Browsing by Subject "TIERRA-DEL-FUEGO"

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  • Bornman, Janet F.; Barnes, Paul W.; Robson, T. Matthew; Robinson, Sharon A.; Jansen, Marcel A. K.; Ballare, Carlos L.; Flint, Stephan D. (2019)
    Exposure of plants and animals to ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B; 280-315 nm) is modified by stratospheric ozone dynamics and climate change. Even though stabilisation and projected recovery of stratospheric ozone is expected to curtail future increases in UV-B radiation at the Earth’s surface, on-going changes in climate are increasingly exposing plants and animals to novel combinations of UV-B radiation and other climate change factors (e.g., ultraviolet-A and visible radiation, water availability, temperature and elevated carbon dioxide). Climate change is also shifting vegetation cover, geographic ranges of species, and seasonal timing of development, which further modifies exposure to UV-B radiation. Since our last assessment, there is increased understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which plants perceive UV-B radiation, eliciting changes in growth, development and tolerances of abiotic and biotic factors. However, major questions remain on how UV-B radiation is interacting with other climate change factors to modify the production and quality of crops, as well as important ecosystem processes such as plant and animal competition, pest-pathogen interactions, and the decomposition of dead plant matter (litter). In addition, stratospheric ozone depletion is directly contributing to climate change in the southern hemisphere, such that terrestrial ecosystems in this region are being exposed to altered patterns of precipitation, temperature and fire regimes as well as UV-B radiation. These ozone-driven changes in climate have been implicated in both increases and reductions in the growth, survival and reproduction of plants and animals in Antarctica, South America and New Zealand. In this assessment, we summarise advances in our knowledge of these and other linkages and effects, and identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps that limit our ability to fully evaluate the ecological consequences of these environmental changes on terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Lilley, Thomas M.; Sävilammi, Tiina; Ossa, Gonzalo; Blomberg, Anna S.; Vasemägi, Anti; Yung, Veronica; Vendrami, David L. J.; Johnson, Joseph S. (2020)
    Despite its peculiar distribution, the biology of the southernmost bat species in the world, the Chilean myotis (Myotis chiloensis), has garnered little attention so far. The species has a north-south distribution of c. 2800 km, mostly on the eastern side of the Andes mountain range. Use of extended torpor occurs in the southernmost portion of the range, putting the species at risk of bat white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease responsible for massive population declines in North American bats. Here, we examined how geographic distance and topology would be reflected in the population structure of M. chiloensis along the majority of its range using a double digestion RAD-seq method. We sampled 66 individuals across the species range and discovered pronounced isolation-by-distance. Furthermore, and surprisingly, we found higher degrees of heterozygosity in the southernmost populations compared to the north. A coalescence analysis revealed that our populations may still not have reached secondary contact after the Last Glacial Maximum. As for the potential spread of pathogens, such as the fungus causing WNS, connectivity among populations was noticeably low, especially between the southern hibernatory populations in the Magallanes and Tierra del Fuego, and more northerly populations. This suggests the probability of geographic spread of the disease from the north through bat-to-bat contact to susceptible populations is low. The study presents a rare case of defined population structure in a bat species and warrants further research on the underlying factors contributing to this. See the graphical abstract here.
  • Pieristè, Marta; Chauvat, Matthieu; Kotilainen, Titta K.; Jones, Alan G.; Aubert, Michaël; Robson, T. Matthew; Forey, Estelle (2019)
    Sunlight can accelerate the decomposition process through an ensemble of direct and indirect processes known as photodegradation. Although photodegradation is widely studied in arid environments, there have been few studies in temperate regions. This experiment investigated how exposure to solar radiation, and specifically UV-B, UV-A, and blue light, affects leaf litter decomposition under a temperate forest canopy in France. For this purpose, we employed custom-made litterbags built using filters that attenuated different regions of the solar spectrum. Litter mass loss and carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio of three species: European ash (Fraxinus excelsior), European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and pedunculate oak (Quercus robur), differing in their leaf traits and decomposition rate, were analysed over a period of 7–10 months. Over the entire period, the effect of treatments attenuating blue light and solar UV radiation on leaf litter decomposition was similar to that of our dark treatment, where litter lost 20–30% less mass and had a lower C:N ratio than under the full-spectrum treatment. Moreover, decomposition was affected more by the filter treatment than mesh size, which controlled access by mesofauna. The effect of filter treatment differed among the three species and appeared to depend on litter quality (and especially C:N), producing the greatest effect in recalcitrant litter (F. sylvatica). Even under the reduced irradiance found in the understorey of a temperate forest, UV radiation and blue light remain important in accelerating surface litter decomposition.