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Echeverria C.,University of Concepcion | Smith-Ramirez C.,Institute Ecologia y Biodiversidad | Smith-Ramirez C.,Austral University of Chile | Aronson J.,Missouri Botanical Garden | And 2 more authors.
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2015

Degradation of ecosystems is ongoing in Latin America but there is also a strong upswing in conservation and restoration efforts. SIACRE - the Ibero-American and Caribbean Society for Ecological Restoration - is playing a key role in coordinating and promoting this trend at international, national, and subnational levels. In October 2014, SIACRE members organized the first national seminar on ecological restoration in Chile, with participants representing both academic and non-academic sectors. This seminar served as the catalyst for this essay and was an historic event at the national level. Much work has been underway in the science and practice of restoration in Chile, but until now it has been fragmented. This first national seminar enabled helped the principal strengths and challenges that Chile has and must face in the transdisciplinary domain of ecological restoration. Since 2004, various meetings have been organized in the region, in order to communicate the importance of restoration, especially in Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, and more recently in Chile and Argentina. Here we trace the history of national and subnational restoration networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, and of SIACRE, and then outline some goals and challenges for the coming years. © 2015 Society for Ecological Restoration.

Anthelme F.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Anthelme F.,Higher University of San Andres | Cavieres L.A.,University of Concepcion | Cavieres L.A.,Institute Ecologia y Biodiversidad | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2014

While there is a large consensus that plant-plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation-climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1) the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2) alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant-plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and climate change. © 2014 Anthelme, Cavieres and Dangles.

Hol F.J.H.,Technical University of Delft | Galajda P.,Technical University of Delft | Galajda P.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Nagy K.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Cooperative organisms are ubiquitous in nature, despite their vulnerability to exploitation by cheaters. Although numerous theoretical studies suggest that spatial structure is critical for cooperation to persist, the spatial ecology of microbial cooperation remains largely unexplored experimentally. By tracking the community dynamics of cooperating (rpoS wild-type) and cheating (rpoS mutant) Escherichia coli in well-mixed flasks and microfabricated habitats, we demonstrate that spatial structure stabilizes coexistence between wild-type and mutant and thus facilitates cooperator maintenance. We develop a method to interpret our experimental results in the context of game theory, and show that the game wild-type and mutant bacteria play in an unstructured environment changes markedly over time, and eventually obeys a prisoner's dilemma leading to cheater dominance. In contrast, when wild-type and mutant E. coli co-inhabit a spatially-structured habitat, cooperators and cheaters coexist at intermediate frequencies. Our findings show that even in microhabitats lacking patchiness or spatial heterogeneities in resource availability, surface growth allows cells to form multi-cellular aggregates, yielding a self-structured community in which cooperators persist. © 2013 Hol et al.

Nunez M.A.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Pauchard A.,University of Concepcion | Pauchard A.,Institute Ecologia y Biodiversidad
Biological Invasions | Year: 2010

There is a strong bias concerning the regions of the globe where research on biological invasions is conducted, with notably lower representation of developing countries. However, in developing countries, effective management strategies to control invasions could be more beneficial in conserving global biodiversity since these countries tend to have larger, highly diverse natural habitats. Lower levels of development are seen as an obstacle to tackling biological invasions, but little thought is given to the advantages of developing countries in dealing with invasive species. We analyzed differences between developed and developing countries regarding the problem of invasive species and their historical and current patterns of international trade, disturbance levels and land use, research and monitoring, control and mitigation, and social awareness. Developed nations have some advantages, especially in levels of social awareness and means for controlling and studying exotics, but developing nations also enjoy important advantages given their lower levels of international trade and the availability of low-cost labor. Also, there is evidence that the process of economic development, which results in more efficient ways to transform landscapes and increases international trade, is strongly associated with increasing rates of biological invasion. Differences in data quality and availability between developed and developing countries make comparative analyses of biological invasions a difficult task. Thus, these differences creates a challenge in forming global strategies to deal with invasions. There have been calls for creating international plans to deal with invasive species, but we believe that it is important first to acknowledge the challenges and understand both the advantages and disadvantages of developing countries. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Barahona T.,University of Santiago de Chile | Encinas M.V.,University of Santiago de Chile | Mansilla A.,University of Magallanes | Mansilla A.,Institute Ecologia y Biodiversidad | And 2 more authors.
Carbohydrate Research | Year: 2012

The water soluble polysaccharide produced by the green variant of tetrasporic Gigartina skottsbergii was found to be composed of d-galactose and sulfate groups in a molar ratio of 1.0:0.65. 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy studies of the desulfated polysaccharide showed a major backbone structure of alternating 3-linked β-d-galactopyranosyl and 4-linked α-d-galactopyranosyl units, and minor signals ascribed to 3-O-methyl-substitution on the latter unit. Ethylation analysis of the polysaccharide indicated that the sulfate groups are mainly located at position O-2 of 4-linked α-d-galactopyranosyl residue and partially located at positions O-6 of the same unit and at position O-2 of 3-linked β-d-galactopyranosyl residue, and confirmed the presence of 3-O-methyl-galactose in minor amounts (4.4%). The sulfated d-galactan presents a similar structure to λ carrageenan but with much lower sulfation at position O-6 of the α-residue and at position O-2 of β-residue. The antioxidant capacity of the sulfated d-galactan was evaluated by the peroxyl radicals (ORAC method), hydroxyl radicals, chelating activity, and ABTS + assays. Kinetic results obtained in these assays were compared with those obtained for the commercial λ carrageenan. The antioxidant activity toward peroxyl radicals was higher for commercial λ carrageenan, this agrees with its higher content of sulfate group. The kinetics of the reaction of both polysaccharides with hydroxyl and ABTS + radicals showed a complex mechanism, but the antioxidant activity was higher for the polysaccharide from the green variant of tetrasporic Gigartina skottsbergii. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 51.

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