolved. Then they combined it with global temperature data from millions of years ago.

The diversification of reptile body plans began about 30 million years before the Permian-Triassic extinction event, making it evident that these changes were not event-triggered as previously thought. Although the Extinction events helped kick them into high gear.

The dataset also showed that the increase in global temperatures, which began around 270 million years ago and lasted until at least 240 million years ago, was followed by changes fast bodily in most reptile lineages. For example, some of the larger cold-blooded animals have evolved to become smaller so that they can cool themselves more easily; others have evolved to live in water for the same effect. This latter group included some of the most bizarre forms of reptiles that were about to go extinct, including a tiny chameleon-like creature with a bird’s skull and beak, a giant, long-necked marine reptile once believed to be Loch Ness. monster, and a hovering gecko-like reptile with wings. It also includes the ancestors of reptiles that still exist today such as turtles and crocodiles.

The small reptiles, which gave rise to the first lizards and tuataras, followed a different path than their larger reptile brothers. Their rates of evolution have slowed and stabilized in response to rising temperatures. Investigators believe this is because small reptiles were already better adapted to the increasing heat since they can more easily shed heat from their bodies compared to larger reptiles when temperatures rose very quickly all around. Earth.

The scientists say they plan to extend this work by studying the impact of environmental disasters on the evolution of organisms with abundant modern diversity, such as major groups of lizards and snakes.

For more on this research, see Researchers Discover Global Warming Spawned the Age of Reptiles.

Reference: “The successive climatic crises in the deep past led to the early evolution and radiation of reptiles” by Tiago R. Simões, Christian F. Kammerer, Michael W. Caldwell and Stephanie E. Pierce, August 19, 2022, Scientists progress.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abq1898

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Research shows reintroducing bison to the Kansas prairie doubles plant diversity | Area https://elsverds.org/research-shows-reintroducing-bison-to-the-kansas-prairie-doubles-plant-diversity-area/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/research-shows-reintroducing-bison-to-the-kansas-prairie-doubles-plant-diversity-area/ TOPEKA – Decades of research by Kansas State University scientists have provided evidence that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie has gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resistance to extreme drought . The gains documented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science were among the largest recorded in the world in […]]]>

TOPEKA – Decades of research by Kansas State University scientists have provided evidence that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie has gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resistance to extreme drought .

The gains documented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science were among the largest recorded in the world in terms of species richness in pastures. The research involved more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station near Manhattan.

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K-State study finds reintroducing bison to grasslands increases plant diversity and drought resistance – Pratt Tribune https://elsverds.org/k-state-study-finds-reintroducing-bison-to-grasslands-increases-plant-diversity-and-drought-resistance-pratt-tribune/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 05:09:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/k-state-study-finds-reintroducing-bison-to-grasslands-increases-plant-diversity-and-drought-resistance-pratt-tribune/ By Erin Pennington Kansas State University MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas State University study found that reintroducing bison—a once-dominant grazer—doubled plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research involves more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy […]]]>

By Erin Pennington
Kansas State University

MANHATTAN, Kan.

— A Kansas State University study found that reintroducing bison—a once-dominant grazer—doubled plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research involves more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, or PNAS.

The study found that plant communities were also resilient to the most extreme drought in four decades. These gains are now among the largest recorded increases in species richness due to grassland grazing globally, researchers said.

“Bison were an integral part of the North American grasslands before they were abruptly removed from more than 99% of the Great Plains,” said Zak Ratajczak, assistant professor of biology and principal investigator. “This removal of bison occurred before quantitative records and therefore the effects of their removal are largely unknown.”

The study took place in the Flint Hills ecoregion, which is the largest remaining tallgrass prairie landscape. Researchers examined plant community composition and diversity in three treatments designed to capture characteristic management regimes: no mega-grazers were present; bison were reintroduced and allowed to graze year-round; or domestic cattle were introduced and allowed to graze during the growing season.

“Our results suggest that many grasslands in the central Great Plains have significantly lower plant biodiversity than they would have had before the bison were largely wiped out,” Ratajczak said. “Returning or ‘re-wild’ native megafauna could help restore grassland biodiversity.”

The study also found that cattle had a positive impact on plant diversity, compared to not having large grazers present, although the increases in plant species richness were significantly smaller than those caused by bison.

“I think this study also shows that livestock can have a largely positive impact on biodiversity conservation in our region, especially since many livestock ranchers drive the prescribed fires that have prevented these grasslands from becoming forests. “, Ratajczak said. “What this study really suggests is that where economically and ecologically feasible, the reintroduction of bison could have an even more positive effect on biodiversity conservation.”

CLIMATE EXTREMES

In addition to addressing land use, the researchers also investigated how bison affect the resilience of plant communities to climate extremes. Due to the long duration of the study, researchers were able to capture one of the most extreme drought events to occur on the Great Plains since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Researchers found that after the extreme climate, native plant species in the bison grazing area were drought resistant.

“The resilience we found in bison grasslands is also consistent with the idea that diversity promotes ecological resilience,” Ratajczak said. “And that resilience will only become more important if our climate becomes more extreme.”

Other K-State researchers on the study include Jesse Nippert, professor; John Blair, Distinguished University Professor; Allison Louthan, assistant professor; and Jeffrey Taylor, research assistant, all from the Biology Division of the College of Arts and Sciences. Other collaborators include Scott Collins, University of New Mexico; Sally Koerner, University of North Carolina; and Melinda Smith, Colorado State University.

“Some of the most significant ecological trends take decades to develop, and we can only identify them using long-term records like those supported by the NSF LTER program,” Nippert said. “Without this kind of data, fundamental properties of ecosystems can go unnoticed using only short-term experiments.” A series of six grants totaling more than $31.6 million since 1980 from the National Science Foundation funded the study and was conducted under the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, program.
“The research done at Konza Prairie is truly unique and impressive,” said David Rosowsky, K-State’s vice president of research. “There are very few places in the world that can provide this type of long-term data that can have such a strong impact on how we interact with our natural resources.” Konza Prairie Biological Station is jointly owned by Kansas State University and The Nature Conservancy

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Compounds that promote plant diversity are key to ecological restoration in surface coal mining dumps https://elsverds.org/compounds-that-promote-plant-diversity-are-key-to-ecological-restoration-in-surface-coal-mining-dumps/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 13:09:40 +0000 https://elsverds.org/compounds-that-promote-plant-diversity-are-key-to-ecological-restoration-in-surface-coal-mining-dumps/ Lead researcher Fu Chen, from the China University of Mines and Technology, conducted a series of studies on restoring damaged mining ecosystems to prove his hypothesis. In one of the studies, Chen was able to demonstrate that the direction of succession of Pinus tabulaeformis plantations have shifted considerably due to invasion from surrounding plants, resulting […]]]>

Lead researcher Fu Chen, from the China University of Mines and Technology, conducted a series of studies on restoring damaged mining ecosystems to prove his hypothesis.

In one of the studies, Chen was able to demonstrate that the direction of succession of Pinus tabulaeformis plantations have shifted considerably due to invasion from surrounding plants, resulting in an obvious increase in species numbers and plant cover.

His team also found that the original vegetation pattern, soil nutrient conditions, and soil microbial communities were altered due to secondary succession.

“We chose to study the Antaibao surface coal mine located in the eastern Loess Plateau, where some artificial restoration projects started in 1992,” Chen said in a press release.

“Plantations with the same vegetation configuration and artificial management measures had different restoration effects after 30 years of recovery. Therefore, the Antaibao surface coal mine provides an appropriate and high-quality platform for studying the mechanisms of monoculture plantations on the secondary succession of the mining ecosystem.

As a result of their analyses, Chen and his group noticed that the original vegetation configuration and soil nutrient conditions were altered due to secondary succession. With the progress of secondary succession process, plant cover increased from 34.8% to 95.5%, soil organic matter increased from 9.30 g kg-1 to 21.13 g kg -1 and total nitrogen increased from 0.38 g·kg-1 to 1.01 g·kg-1. The activities of soil urease and β-glucosidase were increased by 1.7 times and 53.26%, respectively.

Additionally, secondary succession also altered the structure and function of the soil microbial community. The relative abundance of Nitrospire genus that dominates nitrification increased by 5.2 times. This result suggests that the invasion and spread of native and surrounding plants had a positive effect on ecological restoration, which is useful for exploring more reasonable vegetation selection and configuration in ecological restoration practice. of the mine.

“We also used the method of structural equation models and functional prediction to explore the role of microbial-mediated enzymes in the process of secondary succession and interactions between plants, soil and microbes,” said Chen.

According to the scientist, the activities of several soil enzymes had a significant positive impact on soil carbon, N and P. And microbes have played a positive role in facilitating the cycling of plants and soil substances at every scale. This result suggests the possibility of using industrial enzyme preparations such as urease and catalase to promote litter degradation, improving soil fertility to accelerate the process of ecosystem cycling and succession.

“The study is an extension of our understanding of ecological restoration in surface coal mine dumps, from plant configuration to microbial function, increasing our understanding of plant and enzyme-mediated invasion. microbes in the secondary succession of mining dumps on the Loess Plateau,” Chen pointed out.

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K-State study: Reintroducing bison to grasslands increases plant diversity and drought resistance | Cattle https://elsverds.org/k-state-study-reintroducing-bison-to-grasslands-increases-plant-diversity-and-drought-resistance-cattle/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 13:44:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/k-state-study-reintroducing-bison-to-grasslands-increases-plant-diversity-and-drought-resistance-cattle/ A study led by Kansas State University found that reintroducing bison – a once-dominant grazer – doubles plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research involves more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, or […]]]>

A study led by Kansas State University found that reintroducing bison – a once-dominant grazer – doubles plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research involves more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, or PNAS.






Close-up of a bison at the Konza Prairie Biological Station. (Photo courtesy of Jill Haukos.)


The study found that plant communities were also resilient to the most extreme drought in four decades. These gains are now among the largest recorded increases in species richness due to grassland grazing globally, researchers said.







Bison-herd-grazes.jpeg

A herd of bison grazes at the Konza Prairie Biological Station. A new study by a Kansas State University researcher shows that reintroducing bison to the grasslands increases plant diversity and drought resistance. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Van Slyke.)


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Kansas research shows reintroducing bison to tallgrass prairie doubles plant diversity https://elsverds.org/kansas-research-shows-reintroducing-bison-to-tallgrass-prairie-doubles-plant-diversity/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 14:37:45 +0000 https://elsverds.org/kansas-research-shows-reintroducing-bison-to-tallgrass-prairie-doubles-plant-diversity/ TOPEKA — Decades of research by Kansas State University scientists have provided evidence that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie has gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resistance to extreme drought. The gains documented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science were among the largest recorded in the world in terms […]]]>

TOPEKA — Decades of research by Kansas State University scientists have provided evidence that reintroducing bison to roam the tallgrass prairie has gradually doubled plant diversity and improved resistance to extreme drought.

The gains documented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science were among the largest recorded in the world in terms of species richness in pastures. The research involved more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station near Manhattan.

Zak Ratajczak, principal investigator and assistant professor of biology at Kansas State, said the removal of nearly all prairie bison occurred before quantitative records were established. That meant the effects of removing the dominant grazer were largely unknown, he said.

Bison were an integral part of the North American grasslands before being abruptly removed from more than 99% of the Great Plains,” Ratajczak said.

The research took place in the Flint Hills Ecoregion, which is the largest remaining tallgrass prairie landscape. The researchers examined plant composition and diversity on sections of land with no mega-grazers present, with bison allowed to graze all year round and with domestic livestock allowed to graze during the growing season.

“Our results suggest that many grasslands in the central Great Plains have significantly lower plant biodiversity than they would have previously. bison have been largely wiped out,” Ratajczak said. “Returning or ‘re-wild’ native megafauna could help restore grassland biodiversity.”

The study confirmed that livestock had a positive impact on plant diversity, compared to the absence of large grazers present. Increases with cattle in plant species richness were significantly lower than those with bison.

In addition to addressing land use, researchers sought to understand how bison influenced the resilience of plants to climatic extremes. Due to the length of the study, researchers were able to capture one of the most extreme drought events to occur on the Great Plains since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

“The resilience we found in the bison grasslands is also consistent with the idea that diversity promotes ecological resilience,” Ratajczak said. “And that resilience will only become more important if our climate becomes more extreme.”

Other KState the study’s biology researchers were Jesse Nippert and John Blair, professors; Allison Louthan, assistant professor; and Jeffrey Taylor, research assistant. Other contributors included Scott Collins, University of New Mexico; Sally Koerner, University of North Carolina; and Melinda Smith, Colorado State University.

“Some of the most significant ecological trends take decades to develop,” Nippert said. “Without this kind of data, fundamental properties of ecosystems can go unnoticed using only short-term experiments.”

A series of six grants totaling more than $31.6 million since 1980 from the National Science Foundation funded the study and was conducted under the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, program.

“The research being done at Konza Prairie is truly unique and impressive,” said David Rosowsky, KState vice president of research. “There are very few places in the world that can provide this type of long-term data that can have such a strong impact on how we interact with our natural resources.”

The Konza Prairie Biological Station is jointly owned by Kansas State University and Nature Conservancy.

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Metagenomic analysis of viral diversity and a new forest rodent astrovirus | Journal of Virology https://elsverds.org/metagenomic-analysis-of-viral-diversity-and-a-new-forest-rodent-astrovirus-journal-of-virology/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/metagenomic-analysis-of-viral-diversity-and-a-new-forest-rodent-astrovirus-journal-of-virology/ Sample processing 82 rodents were captured in forested areas of Hengdaohezi City (A, N 44°48′44″, E 129°02′04″) Hailin City, Heilongjiang Province from May 21 to August 22 (Festival of summer) in 2020 were selected as the research samples. The samples collected included 22 Myodes rufocanus (MR), 16 Apodemus peninsula (AP), 15 Apodemus agrarius (AA), 11 […]]]>

Sample processing

82 rodents were captured in forested areas of Hengdaohezi City (A, N 44°48′44″, E 129°02′04″) Hailin City, Heilongjiang Province from May 21 to August 22 (Festival of summer) in 2020 were selected as the research samples. The samples collected included 22 Myodes rufocanus (MR), 16 Apodemus peninsula (AP), 15 Apodemus agrarius (AA), 11 Chipmunk sibiricus (TS), ten Sciurus vulgaris (SV), and 8 Cricetulus Newt (CT). A total of six samples of the same species were mixed.

The fecal pellet samples were homogenized, diluted 1:10 with PBS, suspended, and vortexed for thorough mixing. The samples were then centrifuged at 2000 rpm for 10 min at 4°C. Following this, the supernatants were transferred to a fresh tube and centrifuged for 10 min for complete removal of cell debris, bacterial cells, and other impurities. Supernatants were filtered through a 0.22 μm syringe filter (Jet, Guangzhou, China) and concentrated. The filtrate was centrifuged in an SW55Ti rotor using a Beckman ultracentrifuge at 45,000 rpm for 2 h. The precipitates were resuspended in PBS and passed through a 0.22 μm syringe filter. Samples were then stored at -80℃ until further analysis.

Viral metagenomic analysis

Sequencing libraries were generated using the NEBNext® Ultra™ DNA Library Preparation Kit for Illumina (NEB, USA), according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Index codes have been added to assign sequences to each sample. Briefly, the DNA samples were fragmented by sonication to a size of 300 bp, and the DNA fragments were then end-polished, A-tailed, and ligated with the Illumina full-length sequencing adapter to facilitate further PCR amplification.

Finally, PCR products were purified (AMPure XP system) and libraries were analyzed for size distribution using an Agilent2100 bioanalyzer and quantified using real-time PCR. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, clustering of index-coded samples was performed using a cBot cluster generation system. After cluster generation, library preparations were sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq2500 platform and paired-end reads were generated.

Species annotation and abundance analyzes

Prinseq software (version 0.20.4) was used to assess the quality of the sample data, filter out poor quality and repetitive sequences, and the rodent genome was the reference genome. Bowtie2 software was used to delete host DNA sequences and Mira software (v4.0.2) was used to splice and assemble sequences. Assembled and unassembled sequences were searched in the local NCBI virus database using the BLASTX and BLASTN tools of the BLAST+ software package to obtain virus annotations. Geneious version 2019.2.1 was used to predict the ORF of the new annotated virus.

Passage of faecal supernatants in BHK-21 cells

BHK-21 has been used to propagate wild mouse fecal suspensions and detect viruses according to previously published methods [11, 12]. Briefly, supernatants from the homogenized fecal pellets were filtered through a 0.22 μm syringe filter and inoculated onto BHK21 cells, followed by incubation for 2 h to allow virus adsorption. After adding fresh medium, cells were incubated at 37℃ and monitored daily for up to 7 days post-infection to develop CPE. Infected cells were passed blindly three to six times until CPE appeared. The supernatant harvested from CPE-positive BHK-21 cells was then inoculated onto BHK-21 cells to detect the presence of infectious virus.

Astrovirus detection in CPE-positive cells

BHK-21 cells were inoculated with supernatant collected from CPE-positive cells and incubated for 36 h. Real-time fluorescent quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR), immunofluorescence detection (IFA) were used to analyze the presence of astrovirus in inoculated cells. For RT-qPCR analysis, primers that specifically amplify target astrovirus genes were designed based on the assembled contig sequences.

Phylogenetic analysis

Sequences of reference strains showing strong similarity to the virus described in this study were downloaded from the NCBI. A phylogenetic tree was constructed using MEGA software based on the composite maximum likelihood method with 1,000 bootstrap replicates to analyze phylogenetic relationships.

statistical analyzes

MetaStat was used to analyze the 10 most abundant taxonomic sequence tags from the three samples. The differences were considered statistically significant when the P-the value was less than 0.05.

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Reintroducing bison to the grasslands increases plant diversity and drought resistance https://elsverds.org/reintroducing-bison-to-the-grasslands-increases-plant-diversity-and-drought-resistance/ Mon, 29 Aug 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/reintroducing-bison-to-the-grasslands-increases-plant-diversity-and-drought-resistance/ A Kansas State University study found that reintroducing bison – a once-dominant grazer – doubles plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research covers more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesor PNAS. The study found […]]]>

A Kansas State University study found that reintroducing bison – a once-dominant grazer – doubles plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research covers more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesor PNAS.

The study found that plant communities were also resilient to the most extreme drought in four decades. These gains are now among the largest recorded increases in species richness due to grassland grazing globally, researchers said.

“Bison were an integral part of the North American grasslands before they were abruptly removed from more than 99% of the Great Plains,” said Zak Ratajczak, assistant professor of biology and principal investigator. “This removal of bison occurred before quantitative records and therefore the effects of their removal are largely unknown.”

The study took place in the Flint Hills ecoregion, which is the largest remaining tallgrass prairie landscape. Researchers examined plant community composition and diversity in three treatments designed to capture characteristic management regimes: no mega-grazers were present; bison were reintroduced and allowed to graze year-round; or domestic cattle were introduced and allowed to graze during the growing season.

“Our results suggest that many grasslands in the central Great Plains have significantly lower plant biodiversity than they would have had before the bison were largely wiped out,” Ratajczak said. “Returning or ‘re-wild’ native megafauna could help restore grassland biodiversity.”

The study also found that cattle had a positive impact on plant diversity, compared to not having large grazers present, although the increases in plant species richness were significantly smaller than those caused by bison.

“I think this study also shows that livestock can have a largely positive impact on biodiversity conservation in our region, especially since many livestock ranchers drive the prescribed fires that have prevented these grasslands from becoming forests. “, Ratajczak said. “What this study really suggests is that where economically and ecologically feasible, the reintroduction of bison could have an even more positive effect on biodiversity conservation.”

In addition to addressing land use, the researchers also investigated how bison affect the resilience of plant communities to climate extremes. Due to the long duration of the study, researchers were able to capture one of the most extreme drought events to occur on the Great Plains since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Researchers found that after the extreme climate, native plant species in the bison grazing area were drought resistant.

“The resilience we found in bison grasslands is also consistent with the idea that diversity promotes ecological resilience,” Ratajczak said. “And that resilience will only become more important if our climate becomes more extreme.”

Other K-State researchers on the study include Jesse Nippert, professor; John Blair, Distinguished University Professor; Allison Louthan, assistant professor; and Jeffrey Taylor, research assistant, all from the Biology Division of the College of Arts and Sciences. Other collaborators include Scott Collins, University of New Mexico; Sally Koerner, University of North Carolina; and Melinda Smith, Colorado State University.

“Some of the most significant ecological trends take decades to develop, and we can only identify them using long-term records like those supported by the NSF LTER program,” Nippert said. “Without this kind of data, fundamental properties of ecosystems can go unnoticed using only short-term experiments.”

A series of six grants totaling more than $31.6 million since 1980 from the National Science Foundation funded the study and was conducted under the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, program.

Konza Prairie Biological Station is jointly owned by Kansas State University and The Nature Conservancy.

Source of the story:

Materials provided by Kansas State University. Original written by Erin Pennington. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Armenia Flagrantly Violates UN Convention on Biological Diversity by Committing Ecological Terror in Karabakh (OPINION) https://elsverds.org/armenia-flagrantly-violates-un-convention-on-biological-diversity-by-committing-ecological-terror-in-karabakh-opinion/ Mon, 22 Aug 2022 13:10:00 +0000 https://elsverds.org/armenia-flagrantly-violates-un-convention-on-biological-diversity-by-committing-ecological-terror-in-karabakh-opinion/ By Yegana Hajiyeva At the start of the 21st century, amid serious global efforts to combat climate change and ensure the preservation and sustainability of biodiversity, Armenia is committed to systematically damaging ecology and biodiversity. Garbage and incinerated chemicals dumped on the territory of Karabakh and surrounding districts due to the uncontrolled activities of Armenia […]]]>

By Yegana Hajiyeva

At the start of the 21st century, amid serious global efforts to combat climate change and ensure the preservation and sustainability of biodiversity, Armenia is committed to systematically damaging ecology and biodiversity.

Garbage and incinerated chemicals dumped on the territory of Karabakh and surrounding districts due to the uncontrolled activities of Armenia during the years of occupation, as well as the contaminated rivers flowing through this territory, have caused heavy damage to the flora and wildlife of Azerbaijan.

Such a brutal attitude towards nature during the years of occupation and the following two years led to the loss of biodiversity in this territory.

Before the occupation, Karabakh and surrounding districts had rich biodiversity, and its flora and fauna were well known for their rare plants and animals. Up to 18,000 species of fauna, 97 species of mammals, 357 species of birds, about 100 species of fish, 67 species and subspecies of amphibians and reptiles and about 15,000 species of insects lived in this territory .

As a result of these cruel and destructive activities, some alien species of plants and animals have been wiped off the face of the earth. A unique species called “Karabakh gazelle”, to whose beauty and delicacy poems were dedicated, became extinct due to the environmental crimes systematically committed by the Armenian state in the forests of Lachin and Kalbajar.

Armenia’s eco-terrorism policy is a flagrant violation of the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which the country itself has signed, and which is strongly recommended by the United Nations General Assembly to Member States. Armenia also continues to violate the principle of respect for international law ensuring the protection of the environment in times of armed conflict, which is envisaged in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

The fact that for nearly 30 years the Gajaran copper-molybdenum plant and the Gafan copper ore in Armenia have been releasing excessive amounts of heavy metals into Okhchuchay, the second largest river in the South Caucasus, which empties in the Araz River, destroyed not only the river fauna but also the surrounding ecosystem. The contaminated Okhchuchay River also poses a serious risk to human health.

If the aforementioned activities have been carried out in uncontrolled territories for 30 years, today illegal Armenian armed groups in the territory of Azerbaijan continue to commit environmental crimes before our eyes and the eyes of the world.

Global environmental and climate movements and well-known non-governmental organizations continue to turn a blind eye to the enmity against humanity and nature and the barbaric acts of illegal Armenian settlers in the Lachin district of Azerbaijan, which are reflected in the photos and videos posted on social networks and TV channels.

The protection of the environment and the efficient use of resources, especially the protection of unique species, is considered a matter of global importance.

The silence of NGOs and international institutions, which declare the protection of these values ​​as their priority, is regrettable.

A double standard approach to this issue will most likely lead to the destruction and extinction of unique species of flora and fauna in Karabakh, as has happened in many parts of the world.

Yegana Hajiyeva, president of the Institute of Young Democrats, political scientist

News.Az

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