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Lame Deer, MT, United States

Pokorny M.L.,Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes | Mangold J.M.,Montana State University | Hafer J.,Chief Dull Knife College | Denny M.K.,Northern Cheyenne Extension Service
Invasive Plant Science and Management | Year: 2010

Invasive plants need to be managed after wildfire to suppress the invasive plant and to maintain or restore a desired plant community. Our study tested treatments that influence species availability and performance following a disturbance (wildfire). The overall objective was to determine the ability of herbicide and revegetation treatments to restore spotted knapweed-infested areas to desired plant communities after wildfire. The study consisted of a factorial combination of three herbicide application treatments (broadcast application, spot application, and no herbicide) and three seed mixture treatments (grass-only seed mix, a grass and forb seed mix, no seeding). Picloram was used for the herbicide. Both the broadcast and spot picloram application methods decreased spotted knapweed cover and density up to 80% while increasing desired grass cover and density up to 20% compared with the control. However, broadcast spraying picloram decreased species richness from 5.7 to 3.6 species 0.1 m -2 and decreased desired forb density and cover compared with spot-applied picloram treatment. Spot spraying resulted in an increase in other undesired forbs compared with broadcast spraying. Seeding with desired species had no effect on spotted knapweed cover or density. Spot spraying may help maintain desired species richness while managing spotted knapweed. © 2010 Weed Science Society of America.

Gibbons S.M.,University of Montana | Feris K.,Boise State University | McGuirl M.A.,University of Montana | Morales S.E.,University of Montana | And 4 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

A novel microcalorimetric approach was used to analyze the responses of a metal-tolerant soil bacterium (Pseudomonas putida strain KT2440) to metal resistance gene deletions in cadmium-amended media. As hypothesized, under cadmium stress, the wild-type strain benefited from the resistance genes by entering the exponential growth phase earlier than two knockout strains. In the absence of cadmium, strain KT1, carrying a deletion in the main component (czcA1) of a Cd/Zn chemiosmotic efflux transporter (CzcCBA1), grew more efficiently than the wild type and released ∼700 kJ (per mole of biomass carbon) less heat than the wild-type strain, showing the energetic cost of maintaining CzcCBA1 in the absence of cadmium. A second mutant strain (KT4) carrying a different gene deletion, ΔcadA2, which encodes the main Cd/Pb efflux transporter (a P-type ATPase), did not survive beyond moderate cadmium concentrations and exhibited a decreased growth yield in the absence of cadmium. Therefore, CadA2 plays an essential role in cadmium resistance and perhaps serves an additional function. The results of this study provide direct evidence that heavy metal cation efflux mechanisms facilitate shorter lag phases in the presence of metals and that the maintenance and expression of tolerance genes carry quantifiable energetic costs and benefits. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Gibbons S.M.,University of Chicago | Gibbons S.M.,Argonne National Laboratory | Gibbons S.M.,Chief Dull Knife College | Jones E.,Chief Dull Knife College | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Sediment microbial communities are responsible for a majority of the metabolic activity in river and stream ecosystems. Understanding the dynamics in community structure and function across freshwater environments will help us to predict how these ecosystems will change in response to human land-use practices. Here we present a spatiotemporal study of sediments in the Tongue River (Montana, USA), comprising six sites along 134 km of river sampled in both spring and fall for two years. Sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons and shotgun metagenomes revealed that these sediments are the richest (∼65,000 microbial 'species' identified) and most novel (93% of OTUs do not match known microbial diversity) ecosystems analyzed by the Earth Microbiome Project to date, and display more functional diversity than was detected in a recent review of global soil metagenomes. Community structure and functional potential have been significantly altered by anthropogenic drivers, including increased pathogenicity and antibiotic metabolism markers near towns and metabolic signatures of coal and coalbed methane extraction byproducts. The core (OTUs shared across all samples) and the overall microbial community exhibited highly similar structure, and phylogeny was weakly coupled with functional potential. Together, these results suggest that microbial community structure is shaped by environmental drivers and niche filtering, though stochastic assembly processes likely play a role as well. These results indicate that sediment microbial communities are highly complex and sensitive to changes in land use practices.

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