ISSN : 2287-8327
Background: Abandoned coal piles after the closure of mines have a potential negative influence on the environment, such as soil acidification and heavy metal contamination. Therefore, revegetation by efficient species is required. For this, we wanted to identify the role of Silene acaulis in the succession of coal piles as a pioneer and a nurse plant. S. acaulis is a well-studied cushion plant living in the Arctic and alpine environments in the northern hemisphere. It has a highly compact cushion-like form and hosts more plant species under its canopy by ameliorating stressful microhabitats. In this research, we surveyed vegetation cover on open plots and co-occurring species within S. acaulis cushions in coal piles with different slope aspects and a control site where no coal was found. The plant cover and the similarity of communities among sites were compared. Also, the interaction effects of S. acaulis were assessed by rarefaction curves. Results: S. acaulis was a dominant species with the highest cover (6.7%) on the coal piles and occurred with other well-known pioneer species. Plant communities on the coal piles were significantly different from the control site. We found that the pioneer species S. acaulis showed facilitation, neutral, and competition effect in the north-east facing slope, the south-east facing slope, and the flat ground, respectively. This result was consistent with the stress gradient hypothesis because the facilitation only occurred on the north-east facing slope, which was the most stressed condition, although all the interactions observed were not statistically significant. Conclusions: S. acaulis was a dominant pioneer plant in the succession of coal piles. The interaction effect of S. acaulis on other species depended on the slope and its direction on the coal piles. Overall, it plays an important role in the succession of coal piles in the High Arctic, Svalbard.
Background: Ranavirus is an emerging infectious disease which has been linked to mass mortality events in various amphibian species. In this study, we document the first mass mortality event of an adult population of Dybowski’s brown frogs (Rana dybowskii), in 2017, within a mountain valley in South Korea. Results: We confirmed the presence of ranavirus from all collected frogs (n = 22) via PCR and obtained the 500 bp major capsid protein (MCP) sequence from 13 individuals. The identified MCP sequence highly resembled Frog virus 3 (FV3) and was the same haplotype of a previously identified viral sequence collected from Huanren brown frog (R. huanrenensis) tadpoles in South Korea. Human habitat alteration, by recent erosion control works, may be partially responsible for this mass mortality event. Conclusion: We document the first mass mortality event in a wild Korean population of R. dybowskii. We also suggest, to determine if ranavirus infection is a threat to amphibians, government officials and researchers should develop continuous, country-wide, ranavirus monitoring programs of Korean amphibian populations.
Background: Montane wetlands are unique wetland ecosystems with distinct physicochemical characteristics, and Molinia japonica often makes dominant communities in montane wetlands in South Korea. In order to figure out the environmental characteristics of M. japonica habitats and the major factors for the growth of M. japonica, field surveys were conducted in five wetlands from September to October 2019. Also, soil was collected at every quadrats installed in surveyed wetlands to analyze the physicochemical features. Results: The relative coverage of M. japonica was higher in low latitude wetlands than in high latitude. Redundancy analysis showed that soil water content had the strongest effect on the growth of M. japonica (F = 23.0, p < 0.001). Soil water content, loss on ignition, and relative light intensity showed a high correlation with the density (R = 0.568, 0.550, 0.547, respectively, p < 0.01) and the coverage of M. japonica (R = 0.495, 0.385, 0.514, respectively, p < 0.01). Soil water content, loss on ignition, and pH were highly correlated with each other. Conclusions: Molinia japonica lives in acidic wetlands at high altitude in temperate zone of low latitude, with peat layer placed on the floor. Also, M. japonica prefers open spaces to secure enough light for photosynthesis. High shoot production of M. japonica resulted in adding new peat material in every year, and this layer enforces the environmental characteristics of M. japonica habitats. This study may provide insights for further understanding of the method how wetlands maintain acidic condition by itself in montane wetlands in temperate zone.
Background: To address the lack of evidence supporting invasion by three invasive plant species (Imperata cylindrica, Lantana camara, and Chromolaena odorata) in tropical ecosystems, we compared the ecophysiological and leaf anatomical traits of these three invasive alien species with those of species native to Sempu Island, Indonesia. Data on four plant traits were obtained from the TRY Plant Trait Database, and leaf anatomical traits were measured using transverse leaf sections. Results: Two ecophysiological traits including specific leaf area (SLA) and seed dry weight showed significant association with plant invasion in the Sempu Island Nature Reserve. Invasive species showed higher SLA and lower seed dry weight than non-invasive species. Moreover, invasive species showed superior leaf anatomical traits including sclerenchymatous tissue thickness, vascular bundle area, chlorophyll content, and bundle sheath area. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that leaf anatomical traits strongly influenced with cumulative variances (100% in grass and 88.92% in shrubs), where I. cylindrica and C. odorata outperformed non-invasive species in these traits. Conclusions: These data suggest that the traits studied are important for plant invasiveness since ecophysiological traits influence of light capture, plant growth, and reproduction while leaf anatomical traits affect herbivory, photosynthetic assimilate transport, and photosynthetic activity.
The level of soil organic carbon (SOC) fluctuates in different types of forest stands: this variation can be attributed to differences in tree species, and the variables associated with soil, climate, and topographical features. The present review evaluates the level of SOC in different types of forest stands to determine the factors responsible for the observed variation. Mixed stands have the highest amount of SOC, while coniferous (both deciduous-coniferous and evergreen-coniferous) stands have greater SOC concentrations than deciduous (broadleaved) and evergreen (broadleaved) tree stands. There was a significant negative correlation between SOC and mean annual temperature (MAT) and sand composition, in all types of forest stands. In contrast, the silt fraction has a positive correlation with SOC, in all types of tree stands. Variation in SOC under different types of forest stands in different landscapes can be due to differences in MAT, and the sand and silt fraction of soil apart from the type of forests.
Background: The sunfleck is an important light environmental factor for plants that live under the shade of trees. Currently, the smartfarm has a system that can artificially create these sunfleks. Therefore, it was intended to find optimal light conditions by measuring and analyzing photosynthetic responses of Eutrema japonica (Miq.) Koidz., a plant living in shade with high economic value under artificial sunflecks. Results: For this purpose, we used LED pulsed light as the simulated sunflecks and set the light frequency levels of six chambers to 20 Hz, 60 Hz, 180 Hz, 540 Hz, 1620 Hz, and 4860 Hz of a pulsed LED grow system in a plant factory and the duty ratio of the all chambers was set to 30%, 50%, and 70% every 2 weeks. We measured the photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and substomatal CO2 partial pressure of E. japonica under each light condition. We also calculated the results of measurement, A/Ci, and water use efficiency. According to our results, the photosynthetic rate was not different among different duty ratios, the transpiration rate was higher at the duty ratio of 70% than 30% and 50%, and stomatal conductance was higher at 50% and 70% than at 30%. In addition, the substomatal CO2 partial pressure was higher at the duty ratio of 50% than 30% and 70%, and A/Ci was higher at 30% than 50% and 70%. Water use efficiency was higher at 30% and 50% than at 70%. While the transpiration rate and stomatal conductance generally tended to become higher as the frequency level decreased, other physiological items did not change with different frequency levels. Conclusions: Our results showed that 30% and 50% duty ratios could be better in the cultivation of E. japonica due to suffering from water stress as well as light stress in environments with the 70% duty ratio by decreasing water use efficiency. These results suggest that E. japonica is adapted under the light environment with nature sunflecks around 30–50% duty ratio and low light frequency around 20 Hz.
The climate is changing rapidly, and this may pose a major threat to global biodiversity. One of the most distinctive consequences of climate change is the poleward and/or upward shift of species distribution ranges associated with increasing temperatures, resulting in a change of species composition and community structure in the forest ecosystems. The Baekdudaegan mountain range connects most forests from the lowland to the subalpine zone in South Korea and is therefore recognized as one of the most important biodiversity hotspots. This study was conducted to understand the distribution range of vascular plants along elevational gradients through field surveys in the six national parks of the Baekdudaegan mountain range. We identified the upper and lower distribution limits of a total of 873 taxa of vascular plants with 117 families, 418 genera, 793 species, 14 subspecies, 62 varieties, two forms, and two hybrids. A total of 12 conifers were recorded along the elevational gradient. The distribution ranges of Abies koreana , Picea jezoensis , Pinus pumila , and Thuja koraiensis were limited to over 1000 m above sea level. We also identified 21 broad-leaved trees in the subalpine zone. A total of 45 Korean endemic plant species were observed, and of these, 15 taxa (including Aconitum chiisanense and Hanabusaya asiatica ) showed a narrow distribution range in the subalpine zone. Our study provides valuable information on the current elevational distribution ranges of vascular plants in the six national parks of South Korea, which could serve as a baseline for vertical shifts under future climate change.
In 2020, a categorized list of wetland preferences, major habitats, and life forms of 4145 vascular plant taxa occurring in the Korean Peninsula was published by the National Institute of Biological Resources. We analyzed the list and explored the distribution patterns of the five categorized groups according to wetland preference, along with the information on the major habitats and the life forms of the plants belonging to those categories.Out of 4145 taxa, we found that 729 wetland plant taxa (18%) occur in Korea: 401 obligate wetland plants and 328 facultative wetland plants. Among the 729 wetland taxa, the majority (73%) was hygrophytes and the remaining 27% was aquatic macrophytes. Furthermore, almost all of the wetland taxa are herbs; so, woody plants are only 4.7%. The 16 carnivorous taxa distributed in Korea were characterized as obligate wetland plants.We expect the categorized information would promote understanding of the characteristics of the plant species and would be an important source for understanding, conservation, and restoration of wetland ecosystems.