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Genetic diversity is a valuable asset for crop improvement. In this study, a total of 50 rice genotypes were screened for salinity tolerance at the reproductive stage using gravel-based hydroponics, soil, controlled mini-field and field methods. Different morpho-agronomic, physiological markers and tolerance indices were used to classify tolerant and susceptible genotypes. Our results showed high genetic variability in response of rice genotypes to salinity using different screening methods. The significant effect (P < 0.01) of salinity include increased Na+ sequestration in the flag leaf, increased unfilled grains (except for the field method) and reduced pollen fertility, total yield, panicle length and the average number of filled grains per panicle. Plant height (except for the soil method) and K+ ion concentration in the flag leaf were not significantly affected by salinity (P > 0.05). Genetic diversity analysis indicated that the germplasm evaluated exhibits moderate diversity (PIC
= 0.2085). Cluster analysis using single nucleotide polymorphisms showed that the genetic make-up of rice germplasm somehow did not necessarily indicate their over-all tolerance or susceptibility to salinity. This study proved that the controlled mini-field method is the most advantageous among the screening methods while geometric mean productivity, stress tolerance index and yield index are the tolerance indices that can be classified as better predictors of salinity tolerance considering the yield potentials of the genotypes. The genotypes Nona Bokra and Mushkan 41 can be used for breeding in the future through low Na+:K+ ratio while Damodar and Bhura Rata 4-10 for breeding salt-tolerant cultivars with higher yield potentials.
A palynostratigraphic zonation is for the first time established for the entire Cretaceous succession in NE Greenland from Traill Ø in the south to Store Koldewey in the north (72–76.5° N). The zonation is based on samples from three cores and more than 100 outcrop sections. The zonation is calibrated to an updated ammonite zonation from the area and to palynozonations from the northern North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea areas. The palynozonation is primarily based on dinoflagellate cyst and accessory pollen. The Cretaceous succession is divided into 15 palynozones: seven Lower Cretaceous zones and eight Upper Cretaceous zones. The two lowermost zones are new. The following five (Lower Cretaceous) zones have already been described. Two of the Upper Cretaceous zones are new. The zones have been subdivided into 20 subzones, 11 of which have been described previously and one of which has been revised/redefined. Nine subzones (Upper Cretaceous) are new. More than 100 stratigraphical events representing more than 70 stratigraphic levels have been recognized and presented in an event-stratigraphic scheme.
The Bolivian Chiquitano dry forest is the largest block of intact seasonally dry tropical forest in South America and is a priority ecoregion for conservation due to its high threat status. However, the long-term impacts of drier climatic conditions on tropical dry forests are not well understood, despite climate models predicting increased droughts over Bolivia in the coming century. In this paper, we assess the impacts of drier climatic conditions during the mid-Holocene on the Bolivian Chiquitano tropical dry forest using fossilised pollen, phytoliths, macro-charcoal, and geochemical proxies from a sediment core from a large lake (Laguna Mandioré) on the Bolivia–Brazil border. Our results show that drier climatic conditions during the mid-Holocene caused a local-scale, ecotonal expansion of upland savannah at the expense of dry forest. Interaction between drier climatic conditions and fire regime likely exerted a stronger control over the position of the dry forest–savannah ecotone than edaphic factors. However, the majority of the dry forest within the lake catchment maintained a closed canopy throughout the drier conditions of the mid-Holocene, despite floristic turnover towards more drought-tolerant taxa. These findings imply overall resilience of the Chiquitano dry forest biome to future drought, albeit with floristic changes and upland savannah encroachment at ecotones.
A 328.58 m drill core (XK12) was recovered from lacustrine–alluvial sediments in the Xingkai Basin, northeast China, with the aim of obtaining a high-resolution pollen record of East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) evolution since 3.6 Ma. An index based on the pollen record of thermophilous trees and terrestrial herbs is used as an indicator of winter temperature conditions controlled by the EAWM, at the glacial–interglacial scale. Primary age control was established based on lithostratigraphy and magnetostratigraphy, and then the pollen index was correlated to the LR04 global benthic δ18O record and finally tuned to Earth orbital obliquity to produce a high-resolution astronomical time scale. The pollen record indicates that the EAWM underwent two stepwise enhancements at 2.8 and 1.6 Ma. These events are consistent with paleoclimatic records of mean quartz grain size from the Chinese Loess Plateau, and they are also in accord with the initiation and intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Our findings suggest that the variability of the EAWM since 3.6 Ma was primarily controlled by changes in global ice volume and climatic cooling.
Regional to global high-resolution correlation and timing is critical when attempting to answer important geological questions, such as the greenhouse to icehouse transition that occurred during the Eocene–Oligocene boundary transition. Timing of these events on a global scale can only be answered using correlation among many sections, and multiple correlation proxies, including biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy, geochemistry and geophysical methods. Here we present litho- and biostratigraphy for five successions located in the southeastern USA. To broaden the scope of correlation, we also employ carbon and oxygen stable isotope and magnetic susceptibility (χ) data to interpret these sections regionally, and correlate to the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) near Massignano in central Italy. Our results indicate that approaching the Eocene–Oligocene boundary, climate warmed slightly, but then δ18O data exhibit an abrupt c. +5 ‰ positive shift towards cooling that reached a maximum c. 1 m below the boundary at St Stephens Quarry, Alabama. This shift was accompanied by a c. −3 ‰ negative shift in δ13C interpreted to indicate environmental changes associated with the onset of the Eocene–Oligocene boundary planktonic foraminiferal extinction event. The observed cold pulse may be responsible for the final extinction of Hantkeninidae, used to define the beginning of the Rupelian Stage. Immediately preceding the boundary, Hantkeninidae species dropped significantly in abundance and size (pre-extinction dwarfing occurring before the final Eocene–Oligocene extinctions), and these changes may be the reason for inconsistencies in past Eocene–Oligocene boundary placement in the southeastern USA.
Lomatogonium gaurgopalii sp. nov., a new species of Gentianaceae from Sikkim Himalaya, is described and illustrated. It can be distinguished from its morphologically closest relative, Lomatogonium cherukurianum S.K.Dey & D.Maity, mainly by its robust habit, longer internodes, much larger creamy yellow flower and much larger floral parts; the presence of many hairs in an inverted semilunar arrangement behind the filament bases; and its larger, narrowly ovoid to narrowly ellipsoid ovary. Lomatogonium gaurgopalii is also unique in having pollen grains with striate-reticulate exine ornamentation without perforations.
In late summer, sometime between cal a.d. 340–405, a hoard of tightly packed, stacked copper-alloy vessels was deposited in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire. The corrosion of the vessels allowed for the preservation of delicate plant macrofossils and pollen. Analysis of this material has provided insights into the date, season and context of this act of structured deposition. A second hoard of similar vessels was deposited in the fourth or fifth century only a few miles away at Wilcot. The hoards and their deposition relate to Romano-British lifeways, at a time when the region was on the cusp of a dramatic period of change. The distribution of late Roman coins and belt fittings offers further insights into the social and economic character of Wiltshire at their times of deposition.
Pollen, spores, phytoliths, and microscopic charcoal from a sedimentary column in Hall's Cave, south-central Texas, provide information for local and regional vegetation change during the last deglaciation and the Holocene in the context of broader regional and global climatic changes. The combination of paleoenvironmental proxy data from the cave indicates that between about 18,000 and 16,500 cal yr BP the cave area was dominated by an open plant community consisting of herbaceous vegetation, dominated by C3 grasses, and scattered trees, primarily Quercus and Pinus species. After about 16,500 cal yr BP, the arboreal component fluctuated, attaining a peak between 14,000 and 13,000 cal yr BP with relatively equal proportions of C3 and C4 grasses, including a sizable proportion of Panicoideae grasses. The Younger Dryas is marked by a conspicuous decrease in arboreal pollen with an apparent increase of C4 grasses toward its termination. Early Holocene recovery of arboreal vegetation is followed by a drying trend marked by the increasing dominance of C4 drought-tolerant Chloridoideae grasses. Increasing human use of the cave in middle to late Holocene times creates noise in the climatic significance of pollen, phytolith, and other proxies, a factor to consider when interpreting paleoenvironmental proxies in other cave sedimentary records.
Late Quaternary landscapes of unglaciated Beringia were largely shaped by ice-wedge polygon tundra. Ice Complex (IC) strata preserve such ancient polygon formations. Here we report on the Yukagir IC from Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island in northeastern Siberia and suggest that new radioisotope disequilibria (230Th/U) dates of the Yukagir IC peat confirm its formation during the Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 7a–c interglacial period. The preservation of the ice-rich Yukagir IC proves its resilience to last interglacial and late glacial–Holocene warming. This study compares the Yukagir IC to IC strata of MIS 5, MIS 3, and MIS 2 ages exposed on Bol'shoy Lyakhovsky Island. Besides high intrasedimental ice content and syngenetic ice wedges intersecting silts, sandy silts, the Yukagir IC is characterized by high organic matter (OM) accumulation and low OM decomposition of a distinctive Drepanocladus moss-peat. The Yukagir IC pollen data reveal grass-shrub-moss tundra indicating rather wet summer conditions similar to modern ones. The stable isotope composition of Yukagir IC wedge ice is similar to those of the MIS 5 and MIS 3 ICs pointing to similar atmospheric moisture generation and transport patterns in winter. IC data from glacial and interglacial periods provide insights into permafrost and climate dynamics since about 200 ka.
The postglacial vegetation and fire history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is known from low and middle elevations, but little is known about high elevations. Paleoecologic data from Fairy Lake in the Bridger Range, southwestern Montana, provide a new high-elevation record that spans the last 15,000 yr. The records suggest a period of tundra-steppe vegetation prior to ca. 13,700 cal yr BP was followed by open Picea forest at ca. 11,200 cal yr BP. Pinus-Pseudotsuga parkland was present after ca. 9200 cal yr BP, when conditions were warmer/drier than present. It was replaced by mixed-conifer parkland at ca. 5000 cal yr BP. Present-day subalpine forest established at ca. 2800 cal yr BP. Increased avalanche or mass-wasting activity during the early late-glacial period, the Younger Dryas chronozone, and Neoglaciation suggest cool, wet periods. Sites at different elevations in the region show (1) synchronous vegetation responses to late-glacial warming; (2) widespread xerothermic forests and frequent fires in the early-to-middle Holocene; and (3) a trend to forest closure during late-Holocene cooling. Conditions in the Bridger Range were, however, wetter than other areas during the early Holocene. Across the Northern Rockies, postglacial warming progressed from west to east, reflecting range-specific responses to insolation-driven changes in climate.
The characterization of modern pollen rain assemblages along environmental gradients is an essential prerequisite for reliable interpretations of fossil pollen records. In this study, we identify pollen-vegetation relationships using modern pollen rain assemblages in moss polsters (n = 13) and lake sediment surface samples (n = 11) along a steep temperature gradient of 7°C (3100–4200 m above sea level) on the western Andean Cordillera, Ecuador. The pollen rain is correlated to vascular plant abundance data recorded in vegetation relevées (n = 13). Results show that pollen spectra from both moss polsters and sediment surface samples reflect changes in species composition along the temperature gradient, despite overrepresentation of upper montane forest taxa in the latter. Estimated pollen transport distance for a lake (Laguna Llaviucu) situated in a steep upper montane forest valley is 1–2 km, while a lake (Laguna Pallcacocha) in the páramo captures pollen input from a distance of up to 10–40 km. Weinmannia spp., Podocarpus spp., and Hedyosmum sp. are indicators of local upper montane forest vegetation, while Phlegmariurus spp. and Plantago spp. are indicators for local páramo vegetation.
The timing of the Holocene summer monsoon maximum (HSMM) in northeastern China has been much debated and more quantitative precipitation records are needed to resolve the issue. In the present study, Holocene precipitation and temperature changes were quantitatively reconstructed from a pollen record from the sediments of Tianchi Crater Lake in northeastern China using a plant functional type-modern analogue technique (PFT-MAT). The reconstructed precipitation record indicates a gradual increase during the early to mid-Holocene and a HSMM at ~5500–3100 cal yr BP, while the temperature record exhibits a divergent pattern with a marked rise in the early Holocene and a decline thereafter. The trend of reconstructed precipitation is consistent with that from other pollen records in northeastern China, confirming the relatively late occurrence of the HSMM in the region. However, differences in the onset of the HSMM within northeastern China are also evident. No single factor appears to be responsible for the late occurrence of the HSMM in northeastern China, pointing to a potentially complex forcing mechanism of regional rainfall in the East Asian monsoon region. We suggest that further studies are needed to understand the spatiotemporal pattern of the HSMM in the region.
Peatland development and carbon accumulation on the Pacific coast of Canada have received little attention in paleoecological studies, despite wetlands being common landscape features. Here, we present a multi–proxy paleoenvironmental study of an ombrotrophic bog in coastal British Columbia. Following decreases in relative sea level, the wetland was isolated from marine waters by 13,300 cal yr BP. Peat composition, non-pollen palynomorph, and C and N analyses demonstrate terrestrialization from an oligotrophic lake to a marsh by 11,600 cal yr BP, followed by development of a poor fen, and then a drier ombrotrophic bog by 8700 cal yr BP. Maximum carbon accumulation occurred during the early Holocene fen stage, when seasonal differences in insolation were amplified. This highlights the importance of seasonality in constraining peatland carbon sequestration by enhancing productivity during summer and reducing decomposition during winter. Pollen analysis shows that Pinus contorta dominated regional forests by 14,000 cal yr BP. Warm and relatively dry summers in the early Holocene allowed Pseudotsuga menziesii to dominate lowland forests 11,200–7000 cal yr BP. Tsuga heterophylla and P. menziesii formed coniferous forest in the mid- and late Holocene. Tephra matching the mid-Holocene Glacier Peak–Dusty Creek assemblage provides evidence of its most northwesterly occurrence to date.
We present the results of multiproxy study of a peat deposit from Carlisle Island (the Islands of Four Mountains, Aleutians). Vegetation on the initial stage of the peat is characterized by heath vegetation dominated by Ericales indicating cold conditions at 7300–6100 cal yr BP. The appearance of Betula and Alnus is the result of long-distance transportation attributable to strong winds at this time. Sedge-grass (Cyperaceae and Poaceae) communities began replacing heath vegetation at 6100 cal yr BP because of the climatic amelioration. C/N ratios and pollen spectra remain relatively stable at 6100–2450 cal yr BP. For the CR-03 peatland, volcanic tephra contributed significantly to the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy spectral data. Volcanic input created overlap of an aluminosilicate signal with carbohydrate vibrations. Significant changes occurred at approximately 2450 cal yr BP when there is the some evidence of cooler and wetter conditions of the Neoglacial. High values of δ15N observed at 7100–7000 cal yr BP reflect the fertilizing effect of seabird nesting colonies. A decrease in δ15N ca. 6900 cal yr BP may indicate initial settlement on Carlisle Island corresponding with harvesting seabirds. Human predation continued until a series of volcanic eruptions, which deposited Okmok II and CR-02 tephra layers at ca. 2000 and 1050 cal yr BP, respectively.
It is well documented that the mother plant has much more influence than the father on seed dormancy/germination, especially of the F1 offspring, primarily by providing all material (maternally derived tissue) to the diaspore coat(s); by maternal environmental effects and provisioning of nutrient resources, mRNA transcripts, protein, the hormone abscisic acid and nitrate to the seed during its development; and by determining progeny environment via dispersal and phenology. There is some evidence that the paternal influence on seed dormancy/germination of the offspring (seeds) can be mediated through multiple paternity (including mate number and diversity), non-nuclear (cytoplasmic) and nuclear (genotypic) inheritance and paternal environmental effects. Our primary aim was to determine via a literature review the influence (or not) of the paternal parent on seed germination. Altogether, 37 of 59 studies (62.7%) indicated a positive influence of the father on seed germination, although not all of them were statistically significant. In general, however, results of studies reported in the literature do not offer strong support for the paternal parent having a major role in seed germination (or seed size) of his F1 offspring.
The patterns and drivers of late Quaternary vegetation dynamics in the southeastern United States are poorly understood due to low site density, problematic chronologies, and a paucity of independent paleoclimate proxy records. We present a well-dated (15 accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates) 30,000-yr record from White Pond, South Carolina that consists of high-resolution analyses of fossil pollen, macroscopic charcoal, and Sporormiella spores, and an independent paleotemperature reconstruction based on branched glycerol dialkyl tetraethers. Between 30,000 and 20,000 cal yr BP, open Pinus-Picea forest grew under cold and dry conditions; elevated Quercus before 26,000 cal yr BP, however, suggest warmer conditions in the Southeast before the last glacial maximum, possibly corresponding to regionally warmer conditions associated with Heinrich event H2. Warming between 19,700 and 10,400 cal yr BP was accompanied by a transition from conifer-dominated to mesic hardwood forest. Sporormiella spores were not detected and charcoal was low during the late glacial period, suggesting megaherbivore grazers and fire were not locally important agents of vegetation change. Pinus returned to dominance during the Holocene, with step-like increases in Pinus at 10,400 and 6400 cal yr BP, while charcoal abundance increased tenfold, likely due to increased biomass burning associated with warmer conditions. Low-intensity surface fires increased after 1200 cal yr BP, possibly related to the establishment of the Mississippian culture in the Southeast.
Staminodes are sterile stamens that produce no pollen, exhibit diverse structures and perform various functions. Flowers of Phanera yunnanensis possess three fertile stamens with large anthers and long filaments, and seven staminodes with tiny anthers and short filaments. To investigate the adaptive significance of staminodes in this species, we studied effects of staminode removal on pollen removal and deposition, flower visitation rate and fruit set in Xishuangbanna, south-western China. Four species of nectar-foraging pollinators visited flowers, mostly Amegilla zonata and Apis cerana (2.80 ± 0.15 and 1.76 ± 0.41 visits h−1 per flower, respectively). Staminode removal did not affect fruit set, but increased visitation by A. cerana by 2.6-fold, reduced visitation by A. zonata by 68% and increased the pollen removal rate for both pollinators (all effects were significant). Staminode removal significantly reduced pollen deposition rate for A. zonata, but not for A. cerana. These results suggest that the staminodes of P. yunnanensis filter which insects act as pollinators and affect pollen removal and deposition rates. By reducing pollen removal rates, staminodes may implement a pollen-dispensing schedule that spreads pollen dispersal from individual flowers over multiple pollinators. By altering pollen deposition rates, staminodes may influence reproductive fitness in other ways.
We analyzed intestinal contents of two late-glacial mastodons preserved in lake sediments in Ohio (Burning Tree mastodon) and Michigan (Heisler mastodon). A multi-proxy suite of macrofossils and microfossils provided unique insights into what these individuals had eaten just before they died and added significantly to knowledge of mastodon diets. We reconstructed the mastodons’ habitats with similar multi-proxy analyses of the embedding lake sediments. Non-pollen palynomorphs, especially spores of coprophilous fungi differentiated intestinal and environmental samples. The Burning Tree mastodon gut sample originates from the small intestine. The Heisler mastodon sample is part of the large intestine to which humans had added clastic material to anchor parts of the carcass under water to cache the meat. Both carcasses had been dismembered, suggesting that the mastodons had been hunted or scavenged, in line with other contemporaneous mastodon finds and the timing of early human incursion into the Midwest. Both mastodons lived in mixed coniferous-deciduous late-glacial forests. They browsed tree leaves and twigs, especially Picea. They also ate sedge-swamp plants and drank the lake water. Our multi-proxy estimates for a spring/summer season of death contrast with autumn estimates derived from prior tusk analyses. We document the recovered fossil remains with photographs.
Radiocarbon (14C) dating is widely used to determine the age of organic material in palaeoenvironmental research. Here we compare 14C dates (n=17) resulting from macro-charcoal (>250 μm), short-lived plant macrofossils and pollen-rich residues isolated from two mire environments in eastern Australia. In most samples we found that short-lived plant macrofossils were the youngest organic component, the charcoal samples most often fell into the middle and the pollen-rich residues consistently returned older dates than the other samples. Although pollen-rich residues have been widely used for 14C dating in Australasia we suggest some caution in their use, perhaps because in our fire-prone environments these samples often also contain fine charcoal and other oxidative resistant organic matter that is older than the surrounding sediment matrix. The macro-charcoal samples also often returned older calibrated ages compared to short-lived plant macrofossils from the same depth, although this difference was relatively small (<245 years). Our results demonstrate that 14C dating of short-lived plant macrofossils are likely to yield more accurate chronologies and we advocate their routine use in palaeoenvironmental research when they are available.
We collected peat sediments (sediment core ADK13083002) from Haven Lake on the north side of Adak Island (central Aleutian Islands, Alaska) to determine whether the vegetation has changed. We confirmed the presence of six tephra layers, including Forty Years (0.3 cal ka BP), T2, YBO (3.3 cal ka BP), Intermediate (6.4 cal ka BP), Main (9.5 cal ka BP), and T6. We identified four major pollen assemblage zones (HL-1 to HL-4, in descending order) in the cored sediment. HL-1 was dominated by Ranunculaceae and Empetrum pollen; H-2 was dominated by Poaceae, Ranunculaceae, and Empetrum pollen; HL-3 was dominated by Poaceae and Empetrum pollen; and HL-4 was dominated by Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Lycopodiaceae, and Empetrum pollen. Small charcoal particles, likely transported from a distance, were found at low frequencies until 6.4 cal ka BP. The total cross-sectional area of charcoal particles increased to 1500 μm2 or more by 6.4 cal ka BP, implying that the large charcoal particles originated from nearby Aleut settlements, which were established around the same time.