Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research

Berlin, Germany

Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research

Berlin, Germany
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Brugger J.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Brugger J.,University of Potsdam | Brugger J.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | Feulner G.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | And 2 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2017

Sixty-six million years ago, the end-Cretaceous mass extinction ended the reign of the dinosaurs. Flood basalt eruptions and an asteroid impact are widely discussed causes, yet their contributions remain debated. Modeling the environmental changes after the Chicxulub impact can shed light on this question. Existing studies, however, focused on the effect of dust or used one-dimensional, noncoupled atmosphere models. Here we explore the longer-lasting cooling due to sulfate aerosols using a coupled climate model. Depending on aerosol stratospheric residence time, global annual mean surface air temperature decreased by at least 26°C, with 3 to 16 years subfreezing temperatures and a recovery time larger than 30 years. The surface cooling triggered vigorous ocean mixing which could have resulted in a plankton bloom due to upwelling of nutrients. These dramatic environmental changes suggest a pivotal role of the impact in the end-Cretaceous extinction. ©2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Weithoff G.,University of Potsdam | Weithoff G.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | Gaedke U.,University of Potsdam | Gaedke U.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research
Journal of Plankton Research | Year: 2017

Trait-based approaches have become increasingly successful in community ecology. They assume that the distribution of functional traits within communities responds in a predictable way to alterations in environmental forcing and that strong forcing may accelerate such trait changes. We used high frequency measurements of phytoplankton to test these assumptions. We analyzed the seasonal and long-term dynamics of the community trait mean within a multi-dimensional trait space under alternating multifactorial environmental conditions. The community trait mean exhibited a distinct recurrent annual pattern that reflected minor changes in climate, herbivory and nutrients. Independent of early spring conditions, the community trait mean was repeatedly driven into a narrow confined area in the trait space under pronounced herbivory during the clear water phase. The speed of movement was highest at the onset and the relaxation of such strong unidirectional forcing. Thus, our data support the conceptual framework of trait-based ecology that alterations in environmental conditions are systematically tracked by adjustments in the dominant functional trait values and that the speed of trait changes depends on the kind and intensity of the selection pressure. Our approach provides a sensitive tool to detect small functional differences in the community related to subtle differences in forcing. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Veresoglou S.D.,Free University of Berlin | Veresoglou S.D.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | Wulf M.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research | Rillig M.C.,Free University of Berlin | Rillig M.C.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2017

In late-successional environments, low in available nutrient such as the forest understory, herbaceous plant individuals depend strongly on their mycorrhizal associates for survival. We tested whether in temperate European forests arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) woody plants might facilitate the establishment of AM herbaceous plants in agreement with the mycorrhizal mediation hypothesis. We used a dataset spanning over 400 vegetation plots in the Weser-Elbe region (northwest Germany). Mycorrhizal status information was obtained from published resources, and Ellenberg indicator values were used to infer environmental data. We carried out tests for both relative richness and relative abundance of herbaceous plants. We found that the subset of herbaceous individuals that associated with AM profited when there was a high cover of AM woody plants. These relationships were retained when we accounted for environmental filtering effects using path analysis. Our findings build on the existing literature highlighting the prominent role of mycorrhiza as a coexistence mechanism in plant communities. From a nature conservation point of view, it may be possible to promote functional diversity in the forest understory through introducing AM woody trees in stands when absent. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Grossiord C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Granier A.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Ratcliffe S.,University of Leipzig | Bouriaud O.,Stefan Cel Mare University of Suceava | And 13 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Climate models predict an increase in the intensity and frequency of drought episodes in the Northern Hemisphere. Among terrestrial ecosystems, forests will be profoundly impacted by drier climatic conditions, with drastic consequences for the functions and services they supply. Simultaneously, biodiversity is known to support a wide range of forest ecosystem functions and services. However, whether biodiversity also improves the resistance of these ecosystems to drought remains unclear. We compared soil drought exposure levels in a total of 160 forest stands within five major forest types across Europe along a gradient of tree species diversity. We assessed soil drought exposure in each forest stand by calculating the stand-level increase in carbon isotope composition of latewood from a wet to a dry year (Δδ13CS). Δδ13CS exhibited a negative linear relationship with tree species diversity in two forest types, suggesting that species interactions in these forests diminished the drought exposure of the ecosystem. However, the other three forest typeswere unaffected by tree species diversity. We conclude that higher diversity enhances resistance to drought events only in drought-prone environments. Managing forest ecosystems for high tree species diversity does not necessarily assure improved adaptability to themore severe and frequent drought events predicted for the future.

Aguilar-Trigueros C.A.,Free University of Berlin | Aguilar-Trigueros C.A.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | Powell J.R.,University of Western Sydney | Anderson I.C.,University of Western Sydney | And 3 more authors.
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2014

Classification schemes have been popular to tame the diversity of root-infecting fungi. However, the usefulness of these schemes is limited to descriptive purposes. We propose that a shift to a multidimensional trait-based approach to disentangle the saprotrophic-symbiotic continuum will provide a better framework to understand fungal evolutionary ecology. Trait information reflecting the separation of root-infecting fungi from free-living soil relatives will help to understand the evolutionary process of symbiosis, the role that species interactions play in maintaining their large diversity in soil and in planta, and their contributions at the ecosystem level. Methodological advances in several areas such as microscopy, plant immunology, and metatranscriptomics represent emerging opportunities to populate trait databases. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Muller M.E.H.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research | Muller M.E.H.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | Urban K.,Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences | Koppen R.,BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing | And 3 more authors.
World Mycotoxin Journal | Year: 2015

The role of mycotoxins in the microbial competition in an ecosystem or on the same host plant is still unclear. Therefore, a laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the influence of mycotoxins on growth and mycotoxin production of Fusarium and Alternaria fungi. Fusarium culmorum Fc13, Fusarium graminearum Fg23 and two Alternaria tenuissima isolates (At18 and At220) were incubated on wheat kernels supplemented with alternariol (AOH), tetramic acid derivates (TeA), deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) in an in vitro test system. Fungal biomass was quantified by determining ergosterol content. Three Fusarium toxins (DON, nivalenol and ZEA) and three Alternaria toxins (AOH, alternariol methyl ether (AME) and altenuene) were analysed by HPLC-MS/MS. If Alternaria strains grew in wheat kernels spiked with Fusarium mycotoxins, their growth rates were moderately increased, their AOH and AME production was enhanced and they were simultaneously capable of degrading the Fusarium mycotoxins DON and ZEA. In contrast, both Fusarium strains behaved quite differently. The growth rate of Fc13 was not distinctly influenced, while Fg23 increased its growth in wheat kernels spiked with AOH. TeA depressed the ergosterol content in Fc13 as well as in Fg23. The DON production of Fc13 was slightly depressed, whereas the ZEA production was significantly increased. In contrast, Fg23 restricted its ZEA production. Both Fusarium strains were not capable of degrading the Alternaria mycotoxin AOH. Mycotoxins might play an important role in the interfungal competitive processes. They influence growth rates and mycotoxin production of the antagonistic combatants. The observed effects between phytopathogenic Alternaria and Fusarium strains and their mycotoxins aid the understanding of the complexity of microbial competitive behaviour in natural environments. © 2014 Wageningen Academic Publishers.

Hipsley C.A.,Leibniz Institute For Evolutions Und Biodiversitatsforschung | Miles D.B.,Ohio University | Muller J.,Leibniz Institute For Evolutions Und Biodiversitatsforschung | Muller J.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research
Biology Letters | Year: 2014

While global variation in taxonomic diversity is strongly linked to latitude, the extent to which morphological disparity follows geographical gradients is less well known. We estimated patterns of lineage diversification, morphological disparity and rates of phenotypic evolution in the Old World lizard family Lacertidae, which displays a nearly inverse latitudinal diversity gradient with decreasing species richness towards the tropics. We found that lacertids exhibit relatively constant rates of lineage accumulation over time, although the majority of morphological variation appears to have originated during recent divergence events, resulting in increased partitioning of disparity within subclades. Among subclades, tropical arboreal taxa exhibited the fastest rates of shape change while temperate European taxa were the slowest, resulting in an inverse relationship between latitudinal diversity and rates of phenotypic evolution. This pattern demonstrates a compelling counterexample to the ecological opportunity theory of diversification, suggesting an uncoupling of the processes generating species diversity and morphological differentiation across spatial scales. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Johnston P.R.,Free University of Berlin | Johnston P.R.,Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research | Dobson A.J.,University College London | Rolff J.,Free University of Berlin | Rolff J.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research
G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics | Year: 2016

The evolution of resistance against antimicrobial peptides has long been considered unlikely due to their mechanism of action, yet experimental selection with antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) results in rapid evolution of resistance in several species of bacteria. Although numerous studies have utilized mutant screens to identify loci that determine AMP susceptibility, there is a dearth of data concerning the genomic changes that accompany experimental evolution of AMP resistance. Using genome resequencing, we analyzed the mutations that arose during experimental evolution of resistance to the cationic AMPs iseganan, melittin, and pexiganan, as well as to a combination of melittin and pexiganan, or to the aminoglycoside antibiotic streptomycin. Analysis of 17 independently replicated Staphylococcus aureus selection lines, including unselected controls, showed that each AMP selected for mutations at distinct loci. We identify mutations in genes involved in the synthesis and maintenance of the cell envelope. These include genes previously identified from mutant screens for AMP resistance, and genes involved in the response to AMPs and cell-wall-active antibiotics. Furthermore, transposon insertion mutants were used to verify that a number of the identified genes are directly involved in determining AMP susceptibility. Strains selected for AMP resistance under controlled experimental evolution displayed consistent AMP-specific mutations in genes that determine AMP susceptibility. This suggests that different routes to evolve resistance are favored within a controlled genetic background. © 2016 Johnston et al.

Mikolajewski D.J.,Free University of Berlin | Rusen L.,Free University of Berlin | Mauersberger R.,Forderverein Feldberg Uckermarkische Seenlandschaft e.V. | Johansson F.,Uppsala University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2015

Although changes in magnitude of single traits responding to selective agents have been studied intensively, little is known about selection shaping networks of traits and their patterns of covariation. However, this is central for our understanding of phenotypic evolution as traits are embedded in a multivariate environment with selection affecting a multitude of traits simultaneously rather than individually. Here, we investigate inter- and intraspecific patterns of trait integration (trait correlations) in the larval abdomen of dragonflies as a response to a change in predator selection. Species of the dragonfly genus Leucorrhinia underwent a larval habitat shift from predatory fish to predatory dragonfly-dominated lakes with an associated relaxation in selection pressure from fish predation. Our results indicate that the habitat-shift-induced relaxed selection pressure caused phenotypic integration of abdominal traits to be reduced. Intraspecific findings matched patterns comparing species from both habitats with higher abdominal integration in response to predatory fish. This higher integration is probably a result of faster burst swimming speed. The abdomen holds the necessary morphological machinery to successfully evade predatory fish via burst swimming. Hence, abdominal traits have to function in a tight coordinated manner, as maladaptive variation and consequently nonoptimal burst swimming would cause increased mortality. In predatory dragonfly-dominated lakes, no such strong link between burst swimming and mortality is present. Our findings highlight the importance of studying multivariate trait relationships as a response to selection for understanding patterns of phenotypic diversification. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

Valyi K.,Free University of Berlin | Valyi K.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | Rillig M.C.,Free University of Berlin | Rillig M.C.,Berlin Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research | And 2 more authors.
New Phytologist | Year: 2015

We studied the effect of host plant identity and land-use intensity (LUI) on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomeromycota) communities in roots of grassland plants. These are relevant factors for intraradical AMF communities in temperate grasslands, which are habitats where AMF are present in high abundance and diversity. In order to focus on fungi that directly interact with the plant at the time, we investigated root-colonizing communities. Our study sites represent an LUI gradient with different combinations of grazing, mowing, and fertilization. We used massively parallel multitag pyrosequencing to investigate AMF communities in a large number of root samples, while being able to track the identity of the host. We showed that host plants significantly differed in AMF community composition, while land use modified this effect in a plant species-specific manner. Communities in medium and low land-use sites were subsets of high land-use communities, suggesting a differential effect of land use on the dispersal of AMF species with different abundances and competitive abilities. We demonstrate that in these grasslands, there is a small group of highly abundant, generalist fungi which represent the dominating species in the AMF community. © 2014 The Authors New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

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