1/ Cyanoprokaryota, 3. Teil/Part 3. Heterocytous genera

Third part of the monograph Cyanoprokaryota by Professor Jiří Komárek brings the most comprehensive set of information on species richness of the most evolved heterocytous cyanobacteria and maximally reflects results of existing phylogenetic studies. Contrary to previous two parts, this one has world wide coverage. The book serves also as a determination textbook for this group of organisms, which are extremely important in water management.


Komárek, J. 2013. Cyanoprokaryota 3. Teil/3rd Part: Heterocytous genera. In: Büdel, B., Gärtner, G., Krienitz, L., & Schagerl, M. [Eds.] Süßwasserflora von Mitteleuropa 19/3. Springer Spektrum, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1130 pp.


2/ Classification of alien plant and animal species based on the impacts of their invasions: towards an IUCN Black List

Alien species impacts vary greatly across species and ecosystems, cannot be predicted based on species’ invasiveness and studies are often biased by using unclear methodology. We propose a standardized method to evaluate the magnitudes of environmental impacts, driven by mechanisms recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The classification applies to different levels of ecological complexity, and spatial and temporal scales.

The different categories in the alien species impact scheme. The classification system uses five semi-quantitative scenarios describing impacts under each mechanism (e.g. competition, predation, hybridization) to assign species to different levels of impact, ranging from Minimal to Massive, with assignment corresponding to the highest level of deleterious impact associated with any of the mechanisms. The scheme also includes categories for species that are Not Evaluated, have No Alien Population, or are Data Deficient, and a method for assigning uncertainty to all the classifications.

1. Blackburn T. M., Essl F., Evans T., Hulme P. E., Jeschke J. M., Kühn I., Kumschick S., Marková Z., Mrugała A., Nentwig W., Pergl J., Pyšek P., Rabitsch W., Ricciardi A., Richardson D. M., Sendek A., Vilà M., Wilson J. R. U., Winter M., Genovesi P. & Bacher S. (2014): A unified classification of alien species based on the magnitude of their environmental impacts. PLOS Biology 12: e1001850 (doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001850).

2. Hulme P. E., Pyšek P., Pergl J., Schaffner U. & Vilà M. (2014) Pragmatism required to assess impacts of invasive plants. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 153–154 (doi: 10.1890/14.WB.003).

3. Gioria M., Jarošík V. & Pyšek P. (2014) Impact of alien invasive plants on soil seed bank communities: emerging patterns. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 16: 132–142 (doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2014.03.003). –

4. Horáčková J., Juřičková L., Jarošík V., Šizling A. & Pyšek P. (2014) Invasiveness does not predict impact: response of native land snail communities to plant invasions in riparian habitats. PLoS One 9: e108296 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108296).

5. Jeschke J. M., Bacher S., Blackburn T. M., Dick J. T. A., Essl F., Evans T., Gaertner M., Hulme P. E., Kühn I., Mrugala A., Pergl J., Pyšek P., Rabitsch W., Ricciardi A., Richardson D. M., Sendek A., Vilà M., Winter M. & Kumschick S. (2014) Defining the impact of non-native species. Conservation Biology 28: 1188–1194 (doi: 10.1111/cobi.12299)


3/ Epigenetic diversity increases the productivity and stability of plant ecosystems

Heritable variation of organisms can be driven by epigenetic regulation of gene expression. We provide the first evidence that epigenetic diversity of populations plays important role in ecosystem functioning. We discovered that the more epigenetic diverse population is the more productive, stable and resistant to pathogen and other plant species the population is. Biodiversity thus consists not only of species and genetic diversity – epigenetic diversity is also important part of biodiversity.

Relationships between epigenetic diversity and productivity in each experimental treatment. Arabidopsis thaliana populations composed of 1, 2, 4 or 16 different epiRILs (nearly isogenic lines differing in methylation variation) were grown under control conditions (a), infected with the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae (b),grown in competition with two annual weeds (c) or subjected to both competition and pathogen infection (d). The data shown are average total population biomasses (± standard errors). Adapted from Latzel et al. (2013).

Latzel, V. – Allan, E. – Silveira A. E. – Colot, V. – Fischer, M. – Bossdorf O. (2013) Epigenetic diversity increases the productivity and stability of plant populations. Nature Communications 4:2875, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3875


4/ New insights into microevolutionary processes and population structure of rare species using DNA flow cytometry

Population structure of vascular plants has been shaped by a number of evolutionary processes that are often difficult to address. Using a high throughput DNA flow cytometry, we reliably assessed ecological preferences, phenotypic variation and frequency of interspecific hybridization in several rare and/or endemic species of the Czech flora. Appropriate conservation strategies have been developed based on the new data.

Critically threatened Czech endemic Cerastium alsinifolium and its hybrid with a common congener C. arvense. Remarkable Czech endemic Cerastium alsinifolium (upper pane) is restricted to serpentine soil in the Slavkovský les Mts. The species is threatened by hybridization with common sympatric congener C. arvense. Interspecific crosses (lower pane) prevail at some localities. Only recent investigation using DNA flow cytometry has allowed a long-term dispute concerning ecological preferences and species boundaries to be resolved.

1. Hanzl M., Kolář F., Nováková D. & Suda J. (2014): Non-adaptive processes governing early stages of polyploid evolution: Insights from a primary contact zone of a relict serpentine Knautia arvensis (Caprifoliaceae). American Journal of Botany 111/6: 935-945.

2. Kolář F., Lučanová M., Koutecký P., Dortová M., Knotek A & Suda J. (2014): Spatio-ecological segregation of di- and tetraploid cytotypes of Galium valdepilosum (Rubiaceae) in Central Europe. Preslia 86/2: 155-178.

3. Kabátová K., Vít P. & Suda J. (2014): Species boundaries and hybridization in central-European Nymphaea species inferred from genome size and morphometric data. Preslia 86/2: 131-154.

4. Vít P., Wolfová K., Urfus T., Tájek P. & Suda J. (2014): Interspecific hybridization between rare and common plant congeners inferred from genome size data: assessing the threat to the Czech serpentine endemic Cerastium alsinifolium (Caryophyllaceae). Preslia 86/1: 95-117.


5/ Comparison of commonly used primer sets for evaluating arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities: Is there a universal solution?

Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is often studied using molecular tools. Different primers are used for the amplification of their DNA, but their specificity and effectiveness have not yet been compared directly. We compared five primer sets when analyzing a set of root samples. Different primer systems had biases towards different AMF families and the composition and diversity of the detected AMF community was different. Thus, the choice of the primer system is crucial.

Frequencies of molecular taxa in AMF families as yielded by different primers. Different colours illustrate different AMF families; SSU, Redecker, LSU, Krüger and ITS2 represent different primer systems. Numbers next to the segments indicate the number of molecular taxa in each family.

Kohout, P. , Sudová, R. , Janoušková, M. , Čtvrtlíková, M. , Hejda, M. , Pánková, H. , Slavíková, R. , Štajerová, K. , Vosátka, M. , Sýkorová, Z. (2014): Comparison of commonly used primer sets for evaluating arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities: Is there a universal solution? Soil Biology and Biochemistry. Roč. 68, s. 482-493.