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Nanos N.,Technical University of Madrid | Grigoratos T.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Rodriguez Martin J.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria | Samara C.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment

We analyse the concentration of five trace elements (As, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) in the topsoil of the Kozani-Ptolemais basin where four coal-fired power plants run to provide almost 47.8 % of electricity requirements in Greece. We assume that if the power plants have altered the spatial (co)variation of the analysed elements through their toxic by-products, their effect would be observable only on a small spatial scale, since deposition of airborne pollutants is more evident if it is near the emission source. We used Factorial Cokriging to estimate the small-scale correlations among soil elements and to compare them to large spatial-scale correlations. Soil samples were collected from 92 sites. Given the low concentrations in soil heavy metals and As, we observed no serious soil contamination risk. We estimated correlations among the analysed elements on two spatial scales. On the larger scale, Ni and As exhibited higher correlation and received higher weights for the first regionalized factor, contrary to Cu, Pb and Zn which weighted more for the second regionalized factor. On the small spatial scale As associated with neither Ni nor other heavy metals. We conclude that soil arsenic has been altered by enrichment caused by some power plants through fly ash deposition and/or disposal. However, enrichment of soil elements was detectable only on the smaller spatial scale because anthropogenic inputs in soil through airborne emissions and subsequent deposition are evident only in the vicinity of the emission source. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Wortemann R.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Wortemann R.,University Blaise Pascal | Herbette S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Herbette S.,University Blaise Pascal | And 11 more authors.
Tree Physiology

Xylem cavitation resistance is a key physiological trait correlated with species tolerance to extreme drought stresses. Little is known about the genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity of this trait in natural tree populations. Here we measured the cavitation resistance of 17 Fagus sylvatica populations representative of the full range of the species in Europe. The trees were grown in three field trials under contrasting climatic conditions. Our findings suggest that the genotypic variability of cavitation resistance is high between genotypes of a given population. By contrast, no significant differences were found for this trait across populations, the mean population cavitation resistance being remarkably constant in each trial. We found a significant site effect and a significant site×population interaction, suggesting that cavitation resistance has a high phenotypic plasticity and that this plasticity is under genetic control. The implications of our findings for beech forest management in a context of climate change are discussed. © The Author 2011. Source

Velasco-Conde T.,Servicio Regional de Investigacion y Desarrollo Agroalimentario | Yakovlev I.,Norwegian Forest And Landscape Institute | Majada J.P.,Servicio Regional de Investigacion y Desarrollo Agroalimentario | Aranda I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria | Johnsen O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Tree Genetics and Genomes

Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) is an important commercial species throughout its Atlantic distribution. With the anticipated increase in desiccation of its habitat as a result of climate change, the selection of genotypes with increased survival and growth capability under these conditions for breeding programs is of great interest for this species. We aimed to study the response to a realistic drought stress under controlled conditions, looked for a method to measure dehydration resistance, and analyzed dehydrin expression in drought-resistant and drought-sensitive clones from different ecotypes. We report here the sequence characteristics and the expression patterns of five dehydrins from P. pinaster, along with the physiological characterization of drought stress responses in different genotypes (clonally replicated plants), originating from a broad geographical distribution across France and Spain (provenances). In total, we distinguished five different dehydrin genes in silico, grouped into two types-K 2 and SK n. Three of the dehydrin genes had several sequence variants, differing by multiple or single amino acid substitutions. Only two of the dehydrins (PpinDhn3 and PpinDhn4) showed an increase in transcription with increased drought stress which was dependent on provenance and genotype, suggesting their involvement in drought resistance. The other dehydrins showed decreased expression trends with increased severity of the drought stress. The lack of close association between the drought stress and expression patterns of these dehydrin genes suggest that they could have other functions and not be involved in drought resistance. Our results suggest large differences in function between different dehydrin genes. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

Boughalleb N.,Institute Superieur Agronomique Of Chott Mariem | Salem I.B.,Institute Superieur Agronomique Of Chott Mariem | Beltran R.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Beltran R.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Phytopathology

Surveys of 11 watermelon fields throughout production areas of this crop in southern and central regions in Tunisia were conducted in 2007 to determine the aetiology and distribution of watermelon vine decline. Monosporascus cannonballus was isolated from diseased roots in all surveyed fields. All the isolates were identified according to morphological features and confirmed by amplification of a fragment of the ITS region with specific primers. Ascospores of M. cannonballus were recovered from soil in all watermelon fields surveyed and the average population densities ranged from 3.65 to 10.14 ascospores per g of soil. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that only four of the crop and soil factors evaluated had a significant correlation with ascospore density at the end of the growing season: vertisol vs. other soils, disease incidence, percentage of clay and pH. The pH of the soil showed a strong significant negative linear relationship with ascospore density, while the other three factors correlated positively. © 2009 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

Aranda I.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria | Alia R.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria | Ortega U.,SERIDA | Dantas A.K.,SERIDA | Majada J.,SERIDA
Tree Genetics and Genomes

The response to drought of 20 open-pollinated families from four Pinus pinaster Ait. populations covering a latitudinal cline (France, Central and Southern Spain, and Morocco) was assessed. The seedlings were cultivated in a greenhouse under controlled temperature and vapor pressure deficit for 120 days, and subjected to two watering regimes for 60 days. Different biomass partitioning variables, pre-dawn water potential, and isotopic discrimination of 13C in needles (Δ) as surrogate of long-term water use efficiency were estimated for each seedling at the end of the experiment. In response to the imposed drought, there was no change in the root biomass partitioning, but the overall Δ values decreased in response to water stress. All the families of the population from Morocco showed the highest investment in roots, regardless of the watering regime imposed. Inter-family differences within populations were also significant for most parameters as confirmed by the heritability values estimated (higher under the well-watered treatment). The studied P. pinaster populations showed different strategies of response to drought. This may represent an important mechanism by local populations in facing future climatic change. The results could be of value in forest conservation and breeding programs of maritime pine in the future. © Springer-Verlag 2009. Source

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