České Budějovice, Czech Republic
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PubMed | University of South BohemiaCeske Budejovice, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, CSIC - Estación Experimental De Zonas Áridas, CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology and Institute of Soil Biology
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in plant science | Year: 2016

Shrubs have positive (facilitation) and negative (competition) effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional types on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat. Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions. There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions.


Anders E.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Anders E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Watzinger A.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Rempt F.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | And 7 more authors.
Agricultural and Food Science | Year: 2013

Biochar application is a promising strategy for sequestering carbon in agricultural soils and for improving degraded soils. Nonetheless, contradictory and unsettled issues remain. This study investigates whether biochar influences the soil microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. We monitored the effects of four different types of biochar on the soil microbial communities in three temperate soils of Austria over several months. A greenhouse experiment and two field experiments were conducted. The biochar application did not significantly increase or decrease the microbial biomass. Only the addition of vineyard pruning biochar pyrolysed at 400°C caused microbial biomass to increase in the greenhouse experiment. The biochar treatments however caused shifts in microbial communities (visualized by principal component analysis). We concluded that the shifts in the microbial community structure are an indirect rather than a direct effect and depend on soil conditions and nutrient status.


Watzinger A.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Feichtmair S.,AIT Austrian Institute of Technology | Feichtmair S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Kitzler B.,Institute of Soil Biology | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2014

This study investigates (i) the effect of biochar amendments on soil microbial communities in temperate agricultural soils, (ii) the involvement of microorganisms (MOs) in degradation of biochar and (iii) techniques to quantify degradation of biochar in short-term experiments. The study involved an incubation experiment and a pot experiment with two arable soils (a sandy acidic Planosol and a calcareous loamy Chernozem) amended with 13C-depleted biochar from wheat husk and willow plants. Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), 13C-PLFA, CO2, 13C-CO2, soil organic carbon (Corg) and 13C-Corg were monitored for 100days. Effects of biochar application on the soil microorganisms (MOs) were generally minor. In the incubation experiment, microbial biomass was elevated by wheat husk biochar, especially in the Planosol. The increase in PLFAs was attributed to Gram-negative bacteria and actinomycetes. Fungi and Gram-positive bacteria were less affected. In the pot experiment, MOs did not respond to the addition of willow biochar. The effects of biochar were mainly attributed to an increase in the pH of the Planosol. Additionally, MOs were probably less responsive to inorganic fertilizer in biochar-amended soil. In the incubation, only the actinomycetal PLFA 10Me18:0 incorporated biochar C, while in the pot experiment, Gram-negative bacterial PLFAs (16:1ω7c, 16:1ω5c, 18:1ω7c) and Me16:0 & i17:1ω8 and i17:0 indicated degradation of biochar after 5weeks. Uptake of around 20% biochar C in these PLFAs was monitored, which accounts for 2% biochar C in the total microbial biomass. From the PLFA data the mean residence time of biochar carbon was estimated in time-scales of centuries to millennia. The CO2 concentration decreased after biochar addition until its production was masked by root respiration. The use of 13C-CO2 labelling to estimate degradation was complicated by the interference with an initial negative priming effect and the dissolution/precipitation of carbonate. In conclusion, soil MOs were not particularly affected by addition of biochar, and the effects recorded were mainly attributed to changing environmental conditions after biochar addition. Nonetheless, uptake of 13C label into microbial PLFAs was successfully used to estimate microbial degradation of biochar in short-term experiments. © 2013 British Society of Soil Science.


Hedenec P.,Institute of Soil Biology | Hedenec P.,Charles University | Novotny D.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute | Ust'ak S.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2015

Our study is focused on the effects of long-term cultivation of hybrid sorrel on basal soil respiration, specific microbial respiration, microbial biomass carbon, the composition of the cultivable soil fungal community, and the composition of soil meso- and macrofauna communities. In a split-plot field experiment in Chotýšany near Vlašim (Central Bohemia, Czech Republic), fields with hybrid sorrel (2 and 10 years old), oilseed rape/wheat rotation (>10 years old), and cultural meadow (>10 years old) were compared. The density and composition of soil meso- and macrofauna communities differed among fields. Soil meso- and macrofauna density were lowest in soils covered by oilseed rape/wheat rotation, while highest density was found in soil overgrown by cultural meadow species. Hybrid sorrel fields contained more pathogenic fungi than oilseed rape/wheat fields or cultural meadows but the difference was only marginally significant. Basal soil respiration and specific microbial respiration (qCO2) were highest in oilseed rape/wheat fields, and microbial biomass was highest in cultural meadows. In conclusion results show that long term effect of hybrid sorrel cultivation alters soil community structure, however the range is in the variation between existing annual and perennial landscape cover. Only exception is higher occurrence of pathogenic fungi but its ecological relevance require future attention. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Hedenec P.,Institute of Soil Biology | Hedenec P.,Charles University | Novotny D.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute | Ustak S.,Czech Republic Crop Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2014

Biofuel crops are an accepted alternative to fossil fuels, but little is known about the ecological impact of their production. The aim of this contribution is to study the effect of native ( Salix viminalis and Phalaris arundinacea) and introduced ( Helianthus tuberosus, Reynoutria sachalinensis and Silphium perfoliatum) biofuel crop plantations on the soil biota in comparison with cultural meadow vegetation used as control. The study was performed as part of a split plot field experiment of the Crop Research Institute in the city of Chomutov (Czech Republic). The composition of the soil meso- and macrofauna community, composition of the cultivable fraction of the soil fungal community, cellulose decomposition (using litter bags), microbial biomass, basal soil respiration and PLFA composition (incl. F/. B ratio) were studied in each site. The C:N ratio and content of polyphenols differed among plant species, but these results could not be considered significant between introduced and native plant species. Abundance of the soil meso- and macrofauna was higher in field sites planted with S. viminalis and P. arundinacea than those planted with S. perfoliatum, H. tuberosus and R. sachalinensis. RDA and Monte Carlo Permutation Test showed that the composition of the faunal community differed significantly between various native and introduced plants. Significantly different basal soil respiration was found in sites planted with various energy crops; however, this difference was not significant between native and introduced species. Microbial biomass carbon and cellulose decomposition did not exhibit any statistical differences among the biofuel crops. The largest statistically significant difference we found was in the content of actinobacterial and bacterial (bacteria, G+ bacteria and G- bacteria) PLFA in sites overgrown by P. arundinacea compared to introduced as well as native biofuel crops. In conclusion, certain parameters significantly differ between various native and introduced species of biofuel crops; however, the functional importance of these differences requires further research. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Frouz J.,Charles University | Frouz J.,Institute of Soil Biology | Hrckova K.,Institute of Soil Biology | Hrckova K.,University of South Bohemia | And 6 more authors.
Applied Soil Ecology | Year: 2011

The responses of soil algae, vascular plants, and invertebrates to soils collected along a toxicity gradient of post-mining sites were measured in laboratory toxicity tests, and the responses were compared with field pattern of communities of these organisms along this gradient. The study was performed in the Sokolov coal mining district (Czech Republic) where three types of soil materials were sampled: highly acidic coal-rich clays (pH 2.8 ± 0.4), slightly acidic tertiary volcanic ashes (4.6 ± 1.6), and alkaline tertiary clays (8.2 ± 0.1). Laboratory tests with eight species of algae, two species of invertebrates (Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida), and one plant species (Sinapis alba) gave similar results and showed that besides low pH and the associated solubility of Al, As content and high conductivity were the major factors correlated with toxicity of post-mining substrates. Communities consisting of 69 species of soil algae, 21 species of vascular plants, and 44 morphospecies of soil macrofauna were found during field survey of post mining sites. The toxicity tests explained about 21% of the data variability for the algal community in the field but did not explain any of the data variability for the plant or invertebrate community in the field. The poor ability of laboratory tests to predict the data obtained from surveys of natural communities may result from environmental factors and biotic interactions that have strong effects in the field but not in the laboratory. The study shows that understanding the effects of toxic agents in a complex environmental gradient may require more research on the interaction between toxicity and environmental factors. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Bujalsky L.,Charles University | Kaneda S.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Dvorscik P.,Charles University | Frouz J.,Charles University | Frouz J.,Institute of Soil Biology
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2014

Soil respiration accounts for much of the CO2 released from terrestrial ecosystems into the atmosphere. Although respiration depends on temperature, the relationship between respiration and temperature may vary among soils. Here, we measured soil respiration and soil temperature in chronosequences of reclaimed and unreclaimed post-mining sites (10-50-year-old coal mining heaps near Sokolov, the Czech Republic) to determine the major factors affecting temperature-dependent soil respiration. Soil respiration was repeatedly measured in situ during 2011 and 2012 at five reclaimed sites (planted with alder) and five unreclaimed sites (overgrown with willow, birch, and aspen). In addition, spatial heterogeneity was assessed by repeatedly measuring soil respiration at 30 permanent points at one 28-year-old site (the "30-point" site) in 2007-2008. In all sites root biomass, soil carbon (C) content, soil pH, and the thickness of Oe layer were also measured. In the chronosequences and 30-point site, the relationship between soil respiration and temperature increased with soil C content; soil respiration was unrelated to temperature if soil C content was <9%. The increase in respiration with temperature was enhanced by a thick Oe layer and by high root biomass.Soil respiration at reclaimed sites increased with site age to age 30 years and then decreased. The decrease in respiration at the older sites was associated with a decrease in soil temperature (associated with increased shading). Respiration at unreclaimed sites increased with age and was usually lower than in reclaimed alder plantation of similar ages. © 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Hedenec P.,Charles University | Hedenec P.,Institute of Soil Biology | Radochova P.,Charles University | Radochova P.,Institute of Soil Biology | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Soil Biology | Year: 2013

Soil fungi are important food resources for soil fauna. Here we ask whether the collembolan Folsomia candida shows selectivity in grazing between four saprophytic fungi (Penicillium chrysogenum, Penicillium expansum, Absidia glauca, and Cladosporium herbarum), whether grazing preference corresponds to effects on collembolan reproduction, and whether the effects of fungi on grazing and reproduction depends on the fungal substrate, which included three kinds of litter (Alnus glutinosa, Salix caprea, and Quercus robur) and one kind of agar (yeast extract). On agar, C. herbarum and A. glauca were the most preferred fungi and supported the highest collembolan reproduction. On fungal-colonized litter, grazing preference was more affected by litter type than by fungal species whereas collembolan reproduction was affected by both litter type and fungal species. On fungal-colonized litter, the litter type that was most preferred for grazing did not support the highest reproduction, i.e., there was an inconsistency between food preference and suitability. Alder and willow were preferred over oak for grazing, but alder supported the least reproduction. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Kontschan J.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Stary J.,Institute of Soil Biology
Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae | Year: 2012

Seven Uropodina species were listed from Malaysian soil samples deposited in the Institute of Soil Biology of the Three of them are already known species (Deraiophorus mirabilis KONTSCHÁN, 2010, Depressorotunda (Depressorotunda) malaya KONTSCHÁN, 2010, Uroobovella serangensis HIRAMATSU, 1980). Four species (Cyllibula ovalis sp. n.; Uropoda gigantea sp. n.; Phymatodiscus malayicus sp. n. and Depressorotunda (Depressorotunda) batuensis sp. n.) are new to science. Original drawings and description of new species are given. An additional key to the species of the subgenus Depressorotunda (Depressorotunda) is presented.


Anderson T.-H.,Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas | Anderson T.-H.,Institute of Agroecology | Anderson T.-H.,Institute of Soil Biology | Domsch K.H.,Institute of Soil Biology
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2010

In the 1980s ecosystem research projects were implemented world-wide since there was a pressing need to quantify the impacts of anthropogenic pollutants. Soil ecosystem analyses concentrated first on the quantification of the element and energy transfer between pools. Since mineralization of organic substrates and the release of nutrients and elements are due to the heterotrophic activity of the microbial decomposer compartment, this subsystem of terrestrial ecosystems gained importance. Direct microscopic observation methods were inadequate for the quantification of environmental impacts on the microflora. We adopted the maintenance requirement concept for the quantification of environmental impacts or stress effects on the soil microbial community. The paper gives a brief inside to the concept of maintenance from autecological studies and describes the underlying points which lead to our experimental approach of its application at the synecological level (i.e., microbial biomass as a single ecological entity) - a process which rested on long-term continuous research. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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