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Sample records for anoxic ecological niche

  1. Anaerobic animals from an ancient, anoxic ecological niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin William

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Tiny marine animals that complete their life cycle in the total absence of light and oxygen are reported by Roberto Danovaro and colleagues in this issue of BMC Biology. These fascinating animals are new members of the phylum Loricifera and possess mitochondria that in electron micrographs look very much like hydrogenosomes, the H2-producing mitochondria found among several unicellular eukaryotic lineages. The discovery of metazoan life in a permanently anoxic and sulphidic environment provides a glimpse of what a good part of Earth's past ecology might have been like in 'Canfield oceans', before the rise of deep marine oxygen levels and the appearance of the first large animals in the fossil record roughly 550-600 million years ago. The findings underscore the evolutionary significance of anaerobic deep sea environments and the anaerobic lifestyle among mitochondrion-bearing cells. They also testify that a fuller understanding of eukaryotic and metazoan evolution will come from the study of modern anoxic and hypoxic habitats.

  2. [Ecological niches of ectoparasites].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balashov, Iu S

    2005-01-01

    On mammals and birds communities of ectoparasites are present, which can include scores of ticks, mites and insects species. The parasitizing of arthropods terrestrial vertebrates appeared as far back a the Cretaceous period, and after 70-100 mil. years of the coevolution ectoparasites have assimilated all food resources and localities of the hosts' bodies. To the present only spatial and (to the less extent) trophic niches of parasitic insects, ticks and mites are studied completely enough. The main results these investigations are discussed in the present paper. A high abundance of the communities is reached because of their partition into the number of ecological niches. Host is complex of ecological niches for many ectoparasites species. These niches reiterate in the populations of a species closely related species of hosts and repeat from generation to generation. The each part of host (niche) being assimilated be certain parasite species is available potentially for other species. The partition of host into ecological niches is clearer than the structure of ecosystems including free-living organisms. A real extent of the ecological niches occupation by different species of ticks, mites and insects is considerably lower than a potential maximum. The degree of ecological niches saturation depends on the history of the coevolution of parasites community components, previous colonization be new ectoparasite species and many other ecological factors affecting host-parasite system. The use of the ecological niche conception in parasitology is proved to be rather promising. Ectoparasites communities because of their species diversity, different types of feeding and a number of habitats on host represent convenient models and study of them can contribute significantly to the developmeht of the general conception of ecological niche.

  3. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

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    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.

  4. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  5. Ecological niches of open ocean phytoplankton taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brun, Philipp Georg; Vogt, Meike; Payne, Mark

    2015-01-01

    We characterize the realized ecological niches of 133 phytoplankton taxa in the open ocean based on observations from the MAREDAT initiative and a statistical species distribution model (MaxEnt). The models find that the physical conditions (mixed layer depth, temperature, light) govern large......-scale patterns in phytoplankton biogeography over nutrient availability. Strongest differences in the realized niche centers were found between diatoms and coccolithophores. Diatoms (87 species) occur in habitats with significantly lower temperatures, light intensity and salinity, with deeper mixed layers...... conditions in the open ocean. Our estimates of the realized niches roughly match the predictions of Reynolds' C-S-R model for the global ocean, namely that taxa classified as nutrient stress tolerant have niches at lower nutrient and higher irradiance conditions than light stress tolerant taxa. Yet...

  6. Ecological niche transferability using invasive species as a case study.

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    Miguel Fernández

    Full Text Available Species distribution modeling is widely applied to predict invasive species distributions and species range shifts under climate change. Accurate predictions depend upon meeting the assumption that ecological niches are conserved, i.e., spatially or temporally transferable. Here we present a multi-taxon comparative analysis of niche conservatism using biological invasion events well documented in natural history museum collections. Our goal is to assess spatial transferability of the climatic niche of a range of noxious terrestrial invasive species using two complementary approaches. First we compare species' native versus invasive ranges in environmental space using two distinct methods, Principal Components Analysis and Mahalanobis distance. Second we compare species' native versus invaded ranges in geographic space as estimated using the species distribution modeling technique Maxent and the comparative index Hellinger's I. We find that species exhibit a range of responses, from almost complete transferability, in which the invaded niches completely overlap with the native niches, to a complete dissociation between native and invaded ranges. Intermediate responses included expansion of dimension attributable to either temperature or precipitation derived variables, as well as niche expansion in multiple dimensions. We conclude that the ecological niche in the native range is generally a poor predictor of invaded range and, by analogy, the ecological niche may be a poor predictor of range shifts under climate change. We suggest that assessing dimensions of niche transferability prior to standard species distribution modeling may improve the understanding of species' dynamics in the invaded range.

  7. Overlap and partitioning of the ecological and isotopic niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elizabeth A. Flaherty; Merav Ben-David

    2010-01-01

    Recently, it was proposed that stable isotope patterns can be used to quantify the width of the ecological niche of animals. However, the potential effects of habitat use on isotopic patterns of consumers have not been fully explored and consequently isotopic patterns may yield deceptive estimates of niche width. Here, we simulated four different scenarios of a...

  8. Advances and Limitations of Disease Biogeography Using Ecological Niche Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E; Craft, Meggan E

    2016-01-01

    Mapping disease transmission risk is crucial in public and animal health for evidence based decision-making. Ecology and epidemiology are highly related disciplines that may contribute to improvements in mapping disease, which can be used to answer health related questions. Ecological niche modeling is increasingly used for understanding the biogeography of diseases in plants, animals, and humans. However, epidemiological applications of niche modeling approaches for disease mapping can fail to generate robust study designs, producing incomplete or incorrect inferences. This manuscript is an overview of the history and conceptual bases behind ecological niche modeling, specifically as applied to epidemiology and public health; it does not pretend to be an exhaustive and detailed description of ecological niche modeling literature and methods. Instead, this review includes selected state-of-the-science approaches and tools, providing a short guide to designing studies incorporating information on the type and quality of the input data (i.e., occurrences and environmental variables), identification and justification of the extent of the study area, and encourages users to explore and test diverse algorithms for more informed conclusions. We provide a friendly introduction to the field of disease biogeography presenting an updated guide for researchers looking to use ecological niche modeling for disease mapping. We anticipate that ecological niche modeling will soon be a critical tool for epidemiologists aiming to map disease transmission risk, forecast disease distribution under climate change scenarios, and identify landscape factors triggering outbreaks.

  9. Are we overestimating the niche? Removing marginal localities helps ecological niche models detect environmental barriers

    OpenAIRE

    Soley?Guardia, Mariano; Guti?rrez, Eli?cer E.; Thomas, Darla M.; Ochoa?G, Jos?; Aguilera, Marisol; Anderson, Robert P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Correlative ecological niche models (ENMs) estimate species niches using occurrence records and environmental data. These tools are valuable to the field of biogeography, where they are commonly used to infer potential connectivity among populations. However, a recent study showed that when locally relevant environmental data are not available, records from patches of suitable habitat protruding into otherwise unsuitable regions (e.g., gallery forests within dry areas) can lead to ov...

  10. Ecological niche modeling of Cryptococcus gattii in British Columbia, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mak, Sunny; Klinkenberg, Brian; Bartlett, Karen; Fyfe, Murray

    2010-05-01

    Cryptococcus gattii emerged on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC), Canada, in 1999, causing human and animal illness. Environmental sampling for C.gattii in southwestern BC has isolated the fungal organism from native vegetation, soil, air, and water. Our aim was to help public health officials in BC delineate where C.gattii is currently established and forecast areas that could support C.gattii in the future. We also examined the utility of ecological niche modeling (ENM) based on human and animal C.gattii disease surveillance data. We performed ENM using the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) to predict the optimal and potential ecological niche areas of C.gattii in BC. Human and animal surveillance and environmental sampling data were used to build and test the models based on 15 predictor environmental data layers. ENM provided very accurate predictions (> 98% accuracy, p-value models identified optimal C.gattii ecological niche areas along the central and south eastern coast of Vancouver Island and within the Vancouver Lower Mainland. Elevation, biogeoclimatic zone, and January temperature were good predictors for identifying the ecological niche of C.gattii in BC. The use of human and animal case data for ENM proved useful and effective in identifying the ecological niche of C.gattii in BC. These results are shared with public health to increase public and physician awareness of cryptococcal disease in regions at risk of environmental colonization of C.gattii.

  11. Locating Pleistocene Refugia: Comparing Phylogeographic and Ecological Niche Model Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-07-01

    how well ‘back- casting ’ of ecological niche models can complement phylogeo- graphic approaches in identifying refugia. A clear advantage of the ENM...records: a test case using cryptic geckos in Madagascar. Journal of Biogeography 34: 102–117. 47. Araújo MB, Whittaker RJ, Ladle RJ, Erhard M (2005

  12. Ecological niche modelling of bank voles in Western Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amirpour Haredasht, Sara; Barrios, Miguel; Farifteh, Jamshid; Maes, Piet; Clement, Jan; Verstraeten, Willem W; Tersago, Katrien; Van Ranst, Marc; Coppin, Pol; Berckmans, Daniel; Aerts, Jean-Marie

    2013-01-28

    The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the natural host of Puumala virus (PUUV) in vast areas of Europe. PUUV is one of the hantaviruses which are transmitted to humans by infected rodents. PUUV causes a general mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) called nephropathia epidemica (NE). Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover influences disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, as well as by facilitating the human contact with them. In this study the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM) for predicting the geographical distribution of bank vole population on the basis of spatial climate information is tested. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) is used to model the ecological niche of bank voles in Western Europe. The meteorological data, land cover types and geo-referenced points representing the locations of the bank voles (latitude/longitude) in the study area are used as the primary model input value. The predictive accuracy of the bank vole ecologic niche model was significant (training accuracy of 86%). The output of the GARP models based on the 50% subsets of points used for testing the model showed an accuracy of 75%. Compared with random models, the probability of such high predictivity was low (χ(2) tests, p < 10(-6)). As such, the GARP models were predictive and the used ecologic niche model indeed indicates the ecologic requirements of bank voles. This approach successfully identified the areas of infection risk across the study area. The result suggests that the niche modelling approach can be implemented in a next step towards the development of new tools for monitoring the bank vole's population.

  13. Ecological Niche Modelling of Bank Voles in Western Europe

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    Sara Amirpour Haredasht

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The bank vole (Myodes glareolus is the natural host of Puumala virus (PUUV in vast areas of Europe. PUUV is one of the hantaviruses which are transmitted to humans by infected rodents. PUUV causes a general mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS called nephropathia epidemica (NE. Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover influences disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, as well as by facilitating the human contact with them. In this study the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM for predicting the geographical distribution of bank vole population on the basis of spatial climate information is tested. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP is used to model the ecological niche of bank voles in Western Europe. The meteorological data, land cover types and geo-referenced points representing the locations of the bank voles (latitude/longitude in the study area are used as the primary model input value. The predictive accuracy of the bank vole ecologic niche model was significant (training accuracy of 86%. The output of the GARP models based on the 50% subsets of points used for testing the model showed an accuracy of 75%. Compared with random models, the probability of such high predictivity was low (χ2 tests, p < 10−6. As such, the GARP models were predictive and the used ecologic niche model indeed indicates the ecologic requirements of bank voles. This approach successfully identified the areas of infection risk across the study area. The result suggests that the niche modelling approach can be implemented in a next step towards the development of new tools for monitoring the bank vole’s population.

  14. Ecological allometries and niche use dynamics across Komodo dragon ontogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purwandana, Deni; Ariefiandy, Achmad; Imansyah, M. Jeri; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Letnic, Mike; Jessop, Tim S.

    2016-04-01

    Ontogenetic allometries in ecological habits and niche use are key responses by which individuals maximize lifetime fitness. Moreover, such allometries have significant implications for how individuals influence population and community dynamics. Here, we examined how body size variation in Komodo dragons ( Varanus komodoensis) influenced ecological allometries in their: (1) prey size preference, (2) daily movement rates, (3) home range area, and (4) subsequent niche use across ontogeny. With increased body mass, Komodo dragons increased prey size with a dramatic switch from small (≤10 kg) to large prey (≥50 kg) in lizards heavier than 20 kg. Rates of foraging movement were described by a non-linear concave down response with lizard increasing hourly movement rates up until ˜20 kg body mass before decreasing daily movement suggesting reduced foraging effort in larger lizards. In contrast, home range area exhibited a sigmoid response with increased body mass. Intrapopulation ecological niche use and overlap were also strongly structured by body size. Thus, ontogenetic allometries suggest Komodo dragon's transition from a highly active foraging mode exploiting small prey through to a less active sit and wait feeding strategy focused on killing large ungulates. Further, our results suggest that as body size increases across ontogeny, the Komodo dragon exhibited marked ontogenetic niche shifts that enabled it to function as an entire vertebrate predator guild by exploiting prey across multiple trophic levels.

  15. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species’ ecological niches distances

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    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  16. Ecological niche dimensionality and the evolutionary diversification of stick insects.

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    Patrik Nosil

    Full Text Available The degree of phenotypic divergence and reproductive isolation between taxon pairs can vary quantitatively, and often increases as evolutionary divergence proceeds through various stages, from polymorphism to population differentiation, ecotype and race formation, speciation, and post-speciational divergence. Although divergent natural selection promotes divergence, it does not always result in strong differentiation. For example, divergent selection can fail to complete speciation, and distinct species pairs sometimes collapse ('speciation in reverse'. Widely-discussed explanations for this variability concern genetic architecture, and the geographic arrangement of populations. A less-explored possibility is that the degree of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between taxon pairs is positively related to the number of ecological niche dimensions (i.e., traits subject to divergent selection. Some data supporting this idea stem from laboratory experimental evolution studies using Drosophila, but tests from nature are lacking. Here we report results from manipulative field experiments in natural populations of herbivorous Timema stick insects that are consistent with this 'niche dimensionality' hypothesis. In such insects, divergent selection between host plants might occur for cryptic colouration (camouflage to evade visual predation, physiology (to detoxify plant chemicals, or both of these niche dimensions. We show that divergent selection on the single niche dimension of cryptic colouration can result in ecotype formation and intermediate levels of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between populations feeding on different hosts. However, greater divergence between a species pair involved divergent selection on both niche dimensions. Although further replication of the trends reported here is required, the results suggest that dimensionality of selection may complement genetic and geographic explanations for the degree of

  17. Introducing MERGANSER: A Flexible Framework for Ecological Niche Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klawonn, M.; Dow, E. M.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) is a collection of techniques to find a "fundamental niche", the range of environmental conditions suitable for a species' survival in the absence of inter-species interactions, given a set of environmental parameters. Traditional approaches to ENM face a number of obstacles including limited data accessibility, data management problems, computational costs, interface usability, and model validation. The MERGANSER system, which stands for Modeling Ecological Residency Given A Normalized Set of Environmental Records, addresses these issues through powerful data persistence and flexible data access, coupled with a clear presentation of results and fine-tuned control over model parameters. MERGANSER leverages data measuring 72 weather related phenomena, land cover, soil type, population, species occurrence, general species information, and elevation, totaling over 1.5 TB of data. To the best of the authors' knowledge, MERGANSER uses higher-resolution spatial data sets than previously published models. Since MERGANSER stores data in an instance of Apache SOLR, layers generated in support of niche models are accessible to users via simplified Apache Lucene queries. This is made even simpler via an HTTP front end that generates Lucene queries automatically. Specifically, a user need only enter the name of a place and a species to run a model. Using this approach to synthesizing model layers, the MERGANSER system has successfully reproduced previously published niche model results with a simplified user experience. Input layers for the model are generated dynamically using OpenStreetMap and SOLR's spatial search functionality. Models are then run using either user-specified or automatically determined parameters after normalizing them into a common grid. Finally, results are visualized in the web interface, which allows for quick validation. Model results and all surrounding metadata are also accessible to the user for further study.

  18. Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jocelyn C Mullins

    Full Text Available We modeled the ecological niche of a globally successful Bacillus anthracis sublineage in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan to better understand the geographic distribution of anthrax and potential associations between regional populations and ecology. Country-specific ecological-niche models were developed and reciprocally transferred to the other countries to determine if pathogen presence could be accurately predicted on novel landscapes. Native models accurately predicted endemic areas within each country, but transferred models failed to predict known occurrences in the outside countries. While the effects of variable selection and limitations of the genetic data should be considered, results suggest differing ecological associations for the B. anthracis populations within each country and may reflect niche specialization within the sublineage. Our findings provide guidance for developing accurate ecological niche models for this pathogen; models should be developed regionally, on the native landscape, and with consideration to population genetics. Further genomic analysis will improve our understanding of the genetic-ecological dynamics of B. anthracis across these countries and may lead to more refined predictive models for surveillance and proactive vaccination programs. Further studies should evaluate the impact of variable selection of native and transferred models.

  19. Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Jocelyn C; Garofolo, Giuliano; Van Ert, Matthew; Fasanella, Antonio; Lukhnova, Larisa; Hugh-Jones, Martin E; Blackburn, Jason K

    2013-01-01

    We modeled the ecological niche of a globally successful Bacillus anthracis sublineage in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan to better understand the geographic distribution of anthrax and potential associations between regional populations and ecology. Country-specific ecological-niche models were developed and reciprocally transferred to the other countries to determine if pathogen presence could be accurately predicted on novel landscapes. Native models accurately predicted endemic areas within each country, but transferred models failed to predict known occurrences in the outside countries. While the effects of variable selection and limitations of the genetic data should be considered, results suggest differing ecological associations for the B. anthracis populations within each country and may reflect niche specialization within the sublineage. Our findings provide guidance for developing accurate ecological niche models for this pathogen; models should be developed regionally, on the native landscape, and with consideration to population genetics. Further genomic analysis will improve our understanding of the genetic-ecological dynamics of B. anthracis across these countries and may lead to more refined predictive models for surveillance and proactive vaccination programs. Further studies should evaluate the impact of variable selection of native and transferred models.

  20. Stochastic dynamics for two biological species and ecological niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruziska, Flávia M.; Arashiro, Everaldo; Tomé, Tânia

    2018-01-01

    We consider an ecological system in which two species interact with two niches. To this end we introduce a stochastic model with four states. Our analysis is founded in three approaches: Monte Carlo simulations of the model on a square lattice, mean-field approximation, and birth and death master equation. From this last approach we obtain a description in terms of Langevin equations which show in an explicit way the role of noise in population biology. We focus mainly on the description of time oscillations of the species population and the alternating dominance between them. The model treated here may provide insights on these properties.

  1. Are we overestimating the niche? Removing marginal localities helps ecological niche models detect environmental barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soley-Guardia, Mariano; Gutiérrez, Eliécer E; Thomas, Darla M; Ochoa-G, José; Aguilera, Marisol; Anderson, Robert P

    2016-03-01

    Correlative ecological niche models (ENMs) estimate species niches using occurrence records and environmental data. These tools are valuable to the field of biogeography, where they are commonly used to infer potential connectivity among populations. However, a recent study showed that when locally relevant environmental data are not available, records from patches of suitable habitat protruding into otherwise unsuitable regions (e.g., gallery forests within dry areas) can lead to overestimations of species niches and their potential distributions. Here, we test whether this issue obfuscates detection of an obvious environmental barrier existing in northern Venezuela - that of the hot and xeric lowlands separating the Península de Paraguaná from mainland South America. These conditions most likely promote isolation between mainland and peninsular populations of three rodent lineages occurring in mesic habitat in this region. For each lineage, we calibrated optimally parameterized ENMs using mainland records only, and leveraged existing habitat descriptions to assess whether those assigned low suitability values corresponded to instances where the species was collected within locally mesic conditions amidst otherwise hot dry areas. When this was the case, we built an additional model excluding these records. We projected both models onto the peninsula and assessed whether they differed in their ability to detect the environmental barrier. For the two lineages in which we detected such problematic records, only the models built excluding them detected the barrier, while providing additional insights regarding peninsular populations. Overall, the study reveals how a simple procedure like the one applied here can deal with records problematic for ENMs, leading to better predictions regarding the potential effects of the environment on lineage divergence.

  2. Activity-specific ecological niche models for planning reintroductions of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesse D’Elia; Susan M. Haig; Matthew Johnson; Richard Young; Bruce G. Marcot

    2015-01-01

    Ecological niche models can be a useful tool to identify candidate reintroduction sites for endangered species but have been infrequently used for this purpose. In this paper, we (1) develop activity-specific ecological niche models (nesting, roosting, and feeding) for the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) to aid in...

  3. Spatial organisation of an ecological niche of the urbozem mesofauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Y. Pakhomov

    2013-03-01

    , mesotrophocoenomorphs, and endogeic topomorphs. The measured soil characteristics have been shown to play an important role in structuring an ecological niche of mesopedobionts community. The basic trends in structure transformation of the soil mesofauna community are ecotone effect and edaphic properties determined by a vegetation cover.

  4. Using ecological niche modeling to determine avian richness hotspots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mirzaei

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Understanding distributions of wildlife species is a key step towards identifying biodiversity hotspots and designing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, the spatial pattern of diversity of birds in Golestan Province, Iran was estimated. Ecological niche modeling was used to determine distributions of 144 bird species across the province using a maximum entropy algorithm. Richness maps across all birds, and separately for rare and threatened species, were prepared as approximations to hotspots. Results showed close similarity between hotspots for all birds and those for rare birds; hotspots were concentrated in the southern and especially the southwestern parts of the province. Hotspots for threatened birds tended more to the central and especially the western parts of the province, which include coastal habitats. Based on three criteria, it is clear that the western part is the most important area of the province in terms of bird Faunas. Despite some shortcomings, hotspot analysis for birds could be applied to guide conservation efforts and provide useful tool towards efficient conservation action.

  5. Temporal variability of ecological niches : A study on intertidal macrobenthic fauna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraan, Casper; Aarts, Geert; Piersma, Theunis; Dormann, Carsten F.

    The determination of temporal niche dynamics under field conditions is an important component of a species' ecology. Recent developments in niche mapping, and the possibility to account for spatial autocorrelation in species distributions, hold promise for the statistical approach explored here.

  6. Temporal variability of ecological niches: a study on intertidal macrobenthic fauna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraan, C.; Aarts, G.; Dormann, C.F.; Piersma, T.

    2013-01-01

    The determination of temporal niche dynamics under field conditions is an important component of a species' ecology. Recent developments in niche mapping, and the possibility to account for spatial autocorrelation in species distributions, hold promise for the statistical approach explored here.

  7. Integrating coalescent and ecological niche modeling in comparative phylogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carstens, Bryan C; Richards, Corinne L

    2007-06-01

    Understanding the factors that contribute to the formation of population genetic structure is a central goal of phylogeographic research, but achieving this goal can be complicated by the stochastic variance inherent to genetic processes. Statistical approaches to testing phylogeographic hypotheses accommodate this stochasticity by evaluating competing models of putative historical population structure, often by simulating null distributions of the expected variance. The effectiveness of these tests depends on the biological realism of the models. Information from the fossil record can aid in reconstructing the historical distributions of some taxa. However, for the majority of taxa, which lack sufficient fossils, paleodistributional modeling can provide valuable spatial-geographic data concerning ancestral distributions. Paleodistributional models are generated by projecting ecological niche models, which predict the current distribution of each species, onto a model of past climatic conditions. Here, we generate paleodistributional models describing the suitable habitat during the last glacial maximum for lineages from the mesic forests of the Pacific Northwest of North America, and use these models to generate alternative phylogeographic hypotheses. Coalescent simulations are then used to test these hypotheses to improve our understanding of the historical events that promoted the formation of population genetic structure in this ecosystem. Results from Pacific Northwest mesic forest organisms demonstrate the utility of these combined approaches. Paleodistribution models and population genetic structure are congruent across three amphibian lineages, suggesting that they have responded in a concerted manner to environmental change. Two other species, a willow and a water vole, despite being currently codistributed and having similar population genetic structure, were predicted by the paleodistributional model to have had markedly different distributions during

  8. Ecological niche modeling to determine potential niche of Vaccinia virus: a case only study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiner, Claire A; Nakazawa, Yoshinori

    2017-08-07

    Emerging and understudied pathogens often lack information that most commonly used analytical tools require, such as negative controls or baseline data; thus, new analytical strategies are needed to analyze transmission patterns and drivers of disease emergence. Zoonotic infections with Vaccinia virus (VACV) were first reported in Brazil in 1999, VACV is an emerging zoonotic Orthopoxvirus, which primarily infects dairy cattle and farmers in close contact with infected cows. Prospective studies of emerging pathogens could provide critical data that would inform public health planning and response to outbreaks. By using the location of 87-recorded outbreaks and publicly available bioclimatic data, we demonstrate one such approach. Using an ecological niche model (ENM) algorithm, we identify the environmental conditions under which VACV outbreaks have occurred, and determine additional locations in two affected countries that may be susceptible to transmission. Further, we show how suitability for the virus responds to different levels of various environmental factors and highlight the most important factors in determining its transmission. A literature review was performed and the geospatial coordinates of 87 molecularly confirmed VACV outbreaks in Brazil were identified. An ENM was generated using MaxENT software by combining principal component analysis results of 19 bioclim spatial layers, and 25 randomly selected subsets of the original list of 87 outbreaks. The final ENM predicted all areas where Brazilian outbreaks occurred, one out of five of the Colombian outbreak regions and identified new regions within Brazil that are suitable for transmission based on bioclimatic factors. Further, the most important factors in determining transmission suitability are precipitation of the wettest quarter, annual precipitation, mean temperature of the coldest quarter and mean diurnal range. The analyses here provide a means by which to study patterns of an emerging

  9. Ecological opportunities and intraspecific competition alter trophic niche specialization in an opportunistic stream predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista, Charlotte; Boiche, Anatole; Lecerf, Antoine; Cucherousset, Julien

    2014-09-01

    Many generalist populations are composed of specialized individuals that use a narrow part of the population's niche. Ecological theories predict that individual specialization and population trophic niche are determined by biotic interactions and resource diversity emerging from environmental variations (i.e. ecological opportunities). However, due to the paucity of empirical and experimental demonstrations, the genuine importance of each of these drivers in determining trophic niche attributes is not fully appreciated. The present study aimed at determining the population level and individual responses of brown trout (Salmo trutta) to variations in ecological opportunities (terrestrial prey inputs) and autochthonous prey communities among 10 stream reaches along a riparian condition gradient using individual longitudinal monitoring and stable isotope analyses. Our results suggested that trophic niche diversity varied along the environmental gradient, while individual trophic specialization was indirectly driven by ecological opportunities through strengthened intraspecific competition. Individual diet was repeatable over the study period, and the growth rate of juvenile brown trout increased with their specialization for aquatic predatory invertebrates. Our findings highlight the dual influences of intraspecific competition and ecological opportunities on individual trophic specialization and population trophic niche. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  10. Place prioritization for biodiversity content using species ecological niche modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Sánchez-Cordero

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Place prioritization for biodiversity representation is essential for conservation planning, particularly in megadiverse countries where high deforestation threatens biodiversity. Given the collecting biases and uneven sampling of biological inventories, there is a need to develop robust models of species’ distributions. By modeling species’ ecological niches using point occurrence data and digitized environmental feature maps, we can predict potential and extant distributions of species in untransformed landscapes, as well as in those transformed by vegetation change (including deforestation. Such distributional predictions provide a framework for use of species as biodiversity surrogates in place prioritization procedures such as those based on rarity and complementarity. Beyond biodiversity conservation, these predictions can also be used for place prioritization for ecological restoration under current conditions and under future scenarios of habitat change (e.g., deforestation scenarios. To illustrate these points, we (1 predict distributions under current and future deforestation scenarios for the Mexican endemic mammal Dipodomys phillipsii, and show how areas for restoration may be selected; and (2 propose conservation areas by combining nonvolant mammal distributional predictions as biodiversity surrogates with place prioritization procedures, to connect decreed natural protected areas in a region holding exceptional biodiversity: the Transvolcanic Belt in central Mexico. La selección de áreas prioritarias de conservación es fundamental en la planeación sistemática de la conservación, particularmente en países de mega-diversidad, en donde la alta deforestación es una de las amenazas a la biodiversidad. Debido a los sesgos taxonómicos y geográficos de colecta de los inventarios biológicos, es indispensable generar modelos robustos de distribución de especies. Al modelar el nicho ecológico de especies usando localidades de

  11. Similar but not equivalent: ecological niche comparison across closely-related Mexican white pines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J.; Serna-Chavez, H.M.; Villalobos-Arambula, A.R.; Pérez de la Rosa, J.A.; Raes, N.

    2015-01-01

    Aim In the face of global environmental change, identifying the factors that shape the ecological niches of species and understanding the mechanisms behind them can help to draft effective conservation plans. The differences in the ecological factors that shape species distributions may then help to

  12. Ecology and the ratchet of events: climate variability, niche dimensions, and species distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Stephen T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Booth, Robert K.; Gray, Stephen T.

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in the coming centuries will be characterized by interannual, decadal, and multidecadal fluctuations superimposed on anthropogenic trends. Predicting ecological and biogeographic responses to these changes constitutes an immense challenge for ecologists. Perspectives from climatic and ecological history indicate that responses will be laden with contingencies, resulting from episodic climatic events interacting with demographic and colonization events. This effect is compounded by the dependency of environmental sensitivity upon life-stage for many species. Climate variables often used in empirical niche models may become decoupled from the proximal variables that directly influence individuals and populations. Greater predictive capacity, and more-fundamental ecological and biogeographic understanding, will come from integration of correlational niche modeling with mechanistic niche modeling, dynamic ecological modeling, targeted experiments, and systematic observations of past and present patterns and dynamics.

  13. Activity-specific ecological niche models for planning reintroductions of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Elia, Jesse; Haig, Susan M.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Young, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Ecological niche models can be a useful tool to identify candidate reintroduction sites for endangered species but have been infrequently used for this purpose. In this paper, we (1) develop activity-specific ecological niche models (nesting, roosting, and feeding) for the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) to aid in reintroduction planning in California, Oregon, and Washington, USA, (2) test the accuracy of these models using empirical data withheld from model development, and (3) integrate model results with information on condor movement ecology and biology to produce predictive maps of reintroduction site suitability. Our approach, which disentangles niche models into activity-specific components, has applications for other species where it is routinely assumed (often incorrectly) that individuals fulfill all requirements for life within a single environmental space. Ecological niche models conformed to our understanding of California condor ecology, had good predictive performance when tested with data withheld from model development, and aided in the identification of several candidate reintroduction areas outside of the current distribution of the species. Our results suggest there are large unoccupied regions of the California condor’s historical range that have retained ecological features similar to currently occupied habitats, and thus could be considered for future reintroduction efforts. Combining our activity-specific ENMs with ground reconnaissance and information on other threat factors that could not be directly incorporated into empirical ENMs will ultimately improve our ability to select successful reintroduction sites for the California condor.

  14. The Impact of Ecological Niche on Adaptive Flexibility of Sensory Circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah L. Pallas

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Evolution and development are interdependent, particularly with regard to the construction of the nervous system and its position as the machine that produces behavior. On the one hand, the processes directing development and plasticity of the brain provide avenues through which natural selection can sculpt neural cell fate and connectivity, and on the other hand, they are themselves subject to selection pressure. For example, mutations that produce heritable perturbations in neuronal birth and death rates, transcription factor expression, or availability of axon guidance factors within sensory pathways can markedly affect the development of form and thus the function of stimulus decoding circuitry. This evolvability of flexible circuits makes them more adaptable to environmental variation. Although there is general agreement on this point, whether the sensitivity of circuits to environmental influence and the mechanisms underlying development and plasticity of sensory pathways are similar across species from different ecological niches has received almost no attention. Neural circuits are generally more sensitive to environmental influences during an early critical period, but not all niches afford the same access to stimuli in early life. Furthermore, depending on predictability of the habitat and ecological niche, sensory coding circuits might be more susceptible to sensory experience in some species than in others. Despite decades of work on understanding the mechanisms underlying critical period plasticity, the importance of ecological niche in visual pathway development has received little attention. Here, I will explore the relationship between critical period plasticity and ecological niche in mammalian sensory pathways.

  15. Commodifying snow, taming the waters. Socio-ecological niche construction in an Alpine village.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Robert; Winiwarter, Verena

    White belts of snow clad mountains all over the world each winter. Even if there is no snow, the tourism industry is able to produce the white finery at the push of the button, thereby consuming large amounts of water. Studying Damüls, a well-known ski resort in Austria's westernmost province Vorarlberg, we can show that the development of a service sector within agro-pastoral landscapes was connected with novel water uses and massive interventions into Alpine landscapes. Human niche construction theory offers a unique avenue for studying the development of Alpine communities, but also highlights side effects accompanying the change from agrarian to tourism livelihoods. One aim of this paper is to broaden the scope of human niche construction theory. Inceptive, counteractive and relocational niche construction activities were coupled to the differentiation of actor groups. To incorporate social dynamics, indispensable for studies in environmental history, we propose the concept of socio-ecological niche construction. The paper investigates how villagers balanced resource limitations typical for an agrarian society with the differentiation of sub-niches, mediating selective forces on the population. When the valleys were industrialized, Damüls was almost given up as a permanent settlement. Then, tourists entered the stage, by and by turning the wheel of local development into a different direction. A tourism niche based on natural snow evolved from the 1930s onwards. While the socio-ecological niches of agriculture and tourism coexisted in the interwar years, this changed when ski lifts were built, embedded into a debt-based economy that made the tourism niche vulnerable to snow availability. Snow-dependency became a powerful selective force. It was mediated by the ski lift companies through a range of niche construction activities that turned water into an important resource of snowmaking systems.

  16. Ecological niche modeling of rabies in the changing Arctic of Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huettmann, Falk; Magnuson, Emily Elizabeth; Hueffer, Karsten

    2017-03-20

    Rabies is a disease of global significance including in the circumpolar Arctic. In Alaska enzootic rabies persist in northern and western coastal areas. Only sporadic cases have occurred in areas outside of the regions considered enzootic for the virus, such as the interior of the state and urbanized regions. Here we examine the distribution of diagnosed rabies cases in Alaska, explicit in space and time. We use a geographic information system (GIS), 20 environmental data layers and provide a quantitative non-parsimonious estimate of the predicted ecological niche, based on data mining, machine learning and open access data. We identify ecological correlates and possible drivers that determine the ecological niche of rabies virus in Alaska. More specifically, our models show that rabies cases are closely associated with human infrastructure, and reveal an ecological niche in remote northern wilderness areas. Furthermore a model utilizing climate modeling suggests a reduction of the current ecological niche for detection of rabies virus in Alaska, a state that is disproportionately affected by a changing climate. Our results may help to better inform public health decisions in the future and guide further studies on individual drivers of rabies distribution in the Arctic.

  17. Ecology: a niche for cyanobacteria containing chlorophyll d

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kühl, Michael; Chen, Min; Ralph, Peter J

    2005-01-01

    The cyanobacterium known as Acaryochloris marina is a unique phototroph that uses chlorophyll d as its principal light-harvesting pigment instead of chlorophyll a, the form commonly found in plants, algae and other cyanobacteria; this means that it depends on far-red light for photosynthesis. Here...... we demonstrate photosynthetic activity in Acaryochloris-like phototrophs that live underneath minute coral-reef invertebrates (didemnid ascidians) in a shaded niche enriched in near-infrared light. This discovery clarifies how these cyanobacteria are able to thrive as free-living organisms...

  18. Ecological niche modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Jocelyn; Lukhnova, Larissa; Aikimbayev, Alim; Pazilov, Yerlan; Van Ert, Matthew; Blackburn, Jason K

    2011-12-12

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control.

  19. Ecological Niche Modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. Results The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Conclusions Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control. PMID:22152056

  20. Feeding ecology and niche overlap of Lake Ontario offshore forage fish assessed with stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, James; Johson, Timothy; Stewart, Thomas; Halfyard, Edward; Walsh, Maureen; Weidel, Brian C.; Lantry, Jana; Fisk, Aarron

    2017-01-01

    The forage fish communities of the Laurentian Great Lakes continue to experience changes that have altered ecosystem structure, yet little is known about how they partition resources. Seasonal, spatial and body size variation in δ13C and δ15N was used to assess isotopic niche overlap and resource and habitat partitioning among the five common offshore Lake Ontario forage fish species (n = 2037) [Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax), Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus), and Deepwater (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) and Slimy (Cottus cognatus) Sculpin]. Round Goby had the largest isotopic niche (6.1‰2, standard ellipse area (SEAC)), followed by Alewife (3.4‰2) while Rainbow Smelt, Slimy Sculpin and Deepwater Sculpin had the smallest and similar niche size (1.7-1.8‰2), with only the Sculpin species showing significant isotopic niche overlap (>63%). Stable isotopes in Alewife, Round Goby and Rainbow Smelt varied with location, season and size, but did not in the Sculpin spp. Lake Ontario forage fish species have partitioned food and habitat resources, and non-native Alewife and Round Goby have the largest isotopic niche, suggestive of a boarder ecological niche, and may contribute to their current high abundance.

  1. Applications of ecological niche modeling for species delimitation: a review and empirical evaluation using day geckos (Phelsuma) from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raxworthy, Christopher J; Ingram, Colleen M; Rabibisoa, Nirhy; Pearson, Richard G

    2007-12-01

    Although the systematic utility of ecological niche modeling is generally well known (e.g., concerning the recognition and discovery of areas of endemism for biogeographic analyses), there has been little discussion of applications concerning species delimitation, and to date, no empirical evaluation has been conducted. However, ecological niche modeling can provide compelling evidence for allopatry between populations, and can also detect divergent ecological niches between candidate species. Here we present results for two taxonomically problematic groups of Phelsuma day geckos from Madagascar, where we integrate ecological niche modeling with mitochondrial DNA and morphological data to evaluate species limits. Despite relatively modest levels of genetic and morphological divergence, for both species groups we find divergent ecological niches between closely related species and parapatric ecological niche models. Niche models based on the new species limits provide a better fit to the known distribution than models based upon the combined (lumped) species limits. Based on these results, we elevate three subspecies of Phelsuma madagascariensis to species rank and describe a new species of Phelsuma from the P. dubia species group. Our phylogeny continues to support a major endemic radiation of Phelsuma in Madagascar, with dispersals to Pemba Island and the Mascarene Islands. We conclude that ecological niche modeling offers great potential for species delimitation, especially for taxonomic groups exhibiting low vagility and localized endemism and for groups with more poorly known distributions. In particular, niche modeling should be especially sensitive for detecting recent parapatric speciation driven by ecological divergence, when the environmental gradients driving speciation are represented within the ecological niche models.

  2. Bioenergetics, Trophic Ecology, and Niche Separation of Tunas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, R J; Young, J W; Ménard, F; Potier, M; Allain, V; Goñi, N; Logan, J M; Galván-Magaña, F

    Tunas are highly specialized predators that have evolved numerous adaptations for a lifestyle that requires large amounts of energy consumption. Here we review our understanding of the bioenergetics and feeding dynamics of tunas on a global scale, with an emphasis on yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, albacore, and Atlantic bluefin tunas. Food consumption balances bioenergetics expenditures for respiration, growth (including gonad production), specific dynamic action, egestion, and excretion. Tunas feed across the micronekton and some large zooplankton. Some tunas appear to time their life history to take advantage of ephemeral aggregations of crustacean, fish, and molluscan prey. Ontogenetic and spatial diet differences are substantial, and significant interdecadal changes in prey composition have been observed. Diet shifts from larger to smaller prey taxa highlight ecosystem-wide changes in prey availability and diversity and provide implications for changing bioenergetics requirements into the future. Where tunas overlap, we show evidence of niche separation between them; resources are divided largely by differences in diet percentages and size ranges of prey taxa. The lack of long-term data limits the ability to predict impacts of climate change on tuna feeding behaviour. We note the need for systematic collection of feeding data as part of routine monitoring of these species, and we highlight the advantages of using biochemical techniques for broad-scale analyses of trophic relations. We support the continued development of ecosystem models, which all too often lack the regional-specific trophic data needed to adequately investigate climate and fishing impacts. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Insights from ecological niche modeling on the taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckoes (Gekko gecko).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yueyun; Chen, Chongtao; Li, Li; Zhao, Chengjian; Chen, Weicai; Huang, Yong

    2014-09-01

    The black-spotted tokay and the red-spotted tokay are morphologically distinct and have largely allopatric distributions. The black-spotted tokay is characterized by a small body size and dark skin with sundry spots, while the red-spotted tokay has a relatively large body size and red spots. Based on morphological, karyotypic, genetic, and distribution differences, recent studies suggested their species status; however, their classifications remain controversial, and additional data such as ecological niches are necessary to establish firm hypotheses regarding their taxonomic status. We reconstructed their ecological niches models using climatic and geographic data. We then performed niche similarity tests (niche identity and background tests) and point-based analyses to explore whether ecological differentiation has occurred, and whether such differences are sufficient to explain the maintenance of their separate segments of environmental ranges. We found that both niche models of the black- and the red-spotted tokay had a good fit and a robust performance, as indicated by the high area under the curve (AUC) values ("black" = 0.982, SD = ± 0.002, "red" = 0.966 ± 0.02). Significant ecological differentiation across the entire geographic range was found, indicating that the involvement of ecological differentiation is important for species differentiation. Divergence along the environmental axes is highly associated with climatic conditions, with isothermality being important for the "black" form, while temperature seasonality, precipitation of warmest quarter, and annual temperature range together being important for the "red" form. These factors are likely important factors in niche differentiation between the two forms, which result in morphological replacement. Overall, beside morphological and genetic differentiation information, our results contribute to additional insights into taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black- and the red

  4. Disentangling the importance of ecological niches from stochastic processes across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, Jonathan M.; Myers, Jonathan A.

    2011-01-01

    Deterministic theories in community ecology suggest that local, niche-based processes, such as environmental filtering, biotic interactions and interspecific trade-offs largely determine patterns of species diversity and composition. In contrast, more stochastic theories emphasize the importance of chance colonization, random extinction and ecological drift. The schisms between deterministic and stochastic perspectives, which date back to the earliest days of ecology, continue to fuel contemporary debates (e.g. niches versus neutrality). As illustrated by the pioneering studies of Robert H. MacArthur and co-workers, resolution to these debates requires consideration of how the importance of local processes changes across scales. Here, we develop a framework for disentangling the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes in generating site-to-site variation in species composition (β-diversity) along ecological gradients (disturbance, productivity and biotic interactions) and among biogeographic regions that differ in the size of the regional species pool. We illustrate how to discern the importance of deterministic processes using null-model approaches that explicitly account for local and regional factors that inherently create stochastic turnover. By embracing processes across scales, we can build a more synthetic framework for understanding how niches structure patterns of biodiversity in the face of stochastic processes that emerge from local and biogeographic factors. PMID:21768151

  5. Comparative phyloclimatic analysis and evolution of ecological niches in the scimitar babblers (Aves: Timaliidae: Pomatorhinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyári, Árpád S; Reddy, Sushma

    2013-01-01

    We present the first extensive and integrative analysis of niche evolution based on climatic variables and a dated molecular phylogeny of a heterogeneous avian group of Southeast Asian scimitar babblers of the genus Pomatorhinus. The four main clades of scimitar babblers have species that co-occur in similar areas across southern Asia but some have diverged at different timeframes, with the most recently evolved clade harboring the highest number of species. Ecological niche models and analysis of contributing variables within a phylogenetic framework indicate instances of convergent evolution of members of different clades onto similar ecological parameter space, as well as divergent evolution of members from within clades. Pomatorhinus species from different clades occupying Himalayan foothills show convergence towards similar climatic tolerances, whereas within a clade, allopatric sister-species occurring in the Himalayas have diverged to occupy different climatic parameter spaces. Comparisons of climatic tolerances of Himalayan foothills taxa with species distributed further south in Assam/Burma and Burma/Thailand indicate convergence towards similar parameter spaces in several climatic variables. Niche overlap was observed to be lower among species of the youngest clade (ruficollis) and higher among species of older clades (ferruginosus). Analysis of accumulation of ecological disparity through time indicates rapid divergence within recent time frames. As a result, Himalayan taxa originating at different temporal scales within the four main scimitar babbler clades have differentiated ecologically only in recently diverged taxa. Our study suggests that the repeated orogenic and climatic fluctuations of the Pliocene and Pleistocene within mainland Southeast Asia served as an important ecological speciation driver within scimitar babblers, by providing opportunities for rapid geographic expansion and filling of novel environmental niches.

  6. Population genetics and ecological niche of invasive Aedes albopictus in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pech-May, Angélica; Moo-Llanes, David A; Puerto-Avila, María Belem; Casas, Mauricio; Danis-Lozano, Rogelio; Ponce, Gustavo; Tun-Ku, Ezequiel; Pinto-Castillo, José Francisco; Villegas, Alejandro; Ibáñez-Piñon, Clemente R; González, Cassandra; Ramsey, Janine M

    2016-05-01

    The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse), is one of the most invasive mosquito species worldwide. In Mexico it is now recorded in 12 states and represents a serious public health problem, given the recent introduction of Chikungunya on the southern border. The aim of this study was to analyze the population genetics of A. albopictus from all major recorded foci, and model its ecological niche. Niche similarity with that from its autochthonous distribution in Asia and other invaded countries were analyzed and its potential future expansion and potential human exposure in climate change scenarios measured. We analyzed 125 sequences of a 317 bp fragment of the cyt b gene from seven A. albopictus populations across Mexico. The samples belong to 25 haplotypes with moderate population structuring (Fst=0.081, pecological niche model using Mexican occurrence records covers 79.7% of the country, and has an 83% overlap with the Asian niche projected to Mexico. Both Neotropical and Nearctic regions are included in the Mexican niche model. Currently in Mexico, 38.6 million inhabitants are exposed to A. albopictus, which is expected to increase to 45.6 million by 2070. Genetic evidence supports collection information that A. albopictus was introduced to Mexico principally by land from the USA and Central and South America. Prevalent haplotypes from Mexico are shared with most invasive regions across the world, just as there was high niche similarity with both natural and invaded regions. The important overlap with the Asian niche model suggests a high potential for the species to disperse to sylvatic regions in Mexico. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Potential Distribution of Chagas Disease Vectors (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) in Colombia, Based on Ecological Niche Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra-Henao, Gabriel; Suárez-Escudero, Laura C; González-Caro, Sebastián

    2016-01-01

    Ecological niche modeling of Triatominae bugs allow us to establish the local risk of transmission of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease. This information could help to guide health authority recommendations on infection monitoring, prevention, and control. In this study, we estimated the geographic distribution of triatomine species in Colombia and identified the relationship between landscape structure and climatic factors influencing their occurrence. A total of 2451 records of 4 triatomine species ( Panstrongylus geniculatus , Rhodnius pallescens , R. prolixus , and Triatoma maculata ) were analyzed. The variables that provided more information to explain the ecologic niche of these vectors were related to precipitation, altitude, and temperature. We found that the species with the broadest potential geographic distribution were P. geniculatus , R. pallescens , and R. prolixus . In general, the models predicted the highest occurrence probability of these vectors in the eastern slope of the Eastern Cordillera, the southern region of the Magdalena valley, and the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.

  8. Potential Distribution of Chagas Disease Vectors (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) in Colombia, Based on Ecological Niche Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Escudero, Laura C.; González-Caro, Sebastián

    2016-01-01

    Ecological niche modeling of Triatominae bugs allow us to establish the local risk of transmission of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease. This information could help to guide health authority recommendations on infection monitoring, prevention, and control. In this study, we estimated the geographic distribution of triatomine species in Colombia and identified the relationship between landscape structure and climatic factors influencing their occurrence. A total of 2451 records of 4 triatomine species (Panstrongylus geniculatus, Rhodnius pallescens, R. prolixus, and Triatoma maculata) were analyzed. The variables that provided more information to explain the ecologic niche of these vectors were related to precipitation, altitude, and temperature. We found that the species with the broadest potential geographic distribution were P. geniculatus, R. pallescens, and R. prolixus. In general, the models predicted the highest occurrence probability of these vectors in the eastern slope of the Eastern Cordillera, the southern region of the Magdalena valley, and the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. PMID:28115946

  9. Baboon feeding ecology informs the dietary niche of Paranthropus boisei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele A Macho

    Full Text Available Hominins are generally considered eclectic omnivores like baboons, but recent isotope studies call into question the generalist status of some hominins. Paranthropus boisei and Australopithecus bahrelghazali derived 75%-80% of their tissues' δ(13C from C4 sources, i.e. mainly low-quality foods like grasses and sedges. Here I consider the energetics of P. boisei and the nutritional value of C4 foods, taking into account scaling issues between the volume of food consumed and body mass, and P. boisei's food preference as inferred from dento-cranial morphology. Underlying the models are empirical data for Papio cynocephalus dietary ecology. Paranthropus boisei only needed to spend some 37%-42% of its daily feeding time (conservative estimate on C4 sources to meet 80% of its daily requirements of calories, and all its requirements for protein. The energetic requirements of 2-4 times the basal metabolic rate (BMR common to mammals could therefore have been met within a 6-hour feeding/foraging day. The findings highlight the high nutritional yield of many C4 foods eaten by baboons (and presumably hominins, explain the evolutionary success of P. boisei, and indicate that P. boisei was probably a generalist like other hominins. The diet proposed is consistent with the species' derived morphology and unique microwear textures. Finally, the results highlight the importance of baboon/hominin hand in food acquisition and preparation.

  10. Baboon feeding ecology informs the dietary niche of Paranthropus boisei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A

    2014-01-01

    Hominins are generally considered eclectic omnivores like baboons, but recent isotope studies call into question the generalist status of some hominins. Paranthropus boisei and Australopithecus bahrelghazali derived 75%-80% of their tissues' δ(13)C from C4 sources, i.e. mainly low-quality foods like grasses and sedges. Here I consider the energetics of P. boisei and the nutritional value of C4 foods, taking into account scaling issues between the volume of food consumed and body mass, and P. boisei's food preference as inferred from dento-cranial morphology. Underlying the models are empirical data for Papio cynocephalus dietary ecology. Paranthropus boisei only needed to spend some 37%-42% of its daily feeding time (conservative estimate) on C4 sources to meet 80% of its daily requirements of calories, and all its requirements for protein. The energetic requirements of 2-4 times the basal metabolic rate (BMR) common to mammals could therefore have been met within a 6-hour feeding/foraging day. The findings highlight the high nutritional yield of many C4 foods eaten by baboons (and presumably hominins), explain the evolutionary success of P. boisei, and indicate that P. boisei was probably a generalist like other hominins. The diet proposed is consistent with the species' derived morphology and unique microwear textures. Finally, the results highlight the importance of baboon/hominin hand in food acquisition and preparation.

  11. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  12. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paknia, Omid; Schierwater, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  13. mMWeb--an online platform for employing multiple ecological niche modeling algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Huijie; Lin, Congtian; Ji, Liqiang; Jiang, Zhigang

    2012-01-01

    Predicting the ecological niche and potential habitat distribution of a given organism is one of the central domains of ecological and biogeographical research. A wide variety of modeling techniques have been developed for this purpose. In order to implement these models, the users must prepare a specific runtime environment for each model, learn how to use multiple model platforms, and prepare data in a different format each time. Additionally, often model results are difficult to interpret, and a standardized method for comparing model results across platforms does not exist. We developed a free and open source online platform, the multi-models web-based (mMWeb) platform, to address each of these problems, providing a novel environment in which the user can implement and compare multiple ecological niche model (ENM) algorithms. mMWeb combines 18 existing ENMs and their corresponding algorithms and provides a uniform procedure for modeling the potential habitat niche of a species via a common web browser. mMWeb uses Java Native Interface (JNI), Java R Interface to combine the different ENMs and executes multiple tasks in parallel on a super computer. The cross-platform, user-friendly interface of mMWeb simplifies the process of building ENMs, providing an accessible and efficient environment from which to explore and compare different model algorithms.

  14. Ecological niche modeling to estimate the distribution of Japanese encephalitis virus in Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Robin H; Masuoka, Penny; Klein, Terry A; Kim, Heung-Chul; Somer, Todd; Grieco, John

    2012-01-01

    Culex tritaeniorhynchus is the primary vector of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a leading cause of encephalitis in Asia. JEV is transmitted in an enzootic cycle involving large wading birds as the reservoirs and swine as amplifying hosts. The development of a JEV vaccine reduced the number of JE cases in regions with comprehensive childhood vaccination programs, such as in Japan and the Republic of Korea. However, the lack of vaccine programs or insufficient coverage of populations in other endemic countries leaves many people susceptible to JEV. The aim of this study was to predict the distribution of Culex tritaeniorhynchus using ecological niche modeling. An ecological niche model was constructed using the Maxent program to map the areas with suitable environmental conditions for the Cx. tritaeniorhynchus vector. Program input consisted of environmental data (temperature, elevation, rainfall) and known locations of vector presence resulting from an extensive literature search and records from MosquitoMap. The statistically significant Maxent model of the estimated probability of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presence showed that the mean temperatures of the wettest quarter had the greatest impact on the model. Further, the majority of human Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases were located in regions with higher estimated probability of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presence. Our ecological niche model of the estimated probability of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presence provides a framework for better allocation of vector control resources, particularly in locations where JEV vaccinations are unavailable. Furthermore, this model provides estimates of vector probability that could improve vector surveillance programs and JE control efforts.

  15. mMWeb--an online platform for employing multiple ecological niche modeling algorithms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huijie Qiao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Predicting the ecological niche and potential habitat distribution of a given organism is one of the central domains of ecological and biogeographical research. A wide variety of modeling techniques have been developed for this purpose. In order to implement these models, the users must prepare a specific runtime environment for each model, learn how to use multiple model platforms, and prepare data in a different format each time. Additionally, often model results are difficult to interpret, and a standardized method for comparing model results across platforms does not exist. We developed a free and open source online platform, the multi-models web-based (mMWeb platform, to address each of these problems, providing a novel environment in which the user can implement and compare multiple ecological niche model (ENM algorithms. METHODOLOGY: mMWeb combines 18 existing ENMs and their corresponding algorithms and provides a uniform procedure for modeling the potential habitat niche of a species via a common web browser. mMWeb uses Java Native Interface (JNI, Java R Interface to combine the different ENMs and executes multiple tasks in parallel on a super computer. The cross-platform, user-friendly interface of mMWeb simplifies the process of building ENMs, providing an accessible and efficient environment from which to explore and compare different model algorithms.

  16. Physical disturbance to ecological niches created by soil structure alters community composition of methanotrophs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumaresan, Deepak; Stralis-Pavese, Nancy; Abell, Guy C J; Bodrossy, Levente; Murrell, J Colin

    2011-10-01

    Aggregates of different sizes and stability in soil create a composite of ecological niches differing in terms of physico-chemical and structural characteristics. The aim of this study was to identify, using DNA-SIP and mRNA-based microarray analysis, whether shifts in activity and community composition of methanotrophs occur when ecological niches created by soil structure are physically perturbed. Landfill cover soil was subject to three treatments termed: 'control' (minimal structural disruption), 'sieved' (sieved soil using 2 mm mesh) and 'ground' (grinding using mortar and pestle). 'Sieved' and 'ground' soil treatments exhibited higher methane oxidation potentials compared with the 'control' soil treatment. Analysis of the active community composition revealed an effect of physical disruption on active methanotrophs. Type I methanotrophs were the most active methanotrophs in 'sieved' and 'ground' soil treatments, whereas both Type I and Type II methanotrophs were active in the 'control' soil treatment. The result emphasize that changes to a particular ecological niche may not result in an immediate change to the active bacterial composition and change in composition will depend on the ability of the bacterial communities to respond to the perturbation. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Ecological divergence and conservatism: spatiotemporal patterns of niche evolution in a genus of livebearing fishes (Poeciliidae: Xiphophorus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael

    2016-02-19

    Ecological factors often have a strong impact on spatiotemporal patterns of biodiversity. The integration of spatial ecology and phylogenetics allows for rigorous tests of whether speciation is associated with niche conservatism (constraints on ecological divergence) or niche divergence. We address this question in a genus of livebearing fishes for which the role of sexual selection in speciation has long been studied, but in which the potential role of ecological divergence during speciation has not been tested. By combining reconstruction of ancestral climate tolerances and disparity indices, we show that the earliest evolutionary split in Xiphophorus was associated with significant divergence for temperature variables. Niche evolution and present day niches were most closely associated with each species' geographic distribution relative to a biogeographic barrier, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Tests for similarity of the environmental backgrounds of closely related species suggested that the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence during speciation varied among the primary clades of Xiphophorus. Closely related species in the two swordtail clades exhibited higher levels of niche overlap than expected given environmental background similarity indicative of niche conservatism. In contrast, almost all species of platyfish had significantly divergent niches compared to environmental backgrounds, which is indicative of niche divergence. The results suggest that the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence differed among the clades of Xiphophorus and that traits associated with niche evolution may be more evolutionarily labile in the platyfishes. Our results ultimately suggest that the taxonomic scale of tests for conservatism and divergence could greatly influence inferences of their relative importance in the speciation process.

  18. Functional traits reveal the expansion and packing of ecological niche space underlying an elevational diversity gradient in passerine birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pigot, Alex L.; Trisos, Christopher H.; Tobias, Joseph A.

    2016-01-01

    Variation in species richness across environmental gradients may be associated with an expanded volume or increased packing of ecological niche space. However, the relative importance of these alternative scenarios remains unknown, largely because standardized information on functional traits and

  19. Shifts in the ecological niche of Lutzomyia peruensis under climate change scenarios in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, D A; Arque-Chunga, W; Carmona-Castro, O; Yañez-Arenas, C; Yañez-Trujillano, H H; Cheverría-Pacheco, L; Baak-Baak, C M; Cáceres, A G

    2017-06-01

    The Peruvian Andes presents a climate suitable for many species of sandfly that are known vectors of leishmaniasis or bartonellosis, including Lutzomyia peruensis (Diptera: Psychodidae), among others. In the present study, occurrences data for Lu. peruensis were compiled from several items in the scientific literature from Peru published between 1927 and 2015. Based on these data, ecological niche models were constructed to predict spatial distributions using three algorithms [Support vector machine (SVM), the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) and Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt)]. In addition, the environmental requirements of Lu. peruensis and three niche characteristics were modelled in the context of future climate change scenarios: (a) potential changes in niche breadth; (b) shifts in the direction and magnitude of niche centroids, and (c) shifts in elevation range. The model identified areas that included environments suitable for Lu. peruensis in most regions of Peru (45.77%) and an average altitude of 3289 m a.s.l. Under climate change scenarios, a decrease in the distribution areas of Lu. peruensis was observed for all representative concentration pathways. However, the centroid of the species' ecological niche showed a northwest direction in all climate change scenarios. The information generated in this study may help health authorities responsible for the supervision of strategies to control leishmaniasis to coordinate, plan and implement appropriate strategies for each area of risk, taking into account the geographic distribution and potential dispersal of Lu. peruensis. © 2017 The Royal Entomological Society.

  20. The fate of the Arctic seaweed Fucus distichus under climate change: an ecological niche modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jueterbock, Alexander; Smolina, Irina; Coyer, James A; Hoarau, Galice

    2016-03-01

    Rising temperatures are predicted to melt all perennial ice cover in the Arctic by the end of this century, thus opening up suitable habitat for temperate and subarctic species. Canopy-forming seaweeds provide an ideal system to predict the potential impact of climate-change on rocky-shore ecosystems, given their direct dependence on temperature and their key role in the ecological system. Our primary objective was to predict the climate-change induced range-shift of Fucus distichus, the dominant canopy-forming macroalga in the Arctic and subarctic rocky intertidal. More specifically, we asked: which Arctic/subarctic and cold-temperate shores of the northern hemisphere will display the greatest distributional change of F. distichus and how will this affect niche overlap with seaweeds from temperate regions? We used the program MAXENT to develop correlative ecological niche models with dominant range-limiting factors and 169 occurrence records. Using three climate-change scenarios, we projected habitat suitability of F. distichus - and its niche overlap with three dominant temperate macroalgae - until year 2200. Maximum sea surface temperature was identified as the most important factor in limiting the fundamental niche of F. distichus. Rising temperatures were predicted to have low impact on the species' southern distribution limits, but to shift its northern distribution limits poleward into the high Arctic. In cold-temperate to subarctic regions, new areas of niche overlap were predicted between F. distichus and intertidal macroalgae immigrating from the south. While climate-change threatens intertidal seaweeds in warm-temperate regions, seaweed meadows will likely flourish in the Arctic intertidal. Although this enriches biodiversity and opens up new seaweed-harvesting grounds, it will also trigger unpredictable changes in the structure and functioning of the Arctic intertidal ecosystem.

  1. A mathematical synthesis of niche and neutral theories in community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haegeman, Bart; Loreau, Michel

    2011-01-21

    The debate between niche-based and neutral community theories centers around the question of which forces shape predominantly ecological communities. Niche theory attributes a central role to niche differences between species, which generate a difference between the strength of intra- and interspecific interactions. Neutral theory attributes a central role to migration processes and demographic stochasticity. One possibility to bridge these two theories is to combine them in a common mathematical framework. Here we propose a mathematical model that integrates the two perspectives. From a niche-based perspective, our model can be interpreted as a Lotka-Volterra model with symmetric interactions in which we introduce immigration and demographic stochasticity. From a neutral perspective, it can be interpreted as Hubbell's local community model in which we introduce a difference between intra- and interspecific interactions. We investigate the stationary species abundance distribution and other community properties as functions of the interaction coefficient, the immigration rate and the strength of demographic stochasticity. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Marianne; Gompert, Zachariah; Jiggins, Chris; Willmott, Keith

    2008-12-02

    Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  3. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Elias

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  4. Ecological niche modelling of three pipistrelle bat species in semiarid Mediterranean landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisón, Fulgencio; Calvo, José F.

    2013-02-01

    Wetlands and aquatic habitats in Mediterranean environments are very scarce in general, representing a limiting resource for all species. For pipistrelle bats, such environments are essential and so those species living in sympatry have to develop mechanisms of niche partitioning to avoid direct competition. We used ecological niche models and habitat suitability maps (HSMs) to study the ecological requirements and possible interspecific interactions between three sympatric species of pipistrelles in semiarid Mediterranean landscapes. The results point to differences between the three species: Pipistrellus kuhlii has the largest proportion of optimal habitat (despite being the least common), Pipistrellus pygmaeus has the highest value of marginality and the most common, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, is a habitat-tolerant and generalist species. However, all three species show a strong preference for aquatic habitats and there is a high degree of overlapping between them, so that their coexistence must obey fine-scale mechanisms of niche partitioning. The profound alterations that have occurred in Mediterranean ecosystems as a result of substantial changes in the landscape uses (intensive agriculture and urbanization) may favour P. pipistrellus and be detrimental to the other two species, especially P. kuhlii.

  5. Modeling the Ecological Niche ofBacillus anthracisto Map Anthrax Risk in Kyrgyzstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Matakarimov, Saitbek; Kozhokeeva, Sabira; Tagaeva, Zhyldyz; Bell, Lindsay K; Kracalik, Ian T; Zhunushov, Asankadyr

    2017-03-01

    AbstractAnthrax, caused by the environmental bacterium Bacillus anthracis , is an important zoonosis nearly worldwide. In Central Asia, anthrax represents a major veterinary and public health concern. In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, ongoing anthrax outbreaks have been reported in humans associated with handling infected livestock and contaminated animal by-products such as meat or hides. The current anthrax situation has prompted calls for improved insights into the epidemiology, ecology, and spatial distribution of the disease in Kyrgyzstan to better inform control and surveillance. Disease control for both humans and livestock relies on annual livestock vaccination ahead of outbreaks. Toward this, we used a historic database of livestock anthrax reported from 1932 to 2006 mapped at high resolution to develop an ecological niche model-based prediction of B. anthracis across Kyrgyzstan and identified spatial clusters of livestock anthrax using a cluster morphology statistic. We also defined the seasonality of outbreaks in livestock. Cattle were the most frequently reported across the time period, with the greatest number of cases in late summer months. Our niche models defined four areas as suitable to support pathogen persistence, the plateaus near Talas and Bishkek, the valleys of western Kyrgyzstan along the Fergana Valley, and the low-lying areas along the shore of Lake Isyk-Kul. These areas should be considered "at risk" for livestock anthrax and subsequent human cases. Areas defined by the niche models can be used to prioritize anthrax surveillance and inform efforts to target livestock vaccination campaigns.

  6. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  7. A unique ecological niche fosters hybridization of oak-tree and vineyard isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clowers, Katie J.; Will, Jessica L.; Gasch, Audrey P.

    2016-01-01

    Differential adaptation to distinct niches can restrict gene flow and promote population differentiation within a species. However, in some cases the distinction between niches can collapse, forming a hybrid niche with features of both environments. We previously reported that distinctions between vineyards and oak soil present an ecological barrier that restricts gene flow between lineages of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Vineyard isolates are tolerant to stresses associated with grapes while North American oak strains are particularly tolerant to freeze-thaw cycles. Here, we report the isolation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains from Wisconsin cherry trees, which display features common to vineyards (e.g. high sugar concentrations) and frequent freeze-thaw cycles. Genome sequencing revealed that the isolated strains are highly heterozygous and represent recent hybrids of the oak x vineyard lineages. We found that the hybrid strains are phenotypically similar to vineyard strains for some traits, but are more similar to oak strains for other traits. The cherry strains were exceptionally good at growing in cherry juice, raising the possibility that they have adapted to this niche. We performed transcriptome profiling in cherry, oak, and vineyard strains and show that the cherry-tree hybrids display vineyard-like or oak-like expression, depending on the gene sets, and in some cases the expression patterns linked back to shared stress tolerances. Allele-specific expression in these natural hybrids suggested concerted cis-regulatory evolution at sets of functionally regulated genes. Our results raise the possibility that hybridization of the two lineages provides a genetic solution to the thriving in this unique niche. PMID:26518477

  8. Ecological niche and geographic distribution of the Chagas disease vector, Triatoma dimidiata (Reduviidae: Triatominae): Evidence for niche differentiation among cryptic species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Palacio, Andrés; Arboleda, Sair; Dumonteil, Eric; Townsend Peterson, A

    2015-12-01

    The principal vector of Chagas disease in Central America, Triatoma dimidiata, shows considerable diversity of habitat, phenotype, and genotype across its geographic range (central Mexico to southern Ecuador), suggesting that it constitutes a complex of cryptic species. However, no consistent picture of the magnitude of ecological differentiation among populations of this complex has yet been developed. To assess ecological variation across the complex, we broadened the geographic coverage of phylogeographic data and analyses for the complex into Colombia and Mexico, with additional nuclear (ITS-2) and mitochondrial (ND4) DNA sequences. This information allowed us to describe distributions of previously documented clades in greater detail: Group I, from central Guatemala south to Ecuador; Group II, across Mexico south through the Yucatán Peninsula to Belize and northern Guatemala; and Group III, in northern Guatemala, Belize, and the Yucatán Peninsula. Using ecological niche modeling, we assessed ecological niche differentiation among the groups using four hypotheses of accessible areas (M) across the distribution of the complex. Results indicated clear niche divergence of Group I from Group II: the speciation process thus appears to have involved genetic and ecological changes, suggesting divergence in populations in response to environmental conditions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Predicting geographic and ecological distributions of triatomine species in the southern Mexican state of Puebla using ecological niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval-Ruiz, C A; Zumaquero-Rios, J L; Rojas-Soto, O R

    2008-05-01

    We analyzed the geographic distribution using ecological niche modeling of three species of triatomines distributed in the Mexican state of Puebla. Punctual records were gathered for a period of 5 yr of fieldwork sampling. We used the genetic algorithm for rule-set production (GARP) to achieve the potential distribution of the ecological niche of triatomines. The models showed that Triatoma barberi and Meccus pallidipennis are sympatric and widely distributed in the central-southern part of the state, whereas T. dimidata is restricted to the northern mountains of the state with no overlapping among other species, M. bassolsae was not modeled because of the scarce number of locality records. We highlighted the warm and dry conditions in southern Puebla as important potential areas for triatomine presence. Finally, we correlated the species potential presence with the human population at risk of acquiring Chagas disease by vector-borne transmission; it is showed that M. pallidipennis presents the highest values of both ecological and poverty risk scenarios representing the main potential vector in the state.

  10. Geographic distribution and ecological niche of plague in sub-Saharan Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neerinckx, Simon B; Peterson, Andrew T; Gulinck, Hubert

    2008-01-01

    Background Plague is a rapidly progressing, serious illness in humans that is likely to be fatal if not treated. It remains a public health threat, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In spite of plague's highly focal nature, a thorough ecological understanding of the general distribution pattern...... of plague across sub-Saharan Africa has not been established to date. In this study, we used human plague data from sub-Saharan Africa for 1970-2007 in an ecological niche modeling framework to explore the potential geographic distribution of plague and its ecological requirements across Africa. Results We...... predict a broad potential distributional area of plague occurrences across sub-Saharan Africa. General tests of model's transferability suggest that our model can anticipate the potential distribution of plague occurrences in Madagascar and northern Africa. However, generality and predictive ability tests...

  11. Ecological niche modeling to estimate the distribution of Japanese encephalitis virus in Asia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin H Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Culex tritaeniorhynchus is the primary vector of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV, a leading cause of encephalitis in Asia. JEV is transmitted in an enzootic cycle involving large wading birds as the reservoirs and swine as amplifying hosts. The development of a JEV vaccine reduced the number of JE cases in regions with comprehensive childhood vaccination programs, such as in Japan and the Republic of Korea. However, the lack of vaccine programs or insufficient coverage of populations in other endemic countries leaves many people susceptible to JEV. The aim of this study was to predict the distribution of Culex tritaeniorhynchus using ecological niche modeling. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An ecological niche model was constructed using the Maxent program to map the areas with suitable environmental conditions for the Cx. tritaeniorhynchus vector. Program input consisted of environmental data (temperature, elevation, rainfall and known locations of vector presence resulting from an extensive literature search and records from MosquitoMap. The statistically significant Maxent model of the estimated probability of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presence showed that the mean temperatures of the wettest quarter had the greatest impact on the model. Further, the majority of human Japanese encephalitis (JE cases were located in regions with higher estimated probability of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our ecological niche model of the estimated probability of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus presence provides a framework for better allocation of vector control resources, particularly in locations where JEV vaccinations are unavailable. Furthermore, this model provides estimates of vector probability that could improve vector surveillance programs and JE control efforts.

  12. Ecological Niche Modeling for the Prediction of the Geographic Distribution of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalghaf, Bilel; Chlif, Sadok; Mayala, Benjamin; Ghawar, Wissem; Bettaieb, Jihène; Harrabi, Myriam; Benie, Goze Bertin; Michael, Edwin; Salah, Afif Ben

    2016-04-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a very complex disease involving multiple factors that limit its emergence and spatial distribution. Prediction of cutaneous leishmaniasis epidemics in Tunisia remains difficult because most of the epidemiological tools used so far are descriptive in nature and mainly focus on a time dimension. The purpose of this work is to predict the potential geographic distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi and zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major in Tunisia using Grinnellian ecological niche modeling. We attempted to assess the importance of environmental factors influencing the potential distribution of P. papatasi and cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. major. Vectors were trapped in central Tunisia during the transmission season using CDC light traps (John W. Hock Co., Gainesville, FL). A global positioning system was used to record the geographical coordinates of vector occurrence points and households tested positive for cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. major. Nine environmental layers were used as predictor variables to model the P. papatasi geographical distribution and five variables were used to model the L. major potential distribution. Ecological niche modeling was used to relate known species' occurrence points to values of environmental factors for these same points to predict the presence of the species in unsampled regions based on the value of the predictor variables. Rainfall and temperature contributed the most as predictors for sand flies and human case distributions. Ecological niche modeling anticipated the current distribution of P. papatasi with the highest suitability for species occurrence in the central and southeastern part of Tunisian. Furthermore, our study demonstrated that governorates of Gafsa, Sidi Bouzid, and Kairouan are at highest epidemic risk. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  13. Postglacial species displacement in Triturus newts deduced from asymmetrically introgressed mitochondrial DNA and ecological niche models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background If the geographical displacement of one species by another is accompanied by hybridization, mitochondrial DNA can introgress asymmetrically, from the outcompeted species into the invading species, over a large area. We explore this phenomenon using the two parapatric crested newt species, Triturus macedonicus and T. karelinii, distributed on the Balkan Peninsula in south-eastern Europe, as a model. Results We first delimit a ca. 54,000 km2 area in which T. macedonicus contains T. karelinii mitochondrial DNA. This introgression zone bisects the range of T. karelinii, cutting off a T. karelinii enclave. The high similarity of introgressed mitochondrial DNA haplotypes with those found in T. karelinii suggests a recent transfer across the species boundary. We then use ecological niche modeling to explore habitat suitability of the location of the present day introgression zone under current, mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum conditions. This area was inhospitable during the Last Glacial Maximum for both species, but would have been habitable at the mid-Holocene. Since the mid-Holocene, habitat suitability generally increased for T. macedonicus, whereas it decreased for T. karelinii. Conclusion The presence of a T. karelinii enclave suggests that T. karelinii was the first to colonize the area where the present day introgression zone is positioned after the Last Glacial Maximum. Subsequently, we propose T. karelinii was outcompeted by T. macedonicus, which captured T. karelinii mitochondrial DNA via introgressive hybridization in the process. Ecological niche modeling suggests that this replacement was likely facilitated by a shift in climate since the mid-Holocene. We suggest that the northwestern part of the current introgression zone was probably never inhabited by T. karelinii itself, and that T. karelinii mitochondrial DNA spread there through T. macedonicus exclusively. Considering the spatial distribution of the introgressed mitochondrial DNA and

  14. Reconciling phylogeography and ecological niche models for New Zealand beetles looking beyond glacial refugia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marske, Katharine Ann; Leschen, Richard; Buckley, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    stochastic search variable selection incorporated in BEAST to identify historical dispersal patterns via ancestral state reconstruction. Ecological niche models (ENMs) were incorporated to reconstruct the potential geographic distribution of each species during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Coalescent...... analyses suggest a North Island origin for E. lawsoni, with gene flow predominately north–south between adjacent regions. ENMs for E. lawsoni indicated glacial refugia in coastal regions of both main islands, consistent with phylogenetic patterns but at odds with the coalescent dates, which implicate much...

  15. Mapping the potential risk of mycetoma infection in Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samy, Abdallah M; van de Sande, Wendy W J; Fahal, Ahmed Hassan; Peterson, A Townsend

    2014-10-01

    In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized mycetoma as one of the neglected tropical conditions due to the efforts of the mycetoma consortium. This same consortium formulated knowledge gaps that require further research. One of these gaps was that very few data are available on the epidemiology and transmission cycle of the causative agents. Previous work suggested a soil-borne or Acacia thorn-prick-mediated origin of mycetoma infections, but no studies have investigated effects of soil type and Acacia geographic distribution on mycetoma case distributions. Here, we map risk of mycetoma infection across Sudan and South Sudan using ecological niche modeling (ENM). For this study, records of mycetoma cases were obtained from the scientific literature and GIDEON; Acacia records were obtained from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. We developed ENMs based on digital GIS data layers summarizing soil characteristics, land-surface temperature, and greenness indices to provide a rich picture of environmental variation across Sudan and South Sudan. ENMs were calibrated in known endemic districts and transferred countrywide; model results suggested that risk is greatest in an east-west belt across central Sudan. Visualizing ENMs in environmental dimensions, mycetoma occurs under diverse environmental conditions. We compared niches of mycetoma and Acacia trees, and could not reject the null hypothesis of niche similarity. This study revealed contributions of different environmental factors to mycetoma infection risk, identified suitable environments and regions for transmission, signaled a potential mycetoma-Acacia association, and provided steps towards a robust risk map for the disease.

  16. Plant diversification promotes biocontrol services in peach orchards by shaping the ecological niches of insect herbivores and their natural enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wan, Nian Feng; Ji, Xiang Yun; Deng, Jian Yu

    2018-01-01

    Ecological niche indicators have been scarcely adopted to assess the biological control of insect herbivores by their natural enemies. We hypothesize that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by narrowing the niches of herbivores and broadening the niches of natural enemies....... Our study reveals that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by shaping the niche of herbivores and natural enemies, and provides a new assessment method to understand the biodiversity-niche-ecosystem management interactions........ In a large-scale experiment, we found that the abundance of natural enemies was increased by 38.1%, and the abundance of insect herbivores was decreased by 16.9% in peach orchards with plant diversification (treatment) compared to ones with monoculture (control). Stratified sampling indicated...

  17. Rates of climatic niche evolution are correlated with species richness in a large and ecologically diverse radiation of songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Title, Pascal O; Burns, Kevin J

    2015-05-01

    By employing a recently inferred phylogeny and museum occurrence records, we examine the relationship of ecological niche evolution to diversification in the largest family of songbirds, the tanagers (Thraupidae). We test whether differences in species numbers in the major clades of tanagers can be explained by differences in rate of climatic niche evolution. We develop a methodological pipeline to process and filter occurrence records. We find that, of the ecological variables examined, clade richness is higher in clades with higher climatic niche rate, and that this rate is also greater for clades that occupy a greater extent of climatic space. Additionally, we find that more speciose clades contain species with narrower niche breadths, suggesting that clades in which species are more successful at diversifying across climatic gradients have greater potential for speciation or are more buffered from the risk of extinction. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  18. Microbial Diversity and Ecology in the Interfaces of the Deep-sea Anoxic Brine Pools in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Hikmawan, Tyas I.

    2015-05-01

    Deep-sea anoxic brine pools are one of the most extreme ecosystems on Earth, which are characterized by drastic changes in salinity, temperature, and oxygen concentration. The interface between the brine and overlaying seawater represents a boundary of oxic-anoxic layer and a steep gradient of redox potential that would initiate favorable conditions for divergent metabolic activities, mainly methanogenesis and sulfate reduction. This study aimed to investigate the diversity of Bacteria, particularly sulfate-reducing communities, and their ecological roles in the interfaces of five geochemically distinct brine pools in the Red Sea. Performing a comprehensive study would enable us to understand the significant role of the microbial groups in local geochemical cycles. Therefore, we combined culture-dependent approach and molecular methods, such as 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene, phylogenetic analysis of functional marker gene encoding for the alpha subunits of dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA), and single-cell genomic analysis to address these issues. Community analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated high bacterial diversity and domination of Bacteria over Archaea in most locations. In the hot and multilayered Atlantis II Deep, the bacterial communities were stratified and hardly overlapped. Meanwhile in the colder brine pools, sulfatereducing Deltaproteobacteria were the most prominent bacterial groups inhabiting the interfaces. Corresponding to the bacterial community profile, the analysis of dsrA gene sequences revealed collectively high diversity of sulfate-reducing communities. Desulfatiglans-like dsrA was the prevalent group and conserved across the Red Sea brine pools. In addition to the molecular studies, more than thirty bacterial strains were successfully isolated and remarkably were found to be cytotoxic against the cancer cell lines. However, none of them were sulfate reducers. Thus, a single-cell genomic analysis was used to study

  19. Inferring the Ecological Niche of Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. in Wild Felids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis E. Escobar

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Traditional epidemiological studies of disease in animal populations often focus on directly transmitted pathogens. One reason pathogens with complex lifecycles are understudied could be due to challenges associated with detection in vectors and the environment. Ecological niche modeling (ENM is a methodological approach that overcomes some of the detection challenges often seen with vector or environmentally dependent pathogens. We test this approach using a unique dataset of two pathogens in wild felids across North America: Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. in bobcats (Lynx rufus and puma (Puma concolor. We found three main patterns. First, T. gondii showed a broader use of environmental conditions than did Bartonella spp. Also, ecological niche models, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index satellite imagery, were useful even when applied to wide-ranging hosts. Finally, ENM results from one region could be applied to other regions, thus transferring information across different landscapes. With this research, we detail the uncertainty of epidemiological risk models across novel environments, thereby advancing tools available for epidemiological decision-making. We propose that ENM could be a valuable tool for enabling understanding of transmission risk, contributing to more focused prevention and control options for infectious diseases.

  20. Spatial patterns, ecological niches, and interspecific competition of avian brood parasites: inferring from a case study of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Won; Noh, Hee-Jin; Lee, Yunkyoung; Kwon, Young-Soo; Kim, Chang-Hoe; Yoo, Jeong-Chil

    2014-09-01

    Since obligate avian brood parasites depend completely on the effort of other host species for rearing their progeny, the availability of hosts will be a critical resource for their life history. Circumstantial evidence suggests that intense competition for host species may exist not only within but also between species. So far, however, few studies have demonstrated whether the interspecific competition really occurs in the system of avian brood parasitism and how the nature of brood parasitism is related to their niche evolution. Using the occurrence data of five avian brood parasites from two sources of nationwide bird surveys in South Korea and publically available environmental/climatic data, we identified their distribution patterns and ecological niches, and applied species distribution modeling to infer the effect of interspecific competition on their spatial distribution. We found that the distribution patterns of five avian brood parasites could be characterized by altitude and climatic conditions, but overall their spatial ranges and ecological niches extensively overlapped with each other. We also found that the predicted distribution areas of each species were generally comparable to the realized distribution areas, and the numbers of individuals in areas where multiple species were predicted to coexist showed positive relationships among species. In conclusion, despite following different coevolutionary trajectories to adapt to their respect host species, five species of avian brood parasites breeding in South Korea occupied broadly similar ecological niches, implying that they tend to conserve ancestral preferences for ecological conditions. Furthermore, our results indicated that contrary to expectation interspecific competition for host availability between avian brood parasites seemed to be trivial, and thus, play little role in shaping their spatial distributions and ecological niches. Future studies, including the complete ranges of avian brood

  1. Species diversity of sand flies and ecological niche model of Phlebotomus papatasi in central Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedi-Astaneh, Fatemeh; Akhavan, Amir Ahmad; Shirzadi, Mohammd Reza; Rassi, Yavar; Yaghoobi-Ershadi, Mohammad Reza; Hanafi-Bojd, Ahmad Ali; Akbarzadeh, Kamran; Nafar-Shalamzari, Reza; Parsi, Sohbat; Abbasi, Ali; Raufi, Hedayatollah

    2015-09-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is the most important vector-borne disease in Iran. Qom Province is a very important area in the case of CL transmission, because of high traffic population from other parts of the country, or even other countries, as well as existence of confirmed foci of the disease. The aim of this study was to determine the ecology of sand flies in two different climates of this province and model the distribution of the main vector. Sand flies were collected monthly during April 2013-April 2014, at 22 urban/rural collection sites. Site selection was constrained by the geographical distribution of CL cases in recent years. Shannon-Weiner and Evenness indices were used to compare diversity in two studied climates. ArcGIS and MaxEnt were used to map and predict the appropriate ecological niches for sand flies. Totally, 5389 sand flies were collected and 12 species were identified. The most abundant species were Sergentomyia sintoni, P. papatasi, P. sergenti s.l. and Phlebotomus alexandri. Two peaks of activity were found in May and August in lowlands; while in mountainous areas they were observed in June and September. Species diversity in mountainous areas was found to be higher than in lowlands. The environmental variable with the highest gain in MaxEnt model was the monthly mean of (max temp-min temp). A big part of the lowland areas provides good ecological niches for P. papatasi and therefore higher transmission potential. These findings can be used in stratification of potential for CL transmission in Qom province. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Division within the North American boreal forest: Ecological niche divergence between the Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) and Gray-cheeked Thrush (C. minimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    FitzGerald, Alyssa M

    2017-07-01

    Sister species that diverged in allopatry in similar environments are expected to exhibit niche conservatism. Using ecological niche modeling and a multivariate analysis of climate and habitat data, I test the hypothesis that the Bicknell's Thrush ( Catharus bicknelli ) and Gray-cheeked Thrush ( C. mimimus ), sister species that breed in the North American boreal forest, show niche conservatism. Three tree species that are important components of breeding territories of both thrush species were combined with climatic variables to create niche models consisting of abiotic and biotic components. Abiotic-only, abiotic+biotic, and biotic-only models were evaluated using the area under the curve (AUC) criterion. Abiotic+biotic models had higher AUC scores and did not over-project thrush distributions compared to abiotic-only or biotic-only models. From the abiotic+biotic models, I tested for niche conservatism or divergence by accounting for the differences in the availability of niche components by calculating (1) niche overlap from ecological niche models and (2) mean niche differences of environmental values at occurrence points. Niche background similarity tests revealed significant niche divergence in 10 of 12 comparisons, and multivariate tests revealed niche divergence along 2 of 3 niche axes. The Bicknell's Thrush breeds in warmer and wetter regions with a high abundance of balsam fir ( Abies balsamea ), whereas Gray-cheeked Thrush often co-occurs with black spruce ( Picea mariana ). Niche divergence, rather than conservatism, was the predominant pattern for these species, suggesting that ecological divergence has played a role in the speciation of the Bicknell's Thrush and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Furthermore, because niche models were improved by the incorporation of biotic variables, this study validates the inclusion of relevant biotic factors in ecological niche modeling to increase model accuracy.

  3. Present and Future of Dengue Fever in Nepal: Mapping Climatic Suitability by Ecological Niche Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Bipin Kumar; Cao, Chunxiang; Xu, Min; Khanal, Laxman; Naeem, Shahid; Pandit, Shreejana

    2018-01-23

    Both the number of cases of dengue fever and the areas of outbreaks within Nepal have increased significantly in recent years. Further expansion and range shift is expected in the future due to global climate change and other associated factors. However, due to limited spatially-explicit research in Nepal, there is poor understanding about the present spatial distribution patterns of dengue risk areas and the potential range shift due to future climate change. In this context, it is crucial to assess and map dengue fever risk areas in Nepal. Here, we used reported dengue cases and a set of bioclimatic variables on the MaxEnt ecological niche modeling approach to model the climatic niche and map present and future (2050s and 2070s) climatically suitable areas under different representative concentration pathways (RCP2.6, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5). Simulation-based estimates suggest that climatically suitable areas for dengue fever are presently distributed throughout the lowland Tarai from east to west and in river valleys at lower elevations. Under the different climate change scenarios, these areas will be slightly shifted towards higher elevation with varied magnitude and spatial patterns. Population exposed to climatically suitable areas of dengue fever in Nepal is anticipated to further increase in both 2050s and 2070s on all the assumed emission scenarios. These findings could be instrumental to plan and execute the strategic interventions for controlling dengue fever in Nepal.

  4. Cryptococcus gattii: Emergence in Western North America: Exploitation of a Novel Ecological Niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kausik Datta

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The relatively uncommon fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii recently emerged as a significant cause of cryptococcal disease in human and animals in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Although genetic studies indicated its possible presence in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years, C. gattii as an etiological agent was largely unknown in this region prior to 1999. The recent emergence may have been encouraged by changing conditions of climate or land use and/or host susceptibility, and predictive ecological niche modeling indicates a potentially wider spread. C. gattii can survive wide climatic variations and colonize the environment in tropical, subtropical, temperate, and dry climates. Long-term climate changes, such as the significantly elevated global temperature in the last 100 years, influence patterns of disease among plants and animals and create niche microclimates habitable by emerging pathogens. C. gattii may have exploited such a hitherto unrecognized but clement environment in the Pacific Northwest to provide a wider exposure and risk of infection to human and animal populations.

  5. Modeling of Iranian Cheetah Habitat using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (Case Study: Dare Anjir Wildlife Refuge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of habitat sustainability indexes is essential in wildlife management and conservation of rare species. Suitable habitats are required in wildlife managements and conservation also, they increase reproduction and survival rate of species. In this study in order to mapping habitat sustainability and recognizing habitat requirements of Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, field data from Dare Anjir  wildlife refuge were collected since autumn 2009 until summer 2011. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis approach has been used to develop habitat suitability model. In this method primary maps of  habitat variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation cover, distance from water sources and environmental monitoring stations have been produced by Idrisi and Biomapper software and imported in Biomapper. The output scores obtained from the analysis showed that Iranian cheetah tends to mountain areas where has more topographical features for camouflage in order to hunting, and northern aspects which have more humidity, denser vegetation cover and more preys . Our result showed that the Iranian cheetah has medium niche width and prefer marginal habitats.

  6. Estimating the geographic distribution of human Tanapox and potential reservoirs using ecological niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Benjamin P; Nakazawa, Yoshinori J; Reynolds, Mary G; Carroll, Darin S

    2014-09-25

    Tanapox virus is a zoonotic infection that causes mild febrile illness and one to several nodular skin lesions. The disease is endemic in parts of Africa. The principal reservoir for the virus that causes Tanapox is unknown, but has been hypothesized to be a non-human primate. This study employs ecological niche modeling (ENM) to determine areas of tropical Africa suitable for the occurrence of human Tanapox and a list of hypothetical reservoirs. The resultant niche model will be a useful tool to guide medical surveillance activities in the region. This study uses the Desktop GARP software to predict regions where human Tanapox might be expected to occur based on historical human case locations and environmental data. Additional modeling of primate species, using occurrence data from museum records was performed to determine suitable disease reservoirs. The final ENM predicts a potential distribution of Tanapox over much of equatorial Africa, exceeding the borders of Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it has been historically reported. Five genera of non-human primates were found to be potential reservoir taxa. Validity testing suggests the model created here is robust (p modeling technique has several limitations and results should be interpreted with caution. This study may increase knowledge and engage further research in this neglected disease.

  7. Doctoral Education in a Successful Ecological Niche: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study of the Relationship between the Microclimate and Doctoral Students' Learning to Become a Researcher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Mette K.; Lund, Ole

    2014-01-01

    Scholarly communities are dependent on and often measured by their ability to attract and develop doctoral students. Recent literature suggests that most scholarly communities entail ecological niches in which the doctoral students learn the codes and practices of research. In this article, we explore the microclimate in an ecological niche of…

  8. Time-specific ecological niche modeling predicts spatial dynamics of vector insects and human dengue cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, A Townsend; Martínez-Campos, Carmen; Nakazawa, Yoshinori; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2005-09-01

    Numerous human diseases-malaria, dengue, yellow fever and leishmaniasis, to name a few-are transmitted by insect vectors with brief life cycles and biting activity that varies in both space and time. Although the general geographic distributions of these epidemiologically important species are known, the spatiotemporal variation in their emergence and activity remains poorly understood. We used ecological niche modeling via a genetic algorithm to produce time-specific predictive models of monthly distributions of Aedes aegypti in Mexico in 1995. Significant predictions of monthly mosquito activity and distributions indicate that predicting spatiotemporal dynamics of disease vector species is feasible; significant coincidence with human cases of dengue indicate that these dynamics probably translate directly into transmission of dengue virus to humans. This approach provides new potential for optimizing use of resources for disease prevention and remediation via automated forecasting of disease transmission risk.

  9. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Xu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9 virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS and ecological niche modeling (ENM, this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data. The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area.

  10. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Min; Cao, Chunxiang; Li, Qun; Jia, Peng; Zhao, Jian

    2016-06-16

    China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9) virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM), this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM) that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC) values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data). The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area.

  11. Ecological Niche Modeling of main reservoir hosts of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gholamrezaei, Mostafa; Mohebali, Mehdi; Hanafi-Bojd, Ahmad Ali; Sedaghat, Mohammad Mehdi; Shirzadi, Mohammad Reza

    2016-08-01

    Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL), caused by Leishmania major, is a common zoonotic vector-borne disease in Iran. Close contact with infected reservoir hosts increases the probability of transmission of Leishmania parasite infections to susceptible humans. Four gerbil species (Rodentia: Gerbillidae) serve as the main reservoir hosts for ZCL in different endemic foci of Iran. These species include Rhombomys opimus, Meriones libycus, Meriones hurrianae and Tatera indica; while notable infection has been reported in Nesokia indica as well. The purpose of this study is to model the distribution of these reservoirs to identify the risk areas of ZCL. A data bank was developed including all published data during the period of 1970-2015. Maximum entropy model was used to find the most appropriate ecological niches for each species. The areas under curve obtained were 0.961, 0.927, 0.922, 0.997 and 0.899, instead of 1, for training test in R. opimus, M. libycus, T. indica, M. hurrianae and N. indica, respectively. The environmental variable with the highest gain when used in isolation was slope for R. opimus and N. indica, annual mean temperature for M. libycus, and seasonal precipitation for T. indica and M. hurrianae. Summation of presence probabilities for three main species, i.e., R. opimus, M. libycus and T. indica revealed favorable ecological niches in wide areas of 16 provinces. This is the first study to predict the distribution of ZCL reservoir hosts in Iran. Climatology and topography variables had high contributions toward the prediction of potential distribution of the main reservoir species; therefore, as climate changes, the models should be updated periodically with novel data, and the results should be used in disease-monitoring programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Ecological niche and potential distribution of Anopheles arabiensis in Africa in 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, John M; Beier, John C

    2014-06-03

    The future distribution of malaria in Africa is likely to be much more dependent on environmental conditions than the current distribution due to the effectiveness of indoor and therapeutic anti-malarial interventions, such as insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying for mosquitoes (IRS), artemisinin-combination therapy (ACT), and intermittent presumptive treatment (IPT). Future malaria epidemiology is therefore expected to be increasingly dominated by Anopheles arabiensis, which is the most abundant exophagic mosquito competent to transmit Plasmodium falciparum and exhibits a wide geographic range. To map the potential distribution of An. arabiensis in Africa, ecological niche models were fit to 20th century collection records. Many common species distribution modelling techniques aim to discriminate species habitat from the background distribution of environments. Since these methods arguably result in unnecessarily large Type I and Type II errors, LOBAG-OC was used to identify the niche boundary using only data on An. arabiensis occurrences. The future distribution of An. arabiensis in Africa was forecasted by projecting the fit model onto maps of simulated climate change following three climate change scenarios. Ecological niche modelling revealed An. arabiensis to be a climate generalist in the sense that it can occur in most of Africa's contemporary environmental range. Under three climate change scenarios, the future distribution of An. arabiensis is expected to be reduced by 48%-61%. Map differences between baseline and projected climate suggest that habitat reductions will be especially extensive in Western and Central Africa; portions of Botswana, Namibia, and Angola in Southern Africa; and portions of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya in East Africa. The East African Rift Valley and Eastern Coast of Africa are expected to remain habitable. Some modest gains in habitat are predicted at the margins of the current range in South Sudan

  13. Functional traits reveal the expansion and packing of ecological niche space underlying an elevational diversity gradient in passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigot, Alex L; Trisos, Christopher H; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-01-13

    Variation in species richness across environmental gradients may be associated with an expanded volume or increased packing of ecological niche space. However, the relative importance of these alternative scenarios remains unknown, largely because standardized information on functional traits and their ecological relevance is lacking for major diversity gradients. Here, we combine data on morphological and ecological traits for 523 species of passerine birds distributed across an Andes-to-Amazon elevation gradient. We show that morphological traits capture substantial variation in species dietary (75%) and foraging niches (60%) when multiple independent trait dimensions are considered. Having established these relationships, we show that the 14-fold increase in species richness towards the lowlands is associated with both an increased volume and density of functional trait space. However, we find that increases in volume contribute little to changes in richness, with most (78%) lowland species occurring within the range of trait space occupied at high elevations. Taken together, our results suggest that high species richness is mainly associated with a denser occupation of functional trait space, implying an increased specialization or overlap of ecological niches, and supporting the view that niche packing is the dominant trend underlying gradients of increasing biodiversity towards the lowland tropics. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. [Application of land economic ecological niche in landscape pattern analysis at county level: A case study of Jinghe County in Xinjiang, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hai-yang; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Juan; Zhou, Mei

    2015-12-01

    The theory of land economic ecological niche was used to analyze the regional landscape pattern in this article, with an aim to provide a new method for the characterization and representation of landscape pattern. The Jinghe County region, which is ecologically fragile, was selected as an example for the study, and the Landsat images of 1990, 1998, 2011 and 2013 were selected as remote sensing data. The land economic ecological niche of land use types calculated by ecostate-ecorole theory, combined with landscape ecology theory, was discussed in application of land economic ecological niche in county landscape pattern analysis. The results showed that, during the study period, the correlations between land economic ecological niche of farmland, construction land, and grassland with the parameters, including landscape patch number (NP), aggregated index (AI), fragmented index (FN) and fractal dimension (FD), were significant. Regional landscape was driven by the changes of land economic ecological niche, and the trend of economic development could be represented by land economic ecological niche change in Jinghe County. Land economic ecological niche was closely related with the land use types which could yield direct economic benefits, which could well explain the landscape pattern characteristics in Jinghe County when combined with the landscape indices.

  15. Geographic Distribution of Chagas Disease Vectors in Brazil Based on Ecological Niche Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Galvão, Cléber; Costa, Jane; Peterson, A. Townsend

    2012-01-01

    Although Brazil was declared free from Chagas disease transmission by the domestic vector Triatoma infestans, human acute cases are still being registered based on transmission by native triatomine species. For a better understanding of transmission risk, the geographic distribution of Brazilian triatomines was analyzed. Sixteen out of 62 Brazilian species that both occur in >20 municipalities and present synanthropic tendencies were modeled based on their ecological niches. Panstrongylus geniculatus and P. megistus showed broad ecological ranges, but most of the species sort out by the biome in which they are distributed: Rhodnius pictipes and R. robustus in the Amazon; R. neglectus, Triatoma sordida, and T. costalimai in the Cerrado; R. nasutus, P. lutzi, T. brasiliensis, T. pseudomaculata, T. melanocephala, and T. petrocchiae in the Caatinga; T. rubrovaria in the southern pampas; T. tibiamaculata and T. vitticeps in the Atlantic Forest. Although most occurrences were recorded in open areas (Cerrado and Caatinga), our results show that all environmental conditions in the country are favorable to one or more of the species analyzed, such that almost nowhere is Chagas transmission risk negligible. PMID:22523500

  16. Same same but different: ecological niche partitioning of planktonic freshwater prokaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela M. Salcher

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Lakes and ponds harbour a high number of diverse planktonic microorganisms that are centrally involved in biochemical cycles and aquatic food webs. Although the open water body (pelagial seems to be a uniform and unstructured environment, ecological niche separation of coexisting microbial taxa might be triggered by limiting resources (bottom-up control and mortality factors (top-down control, leading to distinct spatial and temporal distribution patterns of different microbes. This review gives an overview of the most abundant prokaryotic populations by grouping them in specific ecological guilds based on their life strategies. Defense specialists such as very small Actinobacteria or big filamentous bacteria mostly occur at times of highest grazing pressure by heterotrophic nanoflagellates, the main consumers of bacteria. Oligotrophic ultramicrobacteria, on the other hand, seem to be mostly adapted to nutrient depleted water layers during summer stratification, while opportunistic bacteria profit from material released during short-living algal blooms. Seasonal changes in abiotic and biotic factors may be the main causes for periodic reoccurring density maxima of different prokaryotes populations in the pelagial of temperate lakes, reflected in a distinct seasonality of the freshwater bacterioplankton.

  17. The genotypic structure of a multi-host bumblebee parasite suggests a role for ecological niche overlap.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahel M Salathé

    Full Text Available The genotypic structure of parasite populations is an important determinant of ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions with consequences for pest management and disease control. Genotypic structure is especially interesting where multiple hosts co-exist and share parasites. We here analyze the natural genotypic distribution of Crithidia bombi, a trypanosomatid parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp., in two ecologically different habitats over a time period of three years. Using an algorithm to reconstruct genotypes in cases of multiple infections, and combining these with directly identified genotypes from single infections, we find a striking diversity of infection for both data sets, with almost all multi-locus genotypes being unique, and are inferring that around half of the total infections are resulting from multiple strains. Our analyses further suggest a mixture of clonality and sexuality in natural populations of this parasite species. Finally, we ask whether parasite genotypes are associated with host species (the phylogenetic hypothesis or whether ecological factors (niche overlap in flower choice shape the distribution of parasite genotypes (the ecological hypothesis. Redundancy analysis demonstrates that in the region with relatively high parasite prevalence, both host species identity and niche overlap are equally important factors shaping the distribution of parasite strains, whereas in the region with lower parasite prevalence, niche overlap more strongly contributes to the distribution observed. Overall, our study underlines the importance of ecological factors in shaping the natural dynamics of host-parasite systems.

  18. The use of ecological niche modeling to infer potential risk areas of snakebite in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Yañez-Arenas

    Full Text Available Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico.Ecological niche modeling (ENM was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC; this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper, explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence.Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low.

  19. The use of ecological niche modeling to infer potential risk areas of snakebite in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yañez-Arenas, Carlos; Peterson, A Townsend; Mokondoko, Pierre; Rojas-Soto, Octavio; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC); this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper), explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence. Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low).

  20. Ecological niche partitioning of the invasive dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum and its native congeners in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telesh, Irena V; Schubert, Hendrik; Skarlato, Sergei O

    2016-11-01

    This study analyses three decades of the peculiar bloom-formation history of the potentially toxic invasive planktonic dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller in the SW Baltic Sea. We tested a research hypothesis that the unexpectedly long delay (nearly two decades) in population development of P. minimum prior to its first bloom was caused by competition with one or several closely related native dinoflagellate species due to ecological niche partitioning which hampered the spread and bloom-forming potential of the invader. We applied the ecological niche concept to a large, long-term phytoplankton database and analysed the invasion history and population dynamics of P. minimum in the SW Baltic Sea coastal waters using the data on phytoplankton composition, abundance and biomass. The ecological niche dimensions of P. minimum and its congener P. balticum were identified as the optimum environmental conditions for the species during the bloom events based on water temperature, salinity, pH, concentration of nutrients (PO 4 3- ; total phosphorus, TP; total nitrogen, TN; SiO 4 4- ), TN/TP-ratio and habitat type. The data on spatial distribution and ecological niche dimensions of P. minimum have contributed to the development of the "protistan species maximum concept". High microplankton diversity at critical salinities in the Baltic Sea may be considered as a possible reason for the significant niche overlap and strong competitive interactions among congeners leading to prolonged delay in population growth of P. minimum preceding its first bloom in the highly variable brackishwater environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Modeling the impact of climate change on wild Piper nigrum (Black Pepper) in Western Ghats, India using ecological niche models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Sandeep; Gode, Ameya; Ramanujam, Srirama; Ravikanth, G; Aravind, N A

    2016-11-01

    The center of diversity of Piper nigrum L. (Black Pepper), one of the highly valued spice crops is reported to be from India. Black pepper is naturally distributed in India in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot and is the only known existing source of its wild germplasm in the world. We used ecological niche models to predict the potential distribution of wild P. nigrum in the present and two future climate change scenarios viz (A1B) and (A2A) for the year 2080. Three topographic and nine uncorrelated bioclim variables were used to develop the niche models. The environmental variables influencing the distribution of wild P. nigrum across different climate change scenarios were identified. We also assessed the direction and magnitude of the niche centroid shift and the change in niche breadth to estimate the impact of projected climate change on the distribution of P. nigrum. The study shows a niche centroid shift in the future climate scenarios. Both the projected future climate scenarios predicted a reduction in the habitat of P. nigrum in Southern Western Ghats, which harbors many wild accessions of P. nigrum. Our results highlight the impact of future climate change on P. nigrum and provide useful information for designing sound germplasm conservation strategies for P. nigrum.

  2. High invasion potential ofHydrilla verticillatain the Americas predicted using ecological niche modeling combined with genetic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jinning; Xu, Xuan; Tao, Qing; Yi, Panpan; Yu, Dan; Xu, Xinwei

    2017-07-01

    Ecological niche modeling is an effective tool to characterize the spatial distribution of suitable areas for species, and it is especially useful for predicting the potential distribution of invasive species. The widespread submerged plant Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla) has an obvious phylogeographical pattern: Four genetic lineages occupy distinct regions in native range, and only one lineage invades the Americas. Here, we aimed to evaluate climatic niche conservatism of hydrilla in North America at the intraspecific level and explore its invasion potential in the Americas by comparing climatic niches in a phylogenetic context. Niche shift was found in the invasion process of hydrilla in North America, which is probably mainly attributed to high levels of somatic mutation. Dramatic changes in range expansion in the Americas were predicted in the situation of all four genetic lineages invading the Americas or future climatic changes, especially in South America; this suggests that there is a high invasion potential of hydrilla in the Americas. Our findings provide useful information for the management of hydrilla in the Americas and give an example of exploring intraspecific climatic niche to better understand species invasion.

  3. Latitudinal variation in ecological opportunity and intraspecific competition indicates differences in niche variability and diet specialization of Arctic marine predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steve; Choy, Emily S; Loseto, Lisa L; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Individual specialization (IS), where individuals within populations irrespective of age, sex, and body size are either specialized or generalized in terms of resource use, has implications on ecological niches and food web structure. Niche size and degree of IS of near-top trophic-level marine predators have been little studied in polar regions or with latitude. We quantified the large-scale latitudinal variation of population- and individual-level niche size and IS in ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on 379 paired ringed seal liver and muscle samples and 124 paired beluga skin and muscle samples from eight locations ranging from the low to high Arctic. We characterized both within- and between-individual variation in predator niche size at each location as well as accounting for spatial differences in the isotopic ranges of potential prey. Total isotopic niche width (TINW) for populations of ringed seals and beluga decreased with increasing latitude. Higher TINW values were associated with greater ecological opportunity (i.e., prey diversity) in the prey fish community which mainly consists of Capelin (Mallotus villosus) and Sand lance (Ammodytes sp.) at lower latitudes and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) at high latitudes. In beluga, their dietary consistency between tissues also known as the within-individual component (WIC) increased in a near 1:1 ratio with TINW (slope = 0.84), suggesting dietary generalization, whereas the slope (0.18) of WIC relative to TINW in ringed seals indicated a high degree of individual specialization in ringed seal populations with higher TINWs. Our findings highlight the differences in TINW and level of IS for ringed seals and beluga relative to latitude as a likely response to large-scale spatial variation in ecological opportunity, suggesting species-specific variation in dietary plasticity to spatial differences in prey resources and

  4. Ecological niche shifts and environmental space anisotropy: a cautionary note Desplazamientos en el nicho y la anisotropía del espacio ambiental: una nota precautoria

    OpenAIRE

    Jorge Soberón; A Townsend Peterson

    2011-01-01

    The anisotropic structure of climatic space may cause significant (and to a large extent unappreciated) non-evolutionary niche shifts. This can be seen mostly in the context of spatial transferability of ecological niche models. We explore this effect using a virtual species in the United States. We created a simple virtual species by postulating its fundamental niche as an ellipse in a two-dimensional realistic climatic space. The climatic combinations defined by the ellipse were projected i...

  5. Quercus suber range dynamics by ecological niche modelling: from the Last Interglacial to present time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vessella, Federico; Simeone, Marco Cosimo; Schirone, Bartolomeo

    2015-07-01

    Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) is widely used to depict species potential occurrence according to environmental variables under different climatic scenarios. We tested the ENM approach to infer past range dynamics of cork oak, a keystone species of the Mediterranean Biome, from 130 ka to the present time. Hindcasting implications would deal with a better species risk assessment and conservation management for the future. We modelled present and past occurrence of cork oak using seven ENM algorithms, starting from 63,733 spatially unique presence points at 30 arc-second resolution. Fourteen environmental variables were used and four time slices were considered (Last Interglacial, Last Glacial Maximum, mid-Holocene and present time). A threshold-independent evaluation of the goodness-of-fit of the models was evaluated by means of ROC curve and fossil or historical evidences were used to validate the results. Four weighted average maps depicted the dynamics of area suitability for cork oak in the last 130 ka. The derived species autoecology allowed its long-term occurrence in the Mediterranean without striking range reduction or shifting. Fossil and historical post-processing validation support the modelled past spatial extension and a neglected species presence at Levantine until the recent time. Despite the severe climatic oscillation since the Last Glacial Maximum, cork oak potential distribution area experienced limited range changes, confirming its strong link with the Mediterranean Basin. The ecological amplitude of Quercus suber could be therefore adopted as a reference to trace the Mediterranean bioclimate area. A better knowledge of the past events of Mediterranean vegetation, a wider range of study species and environmental determinants are essential to inform us about its current state, its sensitivity to human impact and the potential responses to future changes.

  6. Towards Defining the Ecological Niches of Novel Coastal Gulf of Mexico Bacterial Isolates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henson, M. W.; Thrash, C.; Nall, E.

    2016-02-01

    The study of microbial contributions to biogeochemistry is critical to understanding the cycles of fundamental compounds and gain predictive capabilities in a changing environment. Such study requires observation of microbial communities and genetics in nature, coupled with experimental testing of hypotheses both in situ and in laboratory settings. This study combines dilution-to-extinction based high-throughput culturing (HTC) with cultivation-independent and geochemical measurements to define potential ecological niches of novel bacterial isolates from the coastal northern Gulf of Mexico (cnGOM). Here we report findings from the first of a three-year project. In total, 43 cultures from seven HTC experiments were capable of being repeatedly transferred. Sanger sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene identified these isolates as belonging to the phyla Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Betaproteobacteria. Eight are being genome sequenced, with two selected for further physiological characterization due to their phylogenic novelty and potential ecological significance. Strain LSUCC101 likely represents a novel family of Gammaproteobacteria (best blast hit to a cultured representative showed 91% sequence identity) and strain LSUCC96 belongs to the OM252 clade, with the Hawaiian isolate HIMB30 as its closest relative. Both are small (0.3-0.5 µm) cocci. The environmental importance of both LSUCC101 and LSUCC96 was illustrated by their presence within the top 30 OTU0.03 of cnGOM 16S rRNA gene datasets as well as within clone libraries from coastal regions around the world. Ongoing work is determining growth efficiencies, substrate utilization profiles, and metabolic potential to elucidate the roles of these organisms in the cnGOM. Comparative genomics will examine the evolutionary divergence of these organisms from their closest neighbors, and metagenomic recruitment to genomes will help identify strain-based variation from different coastal regions.

  7. Genomic Analysis of Demographic History and Ecological Niche Modeling in the Endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mays, Herman L; Hung, Chih-Ming; Shaner, Pei-Jen; Denvir, James; Justice, Megan; Yang, Shang-Fang; Roth, Terri L; Oehler, David A; Fan, Jun; Rekulapally, Swanthana; Primerano, Donald A

    2018-01-08

    The vertebrate extinction rate over the past century is approximately 22-100 times greater than background extinction rates [1], and large mammals are particularly at risk [2, 3]. Quaternary megafaunal extinctions have been attributed to climate change [4], overexploitation [5], or a combination of the two [6]. Rhinoceroses (Family: Rhinocerotidae) have a rich fossil history replete with iconic examples of climate-induced extinctions [7], but current pressures threaten to eliminate this group entirely. The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is among the most imperiled mammals on earth. The 2011 population was estimated at ≤216 wild individuals [8], and currently the species is extirpated, or nearly so, throughout the majority of its former range [8-12]. Understanding demographic history is important in placing current population status into a broader ecological and evolutionary context. Analysis of the Sumatran rhinoceros genome reveals extreme changes in effective population size throughout the Pleistocene. Population expansion during the early to middle Pleistocene was followed by decline. Ecological niche modeling indicated that changing climate most likely played a role in the decline of the Sumatran rhinoceros, as less suitable habitat on an emergent Sundaland corridor isolated Sumatran rhinoceros populations. By the end of the Pleistocene, the Sundaland corridor was submerged, and populations were fragmented and consequently reduced to low Holocene levels from which they would never recover. Past events denuded the Sumatran rhinoceros of genetic diversity through population decline, fragmentation, or some combination of the two and most likely made the species even more susceptible to later exploitation and habitat loss. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. GEOMORPHOLOGICAL ECOGEOGRAPHICAL VARIABLES DEFINIG FEATURES OF ECOLOGICAL NICHE OF COMMON MILKWEED (ASCLEPIAS SYRIACA L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. M. Kunah

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The role of geomorphological ecogeographical variables have been shown, which are received by means of the digital elevation model created on the basis of remote sensing data as markers of an ecological niche of weeds on an example common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.. The research range chooses territory which is in settlement Vovnjanka district (the Poltava region. The range has the linear sizes of 26 kilometres in a direction from the east on the west and 15 kilometres in a direction from the north on the south, the range total area makes 390 км2. As geomorphological variables the topographical wetness index, topographic position index, mass balance index, erosion LS-factor, direct and disseminated insolation, altitude above channel network, multiresolution valley bottom flatness, multiresolution ridge top flatness index, vector ruggedness measure have been considered. It is established, that on set of the geomorphological indicators received by means of digital model of a relief, it is possible to assert, that within a separate agricultural field a wide variety of microconditions which is caused by relief features is formed. Possibly, the variation of thermal and water modes, moisture redistribution, and also productivity mechanical processings of soil and efforts under the control of number of weeds make a background in which limits there is possible a moving of weed plants, including common milkweed.

  9. Impact of Mycobacterium ulcerans biofilm on transmissibility to ecological niches and Buruli ulcer pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Marsollier

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The role of biofilms in the pathogenesis of mycobacterial diseases remains largely unknown. Mycobacterium ulcerans, the etiological agent of Buruli ulcer, a disfiguring disease in humans, adopts a biofilm-like structure in vitro and in vivo, displaying an abundant extracellular matrix (ECM that harbors vesicles. The composition and structure of the ECM differs from that of the classical matrix found in other bacterial biofilms. More than 80 proteins are present within this extracellular compartment and appear to be involved in stress responses, respiration, and intermediary metabolism. In addition to a large amount of carbohydrates and lipids, ECM is the reservoir of the polyketide toxin mycolactone, the sole virulence factor of M. ulcerans identified to date, and purified vesicles extracted from ECM are highly cytotoxic. ECM confers to the mycobacterium increased resistance to antimicrobial agents, and enhances colonization of insect vectors and mammalian hosts. The results of this study support a model whereby biofilm changes confer selective advantages to M. ulcerans in colonizing various ecological niches successfully, with repercussions for Buruli ulcer pathogenesis.

  10. Distribution and Conservation of Davilla (Dilleniaceae in Brazilian Atlantic Forest Using Ecological Niche Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael Martins Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We have modeled the ecological niche for 12 plant species belonging to the genus Davilla (Dilleniaceae which occur in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. This group includes endemic species lianas threatened by extinction and is therefore a useful indicator for forest areas requiring conservation. The aims are to compare the distribution and richness of species within the protected areas, assessing the degree of protection and gap analysis of reserves for this group. We used the Maxent algorithm with environmental and occurrence data, and produced geographic distribution maps. The results show that high species richness occurs in forest and coastal forest of Espírito Santo to Bahia states. The endemic species comprise D. flexuosa, D. macrocarpa, D. flexuosa, D. grandifolia, and D. sessilifolia. In the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil, the following endemic species occur: D. tintinnabulata and D. glaziovii, with this latter species being included in the “red list” due habitat loss and predatory extractivism. The indicators of species richness in the coastal region of Bahia correspond with floristic inventories that point to this area having a high biodiversity. Although this region has several protected areas, there are gaps in reserves, which, combined with anthropogenic threats and fragmentation, have caused several problems for biodiversity.

  11. Predicting the potential geographical distribution of Rhodnius neglectus (Hemiptera, Reduviidae) based on ecological niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurgel-Goncalves, Rodrigo; Cuba, César Augusto Cuba

    2009-07-01

    Rhodnius neglectus is frequently found in palm trees and bird nests in sylvatic environments. However, adult specimens infected by Trypanosoma cruzi have been invading houses in central Brazil. Analyzing and predicting the geographical distribution of this species may improve vector surveillance strategies for Chagas disease. Ecological niche modeling using the genetic algorithm for rule-set production (GARP) was applied to predict the geographical distribution of R. neglectus from occurrence records and a set of 23 predictor variables (e.g., temperature, precipitation, altitude, and vegetation). Additionally, the geographical distribution of R. neglectus was compared with the geographical distribution of four species of palm trees and two species of birds from the study region. The models were able to predict, with high probability, the occurrence of R. neglectus as a regular (although nonendemic) species of the Cerrado biome in central Brazil. Caatinga, Amazonian savanna, Pantanal, and the Bolivian Chaco appear as areas with lower probabilities of potential occurrence for the species. A great overlap was observed between the distribution of R. neglectus, palm trees (Acrocomia aculeata and Syagrus oleracea), and birds (Phacellodomus ruber and Pseudoseisura cristata). By including new records for R. neglectus (from both sylvatic and domestic environments), our study showed a distribution increase toward the west and northeast areas of Brazil in the "diagonal of open/dry ecoregions of South America". These results should aid Chagas disease vector surveillance programs, given that household invasion by Rhodnius species maintains the risk of disease transmission and limits control strategies.

  12. Predicting geographic distributions of Phacellodomus species (Aves: Furnariidae in South America based on ecological niche modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria da Salete Gurgel Costa

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Phacellodomus Reichenbach, 1853, comprises nine species of Furnariids that occur in South America in open and generally dry areas. This study estimated the geographic distributions of Phacellodomus species in South America by ecological niche modeling. Applying maximum entropy method, models were produced for eight species based on six climatic variables and 949 occurrence records. Since highest climatic suitability for Phacellodomus species has been estimated in open and dry areas, the Amazon rainforest areas are not very suitable for these species. Annual precipitation and minimum temperature of the coldest month are the variables that most influence the models. Phacellodomus species occurred in 35 ecoregions of South America. Chaco and Uruguayan savannas were the ecoregions with the highest number of species. Despite the overall connection of Phacellodomus species with dry areas, species such as P. ruber, P. rufifrons, P. ferrugineigula and P. erythrophthalmus occurred in wet forests and wetland ecoregions.

  13. Androctonus genus species in arid regions: Ecological niche models, geographical distributions, and envenomation risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moulay Abdelmonaim El Hidan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The objective of this study was to establish environmental factors related to scorpion species occurrence and their current potential geographic distributions in Morocco, to produce a current envenomation risk map and also to assess the human population at risk of envenomation. Materials and Methods: In this study, 71 georeferenced points for all scorpion species and nine environmental indicators were used to generate species distribution models in Maxent (maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions version 3.3.3k. The models were evaluated by the area under the curve (AUC, using the omission error and the binomial probability. With the data generated by Maxent, distribution and envenomation risk maps were produced using the "ESRI® ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop" software. Results: The models had high predictive success (AUC >0.95±0.025. Altitude, slope and five bioclimatic attributes were found to play a significant role in determining Androctonus scorpion species distribution. Ecological niche models (ENMs showed high concordance with the known distribution of the species. Produced risk map identified broad risk areas for Androctonus scorpion envenomation, extending along Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Souss-Massa-Draa, and some areas of Doukkala-Abda and Oriental regions. Conclusion: Considering these findings ENMs could be useful to afford important information on distributions of medically important scorpion species as well as producing scorpion envenomation risk maps.

  14. Ecological niche modelling of Rift Valley fever virus vectors in Baringo, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred O. Ochieng

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF is a vector-borne zoonotic disease that has an impact on human health and animal productivity. Here, we explore the use of vector presence modelling to predict the distribution of RVF vector species under climate change scenario to demonstrate the potential for geographic spread of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of climate change on RVF vector distribution in Baringo County, Kenya, with an aim of developing a risk map for spatial prediction of RVF outbreaks. Methodology: The study used data on vector presence and ecological niche modelling (MaxEnt algorithm to predict the effect of climatic change on habitat suitability and the spatial distribution of RVF vectors in Baringo County. Data on species occurrence were obtained from longitudinal sampling of adult mosquitoes and larvae in the study area. We used present (2000 and future (2050 Bioclim climate databases to model the vector distribution. Results: Model results predicted potential suitable areas with high success rates for Culex quinquefasciatus, Culex univitattus, Mansonia africana, and Mansonia uniformis. Under the present climatic conditions, the lowlands were found to be highly suitable for all the species. Future climatic conditions indicate an increase in the spatial distribution of Cx. quinquefasciatus and M. africana. Model performance was statistically significant. Conclusion: Soil types, precipitation in the driest quarter, precipitation seasonality, and isothermality showed the highest predictive potential for the four species.

  15. Evaluation of the impacts of climate change on disease vectors through ecological niche modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, B M; Rangel, E F; Vale, M M

    2017-08-01

    Vector-borne diseases are exceptionally sensitive to climate change. Predicting vector occurrence in specific regions is a challenge that disease control programs must meet in order to plan and execute control interventions and climate change adaptation measures. Recently, an increasing number of scientific articles have applied ecological niche modelling (ENM) to study medically important insects and ticks. With a myriad of available methods, it is challenging to interpret their results. Here we review the future projections of disease vectors produced by ENM, and assess their trends and limitations. Tropical regions are currently occupied by many vector species; but future projections indicate poleward expansions of suitable climates for their occurrence and, therefore, entomological surveillance must be continuously done in areas projected to become suitable. The most commonly applied methods were the maximum entropy algorithm, generalized linear models, the genetic algorithm for rule set prediction, and discriminant analysis. Lack of consideration of the full-known current distribution of the target species on models with future projections has led to questionable predictions. We conclude that there is no ideal 'gold standard' method to model vector distributions; researchers are encouraged to test different methods for the same data. Such practice is becoming common in the field of ENM, but still lags behind in studies of disease vectors.

  16. Pitch the niche - taking responsibility for the concepts we use in ecology and species distribution modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2012-01-01

    In a discussion it is often easier to staunchly reject or offer resolute support for an idea. This third paper on the niche concept aims to develop a balanced argument by exploring general principles for determining an appropriate level for pitching the niche concept that will guide better use and

  17. Predicting the current and future potential distributions of lymphatic filariasis in Africa using maximum entropy ecological niche modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Slater

    Full Text Available Modelling the spatial distributions of human parasite species is crucial to understanding the environmental determinants of infection as well as for guiding the planning of control programmes. Here, we use ecological niche modelling to map the current potential distribution of the macroparasitic disease, lymphatic filariasis (LF, in Africa, and to estimate how future changes in climate and population could affect its spread and burden across the continent. We used 508 community-specific infection presence data collated from the published literature in conjunction with five predictive environmental/climatic and demographic variables, and a maximum entropy niche modelling method to construct the first ecological niche maps describing potential distribution and burden of LF in Africa. We also ran the best-fit model against climate projections made by the HADCM3 and CCCMA models for 2050 under A2a and B2a scenarios to simulate the likely distribution of LF under future climate and population changes. We predict a broad geographic distribution of LF in Africa extending from the west to the east across the middle region of the continent, with high probabilities of occurrence in the Western Africa compared to large areas of medium probability interspersed with smaller areas of high probability in Central and Eastern Africa and in Madagascar. We uncovered complex relationships between predictor ecological niche variables and the probability of LF occurrence. We show for the first time that predicted climate change and population growth will expand both the range and risk of LF infection (and ultimately disease in an endemic region. We estimate that populations at risk to LF may range from 543 and 804 million currently, and that this could rise to between 1.65 to 1.86 billion in the future depending on the climate scenario used and thresholds applied to signify infection presence.

  18. The significance of using satellite imagery data only in Ecological Niche Modelling of Iberian herps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neftalí Sillero

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The environmental data used to calculate ecological niche models (ENM are obtained mainly from ground-based maps (e.g., climatic interpolated surfaces. These data are often not available for less developed areas, or may be at an inappropriate scale, and thus to obtain this information requires fieldwork. An alternative source of eco-geographical data comes from satellite imagery. Three sets of ENM were calculated exclusively with variables obtained (1 from optical and radar images only and (2 from climatic and altitude maps obtained by ground-based methods. These models were compared to evaluate whether satellite imagery can accurately generate ENM. These comparisons must be made in areas with well-known species distribution and with available satellite imagery and ground-based data. Thus, the study area was the south-western part of Salamanca (Spain, using amphibian and reptiles as species models. Models’ discrimination capacity was measured with ROC plots. Models’ covariation was measured with a Spatial Spearman correlation. Four modelling techniques were used (Bioclim, Mahalanobis distance, GARP and Maxent. The results of this comparison showed that there were no significant differences between models generated using remotely sensed imagery or ground-based data. However, the models built with satellite imagery data exhibited a larger diversity of values, probably related to the higher spatial resolution of the satellite imagery. Satellite imagery can produce accurate ENM, independently of the modelling technique or the dataset used. Therefore, biogeographical analysis of species distribution in remote areas can be accurately developed only with variables from satellite imagery.

  19. Habitat suitability of the Atlantic bluefin tuna by size class: An ecological niche approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druon, Jean-Noël; Fromentin, Jean-Marc; Hanke, Alex R.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Damalas, Dimitrios; Tičina, Vjekoslav; Quílez-Badia, Gemma; Ramirez, Karina; Arregui, Igor; Tserpes, George; Reglero, Patricia; Deflorio, Michele; Oray, Isik; Saadet Karakulak, F.; Megalofonou, Persefoni; Ceyhan, Tevfik; Grubišić, Leon; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Lamkin, John; Afonso, Pedro; Addis, Piero

    2016-03-01

    An ecological niche modelling (ENM) approach was used to predict the potential feeding and spawning habitats of small (5-25 kg, only feeding) and large (>25 kg) Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT), Thunnus thynnus, in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The ENM was built bridging knowledge on ecological traits of ABFT (e.g. temperature tolerance, mobility, feeding and spawning strategy) with patterns of selected environmental variables (chlorophyll-a fronts and concentration, sea surface current and temperature, sea surface height anomaly) that were identified using an extensive set of precisely geo-located presence data. The results highlight a wider temperature tolerance for larger fish allowing them to feed in the northern - high chlorophyll levels - latitudes up to the Norwegian Sea in the eastern Atlantic and to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the western basin. Permanent suitable feeding habitat for small ABFT was predicted to be mostly located in temperate latitudes in the North Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in subtropical waters off north-west Africa, while summer potential habitat in the Gulf of Mexico was found to be unsuitable for both small and large ABFTs. Potential spawning grounds were found to occur in the Gulf of Mexico from March-April in the south-east to April-May in the north, while favourable conditions evolve in the Mediterranean Sea from mid-May in the eastern to mid-July in the western basin. Other secondary potential spawning grounds not supported by observations were predicted in the Azores area and off Morocco to Senegal during July and August when extrapolating the model settings from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic. The presence of large ABFT off Florida and the Bahamas in spring was not explained by the model as is, however the environmental variables other than the sea surface height anomaly appeared to be favourable for spawning in part of this area. Defining key spatial and

  20. Ecological niche modelling and nDNA sequencing support a new, morphologically cryptic beetle species unveiled by DNA barcoding.

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    Oliver Hawlitschek

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available DNA sequencing techniques used to estimate biodiversity, such as DNA barcoding, may reveal cryptic species. However, disagreements between barcoding and morphological data have already led to controversy. Species delimitation should therefore not be based on mtDNA alone. Here, we explore the use of nDNA and bioclimatic modelling in a new species of aquatic beetle revealed by mtDNA sequence data.The aquatic beetle fauna of Australia is characterised by high degrees of endemism, including local radiations such as the genus Antiporus. Antiporus femoralis was previously considered to exist in two disjunct, but morphologically indistinguishable populations in south-western and south-eastern Australia. We constructed a phylogeny of Antiporus and detected a deep split between these populations. Diagnostic characters from the highly variable nuclear protein encoding arginine kinase gene confirmed the presence of two isolated populations. We then used ecological niche modelling to examine the climatic niche characteristics of the two populations. All results support the status of the two populations as distinct species. We describe the south-western species as Antiporus occidentalis sp.n.In addition to nDNA sequence data and extended use of mitochondrial sequences, ecological niche modelling has great potential for delineating morphologically cryptic species.

  1. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barro, Alassane S; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K

    2016-06-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies.

  2. Effects of ecological engineered oxygenation on the bacterial community structure in an anoxic fjord in western Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forth, M.; Liljebladh, B.; Stigebrandt, A.

    2015-01-01

    Oxygen-depleted bodies of water are becoming increasingly common in marine ecosystems. Solutions to reverse this trend are needed and under development, for example, by the Baltic deep-water OXygenation (BOX) project. In the framework of this project, the Swedish Byfjord was chosen for a pilot...... study, investigating the effects of an engineered oxygenation on long-term anoxic bottom waters. The strong stratification of the water column of the Byfjord was broken up by pumping surface water into the deeper layers, triggering several inflows of oxygen-rich water and increasing oxygen levels...... were analyzed. Our results showed a strong shift in bacterial community composition when the bottom water in the Byfjord became oxic. Initially dominant indicator species for oxygen minimum zones such as members of the SUP05 clade declined in abundance during the oxygenation event and nearly vanished...

  3. Historical biogeography and ecological niche modelling of the Asimina-Disepalum clade (Annonaceae): role of ecological differentiation in Neotropical-Asian disjunctions and diversification in Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Pui-Sze; Thomas, Daniel C; Saunders, Richard M K

    2017-08-14

    The Asimina-Disepalum clade (Annonaceae subfam. Annonoideae tribe Annoneae) includes a major Neotropical-Asian biogeographical disjunction. We evaluate whether this disjunction can be explained by the Eocene boreotropics hypothesis, which relies on the existence of extensive boreotropical forests during the Late Palaeocene-Early Eocene thermal maximum (52-50 Ma), followed by disruption of boreotropical vegetation during post-Eocene cooling. Molecular dating using an uncorrelated relaxed molecular clock (UCLD) model with two fossil calibrations, ancestral range estimation, and ecological niche modelling across evolutionary time were performed. Our focus was the geographical origin of Disepalum and general biogeographic patterns within this genus. Comparison of ecological tolerance among extant species and niche reconstructions at ancestral nodes within the clade enabled insights in likely migration routes of lineages, as well as evaluating the role of bioclimatic ecological differentiation in the diversification of Disepalum within Southeast Asia. The inferred vicariance event associated with the Asimina-Disepalum disjunction is estimated to have originated ca. 40 Mya [95% highest posterior density (HPD): 44.3-35.5 Mya]. The Disepalum crown lineage is estimated to have originated ca. 9 Mya (95% HPD: 10.6-7.6), either in western Malesia and continental Southeast Asia, or exclusively in western Malesia. Ecological niche modelling shows that seasonality of temperature and precipitation are major contributors determining the geographical range of species. Ancestral niche modelling furthermore indicates that the ancestor of the Asimina-Disepalum clade likely had bioclimatic preferences close to conditions found in current tropical and subtropical climates across Asia, whereas the ancestors of the Asimina and Disepalum crown groups are projected onto the more subtropical and tropical regions, respectively. The vicariance event associated with the Neotropical

  4. Phylogenetic patterns in zopherine beetles are related to ecological niche width and dispersal limitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baselga, Andrés; Recuero, Ernesto; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; García-París, Mario

    2011-12-01

    Niche conservatism has been proposed as the mechanism driving speciation in temperate montane clades through range fragmentation during climatic oscillations. Thus, a negative relationship between speciation rates and niche width is expected. Here, we test this prediction using American zopherine beetles. Our phylogenetic analyses recovered two clades in addition to that of the genus Zopherus: the genera Verodes and Phloeodes, which originated most likely in the Eocene, and diversified during the Miocene and the Pliocene. The assessment of clade niche width in relation to clade diversity supported the proposition of narrow niches leading to a higher probability of range fragmentation during climatic oscillations, thus increasing speciation. Additionally, almost all current populations of Phloeodes and Verodes are located within regions that retained favourable climatic conditions across warm and cold Pleistocene periods, suggesting that dispersal limitation is a strong factor controlling clade distribution. In sum, our results suggest that (i) niche width is a major determinant of the probability of speciation in temperate montane clades, by controlling the probability of potential range fragmentation and (ii) dispersal limitation is also a major determinant of the speciation process, by increasing the fragmentation of realized ranges even when potential distributions are cyclically fused during climatic oscillations. When dispersal limitation is extreme, as in zopherine beetles, populations persist just in those areas that have retained suitable conditions during extremes of past climatic oscillations. Paradoxically, this relict condition confers zopherine beetles great resilience for facing future climate change. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Local-scale models reveal ecological niche variability in amphibian and reptile communities from two contrasting biogeographic regions

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    Alberto Muñoz

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecological Niche Models (ENMs are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area. The ENMs were built with maximum entropy modelling using 11 environmental variables in each territory. The contributions of these variables to the models were analysed and classified using various statistical procedures (Mann–Whitney U tests, Principal Components Analysis and General Linear Models. Distance to the hydrological network was consistently the most relevant variable for both parks and taxonomic classes. Topographic variables (i.e., slope and altitude were the second most predictive variables, followed by climatic variables. Differences in variable contribution were observed between parks and taxonomic classes. Variables related to water availability had the larger contribution to the models in the Mediterranean park, while topography variables were decisive in the Atlantic park. Specific response curves to environmental variables were in accordance with the biogeographic affinity of species (Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean species and taxonomy (amphibians and reptiles. Interestingly, these results were observed for species located in both parks, particularly those situated at their range limits. Our findings show that ecological niche models built at local scale reveal differences in habitat preferences within a wide environmental gradient. Therefore, modelling at local scales rather than assuming large-scale models could be preferable for the establishment of conservation strategies for herptile species in natural

  6. Claims of potential expansion throughout the U.S. by invasive python species are contradicted by ecological niche models.

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    R Alexander Pyron

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent reports from the United States Geological Survey (USGS suggested that invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades may quickly spread into many parts of the U.S. due to putative climatic suitability. Additionally, projected trends of global warming were predicted to significantly increase suitable habitat and promote range expansion by these snakes. However, the ecological limitations of the Burmese python are not known and the possible effects of global warming on the potential expansion of the species are also unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that a predicted continental expansion is unlikely based on the ecology of the organism and the climate of the U.S. Our ecological niche models, which include variables representing climatic extremes as well as averages, indicate that the only suitable habitat in the U.S. for Burmese pythons presently occurs in southern Florida and in extreme southern Texas. Models based on the current distribution of the snake predict suitable habitat in essentially the only region in which the snakes are found in the U.S. Future climate models based on global warming forecasts actually indicate a significant contraction in suitable habitat for Burmese pythons in the U.S. as well as in their native range. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The Burmese python is strongly limited to the small area of suitable environmental conditions in the United States it currently inhabits due to the ecological niche preferences of the snake. The ability of the Burmese python to expand further into the U.S. is severely limited by ecological constraints. Global warming is predicted to significantly reduce the area of suitable habitat worldwide, underscoring the potential negative effects of climate change for many species.

  7. ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY STABILITY OF SPERM-DEPENDENT PARTHENOGENESIS: EFFECTS OF PARTIAL NICHE OVERLAP BETWEEN SEXUAL AND ASEXUAL FEMALES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkendall, Lawrence R; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    1990-05-01

    Pseudogamous females reproduce parthenogenetically but require sperm. We analyze a density- and frequency-dependent model for the ecological and evolutionary stability of bisexual populations exposed to invasion by pseudogamous clones. In particular, we examine the effects of partial niche overlap and asymmetric competition between sexual and asexual forms. The model predicts that for a variety of relative fitness values for asexual females, pseudogamous forms can successfully invade bisexual populations. The probability of successful invasion increases as niche overlap decreases. Furthermore, invaded populations are often likely to be stable; for the parameter values analyzed, only combinations of nearly complete niche overlap and high asexual fitness will lead to extinction. Even such combinations will be stable under pronounced asymmetric competition. Asymmetric competition does not, however, affect the invadability of bisexual populations. The model predicts that stable populations cannot have more than three or four females per male; populations with more biased sex ratios are expected to be unstable. We analyze available sex ratio data for pseudogamous insects, fish, and salamanders, and find significant changes in roughly one-half of the asexual-dominated populations, but in only one sexual-dominated population. This analysis includes previously unpublished data on population sex ratios in a pseudogamous bark beetle, Ips acuminatus. Some asexual-dominated populations have far more than four females per male, contrary to predictions of the model. © 1990 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Prediction of suitable habitats in Zostera noltii meadows by Ecological Niche Factor Analysis A tool for environmental management of coastal

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    Cynthia Silvina Fernandez Diaz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Seagrasses are present in the entire coastal habitats around the world. These coastal habitats provide many goods and services which maintain the integrity of coastal ecosystems and consequently the quality of human life of the communities involved. In recent years, interest in these environments has resulted in its incorporation into European legislation to protect the natural heritage. However, seagrasses show a global reduction as a result of the development process and pollution, eutrophication and habitat degradation. The Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA was used to predict habitat suitability of Zostera noltii, a dominant species of intertidal meadows of Galicia. Within the ecological variables used in analysis Phi and redox potential mainly explain the presence of Zostera noltii in the study area with an adjustment of 90%. The predictive ability of ENFA analysis is presented as a useful tool for environmental public managers to manage the coastal spaces and for those who must design strategies for future adaptation.

  9. Integrating life stages into ecological niche models: a case study on tiger beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taboada, Angela; von Wehrden, Henrik; Assmann, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    Detailed understanding of a species' natural history and environmental needs across spatial scales is a primary requisite for effective conservation planning, particularly for species with complex life cycles in which different life stages occupy different niches and respond to the environment at different scales. However, niche models applied to conservation often neglect early life stages and are mostly performed at broad spatial scales. Using the endangered heath tiger beetle (Cicindela sylvatica) as a model species, we relate presence/absence and abundance data of locally dispersing adults and sedentary larvae to abiotic and biotic variables measured in a multiscale approach within the geographic extent relevant to active conservation management. At the scale of hundreds of meters, fine-grained abiotic conditions (i.e., vegetation structure) are fundamental determinants of the occurrence of both life stages, whereas the effect of biotic factors is mostly contained in the abiotic signature. The combination of dense heath vegetation and bare ground areas is thus the first requirement for the species' preservation, provided that accessibility to the suitable habitat is ensured. At a smaller scale (centimetres), the influence of abiotic factors on larval occurrence becomes negligible, suggesting the existence of important additional variables acting within larval proximity. Sustained significant correlations between neighbouring larvae in the models provide an indication of the potential impact of neighbourhood crowding on the larval niche within a few centimetres. Since the species spends the majority of its life cycle in the larval stage, it is essential to consider the hierarchical abiotic and biotic processes affecting the larvae when designing practical conservation guidelines for the species. This underlines the necessity for a more critical evaluation of the consequences of disregarding niche variation between life stages when estimating niches and

  10. Using kernels and ecological niche modeling to delineate conservation areas in an endangered patch-breeding phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denoël, Mathieu; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2015-10-01

    Efficient delineation of conservation areas is a great challenge in maintaining biodiversity. Kernel density estimators (KDEs) are a powerful tool in this perspective, but they have not been applied at the population level on patch-distributed organisms. This would be particularly worthy for species that need broad habitats beyond those where they can be sampled; such as terrestrial lands for pond-breeding amphibians. The aim of this study was to compare different approaches for the identification of suitable areas for conservation: KDE, ecological niche modelling, and a combination of KDE and niche models. Paedomorphosis was chosen as a model system because this is an important form of intraspecific variation that is present in numerous taxa, but geographically localized within species and globally endangered. 277 ponds were sampled in one of the hotspots of paedomorphosis to determine the abundance and distribution of paedomorphs (i.e., individuals retaining gills at the adult stage) of the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus), with emphasis on the connections between the most valuable populations. KDEs gave insights into the surface areas required to balance the maintenance of certain number of connected ponds and the respective number of disjoint areas in which the whole population is divided. The inclusion of barriers in the models helped in accurately designing the limits of the areas to protect. Alone, habitat models were not able to successfully delineate the area to protect, but the integration between terrestrial suitable areas or barriers and KDE allowed an objective identification of areas required for conservation. Overall, the best performance was observed by the KDE integrating ecological barriers, and by the combination between KDE and niche modelling. In a broader perspective, KDEs are thus a pertinent tool in providing quantitative spatial measurements to delineate conservation areas based on patch-abundance data with a specific focus to

  11. Persistence of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus defined by agro-ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogerwerf, Lenny; Wallace, Rob G; Ottaviani, Daniela; Slingenbergh, Jan; Prosser, Diann; Bergmann, Luc; Gilbert, Marius

    2010-06-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has spread across Eurasia and into Africa. Its persistence in a number of countries continues to disrupt poultry production, impairs smallholder livelihoods, and raises the risk a genotype adapted to human-to-human transmission may emerge. While previous studies identified domestic duck reservoirs as a primary risk factor associated with HPAI H5N1 persistence in poultry in Southeast Asia, little is known of such factors in countries with different agro-ecological conditions, and no study has investigated the impact of such conditions on HPAI H5N1 epidemiology at the global scale. This study explores the patterns of HPAI H5N1 persistence worldwide, and for China, Indonesia, and India includes individual provinces that have reported HPAI H5N1 presence during the 2004-2008 period. Multivariate analysis of a set of 14 agricultural, environmental, climatic, and socio-economic factors demonstrates in quantitative terms that a combination of six variables discriminates the areas with human cases and persistence: agricultural population density, duck density, duck by chicken density, chicken density, the product of agricultural population density and chicken output/input ratio, and purchasing power per capita. The analysis identifies five agro-ecological clusters, or niches, representing varying degrees of disease persistence. The agro-ecological distances of all study areas to the medoid of the niche with the greatest number of human cases are used to map HPAI H5N1 risk globally. The results indicate that few countries remain where HPAI H5N1 would likely persist should it be introduced.

  12. Predicted distribution of major malaria vectors belonging to the Anopheles dirus complex in Asia: ecological niche and environmental influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obsomer, Valerie; Defourny, Pierre; Coosemans, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Methods derived from ecological niche modeling allow to define species distribution based on presence-only data. This is particularly useful to develop models from literature records such as available for the Anopheles dirus complex, a major group of malaria mosquito vectors in Asia. This research defines an innovative modeling design based on presence-only model and hierarchical framework to define the distribution of the complex and attempt to delineate sibling species distribution and environmental preferences. At coarse resolution, the potential distribution was defined using slow changing abiotic factors such as topography and climate representative for the timescale covered by literature records of the species. The distribution area was then refined in a second step using a mask of current suitable land cover. Distribution area and ecological niche were compared between species and environmental factors tested for relevance. Alternatively, extreme values at occurrence points were used to delimit environmental envelopes. The spatial distribution for the complex was broadly consistent with its known distribution and influencing factors included temperature and rainfall. If maps developed from environmental envelopes gave similar results to modeling when the number of sites was high, the results were less similar for species with low number of recorded presences. Using presence-only models and hierarchical framework this study not only predicts the distribution of a major malaria vector, but also improved ecological modeling analysis design and proposed final products better adapted to malaria control decision makers. The resulting maps can help prioritizing areas which need further investigation and help simulate distribution under changing conditions such as climate change or reforestation. The hierarchical framework results in two products one abiotic based model describes the potential maximal distribution and remains valid for decades and the other

  13. Predicted distribution of major malaria vectors belonging to the Anopheles dirus complex in Asia: ecological niche and environmental influences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Obsomer

    Full Text Available Methods derived from ecological niche modeling allow to define species distribution based on presence-only data. This is particularly useful to develop models from literature records such as available for the Anopheles dirus complex, a major group of malaria mosquito vectors in Asia. This research defines an innovative modeling design based on presence-only model and hierarchical framework to define the distribution of the complex and attempt to delineate sibling species distribution and environmental preferences. At coarse resolution, the potential distribution was defined using slow changing abiotic factors such as topography and climate representative for the timescale covered by literature records of the species. The distribution area was then refined in a second step using a mask of current suitable land cover. Distribution area and ecological niche were compared between species and environmental factors tested for relevance. Alternatively, extreme values at occurrence points were used to delimit environmental envelopes. The spatial distribution for the complex was broadly consistent with its known distribution and influencing factors included temperature and rainfall. If maps developed from environmental envelopes gave similar results to modeling when the number of sites was high, the results were less similar for species with low number of recorded presences. Using presence-only models and hierarchical framework this study not only predicts the distribution of a major malaria vector, but also improved ecological modeling analysis design and proposed final products better adapted to malaria control decision makers. The resulting maps can help prioritizing areas which need further investigation and help simulate distribution under changing conditions such as climate change or reforestation. The hierarchical framework results in two products one abiotic based model describes the potential maximal distribution and remains valid for decades

  14. Persistence of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus defined by agro-ecological niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogerwerf, Lenny; Wallace, Rob G.; Ottaviani, Daniela; Slingenbergh, Jan; Prosser, Diann; Bergmann, Luc; Gilbert, Marius

    2010-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has spread across Eurasia and into Africa. Its persistence in a number of countries continues to disrupt poultry production, impairs smallholder livelihoods, and raises the risk a genotype adapted to human-to-human transmission may emerge. While previous studies identified domestic duck reservoirs as a primary risk factor associated with HPAI H5N1 persistence in poultry in Southeast Asia, little is known of such factors in countries with different agro-ecological conditions, and no study has investigated the impact of such conditions on HPAI H5N1 epidemiology at the global scale. This study explores the patterns of HPAI H5N1 persistence worldwide, and for China, Indonesia, and India includes individual provinces that have reported HPAI H5N1 presence during the 2004–2008 period. Multivariate analysis of a set of 14 agricultural, environmental, climatic, and socio-economic factors demonstrates in quantitative terms that a combination of six variables discriminates the areas with human cases and persistence: agricultural population density, duck density, duck by chicken density, chicken density, the product of agricultural population density and chicken output/input ratio, and purchasing power per capita. The analysis identifies five agro-ecological clusters, or niches, representing varying degrees of disease persistence. The agro-ecological distances of all study areas to the medoid of the niche with the greatest number of human cases are used to map HPAI H5N1 risk globally. The results indicate that few countries remain where HPAI H5N1 would likely persist should it be introduced.

  15. Overlooked habitat of a vulnerable gorgonian revealed in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic by ecological niche modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boavida, Joana; Assis, Jorge; Silva, Inga; Serrão, Ester A

    2016-11-14

    Factors shaping the distribution of mesophotic octocorals (30-200 m depth) remain poorly understood, potentially leaving overlooked coral areas, particularly near their bathymetric and geographic distributional limits. Yet, detailed knowledge about habitat requirements is crucial for conservation of sensitive gorgonians. Here we use Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) relating thirteen environmental predictors and a highly comprehensive presence dataset, enhanced by SCUBA diving surveys, to investigate the suitable habitat of an important structuring species, Paramuricea clavata, throughout its distribution (Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic). Models showed that temperature (11.5-25.5 °C) and slope are the most important predictors carving the niche of P. clavata. Prediction throughout the full distribution (TSS 0.9) included known locations of P. clavata alongside with previously unknown or unreported sites along the coast of Portugal and Africa, including seamounts. These predictions increase the understanding of the potential distribution for the northern Mediterranean and indicate suitable hard bottom areas down to >150 m depth. Poorly sampled habitats with predicted presence along Algeria, Alboran Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts encourage further investigation. We propose that surveys of target areas from the predicted distribution map, together with local expert knowledge, may lead to discoveries of new P. clavata sites and identify priority conservation areas.

  16. Molecular, morphological, and ecological niche differentiation of sympatric sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata (Fagaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Pahlich, Annette

    2009-09-01

    The genus Quercus (the oaks) is notorious for interspecific hybrization, generating questions about the mechanisms that permit coexistence of closely related species. Two sister oak species, Quercus virginiana and Q. geminata, occur in sympatry in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States. In 11 sites from northern and southeastern regions of Florida, we used a leaf-based morphological index to identify individuals to species. Eleven nuclear microsatellite markers significantly differentiated between the species with a high correspondence between molecular and morphological typing of specimens. Nevertheless, Bayesian clustering analysis indicates interspecific gene flow, and six of 109 individuals had mixed ancestry. The identity of several individuals also was mismatched using molecular markers and morphological characters. In a common environment, the two species performed differently in terms of photosynthetic performance and growth, corresponding to their divergent ecological niches with respect to soil moisture and other edaphic properties. Our data support earlier hypotheses that divergence in flowering time causes assortative mating, allowing these ecologically distinct sister species to occur in sympatry. Limited gene flow that permits ecological differentiation helps to explain the overdispersion of oak species in local communities.

  17. Comparative analysis of remotely-sensed data products via ecological niche modeling of avian influenza case occurrences in Middle Eastern poultry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodbyl-Roels, Sarah; Peterson, A Townsend; Xiao, Xiangming

    2011-03-28

    Ecological niche modeling integrates known sites of occurrence of species or phenomena with data on environmental variation across landscapes to infer environmental spaces potentially inhabited (i.e., the ecological niche) to generate predictive maps of potential distributions in geographic space. Key inputs to this process include raster data layers characterizing spatial variation in environmental parameters, such as vegetation indices from remotely sensed satellite imagery. The extent to which ecological niche models reflect real-world distributions depends on a number of factors, but an obvious concern is the quality and content of the environmental data layers. We assessed ecological niche model predictions of H5N1 avian flu presence quantitatively within and among four geographic regions, based on models incorporating two means of summarizing three vegetation indices derived from the MODIS satellite. We evaluated our models for predictive ability using partial ROC analysis and GLM ANOVA to compare performance among indices and regions. We found correlations between vegetation indices to be high, such that they contain information that overlaps broadly. Neither the type of vegetation index used nor method of summary affected model performance significantly. However, the degree to which model predictions had to be transferred (i.e., projected onto landscapes and conditions not represented on the landscape of training) impacted predictive strength greatly (within-region model predictions far out-performed models projected among regions). Our results provide the first quantitative tests of most appropriate uses of different remotely sensed data sets in ecological niche modeling applications. While our testing did not result in a decisive "best" index product or means of summarizing indices, it emphasizes the need for careful evaluation of products used in modeling (e.g. matching temporal dimensions and spatial resolution) for optimum performance, instead of

  18. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling of the Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis, Baird & Girard 1852) in the Baja California Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Carrillo, Tania; García-De León, Francisco J; Blázquez, Ma Carmen; Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; González Zamorano, Patricia

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the factors that explain the patterns of genetic structure or phylogeographic breaks at an intraspecific level is key to inferring the mechanisms of population differentiation in its early stages. These topics have been well studied in the Baja California region, with vicariance and the dispersal ability of individuals being the prevailing hypothesis for phylogeographic breaks. In this study, we evaluated the phylogeographic patterns in the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), a species with a recent history in the region and spatial variation in life history traits. We analyzed a total of 307 individuals collected throughout 19 localities across the Baja California Peninsula with 15 microsatellite DNA markers. Our data reveal the existence of 3 geographically discrete genetic populations with moderate gene flow and an isolation-by-distance pattern presumably produced by the occurrence of a refugium in the Cape region during the Pleistocene Last Glacial Maximum. Bayesian methods and ecological niche modeling were used to assess the relationship between population genetic structure and present and past climatic preferences of the desert iguana. We found that the present climatic heterogeneity of the Baja California Peninsula has a marked influence on the population genetic structure of the species, suggesting that there are alternative explanations besides vicariance. The information obtained in this study provides data allowing a better understanding of how historical population processes in the Baja California Peninsula can be understood from an ecological perspective. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Predicting suitable habitat of the Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) using ecological niche modeling in the Qionglai Mountains, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Yu; Ran, Jianghong

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the distribution and the extent of suitable habitats is crucial for wildlife conservation and management. Knowledge is limited regarding the natural habitats of the Chinese monal ( Lophophorus lhuysii ), which is a vulnerable Galliform species endemic to the high-montane areas of southwest China and a good candidate for being an umbrella species in the Qionglai Mountains. Using ecological niche modeling, we predicted current potential suitable habitats for the Chinese monal in the Qionglai Mountains with 64 presence points collected between 2005 and 2015. Suitable habitats of the Chinese monal were associated with about 31 mm precipitation of the driest quarter, about 15 °C of maximum temperature of the warmest month, and far from the nearest human residential locations (>5,000 m). The predicted suitable habitats of the Chinese monal covered an area of 2,490 km 2 , approximately 9.48% of the Qionglai Mountains, and was highly fragmented. 54.78% of the suitable habitats were under the protection of existing nature reserves and two conservation gaps were found. Based on these results, we provide four suggestions for the conservation management of the Chinese monal: (1) ad hoc surveys targeting potential suitable habitats to determine species occurrence, (2) more ecological studies regarding its dispersal capacity, (3) establishment of more corridors and green bridges across roads for facilitating species movement or dispersal, and (4) minimization of local disturbances.

  20. Modeling of the ecological niches of the anopheles spp in Ecuador by the use of geo-informatic tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Oswaldo; Rosas, Pablo; Moreno, Wilson; Toulkeridis, Theofilos

    2017-06-01

    Ecuador in the northwestern edge of South America is struggling by vector-borne diseases with an endemic-epidemic behavior leading to an enormous public health problem. Malaria, which has a cyclicality in its dynamics, is closely related to climatic, ecological and socio-economic phenomena. The main objective of this research has been to compare three different prediction species models, the so-called Maxent, logistic regression and multi criteria evaluation with fuzzy logic, in order to determine the model which best describes the ecological niche of the Anopheles spp species, which transmits malaria within Ecuador. After performing a detailed data collection and data processing, we applied the mentioned models and validated them with a statistical analysis in order to discover that the Maxent model has been the model that best defines the distribution of Anopheles spp within the territory. The determined sites, which are of high strategic value and important for the increasing national development, will now be able to initiate preventive countermeasures based on this study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Vital Affordances, Occupying Niches: An Ecological Approach to Disability and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dokumaci, Arseli

    2017-01-01

    This article proposes a new conceptual approach to disability and performance through a contribution that comes entirely from outside the disciplines; a re-theorisation of Gibson's [1979. "The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception". Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates] theory of affordances. Drawing on three visual ethnographies…

  2. Genomic evidence for distinct carbon substrate preferences and ecological niches of Bathyarchaeota in estuarine sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazar, Cassandre Sara; Baker, Brett J; Seitz, Kiley; Hyde, Andrew S; Dick, Gregory J; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Teske, Andreas P

    2016-04-01

    Investigations of the biogeochemical roles of benthic Archaea in marine sediments are hampered by the scarcity of cultured representatives. In order to determine their metabolic capacity, we reconstructed the genomic content of four widespread uncultured benthic Archaea recovered from estuary sediments at 48% to 95% completeness. Four genomic bins were found to belong to different subgroups of the former Miscellaneous Crenarcheota Group (MCG) now called Bathyarchaeota: MCG-6, MCG-1, MCG-7/17 and MCG-15. Metabolic predictions based on gene content of the different genome bins indicate that subgroup 6 has the ability to hydrolyse extracellular plant-derived carbohydrates, and that all four subgroups can degrade detrital proteins. Genes encoding enzymes involved in acetate production as well as in the reductive acetyl-CoA pathway were detected in all four genomes inferring that these Archaea are organo-heterotrophic and autotrophic acetogens. Genes involved in nitrite reduction were detected in all Bathyarchaeota subgroups and indicate a potential for dissimilatory nitrite reduction to ammonium. Comparing the genome content of the different Bathyarchaeota subgroups indicated preferences for distinct types of carbohydrate substrates and implicitly, for different niches within the sedimentary environment. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. ECOLOGICAL NICHE MODELING AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT UNITS (UMAS: AN APPLICATION TO DEER IN CAMPECHE, MÉXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Escalante

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The Units for the Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of Wildlife (UMAs are instruments of conservation and management of specific species in Mexico. UMAs represent in southeastern Mexico an important way for deer management, but they have major problems related to the monitoring of species. In this paper, we propose a methodology based on the use of a ‘niche centroid approach’ for estimating ecological distances to the niche centroid in order to produce distribution maps containing information on the potential relative abundance of species to evaluate the capability of UMAs to maintain populations of deers. We modeled the abundance for Mazama temama, M. pandora and Odocoileus virginianus on the state of Campeche, Mexico. Our predictions of areas with most abundance of deer coincided with reports from literature. We identified the UMAs “Ik Balam” and “Ejido Carlos Cano Cruz” as areas with high proportion of suitable environment, while UMAs “Betito y Lupita”, “El Huanal”, “Puh”, “Refugio faunístico Jalotum”, “Ría Lagartos-Ría Celestun” and “Yocol Cab Balam” have not environmental conditions adequate to maintain deer populations. Although this is a preliminary study, it can be a starting point to establish institutional standards for the management of species.

  4. Linking niche theory to ecological impacts of successful invaders: insights from resource fluctuation-specialist herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidoin, Cindy; Roques, Lionel; Boivin, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Theories of species coexistence and invasion ecology are fundamentally connected and provide a common theoretical framework for studying the mechanisms underlying successful invasions and their ecological impacts. Temporal fluctuations in resource availability and differences in life-history traits between invasive and resident species are considered as likely drivers of the dynamics of invaded communities. Current critical issues in invasion ecology thus relate to the extent to which such mechanisms influence coexistence between invasive and resident species and to the ability of resident species to persist in an invasive-dominated ecosystem. We tested how a fluctuating resource, and species trait differences may explain and help predict long-term impacts of biological invasions in forest specialist insect communities. We used a simple invasion system comprising closely related invasive and resident seed-specialized wasps (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) competing for a well-known fluctuating resource and displaying divergent diapause, reproductive and phenological traits. Based on extensive long-term field observations (1977-2010), we developed a combination of mechanistic and statistical models aiming to (i) obtain a realistic description of the population dynamics of these interacting species over time, and (ii) clarify the respective contributions of fluctuation-dependent and fluctuation-independent mechanisms to long-term impact of invasion on the population dynamics of the resident wasp species. We showed that a fluctuation-dependent mechanism was unable to promote coexistence of the resident and invasive species. Earlier phenology of the invasive species was the main driver of invasion success, enabling the invader to exploit an empty niche. Phenology also had the greatest power to explain the long-term negative impact of the invasive on the resident species, through resource pre-emption. This study provides strong support for the critical role of species

  5. Environmental factors associated with the distribution of visceral leishmaniasis in endemic areas of Bangladesh: modeling the ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Abu Yousuf Md; Dewan, Ashraf; Shogib, Md Rakibul Islam; Rahman, Md Masudur; Hossain, Md Faruk

    2017-01-01

    Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a parasitic infection (also called kala-azar in South Asia) caused by Leishmania donovani that is a considerable threat to public health in the Indian subcontinent, including densely populated Bangladesh. The disease seriously affects the poorest subset of the population in the subcontinent. Despite the fact that the incidence of VL results in significant morbidity and mortality, its environmental determinants are relatively poorly understood, especially in Bangladesh. In this study, we have extracted a number of environmental variables obtained from a range of sources, along with human VL cases collected through several field visits, to model the distribution of disease which may then be used as a surrogate for determining the distribution of Phlebotomus argentipes vector, in hyperendemic and endemic areas of Mymensingh and Gazipur districts in Bangladesh. The analysis was carried out within an ecological niche model (ENM) framework using a maxent to explore the ecological requirements of the disease. The results suggest that VL in the study area can be predicted by precipitation during the warmest quarter of the year, land surface temperature (LST), and normalized difference water index (NDWI). As P. argentipes is the single proven vector of L. donovani in the study area, its distribution could reasonably be determined by the same environmental variables. The analysis further showed that the majority of VL cases were located in mauzas where the estimated probability of the disease occurrence was high. This may reflect the potential distribution of the disease and consequently P. argentipes in the study area. The results of this study are expected to have important implications, particularly in vector control strategies and management of risk associated with this disease. Public health officials can use the results to prioritize their visits in specific areas. Further, the findings can be used as a baseline to model how the

  6. Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morin, Emmanuelle; Kohler, Annegret; Baker, Adam R.; Foulongne-Oriol, Marie; Lombard, Vincent; Nagy, Laszlo G.; Ohm, Robin A.; Patyshakuliyeva, Aleksandrina; Brun, Annick; Aerts, Andrea L.; Bailey, Andrew M.; Billette, Christophe; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Deakin, Greg; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Floudas, Dimitrios; Grimwood, Jane; Hilden, Kristiina; Kues, Ursula; LaButti, Kurt M.; Lapidus, Alla; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan M.; Murat, Claude; Riley, Robert W.; Salamov, Asaf A.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Subramanian, Venkataramanan; Wosten, Han A. B.; Xu, Jianping; Eastwood, Daniel C.; Foster, Gary D.; Sonnenberg, Anton S. M.; Cullen, Dan; de Vries, Ronald P.; Lundell, Taina; Hibbett, David S.; Henrissat, Bernard; Burton, Kerry S.; Kerrigan, Richard W.; Challen, Michael P.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Martin, Francis

    2012-04-27

    Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence, and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the button mushroom forms a multibillion dollar industry. We present two A. bisporus genomes, their gene repertoires and transcript profiles on compost and during mushroom formation. The genomes encode a full repertoire of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes similar to that of wood-decayers. Comparative transcriptomics of mycelium grown on defined medium, casing-soil, and compost revealed genes encoding enzymes involved in xylan, cellulose, pectin, and protein degradation are more highly expressed in compost. The striking expansion of heme-thiolate peroxidases and etherases is distinctive from Agaricomycotina wood-decayers and suggests a broad attack on decaying lignin and related metabolites found in humic acid-rich environment. Similarly, up-regulation of these genes together with a lignolytic manganese peroxidase, multiple copper radical oxidases, and cytochrome P450s is consistent with challenges posed by complex humic-rich substrates. The gene repertoire and expression of hydrolytic enzymes in A. bisporus is substantially different from the taxonomically related ectomycorrhizal symbiont Laccaria bicolor. A common promoter motif was also identified in genes very highly expressed in humic-rich substrates. These observations reveal genetic and enzymatic mechanisms governing adaptation to the humic-rich ecological niche formed during plant degradation, further defining the critical role such fungi contribute to soil structure and carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Genome sequence will expedite mushroom breeding for improved agronomic characteristics.

  7. Human brucellosis occurrences in inner mongolia, China: a spatio-temporal distribution and ecological niche modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Peng; Joyner, Andrew

    2015-02-03

    Brucellosis is a common zoonotic disease and remains a major burden in both human and domesticated animal populations worldwide. Few geographic studies of human Brucellosis have been conducted, especially in China. Inner Mongolia of China is considered an appropriate area for the study of human Brucellosis due to its provision of a suitable environment for animals most responsible for human Brucellosis outbreaks. The aggregated numbers of human Brucellosis cases from 1951 to 2005 at the municipality level, and the yearly numbers and incidence rates of human Brucellosis cases from 2006 to 2010 at the county level were collected. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing (RS) and ecological niche modeling (ENM) were integrated to study the distribution of human Brucellosis cases over 1951-2010. Results indicate that areas of central and eastern Inner Mongolia provide a long-term suitable environment where human Brucellosis outbreaks have occurred and can be expected to persist. Other areas of northeast China and central Mongolia also contain similar environments. This study is the first to combine advanced spatial statistical analysis with environmental modeling techniques when examining human Brucellosis outbreaks and will help to inform decision-making in the field of public health.

  8. Ecological Niche Modeling Identifies Fine-Scale Areas at High Risk of Dengue Fever in the Pearl River Delta, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiaoxuan; Ren, Hongyan; Zheng, Lan; Cao, Wei; Zhang, An; Zhuang, Dafang; Lu, Liang; Jiang, Huixian

    2017-06-09

    Dengue fever (DF) is one of the most common and rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral diseases in tropical and subtropical regions. In recent years, this imported disease has posed a serious threat to public health in China, especially in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). Although the severity of DF outbreaks in the PRD is generally associated with known risk factors, fine scale assessments of areas at high risk for DF outbreaks are limited. We built five ecological niche models to identify such areas including a variety of climatic, environmental, and socioeconomic variables, as well as, in some models, extracted principal components. All the models we tested accurately identified the risk of DF, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were greater than 0.8, but the model using all original variables was the most accurate (AUC = 0.906). Socioeconomic variables had a greater impact on this model (total contribution 55.27%) than climatic and environmental variables (total contribution 44.93%). We found the highest risk of DF outbreaks on the border of Guangzhou and Foshan (in the central PRD), and in northern Zhongshan (in the southern PRD). Our fine-scale results may help health agencies to focus epidemic monitoring tightly on the areas at highest risk of DF outbreaks.

  9. Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal a highly dynamic evolutionary history of the East Asian Tertiary relict Cercidiphyllum (Cercidiphyllaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xin-Shuai; Chen, Chen; Comes, Hans Peter; Sakaguchi, Shota; Liu, Yi-Hui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Sakio, Hitoshi; Qiu, Ying-Xiong

    2012-10-01

    East Asia's temperate deciduous forests served as sanctuary for Tertiary relict trees, but their ages and response to past climate change remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we elucidated the evolutionary and population demographic history of Cercdiphyllum, comprising species in China/Japan (Cercdiphyllum japonicum) and central Japan (Cercdiphyllum magnificum). Fifty-three populations were genotyped using chloroplast and ribosomal DNA sequences and microsatellite loci to assess molecular structure and diversity in relation to past (Last Glacial Maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modelling. Late Tertiary climate cooling was reflected in a relatively recent speciation event, dated at the Mio-/Pliocene boundary. During glacials, the warm-temperate C. japonicum experienced massive habitat losses in some areas (north-central China/north Japan) but increases in others (southwest/-east China, East China Sea landbridge, south Japan). In China, the Sichuan Basin and/or the middle-Yangtze were source areas of postglacial northward recolonization; in Japan, this may have been facilitated through introgressive hybridization with the cool-temperate C. magnificum. Our findings challenge the notion of relative evolutionary and demographic stability of Tertiary relict trees, and may serve as a guideline for assessing the impact of Neogene climate change on the evolution and distribution of East Asian temperate plants. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Ecological Niche Modeling Identifies Fine-Scale Areas at High Risk of Dengue Fever in the Pearl River Delta, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiaoxuan Li

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Dengue fever (DF is one of the most common and rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral diseases in tropical and subtropical regions. In recent years, this imported disease has posed a serious threat to public health in China, especially in the Pearl River Delta (PRD. Although the severity of DF outbreaks in the PRD is generally associated with known risk factors, fine scale assessments of areas at high risk for DF outbreaks are limited. We built five ecological niche models to identify such areas including a variety of climatic, environmental, and socioeconomic variables, as well as, in some models, extracted principal components. All the models we tested accurately identified the risk of DF, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC were greater than 0.8, but the model using all original variables was the most accurate (AUC = 0.906. Socioeconomic variables had a greater impact on this model (total contribution 55.27% than climatic and environmental variables (total contribution 44.93%. We found the highest risk of DF outbreaks on the border of Guangzhou and Foshan (in the central PRD, and in northern Zhongshan (in the southern PRD. Our fine-scale results may help health agencies to focus epidemic monitoring tightly on the areas at highest risk of DF outbreaks.

  11. Ecological niche modeling of mosquito vectors of West Nile virus in St. John's County, Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallam, Mohamed F; Xue, Rui-De; Pereira, Roberto M; Koehler, Phillip G

    2016-06-29

    The lack of available vaccines and consistent sporadic transmission of WNV justify the need for mosquito vector control and prediction of their geographic distribution. However, the distribution of WNV transmission is dependent on the mosquito vector and the ecological requirements, which vary from one place to another. Presence/density data of two WNV mosquito vectors, Culex nigripalpus and Cx. quinquefasciatus, was extracted within 5 km buffer zones around seropositive records of sentinel chickens in order to delineate their predicting variables and model the habitat suitability of probable infective mosquito using MaxEnt software. Different correlations between density data of the extracted mosquito vectors and 27 climate, land use-land cover, and land surface terrain variables were analyzed using linear regression analysis. Accordingly, the correlated predicting variables were used in building up habitat suitability model for the occurrence records of both mosquito vectors using MaxEnt. The density of both WNV mosquito vectors showed variation in their ecological requirements. Eight predicting variables, out of 27, had significant influence on density of Cx. nigripalpus. Precipitation of driest months was shown to be the best predicting variable for the density of this vector (R (2) = 41.70). Whereas, two variables were proven to predict the distribution of Cx. quinquefasciatus density. Vegetation showed the maximum predicting gain to the density of this mosquito vector (R (2) = 15.74), where nestling birds, in particular exotics, are found. Moreover, Jackknife analysis in MaxEnt demonstrated that urbanization and vegetation data layers significantly contribute in predicting habitat suitability of Cx. nigripalpus and Cx. quinquefasciatus occurrence, respectively, which justifies the contribution of the former in urban and the latter in epizootic transmission cycles of WNV. In addition, habitat suitability risk maps were produced for both vectors in

  12. Ecological niche shifts and environmental space anisotropy: a cautionary note Desplazamientos en el nicho y la anisotropía del espacio ambiental: una nota precautoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Soberón

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The anisotropic structure of climatic space may cause significant (and to a large extent unappreciated non-evolutionary niche shifts. This can be seen mostly in the context of spatial transferability of ecological niche models. We explore this effect using a virtual species in the United States. We created a simple virtual species by postulating its fundamental niche as an ellipse in a two-dimensional realistic climatic space. The climatic combinations defined by the ellipse were projected in the geography of the United States and 2 regions of equal area were selected. The structure of niche in the 2 areas is compared. It is shown that the 2 regions have differently positioned subsets of the environmental space, which creates "shifts" in the realized niches despite the fact that no evolution and no biotic interactions are present. The most parsimonious hypothesis when ecological niche modeling reveals shifts in the realized niche is that environmental space is heterogeneous. Without considering differences in the structure of environmental space no speculation about niche evolution or the role of competitors should be attempted.La estructura anisotrópica del espacio climático puede causar desplazamientos significativos no evolutivos en los nichos de las especies. Este efecto poco apreciado en la literatura se manifiesta con gran claridad cuando se realizan transferencias espaciales de modelos de nicho ecológico. Se explora este efecto utilizando una especie virtual en los Estados Unidos. Se creó una especie virtual simplificada postulando su nicho fundamental en forma de una elipse en un espacio realista de 2 dimensiones. Las combinaciones climáticas definidas por la elipse se proyectaron en la geografía de los Estados Unidos y se seleccionaron 2 regiones de igual superficie espacial. Se compara la estructura del nicho en las 2 regiones, mostrando que estas 2 regiones espaciales presentan subconjuntos distintos del espacio de variables

  13. Ecological niche modeling for predicting the potential risk areas of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Zhaohui; Wang, Zhiqiang; Liu, Yunxia; Wang, Hao; Xue, Fuzhong; Liu, Yanxun

    2014-09-01

    Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease caused by a novel bunyavirus. The spatial distribution has continued to expand, while the areas at potential high risk of SFTS have, to date, remained unclear. Using ecological factors as predictors, the MaxEnt model was first trained based on the locations of human SFTS occurrence in Shandong Province. The risk prediction map of China was then created by projecting the training model onto the whole country. The performance of the model was assessed using the known locations of disease occurrence in China. The key environmental factors affecting SFTS occurrence were temperature, precipitation, land cover, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and duration of sunshine. The risk prediction maps suggested that central, southwestern, northeastern, and the eastern coast of China are potential areas at high risk of SFTS. The potential high risk SFTS areas are distributed widely in China. The epidemiological surveillance system should be enhanced in these high risk regions. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling

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    K. Anne-Isola Nekaris

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

  15. Mycorrhizal hyphae as ecological niche for highly specialized hypersymbionts – or just soil free-riders?

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    Jan eJansa

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Mycorrhizal fungi interconnect two different kinds of environments, namely the plant roots with the surrounding soil. This widespread coexistence of plants and fungi has important consequences for plant mineral nutrition, water acquisition, carbon allocation, tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses and interplant competition. Yet some current research indicates a number of important roles to be played by hyphae-associated microbes, in addition to the hyphae themselves, in foraging for and acquisition of soil resources and in transformation of organic carbon in the soil-plant systems. We critically review the available scientific evidence for the theory that the surface of mycorrhizal hyphae in soil is colonized by highly specialized microbial communities, and that these fulfill important functions in the ecology of mycorrhizal fungal hyphae such as accessing recalcitrant forms of mineral nutrients, and production of signaling and other compounds in the vicinity of the hyphae. The validity of another hypothesis will then be addressed, namely that the specific associative microbes are rewarded with exclusive access to fungal carbon, which would qualify them as hypersymbionts (i.e. symbionts of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi. Thereafter, we ask whether recruitment of functionally different microbial assemblages by the hyphae is required under different soil conditions (questioning what evidence is available for such an effect, and we identify knowledge gaps requiring further attention.

  16. Biogeography and conservation of mammals from the West Sahara-Sahel: an application of ecological niche-based models and GIS

    OpenAIRE

    Gomes Vale, Cândida; Campos, João C.; Silva, Teresa L.; Gonçalves, Duarte V.; Sow, Andack Saad; Martínez-Freiría, Fernando; Boratyński, Zbyszek; Brito, José Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The West Sahara-Sahel is a remote region where knowledge gaps on mammal distribution have hampered accurate local biodiversity assessments and the development of optimised conservation planning in the region. Using a geographical information system and ecological niche-based modelling tools, this study combines high resolution presence data from 22 mammals and environmental factors from the West Sahara-Sahel to identify suitable areas for mammal occurrence, biogeographic affinities among taxa...

  17. What explains patterns of species richness? The relative importance of climatic?niche evolution, morphological evolution, and ecological limits in salamanders

    OpenAIRE

    Kozak, Kenneth H.; Wiens, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A major goal of evolutionary biology and ecology is to understand why species richness varies among clades. Previous studies have suggested that variation in richness among clades might be related to variation in rates of morphological evolution among clades (e.g., body size and shape). Other studies have suggested that richness patterns might be related to variation in rates of climatic?niche evolution. However, few studies, if any, have tested the relative importance of these varia...

  18. Use of ecological niche modeling as a tool for predicting the potential distribution of Microcystis sp (cyanobacteria in the Aguamilpa Dam, Nayarit, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Martinez-Meyer

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Ecological niche modeling is an important tool to evaluate the spatial distribution of terrestrial species, however, its applicability has been little explored in the aquatic environment. Microcystis sp., a species of cyanobacteria, is widely recognized for its ability to produce a group of toxins known as microcystins, which can cause death of animals as fish, birds and mammals depending on the amount of toxin absorbed. Like any taxonomic group, cyanobacteria has environmental thresholds, therefore, a suitable ecological niche will define their distribution. This study was conducted in Aguamilpa Hydroelectric Reservoir, an artificial ecosystem that started operations in 1994. In this system we evaluated the potential distribution of Microcystis sp., by generating a prediction model based on the concept of ecological niche MAXENT, using a Digital Elevation Model in cells of 100 m x 100 m (1 ha spatial resolution and monitoring eleven physicochemical and biological variables and nutrients in water. The distribution maps were developed using ArcMap 9.2®. The results indicated that Microcystis sp., is distributed mainly in the upper tributary basin (Huaynamota basin during the dry season. There was less chance to find cyanobacteria in the entire system during the cold dry season, while during the warm dry season cyanobacteria was recognized at the confluence of two rivers. During the rainfall season there were no reports of cyanobacteria presence. This species is often associated with arising trophic processes of anthropogenic origin; therefore, attention is required in specific areas that have been identified in this work to improve Aguamilpa’s watershed management and restoration. It was also recognized the importance of phosphorus and nitrogen interaction, which determines the distribution of Microcystis sp., in the Aguamilpa Reservoir. The results of this study demonstrated that ecological niche modeling was a suitable tool to assess the

  19. Invasive cane toads are unique in shape but overlap in ecological niche compared to Australian native frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-García, Marta; Keogh, J Scott

    2017-10-01

    Invasive species are an important issue worldwide but predicting invasiveness, and the underlying mechanisms that cause it, is difficult. There are several primary hypotheses to explain invasion success. Two main hypothesis based on niche spaces stand out as alternative, although not exclusive. The empty niche hypothesis states that invaders occupy a vacant niche space in the recipient community, and the niche competition hypothesis states that invaders overlap with native species in niche space. Studies on trait similarity/dissimilarity between the invader and native species can provide information on their niche overlap. Here, we use the highly invasive and well-studied cane toad ( Rhinella marina ) to test these two hypotheses in Australia, and assess its degree of overlap with native species in several niche dimensions. We compare extensive morphological and environmental data of this successful invader to 235 species (97%) of native Australian frogs. Our study is the first to document the significant morphological differences between the invasive cane toad and a continent-wide frog radiation: despite significant environmental overlap, cane toads were distinct in body size and shape from most Australian frog species, suggesting that in addition to their previously documented phenotypic plasticity and wide environmental and trophic niche breadth, their unique shape also may have contributed to their success as an invasive species in Australia. Thus, the invasive success of cane toads in Australia may be explained through them successfully colonizing an empty niche among Australian anurans. Our results support that the cane toad's distinct morphology may have played a unique role in the invasiveness of this species in Australia, which coupled with a broad environmental niche breadth, would have boosted their ability to expand their distribution across Australia. We also propose RLLR (Relative limb length ratio) as a potentially useful measure of identifying

  20. Korarchaeota diversity, biogeography, and abundance in Yellowstone and Great Basin hot springs and ecological niche modeling based on machine learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Coleman, Robin L; Dodsworth, Jeremy A; Ross, Christian A; Shock, Everett L; Williams, Amanda J; Hartnett, Hilairy E; McDonald, Austin I; Havig, Jeff R; Hedlund, Brian P

    2012-01-01

    Over 100 hot spring sediment samples were collected from 28 sites in 12 areas/regions, while recording as many coincident geochemical properties as feasible (>60 analytes). PCR was used to screen samples for Korarchaeota 16S rRNA genes. Over 500 Korarchaeota 16S rRNA genes were screened by RFLP analysis and 90 were sequenced, resulting in identification of novel Korarchaeota phylotypes and exclusive geographical variants. Korarchaeota diversity was low, as in other terrestrial geothermal systems, suggesting a marine origin for Korarchaeota with subsequent niche-invasion into terrestrial systems. Korarchaeota endemism is consistent with endemism of other terrestrial thermophiles and supports the existence of dispersal barriers. Korarchaeota were found predominantly in >55°C springs at pH 4.7-8.5 at concentrations up to 6.6×10(6) 16S rRNA gene copies g(-1) wet sediment. In Yellowstone National Park (YNP), Korarchaeota were most abundant in springs with a pH range of 5.7 to 7.0. High sulfate concentrations suggest these fluids are influenced by contributions from hydrothermal vapors that may be neutralized to some extent by mixing with water from deep geothermal sources or meteoric water. In the Great Basin (GB), Korarchaeota were most abundant at spring sources of pHsprings create the neutral to mildly acidic pH that is optimal for Korarchaeota. A classification support vector machine (C-SVM) trained on single analytes, two analyte combinations, or vectors from non-metric multidimensional scaling models was able to predict springs as Korarchaeota-optimal or sub-optimal habitats with accuracies up to 95%. To our knowledge, this is the most extensive analysis of the geochemical habitat of any high-level microbial taxon and the first application of a C-SVM to microbial ecology.

  1. Multi-Axis Niche Examination of Ecological Specialization: Responses to Heat, Desiccation and Starvation Stress in Two Species of Pit-Building Antlions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotkopf, Ron; Barkae, Erez David; Bar-Hanin, Einav; Alcalay, Yehonatan; Ovadia, Ofer

    2012-01-01

    Classical ecological studies discussing specialization usually focus on species’ performance along one niche axis. This approach may overlook niche differentiation evident in another dimension which could explain species co-occurrence. The present research exemplifies a comprehensive approach to examining local adaptation. Specifically, we examined multiple niche axes by subjecting a model organism to various experimental conditions to monitor responses to extreme stress associated with heat, desiccation and starvation. Our model system comprised two pit-building antlions: the habitat generalist Myrmeleon hyalinus and the habitat specialist Cueta lineosa. Previous research has shown that the foraging performance of the generalist is better than that of the specialist, even in the latter’s characteristic habitat. We illustrate that this apparent superiority of the habitat generalist does not manifest itself along other niche axes; rather, the habitat specialist holds a set of traits that provide an advantage under harsh environmental conditions. Specifically, C. lineosa has an advantage over M. hyalinus at high temperatures, exhibiting a higher survival rate and improved foraging success (i.e., high-temperature specialist). C. lineosa is also more efficient in its energy budget, losing less mass during starvation and gaining mass more efficiently during feeding. This superior efficiency is a result of physiological adaptations as well as behavioural responses to harsh conditions. In conclusion, our results imply that the habitat specialization of C. lineosa has not led it towards an evolutionary dead-end. PMID:23209835

  2. Using Intact Iron Microbial Mats to Gain Insights Into Mat Ecology and Geochemical Niche at the Microbial Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glazer, B. T.; Chan, C. S. Y.; Mcallister, S.; Leavitt, A.; Emerson, D.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial mats are formed by microorganisms working in coordinated symbiosis, often benefitting the community by controlling the local geochemical or physical environment. Thus, the ecology of the mat depends on the individual roles of microbes organized into niches within a larger architecture. Chemolithotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) form distinctive Fe oxyhydroxide biominerals which constitute the building blocks of the mat. However, the majority of our progress has been in understanding the overall community structure. Understanding the physical mat structure on the microbial scale is important to unraveling FeOB evolution, the biogeochemistry and ecology of Fe-rich habitats, and ultimately interpreting FeOB biosignatures in the rock record. Mats in freshwater and marine environments contain strikingly similar biomineral morphologies, yet they are formed by phylogenetically distinct microorganisms. This suggests that the overall architecture and underlying genetics of freshwater and marine mats has evolved to serve particular roles specific to Fe oxidation. Thus, we conducted a comparative study of Fe seep freshwater mats and marine hydrothermal mats. We have developed a new approach to sampling Fe mats in order to preserve the delicate structure for analysis by confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Our analyses of these intact mats show that freshwater and marine mats are similarly initiated by a single type of structure-former. These ecosystem engineers form either a hollow sheath or a twisted stalk biomineral during mat formation, with a highly directional structure. These microbes appear to be the vanguard organisms that anchor the community within oxygen/Fe(II) gradients, further allowing for community succession in the mat interior as evidenced by other mineralized morphologies. Patterns in biomineral thickness and directionality were indicative of redox gradients and temporal changes in the geochemical environment. These observations show that

  3. Species-specific ecological niche modelling predicts different range contractions for Lutzomyia intermedia and a related vector of Leishmania braziliensis following climate change in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Shannon; Rangel, Elizabeth F; Ready, Paul D; Carvalho, Bruno M

    2017-03-24

    Before 1996 the phlebotomine sand fly Lutzomyia neivai was usually treated as a synonym of the morphologically similar Lutzomyia intermedia, which has long been considered a vector of Leishmania braziliensis, the causative agent of much cutaneous leishmaniasis in South America. This report investigates the likely range changes of both sand fly species in response to a stabilisation climate change scenario (RCP4.5) and a high greenhouse gas emissions one (RCP8.5). Ecological niche modelling was used to identify areas of South America with climates currently suitable for each species, and then the future distributions of these climates were predicted based on climate change scenarios. Compared with the previous ecological niche model of L. intermedia (sensu lato) produced using the GARP algorithm in 2003, the current investigation modelled the two species separately, making use of verified presence records and additional records after 2001. Also, the new ensemble approach employed ecological niche modelling algorithms (including Maximum Entropy, Random Forests and Support Vector Machines) that have been widely adopted since 2003 and perform better than GARP, as well as using a more recent climate change model (HadGEM2) considered to have better performance at higher resolution than the earlier one (HadCM2). Lutzomyia intermedia was shown to be the more tropical of the two species, with its climatic niche defined by higher annual mean temperatures and lower temperature seasonality, in contrast to the more subtropical L. neivai. These different latitudinal ranges explain the two species' predicted responses to climate change by 2050, with L. intermedia mostly contracting its range (except perhaps in northeast Brazil) and L. neivai mostly shifting its range southwards in Brazil and Argentina. This contradicts the findings of the 2003 report, which predicted more range expansion. The different findings can be explained by the improved data sets and modelling methods. Our

  4. Korarchaeota diversity, biogeography, and abundance in Yellowstone and Great Basin hot springs and ecological niche modeling based on machine learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin L Miller-Coleman

    Full Text Available Over 100 hot spring sediment samples were collected from 28 sites in 12 areas/regions, while recording as many coincident geochemical properties as feasible (>60 analytes. PCR was used to screen samples for Korarchaeota 16S rRNA genes. Over 500 Korarchaeota 16S rRNA genes were screened by RFLP analysis and 90 were sequenced, resulting in identification of novel Korarchaeota phylotypes and exclusive geographical variants. Korarchaeota diversity was low, as in other terrestrial geothermal systems, suggesting a marine origin for Korarchaeota with subsequent niche-invasion into terrestrial systems. Korarchaeota endemism is consistent with endemism of other terrestrial thermophiles and supports the existence of dispersal barriers. Korarchaeota were found predominantly in >55°C springs at pH 4.7-8.5 at concentrations up to 6.6×10(6 16S rRNA gene copies g(-1 wet sediment. In Yellowstone National Park (YNP, Korarchaeota were most abundant in springs with a pH range of 5.7 to 7.0. High sulfate concentrations suggest these fluids are influenced by contributions from hydrothermal vapors that may be neutralized to some extent by mixing with water from deep geothermal sources or meteoric water. In the Great Basin (GB, Korarchaeota were most abundant at spring sources of pH<7.2 with high particulate C content and high alkalinity, which are likely to be buffered by the carbonic acid system. It is therefore likely that at least two different geological mechanisms in YNP and GB springs create the neutral to mildly acidic pH that is optimal for Korarchaeota. A classification support vector machine (C-SVM trained on single analytes, two analyte combinations, or vectors from non-metric multidimensional scaling models was able to predict springs as Korarchaeota-optimal or sub-optimal habitats with accuracies up to 95%. To our knowledge, this is the most extensive analysis of the geochemical habitat of any high-level microbial taxon and the first application of a C

  5. Modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animal hosts to delineate sources of human exposure in the western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Michael; Haseeb, M A

    2015-01-01

    Plague has been established in the western United States (US) since 1900 following the West Coast introduction of commensal rodents infected with Yersinia pestis via early industrial shipping. Over the last century, plague ecology has transitioned through cycles of widespread human transmission, urban domestic transmission among commensal rodents, and ultimately settled into the predominantly sylvan foci that remain today where it is maintained alternatively by enzootic and epizootic transmission. While zoonotic transmission to humans is much less common in modern times, significant plague risk remains in parts of the western US. Moreover, risk to some threatened species that are part of the epizootic cycle can be quite substantive. This investigation attempted to predict the risk of plague across the western US by modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animals identified between 2000 and 2015. A Maxent machine learning algorithm was used to predict this niche based on climate, altitude, land cover, and the presence of an important enzootic species, Peromyscus maniculatus. This model demonstrated good predictive ability (AUC = 86%) and identified areas of high risk in central Colorado, north-central New Mexico, and southwestern and northeastern California. The presence of P. maniculatus, altitude, precipitation during the driest and wettest quarters, and distance to artificial surfaces, all contributed substantively to maximizing the gain function. These findings add to the known landscape epidemiology and infection ecology of plague in the western US and may suggest locations of particular risk to be targeted for wild and domestic animal intervention.

  6. Origins of house mice in ecological niches created by settled hunter-gatherers in the Levant 15,000 y ago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weissbrod, Lior; Marshall, Fiona B; Valla, François R; Khalaily, Hamoudi; Bar-Oz, Guy; Auffray, Jean-Christophe; Vigne, Jean-Denis; Cucchi, Thomas

    2017-04-18

    Reductions in hunter-gatherer mobility during the Late Pleistocene influenced settlement ecologies, altered human relations with animal communities, and played a pivotal role in domestication. The influence of variability in human mobility on selection dynamics and ecological interactions in human settlements has not been extensively explored, however. This study of mice in modern African villages and changing mice molar shapes in a 200,000-y-long sequence from the Levant demonstrates competitive advantages for commensal mice in long-term settlements. Mice from African pastoral households provide a referential model for habitat partitioning among mice taxa in settlements of varying durations. The data reveal the earliest known commensal niche for house mice in long-term forager settlements 15,000 y ago. Competitive dynamics and the presence and abundance of mice continued to fluctuate with human mobility through the terminal Pleistocene. At the Natufian site of Ain Mallaha, house mice displaced less commensal wild mice during periods of heavy occupational pressure but were outcompeted when mobility increased. Changing food webs and ecological dynamics in long-term settlements allowed house mice to establish durable commensal populations that expanded with human societies. This study demonstrates the changing magnitude of cultural niche construction with varying human mobility and the extent of environmental influence before the advent of farming.

  7. Modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animal hosts to delineate sources of human exposure in the western United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Walsh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Plague has been established in the western United States (US since 1900 following the West Coast introduction of commensal rodents infected with Yersinia pestis via early industrial shipping. Over the last century, plague ecology has transitioned through cycles of widespread human transmission, urban domestic transmission among commensal rodents, and ultimately settled into the predominantly sylvan foci that remain today where it is maintained alternatively by enzootic and epizootic transmission. While zoonotic transmission to humans is much less common in modern times, significant plague risk remains in parts of the western US. Moreover, risk to some threatened species that are part of the epizootic cycle can be quite substantive. This investigation attempted to predict the risk of plague across the western US by modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animals identified between 2000 and 2015. A Maxent machine learning algorithm was used to predict this niche based on climate, altitude, land cover, and the presence of an important enzootic species, Peromyscus maniculatus. This model demonstrated good predictive ability (AUC = 86% and identified areas of high risk in central Colorado, north-central New Mexico, and southwestern and northeastern California. The presence of P. maniculatus, altitude, precipitation during the driest and wettest quarters, and distance to artificial surfaces, all contributed substantively to maximizing the gain function. These findings add to the known landscape epidemiology and infection ecology of plague in the western US and may suggest locations of particular risk to be targeted for wild and domestic animal intervention.

  8. Do ecological niche model predictions reflect the adaptive landscape of species?: a test using Myristica malabarica Lam., an endemic tree in the Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraju, Shivaprakash K; Gudasalamani, Ravikanth; Barve, Narayani; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Narayanagowda, Ganeshaiah Kotiganahalli; Ramanan, Uma Shaanker

    2013-01-01

    Ecological niche models (ENM) have become a popular tool to define and predict the "ecological niche" of a species. An implicit assumption of the ENMs is that the predicted ecological niche of a species actually reflects the adaptive landscape of the species. Thus in sites predicted to be highly suitable, species would have maximum fitness compared to in sites predicted to be poorly suitable. As yet there are very few attempts to address this assumption. Here we evaluate this assumption. We used Bioclim (DIVA GIS version 7.3) and Maxent (version 3.3.2) to predict the habitat suitability of Myristica malabarica Lam., an economically important tree occurring in the Western Ghats, India. We located populations of the trees naturally occurring in different habitat suitability regimes (from highly suitable to poorly suitable) and evaluated them for their regeneration ability and genetic diversity. We also evaluated them for two plant functional traits, fluctuating asymmetry--an index of genetic homeostasis, and specific leaf weight--an index of primary productivity, often assumed to be good surrogates of fitness. We show a significant positive correlation between the predicted habitat quality and plant functional traits, regeneration index and genetic diversity of populations. Populations at sites predicted to be highly suitable had a higher regeneration and gene diversity compared to populations in sites predicted to be poor or unsuitable. Further, individuals in the highly suitable sites exhibited significantly less fluctuating asymmetry and significantly higher specific leaf weight compared to individuals in the poorly suitable habitats. These results for the first time provide an explicit test of the ENM with respect to the plant functional traits, regeneration ability and genetic diversity of populations along a habitat suitability gradient. We discuss the implication of these results for designing viable species conservation and restoration programs.

  9. Do ecological niche model predictions reflect the adaptive landscape of species?: a test using Myristica malabarica Lam., an endemic tree in the Western Ghats, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shivaprakash K Nagaraju

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models (ENM have become a popular tool to define and predict the "ecological niche" of a species. An implicit assumption of the ENMs is that the predicted ecological niche of a species actually reflects the adaptive landscape of the species. Thus in sites predicted to be highly suitable, species would have maximum fitness compared to in sites predicted to be poorly suitable. As yet there are very few attempts to address this assumption. Here we evaluate this assumption. We used Bioclim (DIVA GIS version 7.3 and Maxent (version 3.3.2 to predict the habitat suitability of Myristica malabarica Lam., an economically important tree occurring in the Western Ghats, India. We located populations of the trees naturally occurring in different habitat suitability regimes (from highly suitable to poorly suitable and evaluated them for their regeneration ability and genetic diversity. We also evaluated them for two plant functional traits, fluctuating asymmetry--an index of genetic homeostasis, and specific leaf weight--an index of primary productivity, often assumed to be good surrogates of fitness. We show a significant positive correlation between the predicted habitat quality and plant functional traits, regeneration index and genetic diversity of populations. Populations at sites predicted to be highly suitable had a higher regeneration and gene diversity compared to populations in sites predicted to be poor or unsuitable. Further, individuals in the highly suitable sites exhibited significantly less fluctuating asymmetry and significantly higher specific leaf weight compared to individuals in the poorly suitable habitats. These results for the first time provide an explicit test of the ENM with respect to the plant functional traits, regeneration ability and genetic diversity of populations along a habitat suitability gradient. We discuss the implication of these results for designing viable species conservation and restoration

  10. Leapfrogging into new territory: How Mascarene ridged frogs diversified across Africa and Madagascar to maintain their ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimkus, Breda M; Lawson, Lucinda P; Barej, Michael F; Barratt, Christopher D; Channing, Alan; Dash, Katrina M; Dehling, J Maximilian; Du Preez, Louis; Gehring, Philip-Sebastian; Greenbaum, Eli; Gvoždík, Václav; Harvey, James; Kielgast, Jos; Kusamba, Chifundera; Nagy, Zoltán T; Pabijan, Maciej; Penner, Johannes; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Vences, Miguel; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    The Mascarene ridged frog, Ptychadena mascareniensis, is a species complex that includes numerous lineages occurring mostly in humid savannas and open forests of mainland Africa, Madagascar, the Seychelles, and the Mascarene Islands. Sampling across this broad distribution presents an opportunity to examine the genetic differentiation within this complex and to investigate how the evolution of bioclimatic niches may have shaped current biogeographic patterns. Using model-based phylogenetic methods and molecular-clock dating, we constructed a time-calibrated molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for the group based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cytochrome b (cytb) genes and the nuclear RAG1 gene from 173 individuals. Haplotype networks were reconstructed and species boundaries were investigated using three species-delimitation approaches: Bayesian generalized mixed Yule-coalescent model (bGMYC), the Poisson Tree Process model (PTP) and a cluster algorithm (SpeciesIdentifier). Estimates of similarity in bioclimatic niche were calculated from species-distribution models (maxent) and multivariate statistics (Principal Component Analysis, Discriminant Function Analysis). Ancestral-area reconstructions were performed on the phylogeny using probabilistic approaches implemented in BioGeoBEARS. We detected high levels of genetic differentiation yielding ten distinct lineages or operational taxonomic units, and Central Africa was found to be a diversity hotspot for these frogs. Most speciation events took place throughout the Miocene, including "out-of-Africa" overseas dispersal events to Madagascar in the East and to São Tomé in the West. Bioclimatic niche was remarkably well conserved, with most species tolerating similar temperature and rainfall conditions common to the Central African region. The P. mascareniensis complex provides insights into how bioclimatic niche shaped the current biogeographic patterns with niche conservatism being exhibited by the Central African

  11. Inferring the past and present connectivity across the range of a North American leaf beetle: combining ecological niche modeling and a geographically explicit model of coalescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellicour, Simon; Fearnley, Shannon; Lombal, Anicée; Heidl, Sarah; Dahlhoff, Elizabeth P; Rank, Nathan E; Mardulyn, Patrick

    2014-08-01

    The leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis occurs across Western North America, either at high elevation or in small, isolated populations along the coast, and thus has a highly fragmented distribution. DNA sequence data (three loci) were collected from five regions across the species range. Population connectivity was examined using traditional ecological niche modeling, which suggested that gene flow could occur among regions now and in the past. We developed geographically explicit coalescence models of sequence evolution that incorporated a two-dimensional representation of the hypothesized ranges suggested by the niche-modeling estimates. We simulated sequence data according to these models and compared them to observed sequences to identify most probable scenarios regarding the migration history of C. aeneicollis. Our results disagreed with initial niche-modeling estimates by clearly rejecting recent connectivity among regions, and were instead most consistent with a long period of range fragmentation, extending well beyond the last glacial maximum. This application of geographically explicit models of coalescence has highlighted some limitations of the use of climatic variables for predicting the present and past range of a species and has explained aspects of the Pleistocene evolutionary history of a cold-adapted organism in Western North America. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. Market positioning: the shifting effects of niche overlap

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggeman, J.; Grunow, D.; Leenders, M.A.A.M.; Vermeulen, I.; Kuilman, J.G.

    2012-01-01

    Organizational ecology models of market dynamics emphasize the competition-inducing role of inter-organizational niche overlap—targeting similar market niches increases competitive pressure and thus reduces organizations’ fitness. Recent studies, however, have suggested that moderate niche overlap

  13. Market positioning : The shifting effects of niche overlap

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggeman, J.; Grunow, D.; Leenders, M.A.A.M.; Vermeulen, I.; Kuilman, J.G.

    2012-01-01

    Organizational ecology models of market dynamics emphasize the competition-inducing role of inter-organizational niche overlap—targeting similar market niches increases competitive pressure and thus reduces organizations’ fitness. Recent studies, however, have suggested that moderate niche overlap

  14. [Study on the spatial distribution and related risks of Rhombomys opimus, based on the ecological niche modeling in Junggar Basin, Xinjiang].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mei; Luo, Tao; Zhao, Jian; Wang, Qiguo; Li, Bo; Azha, Ti; Zhang, Yujiang; Li, Qun

    2014-09-01

    In order to understand the distribution of the host animals in Junggar Basin, this study intended to map the spatial distribution and identifying the risk of Rhombomys opimus in the framework of ecological niche theory based on the "3S" technology. Data on Rhombomys opimus was obtained through a series of field surveys. Environmental variables were achieved through data from Remote Sensing. Maxent modeling was built to map the potential distribution of Rhombomys opimus, with its risks identified. The prediction model showed ideal accuracy, with the AUC value as 0.968. Probability of Maximum Youden Index was defined as the threshold being used. The sensitivity and specificity showed as 91.4% and 63.3%, respectively. The accuracy was 73.8%, and the Kappa coefficient was 0.495. The positive predictive value was 59.7%. The negative predictive value was 92.6%. The predicted high risk area was 37 304 km2, with 6.2% in the whole area, distributed in 18 counties, including Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Urumqi, Karamay and so on. The number of people under high risk would come about 120 000, scattering in the areas of 261 square kilometers. It was feasible to predict the potential distribution of Rhombomys opimus based on the ecological niche theory as well as environmental variables derived from data through remote sensing. More specific high-risk areas could be identified under this technique so as to guide the monitoring programs.

  15. PSA-NCAM expression in the teleost optic tectum is related to ecological niche and use of vision in finding food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labak, I; Pavić, V; Zjalić, M; Blažetić, S; Viljetić, B; Merdić, E; Heffer, M

    2017-08-01

    In this study, tangential migration and neuronal connectivity organization were analysed in the optic tectum of seven different teleosts through the expression of polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) in response to ecological niche and use of vision. Reduced PSA-NCAM expression in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss optic tectum occurred in efferent layers, while in pike Esox lucius and zebrafish Danio rerio it occurred in afferent and efferent layers. Zander Sander lucioperca and European eel Anguilla anguilla had very low PSA-NCAM expression in all tectal layers except in the stratum marginale. Common carp Cyprinus carpio and wels catfish Silurus glanis had the same intensity of PSA-NCAM expression in all tectal layers. The optic tectum of all studied fishes was also a site of tangential migration with sustained PSA-NCAM and c-series ganglioside expression. Anti-c-series ganglioside immunoreactivity was observed in all tectal layers of all analysed fishes, even in layers where PSA-NCAM expression was reduced. Since the optic tectum is indispensable for visually guided prey capture, stabilization of synaptic contact and decrease of neurogenesis and tangential migration in the visual map are an expected adjustment to ecological niche. The authors hypothesize that this stabilization would probably be achieved by down-regulation of PSA-NCAM rather than c-series of ganglioside. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  16. Ecological niche modeling of coastal dune plants and future potential distribution in response to climate change and sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-González, Gabriela; Martínez, M Luisa; Rojas-Soto, Octavio R; Vázquez, Gabriela; Gallego-Fernández, Juan B

    2013-08-01

    Climate change (CC) and sea level rise (SLR) are phenomena that could have severe impacts on the distribution of coastal dune vegetation. To explore this we modeled the climatic niches of six coastal dunes plant species that grow along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, and projected climatic niches to future potential distributions based on two CC scenarios and SLR projections. Our analyses suggest that distribution of coastal plants will be severely limited, and more so in the case of local endemics (Chamaecrista chamaecristoides, Palafoxia lindenii, Cakile edentula). The possibilities of inland migration to the potential 'new shoreline' will be limited by human infrastructure and ecosystem alteration that will lead to a 'coastal squeeze' of the coastal habitats. Finally, we identified areas as future potential refuges for the six species in central Gulf of Mexico, and northern Yucatán Peninsula especially under CC and SLR scenarios. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Environmental (in)dependence of a hybrid zone: Insights from molecular markers and ecological niche modeling in a hybrid zone ofOriganum(Lamiaceae) on the island of Crete.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bariotakis, Michael; Koutroumpa, Konstantina; Karousou, Regina; Pirintsos, Stergios A

    2016-12-01

    The role of environment and the relative significance of endogenous versus exogenous selection in shaping hybrid zones have been crucial issues in the studies of hybridization. Recent advances in ecological niche modeling (ENM) offer new methodological tools, especially in combination with the genotyping of individuals in the hybrid zone. Here, we study the hybrid zone between the widely known spices Origanum onites and Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum in Crete. We analyze the genetic structure of both parental taxa and their hybrid Origanum  ×  intercendens using AFLP markers on 15 sympatric and 12 allopatric populations and employ ecological niche modeling and niche similarity tests to study their niche patterns. We complement these analyses with seed viability measurements. Our study revealed that the hybridizing taxa O. onites and O. vulgare ssp. hirtum and the resulting genotypic classes showed geographical and environmental niche similarities based on the predictions of ENMs and the subsequent similarity tests. The occurrence of the hybrid zone is not directly dependent on environmental factors which favor the fitness of the hybrid compared to the parental taxa, but rather on aspects such as historical factors and management practices, which may contribute to the localization and maintenance of the contact zone between parental species. Our results suggest that if a minimum required niche differentiation between genotypic classes is not achieved, environmental dependence might not have a prominent role on the outcome of the hybridization.

  18. [Ecology of nutrition and differentiation of the trophic niches of bats (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in floodplain ecosystems of the Samara Bend].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnov, D G; Vekhnik, V P

    2014-01-01

    A complex analysis of the food range of 15 bat species inhabiting floodplain ecosystems of the Samara Bend has been performed. It is shown that, in bats, an important component of the structuring of their communities is the division of food resources. The guild structure and position of species in the trophic space are described. Seven food guilds consisting of nonspecialized and specialized species are distinguished. It is noted that most species are characterized by a wide overlapping of their trophic niches, which may be a consequence of their weak competition in an environment that is rich in food resources.

  19. A test of the central-marginal hypothesis using population genetics and ecological niche modelling in an endemic salamander (Ambystoma barbouri).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheletti, Steven J; Storfer, Andrew

    2015-03-01

    The central-marginal hypothesis (CMH) predicts that population size, genetic diversity and genetic connectivity are highest at the core and decrease near the edges of species' geographic distributions. We provide a test of the CMH using three replicated core-to-edge transects that encompass nearly the entire geographic range of the endemic streamside salamander (Ambystoma barbouri). We confirmed that the mapped core of the distribution was the most suitable habitat using ecological niche modelling (ENM) and via genetic estimates of effective population sizes. As predicted by the CMH, we found statistical support for decreased genetic diversity, effective population size and genetic connectivity from core to edge in western and northern transects, yet not along a southern transect. Based on our niche model, habitat suitability is lower towards the southern range edge, presumably leading to conflicting core-to-edge genetic patterns. These results suggest that multiple processes may influence a species' distribution based on the heterogeneity of habitat across a species' range and that replicated sampling may be needed to accurately test the CMH. Our work also emphasizes the importance of identifying the geographic range core with methods other than using the Euclidean centre on a map, which may help to explain discrepancies among other empirical tests of the CMH. Assessing core-to-edge population genetic patterns across an entire species' range accompanied with ENM can inform our general understanding of the mechanisms leading to species' geographic range limits. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terradas, J.; Penuelas, J.; Lloret, F.; Penuelas, J.

    2009-01-01

    Classical approaches to niche in coexisting plants have undervalued temporal fluctuations. We propose that fluctuation niche is an important dimension of the total niche and interacts with habitat and life-history niches to provide a better understanding of the multidimensional niche space where ecological interactions occur. To scale a fluctuation niche, it is necessary to relate environmental constrictions or species performance not only to the absolute values of the usual environmental and eco physiological variables but also to their variances or other measures of variability. We use Mediterranean plant communities as examples, because they present characteristic large seasonal and inter annual fluctuations in water and nutrient availabilities, along an episodic-constant gradient, and because the plant responses include a number of syndromes coupled to this gradient.

  1. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Terradas

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Classical approaches to niche in coexisting plants have undervalued temporal fluctuations. We propose that fluctuation niche is an important dimension of the total niche and interacts with habitat and life-history niches to provide a better understanding of the multidimensional niche space where ecological interactions occur. To scale a fluctuation niche, it is necessary to relate environmental constrictions or species performance not only to the absolute values of the usual environmental and ecophysiological variables but also to their variances or other measures of variability. We use Mediterranean plant communities as examples, because they present characteristic large seasonal and interannual fluctuations in water and nutrient availabilities, along an episodic-constant gradient, and because the plant responses include a number of syndromes coupled to this gradient.

  2. Habitats and ecological niches of root-hemiparasitic plants: an assessment based on a large database of vegetation plots

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Těšitel, J.; Fibich, P.; de Bello, Francesco; Chytrý, M.; Lepš, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 2 (2015), s. 87-108 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/12/1390 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Bartsia * beals index * Euphrasia Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.711, year: 2015 http://www.sci.muni.cz/ botany /chytry/Tesitel_etal2015_Preslia.pdf

  3. Measurement Method and Empirical Research on the Sustainable Development Capability of a Regional Industrial System Based on Ecological Niche Theory in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hang Yin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available From the analytical view of a recycling economy, the regional system achieves the goal of sustainable development through improving resource utilization efficiency, reducing energy consumption and ameliorating the quality of water and air. The regional economic system’s potential for sustainable development is significantly influenced by regional industrial operational efficiency, which measures the cost of ecology, environment, energy and resources accompanying the economic growth. It is vital for national and regional governments to accelerate harmonious development between products of industrial department, consumption of energy and pollutants discharged. Under the guidance of ecological niche theory and recycling economy theory, the theoretical analysis on efficient relations between regional industrial growth, energy consumption, resources utilization and environmental carrying capacity has been carried out from horizontal and vertical respects. Industrial operational efficiency and the sensitivity coefficient in response to the change of every input and output index can be calculated and critical factors, which restrict sustainable development capability, can be found out so that quantitative references could be provided for administrative decisions. As for the measurement method, a super efficiency mixed data envelopment analysis model, which wipes off self-limited condition and either contains both meeting cone characteristic indexes or not, has been established and applied. Statistics from 1993 to 2012 in China are collected to carry out empirical research. On the basis of further analysis, an adjustment strategy can be constituted to improve the capability for sustainable development.

  4. Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmanuelle Morin; Annegret Kohler; Adam R. Baker; Marie Foulongne-Oriol; Vincent Lombard; Laszlo G. Nagy; Robin A. Ohm; Aleksandrina Patyshakuliyeva; Annick Brun; Andrea L. Aerts; Andrew M. Bailey; Christophe Billette; Pedro M. Coutinho; Greg Deakin; Harshavardhan Doddapaneni; Dimitrios Floudas; Jane Grimwood; Kristiina Hild& #233; n; Ursula K& #252; es; Kurt M. LaButti; Alla Lapidus; Erika A. Lindquist; Susan M. Lucas; Claude Murat; Robert W. Riley; Asaf A. Salamov; Jeremy Schmutz; Venkataramanan Subrananian; Han A.B. W& #246; sten; Jianping Xu; Daniel C. Eastwood; Gary D. Foster; Anton S.M. Sonnenberg; Daniel Cullen; Ronald P. de Vries; Taina Lundell; David S. Hibbett; Bernard Henrissat; Kerry S. Burton; Richard W. Kerrigan; Michael P. Challen; Igor V. Grigoriev; Francis. Martin

    2012-01-01

    Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence,and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the "button mushroom" forms a multibillion dollar...

  5. Ecological niche modeling of the invasive potential of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus in African river systems: concerns and implications for the conservation of indigenous congenerics

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Zengeya, TA

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available of species range (native vs. introduced) on model performance and assessed whether or not there is evidence suggestive of a niche shift in Nile tilapia following its introduction. Niche models were constructed using Maxent and the degree of niche similarity...

  6. Assessment of the in vitro bioactive properties of lactic acid bacteria isolated from native ecological niches of Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benavides, Ana B; Ulcuango, Mario; Yépez, Lucía; Tenea, Gabriela N

    Lactic acid bacteria are known for their biotechnological potential. In various regions of Ecuador numerous indigenous biological resources are largely undocumented. In this study, we evaluated the potential probiotic characteristics and antagonistic in vitro properties of some lactic acid bacteria from native niches of the subtropical rain forests of Ecuador. These isolates were identified according to their morphological properties, standard API50CH fermentation profile and RAPD-DNA polymorphism pattern. The selected isolates were further evaluated for their probiotic potential. The isolates grew at 15°C and 45°C, survived at a pH ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 in the presence of 0.3% bile (>90%) and grew under sodium chloride conditions. All selected isolates were sensitive to ampicillin, amoxicillin and cefuroxime and some showed resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin and tetracycline. Moreover, the agar well diffusion assay showed that the supernatant of each strain at pH 3.0 and pH 4.0, but not at pH 7.0 exhibited increased antimicrobial activity (inhibition zone >15mm) against two foodborne pathogens, Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the antagonistic activity against two foodborne pathogens and the probiotic in vitro potential of lactic acid bacteria isolated from native biota of Ecuador. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. Ecological Niche Modelling Predicts Southward Expansion of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia flaviscutellata (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae, Vector of Leishmania (Leishmania amazonensis in South America, under Climate Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Carvalho

    Full Text Available Vector borne diseases are susceptible to climate change because distributions and densities of many vectors are climate driven. The Amazon region is endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis and is predicted to be severely impacted by climate change. Recent records suggest that the distributions of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia flaviscutellata and the parasite it transmits, Leishmania (Leishmania amazonensis, are expanding southward, possibly due to climate change, and sometimes associated with new human infection cases. We define the vector's climatic niche and explore future projections under climate change scenarios. Vector occurrence records were compiled from the literature, museum collections and Brazilian Health Departments. Six bioclimatic variables were used as predictors in six ecological niche model algorithms (BIOCLIM, DOMAIN, MaxEnt, GARP, logistic regression and Random Forest. Projections for 2050 used 17 general circulation models in two greenhouse gas representative concentration pathways: "stabilization" and "high increase". Ensemble models and consensus maps were produced by overlapping binary predictions. Final model outputs showed good performance and significance. The use of species absence data substantially improved model performance. Currently, L. flaviscutellata is widely distributed in the Amazon region, with records in the Atlantic Forest and savannah regions of Central Brazil. Future projections indicate expansion of the climatically suitable area for the vector in both scenarios, towards higher latitudes and elevations. L. flaviscutellata is likely to find increasingly suitable conditions for its expansion into areas where human population size and density are much larger than they are in its current locations. If environmental conditions change as predicted, the range of the vector is likely to expand to southeastern and central-southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and further into the Amazonian areas of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador

  8. Ecological Niche Modelling Predicts Southward Expansion of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) flaviscutellata (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae), Vector of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis in South America, under Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Bruno M; Rangel, Elizabeth F; Ready, Paul D; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Vector borne diseases are susceptible to climate change because distributions and densities of many vectors are climate driven. The Amazon region is endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis and is predicted to be severely impacted by climate change. Recent records suggest that the distributions of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) flaviscutellata and the parasite it transmits, Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis, are expanding southward, possibly due to climate change, and sometimes associated with new human infection cases. We define the vector's climatic niche and explore future projections under climate change scenarios. Vector occurrence records were compiled from the literature, museum collections and Brazilian Health Departments. Six bioclimatic variables were used as predictors in six ecological niche model algorithms (BIOCLIM, DOMAIN, MaxEnt, GARP, logistic regression and Random Forest). Projections for 2050 used 17 general circulation models in two greenhouse gas representative concentration pathways: "stabilization" and "high increase". Ensemble models and consensus maps were produced by overlapping binary predictions. Final model outputs showed good performance and significance. The use of species absence data substantially improved model performance. Currently, L. flaviscutellata is widely distributed in the Amazon region, with records in the Atlantic Forest and savannah regions of Central Brazil. Future projections indicate expansion of the climatically suitable area for the vector in both scenarios, towards higher latitudes and elevations. L. flaviscutellata is likely to find increasingly suitable conditions for its expansion into areas where human population size and density are much larger than they are in its current locations. If environmental conditions change as predicted, the range of the vector is likely to expand to southeastern and central-southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and further into the Amazonian areas of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela

  9. Microbial responses to chitin and chitosan in oxic and anoxic agricultural soil slurries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieczorek, A. S.; Hetz, S. A.; Kolb, S.

    2014-06-01

    Microbial degradation of chitin in soil substantially contributes to carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Chitin is globally the second most abundant biopolymer after cellulose and can be deacetylated to chitosan or can be hydrolyzed to N,N'-diacetylchitobiose and oligomers of N-acetylglucosamine by aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Which pathway of chitin hydrolysis is preferred by soil microbial communities is unknown. Supplementation of chitin stimulated microbial activity under oxic and anoxic conditions in agricultural soil slurries, whereas chitosan had no effect. Thus, the soil microbial community likely was more adapted to chitin as a substrate. In addition, this finding suggested that direct hydrolysis of chitin was preferred to the pathway that starts with deacetylation. Chitin was apparently degraded by aerobic respiration, ammonification, and nitrification to carbon dioxide and nitrate under oxic conditions. When oxygen was absent, fermentation products (acetate, butyrate, propionate, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide) and ammonia were detected, suggesting that butyric and propionic acid fermentation, along with ammonification, were likely responsible for anaerobic chitin degradation. In total, 42 different chiA genotypes were detected of which twenty were novel at an amino acid sequence dissimilarity of less than 50%. Various chiA genotypes responded to chitin supplementation and affiliated with a novel deep-branching bacterial chiA genotype (anoxic conditions), genotypes of Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria (oxic and anoxic conditions), and Planctomycetes (oxic conditions). Thus, this study provides evidence that detected chitinolytic bacteria were catabolically diverse and occupied different ecological niches with regard to oxygen availability enabling chitin degradation under various redox conditions on community level.

  10. Human niche construction in interdisciplinary focus

    OpenAIRE

    Kendal, Jeremy; Tehrani, Jamshid J.; Odling-Smee, John

    2011-01-01

    Niche construction is an endogenous causal process in evolution, reciprocal to the causal process of natural selection. It works by adding ecological inheritance, comprising the inheritance of natural selection pressures previously modified by niche construction, to genetic inheritance in evolution. Human niche construction modifies selection pressures in environments in ways that affect both human evolution, and the evolution of other species. Human ecological inheritance is exceptionally po...

  11. Stitch the niche - a practical philosophy and visual schematic for the niche concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2012-01-01

    By over-focusing on precise definitions, ecology has produced a confused idea of the niche concept. This, our second paper, develops a practical philosophy for the niche that approaches the concept at the correct level of abstraction. We deconstruct the niche into effect and response components and

  12. How is the rate of climatic-niche evolution related to climatic-niche breadth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher-Reid, M Caitlin; Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J

    2012-12-01

    The rate of climatic-niche evolution is important to many research areas in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology, including responses of species to global climate change, spread of invasive species, speciation, biogeography, and patterns of species richness. Previous studies have implied that clades with higher rates of climatic-niche evolution among species should have species with narrower niche breadths, but there is also evidence suggesting the opposite pattern. However, the relationships between rate and breadth have not been explicitly analyzed. Here, we examine the relationships between the rate of climatic-niche evolution and climatic-niche breadth using phylogenetic and climatic data for 250 species in the salamander family Plethodontidae, a group showing considerable variation in both rates of climatic-niche evolution and climatic-niche breadths. Contrary to some expectations, we find no general relationship between climatic-niche breadth and the rate of climatic-niche evolution. Climatic-niche breadths for some ecologically important climatic variables considered separately (temperature seasonality and annual precipitation) do show significant relationships with the rate of climatic-niche evolution, but rates are faster in clades in which species have broader (not narrower) niche breadths. In summary, our results show that narrower niche breadths are not necessarily associated with faster rates of niche evolution. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Ecological Misconceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  14. Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal the Pleistocene history of a semi-aquatic bug (Microvelia douglasi douglasi) in East Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhen; Zhu, Gengping; Chen, Pingping; Zhang, Danli; Bu, Wenjun

    2014-06-01

    This study investigated the Pleistocene history of a semi-aquatic bug, Microvelia douglasi douglasi Scott, 1874 (Hemiptera: Veliidae) in East Asia. We used M. douglasi douglasi as a model species to explore the effects of historical climatic fluctuations on montane semi-aquatic invertebrate species. Two hypotheses were developed using ecological niche models (ENMs). First, we hypothesized that M. douglasi douglasi persisted in suitable habitats in southern Guizhou, southern Yunnan, Hainan, Taiwan and southeast China during the LIG. After that, the populations expanded (Hypothesis 1). As the spatial prediction in the LGM was significantly larger than in the LIG, we then hypothesized that the population expanded during the LIG to LGM transition (Hypothesis 2). We tested these hypotheses using mitochondrial data (COI+COII) and nuclear data (ITS1+5.8S+ITS2). Young lineages, relatively deep splits, lineage differentiation among mountain ranges in central, south and southwest China and high genetic diversities were observed in these suitable habitats. Evidence of mismatch distributions and neutrality tests indicate that a population expansion occurred in the late Pleistocene. The Bayesian skyline plot (BSP) revealed an unusual population expansion that likely happened during the cooling transition between LIG and LGM. The results of genetic data were mostly consistent with the spatial predictions from ENM, a finding that can profoundly improve phylogeographic research. The ecological requirements of M. douglasi douglasi, together with the geographical heterogeneity and climatic fluctuations of Pleistocene in East Asia, could have shaped this unusual demographic history. Our study contributes to our knowledge of semi-aquatic bug/invertebrate responses to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations in East Asia. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Genetic diversity and ecological niche modelling of wild barley: refugia, large-scale post-LGM range expansion and limited mid-future climate threats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Joanne; van Zonneveld, Maarten; Dawson, Ian K; Booth, Allan; Waugh, Robbie; Steffenson, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Describing genetic diversity in wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) in geographic and environmental space in the context of current, past and potential future climates is important for conservation and for breeding the domesticated crop (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare). Spatial genetic diversity in wild barley was revealed by both nuclear- (2,505 SNP, 24 nSSR) and chloroplast-derived (5 cpSSR) markers in 256 widely-sampled geo-referenced accessions. Results were compared with MaxEnt-modelled geographic distributions under current, past (Last Glacial Maximum, LGM) and mid-term future (anthropogenic scenario A2, the 2080s) climates. Comparisons suggest large-scale post-LGM range expansion in Central Asia and relatively small, but statistically significant, reductions in range-wide genetic diversity under future climate. Our analyses support the utility of ecological niche modelling for locating genetic diversity hotspots and determine priority geographic areas for wild barley conservation under anthropogenic climate change. Similar research on other cereal crop progenitors could play an important role in tailoring conservation and crop improvement strategies to support future human food security.

  16. Pro-social behaviour of ants depends on their ecological niche-Rescue actions in species from tropical and temperate regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miler, Krzysztof; Yahya, Bakhtiar Effendi; Czarnoleski, Marcin

    2017-11-01

    Some ants display rescue behaviour, which is performed by nearby nestmates and directed at individuals in danger. Here, using several ant species, we demonstrate that rescue behaviour expression matches predicted occurrences based on certain aspects of species' ecological niches. Rescue occurred in sand-dwelling ants exposed both to co-occurring antlion larvae, representing the threat of being captured by a predator, and to nest cave-ins, representing the threat of being trapped in a collapsed nest chamber. Rescue also occurred in forest groundcover ants exposed to certain entrapment situations. However, rescue never occurred in species associated with open plains, which nest in hardened soils and forage largely on herbaceous plants, or in ants living in close mutualistic relationships with their host plants. In addition, because we tested each species in two types of tests, antlion larva capture tests and artificial entrapment tests, we highlight the importance of accounting for test context in studying rescue behaviour expression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Relaxed random walk model coupled with ecological niche modeling unravel the dispersal dynamics of a Neotropical savanna tree species in the deeper Quaternary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collevatti, Rosane G; Terribile, Levi C; Rabelo, Suelen G; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the dispersal routes of Neotropical savanna tree species is an essential step to unravel the effects of past climate change on genetic patterns, species distribution and population demography. Here we reconstruct the demographic history and dispersal dynamics of the Neotropical savanna tree species Tabebuia aurea to understand the effects of Quaternary climate change on its current spatial patterns of genetic diversity. We sampled 285 individuals from 21 populations throughout Brazilian savannas and sequenced all individuals for three chloroplast intergenic spacers and ITS nrDNA. We analyzed data using a multi-model inference framework by coupling the relaxed random walk model (RRW), ecological niche modeling (ENM) and statistical phylogeography. The most recent common ancestor of T. aurea lineages dated from ~4.0 ± 2.5 Ma. T. aurea lineages cyclically dispersed from the West toward the Central-West Brazil, and from the Southeast toward the East and Northeast Brazil, following the paleodistribution dynamics shown by the ENMs through the last glacial cycle. A historical refugium through time may have allowed dispersal of lineages among populations of Central Brazil, overlapping with population expansion during interglacial periods and the diversification of new lineages. Range and population expansion through the Quaternary were, respectively, the most frequent prediction from ENMs and the most likely demographic scenario from coalescent simulations. Consistent phylogeographic patterns among multiple modeling inferences indicate a promising approach, allowing us to understand how cyclical climate changes through the Quaternary drove complex population dynamics and the current patterns of species distribution and genetic diversity.

  18. Genetic diversity and ecological niche modelling of wild barley: refugia, large-scale post-LGM range expansion and limited mid-future climate threats?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne Russell

    Full Text Available Describing genetic diversity in wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum in geographic and environmental space in the context of current, past and potential future climates is important for conservation and for breeding the domesticated crop (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare. Spatial genetic diversity in wild barley was revealed by both nuclear- (2,505 SNP, 24 nSSR and chloroplast-derived (5 cpSSR markers in 256 widely-sampled geo-referenced accessions. Results were compared with MaxEnt-modelled geographic distributions under current, past (Last Glacial Maximum, LGM and mid-term future (anthropogenic scenario A2, the 2080s climates. Comparisons suggest large-scale post-LGM range expansion in Central Asia and relatively small, but statistically significant, reductions in range-wide genetic diversity under future climate. Our analyses support the utility of ecological niche modelling for locating genetic diversity hotspots and determine priority geographic areas for wild barley conservation under anthropogenic climate change. Similar research on other cereal crop progenitors could play an important role in tailoring conservation and crop improvement strategies to support future human food security.

  19. Ecological niches and blood sources of sand fly in an endemic focus of visceral leishmaniasis in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huiying; Li, Kaili; Shi, Hua; Zhang, Yong; Ha, Yu; Wang, Yan; Jiang, Jinjin; Wang, Yubin; Yang, Zhenzhou; Xu, Jiannong; Ma, Yajun

    2016-04-13

    Sand fly Phlebotomus chinensis is a principle vector for the visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in China with a wide geographic distribution. Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan is a mountain type endemic area of VL in China. Long term effective control efforts in the region have successfully reduced VL transmission. To assess the current status of the sand flies and their ecological aspects in the region, a survey was conducted in the summer of 2014 and 2015. Sand fly specimens were collected by light traps in a village and blood sources were identified by PCR and sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. In a rock cave, 65.2 %-79.8 % of collected sand flies were male. On a rabbit farm, 92.9 %-98.8 % of specimens were female. In pig pens, 61.1 % of specimens were female. Some females had visible blood residues. The feeding rate was 49.4 % from the pig pens, 12.3 % from the cave, and only 1.7 % from the rabbit farm. Pig, rabbit, chicken, dog, and human blood were detected in the fed specimens. Swine blood, present in all tested samples, was a preferred blood source, while chicken and dog blood were present in a third of the samples. In Jiuzhaigou County, Sichuan Province of China, the considerable sandfly density and the peridomestic feeding behavior all increases the risk of VL transmission, and insecticide spraying in animal sheds could be exploited to reduce sand fly populations in human surroundings.

  20. Cryptic diversity within the harmful dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinea in coastal Chinese waters is related to differentiated ecological niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhaohe; Yang, Weidong; Leaw, Chui Pin; Pospelova, Vera; Bilien, Gwenael; Liow, Guat Ru; Lim, Po Teen; Gu, Haifeng

    2017-06-01

    Blooms of the harmful dinoflagellate Akashiwo sanguinea are responsible for the mass mortality of fish and invertebrates in coastal waters. This cosmopolitan species includes several genetically differentiated clades. Four clonal cultures were established by isolating single cells from Xiamen Harbour (the East China Sea) for morphological and genetic analyses. The cultures displayed identical morphology but were genetically different, thus revealing presence of cryptic diversity in the study area. New details of the apical structure complex of Akashiwo sanguinea were also found. To investigate whether the observed cryptic diversity was related to environmental differentiation, 634 cells were obtained from seasonal water samples collected from 2008 to 2012. These cells were sequenced by single-cell PCR. For comparison with Chinese material, additional large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences were obtained for three established strains from Malaysian and French waters. To examine potential ecological differentiation of the distinct genotypes, growth responses of the studied strains were tested under laboratory conditions at temperatures of 12°C to 33°C. These experiments showed four distinct ribotypes of A. sanguinea globally, with the ribotypes A and B co-occuring in Xiamen Harbour. Ribotype A of A. sanguinea was present year-round in Xiamen Harbour, but it only bloomed in the winter and spring, thus corresponding to the winter type. In contrast, A. sanguinea ribotype B bloomed only in the summer, corresponding to the summer type. This differentiation supports the temperature optimum conditions that were established for these two ribotypes in the laboratory. Ribotype A grew better at lower temperatures compared to ribotype B which preferred higher temperatures. These findings support the idea that various ribotypes of A. sanguinea correspond to distinct ecotypes and allopatric speciation occurred in different climatic regions followed by dispersal. Copyright © 2017

  1. Shifts in the regeneration niche of an endangered tree (Acer opalus ssp. granatense) during ontogeny: Using an ecological concept for application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quero Perez, J.L.; Gómez-Aparicio, L.; Zamora, R.; Maestre, F.T.

    2008-01-01

    Most of our knowledge regarding ontogenetic niche shifts in plants has been derived from studies involving only two or unconnected life stages. Approaches covering a broader range of different life stages are still needed to fully understand the implications of ontogenetic niche shifts for plant

  2. The importance of relative humidity and trophic resources in governing ecological niche of the invasive carabid beetle Merizodus soledadinus in the Kerguelen archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouisse, Tiphaine; Bonte, Dries; Lebouvier, Marc; Hendrickx, Frederik; Renault, David

    Comprehensive studies to identify species-specific drivers of survival to environmental stress, reproduction, growth, and recruitment are vital to gaining a better understanding of the main ecological factors shaping species habitat distribution and dispersal routes. The present study performed a field-based assessment of habitat distribution in the invasive carabid beetle Merizodus soledadinus for the Kerguelen archipelago. The results emphasised humid habitats as a key element of the insect's realised niche. In addition, insects faced food and water stress during dispersal events. We evaluated quantitatively how water availability and trophic resources governed the spatial distribution of this invasive predatory insect at Îles Kerguelen. Food and water stress survival durations [in 100%, 70%, and 30% relative humidity (RH) conditions] and changes in a set of primary metabolic compounds (metabolomics) were determined. Adult M. soledadinus supplied with water ad libitum were highly tolerant to prolonged starvation (LT 50 =51.7±6.2d). However, food-deprived insect survival decreased rapidly in moderate (70% RH, LT 50 =30.37±1.39h) and low (30% RH, LT 50 =13.03±0.48h) RH conditions. Consistently, body water content decreased rapidly in insects exposed to 70% and 30% RH. Metabolic variation evidenced the effects of food deprivation in control insects (exposed to 100% RH), which exhibited a progressive decline of most glycolytic sugars and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. Most metabolite levels were elevated levels during the first few hours of exposure to 30% and 70% RH. Augmented alanine and lactate levels suggested a shift to anaerobic metabolism. Simultaneously, peaks in threonine and glycolytic sugars pointed to metabolic disruption and a progressive physiological breakdown in dehydrating individuals. Overall, the results of our study indicate that the geographic distribution of M. soledadinus populations is highly dependent on habitat RH and water

  3. Family routines within the ecological niche: An analysis of the psychological well-being of U.S. caregivers of children with disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Ann Larson

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Using mixed methods, this study examined the relationship of caregivers of children with disabilities’ psychological well-being and their orchestration of daily routines within their ecological niche. Thirty-nine U.S. caregivers completed in-depth interviews, Psychological Well-being Scales (PWB, and Family Time and Routines Index (FTRI. We used a multi-step analysis. Interview data was coded and vignettes created without knowledge of PWB and FTRI ratings. Next, the relationship of quantitative measures was analyzed. Four groups were created using FTRI-extent and PWB means: (1 low routine-low PWB, (2 low routine-high PWB, (3 high routine-low PWB, and (4 high routine-high PWB. We examined qualitative differences in key features between groups. Findings: Total PWB and FTRI scores were not significantly correlated, PWB Purpose in Life and FTRI-extent scores were moderately positively correlated, and PWB Environmental Mastery and FTRI-extent correlation approached significance. Qualitative findings describe caregivers’ structuring of routines, intensity of oversight, support in routines, management of dinner, paid work, and needs for respite. The four groups differed in paid work, household support, degree the child could self-occupy, Environmental Mastery, and opportunities to recuperate. Caregivers with higher levels of well-being and more regular routines did paid work, had supportive spouses, had children who more often could follow routines, had higher Environmental Mastery, could orchestrate a family meal, and had breaks from care in either work or leisure. All Native American caregivers and Mexican American caregivers with spouses were in the high routine-high PWB group. Insight into this complex negotiation between family members within daily routines may provide practitioners a better understanding of how to work within family circles to foster therapeutic alliances, identify focused intervention targets, and promote positive family

  4. Tuna and dolphin associations in the North-east Atlantic: Evidence of different ecological niches from stable isotope and heavy metal measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Das, K.; Lepoint, G.; Loizeau, V.; Debacker, V.; Dauby, P.; Bouquegneau, J.M

    2000-02-01

    Associations of tunas and dolphins in the wild are quite frequent events and the question arises how predators requiring similar diet in the same habitat share their environmental resources. As isotopic composition of an animal is related to that of its preys, stable isotope ({sup 13}C/{sup 12}C and {sup 15}N/{sup 14}N) analyses were performed in three predator species from the North-east Atlantic: the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis and the albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, and compared to their previously described stomach content. Heavy metals (Cd, Zn, Cu and Fe) are mainly transferred through the diet and so, have been determined in the tissues of the animals. Tuna muscles display higher {delta}{sup 15}N than in common and striped dolphins (mean: 11.4 vs. 10.3%o and 10.4%o, respectively) which reflects their higher trophic level nutrition. Higher {delta}{sup 13}C are found in common (-18.4%o) and striped dolphin (-18.1%o) muscles than in albacore tuna (-19.3%o) probably in relation with its migratory pattern. The most striking feature is the presence of two levels of cadmium concentrations in the livers of the tunas (32 mg kg{sup -1} dry weight (DW) vs. 5 mg kg{sup -1} DW). These two groups also differ by their iron concentrations and their {delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C liver values. These results suggest that in the Biscay Bay, tunas occupy two different ecological niches probably based on different squid inputs in their diet.

  5. Elevation Shift inAbiesMill. (Pinaceae) of Subtropical and Temperate China and Vietnam-Corroborative Evidence from Cytoplasmic DNA and Ecological Niche Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Yi-Zhen; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Phan, Loc Ke; Xiang, Qiao-Ping

    2017-01-01

    The "elevational shift" scenario has been proposed as a model to explain the response of cold-adapted organisms to Quaternary climatic fluctuations in Europe and North America. However, the elevational shift model has not been well-explored in eastern Asia, which is more topographically complex than the other Northern Hemisphere biogeographic regions. Here, we evaluated the role of elevational shift in the closely related firs, or Abies Mill., of subtropical and temperate China. These firs are typical alpine trees with sensitivity to climate change. We tested the elevational shift hypothesis in firs of China using phylogeographic methods and ecological niche models. Our phylogeographic analyses comprised mitochondrial and chloroplast polymorphisms surveyed across 479 individuals from 43 populations representing 11 species. M1 of the 11 mitotypes and C1 of the 25 chlorotypes were inferred as the ancestral haplotype, and they had the widest distribution. The results of our phylogeographic survey revealed multiple centers of genetic diversity in distinct geographic regions and no latitudinal trend. Moreover, our results showed range expansions for seven taxa during the last glacial (64.9-18.2 or 32.5-9.1 kya), and this was consistent with the Quaternary fossil record of Abies in China. Taken together, our findings support a historical biogeographic pattern in firs of glacial expansions, probably through corridors at lower elevation, and interglacial fragmentations, through isolation at higher elevation peaks. Therefore, Abies in China probably undergoes elevational shift in response to climate change. Facing the forecasting global warming, the risk of several critically endangered firs was further enhanced as these species would have little escape space in situ to higher altitudes. According to our ENMs, we proposed an ex situ conservation strategy in the southern Hengduan Mountains region of south western China.

  6. Predicting the current potential and future world wide distribution of the onion maggot, Delia antiqua using maximum entropy ecological niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ning, Shuoying; Wei, Jiufeng; Feng, Jinian

    2017-01-01

    Climate change will markedly impact biology, population ecology, and spatial distribution patterns of insect pests because of the influence of future greenhouse effects on insect development and population dynamics. Onion maggot, Delia antiqua, larvae are subterranean pests with limited mobility, that directly feed on bulbs of Allium sp. and render them completely unmarketable. Modeling the spatial distribution of such a widespread and damaging pest is crucial not only to identify current potentially suitable climactic areas but also to predict where the pest is likely to spread in the future so that appropriate monitoring and management programs can be developed. In this study, Maximum Entropy Niche Modeling was used to estimate the current potential distribution of D. antiqua and to predict the future distribution of this species in 2030, 2050, 2070 and 2080 by using emission scenario (A2) with 7 climate variables. The results of this study show that currently highly suitable habitats for D.antiqua occur throughout most of East Asia, some regions of North America, Western Europe, and Western Asian countries near the Caspian sea and Black Sea. In the future, we predict an even broader distribution of this pest spread more extensively throughout Asia, North America and Europe, particularly in most of European countries, Central regions of United States and much of East Asia. Our present day and future predictions can enhance strategic planning of agricultural organizations by identifying regions that will need to develop Integrated Pest Management programs to manage the onion maggot. The distribution forecasts will also help governments to optimize economic investments in management programs for this pest by identifying regions that are or will become less suitable for current and future infestations.

  7. Tuna and dolphin associations in the North-east Atlantic: Evidence of different ecological niches from stable isotope and heavy metal measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, K.; Lepoint, G.; Loizeau, V.; Debacker, V.; Dauby, P.; Bouquegneau, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    Associations of tunas and dolphins in the wild are quite frequent events and the question arises how predators requiring similar diet in the same habitat share their environmental resources. As isotopic composition of an animal is related to that of its preys, stable isotope ( 13 C/ 12 C and 15 N/ 14 N) analyses were performed in three predator species from the North-east Atlantic: the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis and the albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, and compared to their previously described stomach content. Heavy metals (Cd, Zn, Cu and Fe) are mainly transferred through the diet and so, have been determined in the tissues of the animals. Tuna muscles display higher δ 15 N than in common and striped dolphins (mean: 11.4 vs. 10.3%o and 10.4%o, respectively) which reflects their higher trophic level nutrition. Higher δ 13 C are found in common (-18.4%o) and striped dolphin (-18.1%o) muscles than in albacore tuna (-19.3%o) probably in relation with its migratory pattern. The most striking feature is the presence of two levels of cadmium concentrations in the livers of the tunas (32 mg kg -1 dry weight (DW) vs. 5 mg kg -1 DW). These two groups also differ by their iron concentrations and their δ 15 N and δ 13 C liver values. These results suggest that in the Biscay Bay, tunas occupy two different ecological niches probably based on different squid inputs in their diet

  8. Mitochondrial DNA analyses and ecological niche modeling reveal post-LGM expansion of the Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis) in the foothills of Nepal Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanal, Laxman; Chalise, Mukesh K; He, Kai; Acharya, Bipin K; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Jiang, Xuelong

    2018-03-01

    Genetic diversity of a species is influenced by multiple factors, including the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles and geophysical barriers. Such factors are not yet well documented for fauna from the southern border of the Himalayan region. This study used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and ecological niche modeling (ENM) to explore how the late Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and complex geography of the Himalayan region have shaped genetic diversity, population genetic structure, and demographic history of the Nepalese population of Assam macaques (Macaca assamensis) in the Himalayan foothills. A total of 277 fecal samples were collected from 39 wild troops over almost the entire distribution of the species in Nepal. The mtDNA fragment encompassing the complete control region (1121 bp) was recovered from 208 samples, thus defining 54 haplotypes. Results showed low nucleotide diversity (0.0075 ± SD 0.0001) but high haplotype diversity (0.965 ± SD 0.004). The mtDNA sequences revealed a shallow population genetic structure with a moderate but statistically significant effect of isolation by distance. Demographic history analyses using mtDNA sequences suggested a post-pleistocene population expansion. Paleodistribution reconstruction projected that the potential habitat of the Assam macaque was confined to the lower elevations of central Nepal during the Last Glacial Maximum. With the onset of the Holocene climatic optimum, the glacial refugia population experienced eastward range expansion to higher elevations. We conclude that the low genetic diversity and shallow population genetic structure of the Assam macaque population in the Nepal Himalaya region are the consequence of recent demographic and spatial expansion. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Profound Climatic Effects on Two East Asian Black-Throated Tits (Ave: Aegithalidae), Revealed by Ecological Niche Models and Phylogeographic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenjuan; Lin, Congtian; Gao, Bin; Yang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Zhengwang; Lei, Fumin

    2011-01-01

    Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis–concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis–concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory. PMID:22195047

  10. Profound climatic effects on two East Asian black-throated tits (Ave: Aegithalidae), revealed by ecological niche models and phylogeographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Chuanyin; Zhao, Na; Wang, Wenjuan; Lin, Congtian; Gao, Bin; Yang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Zhengwang; Lei, Fumin

    2011-01-01

    Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis-concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis-concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory.

  11. Ecogeographical determinants of the ecological niche of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca on the basis of indices of remote sensing of land images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. M. Kunah

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The patterns of variation in vegetative indices received by means of data of remote land sensing are described as being dependant on geomorphological predictors and the sizes of agricultural fields in an experimental polygon within Poltava region. The possibilities of application of vegetative indices have been explored through ecogeographical determinants of the ecological niche of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L. and other weeds. On the basis of images of the land surface taken on 23 March and 27 August 2015 by the sensor control Operational Land Imager (OLI, installed on the satellite Landsat 8, vegetative indices have been calculated (AC-Index – aerosol/coastal index, Hydrothermal Composite, NDTI – Normalized Difference Tillage Index, NDVI – Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, VI – Vegetation Index, MNDW – Modified Normalized Difference Water Index, LSWI – Land Surface Water Index, NBR – Normalized Burn Ratio, M15. The data obtained have been subjected to principal component analysis and the revealed principal components have been interpreted with the help of regression analysis, in which geomorphological variables have been applied as predictors. It was possible to explain the trends of variability of the vegetative cover, formalized in the form of the principal component, by means of indices which quantitatively characterise features of relief. The various aspects of variation of vegetative cover have been shown to be characterised by the specificity of the influence of relief factors. A prominent aspect of the variation of the vegetative cover of agroecosystems is variability within a field. The degree of a variation of conditions is proportional to the size of a field. Large fields occupy level plain positions. In turn, within small fields sources of variation are changes in ecological conditions which arise owing to unevenness of relief, which increases in proximity to gullies and ravines. We have identified

  12. A niche width model of optimal specialization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruggeman, J.P.; Ó Nualláin, Breanndán

    2000-01-01

    Niche width theory, a part of organizational ecology, predicts whether “specialist” or “generalist” forms of organizations have higher “fitness,” in a continually changing environment. To this end, niche width theory uses a mathematical model borrowed from biology. In this paper, we first loosen the

  13. Niche versus neutrality: a dynamical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael Kalyuzhny; Efrat Seri; Rachel Chocron; Curtis H. Flather; Ronen Kadmon; Nadav M. Shnerb

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the forces shaping ecological communities is of crucial importance for basic science and conservation. After 50 years in which ecological theory has focused on either stable communities driven by niche-based forces or nonstable “neutral” communities driven by demographic stochasticity, contemporary theories suggest that ecological communities are driven...

  14. Functional traits, convergent evolution, and periodic tables of niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winemiller, Kirk O; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Bower, Luke M; Pianka, Eric R

    2015-08-01

    Ecology is often said to lack general theories sufficiently predictive for applications. Here, we examine the concept of a periodic table of niches and feasibility of niche classification schemes from functional trait and performance data. Niche differences and their influence on ecological patterns and processes could be revealed effectively by first performing data reduction/ordination analyses separately on matrices of trait and performance data compiled according to logical associations with five basic niche 'dimensions', or aspects: habitat, life history, trophic, defence and metabolic. Resultant patterns then are integrated to produce interpretable niche gradients, ordinations and classifications. Degree of scheme periodicity would depend on degrees of niche conservatism and convergence causing species clustering across multiple niche dimensions. We analysed a sample data set containing trait and performance data to contrast two approaches for producing niche schemes: species ordination within niche gradient space, and niche categorisation according to trait-value thresholds. Creation of niche schemes useful for advancing ecological knowledge and its applications will depend on research that produces functional trait and performance datasets directly related to niche dimensions along with criteria for data standardisation and quality. As larger databases are compiled, opportunities will emerge to explore new methods for data reduction, ordination and classification. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Experimental determination of the heterotroph anoxic yield in anoxic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    driniev

    models developed as aids to the design and operation of BNR activated sludge systems. In both sets of models, critical as input to quantify the denitrification is the value for the ordinary hetero- trophic organism (OHO) cell yield coefficient under anoxic condi- tions (YH,NO). In terms of the models, the heterotrophic cell yield.

  16. Experimental determination of the heterotroph anoxic yield in anoxic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper describes experimental research to directly quantify the ordinary heterotrophic organism (OHO) cell yield coefficient under anoxic and aerobic conditions with real wastewater as substrate. Until recently these two values were assumed equal in activated sludge models, despite theoretical predictions that the ...

  17. Phylogenetic conservatism of environmental niches in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Natalie; Freckleton, Rob P; Jetz, Walter

    2011-08-07

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism is the pattern where close relatives occupy similar niches, whereas distant relatives are more dissimilar. We suggest that niche conservatism will vary across clades in relation to their characteristics. Specifically, we investigate how conservatism of environmental niches varies among mammals according to their latitude, range size, body size and specialization. We use the Brownian rate parameter, σ(2), to measure the rate of evolution in key variables related to the ecological niche and define the more conserved group as the one with the slower rate of evolution. We find that tropical, small-ranged and specialized mammals have more conserved thermal niches than temperate, large-ranged or generalized mammals. Partitioning niche conservatism into its spatial and phylogenetic components, we find that spatial effects on niche variables are generally greater than phylogenetic effects. This suggests that recent evolution and dispersal have more influence on species' niches than more distant evolutionary events. These results have implications for our understanding of the role of niche conservatism in species richness patterns and for gauging the potential for species to adapt to global change.

  18. Molecular data and ecological niche modeling reveal population dynamics of widespread shrub Forsythia suspensa (Oleaceae) in China's warm-temperate zone in response to climate change during the Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Zi-Zhen; Li, Yong-Hua; Zhang, Kai-Ming; Li, Yong

    2014-05-30

    Despite its high number of endemic deciduous broad-leaved species in China's warm-temperate zone, far less attention has been paid to phylogeographic studies in this region. In this work, the phylogeographic history of Forsythia suspensa endemic to China's warm-temperate zone was investigated to explore the effect of climate change during the Pleistocene on the distribution of this deciduous broad-leaved species in China. The cpDNA data revealed seven phylogeographical groups corresponding to geographical regions. By contrast, the nrDNA data supported the samples clustered into three groups, which was inconsistent with separate geographical regions supported by cpDNA data. Ecological niche modeling showed that the climatically suitable area during the cold period was larger than that during the warm period. Both molecular data and ecological niche modeling indicated that F. suspensa expanded to nearby low-elevation plains in the glacial periods, and retreated to mountaintops during interglacial warmer stages. This study thus supported that F. suspensa persisted in situ during the glacial of the Pleistocene with enlarged distribution area, contrary to the hypothesis of long distance southward migration or large-scale range contraction.

  19. Predicting the distribution of a parasite using the ecological niche model, GARP Predicción de la distribución de un parásito usando el modelo de nicho ecológico, GARP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry R. Haverkost

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The ecological niche of a parasite exists only at the nexus of certain abiotic and biotic conditions suitable for both the definitive and intermediate hosts. However, the life cycles of most parasites are not known, or are poorly known, and using known ranges of hosts to find endemic parasitic infections has been difficult. However, with ecological niche modeling, we can create potential range maps using known localities of infection. Testing the validity of such maps requires knowledge of the localities of other parasites with common history. Here, we find that the ecological niche of a tapeworm parasite of voles, Paranoplocephala macrocephala (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae, allows prediction of the presence (in ecological and geographic space of 19 related parasite species from 3 genera in 23 different hosts throughout the Nearctic. These results give credence to the idea that this group shares similar life cycle requirements despite phylogenetic distance. This work further validates ecological niche modeling as a means by which to predict occurrence of parasites when not all facets of the life cycle are confirmed. Such inductive methods create the opportunity for deducing potential reservoir or intermediate hosts, and complementing studies of parasite biodiversity and community ecology.El nicho ecológico de un parásito existe sólo cuando coinciden condiciones abióticas y bióticas necesarias para los hospederos definitivos e intermediarios. No obstante, los ciclos de vida de la mayoría de los parásitos son poco conocidos; el usar áreas de distribución de hospederos para encontrar áreas endémicas de parasitismo ha resultado difícil. Con el modelado de nicho, se pueden producir mapas del área de distribución potencial con base en sitios conocidos de presencia. Para probar la validez de estos mapas, se requiere el conocimiento de sitios de presencia de otros parásitos relacionados. En este estudio, encontramos que el nicho ecol

  20. Toward a Periodic Table of Niches, or Exploring the Lizard Niche Hypervolume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pianka, Eric R; Vitt, Laurie J; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2017-11-01

    Widespread niche convergence suggests that species can be organized according to functional trait combinations to create a framework analogous to a periodic table. We compiled ecological data for lizards to examine patterns of global and regional niche diversification, and we used multivariate statistical approaches to develop the beginnings for a periodic table of niches. Data (50+ variables) for five major niche dimensions (habitat, diet, life history, metabolism, defense) were compiled for 134 species of lizards representing 24 of the 38 extant families. Principal coordinates analyses were performed on niche dimensional data sets, and species scores for the first three axes were used as input for a principal components analysis to ordinate species in continuous niche space and for a regression tree analysis to separate species into discrete niche categories. Three-dimensional models facilitate exploration of species positions in relation to major gradients within the niche hypervolume. The first gradient loads on body size, foraging mode, and clutch size. The second was influenced by metabolism and terrestrial versus arboreal microhabitat. The third was influenced by activity time, life history, and diet. Natural dichotomies are activity time, foraging mode, parity mode, and habitat. Regression tree analysis identified 103 cases of extreme niche conservatism within clades and 100 convergences between clades. Extending this approach to other taxa should lead to a wider understanding of niche evolution.

  1. In Silico Analysis of the Metabolic Potential and Niche Specialization of Candidate Phylum "Latescibacteria" (WS3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noha H Youssef

    Full Text Available The "Latescibacteria" (formerly WS3, member of the Fibrobacteres-Chlorobi-Bacteroidetes (FCB superphylum, represents a ubiquitous candidate phylum found in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. Recently, single-cell amplified genomes (SAGs representing the "Latescibacteria" were obtained from the anoxic monimolimnion layers of Sakinaw Lake (British Columbia, Canada, and anoxic sediments of a coastal lagoon (Etoliko lagoon, Western Greece. Here, we present a detailed in-silico analysis of the four SAGs to gain some insights on their metabolic potential and apparent ecological roles. Metabolic reconstruction suggests an anaerobic fermentative mode of metabolism, as well as the capability to degrade multiple polysaccharides and glycoproteins that represent integral components of green (Charophyta and Chlorophyta and brown (Phaeophycaea algae cell walls (pectin, alginate, ulvan, fucan, hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins, storage molecules (starch and trehalose, and extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs. The analyzed SAGs also encode dedicated transporters for the uptake of produced sugars and amino acids/oligopeptides, as well as an extensive machinery for the catabolism of all transported sugars, including the production of a bacterial microcompartment (BMC to sequester propionaldehyde, a toxic intermediate produced during fucose and rhamnose metabolism. Finally, genes for the formation of gas vesicles, flagella, type IV pili, and oxidative stress response were found, features that could aid in cellular association with algal detritus. Collectively, these results indicate that the analyzed "Latescibacteria" mediate the turnover of multiple complex organic polymers of algal origin that reach deeper anoxic/microoxic habitats in lakes and lagoons. The implications of such process on our understanding of niche specialization in microbial communities mediating organic carbon turnover in stratified water bodies are discussed.

  2. Climate niche differentiation between two passerines despite ongoing gene flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaner, Pei-Jen L; Tsao, Tzu-Hsuan; Lin, Rong-Chien; Liang, Wei; Yeh, Chia-Fen; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Lei, Fu-Min; Zhou, Fang; Yang, Can-Chao; Hung, Le Manh; Hsu, Yu-Cheng; Li, Shou-Hsien

    2015-05-01

    Niche evolution underpins the generation and maintenance of biological diversity, but niche conservatism, in which niches remain little changed over time in closely related taxa, and the role of ecology in niche evolution are continually debated. To test whether climate niches are conserved in two closely related passerines in East Asia - the vinous-throated (Paradoxornis webbianus) and ashy-throated (P. alphonsianus) parrotbills - we established their potential allopatric and sympatric regions using ecological niche models and compared differences in their climate niches using niche overlap indices in background tests and multivariate statistical analyses. We also used polymorphism data on 44 nuclear genes to infer their divergence demography. We found that these two parrotbills occupy different climate niches, in both their allopatric and potential sympatric regions. Because the potential sympatric region is the area predicted to be suitable for both parrotbills based on the ecological niche models, it can serve as a natural common garden. Therefore, their observed niche differences in this potential sympatry were not simply rendered by phenotypic plasticity and probably had a genetic basis. Our genetic analyses revealed that the two parrotbills are not evolutionarily independent for the most recent part of their divergence history. The two parrotbills diverged c. 856,000 years ago and have had substantial gene flow since a presumed secondary contact c. 290,000 years ago. This study provides an empirical case demonstrating that climate niches may not be homogenized in nascent species in spite of substantial, ongoing gene flow, which in turn suggests a role for ecology in promoting and maintaining diversification among incipient species. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  3. The niche construction perspective: a critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Laland, Kevin N; Shuker, David M; Dickins, Thomas E; West, Stuart A

    2014-05-01

    Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process). © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Biogeographic ranges do not support niche theory in radiating Canary Island plant clades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steinbauer, Manuel; Field, Richard; Fernández-Palacios, José María

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Ecological niche concepts, in combination with biogeographic history, underlie our understanding of biogeographic ranges. Two pillars of this understanding are competitive displacement and niche conservatism. The competitive displacement hypothesis holds that very similar (e.g. closely relat...

  5. Niche conservatism and the invasive potential of the wild boar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Lilian Patrícia; Ribeiro, Bruno R; Hayward, Matt Warrington; Paglia, Adriano; Passamani, Marcelo; Loyola, Rafael

    2017-09-01

    Niche conservatism, i.e. the retention of a species' fundamental niche through evolutionary time, is cornerstone for biological invasion assessments. The fact that species tend to maintain their original climate niche allows predictive maps of invasion risk to anticipate potential invadable areas. Unravelling the mechanisms driving niche shifts can shed light on the management of invasive species. Here, we assessed niche shifts in one of the world's worst invasive species: the wild boar Sus scrofa. We also predicted potential invadable areas based on an ensemble of three ecological niche modelling methods, and evaluated the performance of models calibrated with native vs. pooled (native plus invaded) species records. By disentangling the drivers of change on the exotic wild boar population's niches, we found strong evidence for niche conservatism during biological invasion. Ecological niche models calibrated with both native and pooled range records predicted convergent areas. Also, observed niche shifts are mostly explained by niche unfilling, i.e. there are unoccupied areas in the exotic range where climate is analogous to the native range. Niche unfilling is expected as result of recent colonization and ongoing dispersal, and was potentially stronger for the Neotropics, where a recent wave of introductions for pig-farming and game-hunting has led to high wild boar population growth rates. The invasive potential of wild boar in the Neotropics is probably higher than in other regions, which has profound management implications if we are to prevent their invasion into species-rich areas, such as Amazonia, coupled with expansion of African swine fever and possibly great economic losses. Although the originally Eurasian-wide distribution suggests a pre-adaptation to a wide array of climates, the wild boar world-wide invasion does not exhibit evidence of niche evolution. The invasive potential of the wild boar therefore probably lies on the reproductive, dietary and

  6. Ecological niche modeling for conservation planning of an endemic snail in the verge of becoming a pest in cardamom plantations in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen, Sandeep; Shivaprakash, Kadukothanahally Nagaraju; Aravind, Neelavara A; Ravikanth, Gudasalamani; Dayanandan, Selvadurai

    2016-09-01

    Conservation managers and policy makers are often confronted with a challenging dilemma of devising suitable strategies to maintain agricultural productivity while conserving endemic species that at the early stages of becoming pests of agricultural crops. Identification of environmental factors conducive to species range expansion for forecasting species distribution patterns will play a central role in devising management strategies to minimize the conflict between the agricultural productivity and biodiversity conservation. Here, we present results of a study that predicts the distribution of Indrella ampulla , a snail endemic to the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, which is becoming a pest in cardamom ( Ellettaria cardamomum ) plantations. We determined the distribution patterns and niche overlap between I. ampulla and Ellettaria cardamomum using maximum entropy (MaxEnt) niche modeling techniques under current and future (2020-2080) climatic scenarios. The results showed that climatic (precipitation of coldest quarter and isothermality) and soil (cation exchange capacity of soil [CEC]) parameters are major factors that determine the distribution of I. ampulla in Western Ghats. The model predicted cardamom cultivation areas in southern Western Ghats are highly sensitive to invasion of I. ampulla under both present and future climatic conditions. While the land area in the central Western Ghats is predicted to become unsuitable for I. ampulla and Ellettaria cardamomum in future, we found 71% of the Western Ghats land area is suitable for Ellettaria cardamomum cultivation and 45% suitable for I. ampulla , with an overlap of 35% between two species. The resulting distribution maps are invaluable for policy makers and conservation managers to design and implement management strategies minimizing the conflicts to sustain agricultural productivity while maintaining biodiversity in the region.

  7. Bacillus thuringiensis Is an Environmental Pathogen and Host-Specificity Has Developed as an Adaptation to Human-Generated Ecological Niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argôlo-Filho, Ronaldo Costa; Loguercio, Leandro Lopes

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been used successfully as a biopesticide for more than 60 years. More recently, genes encoding their toxins have been used to transform plants and other organisms. Despite the large amount of research on this bacterium, its true ecology is still a matter of debate, with two major viewpoints dominating: while some understand Bt as an insect pathogen, others see it as a saprophytic bacteria from soil. In this context, Bt’s pathogenicity to other taxa and the possibility that insects may not be the primary targets of Bt are also ideas that further complicate this scenario. The existence of conflicting research results, the difficulty in developing broader ecological and genetics studies, and the great genetic plasticity of this species has cluttered a definitive concept. In this review, we gathered information on the aspects of Bt ecology that are often ignored, in the attempt to clarify the lifestyle, mechanisms of transmission and target host range of this bacterial species. As a result, we propose an integrated view to account for Bt ecology. Although Bt is indeed a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a broad arsenal for virulence and defense mechanisms, as well as a wide range of target hosts, this seems to be an adaptation to specific ecological changes acting on a versatile and cosmopolitan environmental bacterium. Bt pathogenicity and host-specificity was favored evolutionarily by increased populations of certain insect species (or other host animals), whose availability for colonization were mostly caused by anthropogenic activities. These have generated the conditions for ecological imbalances that favored dominance of specific populations of insects, arachnids, nematodes, etc., in certain areas, with narrower genetic backgrounds. These conditions provided the selective pressure for development of new hosts for pathogenic interactions, and so, host specificity of certain strains. PMID:26462580

  8. Niche construction game cancer cells play.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

    Niche construction concept was originally defined in evolutionary biology as the continuous interplay between natural selection via environmental conditions and the modification of these conditions by the organism itself. Processes unraveling during cancer metastasis include construction of niches, which cancer cells use towards more efficient survival, transport into new environments and preparation of the remote sites for their arrival. Many elegant experiments were done lately illustrating, for example, the premetastatic niche construction, but there is practically no mathematical modeling done which would apply the niche construction framework. To create models useful for understanding niche construction role in cancer progression, we argue that a) genetic, b) phenotypic and c) ecological levels are to be included. While the model proposed here is phenomenological in its current form, it can be converted into a predictive outcome model via experimental measurement of the model parameters. Here we give an overview of an experimentally formulated problem in cancer metastasis and propose how niche construction framework can be utilized and broadened to model it. Other life science disciplines, such as host-parasite coevolution, may also benefit from niche construction framework adaptation, to satisfy growing need for theoretical considerations of data collected by experimental biology.

  9. Niche construction game cancer cells play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

    Niche construction concept was originally defined in evolutionary biology as the continuous interplay between natural selection via environmental conditions and the modification of these conditions by the organism itself. Processes unraveling during cancer metastasis include construction of niches, which cancer cells use towards more efficient survival, transport into new environments and preparation of the remote sites for their arrival. Many elegant experiments were done lately illustrating, for example, the premetastatic niche construction, but there is practically no mathematical modeling done which would apply the niche construction framework. To create models useful for understanding niche construction role in cancer progression, we argue that a) genetic, b) phenotypic and c) ecological levels are to be included. While the model proposed here is phenomenological in its current form, it can be converted into a predictive outcome model via experimental measurement of the model parameters. Here we give an overview of an experimentally formulated problem in cancer metastasis and propose how niche construction framework can be utilized and broadened to model it. Other life science disciplines, such as host-parasite coevolution, may also benefit from niche construction framework adaptation, to satisfy growing need for theoretical considerations of data collected by experimental biology.

  10. Dietary niche variation and its relationship to lizard population density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novosolov, Maria; Rodda, Gordon H; Gainsbury, Alison M; Meiri, Shai

    2018-01-01

    Insular species are predicted to broaden their niches, in response to having fewer competitors. They can thus exploit a greater proportion of the resource spectrum. In turn, broader niches are hypothesized to facilitate (or be a consequence of) increased population densities. We tested whether insular lizards have broader dietary niches than mainland species, how it relates to competitor and predator richness, and the nature of the relationship between population density and dietary niche breadth. We collected population density and dietary niche breadth data for 36 insular and 59 mainland lizard species, and estimated competitor and predator richness at the localities where diet data were collected. We estimated dietary niche shift by comparing island species to their mainland relatives. We controlled for phylogenetic relatedness, body mass and the size of the plots over which densities were estimated. We found that island and mainland species had similar niche breadths. Dietary niche breadth was unrelated to competitor and predator richness, on both islands and the mainland. Population density was unrelated to dietary niche breadth across island and mainland populations. Our results indicate that dietary generalism is not an effective way of increasing population density nor is it result of lower competitive pressure. A lower variety of resources on islands may prevent insular animals from increasing their niche breadths even in the face of few competitors. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  11. In search of a temporal niche: Environmental factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hut, Roelof A.; Kronfeld-Schor, Noga; van der Vinne, Vincent; De la Iglesia, Horacio

    2012-01-01

    Time as an ecological niche variable or "temporal niche" can be defined in the context of the most prominent environmental cycles, including the tidal cycle, the lunar day and month, the solar day, and the earth year. For the current review, we focus on the 24-h domain generated through the earth's

  12. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Newton, Jason; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen

    2013-01-01

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales...

  13. From the ecological niche to the mass market with 'Green Power Marketing' - 1st European Conference on Green Power Marketing 2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    This report summarises the information presented at the European Conference on Green Power Marketing held in 2001 in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It takes a look at the market chances of ecologically produced electricity for use in Switzerland and for export. The opinions of experts from the areas of research, business, politics, marketing and non-governmental organisations that were presented at the meeting are summarised. European perspectives and trends in the USA are discussed and examples of green power marketing in the USA and Holland are given. Marketing issues and price policies are discussed, as are labelling strategies and customer perception of 'Green Power' issues. Also, sales issues including e-marketing, power-market rules and certificate trading are dealt with

  14. Dynamics of nitrification and denitrification in root- oxygenated sediments and adaptation of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria to low-oxygen or anoxic habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Libochant, J.A.; Blom, C.W.P.M.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    1996-01-01

    Oxygen-releasing plants may provide aerobic niches in anoxic sediments and soils for ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. The oxygen-releasing, aerenchymatous emergent macrophyte Glyceria maxima had a strong positive effect on numbers and activities of the nitrifying bacteria in its root zone in spring and

  15. Dynamics of nitrification and denitrification in root- oxygenated sediments and adaptation of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria to low-oxygen or anoxic habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Libochant, J.A.; Blom, C.W.P.M.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    1996-01-01

    Oxygen-releasing plants may provide aerobic niches in anoxic sediments and soils for ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, The oxygen- releasing, aerenchymatous emergent macrophyte Glycerin maxima had a strong positive effect on numbers and activities of the nitrifying bacteria in its root zone in spring and

  16. Ecological niche modeling for visceral leishmaniasis in the state of Bahia, Brazil, using genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction and growing degree day-water budget analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prixia Nieto

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Two predictive models were developed within a geographic information system using Genetic Algorithm Rule-Set Prediction (GARP and the growing degree day (GDD-water budget (WB concept to predict the distribution and potential risk of visceral leishmaniasis (VL in the State of Bahia, Brazil. The objective was to define the environmental suitability of the disease as well as to obtain a deeper understanding of the eco-epidemiology of VL by associating environmental and climatic variables with disease prevalence. Both the GARP model and the GDDWB model, using different analysis approaches and with the same human prevalence database, predicted similar distribution and abundance patterns for the Lutzomyia longipalpis-Leishmania chagasi system in Bahia. High and moderate prevalence sites for VL were significantly related to areas of high and moderate risk prediction by: (i the area predicted by the GARP model, depending on the number of pixels that overlapped among eleven annual model years, and (ii the number of potential generations per year that could be completed by the Lu. longipalpis-L. chagasi system by GDD-WB analysis. When applied to the ecological zones of Bahia, both the GARP and the GDD-WB prediction models suggest that the highest VL risk is in the interior region of the state, characterized by a semi-arid and hot climate known as Caatinga, while the risk in the Bahia interior forest and the Cerrado ecological regions is lower. The Bahia coastal forest was predicted to be a low-risk area due to the unsuitable conditions for the vector and VL transmission.

  17. Predicting the Distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), the Primary Vector of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, in Golestan Province of Iran Using Ecological Niche Modeling: Comparison of MaxEnt and GARP Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofizadeh, Aioub; Rassi, Yavar; Vatandoost, Hassan; Hanafi-Bojd, Ahmad Ali; Mollalo, Abolfazl; Rafizadeh, Sayena; Akhavan, Amir Ahmad

    2017-03-01

    Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) is a prevalent vector-borne disease in the Golestan province of Iran, with Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli, 1786) serving as the main vector. The aim of this study was to model the probability of presence of this species in the study area, and to determine the underlying factors affecting its distribution. Three villages were selected from each county of the province and visited monthly for investigating ZCL. Sticky paper traps were used for collecting the sand flies to determine the species present. The presence of Ph. papatasi was modeled using genetic algorithm for rule-set production (GARP) and maximum entropy (MaxEnt) techniques. Both models showed the central and northern parts of the province with lowland areas were more vulnerable to Ph. papatasi propagation, in comparison with the southern parts with mountainous and forest areas. The area under curve (AUC) of MaxEnt model for the training points was calculated as 0.90, indicating excellent performance of the model in predicting Ph. papatasi distribution. Jackknife test showed that the factors with the greatest influence in vector distribution were slope, vegetation cover, annual mean temperature, and altitude. By using ecological niche models, it is possible to identify areas with higher probability of presence of Ph. papatasi, which guides public health policy makers for planning better vector control interventions. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Niche divergence accelerates evolution in Asian endemic Procapra gazelles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Junhua; Jiang, Zhigang; Chen, Jing; Qiao, Huijie

    2015-05-07

    Ecological niche divergence and adaptation to new environments are thought to play important roles in driving speciation. Whether recently evolved species show evidence for niche divergence or conservation is vital towards understanding the role of ecology in the process of speciation. The genus Procapra is an ancient, monophyletic lineage endemic to Asia that contains three extant species (P. gutturosa, P. przewalskii and P. picticaudata). These species mainly inhabit the Qinghai-Tibetan and Mongolian Plateaus, and today have primarily allopatric distributions. We applied a series of geographic information system-based analyses to test for environmental variation and niche divergence among these three species. We found substantial evidence for niche divergence in species' bioclimatic preferences, which supports the hypothesis that niche divergence accelerates diversification in Procapra. Our results provide important insight into the evolutionary history of ungulates in Asia and help to elucidate how environmental changes accelerate lineage diversification.

  19. REMOTE SENSING-BASED DETECTION AND SPATIAL PATTERN ANALYSIS FOR GEO-ECOLOGICAL NICHE MODELING OF TILLANDSIA SPP. IN THE ATACAMA, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wolf

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In the coastal Atacama Desert in Northern Chile plant growth is constrained to so-called ‘fog oases’ dominated by monospecific stands of the genus Tillandsia. Adapted to the hyperarid environmental conditions, these plants specialize on the foliar uptake of fog as main water and nutrient source. It is this characteristic that leads to distinctive macro- and micro-scale distribution patterns, reflecting complex geo-ecological gradients, mainly affected by the spatiotemporal occurrence of coastal fog respectively the South Pacific Stratocumulus clouds reaching inlands. The current work employs remote sensing, machine learning and spatial pattern/GIS analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on the presence and state of Tillandsia spp. in the Tarapacá region as a base to better understand the bioclimatic and topographic constraints determining the distribution patterns of Tillandsia spp. Spatial and spectral predictors extracted from WorldView-3 satellite data are used to map present Tillandsia vegetation in the Tarapaca region. Regression models on Vegetation Cover Fraction (VCF are generated combining satellite-based as well as topographic variables and using aggregated high spatial resolution information on vegetation cover derived from UAV flight campaigns as a reference. The results are a first step towards mapping and modelling the topographic as well as bioclimatic factors explaining the spatial distribution patterns of Tillandsia fog oases in the Atacama, Chile.

  20. Remote Sensing-Based Detection and Spatial Pattern Analysis for Geo-Ecological Niche Modeling of Tillandsia SPP. In the Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, N.; Siegmund, A.; del Río, C.; Osses, P.; García, J. L.

    2016-06-01

    In the coastal Atacama Desert in Northern Chile plant growth is constrained to so-called `fog oases' dominated by monospecific stands of the genus Tillandsia. Adapted to the hyperarid environmental conditions, these plants specialize on the foliar uptake of fog as main water and nutrient source. It is this characteristic that leads to distinctive macro- and micro-scale distribution patterns, reflecting complex geo-ecological gradients, mainly affected by the spatiotemporal occurrence of coastal fog respectively the South Pacific Stratocumulus clouds reaching inlands. The current work employs remote sensing, machine learning and spatial pattern/GIS analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on the presence and state of Tillandsia spp. in the Tarapacá region as a base to better understand the bioclimatic and topographic constraints determining the distribution patterns of Tillandsia spp. Spatial and spectral predictors extracted from WorldView-3 satellite data are used to map present Tillandsia vegetation in the Tarapaca region. Regression models on Vegetation Cover Fraction (VCF) are generated combining satellite-based as well as topographic variables and using aggregated high spatial resolution information on vegetation cover derived from UAV flight campaigns as a reference. The results are a first step towards mapping and modelling the topographic as well as bioclimatic factors explaining the spatial distribution patterns of Tillandsia fog oases in the Atacama, Chile.

  1. High-Resolution Ecological Niche Modeling of Ixodes scapularis Ticks Based on Passive Surveillance Data at the Northern Frontier of Lyme Disease Emergence in North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soucy, Jean-Paul R; Slatculescu, Andreea M; Nyiraneza, Christine; Ogden, Nicholas H; Leighton, Patrick A; Kerr, Jeremy T; Kulkarni, Manisha A

    2018-03-22

    Lyme disease (LD) is a bacterial infection transmitted by the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in eastern North America. It is an emerging disease in Canada due to the expanding range of its tick vector. Environmental risk maps for LD, based on the distribution of the black-legged tick, have focused on coarse determinants such as climate. However, climatic factors vary little within individual health units, the level at which local public health decision-making takes place. We hypothesize that high-resolution environmental data and routinely collected passive surveillance data can be used to develop valid models for tick occurrence and provide insight into ecological processes affecting tick presence at fine scales. We used a maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) to build a habitat suitability model for I. scapularis in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada using georeferenced occurrence points from passive surveillance data collected between 2013 and 2016 and high-resolution land cover and elevation data. We evaluated our model using an independent tick presence/absence dataset collected through active surveillance at 17 field sites during the summer of 2017. Our model showed a good ability to discriminate positive sites from negative sites for tick presence (AUC = 0.878 ± 0.019, classification accuracy = 0.835 ± 0.020). Heavily forested suburban and rural areas in the west and southwest of Ottawa had higher predicted suitability than the more agricultural eastern areas. This study demonstrates the value of passive surveillance data to model local-scale environmental risk for the tick vector of LD at sites of interest to public health. Given the rising incidence of LD and other emerging vector-borne diseases in Canada, our findings support the ongoing collection of these data and collaboration with researchers to provide a timely and accurate portrait of evolving public health risk.

  2. Anoxic seizures: self-terminating syncopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, J B

    2001-01-01

    This review focuses on anoxic seizures induced by self terminating syncopes in the young. Anoxic seizures are nonepileptic events consequent upon abrupt interruption of the energy supply to metabolically active cerebral neurones. Anoxic seizures are the most common paroxysmal events misdiagnosed as epilepsy. Neurally mediated syncopes have numerous appellations, especially in the young. This proliferation of terminology likely results from uncertainty regarding pathophysiology. The most important type of self-limiting syncope from the point of view of diagnostic difficulty has been called neurocardiogenic or vasovagal syncope and reflex anoxic seizure, amongst other names: this review includes a video clip of such a child with prolonged asystole. It also includes a detailed case history emphasising the feelings of a patient with this type of syncope who was misdiagnosed as having epilepsy for many years. The second class of self-terminating syncope discussed and illustrated on video is the so-called breath-holding spell of young children. The third example illustrated is the compulsive Valsalva manoeuvre of individuals with autistic spectrum disorder, in which anoxic seizures - as shown on the video clips - are easily misdiagnosed as epileptic seizures, with unfortunate consequences.

  3. Multidimensional tree niches in a tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulla, Sandeep; Suresh, Hebbalalu S; Dattaraja, Handanakere S; Sukumar, Raman

    2017-05-01

    argue, based on a survey of the literature, that many of the observed niche differences in tropical forests are more parsimoniously viewed as autecological differences between species that exist independently of interspecific interactions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. A strong 'filter' effect of the East China Sea land bridge for East Asia's temperate plant species: inferences from molecular phylogeography and ecological niche modelling of Platycrater arguta (Hydrangeaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xin-Shuai; Yuan, Na; Comes, Hans Peter; Sakaguchi, Shota; Qiu, Ying-Xiong

    2014-03-04

    In East Asia, an increasing number of studies on temperate forest tree species find evidence for migration and gene exchange across the East China Sea (ECS) land bridge up until the last glacial maximum (LGM). However, it is less clear when and how lineages diverged in this region, whether in full isolation or in the face of post-divergence gene flow. Here, we investigate the effects of Quaternary changes in climate and sea level on the evolutionary and demographic history of Platycrater arguta, a rare temperate understorey shrub with disjunct distributions in East China (var. sinensis) and South Japan (var. arguta). Molecular data were obtained from 14 P. arguta populations to infer current patterns of molecular structure and diversity in relation to past (Last Interglacial and Last Glacial Maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modelling (ENM). A coalescent-based isolation-with-migration (IM) model was used to estimate lineage divergence times and population demographic parameters. Combining information from nuclear/chloroplast sequence data with nuclear microsatellites, our IM analyses identify the two varieties as genetically distinct units that evolved in strict allopatry since the mid-Pleistocene, c. 0.89 (0.51-1.2) Ma. Together with Bayesian Skyeline Plots, our data further suggest that both lineages experienced post-divergence demographic growth, followed by refugial isolation, divergence, and in the case of var. arguta post-glacial admixture. However, past species distribution modelling indicates that the species' overall distribution has not greatly changed over the last glacial cycles. Our findings highlight the important influence of ancient sea-level changes on the diversification of East Asia's temperate flora. Implicitly, they challenge the notion of general temperate forest expansion across the ECS land bridge, demonstrating instead its 'filter' effect owing to an unsuitable environment for certain species and their biological

  5. A strong ‘filter’ effect of the East China Sea land bridge for East Asia’s temperate plant species: inferences from molecular phylogeography and ecological niche modelling of Platycrater arguta (Hydrangeaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background In East Asia, an increasing number of studies on temperate forest tree species find evidence for migration and gene exchange across the East China Sea (ECS) land bridge up until the last glacial maximum (LGM). However, it is less clear when and how lineages diverged in this region, whether in full isolation or in the face of post-divergence gene flow. Here, we investigate the effects of Quaternary changes in climate and sea level on the evolutionary and demographic history of Platycrater arguta, a rare temperate understorey shrub with disjunct distributions in East China (var. sinensis) and South Japan (var. arguta). Molecular data were obtained from 14 P. arguta populations to infer current patterns of molecular structure and diversity in relation to past (Last Interglacial and Last Glacial Maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modelling (ENM). A coalescent-based isolation-with-migration (IM) model was used to estimate lineage divergence times and population demographic parameters. Results Combining information from nuclear/chloroplast sequence data with nuclear microsatellites, our IM analyses identify the two varieties as genetically distinct units that evolved in strict allopatry since the mid-Pleistocene, c. 0.89 (0.51–1.2) Ma. Together with Bayesian Skyeline Plots, our data further suggest that both lineages experienced post-divergence demographic growth, followed by refugial isolation, divergence, and in the case of var. arguta post-glacial admixture. However, past species distribution modelling indicates that the species’ overall distribution has not greatly changed over the last glacial cycles. Conclusions Our findings highlight the important influence of ancient sea-level changes on the diversification of East Asia’s temperate flora. Implicitly, they challenge the notion of general temperate forest expansion across the ECS land bridge, demonstrating instead its ‘filter’ effect owing to an unsuitable environment

  6. Runaway cultural niche construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rendell, Luke; Fogarty, Laurel; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Cultural niche construction is a uniquely potent source of selection on human populations, and a major cause of recent human evolution. Previous theoretical analyses have not, however, explored the local effects of cultural niche construction. Here, we use spatially explicit coevolutionary models to investigate how cultural processes could drive selection on human genes by modifying local resources. We show that cultural learning, expressed in local niche construction, can trigger a process with dynamics that resemble runaway sexual selection. Under a broad range of conditions, cultural niche-constructing practices generate selection for gene-based traits and hitchhike to fixation through the build up of statistical associations between practice and trait. This process can occur even when the cultural practice is costly, or is subject to counteracting transmission biases, or the genetic trait is selected against. Under some conditions a secondary hitchhiking occurs, through which genetic variants that enhance the capability for cultural learning are also favoured by similar dynamics. We suggest that runaway cultural niche construction could have played an important role in human evolution, helping to explain why humans are simultaneously the species with the largest relative brain size, the most potent capacity for niche construction and the greatest reliance on culture. PMID:21320897

  7. Phylogenetic climatic niche conservatism and evolution of climatic suitability in Neotropical Angraecinae (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) and their closest African relatives

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolanowska, Marta; Grochocka, E.; Konowalik, K.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 5, may (2017), č. článku e3328. ISSN 2167-8359 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : campylocentrum orchidaceae * molecular phylogenetics * environmental niches * costa-rica * diversity * models * speciation * ecology * pollination * divergence * Angraecinae * Ecological niche modeling * Orchidaceae * Phylogenetic niche conservatism * Angraecum * Campylocentrum * Dendrophylax Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 2.177, year: 2016

  8. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... in the realised climatic niches is explained on higher taxonomic levels, and whether the climatic niches of species within a given taxonomic group are more similar than between taxonomic groups. We found evidence for phylogenetic signals in realised climatic niches although the strength of the signal varied among...... amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism...

  9. Reassessment of anoxic storage of ethnographic rubber

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyer, Jo; Ward, Clare; Rode, Nicole

    This paper revisits the 1991–1995 British Museum field trial on anoxic storage, where 23 registered ethnographic rubber objects were enclosed in oxygen barrier film Cryovac BDF200 with sachets of the oxygen absorbent Ageless Z. A unique opportunity for study was presented since most of the enclos...

  10. Reassessment of anoxic storage of ethnographic rubber

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shashoua, Yvonne; Dyer, Joanne; Ward, Clare

    2011-01-01

    This paper revisits the 1991–1995 British Museum field trial on anoxic storage, where 23 registered ethnographic rubber objects were enclosed in oxygen barrier film Cryovac BDF200 with sachets of the oxygen absorbent Ageless Z. A unique opportunity for study was presented since most of the enclos...

  11. Doctoral education in a successful ecological niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mette Krogh; Lund, Ole

    2014-01-01

    successful doctoral education because it: 1) fleshes out the professional attitude that is necessary for becoming a successful researcher in the department, 2) shapes and adapts the doctoral students’ desires to grasp and identify with the department’s practices, and 3) provides the doctoral students...

  12. Predicting the past distribution of species climatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogues, David Bravo

    2009-01-01

    Predicting past distributions of species climatic niches, hindcasting, by using climate envelope models (CEMs) is emerging as an exciting research area. CEMs are used to examine veiled evolutionary questions about extinctions, locations of past refugia and migration pathways, or to propose...... the theoretical assumptions behind niche modelling and using inadequate methods for hindcasting CEMs may well entail a cascade of errors and naïve ecological and evolutionary inferences. We should also push integrative research lines linking macroecology, physiology, population biology, palaeontology......, evolutionary biology and CEMs for a better understanding of niche dynamics across space and time....

  13. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aichinger, Ernst; Kornet, Noortje; Friedrich, Thomas; Laux, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Multicellular organisms possess pluripotent stem cells to form new organs, replenish the daily loss of cells, or regenerate organs after injury. Stem cells are maintained in specific environments, the stem cell niches, that provide signals to block differentiation. In plants, stem cell niches are situated in the shoot, root, and vascular meristems-self-perpetuating units of organ formation. Plants' lifelong activity-which, as in the case of trees, can extend over more than a thousand years-requires that a robust regulatory network keep the balance between pluripotent stem cells and differentiating descendants. In this review, we focus on current models in plant stem cell research elaborated during the past two decades, mainly in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We address the roles of mobile signals on transcriptional modules involved in balancing cell fates. In addition, we discuss shared features of and differences between the distinct stem cell niches of Arabidopsis.

  14. Ecological niche models and patterns of richness and endemism of the southern Andean genus Eurymetopum (Coleoptera, Cleridae Modelos de nicho ecológico y patrones de riqueza y endemismo del género andino austral Eurymetopum (Coleoptera, Cleridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Escalante

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Eurymetopum is an Andean clerid genus with 22 species. We modeled the ecological niches of 19 species with Maxent and used them as potential distributional maps to identify patterns of richness and endemicity. All modeled species maps were overlapped in a single map in order to determine richness. We performed an optimality analysis with NDM/VNDM in a grid of 1º latitude-longitude in order to identify endemism. We found a highly rich area, located between 32º and 41º south latitude, where the richest pixels have 16 species. One area of endemism was identified, located in the Maule and Valdivian Forest biogeographic provinces, which extends also to the Santiago province of the Central Chilean subregion, and contains four endemic species (E. parallelum, E. prasinum, E. proteus, and E. viride, as well as 16 non-endemic species. The sympatry of these phylogenetically unrelated species might indicate ancient vicariance processes, followed by episodes of dispersal. Based on our results, we suggest a close relationship between these provinces, with the Maule representing a complex area.Eurymetopum es un género de cléridos andinos con 22 especies. Modelamos los nichos ecológicos de 19 especies con Maxent y los utilizamos como mapas de distribución potencial para identificar patrones de riqueza y endemismo. Todos los mapas de las especies se superpusieron en un mapa único para determinar la riqueza. Realizamos un análisis de optimalidad con NDM/VNDM en una cuadrícula de 1º de latitud-longitud para identificar el endemismo. Hallamos un área de mayor riqueza, localizada entre los 32º y 41º de latitud sur, donde los pixeles más ricos poseen 16 especies. Se identificó un área de endemismo en las provincias biogeográficas del Maule y el Bosque Valdiviano, la cual se extiende también a la provincia de Santiago de la subregión Chilena Central, y que contiene cuatro especies endémicas (E. parallelum, E. prasinum, E. proteus y E. viride, as

  15. Heterotroph anoxic yield in anoxic aerobic activated sludge systems treating municipal wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, A; Wentzel, M C; Loewenthal, R E; Ekama, G A

    2003-05-01

    As input to the steady state design and kinetic simulation models for the activated sludge system, the correct value for the heterotroph anoxic yield is essential to provide reliable estimates for the system denitrification potential. This paper examines activated sludge anoxic yield values in the literature, and presents experimental data quantifying the value. In the literature, in terms of the structure of ASM1 and similar models, theoretically it has been shown that the anoxic yield should be reduced to approximately 0.79 the value of the aerobic yield. This theoretical value is validated with data from corresponding aerobic OUR and anoxic nitrate time profiles in a batch fed laboratory scale long sludge age activated sludge system treating municipal wastewater. The value also is in close agreement with values in the literature measured with both artificial substrates and municipal wastewater. Thus, it is concluded that, in ASM1 and similar models, for an aerobic yield of 0.67mg COD/mg COD, the anoxic yield should be about 0.53 mg COD/mg COD. Including such a lower anoxic yield in ASM1 and similar models will result in a significant increase in denitrification potential, due to increased denitrification with wastewater RBCOD as substrate. In terms of the structure of ASM3, for the proposed substrate storage yields and the aerobic yield of 0.63 mg COD/mg COD, experimental data indicate that the corresponding anoxic yield should be about 0.42 mg COD/mg COD. This is significantly lower than the proposed value of 0.54 mg COD/mg COD, and requires further investigation.

  16. Intraspecific and interspecific competition induces density-dependent habitat niche shifts in an endangered steppe bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarjuelo, Rocío; Morales, Manuel B; Arroyo, Beatriz; Mañosa, Santiago; Bota, Gerard; Casas, Fabián; Traba, Juan

    2017-11-01

    Interspecific competition is a dominant force in animal communities that induces niche shifts in ecological and evolutionary time. If competition occurs, niche expansion can be expected when the competitor disappears because resources previously inaccessible due to competitive constraints can then be exploited (i.e., ecological release). Here, we aimed to determine the potential effects of interspecific competition between the little bustard ( Tetrax tetrax ) and the great bustard ( Otis tarda ) using a multidimensional niche approach with habitat distribution data. We explored whether the degree of niche overlap between the species was a density-dependent function of interspecific competition. We then looked for evidences of ecological release by comparing measures of niche breadth and position of the little bustard between allopatric and sympatric situations. Furthermore, we evaluated whether niche shifts could depend not only on the presence of great bustard but also on the density of little and great bustards. The habitat niches of these bustard species partially overlapped when co-occurring, but we found no relationship between degree of overlap and great bustard density. In the presence of the competitor, little bustard's niche was displaced toward increased use of the species' primary habitat. Little bustard's niche breadth decreased proportionally with great bustard density in sympatric sites, in consistence with theory. Overall, our results suggest that density-dependent variation in little bustard's niche is the outcome of interspecific competition with the great bustard. The use of computational tools like kernel density estimators to obtain multidimensional niches should bring novel insights on how species' ecological niches behave under the effects of interspecific competition in ecological communities.

  17. LNG niche market development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beata Kviatek

    2011-01-01

    Project focusing on developing a public affairs advice for the corporate business case aiming at development of LNG niche market. The advice is based on research in five areas: (1) an overview of existent regulatory framework with regard to the use of LNG in a small scale market in the EU and

  18. Pre-metastatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peinado, Héctor; Zhang, Haiying; Matei, Irina R.

    2017-01-01

    -secreted factors and tumour-shed extracellular vesicles that enable the 'soil' at distant metastatic sites to encourage the outgrowth of incoming cancer cells. In this Review, we summarize the main processes and new mechanisms involved in the formation of the pre-metastatic niche....

  19. Photochemical synthesis of biomolecules under anoxic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folsome, Clair; Brittain, Andrew; Zelko, Michael

    1983-03-01

    We report the long-wavelength UV anoxic photosynthesis of uracil, various sugars (including deoxyribose and glycoaldehyde), amino acids, and other organic photoproducts. These reactions occur in mixtures of water, calcium carbonate, formaldehyde and hydrazine. Our data demonstrate that under several sets of conditions biomolecules can be formed in variety and abundance from reduced compounds (formaldehyde and hydrazine) derived from anoxic dinitrogen/carbon dioxide environments. The formaldehyde concentrations were varied from 10 mM to 0.005 mM, and the hydrazine concentrations were varied from 1 mM to 0.01 mM. The highest of these reactant concentrations were 500 and 6 times greater than those reported for earlier experiments upon the synthesis of these precursors from CO2 or N2, while the lowest of reactant concentrations employed here were 0.5 (formaldehyde) and 0.006 (hydrazine). Product yields were greatest when the hydrazine/formaldehyde ratio was 1, and when the reactant concentrations were low. These data suggest that organic products can be formed in variety from those amounts of formaldehyde and hydrazine precursors which are themselves formed under anoxic UV photochemical conditions. Hence these various reactions would seem to have prebiotic relevance. The UV 254 nm photon flux employed was 100 times higher than unattenuated solar flux. Durations of UV exposure were 24 hrs and 72 hrs. No experiments have been addressed to the possibility of UV flux dependency.

  20. Diet and trophic niche of Lithobates catesbeianus (Amphibia: Anura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peterson T. Leivas

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802 is an invasive anuran introduced in Brazil that is associated with the displacement and the decline of populations of native species worldwide. There is evidence that biological invasions are facilitated by certain attributes of the invading species, for instance niche breath, and that invasive species have a broader ecological niche with respect to native ones. We designed a study to ascertain the temporal, ontogenetic, and sex differences in the niche dynamics of the American bullfrog. We sampled monthly from June 2008 to May 2009 in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. For each individual, we gathered biometric and stomach content data. We then estimated the niche breath of the juveniles and adults, and compared it between the sexes. A total of 104 females and 77 males were sampled. Lithobates catesbeianus has a generalist diet, preying upon invertebrates and vertebrates. Even though the diet of the studied population varied seasonally, it did not differ between the sexes nor did it respond to biometric variables. Niche breadth was more restricted in the winter than in the autumn. The trophic niche of juveniles and adults did not overlap much when compared with the trophic niche overlap between males and females. Adult males and females had a considerable niche overlap, but females had a broader trophic niche than males in the winter and in the spring. These niche characteristics point to an opportunistic predation strategy that may have facilitated the process of invasion and establishment of this species in the study area.

  1. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages

    OpenAIRE

    Foote, Andrew D.; Newton, Jason; Ávila-Arcos, María C.; Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Samaniego, Jose A.; Post, Klaas; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.

    2013-01-01

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic r...

  2. Inter-specific and seasonal comparison of the niches occupied by small cetaceans off north-west Iberia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez Garcia, Rut; MacLeod, C. D.; Pierce, G. J.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of species' ecological niches can be used to assess ecological interactions between different taxa. Sixteen species of cetaceans have been recorded in Galician waters and niche partitioning is expected to occur among these species in order to allow them to co-exist. In this study, the n...

  3. Tempo and mode of climatic niche evolution in Primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duran, Andressa; Pie, Marcio R

    2015-09-01

    Climatic niches have increasingly become a nexus in our understanding of a variety of ecological and evolutionary phenomena, from species distributions to latitudinal diversity gradients. Despite the increasing availability of comprehensive datasets on species ranges, phylogenetic histories, and georeferenced environmental conditions, studies on the evolution of climate niches have only begun to understand how niches evolve over evolutionary timescales. Here, using primates as a model system, we integrate recently developed phylogenetic comparative methods, species distribution patterns, and climatic data to explore primate climatic niche evolution, both among clades and over time. In general, we found that simple, constant-rate models provide a poor representation of how climatic niches evolve. For instance, there have been shifts in the rate of climatic niche evolution in several independent clades, particularly in response to the increasingly cooler climates of the past 10 My. Interestingly, rate accelerations greatly outnumbered rate decelerations. These results highlight the importance of considering more realistic evolutionary models that allow for the detection of heterogeneity in the tempo and mode of climatic niche evolution, as well as to infer possible constraining factors for species distributions in geographical space. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Niching as a Macrostructural Procedure*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rufus H. Gouws

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available

    Abstract: Niching is a macrostructural procedure of textual condensation which results in different dictionary articles being clustered into one textblock as subarticles headed by sublemmata. This article offers an identification and critical discussion of different types of niching. Examples from dictionaries are used to examine problems which dictionary users experience as a result of the application of niching. The emphasis is on problems regarding the search route of users via the outer access structure of dictionaries. A distinction is made between single niching and multiple niching. Different aspects of multiple niching receive attention, e.g. the use of remote and exclusively remote multiple niching. The focus is also on an increased degree of textual condensation resulting from these procedures as well as problems in the domain of the access structure. Attention is drawn to the influence of the inclusion of homonym pairs on the application of multiple niching. Problems arising from an inconsistent application of multiple niching are identified and solutions are suggested for these problems in order to enhance the quality of the lexicographic practice. It is shown that a user-driven dictionary would rather opt for the application of procedures of single niching and first level nesting instead of multiple niching.

    Keywords: EXCLUSIVELY REMOTE MULTIPLE NICHING, FIRST LEVEL NESTING, HETEROGENEOUS NICHING, HOMOGENEOUS NICHING, HYBRID NICHING, MULTIPLE NICHING, NESTING, NICHING, PARTIAL ARTICLE STRETCH, REMOTE NICHING, SINGLE NICHING, TEXTUAL CONDENSATION

    Opsomming: Nisting as 'n makrostrukturele prosedure. Nisting is 'n makrostrukturele teksverdigtingsprosedure waardeur woordeboekartikels in een teksblok as subartikels met sublemmata gegroepeer word. Hierdie artikel bevat 'n beskrywing en kritiese bespreking van verskillende tipes nisting. Aan die hand van woordeboekvoorbeelde word probleme wat gebruikers met die toepassing

  5. Niche similarities among introduced and native mountain ungulates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrey, B; Garrott, R A; McWhirter, D E; White, P J; DeCesare, N J; Stewart, S T

    2018-03-24

    The niche concept provides a strong foundation for theoretical and applied research among a broad range of disciplines. When two ecologically similar species are sympatric, theory predicts they will occupy distinct ecological niches to reduce competition. Capitalizing on the increasing availability of spatial data, we built from single species habitat suitability models to a multispecies evaluation of the niche partitioning hypothesis with sympatric mountain ungulates - native bighorn sheep (BHS; Ovis canadensis) and introduced mountain goats (MTG; Oreamnos americanus) in the northeast Greater Yellowstone Area. We characterized seasonal niches using two-stage resource selection functions with a used-available design and descriptive summaries of the niche attributes associated with used GPS locations. We evaluated seasonal similarity in niche space according to confidence interval overlap of model coefficients and similarity in geographic space by comparing model predicted values with Schoener's D metric. Our sample contained 37,962 summer locations from 53 individuals (BHS = 31, MTG = 22), and 79,984 winter locations from 57 individuals (BHS = 35, MTG = 22). Slope was the most influential niche component for both species and seasons, and showed the strongest evidence of niche partitioning. Bighorn sheep occurred on steeper slopes than mountain goats in summer and mountain goats occurred on steeper slopes in winter. The pattern of differential selection among species was less prevalent for the remaining covariates, indicating similarity in niche space. Model predictions in geographic space showed broad seasonal similarity (summer D = 0.88, winter D = 0.87), as did niche characterizations from used GPS locations. The striking similarities in seasonal niches suggest that introduced mountain goats will continue to increase their spatial overlap with native bighorn. Our results suggest that reducing densities of mountain goats in hunted areas where they are sympatric

  6. Clinical classification of post anoxic myoclonic status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikhaeil-Demo, Yara; Gavvala, Jay R; Bellinski, Irena I; Macken, Micheal P; Narechania, Aditi; Templer, Jessica W; VanHaerents, Stephen; Schuele, Stephan U; Gerard, Elizabeth E

    2017-10-01

    Despite decades of research into the prognostic significance of post anoxic myoclonic status (MS), no consistent definition has been used to describe its clinical appearance. We set out to characterize the clinical features of MS and hypothesized that there are distinct clinical subtypes that may have prognostic implications. Video EEG reports from 2008 to 2016 were searched to identify adult patients with post anoxic MS defined as persistent myoclonus for >30min beginning within 3days of cardiac arrest in a comatose patient. Forty-three patients met inclusion and exclusion criteria. To generate definitions of the clinical features of MS, we reviewed videos of 23 cases and characterized 3 distinct clinical semiologies. An additional 20 cases were independently reviewed and categorized by 3 raters to evaluate inter-rater agreement (IRA). All 43 patients were assigned to a group based on consensus review for the first 23 patients and majority agreement for IRA patients. We also examined the relationship between semiology and outcome. Three distinct clinical semiologies of MS were identified: Type 1: distal, asynchronous, variable; type 2: axial or axial and distal, asynchronous, variable; and type 3: axial, synchronous, stereotyped. For IRA, Gwet's kappa was 0.64 indicating substantial agreement. Two of 3 type 1 patients (66.6%) and 7.4% of type 2 followed commands whereas none of type 3 followed commands (p=0.03). We defined and validated a classification system of post anoxic MS based on clinical semiology. This classification may be a useful bedside prognostication tool. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Methane oxidation in anoxic lake waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Guangyi; Zopfi, Jakob; Niemann, Helge; Lehmann, Moritz

    2017-04-01

    Freshwater habitats such as lakes are important sources of methante (CH4), however, most studies in lacustrine environments so far provided evidence for aerobic methane oxidation only, and little is known about the importance of anaerobic oxidation of CH4 (AOM) in anoxic lake waters. In marine environments, sulfate reduction coupled to AOM by archaea has been recognized as important sinks of CH4. More recently, the discorvery of anaerobic methane oxidizing denitrifying bacteria represents a novel and possible alternative AOM pathway, involving reactive nitrogen species (e.g., nitrate and nitrite) as electron acceptors in the absence of oxygen. We investigate anaerobic methane oxidation in the water column of two hydrochemically contrasting sites in Lake Lugano, Switzerland. The South Basin displays seasonal stratification, the development of a benthic nepheloid layer and anoxia during summer and fall. The North Basin is permanently stratified with anoxic conditions below 115m water depth. Both Basins accumulate seasonally (South Basin) or permanently (North Basin) large amounts of CH4 in the water column below the chemocline, providing ideal conditions for methanotrophic microorganisms. Previous work revealed a high potential for aerobic methane oxidation within the anoxic water column, but no evidence for true AOM. Here, we show depth distribution data of dissolved CH4, methane oxidation rates and nutrients at both sites. In addition, we performed high resolution phylogenetic analyses of microbial community structures and conducted radio-label incubation experiments with concentrated biomass from anoxic waters and potential alternative electron acceptor additions (nitrate, nitrite and sulfate). First results from the unamended experiments revealed maximum activity of methane oxidation below the redoxcline in both basins. While the incubation experiments neither provided clear evidence for NOx- nor sulfate-dependent AOM, the phylogenetic analysis revealed the

  8. Widespread correlations between climatic niche evolution and species diversification in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, Christopher R; Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-07-01

    The adaptability of species' climatic niches can influence the dynamics of colonization and gene flow across climatic gradients, potentially increasing the likelihood of speciation or reducing extinction in the face of environmental change. However, previous comparative studies have tested these ideas using geographically, taxonomically and ecologically restricted samples, yielding mixed results, and thus the processes linking climatic niche evolution with diversification remain poorly understood. Focusing on birds, the largest and most widespread class of terrestrial vertebrates, we test whether variation in species diversification among clades is correlated with rates of climatic niche evolution and the extent to which these patterns are modified by underlying gradients in biogeography and species' ecology. We quantified climatic niches, latitudinal distribution and ecological traits for 7657 (˜75%) bird species based on geographical range polygons and then used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to test whether niche evolution was related to species richness and rates of diversification across genus- and family-level clades. We found that the rate of climatic niche evolution has a positive linear relationship with both species richness and diversification rate at two different taxonomic levels (genus and family). Furthermore, this positive association between labile climatic niches and diversification was detected regardless of variation in clade latitude or key ecological traits. Our findings suggest either that rapid adaptation to unoccupied areas of climatic niche space promotes avian diversification, or that diversification promotes adaptation. Either way, we propose that climatic niche evolution is a fundamental process regulating the link between climate and biodiversity at global scales, irrespective of the geographical and ecological context of speciation and extinction. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  9. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. The importance of individual and species-level traits for trophic niches among herbivorous coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allgeier, Jacob E; Adam, Thomas C; Burkepile, Deron E

    2017-06-14

    Resolving how species compete and coexist within ecological communities represents a long-standing challenge in ecology. Research efforts have focused on two predominant mechanisms of species coexistence: complementarity and redundancy. But findings also support an alternative hypothesis that within-species variation may be critical for coexistence. Our study focuses on nine closely related and ecologically similar coral reef fish species to test the importance of individual- versus species-level traits in determining the size of dietary, foraging substrate, and behavioural interaction niches. Specifically, we asked: (i) what level of biological organization best describes individual-level niches? and (ii) how are herbivore community niches partitioned among species, and are niche widths driven by species- or individual-level traits? Dietary and foraging substrate niche widths were best described by species identity, but no level of taxonomy explained behavioural interactions. All three niches were dominated by only a few species, contrasting expectations of niche complementarity. Species- and individual-level traits strongly drove foraging substrate and behavioural niches, respectively, whereas the dietary niche was described by both. Our findings underscored the importance of species-level traits for community-level niches, but highlight that individual-level trait variation within a select few species may be a key driver of the overall size of niches. © 2017 The Author(s).

  11. Microbial electricity driven anoxic ammonium removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilajeliu-Pons, Anna; Koch, Christin; Balaguer, Maria D; Colprim, Jesús; Harnisch, Falk; Puig, Sebastià

    2018-03-01

    Removal of nitrogen, mainly in form of ammonium (NH 4 + ), in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a highly energy demanding process, mainly due to aeration. It causes costs of about half a million Euros per year in an average European WWTP. Alternative, more economical technologies for the removal of nitrogen compounds from wastewater are required. This study proves the complete anoxic conversion of ammonium (NH 4 + ) to dinitrogen gas (N 2 ) in continuously operated bioelectrochemical systems at the litre-scale. The removal rate is comparable to conventional WWTPs with 35 ± 10 g N m -3 d -1 with low accumulation of NO 2 - , NO 3 - , N 2 O. In contrast to classical aerobic nitrification, the energy consumption is considerable lower (1.16 ± 0.21 kWh kg -1 N, being more than 35 times less than for the conventional wastewater treatment). Biotic and abiotic control experiments confirmed that the anoxic nitrification was an electrochemical biological process mainly performed by Nitrosomonas with hydroxylamine as the main substrate (mid-point potential, E ox  = +0.67 ± 0.08 V vs. SHE). This article proves the technical feasibility and reduction of costs for ammonium removal from wastewater, investigates the underlying mechanisms and discusses future engineering needs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Evidence of niche shift and invasion potential of Lithobates catesbeianus in the habitat of Mexican endemic frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra López, Jorge Luis; Esparza Estrada, Citlalli Edith; Romero Méndez, Ulises; Sigala Rodríguez, José Jesús; Mayer Goyenechea, Irene Goyenechea; Castillo Cerón, Jesús Martín

    2017-01-01

    Invasive alien species are one of most severe threats to biodiversity and natural resources. These biological invasions have been studied from the niche conservatism and niche shifts perspective. Niche differentiation may result from changes in fundamental niche or realized niche or both; in biological invasions, niche differences between native and non-native ranges can appear through niche expansion, niche unfilling and niche stability. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is an invasive species that can have negative impacts on native amphibian populations. This research examines the climate niche shifts of this frog, its potential range of expansion in Mexico and the risk of invasion by bullfrog in the habitats of 82 frog species endemic to Mexico, that based on their climatic niche similarity were divided in four ecological groups. The results indicate that species in two ecological groups were the most vulnerable to invasion by bullfrog. However, the climate niche shifts of L. catesbeianus may allow it to adapt to new environmental conditions, so species from the two remaining groups cannot be dismissed as not vulnerable. This information is valuable for decision making in prioritizing areas for conservation of Mexican endemic frogs.

  13. Evidence of niche shift and invasion potential of Lithobates catesbeianus in the habitat of Mexican endemic frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra López

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species are one of most severe threats to biodiversity and natural resources. These biological invasions have been studied from the niche conservatism and niche shifts perspective. Niche differentiation may result from changes in fundamental niche or realized niche or both; in biological invasions, niche differences between native and non-native ranges can appear through niche expansion, niche unfilling and niche stability. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is an invasive species that can have negative impacts on native amphibian populations. This research examines the climate niche shifts of this frog, its potential range of expansion in Mexico and the risk of invasion by bullfrog in the habitats of 82 frog species endemic to Mexico, that based on their climatic niche similarity were divided in four ecological groups. The results indicate that species in two ecological groups were the most vulnerable to invasion by bullfrog. However, the climate niche shifts of L. catesbeianus may allow it to adapt to new environmental conditions, so species from the two remaining groups cannot be dismissed as not vulnerable. This information is valuable for decision making in prioritizing areas for conservation of Mexican endemic frogs.

  14. Single neuron dynamics during experimentally induced anoxic depolarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zandt, B.; Stigen, Tyler; ten Haken, Bernard; Netoff, Theoden; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria

    2013-01-01

    We studied single neuron dynamics during anoxic depolarizations, which are often observed in cases of neuronal energy depletion. Anoxic and similar depolarizations play an important role in several pathologies, notably stroke, migraine, and epilepsy. One of the effects of energy depletion was

  15. Methane oxidation coupled to oxygenic photosynthesis in anoxic waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milucka, Jana; Kirf, Mathias; Lu, Lu; Krupke, Andreas; Lam, Phyllis; Littmann, Sten; Kuypers, Marcel MM; Schubert, Carsten J

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater lakes represent large methane sources that, in contrast to the Ocean, significantly contribute to non-anthropogenic methane emissions to the atmosphere. Particularly mixed lakes are major methane emitters, while permanently and seasonally stratified lakes with anoxic bottom waters are often characterized by strongly reduced methane emissions. The causes for this reduced methane flux from anoxic lake waters are not fully understood. Here we identified the microorganisms and processes responsible for the near complete consumption of methane in the anoxic waters of a permanently stratified lake, Lago di Cadagno. Interestingly, known anaerobic methanotrophs could not be detected in these waters. Instead, we found abundant gamma-proteobacterial aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria active in the anoxic waters. In vitro incubations revealed that, among all the tested potential electron acceptors, only the addition of oxygen enhanced the rates of methane oxidation. An equally pronounced stimulation was also observed when the anoxic water samples were incubated in the light. Our combined results from molecular, biogeochemical and single-cell analyses indicate that methane removal at the anoxic chemocline of Lago di Cadagno is due to true aerobic oxidation of methane fuelled by in situ oxygen production by photosynthetic algae. A similar mechanism could be active in seasonally stratified lakes and marine basins such as the Black Sea, where light penetrates to the anoxic chemocline. Given the widespread occurrence of seasonally stratified anoxic lakes, aerobic methane oxidation coupled to oxygenic photosynthesis might have an important but so far neglected role in methane emissions from lakes. PMID:25679533

  16. Niche construction, sources of selection and trait coevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin; Odling-Smee, John; Endler, John

    2017-10-06

    Organisms modify and choose components of their local environments. This 'niche construction' can alter ecological processes, modify natural selection and contribute to inheritance through ecological legacies. Here, we propose that niche construction initiates and modifies the selection directly affecting the constructor, and on other species, in an orderly, directed and sustained manner. By dependably generating specific environmental states, niche construction co-directs adaptive evolution by imposing a consistent statistical bias on selection. We illustrate how niche construction can generate this evolutionary bias by comparing it with artificial selection. We suggest that it occupies the middle ground between artificial and natural selection. We show how the perspective leads to testable predictions related to: (i) reduced variance in measures of responses to natural selection in the wild; (ii) multiple trait coevolution, including the evolution of sequences of traits and patterns of parallel evolution; and (iii) a positive association between niche construction and biodiversity. More generally, we submit that evolutionary biology would benefit from greater attention to the diverse properties of all sources of selection.

  17. Microbial oceanography of anoxic oxygen minimum zones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ulloa, Osvaldo; Canfield, Donald E; DeLong, Edward F

    2012-01-01

    Vast expanses of oxygen-deficient and nitrite-rich water define the major oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) of the global ocean. They support diverse microbial communities that influence the nitrogen economy of the oceans, contributing to major losses of fixed nitrogen as dinitrogen (N(2)) and nitrous...... dissolved oxygen in seawater, however, is much too high to distinguish low oxygen conditions from true anoxia. However, new analytical technologies are revealing vanishingly low oxygen concentrations in nitrite-rich OMZs, indicating that these OMZs are essentially anoxic marine zones (AMZs). Autonomous...... environmental genomics and geochemical studies show the presence of other relevant processes, particularly those associated with the sulfur and carbon cycles. AMZs correspond to an intermediate state between two "end points" represented by fully oxic systems and fully sulfidic systems. Modern and ancient AMZs...

  18. Cellular population dynamics control the robustness of the stem cell niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. MacLean

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Within populations of cells, fate decisions are controlled by an indeterminate combination of cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors. In the case of stem cells, the stem cell niche is believed to maintain ‘stemness’ through communication and interactions between the stem cells and one or more other cell-types that contribute to the niche conditions. To investigate the robustness of cell fate decisions in the stem cell hierarchy and the role that the niche plays, we introduce simple mathematical models of stem and progenitor cells, their progeny and their interplay in the niche. These models capture the fundamental processes of proliferation and differentiation and allow us to consider alternative possibilities regarding how niche-mediated signalling feedback regulates the niche dynamics. Generalised stability analysis of these stem cell niche systems enables us to describe the stability properties of each model. We find that although the number of feasible states depends on the model, their probabilities of stability in general do not: stem cell–niche models are stable across a wide range of parameters. We demonstrate that niche-mediated feedback increases the number of stable steady states, and show how distinct cell states have distinct branching characteristics. The ecological feedback and interactions mediated by the stem cell niche thus lend (surprisingly high levels of robustness to the stem and progenitor cell population dynamics. Furthermore, cell–cell interactions are sufficient for populations of stem cells and their progeny to achieve stability and maintain homeostasis. We show that the robustness of the niche – and hence of the stem cell pool in the niche – depends only weakly, if at all, on the complexity of the niche make-up: simple as well as complicated niche systems are capable of supporting robust and stable stem cell dynamics.

  19. Social intelligence, human intelligence and niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterelny, Kim

    2007-04-29

    This paper is about the evolution of hominin intelligence. I agree with defenders of the social intelligence hypothesis in thinking that externalist models of hominin intelligence are not plausible: such models cannot explain the unique cognition and cooperation explosion in our lineage, for changes in the external environment (e.g. increasing environmental unpredictability) affect many lineages. Both the social intelligence hypothesis and the social intelligence-ecological complexity hybrid I outline here are niche construction models. Hominin evolution is hominin response to selective environments that earlier hominins have made. In contrast to social intelligence models, I argue that hominins have both created and responded to a unique foraging mode; a mode that is both social in itself and which has further effects on hominin social environments. In contrast to some social intelligence models, on this view, hominin encounters with their ecological environments continue to have profound selective effects. However, though the ecological environment selects, it does not select on its own. Accidents and their consequences, differential success and failure, result from the combination of the ecological environment an agent faces and the social features that enhance some opportunities and suppress others and that exacerbate some dangers and lessen others. Individuals do not face the ecological filters on their environment alone, but with others, and with the technology, information and misinformation that their social world provides.

  20. Toward Gleasonian landscape ecology: From communities to species, from patches to pixels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A. Cushman; Jeffrey S. Evans; Kevin McGarigal; Joseph M. Kiesecker

    2010-01-01

    The fusion of individualistic community ecology with the Hutchinsonian niche concept enabled a broad integration of ecological theory, spanning all the way from the niche characteristics of individual species, to the composition, structure, and dynamics of ecological communities. Landscape ecology has been variously described as the study of the structure, function,...

  1. Microbially mediated barite dissolution in anoxic brines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ouyang, Bingjie; Akob, Denise M.; Dunlap, Darren; Renock, Devon

    2017-01-01

    Fluids injected into shale formations during hydraulic fracturing of black shale return with extraordinarily high total-dissolved-solids (TDS) and high concentrations of barium (Ba) and radium (Ra). Barite, BaSO 4 , has been implicated as a possible source of Ba as well as a problematic mineral scale that forms on internal well surfaces, often in close association with radiobarite, (Ba,Ra)SO 4 . The dissolution of barite by abiotic processes is well quantified. However, the identification of microbial communities in flowback and produced water necessitates the need to understand barite dissolution in the presence of bacteria. Therefore, we evaluated the rates and mechanisms of abiotic and microbially-mediated barite dissolution under anoxic and hypersaline conditions in the laboratory. Barite dissolution experiments were conducted with bacterial enrichment cultures established from produced water from Marcellus Shale wells located in northcentral Pennsylvania. These cultures were dominated by anaerobic halophilic bacteria from the genus Halanaerobium. Dissolved Ba was determined by ICP-OES and barite surfaces were investigated by SEM and AFM. Our results reveal that: 1) higher amounts of barium (up to ∼5 × ) are released from barite in the presence of Halanaerobium cultures compared to brine controls after 30 days of reaction, 2) etch pits that develop on the barite (001) surface in the presence of Halanaerobium exhibit a morphology that is distinct from those that form during control experiments without bacteria, 3) etch pits that develop in the presence of Halanaerobium exhibit a morphology that is similar to the morphology of etch pits formed in the presence of strong organic chelators, EDTA and DTPA, and 4) experiments using dialysis membranes to separate barite from bacteria suggest that direct contact between the two is not required in order to promote dissolution. These results suggest that Halanaerobium increase the rate of barite dissolution in anoxic

  2. Biological phosphorus uptake under anoxic and aerobic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerrn-Jespersen, Jens Peter; Henze, Mogens

    1993-01-01

    Biological phosphorus removal was investigated under anoxic and aerobic conditions. Tests were made to establish whether phosphorus accumulating bacteria can take up phosphate under anoxic conditions and thus utilise nitrate as oxidant. Furthermore, it was tested how the amount of organic matter...... taken up by the phosphorus accumulating bacteria during the anaerobic phase affects the total denitrification rate, as well as the rate at which the phosphorus accumulating bacteria take up phosphate under anoxic conditions. The tests were conducted as batch experiments in 21. reactors with activated...... conditions. There was a linear relationship between the amount of acetate taken up in the anaerobic phase, the denitrification rate and the phosphorus uptake rate....

  3. Towards the Integration of Niche and Network Theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoy, Oscar; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Rohr, Rudolf P; Saavedra, Serguei

    2018-02-10

    The quest for understanding how species interactions modulate diversity has progressed by theoretical and empirical advances following niche and network theories. Yet, niche studies have been limited to describe coexistence within tropic levels despite incorporating information about multi-trophic interactions. Network approaches could address this limitation, but they have ignored the structure of species interactions within trophic levels. Here we call for the integration of niche and network theories to reach new frontiers of knowledge exploring how interactions within and across trophic levels promote species coexistence. This integration is possible due to the strong parallelisms in the historical development, ecological concepts, and associated mathematical tools of both theories. We provide a guideline to integrate this framework with observational and experimental studies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Predicting coexistence in species with continuous ontogenetic niche shifts and competitive asymmetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassar, Ronald D; Travis, Joseph; Coulson, Tim

    2017-11-01

    A longstanding problem in ecology is whether structured life cycles impede or facilitate coexistence between species. Theory based on populations with only two discrete stages in the life-cycle indicates that for two species to coexist, at least one must shift its niche between stages and each species must be a better competitor in one of the niches. However, in many cases, niche shifts are associated with changes in an underlying continuous trait like body size and we have few predictions concerning conditions for coexistence for such a widespread form of ontogenetic development. We develop a framework for analyzing species coexistence based on Integral Projection Models (IPMs) that incorporates continuous ontogenetic changes in both the resource niche and competitive ability. We parameterize the model using experimental data from Trinidadian guppies and show how niche shifts and competitive symmetries impact species coexistence. Overall, our results show that the effects of competition on fitness depend upon trait-mediated niche-separation, trait-mediated competitive asymmetry in the part of the niche that is shared across body sizes, and the sensitivity of fitness to body size. Interactions among these processes generate multiple routes to coexistence. We discuss how our modeling framework expands results from two-stage models to mutli-stage or continuous stage models and allows for deriving predictions that can be tested in populations displaying continuous changes in niche use and competitive ability. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Abundant Trimethylornithine Lipids and Specific Gene Sequences Are Indicative of Planctomycete Importance at the Oxic/Anoxic Interface in Sphagnum-Dominated Northern Wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Eli K; Villanueva, Laura; Hopmans, Ellen C; Rijpstra, W Irene C; Mets, Anchelique; Dedysh, Svetlana N; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S

    2015-09-01

    Northern wetlands make up a substantial terrestrial carbon sink and are often dominated by decay-resistant Sphagnum mosses. Recent studies have shown that planctomycetes appear to be involved in degradation of Sphagnum-derived debris. Novel trimethylornithine (TMO) lipids have recently been characterized as abundant lipids in various Sphagnum wetland planctomycete isolates, but their occurrence in the environment has not yet been confirmed. We applied a combined intact polar lipid (IPL) and molecular analysis of peat cores collected from two northern wetlands (Saxnäs Mosse [Sweden] and Obukhovskoye [Russia]) in order to investigate the preferred niche and abundance of TMO-producing planctomycetes. TMOs were present throughout the profiles of Sphagnum bogs, but their concentration peaked at the oxic/anoxic interface, which coincided with a maximum abundance of planctomycete-specific 16S rRNA gene sequences. The sequences detected at the oxic/anoxic interface were affiliated with the Isosphaera group, while sequences present in the anoxic peat layers were related to an uncultured planctomycete group. Pyrosequencing-based analysis identified Planctomycetes as the major bacterial group at the oxic/anoxic interface at the Obukhovskoye peat (54% of total 16S rRNA gene sequence reads), followed by Acidobacteria (19% reads), while in the Saxnäs Mosse peat, Acidobacteria were dominant (46%), and Planctomycetes contributed to 6% of the total reads. The detection of abundant TMO lipids in planctomycetes isolated from peat bogs and the lack of TMO production by cultures of acidobacteria suggest that planctomycetes are the producers of TMOs in peat bogs. The higher accumulation of TMOs at the oxic/anoxic interface and the change in the planctomycete community with depth suggest that these IPLs could be synthesized as a response to changing redox conditions at the oxic/anoxic interface. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Photogeochemical reactions of manganese under anoxic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, W.; Yee, N.; Piotrowiak, P.; Falkowski, P. G.

    2017-12-01

    Photogeochemistry describes reactions involving light and naturally occurring chemical species. These reactions often involve a photo-induced electron transfer that does not occur in the absence of light. Although photogeochemical reactions have been known for decades, they are often ignored in geochemical models. In particular, reactions caused by UV radiation during an ozone free early Earth could have influenced the available oxidation states of manganese. Manganese is one of the most abundant transition metals in the crust and is important in both biology and geology. For example, the presence of manganese (VI) oxides in the geologic record has been used as a proxy for oxygenic photosynthesis; however, we suggest that the high oxidation state of Mn can be produced abiotically by photochemical reactions. Aqueous solutions of manganese (II) as well as suspensions of rhodochrosite (MnCO3) were irradiated under anoxic condition using a 450 W mercury lamp and custom built quartz reaction vessels. The photoreaction of the homogeneous solution of Mn(II) produced H2 gas and akhtenskite (ɛ-MnO2) as the solid product . This product is different than the previously identified birnessite. The irradiation of rhodochrosite suspensions also produced H2 gas and resulted in both a spectral shift as well as morphology changes of the mineral particles in the SEM images. These reactions offer alternative, abiotic pathways for the formation of manganese oxides.

  7. Projections of contemporary and future climate niche for Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate subsp. wyomingensis): A guide for restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon M. Still; Bryce A. Richardson

    2015-01-01

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is one of the most widespread and abundant plant species in the intermountain regions of western North America. This species occupies an extremely wide ecological niche ranging from the semi-arid basins to the subalpine. Within this large niche, three widespread subspecies are recognized. Montane ecoregions are occupied by...

  8. Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pitteloud, C.; Arrigo, N.; Suchan, T.; Mastretta-Yanes, A.; Vila, R.; Dincă, V.; Hernández-Roldán, J.; Brockmann, E.; Chittaro, Y.; Klečková, Irena; Fumagalli, L.; Buerki, S.; Pellissier, L.; Alvarez, N.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1852 (2017), č. článku 20170208. ISSN 0962-8452 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : climatic niche * macro-evolutionary processes * parametric biogeography Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016 http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1852/20170208

  9. Competition for nitrate and glucose between Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus licheniformis under continuous or fluctuating anoxic conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijburg, J.W.; Gerards, S.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    1998-01-01

    The dissimilatory nitrate-reducing bacterial community in the rhizosphere of aerenchymatous plant species such as Glyceria maxima, consists of oxidative. denitrifying and fermentative nitrate-ammonifying bacteria. To study the respective ecological niches of both types of nitrate-reducing bacteria,

  10. Competition for nitrate and glucose between Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus licheniformis under continuous or fluctuating anoxic conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijburg, J.W.; Gerards, S.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    1998-01-01

    The dissimilatory nitrate-reducing bacterial community in the rhizosphere of aerenchymatous plant species such as Glyceria maxima, consists of oxidative, denitrifying and fermentative nitrate-ammonifying bacteria. To study the respective ecological niches of both types of nitrate-reducing

  11. Copper corrosion experiments under anoxic conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ollila, Kaija [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo (Finland)

    2013-06-15

    This report gives results from the corrosion experiments with copper under anoxic conditions. The objective was to study whether hydrogen-evolving corrosion reaction could occur. Copper foil samples were exposed in deaerated deionized water in Erlenmeyer flasks in the glove box with inert atmosphere. Four corrosion experiments (Cu1, Cu2, Cu3 and Cu4) were started, as well as a reference test standing in air. Cu1 and Cu2 had gas tight seals, whereas Cu3 and Cu4 had palladium foils as hydrogen permeable enclosure. The test vessels were stored during the experiments in a closed stainless steel vessel to protect them from the trace oxygen of the gas atmosphere and light. After the reaction time of three and a half years, there were no visible changes in the copper surfaces in any of the tests in the glove box, in contrast the Cu surfaces looked shiny and unaltered. The Cu3 test was terminated after the reaction time of 746 days. The analysis of the Pd-membrane showed the presence of H2 in the test system. If the measured amount of 7.2{center_dot}10{sup 5} mol H{sub 2} was the result of formation of Cu{sub 2}O this would correspond to a 200 nm thick corrosion layer. This was not in agreement with the measured layer thickness with SIMS, which was 6{+-}1 nm. A clear weight loss observed for the Cu3 test vessel throughout the test period suggests the evaporation of water through the epoxy sealing to the closed steel vessel. If this occurred, the anaerobic corrosion of steel surface in humid oxygen-free atmosphere could be a source of hydrogen. A similar weight loss was not observed for the parallel test (Cu4). The reference test standing in air showed visible development of corrosion products.

  12. pH regulation in anoxic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felle, Hubert H

    2005-09-01

    pH regulation is the result of a complex interaction of ion transport, H+ buffering, H+-consuming and H+-producing reactions. Cells under anoxia experience an energy crisis; an early response thereof (in most tissues) is a rapid cytoplasmic acidification of roughly half a pH unit. Depending on the degree of anoxia tolerance, this pH remains relatively stable for some time, but then drops further due to an energy shortage, which, in concert with a general breakdown of transmembrane gradients, finally leads to cell death unless the plant finds access to an energy source. In this review the much-debated origin of the initial pH change and its regulation under anoxia is discussed, as well as the problem of how tissues deal with the energy crisis and to what extent pH regulation and membrane transport from and into the vacuole and the apoplast is a part thereof. It is postulated that, because a foremost goal of cells under anoxia must be energy production (having an anaerobic machinery that produces insufficient amounts of ATP), a new pH is set to ensure a proper functioning of the involved enzymes. Thus, the anoxic pH is not experienced as an error signal and is therefore not reversed to the aerobic level. Although acclimated and anoxia-tolerant tissues may display higher cytoplasmic pH than non-acclimated or anoxia-intolerant tissues, evidence for an impeded pH-regulation is missing even in the anoxia-intolerant tissues. For sufficient energy production, residual H+ pumping is vital to cope with anoxia by importing energy-rich compounds; however it is not vital for pH-regulation. Whereas the initial acidification is not due to energy shortage, subsequent uncontrolled acidosis occurring in concert with a general gradient breakdown damages the cell but may not be the primary event.

  13. Coupled anoxic nitrification/manganese reduction in marine sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulth, Stefan; Aller, Robert C.; Gilbert, Franck

    1999-01-01

    Pore water and solid phase distributions of oxygen, manganese, and nitrogen from hemipelagic and shelf sediments sometimes indicate a close coupling between the manganese and nitrogen redox cycles. Reaction coupling must be sustained in part by biological reworking of Mn-oxide-rich surface sediments into underlying anoxic zones. Surface sediment from Long Island Sound (USA) was used in laboratory experiments to simulate such intermittent natural mixing processes and subsequent reaction evolution. Mixed sediment was incubated anoxically under either diffusively open (plugs) or closed conditions (jars). In closed anoxic incubations, pore water NO 3- increased regularly to a maximum (up to 17 μM) after one to several days, and was subsequently depleted. Mn 2+ was produced simultaneously with NO 3-. NO 2- was also clearly produced and subsequently reduced, with a formation-depletion pattern consistent with coupled nitrification-denitrification in the anoxic sediment. Manipulative additions of Mn-oxides (5-10 μmol g -1 net) demonstrated that net anoxic NO 3- production correlated directly with initial Mn-oxide content. During initial net NO 3- production there was no evidence for SO 42- reduction. A direct correlation was also observed between anoxic nitrification rates and estimated sulfate reduction rates; the larger nitrification rates, the larger the eventual net sulfate reduction rates. Diffusively-open incubations using sediment plugs of four different thicknesses (2, 5, 10 and 20 mm) exposed to anoxic overlying water, also showed net production of pore water NO 3- (˜15-20 μM) despite the absence of NO 3- in the overlying water for at least five days. In general, higher nitrate concentrations were maintained in the open relative to the closed incubations, due most likely to lower concentrations of dissolved reductants for NO 3- in the open system. These experiments imply simultaneous coupling between the benthic nitrogen, manganese, and sulfur redox cycles

  14. Are fundamental niches larger than the realized? Testing a 50-year-old prediction by Hutchinson.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, J; Arroyo-Peña, B

    2017-01-01

    For more than 50 years ecological niches have been defined as combinations of multidimensional environmental conditions permitting a species to survive and reproduce. A fundamental niche (NF) is defined as the set of conditions within which a species can live in the absence of competitors, and a realized niche (NR) is a NF hypothetically reduced by competitive interactions (and some other limiting factors). This definition implies that NF is "larger" than NR, something that has been nearly universally accepted by ecologists. However, there have been few attempts at empirical tests. Here, we present a novel quantitative test using one-dimensional estimates of NF for 105 species of reptiles and amphibians, and estimates of NR obtained from ~1.4 x 104 field observations. To specify our test, we operationalize the original classification of niche types. Our results predominantly support the hypothesis that NF 'is larger' than NR and we highlight the theoretical and practical importance of quantifying niches.

  15. Are fundamental niches larger than the realized? Testing a 50-year-old prediction by Hutchinson.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Soberón

    Full Text Available For more than 50 years ecological niches have been defined as combinations of multidimensional environmental conditions permitting a species to survive and reproduce. A fundamental niche (NF is defined as the set of conditions within which a species can live in the absence of competitors, and a realized niche (NR is a NF hypothetically reduced by competitive interactions (and some other limiting factors. This definition implies that NF is "larger" than NR, something that has been nearly universally accepted by ecologists. However, there have been few attempts at empirical tests. Here, we present a novel quantitative test using one-dimensional estimates of NF for 105 species of reptiles and amphibians, and estimates of NR obtained from ~1.4 x 104 field observations. To specify our test, we operationalize the original classification of niche types. Our results predominantly support the hypothesis that NF 'is larger' than NR and we highlight the theoretical and practical importance of quantifying niches.

  16. Host specialist clownfishes are environmental niche generalists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litsios, Glenn; Kostikova, Anna; Salamin, Nicolas

    2014-11-22

    Why generalist and specialist species coexist in nature is a question that has interested evolutionary biologists for a long time. While the coexistence of specialists and generalists exploiting resources on a single ecological dimension has been theoretically and empirically explored, biological systems with multiple resource dimensions (e.g. trophic, ecological) are less well understood. Yet, such systems may provide an alternative to the classical theory of stable evolutionary coexistence of generalist and specialist species on a single resource dimension. We explore such systems and the potential trade-offs between different resource dimensions in clownfishes. All species of this iconic clade are obligate mutualists with sea anemones yet show interspecific variation in anemone host specificity. Moreover, clownfishes developed variable environmental specialization across their distribution. In this study, we test for the existence of a relationship between host-specificity (number of anemones associated with a clownfish species) and environmental-specificity (expressed as the size of the ecological niche breadth across climatic gradients). We find a negative correlation between host range and environmental specificities in temperature, salinity and pH, probably indicating a trade-off between both types of specialization forcing species to specialize only in a single direction. Trade-offs in a multi-dimensional resource space could be a novel way of explaining the coexistence of generalist and specialists. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  17. Dietary niche partitioning between sympatric brown hares and rabbits

    OpenAIRE

    Lush, L.; Ward, A. I.; Wheeler, P.

    2017-01-01

    Coexistence of ecologically similar species is sustained by niche partitioning, a fundamental element of which is diet. Overlapping of resource requirements between sympatric species can create interspecific competitive or facilitative effects on the foraging behaviour of herbivores. Brown hares (Lepus europaeus) and European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are similar in size, morphology, feeding type and occupy the same habitats, but direct evidence of competition for resources between them...

  18. Language, embodiment, and the cognitive niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Andy

    2006-08-01

    Embodied agents use bodily actions and environmental interventions to make the world a better place to think in. Where does language fit into this emerging picture of the embodied, ecologically efficient agent? One useful way to approach this question is to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this perspective is to view language as a kind of self-constructed cognitive niche: a persisting but never stationary material scaffolding whose crucial role in promoting thought and reason remains surprisingly poorly understood. It is the very materiality of this linguistic scaffolding, I suggest, that gives it some key benefits. By materializing thought in words, we create structures that are themselves proper objects of perception, manipulation, and (further) thought.

  19. Biodiversity patterns from an individual-based competition model on niche and physical spaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fort, H; Inchausti, P

    2012-01-01

    We formulate a microscopic (individual-based and spatially explicit) ecological model to assess whether key patterns of community structure, species-packing and the spatial distribution of species are robust to relaxing the mean-field approximation made in classical ecological models. In this model of community dynamics species compete both locally in physical space and along a niche axis and it includes just two free parameters, σ, controlling the extent of competition in niche space, and t, the simulation time. This minimalistic model (1) reproduces with considerable accuracy the dynamic sequence of relative species abundances, biodiversity indices and species–area relationships that are empirically found in censuses of trees in a well-studied tropical forest; (2) shows that the clumpy pattern of niches leading to long-lasting species coexistence obtained by classical competition models is robust to relaxing the mean-field assumption. Nevertheless species that are clumped in niche space are simultaneously spatially segregated

  20. The thermal niche of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats: Its evolution and application to predict responses to global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-García, Stephanie; Guevara, Lázaro; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Lindig-Cisneros, Roberto; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique; Vega, Ernesto; Schondube, Jorge E

    2017-09-01

    The thermal niche of a species is one of the main determinants of its ecology and biogeography. In this study, we determined the thermal niche of 23 species of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats of the subfamily Glossophaginae (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). We calculated their thermal niches using temperature data obtained from collection records, by generating a distribution curve of the maximum and minimum temperatures per locality, and using the inflection points of the temperature distributions to estimate the species optimal (STZ) and suboptimal (SRZ) zones of the thermal niche. Additionally, by mapping the values of the STZ and SRZ on a phylogeny of the group, we generated a hypothesis of the evolution of the thermal niches of this clade of nectar-feeding bats. Finally, we used the characteristics of their thermal niches to predict the responses of these organisms to climate change. We found a large variation in the width and limits of the thermal niches of nectar-feeding bats. Additionally, while the upper limits of the thermal niches varied little among species, their lower limits differ wildly. The ancestral reconstruction of the thermal niche indicated that this group of Neotropical bats evolved under cooler temperatures. The two clades inside the Glossophaginae differ in the evolution of their thermal niches, with most members of the clade Choeronycterines evolving "colder" thermal niches, while the majority of the species in the clade Glossophagines evolving "warmer" thermal niches. By comparing thermal niches with climate change models, we found that all species could be affected by an increase of 1°C in temperature at the end of this century. This suggests that even nocturnal species could suffer important physiological costs from global warming. Our study highlights the value of scientific collections to obtain ecologically significant physiological data for a large number of species.

  1. Alien invasive slider turtle in unpredicted habitat: a matter of niche shift or of predictors studied?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Rödder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Species Distribution Models (SDMs aim on the characterization of a species' ecological niche and project it into geographic space. The result is a map of the species' potential distribution, which is, for instance, helpful to predict the capability of alien invasive species. With regard to alien invasive species, recently several authors observed a mismatch between potential distributions of native and invasive ranges derived from SDMs and, as an explanation, ecological niche shift during biological invasion has been suggested. We studied the physiologically well known Slider turtle from North America which today is widely distributed over the globe and address the issue of ecological niche shift versus choice of ecological predictors used for model building, i.e., by deriving SDMs using multiple sets of climatic predictor. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In one SDM, predictors were used aiming to mirror the physiological limits of the Slider turtle. It was compared to numerous other models based on various sets of ecological predictors or predictors aiming at comprehensiveness. The SDM focusing on the study species' physiological limits depicts the target species' worldwide potential distribution better than any of the other approaches. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a natural history-driven understanding is crucial in developing statistical models of ecological niches (as SDMs while "comprehensive" or "standard" sets of ecological predictors may be of limited use.

  2. Alien invasive slider turtle in unpredicted habitat: a matter of niche shift or of predictors studied?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rödder, Dennis; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Lötters, Stefan

    2009-11-24

    Species Distribution Models (SDMs) aim on the characterization of a species' ecological niche and project it into geographic space. The result is a map of the species' potential distribution, which is, for instance, helpful to predict the capability of alien invasive species. With regard to alien invasive species, recently several authors observed a mismatch between potential distributions of native and invasive ranges derived from SDMs and, as an explanation, ecological niche shift during biological invasion has been suggested. We studied the physiologically well known Slider turtle from North America which today is widely distributed over the globe and address the issue of ecological niche shift versus choice of ecological predictors used for model building, i.e., by deriving SDMs using multiple sets of climatic predictor. In one SDM, predictors were used aiming to mirror the physiological limits of the Slider turtle. It was compared to numerous other models based on various sets of ecological predictors or predictors aiming at comprehensiveness. The SDM focusing on the study species' physiological limits depicts the target species' worldwide potential distribution better than any of the other approaches. These results suggest that a natural history-driven understanding is crucial in developing statistical models of ecological niches (as SDMs) while "comprehensive" or "standard" sets of ecological predictors may be of limited use.

  3. Conclusions about niche expansion in introduced Impatiens walleriana populations depend on method of analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Mandle

    Full Text Available Determining the degree to which climate niches are conserved across plant species' native and introduced ranges is valuable to developing successful strategies to limit the introduction and spread of invasive plants, and also has important ecological and evolutionary implications. Here, we test whether climate niches differ between native and introduced populations of Impatiens walleriana, globally one of the most popular horticultural species. We use approaches based on both raw climate data associated with occurrence points and ecological niche models (ENMs developed with Maxent. We include comparisons of climate niche breadth in both geographic and environmental spaces, taking into account differences in available habitats between the distributional areas. We find significant differences in climate envelopes between native and introduced populations when comparing raw climate variables, with introduced populations appearing to expand into wetter and cooler climates. However, analyses controlling for differences in available habitat in each region do not indicate expansion of climate niches. We therefore cannot reject the hypothesis that observed differences in climate envelopes reflect only the limited environments available within the species' native range in East Africa. Our results suggest that models built from only native range occurrence data will not provide an accurate prediction of the potential for invasiveness if applied to areas containing a greater range of environmental combinations, and that tests of niche expansion may overestimate shifts in climate niches if they do not control carefully for environmental differences between distributional areas.

  4. Conclusions about niche expansion in introduced Impatiens walleriana populations depend on method of analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandle, Lisa; Warren, Dan L; Hoffmann, Matthias H; Peterson, A Townsend; Schmitt, Johanna; von Wettberg, Eric J

    2010-12-29

    Determining the degree to which climate niches are conserved across plant species' native and introduced ranges is valuable to developing successful strategies to limit the introduction and spread of invasive plants, and also has important ecological and evolutionary implications. Here, we test whether climate niches differ between native and introduced populations of Impatiens walleriana, globally one of the most popular horticultural species. We use approaches based on both raw climate data associated with occurrence points and ecological niche models (ENMs) developed with Maxent. We include comparisons of climate niche breadth in both geographic and environmental spaces, taking into account differences in available habitats between the distributional areas. We find significant differences in climate envelopes between native and introduced populations when comparing raw climate variables, with introduced populations appearing to expand into wetter and cooler climates. However, analyses controlling for differences in available habitat in each region do not indicate expansion of climate niches. We therefore cannot reject the hypothesis that observed differences in climate envelopes reflect only the limited environments available within the species' native range in East Africa. Our results suggest that models built from only native range occurrence data will not provide an accurate prediction of the potential for invasiveness if applied to areas containing a greater range of environmental combinations, and that tests of niche expansion may overestimate shifts in climate niches if they do not control carefully for environmental differences between distributional areas.

  5. Niche comparison among two invasive leafminer species and their parasitoid Opius biroi: implications for competitive displacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Zhenlong; Zhang, Linya; Wu, Shengyong; Yi, Hao; Gao, Yulin; Lei, Zhongren

    2017-06-26

    Fundamental to competitive displacement in biological invasion is that exotic species occupy the ecological niches of native species in novel environments. Contrasting outcomes of competitive displacement have occurred between Liriomyza trifolii and L. sativae in different geographical regions following their introduction. Various factors have been advanced in an attempt to explain these different competitive outcomes, although none of these explanations have addressed the effects of niche differences. We conducted field cage experiments to compare the feeding and habitat niches of the two leafminer species and their primary parasitoid, Opius biroi, when occurring together on kidney bean. A wider spatiotemporal niche breadth was found in L. trifolii (0.3670) than in L. sativae (0.3496). With respect to the parasitoid, the proportional niche similarity between L. sativae and the parasitoid was 0.3936 but only 0.0835 for L. trifolii, while similar results were found for niche overlap, indicating that stronger trailing behaviour and parasitic effects of O. biroi occurred in L. sativae. In conclusion, L. trifolii has outperformed L. sativae in occupying the ecological niche and is superior to L. sativae in avoiding parasitization by the pupal parasitoid, O. biroi.

  6. Stable carbon isotope response to oceanic anoxic events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Xiumian; Wang Chengshan; Li Xianghui

    2001-01-01

    Based on discussion of isotope compositions and fractionation of marine carbonate and organic carbon, the author studies the relationship between oceanic anoxic events and changes in the carbon isotope fractionation of both carbonate and organic matter. During the oceanic anoxic events, a great number of organisms were rapidly buried, which caused a kind of anoxic conditions by their decomposition consuming dissolved oxygen. Since 12 C-rich organism preserved, atmosphere-ocean system will enrich relatively of 13 C. As a result, simultaneous marine carbonate will record the positive excursion of carbon isotope. There is a distinctive δ 13 C excursion during oceanic anoxic events in the world throughout the geological time. In the Cenomanian-Turonian anoxic event. this positive excursion arrived at ∼0.2% of marine carbonate and at ∼0.4% of organic matter, respectively. Variations in the carbon isotopic compositions of marine carbonate and organic carbon record the changes in the fraction of organic carbon buried throughout the geological time and may provide clues to the changes in rates of weathering and burial of organic carbon. This will provide a possibility of interpreting not only the changes in the global carbon cycle throughout the geological time, but also that in atmospheric p CO 2

  7. Isotopic niche reflects stress-induced variability in physiological status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlson, Agnes M L; Reutgard, Martin; Garbaras, Andrius; Gorokhova, Elena

    2018-02-01

    The isotopic niche has become an established concept in trophic ecology. However, the assumptions behind this approach have rarely been evaluated. Evidence is accumulating that physiological stress can affect both magnitude and inter-individual variability of the isotopic signature in consumers via alterations in metabolic pathways. We hypothesized that stress factors (inadequate nutrition, parasite infestations, and exposure to toxic substances or varying oxygen conditions) might lead to suboptimal physiological performance and altered stable isotope signatures. The latter can be misinterpreted as alterations in isotopic niche. This hypothesis was tested by inducing physiological stress in the deposit-feeding amphipod Monoporeia affinis exposed to either different feeding regimes or contaminated sediments. In the amphipods, we measured body condition indices or reproductive output to assess growth status and δ 13 C and δ 15 N values to derive isotope niche metrics. As hypothesized, greater isotopic niche estimates were derived for the stressed animals compared to the control groups. Moreover, the δ 15 N values were influenced by body size, reproductive status and parasite infestations, while δ 13 C values were influenced by body size, oxygen conditions and survival. Using regression analysis with isotope composition and growth variables as predictors, we were able to discriminate between the amphipods exposed to nutritionally or chemically stressful conditions and those in the control groups. Thus, interpretation of isotopic niche can be confounded by natural or anthropogenic stressors that may induce an apparent change in isotopic niche. These findings stress the importance of including measures of growth and health status when evaluating stable isotope data in food web studies.

  8. Social niche specialization under constraints: personality, social interactions and environmental heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Ferrari, Caterina; Réale, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Several personality traits are mainly expressed in a social context, and others, which are not restricted to a social context, can be affected by the social interactions with conspecifics. In this paper, we focus on the recently proposed hypothesis that social niche specialization (i.e. individuals in a population occupy different social roles) can explain the maintenance of individual differences in personality. We first present ecological and social niche specialization hypotheses. In particular, we show how niche specialization can be quantified and highlight the link between personality differences and social niche specialization. We then review some ecological factors (e.g. competition and environmental heterogeneity) and the social mechanisms (e.g. frequency-dependent, state-dependent and social awareness) that may be associated with the evolution of social niche specialization and personality differences. Finally, we present a conceptual model and methods to quantify the contribution of ecological factors and social mechanisms to the dynamics between personality and social roles. In doing so, we suggest a series of research objectives to help empirical advances in this research area. Throughout this paper, we highlight empirical studies of social niche specialization in mammals, where available. PMID:23569291

  9. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation) due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development) as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se) and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat).

  10. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Delerue

    Full Text Available The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat.

  11. Are species' responses to global change predicted by past niche evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Sébastien; Evans, Margaret E K; Burfield, Ian J; Jiguet, Frederic; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-19

    Predicting how and when adaptive evolution might rescue species from global change, and integrating this process into tools of biodiversity forecasting, has now become an urgent task. Here, we explored whether recent population trends of species can be explained by their past rate of niche evolution, which can be inferred from increasingly available phylogenetic and niche data. We examined the assemblage of 409 European bird species for which estimates of demographic trends between 1970 and 2000 are available, along with a species-level phylogeny and data on climatic, habitat and trophic niches. We found that species' proneness to demographic decline is associated with slow evolution of the habitat niche in the past, in addition to certain current-day life-history and ecological traits. A similar result was found at a higher taxonomic level, where families prone to decline have had a history of slower evolution of climatic and habitat niches. Our results support the view that niche conservatism can prevent some species from coping with environmental change. Thus, linking patterns of past niche evolution and contemporary species dynamics for large species samples may provide insights into how niche evolution may rescue certain lineages in the face of global change.

  12. Microhabitat and Climatic Niche Change Explain Patterns of Diversification among Frog Families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Wiens, John J

    2017-07-01

    A major goal of ecology and evolutionary biology is to explain patterns of species richness among clades. Differences in rates of net diversification (speciation minus extinction over time) may often explain these patterns, but the factors that drive variation in diversification rates remain uncertain. Three important candidates are climatic niche position (e.g., whether clades are primarily temperate or tropical), rates of climatic niche change among species within clades, and microhabitat (e.g., aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal). The first two factors have been tested separately in several studies, but the relative importance of all three is largely unknown. Here we explore the correlates of diversification among families of frogs, which collectively represent ∼88% of amphibian species. We assemble and analyze data on phylogeny, climate, and microhabitat for thousands of species. We find that the best-fitting phylogenetic multiple regression model includes all three types of variables: microhabitat, rates of climatic niche change, and climatic niche position. This model explains 67% of the variation in diversification rates among frog families, with arboreal microhabitat explaining ∼31%, niche rates ∼25%, and climatic niche position ∼11%. Surprisingly, we show that microhabitat can have a much stronger influence on diversification than climatic niche position or rates of climatic niche change.

  13. Niche evolution and diversification in a Neotropical radiation of birds (Aves: Furnariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeholzer, Glenn F; Claramunt, Santiago; Brumfield, Robb T

    2017-03-01

    Rapid diversification may be caused by ecological adaptive radiation via niche divergence. In this model, speciation is coupled with niche divergence and lineage diversification is predicted to be correlated with rates of niche evolution. Studies of the role of niche evolution in diversification have generally focused on ecomorphological diversification but climatic-niche evolution may also be important. We tested these alternatives using a phylogeny of 298 species of ovenbirds (Aves: Furnariidae). We found that within Furnariidae, variation in species richness and diversification rates of subclades were best predicted by rate of climatic-niche evolution than ecomorphological evolution. Although both are clearly important, univariate regression and multivariate model averaging more consistently supported the climatic-niche as the best predictor of lineage diversification. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence, suggesting that climatic-niche divergence may be an important driver of rapid diversification in addition to ecomorphological evolution. However, this pattern may depend on the phylogenetic scale at which rate heterogeneity is examined. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Are species' responses to global change predicted by past niche evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Sébastien; Evans, Margaret E. K.; Burfield, Ian J.; Jiguet, Frederic; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Predicting how and when adaptive evolution might rescue species from global change, and integrating this process into tools of biodiversity forecasting, has now become an urgent task. Here, we explored whether recent population trends of species can be explained by their past rate of niche evolution, which can be inferred from increasingly available phylogenetic and niche data. We examined the assemblage of 409 European bird species for which estimates of demographic trends between 1970 and 2000 are available, along with a species-level phylogeny and data on climatic, habitat and trophic niches. We found that species' proneness to demographic decline is associated with slow evolution of the habitat niche in the past, in addition to certain current-day life-history and ecological traits. A similar result was found at a higher taxonomic level, where families prone to decline have had a history of slower evolution of climatic and habitat niches. Our results support the view that niche conservatism can prevent some species from coping with environmental change. Thus, linking patterns of past niche evolution and contemporary species dynamics for large species samples may provide insights into how niche evolution may rescue certain lineages in the face of global change. PMID:23209172

  15. Current and Future Niche of North and Central American Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Climate Change Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, David; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N.; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo A.; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; González, Camila; Ramsey, Janine M.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i) potential change in niche breadth, ii) direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii) shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3), for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%), while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases. PMID:24069478

  16. Arctic black shale formation during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Nøhr-Hansen, Henrik; Hills, Len V.

    2014-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid-paleolatitudes are re......The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid...

  17. Niche Separation Increases With Genetic Distance Among Bloom-Forming Cyanobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Tromas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial communities are composed of distinct groups of potentially interacting lineages, each thought to occupy a distinct ecological niche. It remains unclear, however, how quickly niche preference evolves and whether more closely related lineages are more likely to share ecological niches. We addressed these questions by following the dynamics of two bloom-forming cyanobacterial genera over an 8-year time-course in Lake Champlain, Canada, using 16S amplicon sequencing and measurements of several environmental parameters. The two genera, Microcystis (M and Dolichospermum (D, are frequently observed simultaneously during bloom events and thus have partially overlapping niches. However, the extent of their niche overlap is debated, and it is also unclear to what extent niche partitioning occurs among strains within each genus. To identify strains within each genus, we applied minimum entropy decomposition (MED to 16S rRNA gene sequences. We confirmed that at a genus level, M and D have different preferences for nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Within each genus, we also identified strains differentially associated with temperature, precipitation, and concentrations of nutrients and toxins. In general, niche similarity between strains (as measured by co-occurrence over time declined with genetic distance. This pattern is consistent with habitat filtering – in which closely related taxa are ecologically similar, and therefore tend to co-occur under similar environmental conditions. In contrast with this general pattern, similarity in certain niche dimensions (notably particulate nitrogen and phosphorus did not decline linearly with genetic distance, and instead showed a complex polynomial relationship. This observation suggests the importance of processes other than habitat filtering – such as competition between closely related taxa, or convergent trait evolution in distantly related taxa – in shaping particular traits in microbial

  18. Niching as a macrostructural procedure | Gouws | Lexikos

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Examples from dictionaries are used to examine problems which dictionary users experience as a result of the application of niching. The emphasis is on problems regarding the search route of users via the outer access structure of dictionaries. A distinction is made between single niching and multiple niching. Different ...

  19. Widespread generalist clones are associated with range and niche expansion in allopolyploids of Pacific Northwest Hawthorns (Crataegus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlan, J M; Han, S; Stefanović, S; Dickinson, T A

    2017-10-01

    Range and niche expansion are commonly associated with transitions to asexuality, polyploidy and hybridity (allopolyploidy) in plants. The ability of asexual polyploids to colonize novel habitats may be due to widespread generalist clones, multiple ecologically specialized clones, or may be a neutral by-product of multiple, independent origins of asexual polyploids throughout the range. We have quantified niche size and divergence for hawthorns of the Pacific Northwest using data from herbarium vouchers with known cytotypes. We find that all polyploid niches diverge from that of the diploid range, and allopolyploids have the broadest niches. Allotetraploids have the largest niche and the widest geographic distribution. We then assessed the genetic mechanism of range expansion by surveying the ecological and geographic distribution of genotypes within each cytotype from sites in which fine-scale habitat assessments were completed. We find no isolation by either geographic or ecological distance in allopolyploids, suggesting high dispersal and colonization ability. In contrast, autotriploids and diploids show patterns of isolation by geographic distance. We also compared the geographic and ecological distributions of clonal genotypes with those of randomly drawn sites of the most widespread cytotype. We found that most clones are geographically widespread and occur in a variety of habitats. We interpret these findings to suggest that patterns of range and niche expansion in Pacific Northwest Hawthorns may stem from these widespread, ecologically generalist clones of hybrid origin. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Species longevity as a function of niche breadth: Evidence from fossil crinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammer, Thomas W.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.; Ausich, William I.

    1997-03-01

    High-resolution stratigraphic and taxonomic data indicate that species longevities among Paleozoic (Mississippian) crinoids (Echinodermata) were affected by differences in niche breadth. A strong positive relationship exists between niche breadth, measured as the number of environments occupied by a species, and stratigraphic range. The robustness of this pattern is verified by a variety of rarefaction and statistical techniques confirming the long-held supposition that among animals ecological “generalists” have greater species longevities than ecological “specialists.” The results also support the hypothesis that specialist clades have higher species richness.

  1. Evolution of niche preference in Sphagnum peat mosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew G; Granath, Gustaf; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Pouliot, Remy; Stenøien, Hans K; Rochefort, Line; Rydin, Håkan; Shaw, A Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Peat mosses (Sphagnum) are ecosystem engineers-species in boreal peatlands simultaneously create and inhabit narrow habitat preferences along two microhabitat gradients: an ionic gradient and a hydrological hummock-hollow gradient. In this article, we demonstrate the connections between microhabitat preference and phylogeny in Sphagnum. Using a dataset of 39 species of Sphagnum, with an 18-locus DNA alignment and an ecological dataset encompassing three large published studies, we tested for phylogenetic signal and within-genus changes in evolutionary rate of eight niche descriptors and two multivariate niche gradients. We find little to no evidence for phylogenetic signal in most component descriptors of the ionic gradient, but interspecific variation along the hummock-hollow gradient shows considerable phylogenetic signal. We find support for a change in the rate of niche evolution within the genus-the hummock-forming subgenus Acutifolia has evolved along the multivariate hummock-hollow gradient faster than the hollow-inhabiting subgenus Cuspidata. Because peat mosses themselves create some of the ecological gradients constituting their own habitats, the classic microtopography of Sphagnum-dominated peatlands is maintained by evolutionary constraints and the biological properties of related Sphagnum species. The patterns of phylogenetic signal observed here will instruct future study on the role of functional traits in peatland growth and reconstruction. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Niche analysis and conservation of the orchids of east Macedonia (NE Greece)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiftsis, Spyros; Tsiripidis, Ioannis; Karagiannakidou, Vassiliki; Alifragis, Dimitrios

    2008-01-01

    The orchid family is one of the largest in the flowering plant kingdom and includes a lot of rare, threatened or endangered species. The determination of plant species niche is considered fundamental for their conservation. Two parameters closely related with species niche are niche marginality and breadth. The first parameter is a measure of how typical or atypical a species niche is within an area, while the second is a measure of species tolerance. This study deals with niche analysis of the orchids of east Macedonia (NE Greece). Factors that are known to determine species distribution on a regional scale, such as altitude, aspect, habitat type, bedrock type and soil properties (acidity, organic matter, and phosphorus content) were used as explanatory variables. Geographical coordinates were also employed in order to explore spatial patterns in orchid distribution. Niche analysis was carried out using the Outlying Mean Index (OMI) analysis. Out of the total data of 55 taxa that were analyzed, 41 had a significant marginal niche compared with the average niche of the study area. Altitude, soil acidity and certain habitat types were found to be the most important factors in determining orchid distribution. Five different species groups were distinguished on the basis of their ecological preferences and niche breadth. Species niche marginality and breadth, the amplitude of their geographical distribution, the size of their populations and the rareness and conservation status of their habitats were taken into account in order to set conservation priorities for the orchids in the study area. The above characteristics combined with intuitive criteria (e.g. geographical distribution, endemicity) for the species with a small number of occurrences could form a sound basis for setting conservation priorities.

  3. Animals, anoxic environments, and reasons to go deep

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mentel, Marek; Tielens, A.G.M.; Martin, W.F.

    2016-01-01

    One of the classic questions in the early evolution of eukaryotic life concerns the role of oxygen. Many unicellular eukaryotes are strict anaerobes and many animals have long anoxic phases in their life cycle. But are there also animals that can complete their life cycle without oxygen? In an

  4. Molybdenum drawdown during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goldberg, T.; Poulton, S.W.; Wagner, T.; Kolonic, S.F.; Rehkämper, M.

    2016-01-01

    During the Cretaceous greenhouse, episodes of widespread ocean deoxygenation were associated with globally occurring events of black shale deposition. Possibly the most pronounced of these oceanic anoxic events (OAE's) was the Cenomanian-Turonian OAE2 (~94 Ma). However, although certain redox

  5. Perspectives in cell cycle regulation: lessons from an anoxic vertebrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggar, Kyle K; Storey, Kenneth B

    2009-12-01

    The ability of an animal, normally dependent on aerobic respiration, to suspend breathing and enter an anoxic state for long term survival is clearly a fascinating feat, and has been the focus of numerous biochemical studies. When anoxia tolerant turtles are faced with periods of oxygen deprivation, numerous physiological and biochemical alterations take place in order to facilitate vital reductions in ATP consumption. Such strategies include reversible post-translational modifications as well as the implementation of translation and transcription controls facilitating metabolic depression. Although it is clear that anoxic survival relies on the suppression of ATP consuming processes, the state of the cell cycle in anoxia tolerant vertebrates remain elusive. Several anoxia tolerant invertebrate and embryonic vertebrate models display cell cycle arrest when presented with anoxic stress. Despite this, the cell cycle has not yet been characterized for anoxia tolerant turtles. Understanding how vertebrates respond to anoxia can have important clinical implications. Uncontrollable cellular proliferation and hypoxic tumor progression are inescapably linked in vertebrate tissues. Consequentially, the molecular mechanisms controlling these processes have profound clinical consequences. This review article will discuss the theory of cell cycle arrest in anoxic vertebrates and more specifically, the control of the retinoblastoma pathway, the molecular markers of cell cycle arrest, the activation of checkpoint kinases, and the possibility of translational controls implemented by microRNAs.

  6. Anoxic and aerobic values for the yield coefficient of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2008-04-15

    Apr 15, 2008 ... shown that when the load of BOD5 is below the conventional design value, a small contribution of the anoxic zone to nitrate removal occurs ... operating window, the Activated Sludge Model No 1 (ASM1 –. Henze et al., 1987) is a ... 22 French biological nutrient removal treatment plants with a treatment ...

  7. A perturbed hydrological cycle during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Helmond, N.A.G.M.; Sluijs, A.; Reichart, G.J; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Slomp, C.P.; Brinkhuis, H.

    2014-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2; ca. 94 Ma) was one of the largest global carbon cycle perturbations during the Phanerozoic. OAE2 represents an important, although extreme, case study for modern trends because widespread anoxia and enhanced organic carbon burial during OAE2 were

  8. Microbiology of the Red Sea (and other) deep-sea anoxic brine lakes

    KAUST Repository

    Antunes, Andre

    2011-05-30

    Summary: The Red Sea harbours approximately 25 deep-sea anoxic brine pools. They constitute extremely unique and complex habitats with the conjugation of several extreme physicochemical parameters rendering them some of the most inhospitable environments on Earth. After 50 years of research mostly driven by chemists, geophysicists and geologists, the microbiology of the brines has been receiving increased interest in the last decade. Recent molecular and cultivation-based studies have provided us with a first glimpse on the enormous biodiversity of the local microbial communities, the identification of several new taxonomic groups, and the isolation of novel extremophiles that thrive in these environments. This review presents a general overview of these unusual biotopes and compares them with other similar environments in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, with a focus on their microbial ecology. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. An Updated View of the Microbial Diversity in Deep Hypersaline Anoxic Basins

    KAUST Repository

    Mapelli, Francesca

    2017-03-02

    Deep hypersaline anoxic basins (DHABs) are marine extreme habitats, firstly discovered in the 1970s of the last century, located in several oceanographic regions, including the Mediterranean and Red Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. These basins are filled with brines that do not mix with the overlying seawater, due to a density difference. Brine and seawater result separated by a thick interface acting as a trap for particulate and cells. Some microbiological studies focused on seawater-brine interfaces of DHABs, showing that microbial populations are differentially distributed according to the gradient of salinity, oxygen, and nutrients occurring in such transition zones. Moreover, DHABs’ brines were intensively studied showing that specific bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic populations thrive there. In the last few years, cultivation and “omics”-based approaches have been used with samples collected from DHABs around the world, allowing clarifying metabolic processes of paramount ecological importance and pointing out the high biotechnological potential of the inhabiting extremophiles.

  10. UNTANGLING THE FUNGAL NICHE: A TRAIT-BASED APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas W Crowther

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Fungi are prominent components of most terrestrial ecosystems, both in terms of biomass and ecosystem functioning, but the hyper-diverse nature of most communities has obscured the search for unifying principles governing community organization. In particular, unlike plants and animals, observational studies provide little evidence for the existence of niche processes in structuring fungal communities at broad spatial scales. This limits our capacity to predict how communities, and their functioning, vary across landscapes. We outline how a shift in focus, from taxonomy towards functional traits, might prove to be valuable in the search for general patterns in fungal ecology. We build on theoretical advances in plant and animal ecology to provide an empirical framework for a trait-based approach in fungal community ecology. Drawing upon specific characteristics of the fungal system, we highlight the significance of drought stress and combat in structuring free-living fungal communities. We propose a conceptual model to formalize how trade-offs between stress-tolerance and combative dominance are likely to organize communities across environmental gradients. Given that the survival of a fungus in a given environment is contingent on its ability to tolerate antagonistic competitors, measuring variation in combat trait expression along environmental gradients provides a means of elucidating realized, from fundamental niche spaces. We conclude that, using a trait-based understanding of how niche processes structure fungal communities across time and space, we can ultimately link communities with ecosystem functioning. Our trait-based framework highlights fundamental uncertainties that require testing in the fungal system, given their potential to uncover general mechanisms in fungal ecology.

  11. Life history lability underlies rapid climate niche evolution in the angiosperm clade Montiaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew Ogburn, R; Edwards, Erika J

    2015-11-01

    Despite the recent focus on phylogenetic niche conservatism in macroevolutionary studies, many clades have diversified widely along multiple niche dimensions. The factors underlying lineage-specific niche lability are still not well understood. We examined morphological and climate niche evolution in Montiaceae (Caryophyllales), an ecologically variable plant lineage distributed primarily along the mountain chains of the western Americas. Montiaceae inhabit a broader range of temperatures than their relatives, with an increase in the evolutionary rate of temperature niche diversification at the node subtending this clade. Within Montiaceae, life history is highly labile and significantly correlated with temperature, with perennials consistently occurring in cooler environments. This elevated evolutionary lability facilitated repeated shifts between habitats as new environments were created by post-Eocene orogenic events and aridification in the western Americas. The shifts between annual and perennial forms are elaborations of an underlying rosette body plan in most cases, and may involve simple alterations in biomass allocation. Montiaceae stand as another clear counterexample to phylogenetic niche conservatism, and demonstrate a mechanism by which pronounced ecological shifts may occur frequently and rapidly among closely related species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Niche conservatism of Eulophia alta, a trans-Atlantic orchid species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Kolanowska

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The genus Eulophia embraces over 230 species distributed through the tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In Neotropics it is represented by a sole species – E. alta. The aim of the presented study was to evaluate the difference between ecological niches occupied by American and African populations of this species based on the ecological niche modeling. The similarity between the glacial and present niches occupied by E. alta was calculated and the factors limiting the species occurrence were identified. Areas of seasonal tropical forest, tropical savanna and woodland served as refugia for the studied species during last glacial maximum and they were more widespread in Neotropics than in Africa. No significant niche shift after last glacial maximum was observed. The distribution of E. alta in its whole range is restricted mainly by temperature seasonality. The differences in the niches occupied by African and Neotropical populations of E. alta suggest preglacial disjunction of the species range and independent adaptation of both groups. Despite the significant range disjunction of E. alta the species is characterized by relatively high degree of niche conservatism.

  13. Niche variability and its consequences for species distribution modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Matt J; Knouft, Jason H

    2012-01-01

    When species distribution models (SDMs) are used to predict how a species will respond to environmental change, an important assumption is that the environmental niche of the species is conserved over evolutionary time-scales. Empirical studies conducted at ecological time-scales, however, demonstrate that the niche of some species can vary in response to environmental change. We use habitat and locality data of five species of stream fishes collected across seasons to examine the effects of niche variability on the accuracy of projections from Maxent, a popular SDM. We then compare these predictions to those from an alternate method of creating SDM projections in which a transformation of the environmental data to similar scales is applied. The niche of each species varied to some degree in response to seasonal variation in environmental variables, with most species shifting habitat use in response to changes in canopy cover or flow rate. SDMs constructed from the original environmental data accurately predicted the occurrences of one species across all seasons and a subset of seasons for two other species. A similar result was found for SDMs constructed from the transformed environmental data. However, the transformed SDMs produced better models in ten of the 14 total SDMs, as judged by ratios of mean probability values at known presences to mean probability values at all other locations. Niche variability should be an important consideration when using SDMs to predict future distributions of species because of its prevalence among natural populations. The framework we present here may potentially improve these predictions by accounting for such variability.

  14. Niche variability and its consequences for species distribution modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt J Michel

    Full Text Available When species distribution models (SDMs are used to predict how a species will respond to environmental change, an important assumption is that the environmental niche of the species is conserved over evolutionary time-scales. Empirical studies conducted at ecological time-scales, however, demonstrate that the niche of some species can vary in response to environmental change. We use habitat and locality data of five species of stream fishes collected across seasons to examine the effects of niche variability on the accuracy of projections from Maxent, a popular SDM. We then compare these predictions to those from an alternate method of creating SDM projections in which a transformation of the environmental data to similar scales is applied. The niche of each species varied to some degree in response to seasonal variation in environmental variables, with most species shifting habitat use in response to changes in canopy cover or flow rate. SDMs constructed from the original environmental data accurately predicted the occurrences of one species across all seasons and a subset of seasons for two other species. A similar result was found for SDMs constructed from the transformed environmental data. However, the transformed SDMs produced better models in ten of the 14 total SDMs, as judged by ratios of mean probability values at known presences to mean probability values at all other locations. Niche variability should be an important consideration when using SDMs to predict future distributions of species because of its prevalence among natural populations. The framework we present here may potentially improve these predictions by accounting for such variability.

  15. The multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm: Analysis and applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cedeno, Walter [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1995-09-01

    The ability of organisms to evolve and adapt to the environment has provided mother nature with a rich and diverse set of species. Only organisms well adapted to their environment can survive from one generation to the next, transferring on the traits, that made them successful, to their offspring. Competition for resources and the ever changing environment drives some species to extinction and at the same time others evolve to maintain the delicate balance in nature. In this disertation we present the multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm, a computational metaphor to the survival of species in ecological niches in the face of competition. The multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm maintains stable subpopulations of solutions in multiple niches in multimodal landscapes. The algorithm introduces the concept of crowding selection to promote mating among members with qirnilar traits while allowing many members of the population to participate in mating. The algorithm uses worst among most similar replacement policy to promote competition among members with similar traits while allowing competition among members of different niches as well. We present empirical and theoretical results for the success of the multiniche crowding genetic algorithm for multimodal function optimization. The properties of the algorithm using different parameters are examined. We test the performance of the algorithm on problems of DNA Mapping, Aquifer Management, and the File Design Problem. Applications that combine the use of heuristics and special operators to solve problems in the areas of combinatorial optimization, grouping, and multi-objective optimization. We conclude by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of the algorithm and describing avenues for future investigation to answer other questions raised by this study.

  16. Niche energy markets in rural areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, M.; McCarthy, S.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this project is the development of a standard methodology for integrating non-food crops in rural areas with niche energy markets. This has involved a number of steps including (i) identification of 3 niche markets for energy crops which are of common interest to the partners, (ii) application of the standard costing methodology to investigate these three niche markets and (iii) comparison of the results from this work in three workshops (one for each market). Three tightly defined niche markets were identified; these were chosen following an examination of the national energy marekts in each of the partners countries (Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Greece and Portugal). This paper gives an overview of the national energy markets which were examined. The three niche markets are introduced and the reasons for their selection given. The application of the methodology to each of the niche markets is presented along with the conclusions of the partners regarding the niche markets. (Author)

  17. Altruists Proliferate Even at a Selective Disadvantage within Their Own Niche.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan Wilder

    Full Text Available The evolutionary origin of altruism is a long-standing puzzle. Numerous explanations have been proposed, most prominently based on inclusive fitness or group selection. One possibility that has not yet been considered is that new niches will be created disproportionately often when altruism appears, perhaps by chance, causing altruists to be over-represented in such new niches. This effect is a novel variant of group selection in which altruistic groups benefit by discovering unoccupied niches instead of by competing for the limited resources within a single niche. Both an analytical population genetics model and computational simulations support that altruism systematically arises due to this side effect of increased carrying capacity even when it is strongly selected against within any given niche. In fact, even when selection is very strongly negative and altruism does not develop in most populations, it can still be expected to be observed in a consistent fraction of species. The ecological structure provided by niches thereby may be sufficient for altruists to proliferate even if they are always at a disadvantage within each niche considered individually.

  18. Niche-specific cognitive strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulgard, K.; Ratcliffe, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Related species with different diets are predicted to rely on different cognitive strategies: those best suited for locating available and appropriate foods. Here we tested two predictions of the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis in bats, which suggests that predatory species should ...... the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis and suggest that for gleaning and clutter-resistant aerial hawking bats, learning to associate shape with food interferes with subsequent spatial memory learning.......Related species with different diets are predicted to rely on different cognitive strategies: those best suited for locating available and appropriate foods. Here we tested two predictions of the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis in bats, which suggests that predatory species should...... rely more on object memory than on spatial memory for finding food and that the opposite is true of frugivorous and nectivorous species. Specifically, we predicted that: (1) predatory bats would readily learn to associate shapes with palatable prey and (2) once bats had made such associations...

  19. Marine ecosystem resilience during extreme deoxygenation: the Early Jurassic oceanic anoxic event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caswell, Bryony A; Frid, Christopher L J

    2017-01-01

    Global warming during the Early Jurassic, and associated widespread ocean deoxygenation, was comparable in scale with the changes projected for the next century. This study quantifies the impact of severe global environmental change on the biological traits of marine communities that define the ecological roles and functions they deliver. We document centennial-millennial variability in the biological trait composition of Early Jurassic (Toarcian) seafloor communities and examine how this changed during the event using biological traits analysis. Environmental changes preceding the global oceanic anoxic event (OAE) produced an ecological shift leading to stressed benthic palaeocommunities with reduced resilience to the subsequent OAE. Changes in traits and ecological succession coincided with major environmental changes; and were of similar nature and magnitude to those in severely deoxygenated benthic communities today despite the very different timescales. Changes in community composition were linked to local redox conditions whereas changes in populations of opportunists were driven by primary productivity. Throughout most of the OAE substitutions by tolerant taxa conserved the trait composition and hence functioning, but periods of severe deoxygenation caused benthic defaunation that would have resulted in functional collapse. Following the OAE recovery was slow probably because the global nature of the event restricted opportunities for recruitment from outside the basin. Our findings suggest that future systems undergoing deoxygenation may initially show functional resilience, but severe global deoxygenation will impact traits and ecosystem functioning and, by limiting the species pool, will slow recovery rates.

  20. Niche evolution and adaptive radiation: Testing the order of trait divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, D.D.; Schwilk, D.W.; Webb, C.O.

    2006-01-01

    In the course of an adaptive radiation, the evolution of niche parameters is of particular interest for understanding modes of speciation and the consequences for coexistence of related species within communities. We pose a general question: In the course of an evolutionary radiation, do traits related to within-community niche differences (?? niche) evolve before or after differentiation of macrohabitat affinity or climatic tolerances (?? niche)? Here we introduce a new test to address this question, based on a modification of the method of independent contrasts. The divergence order test (DOT) is based on the average age of the nodes on a tree, weighted by the absolute magnitude of the contrast at each node for a particular trait. The comparison of these weighted averages reveals whether large divergences for one trait have occurred earlier or later in the course of diversification, relative to a second trait; significance is determined by bootstrapping from maximum-likelihood ancestral state reconstructions. The method is applied to the evolution of Ceanothus, a woody plant group in California, in which co-occurring species exhibit significant differences in a key leaf trait (specific leaf area) associated with contrasting physiological and life history strategies. Co-occurring species differ more for this trait than expected under a null model of community assembly. This ?? niche difference evolved early in the divergence of two major subclades within Ceanothus, whereas climatic distributions (?? niche traits) diversified later within each of the subclades. However, rapid evolution of climate parameters makes inferences of early divergence events highly uncertain, and differentiation of the ?? niche might have taken place throughout the evolution of the group, without leaving a clear phylogenetic signal. Similar patterns observed in several plant and animal groups suggest that early divergence of ?? niche traits might be a common feature of niche evolution in

  1. On the unknown ecological niche of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis: our hypothesis of 1989: present status and perspectives Sobre un desconocido nicho ecológico de Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Nuestra hipótesis de 1989: situación actual y perspectivas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael A. Conti Días

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In 1989, CONTI DÍAZ & RILLA published a hypothesis concerning the as yet unknown ecological niche of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. The hypothesis proposed a highly efficient paracoccidioidal ecological strategy based on an important natural reservoir of the parasite, probably in heterothermic animals from fresh water environments. Further, the hypothesis proposed, a transient and variable residence in the soil with a wide aleuriospore dispersion throughout the environment together with an elevated capability of infecting humans, and domestic and wild animals. This paper analyzes scientific publications from the IX International Meeting on Paracoccidioidomycosis held in Águas de Lindoia, São Paulo, Brazil from 2-5 October 2005, providing a comparative study among this articles and with other recently published papers and the hypothesis' postulates. Since various findings and observations appear to agree with the postulates, the pursuit of novel, specific research projects in the supposed reservoirs is recommended partially or fully to confirm the hypothesis using classical laboratorial methods and modern molecular biology techniques.En 1989 CONTI DÍAZ & RILLA publicaron una hipótesis sobre el aún hoy desconocido nicho ecológico de Paracoccidioides brasiliensis proponiendo esencialmente en ella la existencia de una estrategia ecológica altamente eficiente del agente. al estrategia estaría basada en una importante reserva del parásito en animales heterotérmicos de fuentes naturales de agua dulce, una estadía sólo transitoria y de variable duración en el suelo, con una amplia dispersión de aleuriosporos en el ambiente exterior con capacidad de infectar al hombre y a los animales. El presente trabajo analiza comunicaciones científicas del último Encuentro Internacional sobre Paracoccidioidomicosis celebrado en Aguas de Lindoia, San Pablo, Brasil, entre el 2 y 5 de octubre del 2005, comparando diferentes conceptos y resultados all

  2. Anoxic microniches in marine sediments induced by aggregate settlement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehto, Niklas; Glud, Ronnie N.; Nordi, Gunnvør á

    2014-01-01

    an exponential increase in the mineralisation rate constant and a gradual exhaustion of reactive organic material. The peak value of the time-dependent reaction rate constant of organic matter mineralisation (kOMM) was seven to sixty times greater than analogous values measured previously in water column...... experiments. The validated model was used to investigate how the size and reactivity of parcels of organic matter influence the formation of anoxic microniches at the sediment–water interface of typical deep-sea environments. As well as kOMM, the concentration of reactive organic matter in the aggregate, its...... size and porosity were also critical in determining the likelihood of anoxic microniche formation. For the optimum fitted parameters describing kOMM and the concentration of reactive organic atter, the minimum diameter of the parcel to induce anoxia was 1.8 mm, hereas it was 2.8 mm to make...

  3. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Samaniego, Jose A; Post, Klaas; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2013-10-07

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic ratios spanned a range similar to the difference in isotopic values of two known prey items, herring Clupea harengus and harbour seal Phoca vitulina. Two proxies of the stage of speciation, lineage sorting of mitogenomes and genotypic clustering, were both weak to intermediate indicating that speciation has made little progress. Thus, our study confirms that even with the necessary ecological conditions, i.e. among-individual variation in ecology, it is difficult for sympatric speciation to progress in the face of gene flow. In contrast to some theoretical models, our empirical results suggest that sympatric speciation driven by among-individual differences in ecological niche is a slow process and may not reach completion. We argue that sympatric speciation is constrained in this system owing to the plastic nature of the behavioural traits under selection when hunting either mammals or fish.

  4. A Parent-Offspring Trade-Off Limits the Evolution of an Ontogenetic Niche Shift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Brink, H.; de Roos, A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Many free-living animal species, including the majority of fish, insects, and amphibians, change their food and habitat during their life. Even though these ontogenetic changes in niche are common, it is not well understood which ecological conditions have favored the evolution of these shifts.

  5. Enigmatic adult overwintering in damselflies. Coexistence as weaker intraguild competitors due to niche separation in time

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Harabiš, F.; Dolný, A.; Šipoš, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 54, č. 4 (2012), s. 549-556 ISSN 1438-3896 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Competition * Hibernation * Phenology * Sympecma * Temporal niche-partitioning Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.923, year: 2012

  6. Metagenomic Approaches to Assess Bacteriophages in Various Environmental Niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Stephen; Mahony, Jennifer; Nauta, Arjen; van Sinderen, Douwe

    2017-05-24

    Bacteriophages are ubiquitous and numerous parasites of bacteria and play a critical evolutionary role in virtually every ecosystem, yet our understanding of the extent of the diversity and role of phages remains inadequate for many ecological niches, particularly in cases in which the host is unculturable. During the past 15 years, the emergence of the field of viral metagenomics has drastically enhanced our ability to analyse the so-called viral 'dark matter' of the biosphere. Here, we review the evolution of viral metagenomic methodologies, as well as providing an overview of some of the most significant applications and findings in this field of research.

  7. QTL Analysis of Anoxic Tolerance at Seedling Stage in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang WANG

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Coleoptile lengths of 7-day-old seedlings under anoxic stress and normal conditions were investigated in two permanently segregated populations and their parents in rice (Oryza sativa L.. Using anoxic response index, a ratio of coleoptile length under anoxic stress to coleoptile length under normal conditions, as an indicator of seedling anoxic tolerance (SAT, QTLs for SAT were detected. Two loci controlling SAT, designated as qSAT-2-R and qSAT-7-R, were detected in a recombinant inbred line (RIL population (247 lines derived from a cross between Xiushui 79 (japonica variety and C Bao (japonica restorer line. qSAT-2-R, explaining 8.7% of the phenotype variation, was tightly linked with the SSR marker RM525. qSAT-7-R, explaining 9.8% of the phenotype variation, was tightly linked with the marker RM418. The positive alleles of the two loci came from C Bao. Six loci controlling SAT, designated as qSAT-2-B, qSAT-3-B, qSAT-5-B, qSAT-8-B, qSAT-9-B and qSAT-12-B, were detected in a backcross inbred line (BIL population (98 lines derived from a backcross of Nipponbare (japonica/Kasalath (indica//Nipponbare (japonica. The positive alleles of qSAT-2-B, qSAT-3-B and qSAT-9-B, which explained 16.2%, 11.4% and 9.5% of the phenotype variation, respectively, came from Nipponbare. Besides, the positive alleles of qSAT-5-B, qSAT-8-B and qSAT-12-B, which explained 7.3%, 5.8% and 14.0% of the phenotype variation, respectively, were from Kasalath.

  8. Coupled anoxic nitrification/manganese reduction in marine sediments

    OpenAIRE

    Hulth, Stefan; Aller, Robert Curwood; Gilbert, Franck

    1999-01-01

    International audience; Pore water and solid phase distributions of oxygen, manganese, and nitrogen from hemipelagic and shelf sediments sometimes indicate a close coupling between the manganese and nitrogen redox cycles. Reaction coupling must be sustained in part by biological reworking of Mn-oxide-rich surface sediments into underlying anoxic zones. Surface sediment from Long Island Sound (USA) was used in laboratory experiments to simulate such intermittent natural mixing processes and su...

  9. Biogeochemical Cycle of Methanol in Anoxic Deep-Sea Sediments

    OpenAIRE

    Yanagawa, Katsunori; Tani, Atsushi; Yamamoto, Naoya; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Kano, Akihiro; Matsumoto, Ryo; Suzuki, Yohey

    2016-01-01

    The biological flux and lifetime of methanol in anoxic marine sediments are largely unknown. We herein reported, for the first time, quantitative methanol removal rates in subsurface sediments. Anaerobic incubation experiments with radiotracers showed high rates of microbial methanol consumption. Notably, methanol oxidation to CO2 surpassed methanol assimilation and methanogenesis from CO2/H2 and methanol. Nevertheless, a significant decrease in methanol was not observed after the incubation,...

  10. Perspectives in Cell Cycle Regulation: Lessons from an Anoxic Vertebrate

    OpenAIRE

    Biggar, Kyle K.; Storey, Kenneth B.

    2009-01-01

    The ability of an animal, normally dependent on aerobic respiration, to suspend breathing and enter an anoxic state for long term survival is clearly a fascinating feat, and has been the focus of numerous biochemical studies. When anoxia tolerant turtles are faced with periods of oxygen deprivation, numerous physiological and biochemical alterations take place in order to facilitate vital reductions in ATP consumption. Such strategies include reversible post-translational modifications as wel...

  11. Spatial distributions of niche-constructing populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaozhuo Han

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Niche construction theory regards organisms not only as the object of natural selection but also an active subject that can change their own selective pressure through eco-evolutionary feedbacks. Through reviewing the existing works on the theoretical models of niche construction, here we present the progress made on how niche construction influences genetic structure of spatially structured populations and the spatial-temporal dynamics of metapopulations, with special focuses on mathematical models and simulation methods. The majority of results confirmed that niche construction can significantly alter the evolutionary trajectories of structured populations. Organism-environmental interactions induced by niche construction can have profound influence on the dynamics, competition and diversity of metapopulations. It can affect fine-scale spatially distribution of species and spatial heterogeneity of the environment. We further propose a few research directions with potentials, such as applying adaptive dynamics or spatial game theory to explore the effect of niche construction on phenotypic evolution and diversification.

  12. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Saiful Mansor

    Full Text Available Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  13. Niche-tracking migrants and niche-switching residents: evolution of climatic niches in New World warblers (Parulidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Camila; Tenorio, Elkin A; Montoya, Paola; Cadena, Carlos Daniel

    2016-02-10

    Differences in life-history traits between tropical and temperate lineages are often attributed to differences in their climatic niche dynamics. For example, the more frequent appearance of migratory behaviour in temperate-breeding species than in species originally breeding in the tropics is believed to have resulted partly from tropical climatic stability and niche conservatism constraining tropical species from shifting their ranges. However, little is known about the patterns and processes underlying climatic niche evolution in migrant and resident animals. We evaluated the evolution of overlap in climatic niches between seasons and its relationship to migratory behaviour in the Parulidae, a family of New World passerine birds. We used ordination methods to measure seasonal niche overlap and niche breadth of 54 resident and 49 migrant species and used phylogenetic comparative methods to assess patterns of climatic niche evolution. We found that despite travelling thousands of kilometres, migrants tracked climatic conditions across the year to a greater extent than tropical residents. Migrant species had wider niches than resident species, although residents as a group occupied a wider climatic space and niches of migrants and residents overlapped extensively. Neither breeding latitude nor migratory distance explained variation among species in climatic niche overlap between seasons. Our findings support the notion that tropical species have narrower niches than temperate-breeders, but does not necessarily constrain their ability to shift or expand their geographical ranges and become migratory. Overall, the tropics may have been historically less likely to experience the suite of components that generate strong selection pressures for the evolution of migratory behaviour. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Niche-tracking migrants and niche-switching residents: evolution of climatic niches in New World warblers (Parulidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Camila; Tenorio, Elkin A.; Montoya, Paola; Cadena, Carlos Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Differences in life-history traits between tropical and temperate lineages are often attributed to differences in their climatic niche dynamics. For example, the more frequent appearance of migratory behaviour in temperate-breeding species than in species originally breeding in the tropics is believed to have resulted partly from tropical climatic stability and niche conservatism constraining tropical species from shifting their ranges. However, little is known about the patterns and processes underlying climatic niche evolution in migrant and resident animals. We evaluated the evolution of overlap in climatic niches between seasons and its relationship to migratory behaviour in the Parulidae, a family of New World passerine birds. We used ordination methods to measure seasonal niche overlap and niche breadth of 54 resident and 49 migrant species and used phylogenetic comparative methods to assess patterns of climatic niche evolution. We found that despite travelling thousands of kilometres, migrants tracked climatic conditions across the year to a greater extent than tropical residents. Migrant species had wider niches than resident species, although residents as a group occupied a wider climatic space and niches of migrants and residents overlapped extensively. Neither breeding latitude nor migratory distance explained variation among species in climatic niche overlap between seasons. Our findings support the notion that tropical species have narrower niches than temperate-breeders, but does not necessarily constrain their ability to shift or expand their geographical ranges and become migratory. Overall, the tropics may have been historically less likely to experience the suite of components that generate strong selection pressures for the evolution of migratory behaviour. PMID:26865303

  15. Anoxic survival potential of bivalves: (arte)facts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zwaan, Albertus; Babarro, Jose M F; Monari, Marta; Cattani, Otello

    2002-03-01

    The anoxic survival time of the bivalves Chamelea gallina, Cerastoderma edule and Scapharca inaequivalvis from two different ecosystems and differing anoxia tolerances was studied in static (closed) and flow-through systems. The antibiotics chloramphenicol, penicillin and polymyxin were added, and molybdate (specific inhibitor of the process of sulfate reduction). Survival in (near) anoxic seawater of Chamelea was studied in a static system by comparing untreated seawater with autoclaved seawater and untreated clams with clams incubated in well-aerated seawater, containing the broad-spectrum antibiotic chloramphenicol, prior to the anoxic survival test. With untreated clams and natural seawater (median mortality time 2.4 days) a decrease in pH and exponential accumulation of sulfide and ammonium was observed in the anoxic medium, indicating excessive growth of (sulfate reducing) bacteria. In sterilized seawater LT50 (2.1 days) was not significantly different and again considerable amounts of ammonium and sulfide accumulated. However, pre-treatment of clams with chloramphenicol resulted in an increase of LT50 (11.0 days) by approximately fivefold. Accumulation of ammonium and sulfide was retarded, but was finally even stronger than in the medium containing untreated clams. Median mortality times were 2.5 and 2.4 days for Chamelea and 2.7 and 2.9 days for Cerastoderma for static and flow-through incubations, respectively. Addition of chloramphenicol increased strongly survival time in both systems with corresponding values of 11.0 and 16.3 days for Chamelea, and 6.4 and 6.5 days for Cerastoderma. LT50 of Scapharca in anoxic seawater was 14.4 days. Chloramphenicol and penicillin increased median survival time to 28.5 and 28.7 days, respectively, whereas polymyxin displayed no effect (LT50=13.6 days). Molybdate added to artificial sulfate free seawater blocked biotic sulfide formation, but did not improve survival time (LT50=13.7 days). Overall the results indicate

  16. Periarteriolar Glioblastoma Stem Cell Niches Express Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche Proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hira, Vashendriya V. V.; Wormer, Jill R.; Kakar, Hala; Breznik, Barbara; van der Swaan, Britt; Hulsbos, Renske; Tigchelaar, Wikky; Tonar, Zbynek; Khurshed, Mohammed; Molenaar, Remco J.; van Noorden, Cornelis J. F.

    2018-01-01

    In glioblastoma, a fraction of malignant cells consists of therapy-resistant glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) residing in protective niches that recapitulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches in bone marrow. We have previously shown that HSC niche proteins stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α),

  17. Adaptation and niche construction in human prehistory: a case study from the southern Scandinavian Late Glacial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Felix

    2011-03-27

    The niche construction model postulates that human bio-social evolution is composed of three inheritance domains, genetic, cultural and ecological, linked by feedback selection. This paper argues that many kinds of archaeological data can serve as proxies for human niche construction processes, and presents a method for investigating specific niche construction hypotheses. To illustrate this method, the repeated emergence of specialized reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) hunting/herding economies during the Late Palaeolithic (ca 14.7-11.5 kyr BP) in southern Scandinavia is analysed from a niche construction/triple-inheritance perspective. This economic relationship resulted in the eventual domestication of Rangifer. The hypothesis of whether domestication was achieved as early as the Late Palaeolithic, and whether this required the use of domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris) as hunting, herding or transport aids, is tested via a comparative analysis using material culture-based phylogenies and ecological datasets in relation to demographic/genetic proxies. Only weak evidence for sustained niche construction behaviours by prehistoric hunter-gatherer in southern Scandinavia is found, but this study nonetheless provides interesting insights into the likely processes of dog and reindeer domestication, and into processes of adaptation in Late Glacial foragers.

  18. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J.

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment. PMID:25136323

  19. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

  20. Phylogeny and niche conservatism in North and Central American triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae), vectors of Chagas' disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro; Peterson, A Townsend; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; Ramsey, Janine M

    2014-10-01

    The niche conservatism hypothesis states that related species diverge in niche characteristics at lower rates than expected, given their lineage divergence. Here we analyze whether niche conservatism is a common pattern among vector species (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) of Trypanosoma cruzi that inhabit North and Central America, a highly heterogeneous landmass in terms of environmental gradients. Mitochondrial and nuclear loci were used in a multi-locus phylogenetic framework to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among species and estimate time of divergence of selected clades to draw biogeographic inferences. Then, we estimated similarity between the ecological niche of sister species and tested the niche conservatism hypothesis using our best estimate of phylogeny. Triatoma is not monophyletic. A primary clade with all North and Central American (NCA) triatomine species from the genera Triatoma, Dipetalogaster, and Panstrongylus, was consistently recovered. Nearctic species within the NCA clade (T. p. protracta, T. r. rubida) diverged during the Pliocene, whereas the Neotropical species (T. phyllosoma, T. longipennis, T. dimidiata complex) are estimated to have diverged more recently, during the Pleistocene. The hypothesis of niche conservatism could not be rejected for any of six sister species pairs. Niche similarity between sister species best fits a retention model. While this framework is used here to infer niche evolution, it has a direct impact on spatial vector dynamics driven by human population movements, expansion of transportation networks and climate change scenarios.

  1. Baboon Feeding Ecology Informs the Dietary Niche of Paranthropus boisei

    OpenAIRE

    Macho, Gabriele A.

    2014-01-01

    Hominins are generally considered eclectic omnivores like baboons, but recent isotope studies call into question the generalist status of some hominins. Paranthropus boisei and Australopithecus bahrelghazali derived 75%-80% of their tissues' δ(13)C from C4 sources, i.e. mainly low-quality foods like grasses and sedges. Here I consider the energetics of P. boisei and the nutritional value of C4 foods, taking into account scaling issues between the volume of food consumed and body mass, and P. ...

  2. Niche evolution and thermal adaptation in the temperate species Drosophila americana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillero, N; Reis, M; Vieira, C P; Vieira, J; Morales-Hojas, R

    2014-08-01

    The study of ecological niche evolution is fundamental for understanding how the environment influences species' geographical distributions and their adaptation to divergent environments. Here, we present a study of the ecological niche, demographic history and thermal performance (locomotor activity, developmental time and fertility/viability) of the temperate species Drosophila americana and its two chromosomal forms. Temperature is the environmental factor that contributes most to the species' and chromosomal forms' ecological niches, although precipitation is also important in the model of the southern populations. The past distribution model of the species predicts a drastic reduction in the suitable area for the distribution of the species during the last glacial maximum (LGM), suggesting a strong bottleneck. However, DNA analyses did not detect a bottleneck signature during the LGM. These contrasting results could indicate that D. americana niche preference evolves with environmental change, and thus, there is no evidence to support niche conservatism in this species. Thermal performance experiments show no difference in the locomotor activity across a temperature range of 15 to 38 °C between flies from the north and the south of its distribution. However, we found significant differences in developmental time and fertility/viability between the two chromosomal forms at the model's optimal temperatures for the two forms. However, results do not indicate that they perform better for the traits studied here in their respective optimal niche temperatures. This suggests that behaviour plays an important role in thermoregulation, supporting the capacity of this species to adapt to different climatic conditions across its latitudinal distribution. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  3. Target Article with Commentaries: Developmental Niche Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Emma G.; Laland, Kevin N.; Kendal, Rachel L.; Kendal, Jeremy R.

    2013-01-01

    Niche construction is the modification of components of the environment through an organism's activities. Humans modify their environments mainly through ontogenetic and cultural processes, and it is this reliance on learning, plasticity and culture that lends human niche construction a special potency. In this paper we aim to facilitate…

  4. When does it pay to invest in a patch? The evolution of intentional niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohlenhoff, Kathryn A; Codding, Brian F

    2017-09-01

    Humans modify their environments in ways that significantly transform the earth's ecosystems. Recent research suggests that such niche-constructing behaviors are not passive human responses to environmental variation, but instead should be seen as active and intentional management of the environment. Although such research is useful in highlighting the interactive dynamics between humans and their natural world, the niche-construction framework, as currently applied, fails to explain why people would decide to modify their environments in the first place. To help resolve this problem, we use a model of technological intensification to analyze the cost-benefit trade-offs associated with niche construction as a form of patch investment. We use this model to assess the costs and benefits of three paradigmatic cases of intentional niche construction in Western North America: the application of fire in acorn groves, the manufacture of fishing weirs, and the adoption of maize agriculture. Intensification models predict that investing in patch modification (niche construction) only provides a net benefit when the amount of resources needed crosses a critical threshold that makes the initial investment worthwhile. From this, it follows that low-cost investments, such as burning in oak groves, should be quite common, while more costly investments, such as maize agriculture, should be less common and depend on the alternatives available in the local environment. We examine how patterns of mobility, risk management, territoriality, and private property also co-evolve with the costs and benefits of niche construction. This approach illustrates that explaining niche-constructing behavior requires understanding the economic trade-offs involved in patch investment. Integrating concepts from niche construction and technological intensification models within a behavioral ecological framework provides insights into the coevolution and active feedback between adaptive behaviors and

  5. A variational approach to niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constant, Axel; Ramstead, Maxwell J D; Veissière, Samuel P L; Campbell, John O; Friston, Karl J

    2018-04-01

    In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference. We argue that niche construction can be described using a variational approach. We propose new arguments to support the niche construction perspective, and to extend the variational approach to niche construction to current perspectives in various scientific fields. © 2018 The Authors.

  6. Realized niche shift associated with the Eurasian charophyte Nitellopsis obtusa becoming invasive in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E.; Qiao, Huijie; Phelps, Nicholas B. D.; Wagner, Carli K.; Larkin, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Nitellopsis obtusa (starry stonewort) is a dioecious green alga native to Europe and Asia that has emerged as an aquatic invasive species in North America. Nitellopsis obtusa is rare across large portions of its native range, but has spread rapidly in northern-tier lakes in the United States, where it can interfere with recreation and may displace native species. Little is known about the invasion ecology of N. obtusa, making it difficult to forecast future expansion. Using ecological niche modeling we investigated environmental variables associated with invasion risk. We used species records, climate data, and remotely sensed environmental variables to characterize the species’ multidimensional distribution. We found that N. obtusa is exploiting novel ecological niche space in its introduced range, which may help explain its invasiveness. While the fundamental niche of N. obtusa may be stable, there appears to have been a shift in its realized niche associated with invasion in North America. Large portions of the United States are predicted to constitute highly suitable habitat for N. obtusa. Our results can inform early detection and rapid response efforts targeting N. obtusa and provide testable estimates of the physiological tolerances of this species as a baseline for future empirical research. PMID:27363541

  7. Affordances and Landscapes: Overcoming the Nature–Culture Dichotomy through Niche Construction Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heras-Escribano, Manuel; De Pinedo-García, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we reject the nature–culture dichotomy by means of the idea of affordance or possibility for action, which has important implications for landscape theory. Our hypothesis is that, just as the idea of affordance can serve to overcome the subjective–objective dichotomy, the ideas of landscape and ecological niche, properly defined, would allow us to also transcend the nature–culture dichotomy. First, we introduce an overview of landscape theory, emphasizing processual landscape theory as the most suitable approach for satisfying both cultural and naturalist approaches. After that, we introduce the idea of affordance and we analyze a tension between sociocultural and transcultural affordances (affordances that depend on cultural conventions and affordances that depend on lawful information and bodily aspects of agents). This tension has various implications for landscape theory and ecological niches. Our proposal is that sociocultural and transcultural aspects of affordances could be systematically accommodated if we apply niche construction theory (the theory that explains the process by which organisms modify their selective environments) as a methodological framework for explaining the emergence of ecological niches. This approach will lead us to an integrative account of landscapes as the products of the interaction between human and environmental elements, making it a clear example of a concept that transcends the nature–culture dichotomy. PMID:29375426

  8. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GISELE R. WINCK

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Communities are structured by interactions of historical and ecological factors, which influence the use of different resources in time and space. We acquired data on time of activity, microhabitat use and diet of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat in a coastal area, southeastern Brazil (Restinga de Jurubatiba. We analyzed the data of niche overlap among species in these three axes (temporal, spatial and trophic using null models. We found a significant overlap within the trophic niche, whereas the overlap for the other axes did not differ from the expected. Based on this result, we discuss the factors acting on the structure of the local lizard community.

  9. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research. PMID:25360266

  10. Individual diet variation in a marine fish assemblage: Optimal Foraging Theory, Niche Variation Hypothesis and functional identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachera, M.; Ernande, B.; Villanueva, M. C.; Lefebvre, S.

    2017-02-01

    Individual diet variation (i.e. diet variation among individuals) impacts intra- and inter-specific interactions. Investigating its sources and relationship with species trophic niche organization is important for understanding community structure and dynamics. Individual diet variation may increase with intra-specific phenotypic (or "individual state") variation and habitat variability, according to Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT), and with species trophic niche width, according to the Niche Variation Hypothesis (NVH). OFT proposes "proximate sources" of individual diet variation such as variations in habitat or size whereas NVH relies on "ultimate sources" related to the competitive balance between intra- and inter-specific competitions. The latter implies as a corollary that species trophic niche overlap, taken as inter-specific competition measure, decreases as species niche width and individual niche variation increase. We tested the complementary predictions of OFT and NVH in a marine fish assemblage using stomach content data and associated trophic niche metrics. The NVH predictions were tested between species of the assemblage and decomposed into a between- and a within-functional group component to assess the potential influence of species' ecological function. For most species, individual diet variation and niche overlap were consistently larger than expected. Individual diet variation increased with intra-specific variability in individual state and habitat, as expected from OFT. It also increased with species niche width but in compliance with the null expectation, thus not supporting the NVH. In contrast, species niche overlap increased significantly less than null expectation with both species niche width and individual diet variation, supporting NVH corollary. The between- and within-functional group components of the NVH relationships were consistent with those between species at the assemblage level. Changing the number of prey categories used to

  11. The dimensionality of ecological networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eklöf, Anna; Jacob, Ute; Kopp, Jason

    2013-01-01

    How many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unanswered question originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding what determines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks......, including food webs, antagonistic and mutualistic networks, and find that the number of dimensions needed to completely explain all interactions is small (... the most to explaining network structure. We show that accounting for a few traits dramatically improves our understanding of the structure of ecological networks. Matching traits for resources and consumers, for example, fruit size and bill gape, are the most successful combinations. These results link...

  12. Previously unknown evolutionary groups dominate the ssDNA gokushoviruses in oxic and anoxic waters of a coastal marine environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica M. Labonté

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Metagenomic studies have revealed that ssDNA phages from the family Microviridae subfamily Gokushovirinae are widespread in aquatic ecosystems. It is hypothesized that gokushoviruses occupy specialized niches, resulting in differences among genotypes traversing water column gradients. Here, we use degenerate primers that amplify a fragment of the gene encoding the major capsid protein to examine the diversity of gokushoviruses in Saanich Inlet, a seasonally anoxic fjord on the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Amplicon sequencing of samples from the mixed oxic surface (10 m and deeper anoxic (200 m layers indicated a diverse assemblage of gokushoviruses, with greater richness at 10 m than 200 m. A comparison of amplicon sequences with sequences selected on the basis of RFLP patterns from eight surface samples collected over a one-year period revealed that gokushovirus diversity was higher in spring and summer during stratification, and lower in fall and winter after deep-water renewal, consistent with seasonal variability within gokushovirus populations. Phylogenetic analysis of clustered amplicons revealed at least five new phylogenetic clades of previously unknown sequences, with the most abundant group associated with viruses that infect SUP05, a ubiquitous and abundant member of marine oxygen minimum zones. Our results provide persuasive evidence that, while specific gokushovirus genotypes may have a narrow host range, hosts for gokushoviruses in Saanich Inlet consist of a wide range of bacterial taxa, including SUP05, a taxonomic clade of gamma proteobacterial sulfur oxidizers. Members of SUP05 are abundant in Saanich Inlet and involved in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycling along the redoxline; thus, gokushoviruses are likely important mortality agents of these bacteria and have consequent influences on biogeochemical cycling in this system.

  13. Same size--same niche? Foraging niche separation between sympatric juvenile Galapagos sea lions and adult Galapagos fur seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeglinski, Jana W E; Goetz, Kimberley T; Werner, Christiane; Costa, Daniel P; Trillmich, Fritz

    2013-05-01

    1. In vertebrates, patterns of resource utilization change throughout development according to age- and or size-specific abilities and requirements. Thus, interspecific competition affects different age classes differently. 2. Adults of sympatric species often show distinct foraging niche segregation, but juvenile resource use might overlap with adult competitors of similar body size. Resultant negative effects on juveniles can have important consequences for population dynamics, yet such interactions have received little attention in studies of mammalian communities. 3. Using GPS tracking devices, time-depth recorders and stable isotope data, we compared diving depth, activity time, trophic position and foraging habitat characteristics to investigate foraging niche overlap between similar-sized sympatric juvenile Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) and adult Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) and compared each group with much larger-bodied adult Galapagos sea lions. 4. We found little indication for direct competition but a complex pattern of foraging niche segregation: juvenile sea lions and adult fur seals dived to shallow depths at night, but foraged in different habitats with limited spatial overlap. Conversely, juvenile and adult sea lions employed different foraging patterns, but their foraging areas overlapped almost completely. 5. Consistency of foraging habitat characteristics between juvenile and adult sea lions suggests that avoidance of competition may be important in shaping foraging habitat utilization. Resultant specialization on a limited habitat could contribute to low sea lion numbers that contrast with high fur seal abundance. Our data suggest that exploitation by multiple predators within spatially restricted foraging ranges of juveniles might negatively impact juvenile foraging success and ultimately influence population dynamics. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  14. Sulfide Oxidation in the Anoxic Black-Sea Chemocline

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    JØRGENSEN, BB; FOSSING, H.; WIRSEN, CO

    1991-01-01

    per day, occurred in anoxic water at the top of the sulfide zone concurrent with the highest rates of dark CO2 assimilation. The main soluble oxidized products of sulfide were thiosulfate (68-82%) and sulfate. Indirect evidence was presented for the formation of elemental sulfur which accumulated...... that the measured H2S oxidation rates were 4-fold higher than could be explained by the downward flux of organic carbon and too high to balance the availability of electron acceptors such as oxidized iron or manganese. A nitrate maximum at the lower boundary of the O2 zone did not extend down to the sulfide zone....

  15. Evolution is a cooperative process: the biodiversity-related niches differentiation theory (BNDT) can explain why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, Roberto Cazzolla

    2011-01-01

    A. McFayden and G.E. Hutchinson defined a niche as a multidimensional space or hypervolume within the environment that allows an individual or a species to survive, we consider niches as a fundamental ecological variable that regulate species' composition and relation in ecosystems. Successively the niche concept has been associated to the genetic term "phenotype" by MacArthurstressing the importance on what a species or a genome can show outside, either in the environmental functions or in body characteristics. Several indexes have been developed to evaluate the grade of overlapping and similarities of species' niches, even utilizing the theory of information. However, which are the factors that determine the number of species that can coexist in a determinate environment and why a generalist species do not compete until the exclusion of the remaining species to maximize its fitness, is still quite unknown. Moreover, there are few studies and theories that clearly explain why the number of niches is so variable through ecosystems and how can several species live in the same basal niche, intended in a comprehensive sense as the range of basic conditions (temperature, humidity, food-guild, etc.). Here I show that the number of niches in an ecosystem depends on the number of species present in a particular moment and that the species themselves allow the enhancement of niches in terms of space and number. I found that using a three-dimensional model as hypervolume and testing the theory on a Mediterranean, temperate and tropical forest ecosystem it is possible to demonstrate that each species plays a fundamental role in facilitating the colonization by other species by simply modifying the environment and exponentially increasing the available niches' space and number. I resumed these hypothesis, after some preliminary empiric tests, in the Biodiversity-related Niches Differentiation Theory (BNDT), stressing with these definition that the process of niches

  16. Isoprenoid quinones resolve the stratification of microbial redox processes in a biogeochemical continuum from the photic zone to deep anoxic sediments of the Black Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Kevin W; Elling, Felix J; Schröder, Jan M; Lipp, Julius S; Goldhammer, Tobias; Zabel, Matthias; Elvert, Marcus; Overmann, Jörg; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2018-03-09

    The stratified water column of the Black Sea serves as a model ecosystem for studying the interactions of microorganisms with major biogeochemical cycles. Here we provide detailed analysis of isoprenoid quinones to study microbial redox processes in the ocean. In a continuum from the photic zone through the chemocline into deep anoxic sediments of the southern Black Sea, diagnostic quinones and inorganic geochemical parameters indicate niche segregation between redox processes and corresponding shifts in microbial community composition. Quinones specific for oxygenic photosynthesis and aerobic respiration dominate oxic waters, while quinones associated with thaumarchaeal ammonia-oxidation and bacterial methanotrophy, respectively, dominate a narrow interval in suboxic waters. Quinone distributions indicate highest metabolic diversity within the anoxic zone, with anoxygenic photosynthesis being a major process in its photic layer. In the dark anoxic layer, quinone profiles indicate occurrence of bacterial sulfur and nitrogen cycling, archaeal methanogenesis, and archaeal methanotrophy. Multiple novel ubiquinone isomers, possibly originating from unidentified intra-aerobic anaerobes, occur in this zone. The respiration modes found in the anoxic zone continue into shallow subsurface sediments, but quinone abundances rapidly decrease within the upper 50 cm below sea floor, reflecting the transition to lower energy availability. In the deep subseafloor sediments, quinone distributions and geochemical profiles indicate archaeal methanogenesis/methanotrophy and potentially bacterial fermentative metabolisms. We observed that sedimentary quinone distributions track lithology, which supports prior hypotheses that deep biosphere community composition and metabolisms are determined by environmental conditions during sediment deposition. Importance Microorganisms play crucial roles in global biogeochemical cycles. Yet, we have only a fragmentary understanding of the diversity

  17. Biotransformation potential of phytosterols under anoxic and anaerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykstra, C M; Giles, H D; Banerjee, S; Pavlostathis, S G

    2014-01-01

    The biotransformation potential of three phytosterols (campesterol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol) under denitrifying, sulfate-reducing and fermentative/methanogenic conditions was assessed. Using a group contribution method, the standard Gibbs free energy of phytosterols was calculated and used to perform theoretical energetic calculations. The oxidation of phytosterols under aerobic, nitrate-reducing, sulfate-reducing and methanogenic conditions was determined to be energetically feasible. However, using semi-continuously fed cultures maintained at 20-22 °C over 16 weekly feeding cycles (112 days; retention time, 21 days), phytosterol removal was observed under nitrate-reducing and sulfate-reducing conditions, but not under fermentative/methanogenic conditions. Under sulfate-reducing conditions, stigmast-4-en-3-one was identified as an intermediate of phytosterol biotransformation, a reaction more likely carried out by dehydrogenases/isomerases, previously reported to act on cholesterol under both oxic and anoxic (denitrifying) conditions. Further study of the biotransformation of phytosterols under anoxic/anaerobic conditions is necessary to delineate the factors and conditions leading to enhanced phytosterol biodegradation and the development of effective biological treatment systems for the removal of phytosterols from pulp and paper wastewaters and other phytosterol-bearing waste streams.

  18. Microbiological reduction of Sb(V) in anoxic freshwater sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oremland, Ronald S.; Kulp, Thomas R.; Miller, Laurence G.; Braiotta, Franco; Webb, Samuel M.; Kocar, Benjamin D; Blum, Jodi S.

    2014-01-01

    Microbiological reduction of millimolar concentrations of Sb(V) to Sb(III) was observed in anoxic sediments from two freshwater settings: (1) a Sb- and As-contaminated mine site (Stibnite Mine) in central Idaho and 2) an uncontaminated suburban lake (Searsville Lake) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rates of Sb(V) reduction in anoxic sediment microcosms and enrichment cultures were enhanced by amendment with lactate or acetate as electron donors but not by H2, and no reduction occurred in sterilized controls. Addition of 2-14C-acetate to Stibnite Mine microcosms resulted in the production of 14CO2 coupled to Sb(V) reduction, suggesting that this process proceeds by a dissimilatory respiratory pathway in those sediments. Antimony(V) reduction in Searsville Lake sediments was not coupled to acetate mineralization and may be associated with Sb-resistance. The microcosms and enrichment cultures also reduced sulfate, and the precipitation of insoluble Sb(III)-sulfide complexes was a major sink for reduced Sb. The reduction of Sb(V) by Stibnite Mine sediments was inhibited by As(V), suggesting that As(V) is a preferred electron acceptor for the indigenous community. These findings indicate a novel pathway for anaerobic microbiological respiration and suggest that communities capable of reducing high concentrations of Sb(V) commonly occur naturally in the environment.

  19. Diatoms respire nitrate to survive dark and anoxic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamp, Anja; de Beer, Dirk; Nitsch, Jana L.; Lavik, Gaute; Stief, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Diatoms survive in dark, anoxic sediment layers for months to decades. Our investigation reveals a correlation between the dark survival potential of marine diatoms and their ability to accumulate NO3− intracellularly. Axenic strains of benthic and pelagic diatoms that stored 11–274 mM NO3− in their cells survived for 6–28 wk. After sudden shifts to dark, anoxic conditions, the benthic diatom Amphora coffeaeformis consumed 84–87% of its intracellular NO3− pool within 1 d. A stable-isotope labeling experiment proved that 15NO3− consumption was accompanied by the production and release of 15NH4+, indicating dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). DNRA is an anaerobic respiration process that is known mainly from prokaryotic organisms, and here shown as dissimilatory nitrate reduction pathway used by a eukaryotic phototroph. Similar to large sulfur bacteria and benthic foraminifera, diatoms may respire intracellular NO3− in sediment layers without O2 and NO3−. The rapid depletion of the intracellular NO3− storage, however, implies that diatoms use DNRA to enter a resting stage for long-term survival. Assuming that pelagic diatoms are also capable of DNRA, senescing diatoms that sink through oxygen-deficient water layers may be a significant NH4+ source for anammox, the prevalent nitrogen loss pathway of oceanic oxygen minimum zones. PMID:21402908

  20. Diatoms respire nitrate to survive dark and anoxic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamp, Anja; de Beer, Dirk; Nitsch, Jana L.

    2011-01-01

    Diatoms survive in dark, anoxic sediment layers for months to decades. Our investigation reveals a correlation between the dark survival potential of marine diatoms and their ability to accumulate NO3− intracellularly. Axenic strains of benthic and pelagic diatoms that stored 11–274 mM NO3......− in their cells survived for 6–28 wk. After sudden shifts to dark, anoxic conditions, the benthic diatom Amphora coffeaeformis consumed 84–87% of its intracellular NO3− pool within 1 d. A stable-isotope labeling experiment proved that 15NO3− consumption was accompanied by the production and re- lease of 15NH4......, diatoms may respire intracellular NO3− in sediment layers without O2 and NO3−. The rapid depletion of the intracellular NO3− storage, however, implies that diatoms use DNRA to enter a resting stage for long-term survival. Assuming that pelagic diatoms are also capable of DNRA, senescing diatoms that sink...

  1. The United States pork niche market phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeyman, M S; Pirog, R S; Huber, G H; Lammers, P J; Hermann, J R

    2006-08-01

    After the broad industrialization of the US pork industry, there has been a development of niche markets for export and domestic pork; that is, there is a pork niche market phenomenon. The US pork niche market phenomenon is characterized, and 2 of the major markets are explained in detail. With the Midwest's tradition of a diversified family-based agriculture and record low hog prices of the late 1990s, the conditions were conducive for this phenomenon to develop. Pork niche markets utilize various sales methods including Internet sales, local abattoir sales, direct marketing, farmer networks, and targeting to organized groups. In 2003, there were approximately 35 to 40 active pork niche marketing efforts in Iowa. The Berkshire breed is an example of a swine breed that has had a recent resurgence because of niche markets. Berkshire pork is known for tenderness and excellent quality. Berkshire registrations have increased 4-fold in the last 10 yr. One of the larger niche marketers of "natural pork" is Niman Ranch Pork, which has more than 400 farmer-producers and processes about 2,500 pigs weekly. Many US consumers of pork are interested in issues concerning the environment, food safety, pig welfare, and pig farm ownership and structure. These consumers may be willing to pay more for pork from farmers who are also concerned about these issues. Small- and medium-sized swine farmers are active in pork niche markets. Niche markets claim product differentiation by superior or unique product quality and social attributes. Quality attributes include certain swine breeds, and meat quality, freshness, taste or flavor, and tenderness. Social or credence attributes often are claimed and include freedom from antibiotics and growth promotants; local family farm production; natural, organic, outdoor, or bedded rearing; humane rearing; known origin; environmentally friendly production; and the absence of animal by-products in the feed. Niche pork markets and alternative swine

  2. Phytoplankton niches, traits and eco-evolutionary responses to global environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Litchman, Elena; Edwards, Kyle F.; Klausmeier, Christopher A.

    2012-01-01

    for various environmental factors like temperature, can be used to define niches along major axes. Characterization of pairwise and higher dimension trade-offs among traits should help predict possible niche changes along multiple dimensions simultaneously. The potential for evolutionary responses to global......Phytoplankton are major primary producers in aquatic ecosystems and are sensitive to various aspects of global environmental change. They can respond through phenotypic plasticity, species sorting, genetic adaptation, or a combination of these processes. Here we present conceptual, experimental...... and theoretical ways to predict different phytoplankton responses to global change. Using phytoplankton ecological niches to predict their responses to multiple environmental stressors is a promising new approach. Functional traits of phytoplankton, such as resource utilization traits and tolerance curves...

  3. When do plant radiations influence community assembly? The importance of historical contingency in the race for niche space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J; Brandt, Angela J; Smissen, Rob D; Heenan, Peter B; Fukami, Tadashi; Lee, William G

    2015-07-01

    Plant radiations are widespread but their influence on community assembly has rarely been investigated. Theory and some evidence suggest that radiations can allow lineages to monopolize niche space when founding species arrive early into new bioclimatic regions and exploit ecological opportunities. These early radiations may subsequently reduce niche availability and dampen diversification of later arrivals. We tested this hypothesis of time-dependent lineage diversification and community dominance using the alpine flora of New Zealand. We estimated ages of 16 genera from published phylogenies and determined their relative occurrence across climatic and physical gradients in the alpine zone. We used these data to reconstruct occupancy of environmental space through time, integrating palaeoclimatic and palaeogeological changes. Our analysis suggested that earlier-colonizing lineages encountered a greater availability of environmental space, which promoted greater species diversity and occupancy of niche space. Genera that occupied broader niches were subsequently more dominant in local communities. An earlier time of arrival also contributed to greater diversity independently of its influence in accessing niche space. We suggest that plant radiations influence community assembly when they arise early in the occupancy of environmental space, allowing them to exclude later-arriving colonists from ecological communities by niche preemption. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Frequent but asymmetric niche shifts in Bulbophyllum orchids support environmental and climatic instability in Madagascar over Quaternary time scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamisch, Alexander; Fischer, Gunter Alexander; Comes, Hans Peter

    2016-01-19

    Species or clades may retain or shift their environmental niche space over evolutionary time. Understanding these processes offers insights into the environmental processes fuelling lineage diversification and might also provide information on past range dynamics of ecosystems. However, little is known about the relative contributions of niche conservatism versus niche divergence to species diversification in the tropics. Here, we examined broad-scale patterns of niche evolution within a Pliocene-Pleistocene clade of epiphytic Bulbophyllum orchids (30 spp.) whose collective distribution covers the northwest and eastern forest ecosystems of Madagascar. Using species occurrence data, ecological niche models, and multivariate analyses of contributing variables, we identified a three-state niche distribution character for the entire clade, coinciding with three major forest biomes viz. phytogeographical provinces in Madagascar: A, Northwest 'Sambirano'; B, 'Eastern Lowlands'; and C, 'Central Highlands'. A time-calibrated phylogeny and Bayesian models of niche evolution were then used to detect general trends in the direction of niche change over the clade's history (≤5.3 Ma). We found highest transitions rates between lowlands (A and B) and (mostly from B) into the highland (C), with extremely low rates out of the latter. Lowland-to-highland transitions occurred frequently during the Quaternary, suggesting that climate-induced vegetational shifts promoted niche transitions and ecological speciation at this time. Our results reveal that niche transitions occurred frequently and asymmetrically within this Madagascan orchid clade, and in particular over Quaternary time scales. Intrinsic features germane to Bulbophyllum (e.g., high dispersal ability, drought tolerance, multiple photosynthetic pathways) as well as extrinsic factors (ecological, historical) likely interacted to generate the niche transition patterns observed. In sum, our results support the emerging idea

  5. CROSS DRIFT ALCOVE/NICHE UTILITIES ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    S. Goodin

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this analysis is to provide the design basis and general arrangement requirements of the non-potable water, waste water, compressed air and ventilation (post excavation) utilities required in support of the Cross Drift alcoves and niches

  6. Assisted living captures profitable market niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallarito, K

    1995-05-08

    The $15 billion assisted-living industry has captured a profitable market niche and created a star on Wall Street. Sunrise Retirement Home of Falls Church (Va.), right, is a facility of the nation's largest assisted-living provider.

  7. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin's theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of "counting as" and "standing for." I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude by reflecting on

  8. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of “counting as” and “standing for.” I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude by

  9. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris eSinha

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of counting as and standing for. I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude

  10. Predicting fundamental and realized distributions based on thermal niche: A case study of a freshwater turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Coelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco; Ribeiro, Bruno R.

    2018-04-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) have been broadly used in ecology to address theoretical and practical problems. Currently, there are two main approaches to generate SDMs: (i) correlative, which is based on species occurrences and environmental predictor layers and (ii) process-based models, which are constructed based on species' functional traits and physiological tolerances. The distributions estimated by each approach are based on different components of species niche. Predictions of correlative models approach species realized niches, while predictions of process-based are more akin to species fundamental niche. Here, we integrated the predictions of fundamental and realized distributions of the freshwater turtle Trachemys dorbigni. Fundamental distribution was estimated using data of T. dorbigni's egg incubation temperature, and realized distribution was estimated using species occurrence records. Both types of distributions were estimated using the same regression approaches (logistic regression and support vector machines), both considering macroclimatic and microclimatic temperatures. The realized distribution of T. dorbigni was generally nested in its fundamental distribution reinforcing theoretical assumptions that the species' realized niche is a subset of its fundamental niche. Both modelling algorithms produced similar results but microtemperature generated better results than macrotemperature for the incubation model. Finally, our results reinforce the conclusion that species realized distributions are constrained by other factors other than just thermal tolerances.

  11. NICHE MARKET STRATEGY PADA INDUSTRI KERAMIK KASONGAN, YOGYAKARTA

    OpenAIRE

    Hadiprojo, Angelia Cindy

    2014-01-01

    Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk meneliti bagaimana cara perusahaan mengidentifikasi niche market, menentukan faktor yang penting untuk kesuksesan niche market, dan menjelaskan manfaat penerapan niche market strategy bagi perusahaan, serta menemukan peran niche market dalam industri keramik di masa depan. Pengumpulan data dalam penelitian ini menggunakan metode wawancara dan observasi. Penelitian dilakukan terhadap perusahaan keramik di Kasongan, Bantul, Yogyakarta yang termasuk di dalam ind...

  12. Influence of different anoxic time exposures on active biomass, protozoa and filamentous bacteria in activated sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Perez, S; Fermoso, F G; Arnaiz, C

    Medium-sized wastewater treatment plants are considered too small to implement anaerobic digestion technologies and too large for extensive treatments. A promising option as a sewage sludge reduction method is the inclusion of anoxic time exposures. In the present study, three different anoxic time exposures of 12, 6 and 4 hours have been studied to reduce sewage sludge production. The best anoxic time exposure was observed under anoxic/oxic cycles of 6 hours, which reduced 29.63% of the biomass production compared with the oxic control conditions. The sludge under different anoxic time exposures, even with a lower active biomass concentration than the oxic control conditions, showed a much higher metabolic activity than the oxic control conditions. Microbiological results suggested that both protozoa density and abundance of filamentous bacteria decrease under anoxic time exposures compared to oxic control conditions. The anoxic time exposures 6/6 showed the highest reduction in both protozoa density, 37.5%, and abundance of filamentous bacteria, 41.1%, in comparison to the oxic control conditions. The groups of crawling ciliates, carnivorous ciliates and filamentous bacteria were highly influenced by the anoxic time exposures. Protozoa density and abundance of filamentous bacteria have been shown as promising bioindicators of biomass production reduction.

  13. The influence of climatic niche preferences on the population genetic structure of a mistletoe species complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; González, Clementina; González-Rodríguez, Antonio; Ornelas, Juan Francisco

    2017-06-01

    The prevalent view on genetic structuring in parasitic plants is that host-race formation is caused by varying degrees of host specificity. However, the relative importance of ecological niche divergence and host specificity to population differentiation remains poorly understood. We evaluated the factors associated with population differentiation in mistletoes of the Psittacanthus schiedeanus complex (Loranthaceae) in Mexico. We used genetic data from chloroplast sequences and nuclear microsatellites to study population genetic structure and tested its association with host preferences and climatic niche variables. Pairwise genetic differentiation was associated with environmental and host preferences, independent of geography. However, environmental predictors appeared to be more important than host preferences to explain genetic structure, supporting the hypothesis that the occurrence of the parasite is largely determined by its own climatic niche and, to a lesser degree, by host specificity. Genetic structure is significant within this mistletoe species complex, but the processes associated with this structure appear to be more complex than previously thought. Although host specificity was not supported as the major determinant of population differentiation, we consider this to be part of a more comprehensive ecological model of mistletoe host-race formation that incorporates the effects of climatic niche evolution. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Intransitivity is infrequent and fails to promote annual plant coexistence without pairwise niche differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoy, Oscar; Stouffer, Daniel B; Kraft, Nathan J B; Levine, Jonathan M

    2017-05-01

    Intransitive competition is often projected to be a widespread mechanism of species coexistence in ecological communities. However, it is unknown how much of the coexistence we observe in nature results from this mechanism when species interactions are also stabilized by pairwise niche differences. We combined field-parameterized models of competition among 18 annual plant species with tools from network theory to quantify the prevalence of intransitive competitive relationships. We then analyzed the predicted outcome of competitive interactions with and without pairwise niche differences. Intransitive competition was found for just 15-19% of the 816 possible triplets, and this mechanism was never sufficient to stabilize the coexistence of the triplet when the pair-wise niche differences between competitors were removed. Of the transitive and intransitive triplets, only four were predicted to coexist and these were more similar in multidimensional trait space defined by 11 functional traits than non-coexisting triplets. Our results argue that intransitive competition may be less frequent than recently posed, and that even when it does operate, pairwise niche differences may be key to possible coexistence. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Transformations of trace halogenated aliphatics in anoxic biofilm columns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwer, Edward J.; Wright, John P.

    1988-03-01

    The transformability of trihalomethanes, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,2-dibromoethane, tetrachloroethylene, hexachloroethane, and dibromochloropropane was studied under conditions of denitrification, sulfate respiration, and methanogenesis. These compounds at concentrations commonly found in groundwater were continuously administered to anoxic biofilm columns that resembled groundwater environments. Acetate was the primary substrate to support microbial growth. All of the compounds studied were transformed under methanogenesis. Bromoform, bromodichloromethane, carbon tetrachloride, and hexachloroethane were transformed even under the less reducing conditions of denitrification. Some of the compounds were partially mineralized to CO2. However, reductive dehalogenation appeared to be the predominant mechanism for removal. Characterization of the available electron acceptors in the subsurface is important for assessing organic micropollutant biotransformation. Reaction rates observed in the laboratory biofilms indicate that biotransformation could be responsible for significant removals of these halogenated compounds in the subsurface.

  16. Bruxism Associated with Anoxic Encephalopathy: Successful Treatment with Baclofen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bruce Janati

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Bruxism is a movement disorder characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth. Etiology of bruxism can be divided into three groups: psychosocial factors, peripheral factors, and pathophysiological factors. Methods. The clinical investigation was conducted at King Khaled Hospital in Hail, Saudi Arabia, in 2012. Results. A 16-year-old Saudi female was brought to the hospital in a comatose state and with generalized convulsive seizures secondary to acute anoxic encephalopathy. In the third week of hospitalization, while still in a state of akinetic mutism, she developed incessant bruxism which responded favorably to a GABA receptor agonist (baclofen. Conclusion. Our data support the hypothesis that bruxism emanates from imbalance or dysregulation of the neurotransmitter system. Larger scale studies will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.

  17. Operational Performance of an AnaerobicAnoxic-Aerobic Treatment System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre Luis Calado Araujo

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available An anaerobic (UASB – hybrid aerobic (suspended and attached growth activated sludge wastewater treatment system was evaluated on the removal of organic matter, solids and nitrogen following its pre-operational phase. Analysis were made weekly based on composite samples, prepared by grab samples taken every four hours, during 24-hour cycle, weighted by flow rate, on each monitoring point (raw sewage, UASB, anoxic chamber, aerobic reactors, return sludge from secondary decanters and final effluent. The plant presented an average flow rate of 908 m3/h with peaks from 10 to 14 h. BOD was removed by 86 % (310 to 41 mg/L being the highest parcel accounted by UASB reactors (70 % and removal of total suspended solids reached 63 % (190 to 94 mg/L. Mean removals of TKN (71 % and Ammonium (77 % were above the value predicted by design and, probably the nitrification-denitrification process was not the dominant route.

  18. Anoxic Activated Sludge Monitoring with Combined Nitrate and Titrimetric Measurements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, B.; Gernaey, Krist; Vanrolleghem, P.A.

    2002-01-01

    was with the carbon source in excess, since excess nitrate provoked nitrite build-up thereby complicating the data interpretation. A conceptual model could quantitatively describe the experimental observations and thus link the experimentally measured proton production with the consumption of electron acceptor......An experimental procedure for anoxic activated sludge monitoring with combined nitrate and titrimetric measurements is proposed and evaluated successfully with two known carbon sources, (-)acetate and dextrose. For nitrate measurements an ion-selective nitrate electrode is applied to allow...... for frequent measurements, and thereby the possibility for detailed determination of the denitrification biokinetics. An internal nitrate electrode calibration is implemented in the experiments to avoid the often-encountered electrode drift problem. It was observed that the best experimental design...

  19. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  20. Niche restriction and conservatism in a neotropical psittacine: the case of the Puerto Rican parrot

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas H.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Dinsmore, Stephen J.; Llerandi-Roman, I. C.

    2014-01-01

    The factors which govern species‘ distribution and abundance are myriad, and together constitute the ecological niche of a given species. Because abiotic factors are arguably the most profound of the factors influencing niche boundaries and thus, species distributions, substantial changes in either climatic or habitat-related parameters can be expected to produce interrelated and profound niche shifts. Habitat loss and degradation can also effectively induce a de facto climate change by forcing populations to relocate to environmentally suboptimal habitats. Populations experiencing niche shifts due to range restrictions and geographic isolation become subject to a suite of factors that may act synergistically to amplify deleterious ecological effects of habitat loss. These factors tend to exert a greater influence on populations of rare or endemic species with inherently restricted ranges. The Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is an example of a tropical, insular, endemic and critically-endangered species that has suffered from extensive habitat loss and degradation over the past century, resulting in a single relict wild population restricted for more than 70 years to the montane rainforest of the Luquillo Mountains in northeastern Puerto Rico. In this chapter, we examine the current ecological situation of this geographically and demographically isolated parrot population by reviewing the history of landscape-level changes in and around the Luquillo Mountains, and concurrent biotic and abiotic limiting factors in relation to both historical population trajectory and current prognosis for species recovery. We used a decade (2000-2009) of empirical data on parrot fledgling survival together with long-term climatological data to model effects of local climate on fledgling survival and gain insights into its influence on population growth. We also modeled hypothetical survival of parrot fledglings in the lowlands surrounding the Luquillo Mountains, areas

  1. Removal of Nitrate from Groundwater by Anoxic Biological Reactor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salwa Hajar

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available    Groundwater pollution by  nitrate is considered as an important problem that must be addressed because many of the populations experiencing a big shortage of drinking water. In this study, the anoxic biological reactor is used to remove nitrates from groundwater. In this reactor,  bacteria convert nitrate to nitrogen under anoxic conditions and  lack of availability of nutrients  to get the necessary energy.     Five types of membrane bio-pregnant carrier within the reactor namely:  activated carbon (1-3 mm, granules of polyethylene (thickness of 3 mm X 4 mm Dia., bentonite (0.5-1 mm,  red wood (2X2X2 cm  and black sand (0.6 - 1.2 mm are employed. Four types nutrients namely:   Four types of carbonate which are: ethanol, molasses, glucose and acetic acid with the addition of sodium ortho phosphate dihydrogen (NaH2PO4 are used.     Laboratory results showed that the use of activated carbon gave the best results with respect to the removal of nitrates. The results indicated also that  acetic acid and molasses are the best nutrients for the reduction of nitrate ions. However, molasses may cause deposits on the inside walls of pipes and pumps.     The removal  efficiency of nitrate reached to 92% when using molasses and reached  to 99.7%  for acetic acid while it reached 54% when using glucose.

  2. Molybdenum drawdown during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Tatiana; Poulton, Simon W.; Wagner, Thomas; Kolonic, Sadat F.; Rehkämper, Mark

    2016-04-01

    During the Cretaceous greenhouse, episodes of widespread ocean deoxygenation were associated with globally occurring events of black shale deposition. Possibly the most pronounced of these oceanic anoxic events (OAE's) was the Cenomanian-Turonian OAE2 (∼94 Ma). However, although certain redox sensitive trace metals tend to be preferentially sequestered in sediments deposited under anoxic conditions, with Mo drawdown being specifically prone to euxinic settings, these elements are generally somewhat depleted in sediments deposited during OAE2. To understand the driving factors responsible for this depleted trace metal drawdown, we have studied a low latitude section from the proto-North Atlantic Ocean (Tarfaya S57), where existing biomarker and iron-sulphur data point to a dominantly euxinic water column, with periodic transitions to ferruginous (Fe-rich) water column conditions. We utilise a variety of redox proxies (Fe-speciation, redox sensitive trace metals and Mo isotopes), which, in combination, allows us to evaluate the detailed nature of ocean redox conditions and hence controls on trace metal drawdown. The results suggest that seawater δ98Mo values may have ranged between ∼0.6 and 1.1‰ during OAE2, likely connected to changes in the local Mo reservoir as a consequence of low and probably heterogeneous concentrations of Mo in the ocean. The very low Mo/TOC ratios at Tarfaya and elsewhere in the proto-North Atlantic may support a model in which deep-water circulation was partially restricted within and between the North Atlantic and other ocean basins. We propose that the combination of a low and possibly heterogeneous δ98Mo of seawater Mo, together with low Mo/TOC ratios, points to a large decrease in the global oceanic Mo reservoir during OAE2, reflecting a major global scale increase in Mo drawdown under persistent euxinic conditions.

  3. Feasibility of hydraulic separation in a novel anaerobic-anoxic upflow reactor for biological nutrient removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez-Montero, Rubén; De Florio, Loredana; González-Viar, Marta; Volcke, Eveline I P; Tejero, Iñaki

    2015-01-01

    This contribution deals with a novel anaerobic-anoxic reactor for biological nutrient removal (BNR) from wastewater, termed AnoxAn. In the AnoxAn reactor, the anaerobic and anoxic zones for phosphate removal and denitrification are integrated in a single continuous upflow sludge blanket reactor, aiming at high compactness and efficiency. Its application is envisaged in those cases where retrofitting of existing wastewater treatment plants for BNR, or the construction of new ones, is limited by the available surface area. The environmental conditions are vertically divided up inside the reactor with the anaerobic zone at the bottom and the anoxic zone above. The capability of the AnoxAn configuration to establish two hydraulically separated zones inside the single reactor was assessed by means of hydraulic characterization experiments and model simulations. Residence time distribution (RTD) experiments in clean water were performed in a bench-scale (48.4 L) AnoxAn prototype. The required hydraulic separation between the anaerobic and anoxic zones, as well as adequate mixing in the individual zones, were obtained through selected mixing devices. The observed behaviour was described by a hydraulic model consisting of continuous stirred tank reactors and plug-flow reactors. The impact of the denitrification process in the anoxic zone on the hydraulic separation was subsequently evaluated through model simulations. The desired hydraulic behaviour proved feasible, involving little mixing between the anaerobic and anoxic zones (mixing flowrate 40.2 % of influent flowrate) and negligible nitrate concentration in the anaerobic zone (less than 0.1 mgN L(-1)) when denitrification was considered.

  4. Fluorescence reporter gene platform applicable for the detection and quantification of horizontal gene transfer in anoxic environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinilla Redondo, Rafael

    of the impact the pH has on their fluorescence intensities. Validation of the dual-labelling system for the study of HGT in anoxic milieus. Methods: The time-course fluorescent recovery of mCherry and GFPmut3 in vivo, as well as the effect of the extracellular pH on fluorescence was monitored through flow......Cherry is limited by environmental constraints that affect the correct maturation of their fluorophores, such as oxygen availability and pH levels. Few studies have focused on elucidating their impact, and the sheer amount of distinct protein variants requires each system to be examined in an individual fashion....... The wealth of ecologically and clinically relevant oxygen-deprived micro-habitats in which bacteria thrive, calls for the urgent development of suitable tools that permit their study. Objectives: Development of an aerobic fluorescence recovery method for mCherry and GFPmut3, as well as characterisation...

  5. Coexisting generalist herbivores occupy unique nutritional feeding niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behmer, Spencer T.; Joern, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    A mainstay of ecological theory and practice is that coexisting species use different resources, leading to the local development of biodiversity. However, a problem arises for understanding coexistence of multiple species if they share critical resources too generally. Here, we employ an experimental framework grounded in nutritional physiology to show that closely related, cooccurring and generalist-feeding herbivores (seven grasshopper species in the genus Melanoplus; Orthoptera: Acrididae) eat protein and carbohydrate in different absolute amounts and ratios even if they eat the same plant taxa. The existence of species-specific nutritional niches provides a cryptic mechanism that helps explain how generalist herbivores with broadly overlapping diets might coexist. We also show that performance by grasshoppers allowed to mix their diets and thus regulate their protein–carbohydrate intake matched optimal performance peaks generated from no-choice treatments. These results indicate the active nature of diet selection to achieve balanced diets and provide buffering capacity in the face of variable food quality. Our empirical findings and experimental approach can be extended to generate and test predictions concerning the intensity of biotic interactions between species, the relative abundance of species, yearly fluctuations in population size, and the nature of interactions with natural enemies in tritrophic niche space. PMID:18238894

  6. Glioblastoma Stem Cells Microenvironment: The Paracrine Roles of the Niche in Drug and Radioresistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessia Fidoamore

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Among all solid tumors, the high-grade glioma appears to be the most vascularized one. In fact, “microvascular hyperplasia” is a hallmark of GBM. An altered vascular network determines irregular blood flow, so that tumor cells spread rapidly beyond the diffusion distance of oxygen in the tissue, with the consequent formation of hypoxic or anoxic areas, where the bulk of glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs reside. The response to this event is the induction of angiogenesis, a process mediated by hypoxia inducible factors. However, this new capillary network is not efficient in maintaining a proper oxygen supply to the tumor mass, thereby causing an oxygen gradient within the neoplastic zone. This microenvironment helps GSCs to remain in a “quiescent” state preserving their potential to proliferate and differentiate, thus protecting them by the effects of chemo- and radiotherapy. Recent evidences suggest that responses of glioblastoma to standard therapies are determined by the microenvironment of the niche, where the GSCs reside, allowing a variety of mechanisms that contribute to the chemo- and radioresistance, by preserving GSCs. It is, therefore, crucial to investigate the components/factors of the niche in order to formulate new adjuvant therapies rendering more efficiently the gold standard therapies for this neoplasm.

  7. Effect of a Jurassic oceanic anoxic event on belemnite ecology and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ullmann, Clemens Vinzenz; Thibault, Nicolas Rudolph; Ruhl, Micha

    2014-01-01

    point in the Earth system, where rapid and massive release of isotopically light carbon led to a major perturbation in the global carbon cycle as recorded in organic and inorganic C isotope records. Modern marine ecosystems are projected to experience major loss in biodiversity in response to enhanced...... the organic matrix in the calcite rostra of early Toarcian belemnites. We combine both organic and calcite carbon isotope analyses of individual specimens of these marine predators to obtain a refined reconstruction of the early Toarcian global exogenic carbon cycle perturbation and belemnite paleoecology....... The organic carbon isotope data combined with measurements of oxygen isotope values from the same specimens allow for a more robust interpretation of the interplay between the global carbon cycle perturbation, environmental change, and biotic response during the T-OAE. We infer that belemnites adapted...

  8. Families as Niches during Communism in East Germany: Consequences for Parent-Child Relationships during Times of Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Olaf

    2008-01-01

    This study brings together two main theoretical traditions in order to better understand how parent-child relationships are influenced by the societal conditions around the family. The concept of the ecological niche has been used to describe the way in which East German families dealt with government institutions during communism, while we used…

  9. Exploring the isotopic niche: isotopic variance, physiological incorporation, and the temporal dynamics of foraging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Douglas Yeakel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Consumer foraging behaviors are dynamic, changing in response to prey availability, seasonality, competition, and even the consumer's physiological state. The isotopic composition of a consumer is a product of these factors as well as the isotopic `landscape' of its prey, i.e. the isotopic mixing space. Stable isotope mixing models are used to back-calculate the most likely proportional contribution of a set of prey to a consumer's diet based on their respective isotopic distributions, however they are disconnected from ecological process. Here we build a mechanistic framework that links the ecological and physiological processes of an individual consumer to the isotopic distribution that describes its diet, and ultimately to the isotopic composition of its own tissues, defined as its `isotopic niche’. By coupling these processes, we systematically investigate under what conditions the isotopic niche of a consumer changes as a function of both the geometric properties of its mixing space and foraging strategies that may be static or dynamic over time. Results of our derivations reveal general insight into the conditions impacting isotopic niche width as a function of consumer specialization on prey, as well as the consumer's ability to transition between diets over time. We show analytically that moderate specialization on isotopically unique prey can serve to maximize a consumer's isotopic niche width, while temporally dynamic diets will tend to result in peak isotopic variance during dietary transitions. We demonstrate the relevance of our theoretical findings by examining a marine system composed of nine invertebrate species commonly consumed by sea otters. In general, our analytical framework highlights the complex interplay of mixing space geometry and consumer dietary behavior in driving expansion and contraction of the isotopic niche. Because this approach is established on ecological mechanism, it is well-suited for enhancing the

  10. Why developmental niche construction is not selective niche construction: and why it matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola

    2017-10-06

    In the last decade, niche construction has been heralded as the neglected process in evolution. But niche construction is just one way in which the organism's interaction with and construction of the environment can have potential evolutionary significance. The constructed environment does not just select for , it also produces new variation. Nearly 3 decades ago, and in parallel with Odling-Smee's article 'Niche-constructing phenotypes', West and King introduced the 'ontogenetic niche' to give the phenomena of exo genetic inheritance a formal name. Since then, a range of fields in the life sciences and medicine has amassed evidence that parents influence their offspring by means other than DNA (parental effects), and proposed mechanisms for how heritable variation can be environmentally induced and developmentally regulated. The concept of 'developmental niche construction' (DNC) elucidates how a diverse range of mechanisms contributes to the transgenerational transfer of developmental resources. My most central of claims is that whereas the selective niche of niche construction theory is primarily used to explain the active role of the organism in its selective environment, DNC is meant to indicate the active role of the organism in its developmental environment. The paper highlights the differences between the construction of the selective and the developmental niche, and explores the overall significance of DNC for evolutionary theory.

  11. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  12. Trade-offs between efficiency and robustness in bacterial metabolic networks are associated with niche breadth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morine, Melissa J; Gu, Hong; Myers, Ransom A; Bielawski, Joseph P

    2009-05-01

    The relation between structure and function in biologic networks is a central point of systems biology research. Key functional features--notably, efficiency and robustness--are linked to the topologic structure of a network, and there appears to be a degree of trade-off between these features, i.e., simulation studies indicate that more efficient networks tend to be less robust. Here, we investigate this issue in metabolic networks from 105 lineages of bacteria having a wide range of ecologies. We take quantitative measurements on each network and integrate this network data with ecologic data using a phylogenetic comparative model. In this setting, we find that biologic conclusions obtained with classical phylogenetic comparative methods are sensitive to correlations between model covariates and phylogenetic branch length. To avoid this problem, we propose a revised statistical framework--hierarchical mixed-effect regression--to accommodate phylogenetic nonindependence. Using this approach, we show that the cartography of metabolic networks does indeed reflect a trade-off between efficiency and robustness. Furthermore, ecologic characteristics related to niche breadth are strong predictors of network shape. Given the broad variation in niche breadth seen among species, we predict that there is no universally optimal balance between efficiency and robustness in bacterial metabolic networks and, thus, no universally optimal network structure. These results highlight the biologic relevance of variation in network structure and the potential role of niche breadth in shaping metabolic strategies of efficiency and robustness.

  13. The Ecology of Minority Languages in Melbourne

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Julie

    2013-01-01

    Melbourne's linguistic and cultural diversity has continually changed in response to global economic forces and shifting patterns of war and conflict. Immigrant and refugee communities have arrived with different skills, educational and professional profiles, and cultural and religious values. The ecological niches of three contrasting linguistic…

  14. Novel Pelagic Iron-Oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria from the Chesapeake Bay Oxic–Anoxic Transition Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beverly K. Chiu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Chemolithotrophic iron-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB could theoretically inhabit any environment where Fe(II and O2 (or nitrate coexist. Until recently, marine Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria had primarily been observed in benthic and subsurface settings, but not redox-stratified water columns. This may be due to the challenges that a pelagic lifestyle would pose for Zetaproteobacteria, given low Fe(II concentrations in modern marine waters and the possibility that Fe oxyhydroxide biominerals could cause cells to sink. However, we recently cultivated Zetaproteobacteria from the Chesapeake Bay oxic–anoxic transition zone, suggesting that they can survive and contribute to biogeochemical cycling in a stratified estuary. Here we describe the isolation, characterization, and genomes of two new species, Mariprofundus aestuarium CP-5 and Mariprofundus ferrinatatus CP-8, which are the first Zetaproteobacteria isolates from a pelagic environment. We looked for adaptations enabling strains CP-5 and CP-8 to overcome the challenges of living in a low Fe redoxcline with frequent O2 fluctuations due to tidal mixing. We found that the CP strains produce distinctive dreadlock-like Fe oxyhydroxide structures that are easily shed, which would help cells maintain suspension in the water column. These oxides are by-products of Fe(II oxidation, likely catalyzed by the putative Fe(II oxidase encoded by the cyc2 gene, present in both CP-5 and CP-8 genomes; the consistent presence of cyc2 in all microaerophilic FeOB and other FeOB genomes supports its putative role in Fe(II oxidation. The CP strains also have two gene clusters associated with biofilm formation (Wsp system and the Widespread Colonization Island that are absent or rare in other Zetaproteobacteria. We propose that biofilm formation enables the CP strains to attach to FeS particles and form flocs, an advantageous strategy for scavenging Fe(II and developing low [O2] microenvironments within more oxygenated

  15. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  16. [Allelopathic effects of Artemisia sacrorum population in typical steppe based on niche theory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Xie, Yong-Sheng; Cheng, Ji-Min; She, Xiao-Yan

    2012-03-01

    By using modified Levins niche width index and Pianka niche overlap index, this paper analyzed the ecological competition between constructive and dominant species in a typical steppe. The stem- and leaf extracts from the constructive species (Artemisia sacrorum) were utilized to study their allelopathic potential on the seed germination and plant growth of the dominant species (Stipa bungeana, Thymus mongolicus, S. grandis, and Leymus secalinus), and the ecological position of A. sacrorum in the steppe succession. In the steppe, S. bungeana had the widest niche width (0.99), followed by T. mongolicus (0.94), A. sacrorum (0.82), S. grandis (0.76), and L. secalinus (0.73). The niche overlap value between A. sacrorum and S. bungeana, S. bungeana and T. mongolicus, T. mongolicus and S. grandis, and A. sacrorum and T. mongolicus was 0.90, 0.95, 0.94, and 0.86, respectively. The allelopathic effects of A. sacrorum extracts varied with their concentration. For the seed germination, root growth, and shoot growth of the dominant species, A. sacrorum extracts showed a trend of promoting at low concentrations and inhibiting at high concentrations. The extracts of A. sacrorum had a stronger promotion effect on the root growth of S. bungeana than on that of T. mongolicus, but a stronger inhibition effect on the shoot growth of T. mongolicus than on that of S. bungeana. Methanol extracts had stronger allelopathic effects than aqueous extracts. The high niche overlap between A. sacrorum and S. bungeana, and T. mongolicus and S. grandis indicated that the steppe community would continue succession to S. bungeana, while A. sacrorum population was only an important transitional stage during the succession. The allelopathic effect of A. sacrorum played a driving role in the succession process.

  17. Niche Formation in the Mashup Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Weiss

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Mashups enable end-users to "mix and match" data and services available on the web to create applications. Their creation is supported by a complex ecosystem of i data providers who offer open APIs to users, ii users who combine APIs into mashups, and iii platforms, such as the ProgrammableWeb or Mashape, that facilitate the construction and publication of mashups. In this article, we argue that the evolution of the mashup ecosystem can be explained in terms of ecosystem niches anchored around hub or keystone APIs. The members of a niche are focused on an area of specialization (e.g., mapping applications and contribute their knowledge to the value proposition of the ecosystem as a whole. To demonstrate the formation of niches in the mashup ecosystem, we model groups of related mashups as species, and we reconstruct the evolution of mashup species through phylogenetic analysis.

  18. Hydrolysis of particulate substrate by activated sludge under aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henze, Mogens; Mladenovski, C.

    1991-01-01

    An investigation of hydrolysis of particulate organic substrate by activated sludge has been made. Raw municipal wastewater was used as substrate. It was mixed with activated sludge from a high loaded activated sludge plant with pure oxygen aeration. During 4 days batch experiments under aerobic......, anoxic and anaerobic conditions, the hydrolysis was following through the production of ammonia. The hydrolysis rate of nitrogeneous compounds is significantly affected by the electron donor available. The rate is high under aerobic conditions, medium under anaerobic conditions and low under anoxic...... conditions. The ratio between the hydrolysis rates under aerobic and under anoxic conditions are very similar to the respiration rates measured as electron equivalents....

  19. Massive expansion of marine archaea during a mid-Cretaceous oceanic anoxic event

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuypers, M.M.M.; Blokker, P.; Erbacher, J.

    2001-01-01

    molecular fossils indicates that these archaea were living chemoautotrophically. Their massive expansion may have been a response to the strong stratification of the ocean during this anoxic event. Indeed, the sedimentary record of archaeal membrane lipids suggests that this anoxic event marks a time......Biogeochemical and stable carbon isotopic analysis of black-shale sequences deposited during an Albian oceanic anoxic event (∼112 million years ago) indicate that up to 80 weight percent of sedimentary organic carbon is derived from marine, nonthermophilic archaea. The carbon-13 content of archaeal...

  20. Microbial Oxidation of Pyrite Coupled to Nitrate Reduction in Anoxic Groundwater Sediment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Christian Juncher; Elberling, Bo; Jacobsen, Ole Stig

    2009-01-01

    Although many areas in Denmark are intensively agricultured, the discharge of nitrate from groundwater aquifers to surface water is often lower than expected. In this study it is experimentally demonstrated that anoxic nitrate reduction in sandy sediment containing pyrite is a microbially mediated...... be ascribed to pyrite oxidation. The apparent zero-order denitrification rate in anoxic pyrite containing sediment at groundwater temperature has been determined to be 2-3 µmol NO3- kg-1 day-1. The in situ groundwater chemistry at the boundary between the redoxcline and the anoxic zone reveals that between 65...

  1. Past climate clues from anoxic basin sediments: Cariaco basin (Venezuela) as a tropical climate type section

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, L.C.

    2008-07-01

    This paper discusses how anoxic conditions in deep oceans are the result of a dynamic balance between oxygen supply and oxygen consumption. The author states that a significant consequence of ancient anoxic episodes was that the accumulation and preservation of organic matter in marine sediments were greatly enhanced, allowing the generation of potential petroleum source rocks. Changes in climatic conditions both in the short term as well as over longer periods of time are examined on the basis of oxygen isotope quantities found in ice-cores drilled in Greenland. The influence of these climatic changes on anoxic conditions in the oceans is discussed.

  2. A practioner's view on Strategic Niche Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mourik, R.; Raven, R.P.J.M.

    2006-11-01

    Strategic Niche Management (SNM) is a tool to support the societal introduction of radical sustainable innovations. However, it has been mainly used in retrospective to analyse historical case studies. This report discusses SNM from a practioner's perspective with the main aim to articulate questions that should be addressed for translating SNM from an ex-post to an ex-ante tool. The main conclusion is that an SNM tool should focus on the level of 'niches' rather than single projects, i.e. SNM should aim to support (program) managers who aim at orchestrating the interaction between multiple experiments

  3. Sharing Representations Through Cognitive Niche Construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuele Bardone

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available As a matter of fact, humans continuously delegate and distribute cognitive functions to the environment to lessen their limits. They build models, representations, and other various mediating structures that are thought to be good constructions. In doing this, humans are engaged in a process of cognitive niche construction. More precisely, we argue that a cognitive niche emerges from a network of continuous interplay between individuals and environment, in which people alter and modify the environment by mimetically externalizing fleeting thoughts, private ideas, etc., into external supports. This can turn out to be useful, especially for all those situations that require information transmission, shared knowledge, and more generally, cognitive resources.

  4. Pretreatment of textile dyeing wastewater using an anoxic baffled reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Huoliang; Wu, Huifang

    2008-11-01

    A study on pretreatment of textile dyeing wastewater was carried out using an anoxic baffled reactor (ABR) at wastewater temperatures of 5-31.1 degrees C. When hydraulic retention time (HRT) was 8h, the color of outflow of ABR was only 40 times at 5 degrees C and it could satisfy the professional discharge standard (grade-1) of textile and dyeing industry of China (GB4287-92). The total COD removal efficiency of ABR was 34.6%, 47.5%, 50.0%, 53.3%, 54.7% and 58.1% at 5, 9.7, 14.9, 19.7, 23.5 and 31.1 degrees C, respectively. Besides, after the wastewater being pre-treated by ABR when HRT was 6h and 8h, the BOD5/COD value rose from 0.30 of inflow to 0.46 of outflow and from 0.30 of inflow to 0.40 of outflow, respectively. Experimental results indicated that ABR was a very feasible process to decolorize and pre-treat the textile dyeing wastewater at ambient temperature. Moreover, a kinetic simulation of organic matter degradation in ABR at six different wastewater temperatures was carried through. The kinetic analysis showed the organic matter degradation was a first-order reaction. The reaction activation energy was 19.593 kJ mol(-1) and the temperature coefficient at 5-31.1 degrees C was 1.028.

  5. Spatial Niche Segregation of Sympatric Stone Marten and Pine Marten--Avoidance of Competition or Selection of Optimal Habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food

  6. Spatial Niche Segregation of Sympatric Stone Marten and Pine Marten--Avoidance of Competition or Selection of Optimal Habitat?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Wereszczuk

    Full Text Available Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina and pine marten (Martes martes occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF, to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and

  7. Spatial Niche Segregation of Sympatric Stone Marten and Pine Marten – Avoidance of Competition or Selection of Optimal Habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food

  8. Treatment of synthetic refinery wastewater in anoxic-aerobic sequential moving bed reactors and sulphur recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallick, Subrat Kumar; Chakraborty, Saswati

    2017-11-10

    Objective of the present study was to simultaneously biodegrade synthetic petroleum refinery wastewater containing phenol (750 mg/L), sulphide (750 mg/L), hydrocarbon (as emulsified diesel of 300 mg/L), ammonia-nitrogen (350 mg/L) at pH >9 in anoxic-aerobic sequential moving bed reactors. The optimum mixing speed of anoxic reactor was observed at 20 rpm and beyond that, removal rate remained constant. In anoxic reactor the minimum hydraulic retention time was observed to be 2 days for complete removal of sulphide, 40-50% removal of phenol and total hydrocarbons and 52% of sulphur recovery. The optimum HRT of aerobic moving bed reactor was observed as 16 h (total HRT of 64 h for anoxic and aerobic reactors) for complete removals of phenol, total hydrocarbons, COD (chemical oxygen demand) and ammonia-nitrogen with nitrification.

  9. Oxygen Control and Improved Denitrification Efficiency by Means of a Post-Anoxic Reactor

    OpenAIRE

    Giordano Urbini; Renato Gavasci; Paolo Viotti

    2015-01-01

    The presence of dissolved oxygen (DO) in biological denitrification reactors determines inhibition effects on the denitrification rate. The article shows the results of an experimental study to control the DO concentration in the pre-denitrification stage by a post-anoxic reactor. The results demonstrate that the post-anoxic reactor is very effective in improving the nitrogen removal efficiency because it causes a considerable reduction of the DO content in the mixed liquor recycle sent to th...

  10. Effect of potential electron acceptors on anoxic ammonia oxidation in the presence of organic carbon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabumon, P.C., E-mail: pcsabumon@yahoo.co.in [Environmental Engineering Division, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT University, Vellore 632 014 (India)

    2009-12-15

    A novel route of anoxic ammonia removal in the presence of organic carbon was identified recently from ecosystems contaminated with ammonia. Sequencing batch reactor (SBR) studies were carried out in anoxic condition at oxidation-reduction potential varied from -185 to -275 mV for anoxic ammonia oxidation with adapted biomass (mixed culture). SBR studies were carried out in absence and in the presence of externally added organic carbon and/or in the presence of inorganic electron acceptors like NO{sub 2}{sup -}, NO{sub 3}{sup -} and SO{sub 4}{sup 2-}. The results showed anoxic ammonia oxidation to nitrate (in contrast to reported anammox process) in the presence of organic carbon available through endogenous respiration whereas anoxic ammonia oxidation was effective in the presence of externally added organic compound for nitrogen removal. The presence of externally added inorganic electron acceptors like NO{sub 2}{sup -}, NO{sub 3}{sup -} and SO{sub 4}{sup 2-} was effective in anoxic ammonia oxidation, but failed to follow the reported anammox reaction's stoichiometry in nitrogen removal in the presence of organic carbon. However, the presence of NO{sub 2}{sup -} affected best in total nitrogen removal compared to other electron acceptors and maximum ammonia removal rate was 100 mg NH{sub 4}{sup +}/g MLVSS/d. Based on the results, it is possible to suggest that rate of anoxic ammonia oxidation depends up on the respiration activities of mixed culture involving organic carbon, NO{sub 2}{sup -}, NO{sub 3}{sup -} and SO{sub 4}{sup 2-}. The process shows possibilities of new pathways of ammonia oxidation in organic contaminated sediments and/or wastewater in anoxic conditions.

  11. Bone Marrow Vascular Niche: Home for Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ningning He

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Though discovered later than osteoblastic niche, vascular niche has been regarded as an alternative indispensable niche operating regulation on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs. As significant progresses gained on this type niche, it is gradually clear that the main work of vascular niche is undertaking to support hematopoiesis. However, compared to what have been defined in the mechanisms through which the osteoblastic niche regulates hematopoiesis, we know less in vascular niche. In this review, based on research data hitherto we will focus on component foundation and various functions of vascular niche that guarantee the normal hematopoiesis process within bone marrow microenvironments. And the possible pathways raised by various research results through which this environment undergoes its function will be discussed as well.

  12. Detecting the potential sympatric range and niche divergence between Asian endemic ungulates of Procapra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Junhua; Jiang, Zhigang

    2012-07-01

    Species distribution modeling (SDM) is increasingly used to reveal biogeographical relationships, for example the sympatric range for species coexistence, and fundamental questions about niche evolution between related species. We explored the sympatric ranges between three Procapra species ( Procapra przewalskii, Procapra Picticaudata, and Procapra gutturosa) via two methods of defining the study region (method 1, in which models were developed in a larger region including the whole geographic range of Procapra, and method 2 in which a smaller region surrounding focal species' localities was used and then projected to the larger region). We also quantified environmental niche divergence between gazelles across the whole range in Procapra. Models for gazelles generally performed well. Compared with method 2, method 1 led to larger predicted areas with high suitability and was less concentrated around known localities. Clamping, which deals with variables outside the training range, varied between gazelles and occurred primarily in regions unsuitable for respective species. For all gazelle pairs, models revealed an overlap zone where more than one species should occur, while the estimates varied between the two methods. Moreover, we found that the niche overlap was closely associated with geographic distance but not with phylogenetic distance among gazelles. Our findings indicate that SDM is a useful tool for testing whether related species tend to be in sympatry at large scales, with method 1 leading to more realistic predictions for Procapra. This study provides evidence of a distinct niche divergence among related species and supports the theory that ecological speciation plays a significant role in lineage generation.

  13. Functional traits can improve our understanding of niche- and dispersal-based processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Feng; Xun, Yanhan; Cai, Huiying; Jin, Guangze

    2018-03-01

    Ecologists often determine the relative importance of niche- and dispersal-based processes via variation partitioning based on species composition. Functional traits and their proxies of phylogeny are expected to increase the detection of niche-based processes and reduce the unexplained variation relative to species identity. We collected eight adult tree traits and phylogenetic data of 41 species and employed a phylogenetic fuzzy weighting method to address this issue in a 9-ha temperate forest dynamics plot. We used redundancy analysis to relate species, phylogenetic and functional compositions to environmental (soil resources and topography) and spatial variables. We also performed multi-scaled analyses on spatial variables by adding environment as the covariates to determine if functional traits increase the detection of niche-based processes at broad scales. The functional traits and intraspecific variation of the wood density among ontogenetic stages could dramatically increase the detection of niche-based processes and reduce the unexplained variation relative to species identity. Phylogenetic and functional compositions were mainly driven by total soil P and elevation, while species composition was weakly affected by multiple environmental variables. After controlling for the environment, a larger amount of the compositional variations in seed mass and maximum height were explained by finer-scaled spatial variables, indicating that dispersal processes may be important at fine spatial scales. Our results suggested that considering functional traits and their intraspecific variations could improve our understanding of ecological processes and increase our ability to predict the responses of plants to environmental change.

  14. An emerging niche market opportunity. Part I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulaski, M J

    1997-01-01

    Society is split between a desire for access to quality health care and a reluctance, by some, to pay for it. Looking at this cost/access dichotomy historically enables one to recognize an emerging niche market--discriminating, affluent consumers willing to pay for better health care.

  15. Increased thermohaline stratification as a possible cause for an ocean anoxic event in the Cretaceous period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbacher, J; Huber, B T; Norris, R D; Markey, M

    2001-01-18

    Ocean anoxic events were periods of high carbon burial that led to drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide, lowering of bottom-water oxygen concentrations and, in many cases, significant biological extinction. Most ocean anoxic events are thought to be caused by high productivity and export of carbon from surface waters which is then preserved in organic-rich sediments, known as black shales. But the factors that triggered some of these events remain uncertain. Here we present stable isotope data from a mid-Cretaceous ocean anoxic event that occurred 112 Myr ago, and that point to increased thermohaline stratification as the probable cause. Ocean anoxic event 1b is associated with an increase in surface-water temperatures and runoff that led to decreased bottom-water formation and elevated carbon burial in the restricted basins of the western Tethys and North Atlantic. This event is in many ways similar to that which led to the more recent Plio-Pleistocene Mediterranean sapropels, but the greater geographical extent and longer duration (approximately 46 kyr) of ocean anoxic event 1b suggest that processes leading to such ocean anoxic events in the North Atlantic and western Tethys were able to act over a much larger region, and sequester far more carbon, than any of the Quaternary sapropels.

  16. Jurassic carbonate microfacies, sea-level changes and the Toarcian anoxic event in the Tethys Himalaya (South Tibet)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Zhong; Hu, Xiumian; Garzanti, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    Detailed microfacies analysis of carbonate rocks from the Tingri and Nyalam areas of South Tibet allowed us to reconstruct the evolution of sedimentary environments during the Early to Middle Jurassic. Based on texture, sedimentary structure, grain composition and fossil content of about 500 thin sections, 17 microfacies overall were identified, and three evolutionary stages were defined. Stage 1 (Rhaetian?-lower Sinemurian Zhamure Formation) was characterized by siliciclastic and mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sedimentation on a barrier shore environment, stage 2 (upper Sinemurian-Pliensbachian Pupuga Formation) by high-energy grainstones with rich benthic faunas thriving on a carbonate platform, and stage 3 (Toarcian-lower Bajocian Nieniexiongla Formation) by low-energy mudstones intercalated with frequent storm layers on a carbonate ramp. Besides, Carbon isotope analyses (δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg) were performed on the late Pliensbachian-early Toarcian interval, and the organic matter recorded a pronounced stepped negative excursion -4.5‰ corresponding to characteristics of the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event globally, which began just below the stage 2-stage 3 facies shifting boundary. The comparison between the Tethys Himalaya (South Tibet) and the tropical/subtropical zones of the Western Tethys and Panthalassa was carried out to discuss the factors controlling sedimentary evolution. The change from stage 1 to stage 2 was possibly induced by sea-level rise, when the Tibetan Tethys Himalaya was located at tropical/subtropical latitudes in suitable climatic and ecological conditions for carbonate sedimentation. The abrupt change from stage 2 to stage 3 is interpreted as a consequence of the early Toarcian oceanic anoxic event, accompanied by obvious carbon-isotope negative excursion and sea-level rise. The failed recovery from the carbonate crisis in the early Bajocian, with continuing deposition on a low-energy carbonate ramp, is ascribed to the tectonic

  17. Total dissolved atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the anoxic Cariaco basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasse, R.; Pérez, T.; Giuliante, A.; Donoso, L.

    2018-04-01

    Atmospheric deposition of total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) is an important source of nitrogen for ocean primary productivity that has increased since the industrial revolution. Thus, understanding its role in the ocean nitrogen cycle will help assess recent changes in ocean biogeochemistry. In the anoxic Cariaco basin, the place of the CARIACO Ocean Time-Series Program, the influence of atmospherically-deposited TDN on marine biogeochemistry is unknown. In this study, we measured atmospheric TDN concentrations as dissolved organic (DON) and inorganic (DIN) nitrogen (TDN = DIN + DON) in atmospheric suspended particles and wet deposition samples at the northeast of the basin during periods of the wet (August-September 2008) and dry (March-April 2009) seasons. We evaluated the potential anthropogenic N influences by measuring wind velocity and direction, size-fractionated suspended particles, chemical traces and by performing back trajectories. We found DIN and DON concentration values that ranged between 0.11 and 0.58 μg-N m-3 and 0.11-0.56 μg-N m-3 in total suspended particles samples and between 0.08 and 0.54 mg-N l-1 and 0.02-1.3 mg-N l-1 in wet deposition samples, respectively. Continental air masses increased DON and DIN concentrations in atmospheric suspended particles during the wet season. We estimate an annual TDN atmospheric deposition (wet + particles) of 3.6 × 103 ton-N year-1 and concluded that: 1) Atmospheric supply of TDN plays a key role in the C and N budget of the basin because replaces a fraction of the C (20% by induced primary production) and N (40%) removed by sediment burial, 2) present anthropogenic N could contribute to 30% of TDN atmospheric deposition in the basin, and 3) reduced DON (gas + particles) should be a significant component of bulk N deposition.

  18. Schwertmannite stability in anoxic Fe(II)-rich aqueous solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paikaray, Susanta; Schröder, Christian; Peiffer, Stefan

    2017-11-01

    Schwertmannite (SHM) is a powerful scavenger for As(III) leading to As(III)-enriched precipitates around acid mine drainage environments that may become exposed to aqueous Fe(II). In this study we have investigated the stability of pure SHM and SHM containing 0.92 wt% As(III) under Fe(II)aq-rich (0.4-1.0 mM) anoxic conditions using XRD, SEM, Mössbauer and FTIR spectroscopic techniques. Schwertmannite transformation proceeded through an alkalinity-driven pathway releasing sulfate and a Fe(II)-catalyzed pathway that generated lepidocrocite and goethite at pH 6 and 6.9 in the presence of 1 mM Fe(II)aq. Lepidocrocite was found to be needle shaped if the SHM contained As(III) and platy for pure SHM. Goethite had a poor degree of crystallinity in As(III) containing SHM. Pre-adsorption of As(III) inhibited the extent of SHM transformation. Fe(II) sorption onto SHM was pH dependent and reflected a sorption edge with complete consumption at pH 6.9, while only ∼20% were adsorbed at pH 5. Surface coverage with Fe(II) appears to be the key parameter controlling extent and products of the transformation process. As(III) concentrations in solution are controlled by two mechanisms: (1) exchange of As(III) for sulfate upon alkalinity-driven transformation of schwertmannite and (2) re-adsorption to new phases formed upon Fe(II)-catalyzed transformation. The adsorbed As(III) has inhibited the extent of transformation and was partly released with the maximum release at pH 5 (0.5%) in the absence of Fe(II)aq.

  19. Ten Niche Strategies To Commercialize New High-Tech Products

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ortt, J.R.; Langley, D.J.; Pals, N.

    2013-01-01

    There are serious gaps in the scientific literature relating to niche strategies as a means for commercializing new high-tech products. In particular, there is no clarity about what types of niche strategies can be distinguished, or how a niche strategy can be selected to suit a certain ituation. In

  20. Niching genetic algorithms for optimization in electromagnetics - I. Fundamentals

    OpenAIRE

    Sareni, Bruno; Krähenbühl, Laurent; Nicolas, Alain

    1998-01-01

    Niching methods extend genetic algorithms and permit the investigation of multiple optimal solutions in the search space. In this paper, we review and discuss various strategies of niching for optimization in electromagnetics. Traditional mathematical problems and an electromagnetic benchmark are solved using niching genetic algorithms to show their interest in real world optimization.

  1. Ecological Schoolyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  2. Microenvironmental Ecology of the Chlorophyll b-containing Symbiotic Cyanobacterium Prochloron in the Didemnid Ascidian Lissoclinum patella

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eKühl

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of the cyanobacterium Prochloron was the first finding of a bacterial oxyphototroph with chlorophyll (Chl b, in addition to Chl a. It was first described as Prochloron didemni but a number of clades have since been described. Prochloron is a conspicuously large (7-25 µm unicellular cyanobacterium living in a symbiotic relationship, primarily with (sub- tropical didemnid ascidians; it has resisted numerous cultivation attempts and appears truly obligatory symbiotic. Recently, a Prochloron draft genome was published, revealing no lack of metabolic genes that could explain the apparent inability to reproduce and sustain photosynthesis in a free-living stage. Possibly, the unsuccessful cultivation is partly due to a lack of knowledge about the microenvironmental conditions and ecophysiology of Prochloron in its natural habitat. We used microsensors, variable chlorophyll fluorescence imaging and imaging of O2 and pH to obtain a detailed insight to the microenvironmental ecology and photobiology of Prochloron in hospite in the didemnid ascidian Lissoclinum patella. The microenvironment within ascidians is characterized by steep gradients of light and chemical parameters that change rapidly with varying irradiances. The interior zone of the ascidians harboring Prochloron thus became anoxic and acidic within a few min of darkness, while the same zone exhibited O2 super-saturation and strongly alkaline pH after a few min of illumination. Photosynthesis showed lack of photoinhibition even at high irradiances equivalent to full sunlight, and photosynthesis recovered rapidly after periods of anoxia. We discuss these new insights on the ecological niche of Prochloron and possible interactions with its host and other microbes in light of its recently published genome and a recent study of the overall microbial diversity and metagenome of L. patella.

  3. Professional Niche Differentiation: Understanding Dai (Traditional Midwife Survival in Rural Rajasthan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharmeen Azher

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Prescribing medicine, providing contraception, delivering babies – although we may turn to physicians, rural Rajasthani women turn to Barefoot Doctors out of necessity. Such care is available courtesy of the Barefoot College, a pioneering NGO that transforms the skills of the illiterate poor into local infrastructure. Barefoot Doctors are innovative because of their origins as dais (traditional midwives; once abundant across South Asia, dais are mostly extinct due to government/NGO interventions emphasizing “modernity”, like the Accredited Social Health Activist program. Why, then, have dais survived as Barefoot Doctors when they are extinct elsewhere? Ecological niche differentiation refers to when competing species successfully coexist; one species adapts to fulfill another role. Using over fifty interviews with stakeholders, I explain the persistence of Barefoot Doctors as health resources using “professional niche differentiation”. Barefoot Doctors exemplify how health infrastructure can be sustainable in resource-poor settings when created according to local needs and ideologies.

  4. Rapid Return of Nitrogen but not Phosphorus to Ecosystem Nutrition During Decomposition of Quagga Mussel Tissue in Sand, Mud, or Water During Oxic or Anoxic Incubation: Implications for Phytoplankton Bioenergetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, E. M.; Cuhel, R. L.; Aguilar, C.

    2016-02-01

    In 2003 Quagga mussels were found to have invaded Lake Michigan. Their presence has changed the structure of the lake both ecologically (benthification) as well as chemically (oligotrophication). They consume large amounts of phytoplankton, which decreases the particulate nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients available to other consumers including zooplankton. As a result, fisheries productivity has decreased nearly 95%. Recently reaching the end of the first life cycle, in death they release a portion of these nutrients back into the freshwater system during decomposition. This work determined amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen nutrient recycling for several relevant sediment-water interface conditions: oxic vs anoxic in water, mud, or sand over a weeklong period. Concentrations of ammonium, soluble reactive phosphorus, and nitrate were used to analyze nutrient release as decomposition took place. In a short time up to 25% of tissue N was released as ammonia, and under oxic conditions in mud or sand, nitrification converted some of the ammonia to nitrate. Unexpectedly, mussels decaying in anoxic conditions released ammonium much more slowly. A slower rate of release in ammonium for the intact body with the shell (burial) was observed when compared to ground mussel tissue (detritivory). Nitrate was removed in anoxic incubations, indicating anaerobic denitrification. Phosphate release was initially higher under anoxic conditions than those decaying aerobically. There was no significant difference in the amount or rate of release of SRP between ground mussel and whole bodied with the shell. The anoxic treatment showed similar patterns of release for both ground mussel and intact body with shell. Most important, phosphate was subsequently removed in all treatments and diffusible nutrient was minimal (<100nM). The results link to nutrient assimilation patterns of deep phytoplankton communities, which can replace nitrate with ammonium as an N source.

  5. Attenuation and colloidal mobilization of bacteriophages in natural sediments under anoxic as compared to oxic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klitzke, Sondra; Schroeder, Jendrik; Selinka, Hans-Christoph; Szewzyk, Regine; Chorus, Ingrid

    2015-06-15

    Redox conditions are known to affect the fate of viruses in porous media. Several studies report the relevance of colloid-facilitated virus transport in the subsurface, but detailed studies on the effect of anoxic conditions on virus retention in natural sediments are still missing. Therefore, we investigated the fate of viruses in natural flood plain sediments with different sesquioxide contents under anoxic conditions by considering sorption to the solid phase, sorption to mobilized colloids, and inactivation in the aqueous phase. Batch experiments were conducted under oxic and anoxic conditions at pH values between 5.1 and 7.6, using bacteriophages MS2 and PhiX174 as model viruses. In addition to free and colloid-associated bacteriophages, dissolved and colloidal concentrations of Fe, Al and organic C as well as dissolved Ca were determined. Results showed that regardless of redox conditions, bacteriophages did not adsorb to mobilized colloids, even under favourable charge conditions. Under anoxic conditions, attenuation of bacteriophages was dominated by sorption over inactivation, with MS2 showing a higher degree of sorption than PhiX174. Inactivation in water was low under anoxic conditions for both bacteriophages with about one log10 decrease in concentration during 16 h. Increased Fe/Al concentrations and a low organic carbon content of the sediment led to enhanced bacteriophage removal under anoxic conditions. However, even in the presence of sufficient Fe/A-(hydr)oxides on the solid phase, bacteriophage sorption was low. We presume that organic matter may limit the potential retention of sesquioxides in anoxic sediments and should thus be considered for the risk assessment of virus breakthrough in the subsurface. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Mapping the niche space of soil microorganisms using taxonomy and traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennon, Jay T; Aanderud, Zachary T; Lehmkuhl, B K; Schoolmaster, Donald R

    2012-08-01

    The biodiversity of microbial communities has important implications for the stability and functioning of ecosystem processes. Yet, very little is known about the environmental factors that define the microbial niche and how this influences the composition and activity of microbial communities. In this study, we derived niche parameters from physiological response curves that quantified microbial respiration for a diverse collection of soil bacteria and fungi along a soil moisture gradient. On average, soil microorganisms had relatively dry optima (0.3 MPa) and were capable of respiring under low water potentials (-2.0 MPa). Within their limits of activity, microorganisms exhibited a wide range of responses, suggesting that some taxa may be able to coexist by partitioning the moisture niche axis. For example, we identified dry-adapted generalists that tolerated a broad range of water potentials, along with wet-adapted specialists with metabolism restricted to less-negative water potentials. These contrasting ecological strategies had a phylogenetic signal at a coarse taxonomic level (phylum), suggesting that the moisture niche of soil microorganisms is highly conserved. In addition, variation in microbial responses along the moisture gradient was linked to the distribution of several functional traits. In particular, strains that were capable of producing biofilms had drier moisture optima and wider niche breadths. However, biofilm production appeared to come at a cost that was reflected in a prolonged lag time prior to exponential growth, suggesting that there is a trade-off associated with traits that allow microorganisms to contend with moisture stress. Together, we have identified functional groups of microorganisms that will help predict the structure and functioning of microbial communities under contrasting soil moisture regimes.

  7. The shared preference niche of sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in a tropical forest mosaic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Robert; Garshelis, David L; Chutipong, Wanlop; Seuaturien, Naret

    2011-01-20

    Ecologically similar species often coexist by partitioning use of habitats or resources. Such partitioning can occur through divergent or shared niches. We investigated overlap in habitat use and spatial co-occurrence by sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in three habitats in Thailand, and thereby assessed which niche model best accounts for their coexistence. We used density of species-specific signs to assess habitat use. Signs of both bear species occurred in all three habitats, and on >60% of sampling transects. Both species fed mostly on fruit; insect feeding signs were uncommon, and were mostly from sun bears. Significant differences in habitat use occurred only in montane forest, the habitat in which fruit was most abundant; incidence of black bear sign there was six times higher than that of sun bears. Habitat use was similar between the two species in the other habitats, which comprised 85% of the area. Of 10 habitat attributes examined, fruiting tree density was the best predictor of occurrence for both species. Models that included interspecific competition (fresh foraging activity of the other species) were less supported than the top models without competition. Bear species co-occurrence at both coarse and fine spatial scales and use of the same resources (fruit trees) indicated common niche preferences. However, their habitat use differed in ways expected from their physical differences: larger black bears dominated in the most fruit-rich habitat, and smaller sun bears used less-preferred insects. These results indicate broadly overlapping fundamental niches combined with asymmetric competition-features consistent with the concept of shared preference niches. This model of the niche has received little attention in ecology, but appears to be relatively common in nature.

  8. The shared preference niche of sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in a tropical forest mosaic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Steinmetz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecologically similar species often coexist by partitioning use of habitats or resources. Such partitioning can occur through divergent or shared niches. We investigated overlap in habitat use and spatial co-occurrence by sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in three habitats in Thailand, and thereby assessed which niche model best accounts for their coexistence.We used density of species-specific signs to assess habitat use. Signs of both bear species occurred in all three habitats, and on >60% of sampling transects. Both species fed mostly on fruit; insect feeding signs were uncommon, and were mostly from sun bears. Significant differences in habitat use occurred only in montane forest, the habitat in which fruit was most abundant; incidence of black bear sign there was six times higher than that of sun bears. Habitat use was similar between the two species in the other habitats, which comprised 85% of the area. Of 10 habitat attributes examined, fruiting tree density was the best predictor of occurrence for both species. Models that included interspecific competition (fresh foraging activity of the other species were less supported than the top models without competition.Bear species co-occurrence at both coarse and fine spatial scales and use of the same resources (fruit trees indicated common niche preferences. However, their habitat use differed in ways expected from their physical differences: larger black bears dominated in the most fruit-rich habitat, and smaller sun bears used less-preferred insects. These results indicate broadly overlapping fundamental niches combined with asymmetric competition-features consistent with the concept of shared preference niches. This model of the niche has received little attention in ecology, but appears to be relatively common in nature.

  9. [Niche comparison of dominant entomopathogenic fungi in three forest ecosystems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming-Jun; Huang, Bo; Li, Zeng-Zhi

    2011-05-01

    An investigation was made on the quantitative composition, niche width, and niche overlap of dominant entomopathogenic fungi in three different forest ecosystems, i.e., natural broad-leaved forest, natural secondary broad-leaved forest, and pure Masson' s pine plantation. In the three forest ecosystems, Beauveria bassiana was the first dominant species in natural secondary broad-leaved forest, the second in pure Masson's pine plantation, and the third in natural broad-leaved forest. B. bassiana had the broadest temporal niche width and nutritional niche width, whereas the dominant species Isaria cateinannulata, L. farinose, and I. tenuipes had much smaller niche widths. Meanwhile, B. bassiana had larger temporal niche overlaps but smaller nutritional niche overlaps with other dominant entomopathogenic fungi. It was suggested that in the three forest ecosystems, B. bassiana had the longest occurrence duration, widest host range, and strongest environmental adaptability.

  10. Lake morphometry and resource polymorphism determine niche segregation between cool- and cold-water-adapted fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Brian; Harrod, Chris; Kahilaineni, Kimmo K

    2014-02-01

    Climate change is increasing ambient temperatures in Arctic and subarctic regions, facilitating latitudinal range expansions of freshwater fishes adapted to warmer water temperatures. The relative roles of resource availability and interspecific interactions between resident and invading species in determining the outcomes of such expansions has not been adequately evaluated. Ecological interactions between a cool-water adapted fish, the perch (Perca fluviatilis), and the cold-water adapted European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), were studied in both shallow and deep lakes with fish communities dominated by (1) monomorphic whitefish, (2) monomorphic whitefish and perch, and (3) polymorphic whitefish and perch. A combination of stomach content, stable-isotope, and invertebrate prey availability data were used to identify resource use and niche overlap among perch, the trophic generalist large sparsely rakered (LSR) whitefish morph, and the pelagic specialist densely rakered (DR) whitefish morph in 10 subarctic lakes at the contemporary distribution limit of perch in northern Scandinavia. Perch utilized its putative preferred littoral niche in all lakes. LSR whitefish utilized both littoral and pelagic resources in monomorphic whitefish-dominated lakes. When found in sympatry with perch, LSR whitefish exclusively utilized pelagic prey in deep lakes, but displayed niche overlap with perch in shallow littoral lakes. DR whitefish was a specialist zooplanktivore, relegating LSR whitefish from pelagic habitats, leading to an increase in niche overlap between LSR whitefish and perch in deep lakes. Our results highlight how resource availability (lake depth and fish community) governs ecological interactions between native and invading species, leading to different outcomes even at the same latitudes. These findings suggest that lake morphometry and fish community structure data should be included in bioclimate envelope-based models of species distribution shifts

  11. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available Climate change alters species distributions, causing plants and animals to move north or to higher elevations with current warming. Bioclimatic models predict species distributions based on extant realized niches and assume niche conservation. Here, we evaluate if proxies for niches (i.e., range areas are conserved at the family level through deep time, from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. We analyze the occurrence of all mammalian families in the continental USA, calculating range area, percent range area occupied, range area rank, and range polygon centroids during each epoch. Percent range area occupied significantly increases from the Oligocene to the Miocene and again from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene; however, mammalian families maintain statistical concordance between rank orders across time. Families with greater taxonomic diversity occupy a greater percent of available range area during each epoch and net changes in taxonomic diversity are significantly positively related to changes in percent range area occupied from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. Furthermore, gains and losses in generic and species diversity are remarkably consistent with ~2.3 species gained per generic increase. Centroids demonstrate southeastern shifts from the Eocene through the Pleistocene that may correspond to major environmental events and/or climate changes during the Cenozoic. These results demonstrate range conservation at the family level and support the idea that niche conservation at higher taxonomic levels operates over deep time and may be controlled by life history traits. Furthermore, families containing megafauna and/or terminal Pleistocene extinction victims do not incur significantly greater declines in range area rank than families containing only smaller taxa and/or only survivors, from the Pliocene to Pleistocene. Collectively, these data evince the resilience of families to climate and/or environmental change in deep time, the absence of

  12. Making Blood: The Haematopoietic Niche throughout Ontogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad A. Al-Drees

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Approximately one-quarter of all cells in the adult human body are blood cells. The haematopoietic system is therefore massive in scale and requires exquisite regulation to be maintained under homeostatic conditions. It must also be able to respond when needed, such as during infection or following blood loss, to produce more blood cells. Supporting cells serve to maintain haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells during homeostatic and pathological conditions. This coalition of supportive cell types, organised in specific tissues, is termed the haematopoietic niche. Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are generated in a number of distinct locations during mammalian embryogenesis. These stem and progenitor cells migrate to a variety of anatomical locations through the conceptus until finally homing to the bone marrow shortly before birth. Under stress, extramedullary haematopoiesis can take place in regions that are typically lacking in blood-producing activity. Our aim in this review is to examine blood production throughout the embryo and adult, under normal and pathological conditions, to identify commonalities and distinctions between each niche. A clearer understanding of the mechanism underlying each haematopoietic niche can be applied to improving ex vivo cultures of haematopoietic stem cells and potentially lead to new directions for transplantation medicine.

  13. Human niche, human behaviour, human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin

    2017-10-06

    The concept of a 'human nature' or 'human natures' retains a central role in theorizing about the human experience. In Homo sapiens it is clear that we have a suite of capacities generated via our evolutionary past, and present, and a flexible capacity to create and sustain particular kinds of cultures and to be shaped by them. Regardless of whether we label these capacities 'human natures' or not, humans occupy a distinctive niche and an evolutionary approach to examining it is critical. At present we are faced with a few different narratives as to exactly what such an evolutionary approach entails. There is a need for a robust and dynamic theoretical toolkit in order to develop a richer, and more nuanced, understanding of the cognitively sophisticated genus Homo and the diverse sorts of niches humans constructed and occupied across the Pleistocene, Holocene, and into the Anthropocene. Here I review current evolutionary approaches to 'human nature', arguing that we benefit from re-framing our investigations via the concept of the human niche and in the context of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES). While not a replacement of standard evolutionary approaches, this is an expansion and enhancement of our toolkit. I offer brief examples from human evolution in support of these assertions.

  14. Reconsidering the specialist-generalist paradigm in niche breadth dynamics: resource gradient selection by Canada lynx and bobcat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J L Peers

    Full Text Available The long-standing view in ecology is that disparity in overall resource selection is the basis for identifying niche breadth patterns, with species having narrow selection being classified "specialists" and those with broader selection being "generalists". The standard model of niche breadth characterizes generalists and specialists as having comparable levels of overall total resource exploitation, with specialists exploiting resources at a higher level of performance over a narrower range of conditions. This view has gone largely unchallenged. An alternate model predicts total resource use being lower for the specialized species with both peaking at a comparable level of performance over a particular resource gradient. To reconcile the niche breadth paradigm we contrasted both models by developing range-wide species distribution models for Canada lynx, Lynx canadensis, and bobcat, Lynx rufus. Using a suite of environmental factors to define each species' niche, we determined that Canada lynx demonstrated higher total performance over a restricted set of variables, specifically those related to snow and altitude, while bobcat had higher total performance across most variables. Unlike predictions generated by the standard model, bobcat level of exploitation was not compromised by the trade-off with peak performance, and Canada lynx were not restricted to exploiting a narrower range of conditions. Instead, the emergent pattern was that specialist species have a higher total resource utilization and peak performance value within a smaller number of resources or environmental axes than generalists. Our results also indicate that relative differences in niche breadth are strongly dependent on the variable under consideration, implying that the appropriate model describing niche breadth dynamics between specialists and generalists may be more complex than either the traditional heuristic or our modified version. Our results demonstrate a need to re

  15. Host niches and defensive extended phenotypes structure parasitoid wasp communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Bailey

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Oak galls are spectacular extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes in host oak tissues and have evolved complex morphologies that serve, in part, to exclude parasitoid natural enemies.Parasitoids and their insect herbivore hosts have coevolved to produce diverse communities comprising about a third of all animal species. The factors structuring these communities, however, remain poorly understood. An emerging theme in community ecology is the need to consider the effects of host traits, shaped by both natural selection and phylogenetic history, on associated communities of natural enemies. Here we examine the impact of host traits and phylogenetic relatedness on 48 ecologically closed and species-rich communities of parasitoids attacking gall-inducing wasps on oaks. Gallwasps induce the development of spectacular and structurally complex galls whose species- and generation-specific morphologies are the extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes. All the associated natural enemies attack their concealed hosts through gall tissues, and several structural gall traits have been shown to enhance defence against parasitoid attack. Here we explore the significance of these and other host traits in predicting variation in parasitoid community structure across gallwasp species. In particular, we test the "Enemy Hypothesis," which predicts that galls with similar morphology will exclude similar sets of parasitoids and therefore have similar parasitoid communities. Having controlled for phylogenetic patterning in host traits and communities, we found significant correlations between parasitoid community structure and several gall structural traits (toughness, hairiness, stickiness, supporting the Enemy Hypothesis. Parasitoid community structure was also consistently predicted by components of the hosts' spatiotemporal niche, particularly host oak taxonomy and gall location (e.g., leaf versus bud versus seed. The combined explanatory power of structural and

  16. Host Niches and Defensive Extended Phenotypes Structure Parasitoid Wasp Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Richard; Schönrogge, Karsten; Cook, James M.; Melika, George; Csóka, György; Thuróczy, Csaba; Stone, Graham N.

    2009-01-01

    Oak galls are spectacular extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes in host oak tissues and have evolved complex morphologies that serve, in part, to exclude parasitoid natural enemies. Parasitoids and their insect herbivore hosts have coevolved to produce diverse communities comprising about a third of all animal species. The factors structuring these communities, however, remain poorly understood. An emerging theme in community ecology is the need to consider the effects of host traits, shaped by both natural selection and phylogenetic history, on associated communities of natural enemies. Here we examine the impact of host traits and phylogenetic relatedness on 48 ecologically closed and species-rich communities of parasitoids attacking gall-inducing wasps on oaks. Gallwasps induce the development of spectacular and structurally complex galls whose species- and generation-specific morphologies are the extended phenotypes of gallwasp genes. All the associated natural enemies attack their concealed hosts through gall tissues, and several structural gall traits have been shown to enhance defence against parasitoid attack. Here we explore the significance of these and other host traits in predicting variation in parasitoid community structure across gallwasp species. In particular, we test the “Enemy Hypothesis,” which predicts that galls with similar morphology will exclude similar sets of parasitoids and therefore have similar parasitoid communities. Having controlled for phylogenetic patterning in host traits and communities, we found significant correlations between parasitoid community structure and several gall structural traits (toughness, hairiness, stickiness), supporting the Enemy Hypothesis. Parasitoid community structure was also consistently predicted by components of the hosts' spatiotemporal niche, particularly host oak taxonomy and gall location (e.g., leaf versus bud versus seed). The combined explanatory power of structural and spatiotemporal

  17. Assessing the congruence of thermal niche estimations derived from distribution and physiological data. A test using diving beetles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez-Fernández

    Full Text Available A basic aim of ecology is to understand the determinants of organismal distribution, the niche concept and species distribution models providing key frameworks to approach the problem. As temperature is one of the most important factors affecting species distribution, the estimation of thermal limits is crucially important for inferring range constraints. It is expectable that thermal physiology data derived from laboratory experiments and species' occurrences may express different aspects of the species' niche. However, there is no study systematically testing this prediction in a given taxonomic group while controlling by potential phylogenetic inertia. We estimate the thermal niches of twelve Palaearctic diving beetles species using physiological data derived from experimental analyses in order to examine the extent to which these coincided with those estimated from distribution models based on observed occurrences. We found that thermal niche estimates derived from both approaches lack general congruence, and these results were similar before and after controlling by phylogeny. The congruence between potential distributions obtained from the two different procedures was also explored, and we found again that the percentage of agreement were not very high (~60%. We confirm that both thermal niche estimates derived from geographical and physiological data are likely to misrepresent the true range of climatic variation that these diving beetles are able to tolerate, and so these procedures could be considered as incomplete but complementary estimations of an inaccessible reality.

  18. The metabolic consequences of repeated anoxic stress in the western painted turtle, Chrysemys picta bellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Daniel E; Jackson, Donald C

    2017-01-01

    The painted turtle is known for its extreme tolerance to anoxia, but it is unknown whether previous experience with anoxic stress might alter physiological performance during or following a test bout of anoxia. Repeatedly subjecting 25°C-acclimated painted turtles to 2h of anoxic stress every other day for 19days (10 submergence bouts total) caused resting levels of liver glycogen to decrease by 17% and liver citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome oxidase (COX) activities to increase by 33% and 112%, respectively. When the repeatedly submerged turtles were studied during a subsequent anoxic stress test, liver COX and CS activities decreased during anoxia to the same levels of naïve turtles, which were unchanged, and remained there throughout metabolic recovery. There were no effects of the repeated anoxia treatment on any of the other measured variables, which included lactate dehydrogenase and phosphofructokinase activities in liver, skeletal muscle, and ventricle, blood acid-base sta