Browsing by Subject "grazing"

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  • Engström, Jonna (University of Helsinki, 1996)
  • Birge, Traci (Helsingfors universitet, 2004)
    Productivity and quality of two grazed coastal seashore meadows in Eastern Uusimaa were examined between May and July, 2002. A total of 18 1m2 sample sites divided into four separate cutting regimes were cut by hand to simulate grazing in the meadow. cutting regimes of various intensities were used to simulate the short term effects of different grazing pressures on the quality and productivity of the vascular plant forage in the meadows. Samples were dried, weighed and analysed for digestibility and composition. Digestibility analysis was carried out using in vitro digestibility analysis. A CNS- 1000 Elemental Analyzer was used to measure carbon, nitrogen and sulphur content of selected samples. The results showed that cumulative above ground phytomass productivity (AGPP) was dependent upon both biotope and cutting regime in the large (40 ha) Bosgård meadow, and that interaction betweeen these two factors was significant. The results of the smaller (<2 ha) Majvik meadow were highly variable between replicates. This variation overshadowed possible effects of biotope and cutting regime and their interaction. Quality was dependent upon both biotope and cutting regime. D-value decreased over time.
  • Gorokhova, Elena; El-Shehawy, Rehab; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Garbaras, Andrius (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2021)
    Frontiers in Microbiology 11
    Toxin-producing cyanobacteria can be harmful to aquatic biota, although some grazers utilize them with often beneficial effects on their growth and reproduction. It is commonly assumed that gut microbiota facilitates host adaptation to the diet; however, the evidence for adaptation mechanisms is scarce. Here, we investigated the abundance of mlrA genes in the gut of the Baltic copepods Acartia bifilosa and Eurytemora affinis during cyanobacteria bloom season (August) and outside it (February). The mlrA genes are unique to microcystin and nodularin degraders, thus indicating the capacity to break down these toxins by the microbiota. The mlrA genes were expressed in the copepod gut year-round, being >10-fold higher in the summer than in the winter populations. Moreover, they were significantly more abundant in Eurytemora than Acartia. To understand the ecological implications of this variability, we conducted feeding experiments using summer- and winter-collected copepods to examine if/how the mlrA abundance in the microbiota affect: (1) uptake of toxic Nodularia spumigena, (2) uptake of a non-toxic algal food offered in mixtures with N. spumigena, and (3) concomitant growth potential in the copepods. The findings provide empirical evidence that the occurrence of mlrA genes in the copepod microbiome facilitates nutrient uptake and growth when feeding on phytoplankton mixtures containing nodularin-producing cyanobacteria; thus, providing an adaptation mechanism to the cyanobacteria blooms.
  • Winquist, Emelie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The heath vegetation in the Jauristunturit study area is highly affected by the reindeer fence that was built in the mid-1950s between Finland and Norway, to prevent summer grazing in the Norwegian side. In the study area, the Finnish and Norwegian pastures are used during different seasons, causing differences in reindeer grazing history, and with time differences in vegetation. Additionally, local topography also impacts the vegetation composition and structure creating variation in local vegetation patterns. My research questions are: How vegetation patterns differ between summer- and winter- grazed areas, and which plant functional groups have the most significant difference? How local topography affects vegetation patterns, and does the effect of topography differ between summer and winter pastures? The data was collected from five 400 m long transects that crossed the fence and had vegetation plots with 10-m intervals. The %-cover and height of each vascular plant, bryophyte, and lichen species were estimated from 0.25 m2 plots. Later, species data was grouped into functional groups and general linear models were used to analyze differences in cover, height, species number, biomass, and leaf-area indices between countries. Topography indices were calculated in GIS for each plot and analyzed with random forest models to find out the most important topography indices explaining vegetation patterns. The vegetation data was collected by four teams, and therefore, the comparability in the collected data between teams was analyzed. Significant vegetation differences were found in the ground layer, with higher cover and biomass of bryophytes on the Finnish side (mean biomass 168.2 vs. 65.2 g m-2). Reindeer lichens were more abundant on the Norwegian side (mean biomass 197.0 vs. 2.9 g m-2) which is visible in aerial and satellite images and in the field. Among vascular plants, evergreen dwarf shrubs had higher biomass and leaf area index on the Finnish side and dwarf birch had higher cover and height on the Norwegian side. Topography indices had a higher level of variance explained on the Norwegian side, and higher at the ground layer compared to vascular plants. Elevation had the greatest impact on vegetation, and after that, topography protection index for 50 m and depth to water stream network for 2 and 10 ha. The differences between data collectors were not considered to have a major impact on the results. The results indicate that there are significant differences in vegetation between summer- and winter-grazed areas, mainly in the ground layer, and most differences are caused by differences in reindeer grazing history, but also local topography has an impact.
  • Jessen, Maria-Theresa; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Olofsson, Johan; Eskelinen, Anu (2020)
    Variation in intraspecific traits is one important mechanism that can allow plant species to respond to global changes. Understanding plant trait responses to environmental changes such as grazing patterns, nutrient enrichment and climate warming is, thus, essential for predicting the composition of future plant communities. We measured traits of eight common tundra species in a fully factorial field experiment with mammalian herbivore exclusion, fertilization, and passive warming, and assessed how trait responsiveness to the treatments was associated with abundance changes in those treatments. Herbivory exhibited the strongest impact on traits. Exclusion of herbivores increased vegetative plant height by 50% and specific leaf area (SLA) by 19%, and decreased foliar C:N by 11%; fertilization and warming also increased height and SLA but to a smaller extent. Herbivory also modulated intraspecific height, SLA and foliar C:N responses to fertilization and warming, and these interactions were species-specific. Furthermore, herbivory affected how trait change translated into relative abundance change: increased height under warming and fertilization was more positively related to abundance change inside fences than in grazed plots. Our findings highlight the key role of mammalian herbivory when assessing intraspecific trait change in tundra and its consequences for plant performance under global changes.