Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability

Santiago, Chile

Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability

Santiago, Chile
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Silva C.P.,Austral University of Chile | Garcia C.E.,Austral University of Chile | Estay S.A.,Austral University of Chile | Estay S.A.,Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

There is mounting evidence that urban areas influence biodiversity. Generalizations however require that multiple urban areas on multiple continents be examined. Here we evaluated the role of urban areas on avian diversity for a South American city, allowing us to examine the effects of urban features common worldwide, using the city of Valdivia, Chile as case study. We assessed the number of birds and their relative abundance in 152 grid cells of equal size (250 m2) distributed across the city. We estimated nine independent variables: land cover diversity (DC), building density (BD), impervious surface (IS), municipal green space (MG), non-municipal green space (NG), domestic garden space (DG), distance to the periphery (DP), social welfare index (SW), and vegetation diversity (RV). Impervious surface represent 41.8% of the study area, while municipal green, non-municipal green and domestic garden represent 11.6%, 23.6% and 16% of the non-man made surface. Exotic vegetation species represent 74.6% of the total species identified across the city. We found 32 bird species, all native with the exception of House Sparrow and Rock Pigeon. The most common species were House Sparrow and Chilean Swallow. Total bird richness responds negatively to IS and MG, while native bird richness responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS DG and, RV. Total abundance increase in areas with higher values of DC and BD, and decrease in areas of higher values of IS, SW and VR. Native bird abundance responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS MG, DG and RV. Our results suggest that not all the general patterns described in previous studies, conducted mainly in the USA, Europe, and Australia, can be applied to Latin American cities, having important implications for urban planning. Conservation efforts should focus on non-municipal areas, which harbor higher bird diversity, while municipal green areas need to be improved to include elements that can enhance habitat quality for birds and other species. These findings are relevant for urban planning in where both types of green space need to be considered, especially non-municipal green areas, which includes wetlands, today critically threatened by urban development. © 2015 Silva et al.

Luarte T.,Andrés Bello University | Bonta C.C.,Austral University of Chile | Silva-Rodriguez E.A.,Andrés Bello University | Quijon P.A.,University of Prince Edward Island | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2016

The continued growth of human activity and infrastructure has translated into a widespread increase in light pollution. Natural daylight and moonlight cycles play a fundamental role for many organisms and ecological processes, so an increase in light pollution may have profound effects on communities and ecosystem services. Studies assessing ecological light pollution (ELP) effects on sandy beach organisms have lagged behind the study of other sources of disturbance. Hence, we assessed the influence of this stressor on locomotor activity, foraging behavior, absorption efficiency and growth rate of adults of the talitrid amphipod Orchestoidea tuberculata. In the field, an artificial light system was assembled to assess the local influence of artificial light conditions on the amphipod's locomotor activity and use of food patches in comparison to natural (ambient) conditions. Meanwhile in the laboratory, two experimental chambers were set to assess amphipod locomotor activity, consumption rates, absorption efficiency and growth under artificial light in comparison to natural light-dark cycles. Our results indicate that artificial light have significantly adverse effects on the activity patterns and foraging behavior of the amphipods, resulting on reduced consumption and growth rates. Given the steady increase in artificial light pollution here and elsewhere, sandy beach communities could be negatively affected, with unexpected consequences for the whole ecosystem. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Moraga F.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | Aquea F.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | Aquea F.,Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2015

Protein complexes involved in epigenetic regulation of transcription have evolved as molecular strategies to face environmental stress in plants. SAGA (Spt–Ada–Gcn5 Acetyltransferase) is a transcriptional co-activator complex that regulates numerous cellular processes through the coordination of multiple post-translational histone modifications, including acetylation, deubiquitination, and chromatin recognition. The diverse functions of the SAGA complex involve distinct modules that are highly conserved between yeast, flies, and mammals. In this review, the composition of the SAGA complex in plants is described and its role in gene expression regulation under stress conditions summarized. Some of these proteins are likely involved in the regulation of the inducible expression of genes under light, cold, drought, salt, and iron stress, although the functions of several of its components remain unknown. © 2015 Moraga and Aquea.

Poupin M.J.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | Poupin M.J.,Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability | Poupin M.J.,Millennium Nucleus Center for Plant Systems and Synthetic Biology | Greve M.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | And 8 more authors.
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2016

Modulation of phytohormones homeostasis is one of the proposed mechanisms to explain plant growth promotion induced by beneficial rhizobacteria (PGPR). However, there is still limited knowledge about the molecular signals and pathways underlying these beneficial interactions. Even less is known concerning the interplay between phytohormones in plants inoculated with PGPR. Auxin and ethylene are crucial hormones in the control of plant growth and development, and recent studies report an important and complex crosstalk between them in the regulation of different plant developmental processes. The objective of this work was to study the role of both hormones in the growth promotion of Arabidopsis thaliana plants induced by the well-known PGPR Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN. For this, the spatiotemporal expression patterns of several genes related to auxin biosynthesis, perception and response and ethylene biosynthesis were studied, finding that most of these genes showed specific transcriptional regulations after inoculation in roots and shoots. PsJN-growth promotion was not observed in Arabidopsis mutants with an impaired ethylene (ein2-1) or auxin (axr1–5) signaling. Even, PsJN did not promote growth in an ethylene overproducer (eto2), indicating that a fine regulation of both hormones signaling and homeostasis is necessary to induce growth of the aerial and root tissues. Auxin polar transport is also involved in growth promotion, since PsJN did not promote primary root growth in the pin2 mutant or under chemical inhibition of transport in wild type plants. Finally, a key role for ethylene biosynthesis was found in the PsJN-mediated increase in root hair number. These results not only give new insights of PGPR regulation of plant growth but also are also useful to understand key aspects of Arabidopsis growth control. © 2016 Poupin, Greve, Carmona and Pinedo.

Alvarez-Gerding X.,University of Chile | Alvarez-Gerding X.,University of Santiago de Chile | Cortes-Bullemore R.,University of Chile | Medina C.,University of Chile | And 8 more authors.
BioMed Research International | Year: 2015

Citrus plants are widely cultivated around the world and, however, are one of the most salt stress sensitive crops. To improve salinity tolerance, transgenic Carrizo citrange rootstocks that overexpress glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II genes were obtained and their salt stress tolerance was evaluated. Molecular analysis showed high expression for both glyoxalase genes (BjGlyI and PgGlyII) in 5H03 and 5H04 lines. Under control conditions, transgenic and wild type plants presented normal morphology. In salinity treatments, the transgenic plants showed less yellowing, marginal burn in lower leaves and showed less than 40% of leaf damage compared with wild type plants. The transgenic plants showed a significant increase in the dry weight of shoot but there are no differences in the root and complete plant dry weight. In addition, a higher accumulation of chlorine is observed in the roots in transgenic line 5H03 but in shoot it was lower. Also, the wild type plant accumulated around 20% more chlorine in the shoot compared to roots. These results suggest that heterologous expression of glyoxalase system genes could enhance salt stress tolerance in Carrizo citrange rootstock and could be a good biotechnological approach to improve the abiotic stress tolerance in woody plant species. Copyright © 2015 Ximena Alvarez-Gerding et al.

Pinedo I.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | Ledger T.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | Ledger T.,Center for Applied Ecology and Sustainability | Greve M.,Adolfo Ibáñez University | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2015

Salinity is one of the major limitations for food production worldwide. Improvement of plant salt-stress tolerance using plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) has arisen as a promising strategy to help overcome this limitation. However, the molecular and biochemical mechanisms controlling PGPR/plant interactions under salt-stress remain unclear. The main objective of this study was to obtain new insights into the mechanisms underlying salt-stress tolerance enhancement in the salt-sensitive Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 plants, when inoculated with the well-known PGPR strain Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN. To tackle this, different life history traits, together with the spatiotemporal accumulation patterns for key metabolites and salt-stress related transcripts, were analyzed in inoculated plants under short and long-term salt-stress. Inoculated plants displayed faster recovery and increased tolerance after sustained salt-stress. PsJN treatment accelerated the accumulation of proline and transcription of genes related to abscisic acid signaling (Relative to Dessication, RD29A and RD29B), ROS scavenging (Ascorbate Peroxidase 2), and detoxification (Glyoxalase I 7), and down-regulated the expression of Lipoxygenase 2 (related to jasmonic acid biosynthesis). Among the general transcriptional effects of this bacterium, the expression pattern of important ion-homeostasis related genes was altered after short and long-term stress (Arabidopsis K+ Transporter 1, High-Affinity K+ Transporter 1, Sodium Hydrogen Exchanger 2, and Arabidopsis Salt Overly Sensitive 1). In all, the faster and stronger molecular changes induced by the inoculation suggest a PsJN-priming effect, which may explain the observed tolerance after short-term and sustained salt-stress in plants. This study provides novel information about possible mechanisms involved in salt-stress tolerance induced by PGPR in plants, showing that certain changes are maintained over time. This opens up new venues to study these relevant biological associations, as well as new approaches to a better understanding of the spatiotemporal mechanisms involved in stress tolerance in plants. © 2015 Pinedo, Ledger, Greve and Poupin.

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