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Sample records for bayesian salamanders analysing

  1. Bayesian salamanders: analysing the demography of an underground population of the European plethodontid Speleomantes strinatii with state-space modelling

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    Salvidio Sebastiano

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been suggested that Plethodontid salamanders are excellent candidates for indicating ecosystem health. However, detailed, long-term data sets of their populations are rare, limiting our understanding of the demographic processes underlying their population fluctuations. Here we present a demographic analysis based on a 1996 - 2008 data set on an underground population of Speleomantes strinatii (Aellen in NW Italy. We utilised a Bayesian state-space approach allowing us to parameterise a stage-structured Lefkovitch model. We used all the available population data from annual temporary removal experiments to provide us with the baseline data on the numbers of juveniles, subadults and adult males and females present at any given time. Results Sampling the posterior chains of the converged state-space model gives us the likelihood distributions of the state-specific demographic rates and the associated uncertainty of these estimates. Analysing the resulting parameterised Lefkovitch matrices shows that the population growth is very close to 1, and that at population equilibrium we expect half of the individuals present to be adults of reproductive age which is what we also observe in the data. Elasticity analysis shows that adult survival is the key determinant for population growth. Conclusion This analysis demonstrates how an understanding of population demography can be gained from structured population data even in a case where following marked individuals over their whole lifespan is not practical.

  2. Bayesian Uncertainty Analyses Via Deterministic Model

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    Krzysztofowicz, R.

    2001-05-01

    Rational decision-making requires that the total uncertainty about a variate of interest (a predictand) be quantified in terms of a probability distribution, conditional on all available information and knowledge. Suppose the state-of-knowledge is embodied in a deterministic model, which is imperfect and outputs only an estimate of the predictand. Fundamentals are presented of three Bayesian approaches to producing a probability distribution of the predictand via any deterministic model. The Bayesian Processor of Output (BPO) quantifies the total uncertainty in terms of a posterior distribution, conditional on model output. The Bayesian Processor of Ensemble (BPE) quantifies the total uncertainty in terms of a posterior distribution, conditional on an ensemble of model output. The Bayesian Forecasting System (BFS) decomposes the total uncertainty into input uncertainty and model uncertainty, which are characterized independently and then integrated into a predictive distribution.

  3. Small sample Bayesian analyses in assessment of weapon performance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Abundant test data are required in assessment of weapon performance.When weapon test data are insufficient,Bayesian analyses in small sample circumstance should be considered and the test data should be provided by simulations.The several Bayesian approaches are discussed and some limitations are founded.An improvement is put forward after limitations of Bayesian approaches available are analyzed and t he improved approach is applied to assessment of some new weapon performance.

  4. Bayesian Analyses of Nonhomogeneous Autoregressive Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-09-01

    random coefficient autoregressive processes have a wide applicability in the analysis of economic, sociological, biological and industrial data...1980). Approximate Bayesian Methods. Trabajos Estadistica , Vol. 32, pp. 223-237. LIU, L. M. and G. C. TIAO (1980). Random Coefficient First

  5. The application of Bayesian networks in natural hazard analyses

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    K. Vogel

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In natural hazards we face several uncertainties due to our lack of knowledge and/or the intrinsic randomness of the underlying natural processes. Nevertheless, deterministic analysis approaches are still widely used in natural hazard assessments, with the pitfall of underestimating the hazard with potentially disastrous consequences. In this paper we show that the Bayesian network approach offers a flexible framework for capturing and expressing a broad range of different uncertainties as those encountered in natural hazard assessments. Although well studied in theory, the application of Bayesian networks on real-world data is often not straightforward and requires specific tailoring and adaption of existing algorithms. We demonstrate by way of three case studies (a ground motion model for a seismic hazard analysis, a flood damage assessment, and a landslide susceptibility study the applicability of Bayesian networks across different domains showcasing various properties and benefits of the Bayesian network framework. We offer suggestions as how to tackle practical problems arising along the way, mainly concentrating on the handling of continuous variables, missing observations, and the interaction of both. We stress that our networks are completely data-driven, although prior domain knowledge can be included if desired.

  6. Comparison Between Bayesian and Maximum Entropy Analyses of Flow Networks†

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    Steven H. Waldrip

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available We compare the application of Bayesian inference and the maximum entropy (MaxEnt method for the analysis of flow networks, such as water, electrical and transport networks. The two methods have the advantage of allowing a probabilistic prediction of flow rates and other variables, when there is insufficient information to obtain a deterministic solution, and also allow the effects of uncertainty to be included. Both methods of inference update a prior to a posterior probability density function (pdf by the inclusion of new information, in the form of data or constraints. The MaxEnt method maximises an entropy function subject to constraints, using the method of Lagrange multipliers,to give the posterior, while the Bayesian method finds its posterior by multiplying the prior with likelihood functions incorporating the measured data. In this study, we examine MaxEnt using soft constraints, either included in the prior or as probabilistic constraints, in addition to standard moment constraints. We show that when the prior is Gaussian,both Bayesian inference and the MaxEnt method with soft prior constraints give the same posterior means, but their covariances are different. In the Bayesian method, the interactions between variables are applied through the likelihood function, using second or higher-order cross-terms within the posterior pdf. In contrast, the MaxEnt method incorporates interactions between variables using Lagrange multipliers, avoiding second-order correlation terms in the posterior covariance. The MaxEnt method with soft prior constraints, therefore, has a numerical advantage over Bayesian inference, in that the covariance terms are avoided in its integrations. The second MaxEnt method with soft probabilistic constraints is shown to give posterior means of similar, but not identical, structure to the other two methods, due to its different formulation.

  7. Analysing uncertainties: Towards comparing Bayesian and interval probabilities'

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    Blockley, David

    2013-05-01

    Two assumptions, commonly made in risk and reliability studies, have a long history. The first is that uncertainty is either aleatoric or epistemic. The second is that standard probability theory is sufficient to express uncertainty. The purposes of this paper are to provide a conceptual analysis of uncertainty and to compare Bayesian approaches with interval approaches with an example relevant to research on climate change. The analysis reveals that the categorisation of uncertainty as either aleatoric or epistemic is unsatisfactory for practical decision making. It is argued that uncertainty emerges from three conceptually distinctive and orthogonal attributes FIR i.e., fuzziness, incompleteness (epistemic) and randomness (aleatory). Characterisations of uncertainty, such as ambiguity, dubiety and conflict, are complex mixes of interactions in an FIR space. To manage future risks in complex systems it will be important to recognise the extent to which we 'don't know' about possible unintended and unwanted consequences or unknown-unknowns. In this way we may be more alert to unexpected hazards. The Bayesian approach is compared with an interval probability approach to show one way in which conflict due to incomplete information can be managed.

  8. Dynamic Bayesian filtering for real-time seismic analyses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blough, D.K.; Rohay, A.C.; Anderson, K.K.; Nicholson, W.L.

    1994-04-01

    State space modeling, which includes techniques such as the Kalman filter, has been used to analyze many non-stationary time series. The ability of these dynamic models to adapt and track changes in the underlying process makes them attractive for application to the real-time analysis of three-component seismic waveforms. The authors are investigating the application of state space models formulated as Bayesian time series models to phase detection, polarization, and spectrogram estimation of seismograms. This approach removes the need to specify data windows in the time series for time averaging estimation (e.g., spectrum estimation). They are using this model to isolate particular seismic phases based on polarization parameters that are determined at a spectrum of frequencies. They plan to use polarization parameters, frequency spectra, and magnitudes to discriminate between different types of seismic sources. They present the application of this technique to artificial time series and to several real seismic events including the Non-Proliferation Experiment (NPE) two nuclear tests and three earthquakes from the Nevada Test site, as recorded on several regional broadband seismic stations. A preliminary result of this analysis indicates that earthquakes and explosions can potentially be discriminated on the bass of the polarization characteristics of scattered seismic phases. However, the chemical (NPE) and nuclear explosions appear to have very similar polarization characteristics.

  9. Bayesian inference analyses of the polygenic architecture of rheumatoid arthritis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stahl, Eli A.; Wegmann, Daniel; Trynka, Gosia; Gutierrez-Achury, Javier; Do, Ron; Voight, Benjamin F.; Kraft, Peter; Chen, Robert; Kallberg, Henrik J.; Kurreeman, Fina A. S.; Kathiresan, Sekar; Wijmenga, Cisca; Gregersen, Peter K.; Alfredsson, Lars; Siminovitch, Katherine A.; Worthington, Jane; de Bakker, Paul I. W.; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Plenge, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    The genetic architectures of common, complex diseases are largely uncharacterized. We modeled the genetic architecture underlying genome-wide association study (GWAS) data for rheumatoid arthritis and developed a new method using polygenic risk-score analyses to infer the total liability-scale varia

  10. Salamander Saver

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    Ilseman, Kelly; Hoffmann, Kristine

    2016-01-01

    On a spring morning in Maine, traps made of nets rise above vernal pools in a small wetland, ready to collect salamanders. The traps were designed by groups of rural and urban high school students from Maine and Massachusetts participating in the University of Maine Upward Bound Math Science Program (UBMS) at the university campus in Orono, Maine.…

  11. Priors, Posterior Odds and Lagrange Multiplier Statistics in Bayesian Analyses of Cointegration

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    F.R. Kleibergen (Frank); R. Paap (Richard)

    1996-01-01

    textabstractUsing the standard linear model as a base, a unified theory of Bayesian Analyses of Cointegration Models is constructed. This is achieved by defining (natural conjugate) priors in the linear model and using the implied priors for the cointegration model. Using these priors, posterior res

  12. Evidence of a major gene from Bayesian segregation analyses of liability to osteochondral diseases in pigs

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    Kadarmideen, H.N.; Janss, L.L.G.

    2005-01-01

    Bayesian segregation analyses were used to investigate the mode of inheritance of osteochondral lesions (osteochondrosis, OC) in pigs. Data consisted of 1163 animals with OC and their pedigrees included 2891 animals. Mixed-inheritance threshold models (MITM) and several variants of MITM, in conjunct

  13. Histological and MS spectrometric analyses of the modified tissue of bulgy form tadpoles induced by salamander predation

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    Tsukasa Mori

    2012-02-01

    The rapid induction of a defensive morphology by a prey species in face of a predation risk is an intriguing in ecological context; however, the physiological mechanisms that underlie this phenotypic plasticity remain uncertain. Here we investigated the phenotypic changes shown by Rana pirica tadpoles in response to a predation threat by larvae of the salamander Hynobius retardatus. One such response is the bulgy morph phenotype, a relatively rapid swelling in size by the tadpoles that begins within 4 days and reaches a maximum at 8 to 10 days. We found that although the total volume of bodily fluid increased significantly (P<0.01 in bulgy morph tadpoles, osmotic pressure was maintained at the same level as control tadpoles by a significant increase (P<0.01 in Na and Cl ion concentrations. In our previous report, we identified a novel frog gene named pirica that affects the waterproofing of the skin membrane in tadpoles. Our results support the hypothesis that predator-induced expression of pirica on the skin membrane causes retention of absorbed water. Midline sections of bulgy morph tadpoles showed the presence of swollen connective tissue beneath the skin that was sparsely composed of cells containing hyaluronic acid. Mass spectrographic (LC-MS/MS analysis identified histone H3 and 14-3-3 zeta as the most abundant constituents in the liquid aspirated from the connective tissue of bulgy tadpoles. Immunohistochemistry using antibodies against these proteins showed the presence of non-chromatin associated histone H3 in the swollen connective tissue. Histones and 14-3-3 proteins are also involved in antimicrobial activity and secretion of antibacterial proteins, respectively. Bulgy tadpoles have a larger surface area than controls, and their skin often has bite wounds inflicted by the larval salamanders. Thus, formation of the bulgy morph may also require and be supported by activation of innate immune systems.

  14. Hierarchical structure of the Sicilian goats revealed by Bayesian analyses of microsatellite information.

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    Siwek, M; Finocchiaro, R; Curik, I; Portolano, B

    2011-02-01

    Genetic structure and relationship amongst the main goat populations in Sicily (Girgentana, Derivata di Siria, Maltese and Messinese) were analysed using information from 19 microsatellite markers genotyped on 173 individuals. A posterior Bayesian approach implemented in the program STRUCTURE revealed a hierarchical structure with two clusters at the first level (Girgentana vs. Messinese, Derivata di Siria and Maltese), explaining 4.8% of variation (amovaФ(ST) estimate). Seven clusters nested within these first two clusters (further differentiations of Girgentana, Derivata di Siria and Maltese), explaining 8.5% of variation (amovaФ(SC) estimate). The analyses and methods applied in this study indicate their power to detect subtle population structure.

  15. ObStruct: a method to objectively analyse factors driving population structure using Bayesian ancestry profiles.

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    Velimir Gayevskiy

    Full Text Available Bayesian inference methods are extensively used to detect the presence of population structure given genetic data. The primary output of software implementing these methods are ancestry profiles of sampled individuals. While these profiles robustly partition the data into subgroups, currently there is no objective method to determine whether the fixed factor of interest (e.g. geographic origin correlates with inferred subgroups or not, and if so, which populations are driving this correlation. We present ObStruct, a novel tool to objectively analyse the nature of structure revealed in Bayesian ancestry profiles using established statistical methods. ObStruct evaluates the extent of structural similarity between sampled and inferred populations, tests the significance of population differentiation, provides information on the contribution of sampled and inferred populations to the observed structure and crucially determines whether the predetermined factor of interest correlates with inferred population structure. Analyses of simulated and experimental data highlight ObStruct's ability to objectively assess the nature of structure in populations. We show the method is capable of capturing an increase in the level of structure with increasing time since divergence between simulated populations. Further, we applied the method to a highly structured dataset of 1,484 humans from seven continents and a less structured dataset of 179 Saccharomyces cerevisiae from three regions in New Zealand. Our results show that ObStruct provides an objective metric to classify the degree, drivers and significance of inferred structure, as well as providing novel insights into the relationships between sampled populations, and adds a final step to the pipeline for population structure analyses.

  16. Distinguishing real from fake ivory products by elemental analyses: A Bayesian hybrid classification method.

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    Buddhachat, Kittisak; Brown, Janine L; Thitaram, Chatchote; Klinhom, Sarisa; Nganvongpanit, Korakot

    2017-03-01

    As laws tighten to limit commercial ivory trading and protect threatened species like whales and elephants, increased sales of fake ivory products have become widespread. This study describes a method, handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) as a noninvasive technique for elemental analysis, to differentiate quickly between ivory (Asian and African elephant, mammoth) from non-ivory (bones, teeth, antler, horn, wood, synthetic resin, rock) materials. An equation consisting of 20 elements and light elements from a stepwise discriminant analysis was used to classify samples, followed by Bayesian binary regression to determine the probability of a sample being 'ivory', with complementary log log analysis to identify the best fit model for this purpose. This Bayesian hybrid classification model was 93% accurate with 92% precision in discriminating ivory from non-ivory materials. The method was then validated by scanning an additional ivory and non-ivory samples, correctly identifying bone as not ivory with >95% accuracy, except elephant bone, which was 72%. It was less accurate for wood and rock (25-85%); however, a preliminary screening to determine if samples are not Ca-dominant could eliminate inorganic materials. In conclusion, elemental analyses by XRF can be used to identify several forms of fake ivory samples, which could have forensic application.

  17. Hellbender genome sequences shed light on genomic expansion at the base of crown salamanders.

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    Sun, Cheng; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2014-07-01

    Among animals, genome sizes range from 20 Mb to 130 Gb, with 380-fold variation across vertebrates. Most of the largest vertebrate genomes are found in salamanders, an amphibian clade of 660 species. Thus, salamanders are an important system for studying causes and consequences of genomic gigantism. Previously, we showed that plethodontid salamander genomes accumulate higher levels of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons than do other vertebrates, although the evolutionary origins of such sequences remained unexplored. We also showed that some salamanders in the family Plethodontidae have relatively slow rates of DNA loss through small insertions and deletions. Here, we present new data from Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, the hellbender. Cryptobranchus and Plethodontidae span the basal phylogenetic split within salamanders; thus, analyses incorporating these taxa can shed light on the genome of the ancestral crown salamander lineage, which underwent expansion. We show that high levels of LTR retrotransposons likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that disproportionate expansion of this transposable element (TE) class contributed to genomic expansion. Phylogenetic and age distribution analyses of salamander LTR retrotransposons indicate that salamanders' high TE levels reflect persistence and diversification of ancestral TEs rather than horizontal transfer events. Finally, we show that relatively slow DNA loss rates through small indels likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that a decreased DNA loss rate contributed to genomic expansion at the clade's base. Our identification of shared genomic features across phylogenetically distant salamanders is a first step toward identifying the evolutionary processes underlying accumulation and persistence of high levels of repetitive sequence in salamander genomes.

  18. Combining Volcano Monitoring Timeseries Analyses with Bayesian Belief Networks to Update Hazard Forecast Estimates

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    Odbert, Henry; Hincks, Thea; Aspinall, Willy

    2015-04-01

    Volcanic hazard assessments must combine information about the physical processes of hazardous phenomena with observations that indicate the current state of a volcano. Incorporating both these lines of evidence can inform our belief about the likelihood (probability) and consequences (impact) of possible hazardous scenarios, forming a basis for formal quantitative hazard assessment. However, such evidence is often uncertain, indirect or incomplete. Approaches to volcano monitoring have advanced substantially in recent decades, increasing the variety and resolution of multi-parameter timeseries data recorded at volcanoes. Interpreting these multiple strands of parallel, partial evidence thus becomes increasingly complex. In practice, interpreting many timeseries requires an individual to be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the volcano, monitoring techniques, configuration of recording instruments, observations from other datasets, and so on. In making such interpretations, an individual must consider how different volcanic processes may manifest as measureable observations, and then infer from the available data what can or cannot be deduced about those processes. We examine how parts of this process may be synthesised algorithmically using Bayesian inference. Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) use probability theory to treat and evaluate uncertainties in a rational and auditable scientific manner, but only to the extent warranted by the strength of the available evidence. The concept is a suitable framework for marshalling multiple strands of evidence (e.g. observations, model results and interpretations) and their associated uncertainties in a methodical manner. BBNs are usually implemented in graphical form and could be developed as a tool for near real-time, ongoing use in a volcano observatory, for example. We explore the application of BBNs in analysing volcanic data from the long-lived eruption at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. We show how our method

  19. Bootstrap, Bayesian probability and maximum likelihood mapping: exploring new tools for comparative genome analyses

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    Gogarten J Peter

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Horizontal gene transfer (HGT played an important role in shaping microbial genomes. In addition to genes under sporadic selection, HGT also affects housekeeping genes and those involved in information processing, even ribosomal RNA encoding genes. Here we describe tools that provide an assessment and graphic illustration of the mosaic nature of microbial genomes. Results We adapted the Maximum Likelihood (ML mapping to the analyses of all detected quartets of orthologous genes found in four genomes. We have automated the assembly and analyses of these quartets of orthologs given the selection of four genomes. We compared the ML-mapping approach to more rigorous Bayesian probability and Bootstrap mapping techniques. The latter two approaches appear to be more conservative than the ML-mapping approach, but qualitatively all three approaches give equivalent results. All three tools were tested on mitochondrial genomes, which presumably were inherited as a single linkage group. Conclusions In some instances of interphylum relationships we find nearly equal numbers of quartets strongly supporting the three possible topologies. In contrast, our analyses of genome quartets containing the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. indicate that a large part of the cyanobacterial genome is related to that of low GC Gram positives. Other groups that had been suggested as sister groups to the cyanobacteria contain many fewer genes that group with the Synechocystis orthologs. Interdomain comparisons of genome quartets containing the archaeon Halobacterium sp. revealed that Halobacterium sp. shares more genes with Bacteria that live in the same environment than with Bacteria that are more closely related based on rRNA phylogeny . Many of these genes encode proteins involved in substrate transport and metabolism and in information storage and processing. The performed analyses demonstrate that relationships among prokaryotes cannot be accurately

  20. A multinomial logit model-Bayesian network hybrid approach for driver injury severity analyses in rear-end crashes.

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    Chen, Cong; Zhang, Guohui; Tarefder, Rafiqul; Ma, Jianming; Wei, Heng; Guan, Hongzhi

    2015-07-01

    Rear-end crash is one of the most common types of traffic crashes in the U.S. A good understanding of its characteristics and contributing factors is of practical importance. Previously, both multinomial Logit models and Bayesian network methods have been used in crash modeling and analysis, respectively, although each of them has its own application restrictions and limitations. In this study, a hybrid approach is developed to combine multinomial logit models and Bayesian network methods for comprehensively analyzing driver injury severities in rear-end crashes based on state-wide crash data collected in New Mexico from 2010 to 2011. A multinomial logit model is developed to investigate and identify significant contributing factors for rear-end crash driver injury severities classified into three categories: no injury, injury, and fatality. Then, the identified significant factors are utilized to establish a Bayesian network to explicitly formulate statistical associations between injury severity outcomes and explanatory attributes, including driver behavior, demographic features, vehicle factors, geometric and environmental characteristics, etc. The test results demonstrate that the proposed hybrid approach performs reasonably well. The Bayesian network reference analyses indicate that the factors including truck-involvement, inferior lighting conditions, windy weather conditions, the number of vehicles involved, etc. could significantly increase driver injury severities in rear-end crashes. The developed methodology and estimation results provide insights for developing effective countermeasures to reduce rear-end crash injury severities and improve traffic system safety performance.

  1. Evolution of gigantism in amphiumid salamanders.

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    Bonett, Ronald M; Chippindale, Paul T; Moler, Paul E; Van Devender, R Wayne; Wake, David B

    2009-05-20

    The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter), extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders.

  2. Evolution of gigantism in amphiumid salamanders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald M Bonett

    Full Text Available The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter, extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders.

  3. Plethodontid salamander mitochondrial genomics: A parsimonyevaluation of character conflict and implications for historicalbiogeography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macey, J. Robert

    2005-01-19

    A new parsimony analysis of 27 complete mitochondrial genomic sequences is conducted to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of plethodontid salamanders. This analysis focuses on the amount of character conflict between phylogenetic trees recovered from newly conducted parsimony searches and the Bayesian and maximum likelihood topology reported by Mueller et al. (2004, PNAS, 101, 13820-13825). Strong support for Hemidactylium as the sister taxon to all other plethodontids is recovered from parsimony analyses. Plotting area relationships on the most parsimonious phylogenetic tree suggests that eastern North America is the origin of the family Plethodontidae supporting the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis. A new taxonomy that recognizes clades recovered from phylogenetic analyses is proposed.

  4. Evolutionary cytogenetics in salamanders.

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    Sessions, Stanley K

    2008-01-01

    Salamanders (Amphibia: Caudata/Urodela) have been the subject of numerous cytogenetic studies, and data on karyotypes and genome sizes are available for most groups. Salamanders show a more-or-less distinct dichotomy between families with large chromosome numbers and interspecific variation in chromosome number, relative size, and shape (i.e. position of the centromere), and those that exhibit very little variation in these karyological features. This dichotomy is the basis of a major model of karyotype evolution in salamanders involving a kind of 'karyotypic orthoselection'. Salamanders are also characterized by extremely large genomes (in terms of absolute mass of nuclear DNA) and extensive variation in genome size (and overall size of the chromosomes), which transcends variation in chromosome number and shape. The biological significance and evolution of chromosome number and shape within the karyotype is not yet understood, but genome size variation has been found to have strong phenotypic, biogeographic, and phylogenetic correlates that reveal information about the biological significance of this cytogenetic variable. Urodeles also present the advantage of only 10 families and less than 600 species, which facilitates the analysis of patterns within the entire order. The purpose of this review is to present a summary of what is currently known about overall patterns of variation in karyology and genome size in salamanders. These patterns are discussed within an evolutionary context.

  5. Association analyses of the MAS-QTL data set using grammar, principal components and Bayesian network methodologies

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    Karacaören Burak

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been shown that if genetic relationships among individuals are not taken into account for genome wide association studies, this may lead to false positives. To address this problem, we used Genome-wide Rapid Association using Mixed Model and Regression and principal component stratification analyses. To account for linkage disequilibrium among the significant markers, principal components loadings obtained from top markers can be included as covariates. Estimation of Bayesian networks may also be useful to investigate linkage disequilibrium among SNPs and their relation with environmental variables. For the quantitative trait we first estimated residuals while taking polygenic effects into account. We then used a single SNP approach to detect the most significant SNPs based on the residuals and applied principal component regression to take linkage disequilibrium among these SNPs into account. For the categorical trait we used principal component stratification methodology to account for background effects. For correction of linkage disequilibrium we used principal component logit regression. Bayesian networks were estimated to investigate relationship among SNPs. Results Using the Genome-wide Rapid Association using Mixed Model and Regression and principal component stratification approach we detected around 100 significant SNPs for the quantitative trait (p Conclusions GRAMMAR could efficiently incorporate the information regarding random genetic effects. Principal component stratification should be cautiously used with stringent multiple hypothesis testing correction to correct for ancestral stratification and association analyses for binary traits when there are systematic genetic effects such as half sib family structures. Bayesian networks are useful to investigate relationships among SNPs and environmental variables.

  6. Mid-Holocene decline in African buffalos inferred from Bayesian coalescence-based analyses of microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA

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    Heller, Rasmus; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Okello, J.B.A;

    2008-01-01

    Genetic studies concerned with the demographic history of wildlife species can help elucidate the role of climate change and other forces such as human activity in shaping patterns of divergence and distribution. The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) declined dramatically during the rinderpest...... pandemic in the late 1800s, but little is known about the earlier demographic history of the species. We analysed genetic variation at 17 microsatellite loci and a 302-bp fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region to infer past demographic changes in buffalo populations from East Africa. Two Bayesian...... of African buffalo population declines in the order of 75-98%, starting in the mid-Holocene (approximately 3-7000 years ago). The signature of decline was remarkably consistent using two different coalescent-based methods and two types of molecular markers. Exploratory analyses involving various prior...

  7. A new hierarchical Bayesian approach to analyse environmental and climatic influences on debris flow occurrence

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    Jomelli, Vincent; Pavlova, Irina; Eckert, Nicolas; Grancher, Delphine; Brunstein, Daniel

    2015-12-01

    How can debris flow occurrences be modelled at regional scale and take both environmental and climatic conditions into account? And, of the two, which has the most influence on debris flow activity? In this paper, we try to answer these questions with an innovative Bayesian hierarchical probabilistic model that simultaneously accounts for how debris flows respond to environmental and climatic variables. In it, full decomposition of space and time effects in occurrence probabilities is assumed, revealing an environmental and a climatic trend shared by all years/catchments, respectively, clearly distinguished from residual "random" effects. The resulting regional and annual occurrence probabilities evaluated as functions of the covariates make it possible to weight the respective contribution of the different terms and, more generally, to check the model performances at different spatio-temporal scales. After suitable validation, the model can be used to make predictions at undocumented sites and could be used in further studies for predictions under future climate conditions. Also, the Bayesian paradigm easily copes with missing data, thus making it possible to account for events that may have been missed during surveys. As a case study, we extract 124 debris flow event triggered between 1970 and 2005 in 27 catchments located in the French Alps from the French national natural hazard survey and model their variability of occurrence considering environmental and climatic predictors at the same time. We document the environmental characteristics of each debris flow catchment (morphometry, lithology, land cover, and the presence of permafrost). We also compute 15 climate variables including mean temperature and precipitation between May and October and the number of rainy days with daily cumulative rainfall greater than 10/15/20/25/30/40 mm day- 1. Application of our model shows that the combination of environmental and climatic predictors explained 77% of the overall

  8. Data congruence, paedomorphosis and salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Struck Torsten H

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The retention of ancestral juvenile characters by adult stages of descendants is called paedomorphosis. However, this process can mislead phylogenetic analyses based on morphological data, even in combination with molecular data, because the assessment if a character is primary absent or secondary lost is difficult. Thus, the detection of incongruence between morphological and molecular data is necessary to investigate the reliability of simultaneous analyses. Different methods have been proposed to detect data congruence or incongruence. Five of them (PABA, PBS, NDI, LILD, DRI are used herein to assess incongruence between morphological and molecular data in a case study addressing salamander phylogeny, which comprises several supposedly paedomorphic taxa. Therefore, previously published data sets were compiled herein. Furthermore, two strategies ameliorating effects of paedomorphosis on phylogenetic studies were tested herein using a statistical rigor. Additionally, efficiency of the different methods to assess incongruence was analyzed using this empirical data set. Finally, a test statistic is presented for all these methods except DRI. Results The addition of morphological data to molecular data results in both different positions of three of the four paedomorphic taxa and strong incongruence, but treating the morphological data using different strategies ameliorating the negative impact of paedomorphosis revokes these changes and minimizes the conflict. Of these strategies the strategy to just exclude paedomorphic character traits seem to be most beneficial. Of the three molecular partitions analyzed herein the RAG1 partition seems to be the most suitable to resolve deep salamander phylogeny. The rRNA and mtDNA partition are either too conserved or too variable, respectively. Of the different methods to detect incongruence, the NDI and PABA approaches are more conservative in the indication of incongruence than LILD and

  9. Landmark learning by juvenile salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuring, Whitney L; Mathis, Alicia

    2014-10-01

    Learning to use a landmark as a beacon to locate resources is one of the simplest forms of spatial learning. We tested whether landmark learning occurs in a semifossorial salamander that migrates annually to breeding ponds as adults. Juvenile spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) were tested in square containers with a plastic feeding dish in each corner, and a piece of earthworm was placed in one randomly-chosen dish. For landmark-trained salamanders, a rock was placed beside the dish containing the prey. For control salamanders, the rock was placed beside a randomly selected feeding dish. Each salamander was trained once every 2 days for 30 days. Significantly more landmark-trained salamanders than control salamanders entered the landmark area first, and landmark-trained individuals had faster latencies to enter the landmark area and longer stay-times. These results suggest that spotted salamanders are able to locate resources by associating their positions with landmarks.

  10. Bayesian cohort and cross-sectional analyses of the PINCER trial: a pharmacist-led intervention to reduce medication errors in primary care.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Hemming

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Medication errors are an important source of potentially preventable morbidity and mortality. The PINCER study, a cluster randomised controlled trial, is one of the world's first experimental studies aiming to reduce the risk of such medication related potential for harm in general practice. Bayesian analyses can improve the clinical interpretability of trial findings. METHODS: Experts were asked to complete a questionnaire to elicit opinions of the likely effectiveness of the intervention for the key outcomes of interest--three important primary care medication errors. These were averaged to generate collective prior distributions, which were then combined with trial data to generate bayesian posterior distributions. The trial data were analysed in two ways: firstly replicating the trial reported cohort analysis acknowledging pairing of observations, but excluding non-paired observations; and secondly as cross-sectional data, with no exclusions, but without acknowledgement of the pairing. Frequentist and bayesian analyses were compared. FINDINGS: Bayesian evaluations suggest that the intervention is able to reduce the likelihood of one of the medication errors by about 50 (estimated to be between 20% and 70%. However, for the other two main outcomes considered, the evidence that the intervention is able to reduce the likelihood of prescription errors is less conclusive. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians are interested in what trial results mean to them, as opposed to what trial results suggest for future experiments. This analysis suggests that the PINCER intervention is strongly effective in reducing the likelihood of one of the important errors; not necessarily effective in reducing the other errors. Depending on the clinical importance of the respective errors, careful consideration should be given before implementation, and refinement targeted at the other errors may be something to consider.

  11. Likelihood and Bayesian analyses reveal major genes affecting body composition, carcass, meat quality and the number of false teats in a Chinese European pig line

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Roy Pascale

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Segregation analyses were performed using both maximum likelihood – via a Quasi Newton algorithm – (ML-QN and Bayesian – via Gibbs sampling – (Bayesian-GS approaches in the Chinese European Tiameslan pig line. Major genes were searched for average ultrasonic backfat thickness (ABT, carcass fat (X2 and X4 and lean (X5 depths, days from 20 to 100 kg (D20100, Napole technological yield (NTY, number of false (FTN and good (GTN teats, as well as total teat number (TTN. The discrete nature of FTN was additionally considered using a threshold model under ML methodology. The results obtained with both methods consistently suggested the presence of major genes affecting ABT, X2, NTY, GTN and FTN. Major genes were also suggested for X4 and X5 using ML-QN, but not the Bayesian-GS, approach. The major gene affecting FTN was confirmed using the threshold model. Genetic correlations as well as gene effect and genotype frequency estimates suggested the presence of four different major genes. The first gene would affect fatness traits (ABT, X2 and X4, the second one a leanness trait (X5, the third one NTY and the last one GTN and FTN. Genotype frequencies of breeding animals and their evolution over time were consistent with the selection performed in the Tiameslan line.

  12. Sexual dimorphism and age of Mediterranean salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhard, Sandy; Renner, Sandra; Kupfer, Alexander

    2015-02-01

    We analysed sexual size dimorphism (SSD) for two Mediterranean species of the "true" salamander clade possessing distinct life histories (Salamandra algira and Mertensiella caucasica) and equilibrated the morphometric approach to individual age by using skeletochronology. For species that have a short breeding season and live at high altitudes, such as Mediterranean amphibians, the fecundity advantage hypothesis predicts female-biased SSD to maximise reproductive success. Our results showed no SSD in either species; however, morphometric data indicated a male-biased dimorphism in limb (arm and leg) dimensions in both species when compared to body size. Limb dimorphisms are likely related to the particular mating system, which involves an amplexus during spermatophore transfer. Arm length appeared sexually dimorphic during ontogeny both in viviparous S. algira and oviparous M. caucasica. A review on SSD indicated monomorphy of body size as a common lineage-specific pattern among the "true" salamander clade, but also the common presence of other traits such as sexually dimorphic limb proportions.

  13. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution, and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Macey, J. Robert; Jaekel, Martin; Wake, David B.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-08-01

    The evolutionary history of the largest salamander family (Plethodontidae) is characterized by extreme morphological homoplasy. Analysis of the mechanisms generating such homoplasy requires an independent, molecular phylogeny. To this end, we sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial genomes (22 plethodontids and two outgroup taxa), added data for three species from GenBank, and performed partitioned and unpartitioned Bayesian, ML, and MP phylogenetic analyses. We explored four dataset partitioning strategies to account for evolutionary process heterogeneity among genes and codon positions, all of which yielded increased model likelihoods and decreased numbers of supported nodes in the topologies (PP > 0.95) relative to the unpartitioned analysis. Our phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees that contrast with the traditional morphology-based taxonomy; the monophyly of three out of four major groups is rejected. Reanalysis of current hypotheses in light of these new evolutionary relationships suggests that (1) a larval life history stage re-evolved from a direct-developing ancestor multiple times, (2) there is no phylogenetic support for the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis of plethodontid origins, and (3) novel scenarios must be reconstructed for the convergent evolution of projectile tongues, reduction in toe number, and specialization for defensive tail loss. Some of these novel scenarios imply morphological transformation series that proceed in the opposite direction than was previously thought. In addition, they suggest surprising evolutionary lability in traits previously interpreted to be conservative.

  14. Shifty salamanders: transient trophic polymorphism and cannibalism within natural populations of larval ambystomatid salamanders

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferson, Dale M; Ferrari, Maud CO; Mathis, Alicia; Hobson, Keith A.; Eric R Britzke; Crane, Adam L; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Many species of ambystomatid salamanders are dependent upon highly variable temporary wetlands for larval development. High larval densities may prompt the expression of a distinct head morphology that may facilitate cannibalism. However, few studies have characterized structural cannibalism within natural populations of larval salamanders. In this study we used two species of larval salamanders, long-toed (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and ringed salamanders (A. annulatum). Head morp...

  15. Quantifying Trace Amounts of Aggregates in Biopharmaceuticals Using Analytical Ultracentrifugation Sedimentation Velocity: Bayesian Analyses and F Statistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wafer, Lucas; Kloczewiak, Marek; Luo, Yin

    2016-07-01

    Analytical ultracentrifugation-sedimentation velocity (AUC-SV) is often used to quantify high molar mass species (HMMS) present in biopharmaceuticals. Although these species are often present in trace quantities, they have received significant attention due to their potential immunogenicity. Commonly, AUC-SV data is analyzed as a diffusion-corrected, sedimentation coefficient distribution, or c(s), using SEDFIT to numerically solve Lamm-type equations. SEDFIT also utilizes maximum entropy or Tikhonov-Phillips regularization to further allow the user to determine relevant sample information, including the number of species present, their sedimentation coefficients, and their relative abundance. However, this methodology has several, often unstated, limitations, which may impact the final analysis of protein therapeutics. These include regularization-specific effects, artificial "ripple peaks," and spurious shifts in the sedimentation coefficients. In this investigation, we experimentally verified that an explicit Bayesian approach, as implemented in SEDFIT, can largely correct for these effects. Clear guidelines on how to implement this technique and interpret the resulting data, especially for samples containing micro-heterogeneity (e.g., differential glycosylation), are also provided. In addition, we demonstrated how the Bayesian approach can be combined with F statistics to draw more accurate conclusions and rigorously exclude artifactual peaks. Numerous examples with an antibody and an antibody-drug conjugate were used to illustrate the strengths and drawbacks of each technique.

  16. Thermal equilibrium and temperature differences among body regions in European plethodontid salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Canciani, Giancarlo; Scarì, Giorgio; Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2016-08-01

    Information on species thermal physiology is extremely important to understand species responses to environmental heterogeneity and changes. Thermography is an emerging technology that allows high resolution and accurate measurement of body temperature, but until now it has not been used to study thermal physiology of amphibians in the wild. Hydromantes terrestrial salamanders are strongly depending on ambient temperature for their activity and gas exchanges, but information on their body temperature is extremely limited. In this study we tested if Hydromantes salamanders are thermoconform, we assessed whether there are temperature differences among body regions, and evaluated the time required to reach the thermal equilibrium. During summers of 2014 and 2015 we analysed 56 salamanders (Hydromantes ambrosii and Hydromantes italicus) using infrared thermocamera. We photographed salamanders at the moment in which we found them and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 15min after having kept them in the hands. Body temperature was equal to air temperature; salamanders attained the equilibrium with air temperature in about 8min, the time required to reach equilibrium was longer in individuals with large body size. We detected small temperature differences between body parts, the head being slightly warmer than the body and the tail (mean difference: 0.05°C). These salamanders quickly reach the equilibrium with the environment, thus microhabitat measurement allows obtaining accurate information on their tolerance limits.

  17. Extensive unidirectional introgression between two salamander lineages of ancient divergence and its evolutionary implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canestrelli, Daniele; Bisconti, Roberta; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Hybridization and introgression, contrary to previous beliefs, are now considered to be widespread processes even among animal species. Nonetheless, the range of their possible outcomes and roles in moulding biodiversity patterns are still far from being fully appraised. Here we investigated the pattern of hybridization and introgression between Salamandrina perspicillata and S. terdigitata, two salamanders endemic to the Italian peninsula. Using a set of diagnostic or differentiated genetic markers (9 nuclear and 1 mitochondrial), we documented extensive unidirectional introgression of S. terdigitata alleles into the S. perspicillata gene pool in central Italy, indicating that barriers against hybridization were permeable when they came into secondary contact, and despite their ancient divergence. Nonetheless, purebred S. terdigitata, as well as F1, F2, and backcrosses were not found within the hybrid zone. Moreover, Bayesian analyses of population structure identified admixed populations belonging to a differentiated gene pool with respect to both parental populations. Overall, the observed genetic structure, together with their geographic pattern of distribution, suggests that Salamandrina populations in central Italy could have entered a distinct evolutionary pathway. How far they have gone along this pathway will deserve future investigation. PMID:25269625

  18. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period.

  19. Phylogenetic relationships of the endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) and other salamanders of the Plethodon cinereus group (Caudata : Plethodontidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sites, J.W.; Morando, M.; Highton, R.; Huber, F.; Jung, R.E.

    2004-01-01

    The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah), known from isolated talus slopes on three of the highest mountains in Shenandoah National Park, is listed as state-endangered in Virginia and federally endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. A 1999 paper by G. R. Thurow described P. shenandoah-like salamanders from three localities further south in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province, which, if confirmed, would represent a range extension for P. shenandoah of approximately 90 km from its nearest known locality. Samples collected from two of these three localities were included in a molecular phylogenetic study of the known populations of P. shenandoah, and all other recognized species in the Plethodon cinereus group, using a 792 bp region of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene. Phylogenetic estimates were based on Bayesian, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony methods and topologies examined for placement of the new P. shenandoah-like samples relative to all others. All topologies recovered all haplotypes of the P. shenandoah-like animals nested within P. cinereus, and a statistical comparison of the best likelihood tree topology with one with an enforced (Thurow + Shenandoah P. shenandoah) clade revealed that the unconstrained tree had a significantly lower -In L score (P Park.

  20. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanifin, Charles T; Gilly, William F

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins.

  1. Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi

    2012-01-01

    The Spotted Salamander is a wide-ranging salamander of the eastern United States that typically breeds in winter or early spring in ephemeral pools in lowland forests. Ambystoma maculatum is known to deposit 2-4 egg masses per year, each containing 1-250 eggs. As part of ongoing research into the ecology and reproductive biology of Spotted Salamanders in the Kisatchie District of Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA, we have been counting the number of embryos per egg mass. We captured seven female A. maculatum in a small pool, six of which were still gravid. We took standard measurements, including SVL, and then implanted a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT tag) into each adult female as was the protocol. About an hour after processing these animals we marked new A. maculatum egg masses found in the same small pool using PVC pin flags pushed carefully through the outer jelly. We did not have enough time to process them that evening, and it was not until a few days later that we photographed those masses. We discovered that one of the masses contained a PIT tag in the outer jelly that corresponded to one of the six gravid females that were marked that same evening. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PIT tags being the means, albeit coincidentally, by which a particular egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum has been assigned to a particular female. For our purposes, losing the PIT tag from the adult female is counter to the goals of our study of this population, and we will no longer be implanting PIT tags into gravid females.

  2. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Kroll

    Full Text Available Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24; Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29. Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of

  3. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroll, Andrew J; Garcia, Tiffany S; Jones, Jay E; Dugger, Katie; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peterman, Summer; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  4. Bayesian methods for hackers probabilistic programming and Bayesian inference

    CERN Document Server

    Davidson-Pilon, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Bayesian methods of inference are deeply natural and extremely powerful. However, most discussions of Bayesian inference rely on intensely complex mathematical analyses and artificial examples, making it inaccessible to anyone without a strong mathematical background. Now, though, Cameron Davidson-Pilon introduces Bayesian inference from a computational perspective, bridging theory to practice–freeing you to get results using computing power. Bayesian Methods for Hackers illuminates Bayesian inference through probabilistic programming with the powerful PyMC language and the closely related Python tools NumPy, SciPy, and Matplotlib. Using this approach, you can reach effective solutions in small increments, without extensive mathematical intervention. Davidson-Pilon begins by introducing the concepts underlying Bayesian inference, comparing it with other techniques and guiding you through building and training your first Bayesian model. Next, he introduces PyMC through a series of detailed examples a...

  5. Conservation assessment for the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander in northern California.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vinikour, W. S.; LaGory, K. E.; Adduci, J. J.; Environmental Science Division

    2006-10-20

    The purpose of this conservation assessment is to summarize existing knowledge regarding the biology and ecology of the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander, identify threats to the two species, and identify conservation considerations to aid federal management for persistence of the species. The conservation assessment will serve as the basis for a conservation strategy for the species.

  6. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  7. LTR retrotransposons contribute to genomic gigantism in plethodontid salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Cheng; Shepard, Donald B; Chong, Rebecca A; López Arriaza, José; Hall, Kathryn; Castoe, Todd A; Feschotte, Cédric; Pollock, David D; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, a clade of amphibians that includes 613 species. Salamander genome sizes range from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Because genome size is correlated with nucleus and cell sizes, as well as other traits, morphological evolution in salamanders has been profoundly affected by genomic gigantism. However, the molecular mechanisms driving genomic expansion in this clade remain largely unknown. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of transposable element (TE) content in salamanders. Using high-throughput sequencing, we generated genomic shotgun data for six species from the Plethodontidae, the largest family of salamanders. We then developed a pipeline to mine TE sequences from shotgun data in taxa with limited genomic resources, such as salamanders. Our summaries of overall TE abundance and diversity for each species demonstrate that TEs make up a substantial portion of salamander genomes, and that all of the major known types of TEs are represented in salamanders. The most abundant TE superfamilies found in the genomes of our six focal species are similar, despite substantial variation in genome size. However, our results demonstrate a major difference between salamanders and other vertebrates: salamander genomes contain much larger amounts of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, primarily Ty3/gypsy elements. Thus, the extreme increase in genome size that occurred in salamanders was likely accompanied by a shift in TE landscape. These results suggest that increased proliferation of LTR retrotransposons was a major molecular mechanism contributing to genomic expansion in salamanders.

  8. Genetic Structuration, Demography and Evolutionary History of Mycobacterium tuberculosis LAM9 Sublineage in the Americas as Two Distinct Subpopulations Revealed by Bayesian Analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Reynaud

    Full Text Available Tuberculosis (TB remains broadly present in the Americas despite intense global efforts for its control and elimination. Starting from a large dataset comprising spoligotyping (n = 21183 isolates and 12-loci MIRU-VNTRs data (n = 4022 isolates from a total of 31 countries of the Americas (data extracted from the SITVIT2 database, this study aimed to get an overview of lineages circulating in the Americas. A total of 17119 (80.8% strains belonged to the Euro-American lineage 4, among which the most predominant genotypic family belonged to the Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM lineage (n = 6386, 30.1% of strains. By combining classical phylogenetic analyses and Bayesian approaches, this study revealed for the first time a clear genetic structuration of LAM9 sublineage into two subpopulations named LAM9C1 and LAM9C2, with distinct genetic characteristics. LAM9C1 was predominant in Chile, Colombia and USA, while LAM9C2 was predominant in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe and French Guiana. Globally, LAM9C2 was characterized by higher allelic richness as compared to LAM9C1 isolates. Moreover, LAM9C2 sublineage appeared to expand close to twenty times more than LAM9C1 and showed older traces of expansion. Interestingly, a significant proportion of LAM9C2 isolates presented typical signature of ancestral LAM-RDRio MIRU-VNTR type (224226153321. Further studies based on Whole Genome Sequencing of LAM strains will provide the needed resolution to decipher the biogeographical structure and evolutionary history of this successful family.

  9. Genetic Structuration, Demography and Evolutionary History of Mycobacterium tuberculosis LAM9 Sublineage in the Americas as Two Distinct Subpopulations Revealed by Bayesian Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynaud, Yann; Millet, Julie; Rastogi, Nalin

    2015-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) remains broadly present in the Americas despite intense global efforts for its control and elimination. Starting from a large dataset comprising spoligotyping (n = 21183 isolates) and 12-loci MIRU-VNTRs data (n = 4022 isolates) from a total of 31 countries of the Americas (data extracted from the SITVIT2 database), this study aimed to get an overview of lineages circulating in the Americas. A total of 17119 (80.8%) strains belonged to the Euro-American lineage 4, among which the most predominant genotypic family belonged to the Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM) lineage (n = 6386, 30.1% of strains). By combining classical phylogenetic analyses and Bayesian approaches, this study revealed for the first time a clear genetic structuration of LAM9 sublineage into two subpopulations named LAM9C1 and LAM9C2, with distinct genetic characteristics. LAM9C1 was predominant in Chile, Colombia and USA, while LAM9C2 was predominant in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe and French Guiana. Globally, LAM9C2 was characterized by higher allelic richness as compared to LAM9C1 isolates. Moreover, LAM9C2 sublineage appeared to expand close to twenty times more than LAM9C1 and showed older traces of expansion. Interestingly, a significant proportion of LAM9C2 isolates presented typical signature of ancestral LAM-RDRio MIRU-VNTR type (224226153321). Further studies based on Whole Genome Sequencing of LAM strains will provide the needed resolution to decipher the biogeographical structure and evolutionary history of this successful family.

  10. Phylogeography of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) is mainly determined by geomorphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiari, Ylenia; van der Meijden, Arie; Mucedda, Mauro; Lourenço, João M; Hochkirch, Axel; Veith, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Detecting the factors that determine the interruption of gene flow between populations is key to understanding how speciation occurs. In this context, caves are an excellent system for studying processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation, since they represent discrete geographical units often with known geological histories. Here, we asked whether discontinuous calcareous areas and cave systems represent major barriers to gene flow within and among the five species of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) and whether intraspecific genetic structure parallels geographic distance within and among caves. We generated mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences from 184 individuals representing 48 populations, and used a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to infer possible areas of cladogenesis for these species and reconstruct historical and current dispersal routes among distinct populations. Our results show deep genetic divergence within and among all Sardinian cave salamander species, which can mostly be attributed to the effects of mountains and discontinuities in major calcareous areas and cave systems acting as barriers to gene flow. While these salamander species can also occur outside caves, our results indicate that there is a very poor dispersal of these species between separate cave systems.

  11. Phylogeography of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes is mainly determined by geomorphology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ylenia Chiari

    Full Text Available Detecting the factors that determine the interruption of gene flow between populations is key to understanding how speciation occurs. In this context, caves are an excellent system for studying processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation, since they represent discrete geographical units often with known geological histories. Here, we asked whether discontinuous calcareous areas and cave systems represent major barriers to gene flow within and among the five species of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes and whether intraspecific genetic structure parallels geographic distance within and among caves. We generated mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences from 184 individuals representing 48 populations, and used a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to infer possible areas of cladogenesis for these species and reconstruct historical and current dispersal routes among distinct populations. Our results show deep genetic divergence within and among all Sardinian cave salamander species, which can mostly be attributed to the effects of mountains and discontinuities in major calcareous areas and cave systems acting as barriers to gene flow. While these salamander species can also occur outside caves, our results indicate that there is a very poor dispersal of these species between separate cave systems.

  12. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziemba, Julie L; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M; Anthony, Carl D

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from "non-invaded" and "pheretimoid invaded" sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance following Asian

  13. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie L Ziemba

    Full Text Available Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp. are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding. We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from "non-invaded" and "pheretimoid invaded" sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance

  14. Salamander occupancy in headwater stream networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, E.H.C.; Green, L.E.; Lowe, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    1. Stream ecosystems exhibit a highly consistent dendritic geometry in which linear habitat units intersect to create a hierarchical network of connected branches. 2. Ecological and life history traits of species living in streams, such as the potential for overland movement, may interact with this architecture to shape patterns of occupancy and response to disturbance. Specifically, large-scale habitat alteration that fragments stream networks and reduces connectivity may reduce the probability a stream is occupied by sensitive species, such as stream salamanders. 3. We collected habitat occupancy data on four species of stream salamanders in first-order (i.e. headwater) streams in undeveloped and urbanised regions of the eastern U.S.A. We then used an information-theoretic approach to test alternative models of salamander occupancy based on a priori predictions of the effects of network configuration, region and salamander life history. 4. Across all four species, we found that streams connected to other first-order streams had higher occupancy than those flowing directly into larger streams and rivers. For three of the four species, occupancy was lower in the urbanised region than in the undeveloped region. 5. These results demonstrate that the spatial configuration of stream networks within protected areas affects the occurrences of stream salamander species. We strongly encourage preservation of network connections between first-order streams in conservation planning and management decisions that may affect stream species.

  15. The first salamander defensin antimicrobial peptide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Meng

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of β-defensin based on its sequence similarity with β-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish β-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first β-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders.

  16. Effects of timber harvests and silvicultural edges on terrestrial salamanders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jami E MacNeil

    Full Text Available Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m. Small harvests (<4 ha and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple

  17. Effects of timber harvests and silvicultural edges on terrestrial salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNeil, Jami E; Williams, Rod N

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years. Long-term monitoring will be necessary to understand the full impacts of forest management on terrestrial salamanders.

  18. Vertebrate hosts as islands: dynamics of selection, immigration, loss, persistence and potential function of bacteria on salamander skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Howard Loudon

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Skin bacterial communities can protect amphibians from a fungal pathogen; however, little is known about how these communities are maintained. We used a neutral model of community ecology to identify bacteria that are maintained on salamanders by selection or by dispersal from a bacterial reservoir (soil and ecological drift. We found that 75% (9/12 of bacteria that were consistent with positive selection, < 1% of bacteria that were consistent with random dispersal and none of the bacteria that were consistent under negative selection had a 97% or greater match to antifungal isolates. Additionally we performed an experiment where salamanders were either provided or denied a bacterial reservoir and estimated immigration and loss (emigration and local extinction rates of bacteria on salamanders in both treatments. Loss was strongly related to bacterial richness, suggesting competition is important for structuring the community. Bacteria closely related to antifungal isolates were more likely to persist on salamanders with or without a bacterial reservoir, suggesting they had a competitive advantage. Furthermore, over-represented and under-represented OTUs had similar persistence on salamanders when a bacterial reservoir was present. However, under-represented OTUs were less likely to persist in the absence of a bacterial reservoir, suggesting that the over-represented and under-represented bacteria are selected for or against on salamanders through time. Our findings from the neutral model, migration and persistence analyses show that bacteria that exhibit a high similarity to antifungal isolates persist on salamanders, which likely protect hosts against pathogens and improve fitness. This research is one of the first to apply ecological theory to investigate assembly of host associated-bacterial communities, which can provide insights for probiotic bioaugmentation as a conservation strategy against disease.

  19. A reference transcriptome and inferred proteome for the salamander Notophthalmus viridescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullayev, Ilgar; Kirkham, Matthew; Björklund, Åsa K; Simon, András; Sandberg, Rickard

    2013-05-01

    Salamanders have a remarkable capacity to regenerate complex tissues, such as limbs and brain, and are therefore an important comparative model system for regenerative medicine. Despite these unique properties among adult vertebrates, the genomic information for amphibians in general, and salamanders in particular, is scarce. Here, we used massive parallel sequencing to reconstruct a de novo reference transcriptome of the red spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) containing 118,893 transcripts with a N50 length of 2016 nts. Comparisons to other vertebrates revealed a newt transcriptome that is comparable in size and characteristics to well-annotated vertebrate transcriptomes. Identification of putative open reading frames (ORFs) enabled us to infer a comprehensive proteome, including the annotation of 19,903 newt proteins. We used the identified domain architectures (DAs) to assign ORFs phylogenetic positions, which also revealed putative salamander specific proteins. The reference transcriptome and inferred proteome of the red spotted newt will facilitate the use of systematic genomic technologies for regeneration studies in salamanders and enable evolutionary analyses of vertebrate regeneration at the molecular level.

  20. Are Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness Valid for Measuring Student Learning Outcomes in Business Related Classes? A Neural Network and Bayesian Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, Craig S.; Merrill, Gregory B.; Kline, Doug M.

    2012-01-01

    In this study we investigate the underlying relational structure between student evaluations of teaching effectiveness (SETEs) and achievement of student learning outcomes in 116 business related courses. Utilizing traditional statistical techniques, a neural network analysis and a Bayesian data reduction and classification algorithm, we find…

  1. Experimental infection of native north Carolina salamanders with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Cooper, David; Dombrowski, Daniel S; Poore, Matthew F; Levy, Michael G

    2009-07-01

    Chytridiomycosis is an often fatal fungal disease of amphibians caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This disease has been implicated in the worldwide decline of many anuran species, but studies of chytridiomycosis in wild salamanders are limited. Between August 2006 and December 2006, we tested wild amphibians in North Carolina, USA (n=212) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We identified three PCR-positive animals: one Rana clamitans and two Plethodontid salamanders. We experimentally infected two species of native North Carolina Plethodontid salamanders, the slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus) and the Blue Ridge Mountain dusky salamander (Desmognathus orestes) with 1,000,000 zoospores of B. dendrobatidis per animal. Susceptibility was species dependent; all slimy salamanders developed clinical signs of chytridiomycosis, and one died, whereas dusky salamanders remained unaffected. In a second experiment, we challenged naïve slimy salamanders with either 10,000 or 100,000 motile zoospores per animal. Clinical signs consistent with chytridiomycosis were not observed at either dose or in uninfected controls during the 45 days of this experiment. All animals inoculated with B. dendrobatidis in both experiments, regardless of dose, tested positive by PCR. Our study indicates that slimy salamanders are more susceptible to clinical chytridiomycosis than dusky salamanders, and in a laboratory setting, a dose greater than 100,000 zoospores per animal is required to induce clinical disease. This study also indicates that PCR is a very sensitive tool for detecting B. dendrobatidis infection, even in animals that are clinically unaffected, thus positive results should be interpreted with caution.

  2. Bayesian biostatistics

    CERN Document Server

    Lesaffre, Emmanuel

    2012-01-01

    The growth of biostatistics has been phenomenal in recent years and has been marked by considerable technical innovation in both methodology and computational practicality. One area that has experienced significant growth is Bayesian methods. The growing use of Bayesian methodology has taken place partly due to an increasing number of practitioners valuing the Bayesian paradigm as matching that of scientific discovery. In addition, computational advances have allowed for more complex models to be fitted routinely to realistic data sets. Through examples, exercises and a combination of introd

  3. Tissue lesions of tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum): relationship to sewage effluents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rose, F.L.

    1977-01-01

    A population of facultative neotenous tiger salamanders (A. tigrinum) inhabiting a sewage lagoon at Reese AFB, Hurlwood, Texas, was found to have an exceptionally high rate of spontaneous tissue lesions. The population is composed of an estimated 28,000 large, reproductively mature larvae that are restricted to the lagoon. Only about 17 percent of the population metamorphoses normally. In contrast, tiger salamanders from uncontaminated lagoons in the same general vicinity metamorphose normally; however, no neoplasms were discovered in larvae sampled from the nonsewage lagoons. N-nitrosamine analyses of water and tissue samples of larvae were negative. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocargon analyses revealed traces of benzo(a)pyrene in the sludge; however, perylene, a constituent of jet fuel, was found in high concentration (300 ppB). These results indicate that perylene, which was previously found not be tumorigenic to mice and rats, should be retested as a possible agent for nonmammalian species.

  4. Bayesian statistics

    OpenAIRE

    新家, 健精

    2013-01-01

    © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Article Outline: Glossary Definition of the Subject and Introduction The Bayesian Statistical Paradigm Three Examples Comparison with the Frequentist Statistical Paradigm Future Directions Bibliography

  5. Homing orientation in salamanders: A mechanism involving chemical cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madison, D. M.

    1972-01-01

    A detailed description is given of experiments made to determine the senses and chemical cues used by salamanders for homing orientation. Sensory impairment and cue manipulative techniques were used in the investigation. All experiments were carried out at night. Results show that sense impaired animals did not home as readily as those who were blind but retained their sensory mechanism. This fact suggests that the olfactory mechanism is necessary for homing in the salamander. It was determined that after the impaired salamander regenerated its sensory mechanism it too returned home. It was concluded that homing ability in salamanders is direction independent, distant dependent, and vision independent.

  6. Lethal effects of water quality on threatened California salamanders but not on co-occurring hybrid salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Lowenstine, Linda J; Picco, Angela M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2013-02-01

    Biological invasions and habitat alteration are often detrimental to native species, but their interactions are difficult to predict. Interbreeding between native and introduced species generates novel genotypes and phenotypes, and human land use alters habitat structure and chemistry. Both invasions and habitat alteration create new biological challenges and opportunities. In the intensively farmed Salinas Valley, California (U.S.A.), threatened California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) have been replaced by hybrids between California tiger salamander and introduced barred tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). We conducted an enclosure experiment to examine the effects habitat modification and relative frequency of hybrid and native California tiger salamanders have on recruitment of salamanders and their prey, Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla). We tested whether recruitment differed among genetic classes of tiger salamanders (hybrid or native) and pond hydroperiod (seasonal or perennial). Roughly 6 weeks into the experiment, 70% (of 378 total) of salamander larvae died in 4 out of 6 ponds. Native salamanders survived (n = 12) in these ponds only if they had metamorphosed prior to the die-offs. During die-offs, all larvae of native salamanders died, whereas 56% of hybrid larvae died. We necropsied native and hybrid salamanders, tested water quality, and queried the California Department of Pesticide Regulation database to investigate possible causes of the die-offs. Salamander die-offs, changes in the abundance of other community members (invertebrates, algae, and cyanobacteria), shifts in salamander sex ratio, and patterns of pesticide application in adjacent fields suggest that pesticide use may have contributed to die-offs. That all survivors were hybrids suggests that environmental stress may promote rapid displacement of native genotypes.

  7. Skeletal muscle dedifferentiation during salamander limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Heng; Simon, András

    2016-10-01

    Salamanders can regenerate entire limbs throughout their life. A critical step during limb regeneration is formation of a blastema, which gives rise to the new extremity. Salamander limb regeneration has historically been tightly linked to the term dedifferentiation, however, with refined research tools it is important to revisit the definition of dedifferentiation in the context. To what extent do differentiated cells revert their differentiated phenotypes? To what extent do progeny from differentiated cells cross lineage boundaries during regeneration? How do cell cycle plasticity and lineage plasticity relate to each other? What is the relationship between dedifferentiation of specialized cells and activation of tissue resident stem cells in terms of their contribution to the new limb? Here we highlight these problems through the case of skeletal muscle.

  8. Reproductive biology of Ambystoma salamanders in the southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi M.

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive aspects of Ambystoma salamanders were investigated at sites in Louisiana (2010–12) and Mississippi (2013). Three species occurred at the Louisiana site, Spotted Salamander (A. maculatum), Marbled Salamander (A. opacum), and Mole Salamander (A. talpoideum), whereas only Spotted Salamanders were studied at the Mississippi site. A total of 162 and 71 egg masses of Spotted Salamanders were examined at the Louisiana and Mississippi sites, respectively. Significantly more Spotted Salamander eggs per egg mass were observed at the Mississippi site (x̄ = 78.2) than the Louisiana site (x̄ = 53.8; P Salamanders at the Mississippi site (82.9 mm) was significantly larger than the Louisiana site (76.1 mm; P Salamander egg masses were not found at the Mississippi site, but accounted for 11% of examined egg masses at the Louisiana site. The mean number of eggs per egg mass at the Louisiana site did not differ between opaque (47.3) and clear (54.6) egg masses (P = 0.21). A total of 47 egg masses of the Mole Salamander were examined, with a mean number of 6.7 embryos per mass. Twenty-three individual nests of the Marbled Salamander were found either under or in decaying logs in the dry pond basins. There was no difference between the mean numbers of eggs per mass of attended nests (93.0) versus those that were discovered unattended (86.6; P = 0.67). Females tended to place their nests at intermediate heights within the pond basin.

  9. Morganella morganii as a Causative Agent of Disease in the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li WANG; Yong WEI; Yanqing HUANG

    2013-01-01

    Morganella morganii strain 602-1 was isolated from a sick Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus). The strain 602-1 was identiifed through its physiological and biochemical properties and 16S rDNA gene ampliifcation and analyses. Pathogenicity was proven by experimental animal infection, and histopathological examination. The results showed that the ampliifed 16S rDNA sequence of strain 602-1 was 1455 bp, and showed 99%identity with M. morganii. In the host infection experiment, the mortality of Chinese giant salamanders was about 70%. Pathological changes occurred in the spleen, heart, liver, kidney and intestine. This study will help the prevention, understanding and cure for M. morganii infections in amphibians.

  10. Bayesian Theory

    CERN Document Server

    Bernardo, Jose M

    2000-01-01

    This highly acclaimed text, now available in paperback, provides a thorough account of key concepts and theoretical results, with particular emphasis on viewing statistical inference as a special case of decision theory. Information-theoretic concepts play a central role in the development of the theory, which provides, in particular, a detailed discussion of the problem of specification of so-called prior ignorance . The work is written from the authors s committed Bayesian perspective, but an overview of non-Bayesian theories is also provided, and each chapter contains a wide-ranging critica

  11. Bayesian Methods for Statistical Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Puza, Borek

    2015-01-01

    Bayesian methods for statistical analysis is a book on statistical methods for analysing a wide variety of data. The book consists of 12 chapters, starting with basic concepts and covering numerous topics, including Bayesian estimation, decision theory, prediction, hypothesis testing, hierarchical models, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods, finite population inference, biased sampling and nonignorable nonresponse. The book contains many exercises, all with worked solutions, including complete c...

  12. Bromeliad selection by two salamander species in a harsh environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Ruano-Fajardo

    Full Text Available Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height, as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment.

  13. Bayesian SPLDA

    OpenAIRE

    Villalba, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    In this document we are going to derive the equations needed to implement a Variational Bayes estimation of the parameters of the simplified probabilistic linear discriminant analysis (SPLDA) model. This can be used to adapt SPLDA from one database to another with few development data or to implement the fully Bayesian recipe. Our approach is similar to Bishop's VB PPCA.

  14. Estimating occurrence and detection probabilities for stream-breeding salamanders in the Gulf Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Jennifer Y.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Qualls, Carl P.

    2017-01-01

    Large gaps exist in our knowledge of the ecology of stream-breeding plethodontid salamanders in the Gulf Coastal Plain. Data describing where these salamanders are likely to occur along environmental gradients, as well as their likelihood of detection, are important for the prevention and management of amphibian declines. We used presence/absence data from leaf litter bag surveys and a hierarchical Bayesian multispecies single-season occupancy model to estimate the occurrence of five species of plethodontids across reaches in headwater streams in the Gulf Coastal Plain. Average detection probabilities were high (range = 0.432–0.942) and unaffected by sampling covariates specific to the use of litter bags (i.e., bag submergence, sampling season, in-stream cover). Estimates of occurrence probabilities differed substantially between species (range = 0.092–0.703) and were influenced by the size of the upstream drainage area and by the maximum proportion of the reach that dried. The effects of these two factors were not equivalent across species. Our results demonstrate that hierarchical multispecies models successfully estimate occurrence parameters for both rare and common stream-breeding plethodontids. The resulting models clarify how species are distributed within stream networks, and they provide baseline values that will be useful in evaluating the conservation statuses of plethodontid species within lotic systems in the Gulf Coastal Plain.

  15. Co-option and evolution of non-olfactory proteinaceous pheromones in a terrestrial lungless salamander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doty, Kari A; Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2016-03-01

    Gene co-option is a major force in the evolution of novel biological functions. In plethodontid salamanders, males deliver proteinaceous courtship pheromones to the female olfactory system or transdermally to the bloodstream. Molecular studies identified three families of highly duplicated, rapidly evolving pheromones (PRF, PMF, and SPF). Analyses for Plethodon salamanders revealed pheromone mixtures of primarily PRF and PMF. The current study demonstrates that in Desmognathus ocoee--a plesiomorphic species with transdermal delivery--SPF is the major pheromone component representing >30% of total protein. Chromatographic profiles of D. ocoee pheromones were consistent from May through October. LC/MS-MS analysis suggested uniform SPF isoform expression between individual male D. ocoee. A gene ancestry for SPF with the Three-Finger Protein superfamily was supported by intron-exon boundaries, but not by the disulfide bonding pattern. Further analysis of the pheromone mixture revealed paralogs to peptide hormones that contained mutations in receptor binding regions, such that these novel molecules may alter female physiology by acting as hormone agonists/antagonists. Cumulatively, gene co-option, duplication, and neofunctionalization have permitted recruitment of additional gene families for pheromone activity. Such independent co-option events may be playing a key role in salamander speciation by altering male traits that influence reproductive success.

  16. Midbrain dopaminergic neurogenesis and behavioural recovery in a salamander lesion-induced regeneration model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parish, Clare L; Beljajeva, Anna; Arenas, Ernest; Simon, András

    2007-08-01

    Death and lack of functional regeneration of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons, decreased DA input in the target striatum and movement anomalies characterise Parkinson's disease (PD). There is currently no cure for PD. One way to promote recovery would be to induce or enhance DA neurogenesis. Whether DA neurogenesis occurs in the adult midbrain is a matter of debate. Here, we describe the creation of a salamander 6-hydroxydopamine model of PD to examine midbrain DA regeneration. We demonstrate a robust and complete regeneration of the mesencephalic and diencephalic DA system after elimination of DA neurons. Regeneration is contributed by DA neurogenesis, leads to histological restoration, and to full recovery of motor behaviour. Molecular analyses of the temporal expression pattern of DA determinants indicate that the regenerating DA neurons mature along a similar developmental program as their mammalian counterparts during embryogenesis. We also find that the adult salamander midbrain can reactivate radial glia-like ependymoglia cells that proliferate. The salamander model provides insights into the mechanisms of DA regeneration/neurogenesis and may contribute to the development of novel regenerative strategies for the mammalian brain.

  17. Northwestern salamanders Ambystoma gracile in mountain lakes: record oviposition depths among salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, R.; Pearl, C.A.; Larson, G.L.; Samora, B.

    2012-01-01

    Oviposition timing, behaviors, and microhabitats of ambystomatid salamanders vary considerably (Egan and Paton 2004; Figiel and Semlitsch 1995; Howard and Wallace 1985; Mac-Cracken 2007). Regardless of species, however, females typically oviposit using sites conducive to embryo development and survival. For example, the results of an experiment by Figiel and Semlitsch (1995) on Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander) oviposition indicated that females actively selected sites that were under grass clumps in wet versus dry treatments, and surmised that environmental conditions such as humidity, moisture, and temperature contributed to their results. Other factors associated with ambystomatid oviposition and embryo survival include water temperature (Anderson 1972; Brown 1976), dissolved oxygen concentration (Petranka et al. 1982; Sacerdote and King 2009), oviposition depth (Dougherty et al. 2005; Egan and Paton 2004), and oviposition attachment structures such as woody vegetation (McCracken 2007; Nussbaum et al. 1983). Resetarits (1996), in creating a model of oviposition site selection for anuran amphibians, hypothesized that oviparous organisms were also capable of modifying oviposition behavior and site selection to accommodate varying habitat conditions and to minimize potential negative effects of environmental stressors. Kats and Sih (1992), investigating the oviposition of Ambystoma barbouri (Streamside Salamander) in pools of a Kentucky stream, found that females preferred pools without predatory Lepomis cyanellus (Green Sunfish), and that the number of egg masses present in a pool historically containing fish increased significantly the year after fish had been extirpated from the pool. Palen et al. (2005) determined that Ambystoma gracile (Northwestern Salamander) and Ambystoma macrodactylum (Longtoed Salamander) eggs were deposited either at increased depth or in full shaded habitats, respectively, as water transperancy to UV-B radiation increased.

  18. Enlarged Multilocus Data set Provides Surprisingly Younger Time of Origin for the Plethodontidae, the Largest Family of Salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Xing-Xing; Liang, Dan; Chen, Meng-Yun; Mao, Rong-Li; Wake, David B; Zhang, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Deep phylogenetic relationships of the largest salamander family Plethodontidae have been difficult to resolve, probably reflecting a rapid diversification early in their evolutionary history. Here, data from 50 independent nuclear markers (total 48,582 bp) are used to reconstruct the phylogeny and divergence times for plethodontid salamanders, using both concatenation and coalescence-based species tree analyses. Our results robustly resolve the position of the enigmatic eastern North American four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium) as the sister taxon of Batrachoseps + Tribe Bolitoglossini, thus settling a long-standing question. Furthermore, we statistically reject sister taxon status of Karsenia and Hydromantes, the only plethodontids to occur outside the Americas, leading us to new biogeographic hypotheses. Contrary to previous long-standing arguments that plethodontid salamanders are an old lineage originating in the Cretaceous (more than 90 Ma), our analyses lead to the hypothesis that these salamanders are much younger, arising close to the K-T boundary (~66 Ma). These time estimates are highly stable using alternative calibration schemes and dating methods. Our data simulation highlights the potential risk of making strong arguments about phylogenetic timing based on inferences from a handful of nuclear genes, a common practice. Based on the newly obtained timetree and ancestral area reconstruction results, we argue that (i) the classic "Out of Appalachia" hypothesis of plethodontid origins is problematic; (ii) the common ancestor of extant plethodontids may have originated in northwestern North America in the early Paleocene; (iii) origins of Eurasian plethodontids likely result from two separate dispersal events from western North America via Beringia in the late Eocene (~42 Ma) and the early Miocene (~23 Ma), respectively.

  19. Ecological separation in a polymorphic terrestrial salamander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Carl D; Venesky, Matthew D; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M

    2008-07-01

    1. When studying speciation, researchers commonly examine reproductive isolation in recently diverged populations. Polymorphic species provide an opportunity to examine the role of reproductive isolation in populations that may be in the process of divergence. 2. We examined a polymorphic population of Plethodon cinereus (red-backed salamanders) for evidence of sympatric ecological separation by colour morphology. Recent studies have correlated temperature and climate with colour morphology in this species, but no studies have looked at differences in diet or mate choice between colour morphs. We used artificial cover objects to assess salamander diet, mating preference and surface activity over a 2-year period at a field site in north-eastern Ohio. 3. We detected differences in diet between two colour morphs, striped and unstriped. The diets of striped individuals were significantly more diverse and were made up of more profitable prey than the diets of unstriped salamanders. 4. Opposite sex pairs were made up of individuals of the same colour morph and striped males were found more often with larger females than were unstriped males. 5. We corroborate findings of earlier studies suggesting that the unstriped form is adapted to warmer conditions. Unstriped individuals were the first to withdraw from the forest floor as temperatures fell in the late fall. We found no evidence that the colour morphs responded differently to abiotic factors such as soil moisture and relative humidity, and responses to surface temperatures were also equivocal. 6. We conclude that the two colour morphs exhibit some degree of ecological separation and tend to mate assortatively, but are unlikely to be undergoing divergence given the observed frequency of intermorph pairings.

  20. Bayesian signaling

    OpenAIRE

    Hedlund, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces private sender information into a sender-receiver game of Bayesian persuasion with monotonic sender preferences. I derive properties of increasing differences related to the precision of signals and use these to fully characterize the set of equilibria robust to the intuitive criterion. In particular, all such equilibria are either separating, i.e., the sender's choice of signal reveals his private information to the receiver, or fully disclosing, i.e., the outcome of th...

  1. Bayesian Monitoring.

    OpenAIRE

    Kirstein, Roland

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a modification of the inspection game: The ?Bayesian Monitoring? model rests on the assumption that judges are interested in enforcing compliant behavior and making correct decisions. They may base their judgements on an informative but imperfect signal which can be generated costlessly. In the original inspection game, monitoring is costly and generates a perfectly informative signal. While the inspection game has only one mixed strategy equilibrium, three Perfect Bayesia...

  2. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  3. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Hocking

    Full Text Available Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp. likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2 plots and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2 where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2. In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders. Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  4. Effects of urbanization on occupancy of stream salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Steven J; Cecala, Kristen K; Browne, Robert A; Dorcas, Michael E

    2011-06-01

    Urban development is the most common form of land conversion in the United States. Using a before-after control-impact study design, we investigated the effects of urbanization on larval and adult stages of southern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera) and northern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus). Over 5 years, we estimated changes in occupancy and probabilities of colonization and survival in 13 stream catchments after urbanization and in 17 catchments that were not urbanized. We also examined effects of proportion of urbanized area in a catchment and distance of the salamander population to the nearest stream on probabilities of colonization and survival. Before urbanization, adult and larval stages of the two salamander species occupied nearly all surveyed streams, with occupancy estimates ranging from 1.0 to 0.78. Four years after urbanization mean occupancy of larval and adult two-lined salamanders had decreased from 0.87 and 0.78 to 0.57 and 0.39, respectively. Estimates of mean occupancy of larval northern dusky salamanders decreased from 1.0 to 0.57 in urban streams 4 years after urbanization; however, adult northern dusky salamander occupancy remained close to 1.0 in urban streams over 5 years. Occupancy estimates in control streams were similar for each species and stage over 5 years. Urbanization was associated with decreases in survival probabilities of adult and larval two-lined salamanders and decreases in colonization probabilities of larval dusky salamanders. Nevertheless, proportion of impervious surface and distance to nearest stream had little effect on probabilities of survival and colonization. Our results imply that in the evaluation of the effects of urbanization on species, such as amphibians, with complex life cycles, consideration of the effects of urbanization on both adult and larval stages is required.

  5. Better than fish on land? Hearing across metamorphosis in salamanders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Lauridsen, Henrik; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    hearing in early tetrapods. Here, we combine imaging techniques with neurophysiological measurements to resolve how the change from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adult affects the ear morphology and sensory capabilities of salamanders. We show that air-induced pressure detection enhances underwater...... hearing sensitivity of salamanders at frequencies above 120 Hz, and that both terrestrial adults and fully aquatic juvenile salamanders can detect airborne sound. Collectively, these findings suggest that early atympanic tetrapods may have been pre-equipped to aerial hearing and are able to hear airborne...

  6. Locomotion and visually guided behavior in salamander: a neuromechanical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ijspeert, Auke J.; Arbib, Michael A.

    2000-10-01

    This article investigates the neural mechanisms underlying locomotion and visually-guided behavior in a lower vertebrate: the salamander. We develop connectionist models of the salamander's locomotor circuitry and visual system, and analyze their functioning by embedding them into a biomechanical simulation of the salamander's body. This work is therefore an experiment in computational neuroethology which aims at investigating how behavior results from the coupling of a central nervous system (CNS) and a body, and from the interactions of the CNS-body pair with the environment. We believe that understanding these mechanisms is not only relevant for neurobiology but also for potential applications in robotics.

  7. Generation of aneurogenic larvae by parabiosis of salamander embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anoop; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration of salamanders is nerve dependent, and the removal of the nerves in early stages of limb regeneration severely curtails the proliferation of the blastemal cells and growth of the regenerate. The removal of the neural tube from a developing salamander embryo results in an aneurogenic larva and the aneurogenic limb (ANL) develops independently without innervation. Paradoxically, the limb in an ANL is capable of regeneration in a nerve-independent manner. Here, we describe a detailed method for the generation of ANL in the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, for regeneration studies.

  8. Bayesian programming

    CERN Document Server

    Bessiere, Pierre; Ahuactzin, Juan Manuel; Mekhnacha, Kamel

    2013-01-01

    Probability as an Alternative to Boolean LogicWhile logic is the mathematical foundation of rational reasoning and the fundamental principle of computing, it is restricted to problems where information is both complete and certain. However, many real-world problems, from financial investments to email filtering, are incomplete or uncertain in nature. Probability theory and Bayesian computing together provide an alternative framework to deal with incomplete and uncertain data. Decision-Making Tools and Methods for Incomplete and Uncertain DataEmphasizing probability as an alternative to Boolean

  9. Streamside Salamander Inventory and Monitoring Northeast Refuges Summer 2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this project are to (1) conduct transect and quadrat sampling for streamside salamanders, (2) determine detection rates and population estimates...

  10. Streamside Salamander Inventory and Monitoring Northeast Refuges Summer 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this project are to (1) conduct transect and quadrat sampling for streamside salamanders, (2) determine detection rates and population estimates...

  11. Streamside Salamander Inventory and Monitoring Northeast Refuges Summer 2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this project are to (1) conduct transect and quadrat sampling for streamside salamanders, (2) determine detection rates and population estimates...

  12. Final Critical Habitat for Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma bishopi)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — These data identify, in general, the areas of final critical habitat for the endangered Ambystoma bishopi (reticulated flatwoods salamander).

  13. Streamside Salamander Inventory and Monitoring Northeast Refuges Summer 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of this project are to (1) conduct transect and quadrat sampling for streamside salamanders, (2) determine detection rates and population estimates...

  14. Final Critical Habitat for the San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To provide the user with a general idea of areas where final critical habitat for San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana) occur based on the description provided in the...

  15. Maintaining plethodontid salamanders in the laboratory for regeneration studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenas, Claudia Marcela; Gómez-Molina, Andrea; Delgado, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Limb regeneration studies have been extensively carried out in species of Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae families. So far limited research has been conducted in species belonging to the Plethodontidae family, where some of the species differs from other salamander families due to their direct development, thus absence of a larval life. Here, we describe a protocol to maintain the plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa species under laboratory conditions to perform regeneration studies.

  16. Remarkable phylogenetic resolution of the most complex clade of Cyprinidae (Teleostei: Cypriniformes): a proof of concept of homology assessment and partitioning sequence data integrated with mixed model Bayesian analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Wenjing; Mayden, Richard L; He, Shunping

    2013-03-01

    Despite many efforts to resolve evolutionary relationships among major clades of Cyprinidae, some nodes have been especially problematic and remain unresolved. In this study, we employ four nuclear gene fragments (3.3kb) to infer interrelationships of the Cyprinidae. A reconstruction of the phylogenetic relationships within the family using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses is presented. Among the taxa within the monophyletic Cyprinidae, Rasborinae is the basal-most lineage; Cyprinine is sister to Leuciscine. The monophyly for the subfamilies Gobioninae, Leuciscinae and Acheilognathinae were resolved with high nodal support. Although our results do not completely resolve relationships within Cyprinidae, this study presents novel and significant findings having major implications for a highly diverse and enigmatic clade of East-Asian cyprinids. Within this monophyletic group five closely-related subgroups are identified. Tinca tinca, one of the most phylogenetically enigmatic genera in the family, is strongly supported as having evolutionary affinities with this East-Asian clade; an established yet remarkable association because of the natural variation in phenotypes and generalized ecological niches occupied by these taxa. Our results clearly argue that the choice of partitioning strategies has significant impacts on the phylogenetic reconstructions, especially when multiple genes are being considered. The most highly partitioned model (partitioned by codon positions within genes) extracts the strongest phylogenetic signals and performs better than any other partitioning schemes supported by the strongest 2Δln Bayes factor. Future studies should include higher levels of taxon sampling and partitioned, model-based analyses.

  17. Terrestrial salamander abundance on reclaimed mountaintop removal mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Mountaintop removal mining, a large-scale disturbance affecting vegetation, soil structure, and topography, converts landscapes from mature forests to extensive grassland and shrubland habitats. We sampled salamanders using drift-fence arrays and coverboard transects on and near mountaintop removal mines in southern West Virginia, USA, during 2000–2002. We compared terrestrial salamander relative abundance and species richness of un-mined, intact forest with habitats on reclaimed mountaintop removal mines (reclaimed grassland, reclaimed shrubland, and fragmented forest). Salamanders within forests increased in relative abundance with increasing distance from reclaimed mine edge. Reclaimed grassland and shrubland habitats had lower relative abundance and species richness than forests. Characteristics of reclaimed habitats that likely contributed to lower salamander abundance included poor soils (dry, compacted, little organic matter, high rock content), reduced vertical structure of vegetation and little tree cover, and low litter and woody debris cover. Past research has shown that salamander populations reduced by clearcutting may rebound in 15–24 years. Time since disturbance was 7–28 years in reclaimed habitats on our study areas and salamander populations had not reached levels found in adjacent mature forests.

  18. Landmark learning by the Ozark zigzag salamander Plethodon angusticlavius

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. CRANE, Alicia MATHIS

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Although salamanders have been shown to respond to classical conditioning, spatial learning has been largely unstudied. We tested whether salamanders could learn to locate foraging areas by using landmarks. We trained 10 salamanders Plethodon angusticlavius to use landmarks (small rocks to locate patches within the arena containing food (blackworms Lumbriculus variegatus. At the corners of each square testing arena were four plastic dishes, one containing blackworms and the other three empty. A rock was placed in front of the dish containing blackworms, and the location of the food-dish was randomly chosen for each training trial. A control group was also trained to feed on blackworms in the presence of a rock, but the rock was positioned randomly among the four dish locations so that the rock was not a reliable landmark for the worms. Although the length of the training period for individual salamanders varied (22–38 trainings per individual, the mean number of trainings for salamanders in the control and experimental groups was equal (30 training trials. During testing, no blackworms were present to eliminate any visual or chemical cues emanating directly from the prey. Individuals trained with the rock landmarks spent significantly more time in the area of the landmark than did control salamanders [Current Zoology 57 (4: 485–490, 2011].

  19. Rangewide landscape genetics of an endemic Pacific northwestern salamander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbo, Daryl R; Spear, Stephen F; Baumsteiger, Jason; Storfer, Andrew

    2013-03-01

    A species' genetic structure often varies in response to ecological and landscape processes that differ throughout the species' geographic range, yet landscape genetics studies are rarely spatially replicated. The Cope's giant salamander (Dicamptodon copei) is a neotenic, dispersal-limited amphibian with a restricted geographic range in the Pacific northwestern USA. We investigated which landscape factors affect D. copei gene flow in three regions spanning the species' range, which vary in climate, landcover and degree of anthropogenic disturbance. Least cost paths and Circuitscape resistance analyses revealed that gene flow patterns vary across the species' range, with unique combinations of landscape variables affecting gene flow in different regions. Populations in the northern coastal portions of the range had relatively high gene flow, largely facilitated by stream and river networks. Near the southeastern edge of the species' range, gene flow was more restricted overall, with relatively less facilitation by streams and more limitation by heat load index and fragmented forest cover. These results suggested that the landscape is more difficult for individuals to disperse through at the southeastern edge of the species' range, with terrestrial habitat desiccation factors becoming more limiting to gene flow. We suggest that caution be used when attempting to extrapolate landscape genetic models and conservation measures from one portion of a species' range to another.

  20. 77 FR 36287 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, Calaveras...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-18

    ... Salamander, Calaveras County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability... salamander (tiger salamander). The applicant would implement a conservation program to minimize and mitigate... comment is in reference to the Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger...

  1. Using multilevel spatial models to understand salamander site occupancy patterns after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelgren, N.D.; Adams, M.J.; Bailey, L.L.; Bury, R.B.

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the distribution of elusive forest wildlife have suffered from the confounding of true presence with the uncertainty of detection. Occupancy modeling, which incorporates probabilities of species detection conditional on presence, is an emerging approach for reducing observation bias. However, the current likelihood modeling framework is restrictive for handling unexplained sources of variation in the response that may occur when there are dependence structures such as smaller sampling units that are nested within larger sampling units. We used multilevel Bayesian occupancy modeling to handle dependence structures and to partition sources of variation in occupancy of sites by terrestrial salamanders (family Plethodontidae) within and surrounding an earlier wildfire in western Oregon, USA. Comparison of model fit favored a spatial N-mixture model that accounted for variation in salamander abundance over models that were based on binary detection/non-detection data. Though catch per unit effort was higher in burned areas than unburned, there was strong support that this pattern was due to a higher probability of capture for individuals in burned plots. Within the burn, the odds of capturing an individual given it was present were 2.06 times the odds outside the burn, reflecting reduced complexity of ground cover in the burn. There was weak support that true occupancy was lower within the burned area. While the odds of occupancy in the burn were 0.49 times the odds outside the burn among the five species, the magnitude of variation attributed to the burn was small in comparison to variation attributed to other landscape variables and to unexplained, spatially autocorrelated random variation. While ordinary occupancy models may separate the biological pattern of interest from variation in detection probability when all sources of variation are known, the addition of random effects structures for unexplained sources of variation in occupancy and detection

  2. Introduction to Bayesian statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Bolstad, William M

    2017-01-01

    There is a strong upsurge in the use of Bayesian methods in applied statistical analysis, yet most introductory statistics texts only present frequentist methods. Bayesian statistics has many important advantages that students should learn about if they are going into fields where statistics will be used. In this Third Edition, four newly-added chapters address topics that reflect the rapid advances in the field of Bayesian staistics. The author continues to provide a Bayesian treatment of introductory statistical topics, such as scientific data gathering, discrete random variables, robust Bayesian methods, and Bayesian approaches to inferenfe cfor discrete random variables, bionomial proprotion, Poisson, normal mean, and simple linear regression. In addition, newly-developing topics in the field are presented in four new chapters: Bayesian inference with unknown mean and variance; Bayesian inference for Multivariate Normal mean vector; Bayesian inference for Multiple Linear RegressionModel; and Computati...

  3. Variation in salamanders: an essay on genomes, development, and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockes, Jeremy P

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration is studied in a few model species of salamanders, but the ten families of salamanders show considerable variation, and this has implications for our understanding of salamander biology. The most recent classification of the families identifies the cryptobranchoidea as the basal group which diverged in the early Jurassic. Variation in the sizes of genomes is particularly obvious, and reflects a major contribution from transposable elements which is already present in the basal group.Limb development has been a focus for evodevo studies, in part because of the variable property of pre-axial dominance which distinguishes salamanders from other tetrapods. This is thought to reflect the selective pressures that operate on a free-living aquatic larva, and might also be relevant for the evolution of limb regeneration. Recent fossil evidence suggests that both pre-axial dominance and limb regeneration were present 300 million years ago in larval temnospondyl amphibians that lived in mountain lakes. A satisfying account of regeneration in salamanders may need to address all these different aspects in the future.

  4. Embryonic development and organogenesis of Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The morphology and organogenesis of Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus, in its different developmental periods and stages are described in detail, which provides an intact criterion for distinguishing different stages of its developmental process.Based on the external morphological and internal histological features, six periods including 20 stages of organogenesis of Chinese giant salamander are established, which are cleavage period, blastula period, gastrula period, neurula period, organogenesis stage and hatching stage. Generally, the embryonic development of Chinese giant salamander is consistent with those of Eastern newt, Cynops orientalis,and Black spots frog, R. nigromaculata. However, they have some differences in the early cleavage process and the development of digestive system. The cleavage of Chinese giant salamander, A. davidianus is not a discoidal division type, which is different from other species reported. And the first three cleavages being meridional and a retardant development of its digestive system without halter and sucker existing are the evident features of the embryonic development of Chinese giant salamander.

  5. A potential wound-healing-promoting peptide from salamander skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Lixian; Tang, Jing; Liu, Han; Shen, Chuanbin; Rong, Mingqiang; Zhang, Zhiye; Lai, Ren

    2014-09-01

    Although it is well known that wound healing proceeds incredibly quickly in urodele amphibians, such as newts and salamanders, little is known about skin-wound healing, and no bioactive/effector substance that contributes to wound healing has been identified from these animals. As a step toward understanding salamander wound healing and skin regeneration, a potential wound-healing-promoting peptide (tylotoin; KCVRQNNKRVCK) was identified from salamander skin of Tylototriton verrucosus. It shows comparable wound-healing-promoting ability (EC50=11.14 μg/ml) with epidermal growth factor (EGF; NSDSECPLSHDGYCLHDGVCMYIEALDKYACNCVVGYIGERCQYRDLKWWELR) in a murine model of full-thickness dermal wound. Tylotoin directly enhances the motility and proliferation of keratinocytes, vascular endothelial cells, and fibroblasts, resulting in accelerated reepithelialization and granulation tissue formation in the wound site. Tylotoin also promotes the release of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which are essential in the wound healing response. Gene-encoded tylotoin secreted in salamander skin is possibly an effector molecule for skin wound healing. This study may facilitate understanding of the cellular and molecular events that underlie quick wound healing in salamanders.

  6. Genetic Diversity of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus across Watersheds in the Klamath Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Wake

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Here we characterize the genetic structure of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus in the Klamath Mountains of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. We hypothesized that the Sacramento, Smith, Klamath, and Rogue River watersheds would represent distinct genetic populations based on prior ecological results, which suggest that Black Salamanders avoid high elevations such as the ridges that separate watersheds. Our mitochondrial results revealed two major lineages, one in the Sacramento River watershed, and another containing the Klamath, Smith, and Rogue River watersheds. Clustering analyses of our thirteen nuclear loci show the Sacramento watershed population to be genetically distinctive. Populations in the Klamath, Smith, and Rogue watersheds are also distinctive but not as differentiated and their boundaries do not correspond to watersheds. Our historical demographic analyses suggest that the Sacramento population has been isolated from the Klamath populations since the mid-Pleistocene, with negligible subsequent gene flow (2 Nm ≤ 0.1. The Smith and Rogue River watershed populations show genetic signals of recent population expansion. These results suggest that the Sacramento River and Klamath River watersheds served as Pleistocene refugia, and that the Rogue and Smith River watersheds were colonized more recently by northward range expansion from the Klamath.

  7. The role of climate in the dynamics of a hybrid zone in Appalachian salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan

    2009-01-01

    I examined the potential influence of climate change on the dynamics of a previously studied hybrid zone between a pair of terrestrial salamanders at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, in the Nantahala Mountains of North Carolina, USA. A 16-year study led by Nelson G. Hairston, Sr. revealed that Plethodon teyahalee and Plethodon shermani hybridized at intermediate elevations, forming a cline between 'pure' parental P. teyahalee at lower elevations and 'pure' parental P. shermani at higher elevations. From 1974 to 1990 the proportion of salamanders at the higher elevation scored as 'pure' P. shermani declined significantly, indicating that the hybrid zone was spreading upward. To date there have been no rigorous tests of hypotheses for the movement of this hybrid zone. Using temperature and precipitation data from Coweeta, I re-analyzed Hairston's data to examine whether the observed elevational shift was correlated with variation in either air temperature or precipitation from the same time period. For temperature, my analysis tracked the results of the original study: the proportion of 'pure' P. shermani at the higher elevation declined significantly with increasing mean annual temperature, whereas the proportion of 'pure' P. teyahalee at lower elevations did not. There was no discernable relationship between proportions of 'pure' individuals of either species with variation in precipitation. From 1974 to 1990, low-elevation air temperatures at the Coweeta Laboratory ranged from annual means of 11.8 to 14.2 °C, compared with a 55-year average (1936-1990) of 12.6 °C. My re-analyses indicate that the upward spread of the hybrid zone is correlated with increasing air temperatures, but not precipitation, and provide an empirical test of a hypothesis for one factor that may have influenced this movement. My results aid in understanding the potential impact that climate change may have on the ecology and evolution of terrestrial salamanders in

  8. Bayesian artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Korb, Kevin B

    2003-01-01

    As the power of Bayesian techniques has become more fully realized, the field of artificial intelligence has embraced Bayesian methodology and integrated it to the point where an introduction to Bayesian techniques is now a core course in many computer science programs. Unlike other books on the subject, Bayesian Artificial Intelligence keeps mathematical detail to a minimum and covers a broad range of topics. The authors integrate all of Bayesian net technology and learning Bayesian net technology and apply them both to knowledge engineering. They emphasize understanding and intuition but also provide the algorithms and technical background needed for applications. Software, exercises, and solutions are available on the authors' website.

  9. Bayesian artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Korb, Kevin B

    2010-01-01

    Updated and expanded, Bayesian Artificial Intelligence, Second Edition provides a practical and accessible introduction to the main concepts, foundation, and applications of Bayesian networks. It focuses on both the causal discovery of networks and Bayesian inference procedures. Adopting a causal interpretation of Bayesian networks, the authors discuss the use of Bayesian networks for causal modeling. They also draw on their own applied research to illustrate various applications of the technology.New to the Second EditionNew chapter on Bayesian network classifiersNew section on object-oriente

  10. Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, John N; Bergeron, Christine M; Todd, Brian D; Hopkins, William A

    2010-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) causes a range of deleterious effects in wildlife, but little is known about its effects on amphibians. Our objective was to determine whether Hg affects performance and behavior in two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). We collected salamanders from Hg-contaminated and reference sites and assessed speed, responsiveness, and prey capture ability. Mercury concentrations were >17× higher in salamanders from the contaminated sites and were among the highest documented in amphibians. In the first, but not in the second, locomotion trial, we found a significant effect of Hg on speed and responsiveness. In the prey capture experiment, reference salamanders ate approximately twice as many prey items as the contaminated salamanders. Together, our results suggest that sublethal Hg concentrations may negatively affect salamanders by reducing their ability to successfully execute tasks critical to survival. Future work is warranted to determine whether Hg has other sublethal effects on salamanders and whether other amphibians are similarly affected.

  11. Climate change and shrinking salamanders: alternative mechanisms for changes in plethodontid salamander body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connette, Grant M; Crawford, John A; Peterman, William E

    2015-08-01

    An increasing number of studies have demonstrated relationships between climate trends and body size change of organisms. In many cases, climate might be expected to influence body size by altering thermoregulation, energetics or food availability. However, observed body size change can result from a variety of ecological processes (e.g. growth, selection, population dynamics) or imperfect observation of biological systems. We used two extensive datasets to evaluate alternative mechanisms for recently reported changes in the observed body size of plethodontid salamanders. We found that mean adult body size of salamanders can be highly sensitive to survey conditions, particularly rainfall. This systematic bias in the detection of larger or smaller individuals could result in a signature of body size change in relation to reported climate trends when it is simply observation error. We also identify considerable variability in body size distributions among years and find that individual growth rates can be strongly influenced by weather. Finally, our study demonstrates that measures of mean adult body size can be highly variable among surveys and that large sample sizes may be required to make reliable inferences. Identifying the effects of climate change is a critical area of research in ecology and conservation. Researchers should be aware that observed changes in certain organisms can result from multiple ecological processes or systematic bias due to nonrandom sampling of populations.

  12. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Catenazzi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Global warming is influencing the biology of the world’s biota. Temperature increases are occurring at a faster pace than that experienced by organisms in their evolutionary histories, limiting the organisms’ response to new conditions. Mechanistic models that include physiological traits can help predict species’ responses to warming. Changes in metabolism at high temperatures are often examined; yet many species are behaviorally shielded from high temperatures. Salamanders generally favor cold temperatures and are one of few groups of metazoans to be most species-rich in temperate regions. I examined variation in body temperature, behavioral activity, and temperature dependence of resting heart rate, used as a proxy for standard metabolic rate, in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra. Over 26 years, I found that salamanders are behaviorally active at temperatures as low as 1 °C, and aestivate at temperatures above 16 °C. Infrared thermography indicates limited thermoregulation opportunities for these nocturnal amphibians. Temperature affects resting heart rate, causing metabolic depression above 11 °C, and metabolic compensation below 8 °C: heart rate at 3 °C is 224% the expected heart rate. Thus, salamanders operating at low temperatures during periods of peak behavioral activity are able to maintain a higher metabolic rate than the rate expected in absence of compensation. This compensatory mechanism has important ecological implications, because it increases estimated seasonal heart rates. Increased heart rate, and thus metabolism, will require higher caloric intake for field-active salamanders. Thus, it is important to consider a species performance breadth over the entire temperature range, and particularly low temperatures that are ecologically relevant for cold tolerant species such as salamanders.

  13. Applied Bayesian Hierarchical Methods

    CERN Document Server

    Congdon, Peter D

    2010-01-01

    Bayesian methods facilitate the analysis of complex models and data structures. Emphasizing data applications, alternative modeling specifications, and computer implementation, this book provides a practical overview of methods for Bayesian analysis of hierarchical models.

  14. Chloride equilibrium potential in salamander cones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryson Eric J

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background GABAergic inhibition and effects of intracellular chloride ions on calcium channel activity have been proposed to regulate neurotransmission from photoreceptors. To assess the impact of these and other chloride-dependent mechanisms on release from cones, the chloride equilibrium potential (ECl was determined in red-sensitive, large single cones from the tiger salamander retinal slice. Results Whole cell recordings were done using gramicidin perforated patch techniques to maintain endogenous Cl- levels. Membrane potentials were corrected for liquid junction potentials. Cone resting potentials were found to average -46 mV. To measure ECl, we applied long depolarizing steps to activate the calcium-activated chloride current (ICl(Ca and then determined the reversal potential for the current component that was inhibited by the Cl- channel blocker, niflumic acid. With this method, ECl was found to average -46 mV. In a complementary approach, we used a Cl-sensitive dye, MEQ, to measure the Cl- flux produced by depolarization with elevated concentrations of K+. The membrane potentials produced by the various high K+ solutions were measured in separate current clamp experiments. Consistent with electrophysiological experiments, MEQ fluorescence measurements indicated that ECl was below -36 mV. Conclusions The results of this study indicate that ECl is close to the dark resting potential. This will minimize the impact of chloride-dependent presynaptic mechanisms in cone terminals involving GABAa receptors, glutamate transporters and ICl(Ca.

  15. Bayesian data analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Gelman, Andrew; Stern, Hal S; Dunson, David B; Vehtari, Aki; Rubin, Donald B

    2013-01-01

    FUNDAMENTALS OF BAYESIAN INFERENCEProbability and InferenceSingle-Parameter Models Introduction to Multiparameter Models Asymptotics and Connections to Non-Bayesian ApproachesHierarchical ModelsFUNDAMENTALS OF BAYESIAN DATA ANALYSISModel Checking Evaluating, Comparing, and Expanding ModelsModeling Accounting for Data Collection Decision AnalysisADVANCED COMPUTATION Introduction to Bayesian Computation Basics of Markov Chain Simulation Computationally Efficient Markov Chain Simulation Modal and Distributional ApproximationsREGRESSION MODELS Introduction to Regression Models Hierarchical Linear

  16. Modular functional organisation of the axial locomotor system in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Charrier, Vanessa; Mathou, Alexia

    2014-02-01

    Most investigations on tetrapod locomotion have been concerned with limb movements. However, there is compelling evidence that the axial musculoskeletal system contributes to important functions during locomotion. Adult salamanders offer a remarkable opportunity to examine these functions because these amphibians use axial undulations to propel themselves in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. In this article, we review the currently available biological data on axial functions during various locomotor modes in salamanders. We also present data showing the modular organisation of the neural networks that generate axial synergies during locomotion. The functional implication of this modular organisation is discussed.

  17. Coalescence patterns of endemic Tibetan species of stream salamanders (Hynobiidae: Batrachuperus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Bin; Zheng, Yuchi; Murphy, Robert W; Zeng, Xiaomao

    2012-07-01

    Orogenesis of topographically diverse montane regions often drives complex evolutionary histories of species. The extensive biodiversity of the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, which gradually decreases eastwardly, facilitates a comparison of historical patterns. We use coalescence methods to compare species of stream salamanders (Batrachuperus) that occur at high and low elevations. Coalescent simulations reveal that closely related species are likely to have been influenced by different drivers of diversification. Species living in the western high-elevation region with its northsouth extending mountains appear to have experienced colonization via dispersal followed by isolation and divergence. In contrast, species on the eastern low-elevation region, which has many discontinuous mountain ranges, appear to have experienced fragmentation, sometimes staged, of wide-ranging ancestral populations. The two groups of species appear to have been affected differently by glaciation. High-elevation species, which are more resistant to cooler temperatures, appear to have experienced population declines as recently as the last glaciation (0.016-0.032Ma). In contrast, salamanders dwelling in the warmer and wetter habitats at low-elevation environs appear to have been affected less by the relatively recent, milder glaciation, and more so by harsher, extensive glaciations (0.5-0.175 Ma). Thus, elevation, topography and cold tolerance appear to drive evolutionary patterns of diversification and demography even among closely related taxa. The comparison of multiple species in genealogical analyses can lead to an understanding of the evolutionary drivers.

  18. Extremely high-power tongue projection in plethodontid salamanders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deban, S.M.; O'Reilly, J.C.; Dicke, U.; Leeuwen, van J.L.

    2007-01-01

    Many plethodontid salamanders project their tongues ballistically at high speed and for relatively great distances. Capturing evasive prey relies on the tongue reaching the target in minimum time, therefore it is expected that power production, or the rate of energy release, is maximized during tong

  19. Digit reduction, body size, and paedomorphosis in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Hoverman, Jason T

    2008-01-01

    The loss of digits is a widespread evolutionary trend in tetrapods which occurs in nearly every major clade. Alberch and Gale showed that the order in which digits are evolutionarily lost in salamanders versus frogs corresponds to the order in which they develop in each group, providing a classic example of developmental constraint. However, what actually drives the loss of digits in salamanders has remained unclear. Alberch and Gale suggested that loss of digits might be associated with paedomorphosis or with reduced body size. We test these hypotheses by combining morphometric and phylogenetic information for 98 species of salamanders. We find that digit loss is associated with both paedomorphosis and reduction in body size. However, these trends are surprisingly contradictory, in that paedomorphosis is significantly associated with an increase in body size in salamanders. Thus, much of the extreme digit reduction is found in the smaller species within paedomorphic clades that have, on average, unusually large body size. Our results show that the consequences of changes in body size on morphology are highly context dependent. We also show (possibly for the first time) a significant association between paedomorphosis and increased body size, rather than the expected association with reduced body size.

  20. Bayesian Statistics in Software Engineering: Practical Guide and Case Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Furia, Carlo A.

    2016-01-01

    Statistics comes in two main flavors: frequentist and Bayesian. For historical and technical reasons, frequentist statistics has dominated data analysis in the past; but Bayesian statistics is making a comeback at the forefront of science. In this paper, we give a practical overview of Bayesian statistics and illustrate its main advantages over frequentist statistics for the kinds of analyses that are common in empirical software engineering, where frequentist statistics still is standard. We...

  1. Slow DNA loss in the gigantic genomes of salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Cheng; López Arriaza, José R; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary changes in genome size result from the combined effects of mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Insertion and deletion mutations (indels) directly impact genome size by adding or removing sequences. Most species lose more DNA through small indels (i.e., ~1-30 bp) than they gain, which can result in genome reduction over time. Because this rate of DNA loss varies across species, small indel dynamics have been suggested to contribute to genome size evolution. Species with extremely large genomes provide interesting test cases for exploring the link between small indels and genome size; however, most large genomes remain relatively unexplored. Here, we examine rates of DNA loss in the tetrapods with the largest genomes-the salamanders. We used low-coverage genomic shotgun sequence data from four salamander species to examine patterns of insertion, deletion, and substitution in neutrally evolving non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon sequences. For comparison, we estimated genome-wide DNA loss rates in non-LTR retrotransposon sequences from five other vertebrate genomes: Anolis carolinensis, Danio rerio, Gallus gallus, Homo sapiens, and Xenopus tropicalis. Our results show that salamanders have significantly lower rates of DNA loss than do other vertebrates. More specifically, salamanders experience lower numbers of deletions relative to insertions, and both deletions and insertions are skewed toward smaller sizes. On the basis of these patterns, we conclude that slow DNA loss contributes to genomic gigantism in salamanders. We also identify candidate molecular mechanisms underlying these differences and suggest that natural variation in indel dynamics provides a unique opportunity to study the basis of genome stability.

  2. Ancient DNA assessment of tiger salamander population in Yellowstone National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMenamin, Sarah K; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia.

  3. Ancient DNA assessment of tiger salamander population in Yellowstone National Park.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K McMenamin

    Full Text Available Recent data indicates that blotched tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum in northern regions of Yellowstone National Park are declining due to climate-related habitat changes. In this study, we used ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region. Using subfossils collected from a cave in northern Yellowstone, we analyzed >700 base pairs of mitochondrial sequence from 16 samples ranging in age from 100 to 3300 years old and found that all shared an identical haplotype. Although mitochondrial diversity was extremely low within the living population, we still were able to detect geographic subdivision within the local area. Using serial coalescent modelling with Bayesian priors from both modern and ancient genetic data we simulated a range of probable population sizes and mutation rates through time. Our simulations suggest that regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia.

  4. Salamander Regeneration as a Model for Developing Novel Regenerative and Anticancer Therapies

    OpenAIRE

    Fior, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Among vertebrates, urodele amphibians are the only tetrapods with the ability to regenerate complex structures such as limbs, tail, and spinal cord throughout their lives. Furthermore, the salamander regeneration process has been shown to reverse tumorigenicity. Fibroblasts are essential for salamander regeneration, but the mechanisms underlying their role in the formation of a regeneration blastema remain unclear. Here, I review the role of fibroblasts in salamander limb regeneration and how...

  5. Bayesian Games with Intentions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Bjorndahl

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We show that standard Bayesian games cannot represent the full spectrum of belief-dependent preferences. However, by introducing a fundamental distinction between intended and actual strategies, we remove this limitation. We define Bayesian games with intentions, generalizing both Bayesian games and psychological games, and prove that Nash equilibria in psychological games correspond to a special class of equilibria as defined in our setting.

  6. Impact of valley fills on streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Valley fills associated with mountaintop-removal mining bury stream headwaters and affect water quality and ecological function of reaches below fills. We quantified relative abundance of streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia during 2002 in three streams below valley fills (VFS) and in three reference streams (RS). We surveyed 36 10- × 2-m stream transects, once in summer and fall, paired by order and structure. Of 2,343 salamanders captured, 66.7% were from RS. Total salamanders (adults plus larvae) were more abundant in RS than VFS for first-order and second-order reaches. Adult salamanders had greater abundance in first-order reaches of RS than VFS. Larval salamanders were more abundant in second-order reaches of RS than VFS. No stream width or mesohabitat variables differed between VFS and RS. Only two cover variables differed. Silt cover, greater in VFS than RS first-order reaches, is a likely contributor to reduced abundance of salamanders in VFS. Second-order RS had more boulder cover than second-order VFS, which may have contributed to the higher total and larval salamander abundance in RS. Water chemistry assessments of our VFS and RS reported elevated levels of metal and ion concentrations in VFS, which can depress macroinvertebrate populations and likely affect salamander abundance. Valley fills appear to have significant negative effects on stream salamander abundance due to alterations in habitat structure, water quality and chemistry, and macroinvertebrate communities in streams below fills.

  7. High occupancy of stream salamanders despite high ranavirus prevalence in a southern appalachians watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothermel, Betsie B; Travis, Emilie R; Miller, Debra L; Hill, Robert L; McGuire, Jessica L; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-06-01

    The interactive effects of environmental stressors and emerging infectious disease pose potential threats to stream salamander communities and their headwater stream ecosystems. To begin assessing these threats, we conducted occupancy surveys and pathogen screening of stream salamanders (Family Plethodontidae) in a protected southern Appalachians watershed in Georgia and North Carolina, USA. Of the 101 salamanders screened for both chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus, only two exhibited low-level chytrid infections. Prevalence of Ranavirus was much higher (30.4% among five species of Desmognathus). Despite the ubiquity of ranaviral infections, we found high probabilities of site occupancy (≥0.60) for all stream salamander species.

  8. Bayesian statistics an introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Peter M

    2012-01-01

    Bayesian Statistics is the school of thought that combines prior beliefs with the likelihood of a hypothesis to arrive at posterior beliefs. The first edition of Peter Lee’s book appeared in 1989, but the subject has moved ever onwards, with increasing emphasis on Monte Carlo based techniques. This new fourth edition looks at recent techniques such as variational methods, Bayesian importance sampling, approximate Bayesian computation and Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (RJMCMC), providing a concise account of the way in which the Bayesian approach to statistics develops as wel

  9. Understanding Computational Bayesian Statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Bolstad, William M

    2011-01-01

    A hands-on introduction to computational statistics from a Bayesian point of view Providing a solid grounding in statistics while uniquely covering the topics from a Bayesian perspective, Understanding Computational Bayesian Statistics successfully guides readers through this new, cutting-edge approach. With its hands-on treatment of the topic, the book shows how samples can be drawn from the posterior distribution when the formula giving its shape is all that is known, and how Bayesian inferences can be based on these samples from the posterior. These ideas are illustrated on common statistic

  10. The skull structure of six species of Mesoamerican plethodontid salamanders (Amphibia, Urodela).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehmcke, Jens; Clemen, Günter

    2003-06-01

    The skulls of six species of plethodontid salamanders of the genus Bolitoglossa from Costa Rica and Panama, Bolitoglossa colonnea, B. dofleini, B. lignicolor, B. marmorea, B. schizodactyla and B. striatula are comparatively analysed. All species are terrestrial or slightly arboreal and show no life-mode-dependent skull characteristics. Heads cleared by transparent preparation and stained in toto were used for examination of the skull structure and paraffin sections of the gonads were prepared to confirm sexual maturity of each individual. Focussing on the size of the premaxillary pars dentalis, the degree of fusion of the processus dorsales praemaxillares and the presence or absence of the paired prefrontals we state that B. dofleini and B. striatula possess more ancestral characteristics, B. marmorea is situated in an intermediate position and B. colonnea, B. lignicolor and B. schizodactyla show more advanced characteristics.

  11. Spinal cord regeneration: where fish, frogs and salamanders lead the way, can we follow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz Quiroz, Juan Felipe; Echeverri, Karen

    2013-05-01

    Major trauma to the mammalian spinal cord often results in irreversible loss of function, i.e. paralysis, and current therapies ranging from drugs, implantations of stem cells and/or biomaterials, and electrically stimulated nerve regrowth, have so far offered very limited success in improving quality-of-life. However, in marked contrast with this basic shortcoming of ours, certain vertebrate species, including fish and salamanders, display the amazing ability to faithfully regenerate various complex body structures after injury or ablation, restoring full functionality, even in the case of the spinal cord. Despite the inherently strong and obvious translational potential for improving treatment strategies for human patients, our in-depth molecular-level understanding of these decidedly more advanced repair systems remains in its infancy. In the present review, we will discuss the current state of this field, focusing on recent progress in such molecular analyses using various regenerative species, and how these so far relate to the mammalian situation.

  12. The bugs book a practical introduction to Bayesian analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Lunn, David; Best, Nicky; Thomas, Andrew; Spiegelhalter, David

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Probability and ParametersProbabilityProbability distributionsCalculating properties of probability distributionsMonte Carlo integrationMonte Carlo Simulations Using BUGSIntroduction to BUGSDoodleBUGSUsing BUGS to simulate from distributionsTransformations of random variablesComplex calculations using Monte CarloMultivariate Monte Carlo analysisPredictions with unknown parametersIntroduction to Bayesian InferenceBayesian learningPosterior predictive distributionsConjugate Bayesian inferenceInference about a discrete parameterCombinations of conjugate analysesBayesian and classica

  13. Ecological radiation with limited morphological diversification in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankers, Thomas; Adams, D C; Wiens, J J

    2012-04-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to explain morphological diversity among species. Many studies suggest that much morphological variation is explained by adaptation to different microhabitats. Here, we test whether morphology and microhabitat use are related in plethodontid salamanders, which contain the majority of salamander species, and have radiated into a striking diversity of microhabitats. We obtained microhabitat data for 189 species that also had both morphometric and phylogenetic data. We then tested for associations between morphology and microhabitat categories using phylogenetic comparative methods. Associations between morphology and ecology in plethodontids are largely confined to a single clade within one subfamily (Bolitoglossinae), whereas variation in morphology across other plethodontids is unrelated to microhabitat categories. These results demonstrate that ecological radiation and morphological evolution can be largely decoupled in a major clade. The results also offer a striking contrast to lizards, which typically show close relationships between morphology and microhabitat.

  14. Bayesian Mediation Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Ying; MacKinnon, David P.

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we propose Bayesian analysis of mediation effects. Compared with conventional frequentist mediation analysis, the Bayesian approach has several advantages. First, it allows researchers to incorporate prior information into the mediation analysis, thus potentially improving the efficiency of estimates. Second, under the Bayesian…

  15. 76 FR 44036 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, AT&T Portable...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-22

    ... Salamander, AT&T Portable Generator Storage Facility, Yolo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... potential for ``take'' of one Federally listed animal, the California tiger salamander. The applicant would... for the California tiger salamander into a new storage facility for portable generators within...

  16. 76 FR 55413 - Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for California Red-legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, Smith...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-07

    ... Tiger Salamander, Smith's Blue Butterfly, and Yadon's Piperia at Palo Corona Regional Park, Monterey... federally threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and California tiger salamander (Ambystoma..., California tiger salamander, Smith's blue butterfly, and Yadon's piperia on the property subject to...

  17. Macrophages are required for adult salamander limb regeneration

    OpenAIRE

    Godwin, James W.; Pinto, Alexander R.; Nadia A. Rosenthal

    2013-01-01

    The failure to replace damaged body parts in adult mammals results from a muted growth response and fibrotic scarring. Although infiltrating immune cells play a major role in determining the variable outcome of mammalian wound repair, little is known about the modulation of immune cell signaling in efficiently regenerating species such as the salamander, which can regrow complete body structures as adults. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of immune signaling during limb regeneration i...

  18. Bayesian Probability Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Linden, Wolfgang; Dose, Volker; von Toussaint, Udo

    2014-06-01

    Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. The meaning of probability; 2. Basic definitions; 3. Bayesian inference; 4. Combinatrics; 5. Random walks; 6. Limit theorems; 7. Continuous distributions; 8. The central limit theorem; 9. Poisson processes and waiting times; Part II. Assigning Probabilities: 10. Transformation invariance; 11. Maximum entropy; 12. Qualified maximum entropy; 13. Global smoothness; Part III. Parameter Estimation: 14. Bayesian parameter estimation; 15. Frequentist parameter estimation; 16. The Cramer-Rao inequality; Part IV. Testing Hypotheses: 17. The Bayesian way; 18. The frequentist way; 19. Sampling distributions; 20. Bayesian vs frequentist hypothesis tests; Part V. Real World Applications: 21. Regression; 22. Inconsistent data; 23. Unrecognized signal contributions; 24. Change point problems; 25. Function estimation; 26. Integral equations; 27. Model selection; 28. Bayesian experimental design; Part VI. Probabilistic Numerical Techniques: 29. Numerical integration; 30. Monte Carlo methods; 31. Nested sampling; Appendixes; References; Index.

  19. Cannibalistic-morph Tiger Salamanders in unexpected ecological contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Kyle I.; Stockwell, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Barred tiger salamanders [Ambystoma mavortium (Baird, 1850)] exhibit two trophic morphologies; a typical and a cannibalistic morph. Cannibalistic morphs, distinguished by enlarged vomerine teeth, wide heads, slender bodies, and cannibalistic tendencies, are often found where conspecifics occur at high density. During 2012 and 2013, 162 North Dakota wetlands and lakes were sampled for salamanders. Fifty-one contained A. mavortium populations; four of these contained cannibalistic morph individuals. Two populations with cannibalistic morphs occurred at sites with high abundances of conspecifics. However, the other two populations occurred at sites with unexpectedly low conspecific but high fathead minnow [Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)] abundances. Further, no typical morphs were observed in either of these later two populations, contrasting with earlier research suggesting cannibalistic morphs only occur at low frequencies in salamander populations. Another anomaly of all four populations was the occurrence of cannibalistic morphs in permanent water sites, suggesting their presence was due to factors other than faster growth allowing them to occupy ephemeral habitats. Therefore, our findings suggest environmental factors inducing the cannibalistic morphism may be more complex than previously thought.

  20. Mechanisms underlying vertebrate limb regeneration: lessons from the salamander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockes, Jeremy P; Gates, Phillip B

    2014-06-01

    Limb regeneration in adult salamanders proceeds by formation of a mound of progenitor cells called the limb blastema. It provides several pointers for regenerative medicine. These include the role of differentiated cells in the origin of the blastema, the role of regenerating axons of peripheral nerves and the importance of cell specification in conferring morphogenetic autonomy on the blastema. One aspect of regeneration that has received less attention is the ability to undergo multiple episodes without detectable change in the outcome, and with minimal effect of aging. We suggest that, although such pointers are valuable, it is important to understand why salamanders are the only adult tetrapod vertebrates able to regenerate their limbs. Although this remains a controversial issue, the existence of salamander-specific genes that play a significant role in the mechanism of regeneration provides evidence for the importance of local evolution, rather than a purely ancestral mechanism. The three-finger protein called Prod1 is discussed in the present article as an exemplar of this approach.

  1. Detection of an enigmatic plethodontid Salamander using Environmental DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, Todd W.; Mckee, Anna; Spear, Stephen F.; Maerz, John C.; Camp, Carlos D.; Glenn, Travis C.

    2016-01-01

    The isolation and identification of environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a non-invasive and efficient method for the detection of rare and secretive aquatic wildlife, and it is being widely integrated into inventory and monitoring efforts. The Patch-Nosed Salamander (Urspelerpes brucei) is a tiny, recently discovered species of plethodontid salamander known only from headwater streams in a small region of Georgia and South Carolina. Here, we present results of a quantitative PCR-based eDNA assay capable of detecting Urspelerpes in more than 75% of 33 samples from five confirmed streams. We deployed the method at 31 additional streams and located three previously undocumented populations of Urspelerpes. We compare the results of our eDNA assay with our attempt to use aquatic leaf litterbags for the rapid detection of Urspelerpes and demonstrate the relative efficacy of the eDNA assay. We suggest that eDNA offers great potential for use in detecting other aquatic and semi-aquatic plethodontid salamanders.

  2. Space Shuttle RTOS Bayesian Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, A. Terry; Beling, Peter A.

    2001-01-01

    With shrinking budgets and the requirements to increase reliability and operational life of the existing orbiter fleet, NASA has proposed various upgrades for the Space Shuttle that are consistent with national space policy. The cockpit avionics upgrade (CAU), a high priority item, has been selected as the next major upgrade. The primary functions of cockpit avionics include flight control, guidance and navigation, communication, and orbiter landing support. Secondary functions include the provision of operational services for non-avionics systems such as data handling for the payloads and caution and warning alerts to the crew. Recently, a process to selection the optimal commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) real-time operating system (RTOS) for the CAU was conducted by United Space Alliance (USA) Corporation, which is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for space shuttle operations. In order to independently assess the RTOS selection, NASA has used the Bayesian network-based scoring methodology described in this paper. Our two-stage methodology addresses the issue of RTOS acceptability by incorporating functional, performance and non-functional software measures related to reliability, interoperability, certifiability, efficiency, correctness, business, legal, product history, cost and life cycle. The first stage of the methodology involves obtaining scores for the various measures using a Bayesian network. The Bayesian network incorporates the causal relationships between the various and often competing measures of interest while also assisting the inherently complex decision analysis process with its ability to reason under uncertainty. The structure and selection of prior probabilities for the network is extracted from experts in the field of real-time operating systems. Scores for the various measures are computed using Bayesian probability. In the second stage, multi-criteria trade-off analyses are performed between the scores

  3. Konstruksi Bayesian Network Dengan Algoritma Bayesian Association Rule Mining Network

    OpenAIRE

    Octavian

    2015-01-01

    Beberapa tahun terakhir, Bayesian Network telah menjadi konsep yang populer digunakan dalam berbagai bidang kehidupan seperti dalam pengambilan sebuah keputusan dan menentukan peluang suatu kejadian dapat terjadi. Sayangnya, pengkonstruksian struktur dari Bayesian Network itu sendiri bukanlah hal yang sederhana. Oleh sebab itu, penelitian ini mencoba memperkenalkan algoritma Bayesian Association Rule Mining Network untuk memudahkan kita dalam mengkonstruksi Bayesian Network berdasarkan data ...

  4. Environmental and Anthropogenic Factors Influencing Salamanders in Riparian Forests: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah L. Clipp

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Salamanders and riparian forests are intimately interconnected. Salamanders are integral to ecosystem functions, contributing to vertebrate biomass and complex food webs in riparian forests. In turn, these forests are critical ecosystems that perform many environmental services, facilitate high biodiversity and species richness, and provide habitat to salamander populations. Due to the global decline of amphibians, it is important to understand, as thoroughly and holistically as possible, the roles of environmental parameters and the impact of human activities on salamander abundance and diversity in riparian forests. To determine the population responses of salamanders to a variety of environmental factors and anthropogenic activities, we conducted a review of published literature that compared salamander abundance and diversity, and then summarized and synthesized the data into general patterns. We identify stream quality, leaf litter and woody debris, riparian buffer width, and soil characteristics as major environmental factors influencing salamander populations in riparian forests, describe and explain salamander responses to those factors, and discuss the effects of anthropogenic activities such as timber harvest, prescribed fires, urbanization, road construction, and habitat fragmentation. This review can assist land and natural resource managers in anticipating the consequences of human activities and preparing strategic conservation plans.

  5. Effects of mercury on behavior and performance of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke, John N.; Bergeron, Christine M.; Todd, Brian D. [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 100 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States); Hopkins, William A., E-mail: hopkinsw@vt.ed [Wildlife Ecotoxicology and Physiological Ecology Program, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 100 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States)

    2010-12-15

    Mercury (Hg) causes a range of deleterious effects in wildlife, but little is known about its effects on amphibians. Our objective was to determine whether Hg affects performance and behavior in two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata). We collected salamanders from Hg-contaminated and reference sites and assessed speed, responsiveness, and prey capture ability. Mercury concentrations were >17x higher in salamanders from the contaminated sites and were among the highest documented in amphibians. In the first, but not in the second, locomotion trial, we found a significant effect of Hg on speed and responsiveness. In the prey capture experiment, reference salamanders ate approximately twice as many prey items as the contaminated salamanders. Together, our results suggest that sublethal Hg concentrations may negatively affect salamanders by reducing their ability to successfully execute tasks critical to survival. Future work is warranted to determine whether Hg has other sublethal effects on salamanders and whether other amphibians are similarly affected. - Mercury contamination may alter behavior and performance in the northern two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata).

  6. [Selective processes and adaptive evolution of the cytochrome b gene in salamanders of the genus Salamandrella].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maliarchuk, B A

    2012-06-01

    Sequence analysis of the cytochrome b gene fragment in the salamanders of the genus Salamandrella, Siberian salamander and Schrenk salamander was performed with the purpose to elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in these species. It was demonstrated that despite of notable influence of negative selection (expressed as very low dN/dS values), speciation and intraspecific divergence in salamanders was accompanied by the appearance of radical amino acid substitutions, caused by the influence of positive (directional) selection. To examine the evolutionary pattern of synonymous mtDNA sites, distribution of conservative and non-conservative substitutions was analyzed. The rates of conservative and non-conservative substitutions were nearly equal, pointing to neutrality of mutation process at synonymous mtDNA sites of salamanders. Analysis of conservative and non-conservative synonymous substitution distributions in different parts of phylogenetic trees showed that the differences between the synonymous groups compared were statistically significant only in one phylogenetic group of Siberian salamander (haplogroup C) (P = 0.02). In the group of single substitutions, located at terminal phylogenetic branches of Siberian salamanders from group C, increased rate of conservative substitutions was observed. Based on these findings, it was suggested that selective processes could have an influence on the formation of the synonymous substitution profile in the Siberian salamander mtDNA fragment examined.

  7. Morphological variation in salamanders and their potential response to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Colleoni, Emiliano; Renaud, Julien; Scali, Stefano; Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-06-01

    Despite the recognition that some species might quickly adapt to new conditions under climate change, demonstrating and predicting such a fundamental response is challenging. Morphological variations in response to climate may be caused by evolutionary changes or phenotypic plasticity, or both, but teasing apart these processes is difficult. Here, we built on the number of thoracic vertebrae (NTV) in ectothermic vertebrates, a known genetically based feature, to establish a link with body size and evaluate how climate change might affect the future morphological response of this group of species. First, we show that in old-world salamanders, NTV variation is strongly related to changes in body size. Secondly, using 22 salamander species as a case study, we found support for relationships between the spatial variation in selected bioclimatic variables and NTV for most of species. For 44% of species, precipitation and aridity were the predominant drivers of geographical variation of the NTV. Temperature features were dominant for 31% of species, while for 19% temperature and precipitation played a comparable role. This two-step analysis demonstrates that ectothermic vertebrates may evolve in response to climate change by modifying the number of thoracic vertebrae. These findings allow to develop scenarios for potential morphological evolution under future climate change and to identify areas and species in which the most marked evolutionary responses are expected. Resistance to climate change estimated from species distribution models was positively related to present-day species morphological response, suggesting that the ability of morphological evolution may play a role for species' persistence under climate change. The possibility that present-day capacity for local adaptation might help the resistance response to climate change can be integrated into analyses of the impact of global changes and should also be considered when planning management actions favouring

  8. Defining evolutionary boundaries across parapatric ecomorphs of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) with conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Sean B; Marks, Sharyn B; Jennings, W Bryan

    2012-12-01

    The accurate delimitation of evolutionary population units represents an important component in phylogeographic and conservation genetic studies. Here, we used a combined population assignment and historical demographic approach to study a complex of ecomorphologically distinctive populations of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) that are parapatrically distributed and meet at a three-way contact zone in north-western California. We used mitochondrial tree-based and multilocus clustering methods to evaluate a priori two- (Northern and Southern) and three (Northern, Coast and Inland) population hypotheses derived from previous studies. Mitochondrial results were consistent with the two- and three-population hypotheses, while the nDNA clustering results supported only the two-population hypothesis. Historical demographic analyses and mtDNA gene divergence estimates revealed that the Northern and Southern populations split during the Pliocene (2-5 Ma). Subdivision of the Southern population into Coast and Inland populations was estimated to be late Pleistocene (0.24 Ma), although our mtDNA results suggested a Pliocene divergence. Effective gene flow estimates (2N(e)m) suggest that either the two- or three-population hypotheses remain valid. However, our results unexpectedly revealed that the Northern population might instead represent two parapatric populations that separated nearly 4 Ma. These results are surprising because the Pliocene divergence between these ecomorphologically conservative forms is similar or older than for the ecomorphologically divergent Coast and Inland sister populations. We conclude that Black Salamanders in north-western California belong to at least three or four populations or species, and these all meet criteria for being Evolutionary Significant Units or 'ESUs' and therefore warrant conservation consideration.

  9. Morphological variation in salamanders and their potential response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Colleoni, Emiliano; Renaud, Julien; Scali, Stefano; Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-01-01

    Despite the recognition that some species might quickly adapt to new conditions under climate change, demonstrating and predicting such a fundamental response is challenging. Morphological variations in response to climate may be caused by evolutionary changes or phenotypic plasticity, or both, but teasing apart these processes is difficult. Here we built on the number of thoracic vertebrae (NTV) in ectothermic vertebrates, a known genetically-based feature, to establish a link with body size and evaluate how climate change might affect the future morphological response of this group of species. First we show that in old-world salamanders, NTV variation is strongly related to changes in body size. Secondly, using 22 salamander species as a case study, we found support for relationships between the spatial variation in selected bioclimatic variables and NTV for most of species. For 44% of species, precipitation and aridity were the predominant drivers of geographical variation of the NTV. Temperature features were dominant for 31% of species, while for 19% temperature and precipitation played a comparable role. This two-step analysis demonstrates that ectothermic vertebrates may evolve in response to climate change by modifying the number of thoracic vertebrae. These findings allow to develop scenarios for potential morphological evolution under future climate change, and to identify areas and species in which the most marked evolutionary responses are expected. Resistance to climate change estimated from species distribution models was positively related to present-day species morphological response, suggesting that the ability of morphological evolution may play a role for species’ persistence under climate change. The possibility that present-day capacity for local adaptation might help the resistance response to climate change can be integrated into analyses of the impact of global changes, and should also be considered when planning management actions

  10. Model Diagnostics for Bayesian Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinharay, Sandip

    2006-01-01

    Bayesian networks are frequently used in educational assessments primarily for learning about students' knowledge and skills. There is a lack of works on assessing fit of Bayesian networks. This article employs the posterior predictive model checking method, a popular Bayesian model checking tool, to assess fit of simple Bayesian networks. A…

  11. An introduction to Gaussian Bayesian networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzegorczyk, Marco

    2010-01-01

    The extraction of regulatory networks and pathways from postgenomic data is important for drug -discovery and development, as the extracted pathways reveal how genes or proteins regulate each other. Following up on the seminal paper of Friedman et al. (J Comput Biol 7:601-620, 2000), Bayesian networks have been widely applied as a popular tool to this end in systems biology research. Their popularity stems from the tractability of the marginal likelihood of the network structure, which is a consistent scoring scheme in the Bayesian context. This score is based on an integration over the entire parameter space, for which highly expensive computational procedures have to be applied when using more complex -models based on differential equations; for example, see (Bioinformatics 24:833-839, 2008). This chapter gives an introduction to reverse engineering regulatory networks and pathways with Gaussian Bayesian networks, that is Bayesian networks with the probabilistic BGe scoring metric [see (Geiger and Heckerman 235-243, 1995)]. In the BGe model, the data are assumed to stem from a Gaussian distribution and a normal-Wishart prior is assigned to the unknown parameters. Gaussian Bayesian network methodology for analysing static observational, static interventional as well as dynamic (observational) time series data will be described in detail in this chapter. Finally, we apply these Bayesian network inference methods (1) to observational and interventional flow cytometry (protein) data from the well-known RAF pathway to evaluate the global network reconstruction accuracy of Bayesian network inference and (2) to dynamic gene expression time series data of nine circadian genes in Arabidopsis thaliana to reverse engineer the unknown regulatory network topology for this domain.

  12. Bayesian Lensing Shear Measurement

    CERN Document Server

    Bernstein, Gary M

    2013-01-01

    We derive an estimator of weak gravitational lensing shear from background galaxy images that avoids noise-induced biases through a rigorous Bayesian treatment of the measurement. The Bayesian formalism requires a prior describing the (noiseless) distribution of the target galaxy population over some parameter space; this prior can be constructed from low-noise images of a subsample of the target population, attainable from long integrations of a fraction of the survey field. We find two ways to combine this exact treatment of noise with rigorous treatment of the effects of the instrumental point-spread function and sampling. The Bayesian model fitting (BMF) method assigns a likelihood of the pixel data to galaxy models (e.g. Sersic ellipses), and requires the unlensed distribution of galaxies over the model parameters as a prior. The Bayesian Fourier domain (BFD) method compresses galaxies to a small set of weighted moments calculated after PSF correction in Fourier space. It requires the unlensed distributi...

  13. Bayesian psychometric scaling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fox, G.J.A.; Berg, van den S.M.; Veldkamp, B.P.; Irwing, P.; Booth, T.; Hughes, D.

    2015-01-01

    In educational and psychological studies, psychometric methods are involved in the measurement of constructs, and in constructing and validating measurement instruments. Assessment results are typically used to measure student proficiency levels and test characteristics. Recently, Bayesian item resp

  14. Noncausal Bayesian Vector Autoregression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lanne, Markku; Luoto, Jani

    We propose a Bayesian inferential procedure for the noncausal vector autoregressive (VAR) model that is capable of capturing nonlinearities and incorporating effects of missing variables. In particular, we devise a fast and reliable posterior simulator that yields the predictive distribution...

  15. Practical Bayesian Tomography

    CERN Document Server

    Granade, Christopher; Cory, D G

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, Bayesian methods have been proposed as a solution to a wide range of issues in quantum state and process tomography. State-of- the-art Bayesian tomography solutions suffer from three problems: numerical intractability, a lack of informative prior distributions, and an inability to track time-dependent processes. Here, we solve all three problems. First, we use modern statistical methods, as pioneered by Husz\\'ar and Houlsby and by Ferrie, to make Bayesian tomography numerically tractable. Our approach allows for practical computation of Bayesian point and region estimators for quantum states and channels. Second, we propose the first informative priors on quantum states and channels. Finally, we develop a method that allows online tracking of time-dependent states and estimates the drift and diffusion processes affecting a state. We provide source code and animated visual examples for our methods.

  16. Bayesian analysis of MEG visual evoked responses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, D.M.; George, J.S.; Wood, C.C.

    1999-04-01

    The authors developed a method for analyzing neural electromagnetic data that allows probabilistic inferences to be drawn about regions of activation. The method involves the generation of a large number of possible solutions which both fir the data and prior expectations about the nature of probable solutions made explicit by a Bayesian formalism. In addition, they have introduced a model for the current distributions that produce MEG and (EEG) data that allows extended regions of activity, and can easily incorporate prior information such as anatomical constraints from MRI. To evaluate the feasibility and utility of the Bayesian approach with actual data, they analyzed MEG data from a visual evoked response experiment. They compared Bayesian analyses of MEG responses to visual stimuli in the left and right visual fields, in order to examine the sensitivity of the method to detect known features of human visual cortex organization. They also examined the changing pattern of cortical activation as a function of time.

  17. Dynamic Bayesian Combination of Multiple Imperfect Classifiers

    CERN Document Server

    Simpson, Edwin; Psorakis, Ioannis; Smith, Arfon

    2012-01-01

    Classifier combination methods need to make best use of the outputs of multiple, imperfect classifiers to enable higher accuracy classifications. In many situations, such as when human decisions need to be combined, the base decisions can vary enormously in reliability. A Bayesian approach to such uncertain combination allows us to infer the differences in performance between individuals and to incorporate any available prior knowledge about their abilities when training data is sparse. In this paper we explore Bayesian classifier combination, using the computationally efficient framework of variational Bayesian inference. We apply the approach to real data from a large citizen science project, Galaxy Zoo Supernovae, and show that our method far outperforms other established approaches to imperfect decision combination. We go on to analyse the putative community structure of the decision makers, based on their inferred decision making strategies, and show that natural groupings are formed. Finally we present ...

  18. Geographic variation, genetic structure and conservation unit designation in the larch mountain salamander( Plethodon larselli)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, R.S.; Miller, Mark P.; Crisafulli, Charles; Haig, Susan M.

    2005-01-01

    The Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli Burns, 1954) is an endemic species in the Pacific northwestern United States facing threats related to habitat destruction. To facilitate development of conservation strategies, we used DNA sequences and RAPDs (random amplified polymorphic DNA) to examine differences among populations of this species. Phylogenetic analyses of cytochrome b revealed a clade of haplotypes from populations north of the Columbia River derived from a clade containing haplotypes from the river's southwestern region. Haplotypes from southeastern populations formed a separate clade. Nucleotide diversity was reduced in northern populations relative to southern populations. These results were corroborated by analyses of RAPD loci, which revealed similar patterns of clustering and diversity. Network analyses suggested that northern populations were colonized following a range expansion mediated by individuals from populations located southwest of the river. Changes in the Columbia River's location during the Pliocene and Pleistocene likely released distributional constraints on this species, permitting their northern range expansion. Based on the barrier presented by the Columbia River's present location and differences in haplotype diversity and population structure observed between northern and southern populations, we suggest that designation of separate management units encompassing each region may assist with mitigating different threats to this species.

  19. Environmental influences on egg and clutch sizes in lentic- and lotic-breeding salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon M. Davenport

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent research indicates that social and environmental factors influence egg and clutch sizes in amphibians. However, most of this work is based on the reproductively diverse order Anura (frogs and toads, whereas less research has been conducted on Caudata (salamanders and Gymnophiona (caecilians. Researchers have suggested that a relationship exists between social and environmental factors and egg and clutch sizes in salamanders, but studies controlling for phylogenetic context are lacking. We could not identify a sufficient number of comparisons for social influences on egg and clutch sizes; therefore, we focused on environmental influences for this study. Data on egg size, clutch size, environmental factors, and phylogenies for salamanders were assembled from the scientific literature. We used independent, pair-wise comparisons to investigate the association of larval salamander habitat and egg size and the association of larval salamander habitat with clutch sizes within a phylogenetic framework. There is a significant association between larval habitat and egg size; specifically, stream-breeding species produce larger eggs. There is no significant association between larval habitat and clutchsize. Our study confirms earlier reports that salamander egg size is associated with larval environments, but is the first to use phylogenetically independent contrasts to account for the lack of phylogenetic independence of the traits measured (egg size and clutch size associated with many of the diverse lineages. Our study shows that environmental selection pressure can be quite strong on one aspect of salamander reproduction—egg size.

  20. What Do Owls, Salamanders, Flycatchers and Cuckoos Have In Common?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Musgrave, Maria A. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Wildlife Management

    2016-09-27

    This is an article from the Los Alamos Living magazine. Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on a beautiful and unique landscape that provides important protected habitat to many species, including a few that are federally-listed as threatened or endangered. These species are the Jemez Mountains Salamander, the Mexican Spotted Owl, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse. Part of the job of the Laboratory's wildlife biologists is to survey for these species each year and determine what actions need to be taken if they are found.

  1. Axial dynamics during locomotion in vertebrates lesson from the salamander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke; Lamarque, Stéphanie; Ryczko, Dimitri

    2010-01-01

    Much of what we know about the flexibility of the locomotor networks in vertebrates is derived from studies examining the adaptation of limb movements during stepping in various conditions. However, the body movements play important roles during locomotion: they produce the thrust during undulatory locomotion and they help to increase the stride length during legged locomotion. In this chapter, we review our current knowledge about the flexibility in the neuronal circuits controlling the body musculature during locomotion. We focus especially on salamander because, as an amphibian, this animal is able to display a rich repertoire of aquatic and terrestrial locomotor modes.

  2. Bayesian phylogeography finds its roots.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Lemey

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available As a key factor in endemic and epidemic dynamics, the geographical distribution of viruses has been frequently interpreted in the light of their genetic histories. Unfortunately, inference of historical dispersal or migration patterns of viruses has mainly been restricted to model-free heuristic approaches that provide little insight into the temporal setting of the spatial dynamics. The introduction of probabilistic models of evolution, however, offers unique opportunities to engage in this statistical endeavor. Here we introduce a Bayesian framework for inference, visualization and hypothesis testing of phylogeographic history. By implementing character mapping in a Bayesian software that samples time-scaled phylogenies, we enable the reconstruction of timed viral dispersal patterns while accommodating phylogenetic uncertainty. Standard Markov model inference is extended with a stochastic search variable selection procedure that identifies the parsimonious descriptions of the diffusion process. In addition, we propose priors that can incorporate geographical sampling distributions or characterize alternative hypotheses about the spatial dynamics. To visualize the spatial and temporal information, we summarize inferences using virtual globe software. We describe how Bayesian phylogeography compares with previous parsimony analysis in the investigation of the influenza A H5N1 origin and H5N1 epidemiological linkage among sampling localities. Analysis of rabies in West African dog populations reveals how virus diffusion may enable endemic maintenance through continuous epidemic cycles. From these analyses, we conclude that our phylogeographic framework will make an important asset in molecular epidemiology that can be easily generalized to infer biogeogeography from genetic data for many organisms.

  3. Science Review for the Scott Bar Salamander (Plethodon asupak) and the Siskiyou Mountains Salamander (P. stormi): Biology, Taxonomy, Habitat, and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGross, Douglas J.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The Plethodon elongatus Complex in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion of southern Oregon and northern California includes three species: the Del Norte salamander, Plethodon elongatus; the Siskiyou Mountains salamander, P. stormi; and the Scott Bar salamander, P. asupak. This review aims to summarize the current literature and information available on select topics for P. stormi and P. asupak. These are both terrestrial salamanders belonging to the Family Plethodontidae, which contains more species and has a wider geographic distribution than any other family of salamanders (Wake 1966, 2006; Pough 1989). The genera of this family have greatly diversified ecologically across North America, Central America, northern South America, Sardinia, southeastern France and northwestern Italy, and have recently been discovered on the Korean peninsula (Min et al. 2005). The genus Plethodon is found exclusively in North America and is split into three distinct clades, based upon morphology and phylogenetics (Highton and Larson 1979): eastern small Plethodon, eastern large Plethodon, and the western Plethodon. The western Plethodon are the greatest representation of Plethodontidae in the Pacific Northwest, with 8 species. The two species with the most restricted ranges of these regional congeners are the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders. These salamanders occupy the interior of the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion which straddles the California and Oregon state lines, between Siskiyou County (CA) and Jackson and Josephine Counties (OR). The relatively recent discovery of P. asupak (Mead et al. 2005) and the limited range of both species have created an environment of uncertain conservation status for these species. This review will focus on four central topics of concern for land and resource managers: Biology; Taxonomy; Habitat; and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy.

  4. Slow Lives in the Fast Landscape: Conservation and Management of Plethodontid Salamanders in Production Forests of the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica A. Homyack

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Intensively-managed forest (IMF ecosystems support environmental processes, retain biodiversity and reduce pressure to extract wood products from other forests, but may affect species, such as plethodontid salamanders, that are associated with closed canopies and possess limited vagility. We describe: (1 critical aspects of IMF ecosystems; (2 effectiveness of plethodontid salamanders as barometers of forest change; (3 two case studies of relationships between salamanders and coarse woody debris (CWD; and (4 research needs for effective management of salamanders in IMF ecosystems. Although plethodontid salamanders are sensitive to microclimate changes, their role as ecological indicators rarely have been evaluated quantitatively. Our case studies of CWD and salamanders in western and eastern forests demonstrated effects of species, region and spatial scale on the existence and strength of relationships between plethodontid species and a “critical” microhabitat variable. Oregon slender salamanders (Batrachoseps wrighti were more strongly associated with abundance of CWD in managed second growth forests than ensatina salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii. Similarly, CWD was not an important predictor of abundance of Appalachian salamanders in managed hardwood forest. Gaining knowledge of salamanders in IMF ecosystems is critical to reconciling ecological and economic objectives of intensive forest management, but faces challenges in design and implementation.

  5. Bayesian Face Sketch Synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Nannan; Gao, Xinbo; Sun, Leiyu; Li, Jie

    2017-03-01

    Exemplar-based face sketch synthesis has been widely applied to both digital entertainment and law enforcement. In this paper, we propose a Bayesian framework for face sketch synthesis, which provides a systematic interpretation for understanding the common properties and intrinsic difference in different methods from the perspective of probabilistic graphical models. The proposed Bayesian framework consists of two parts: the neighbor selection model and the weight computation model. Within the proposed framework, we further propose a Bayesian face sketch synthesis method. The essential rationale behind the proposed Bayesian method is that we take the spatial neighboring constraint between adjacent image patches into consideration for both aforementioned models, while the state-of-the-art methods neglect the constraint either in the neighbor selection model or in the weight computation model. Extensive experiments on the Chinese University of Hong Kong face sketch database demonstrate that the proposed Bayesian method could achieve superior performance compared with the state-of-the-art methods in terms of both subjective perceptions and objective evaluations.

  6. Evidence for Sex Chromosome Turnover in Proteid Salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessions, Stanley K; Bizjak Mali, Lilijana; Green, David M; Trifonov, Vladimir; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm

    2016-01-01

    A major goal of genomic and reproductive biology is to understand the evolution of sex determination and sex chromosomes. Species of the 2 genera of the Salamander family Proteidae - Necturus of eastern North America, and Proteus of Southern Europe - have similar-looking karyotypes with the same chromosome number (2n = 38), which differentiates them from all other salamanders. However, Necturus possesses strongly heteromorphic X and Y sex chromosomes that Proteus lacks. Since the heteromorphic sex chromosomes of Necturus were detectable only with C-banding, we hypothesized that we could use C-banding to find sex chromosomes in Proteus. We examined mitotic material from colchicine-treated intestinal epithelium, and meiotic material from testes in specimens of Proteus, representing 3 genetically distinct populations in Slovenia. We compared these results with those from Necturus. We performed FISH to visualize telomeric sequences in meiotic bivalents. Our results provide evidence that Proteus represents an example of sex chromosome turnover in which a Necturus-like Y-chromosome has become permanently translocated to another chromosome converting heteromorphic sex chromosomes to homomorphic sex chromosomes. These results may be key to understanding some unusual aspects of demographics and reproductive biology of Proteus, and are discussed in the context of models of the evolution of sex chromosomes in amphibians.

  7. Variation in mating systems of salamanders: mate guarding or territoriality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitloff, Jennifer; Alcorn, Michael A; Graham, Sean P

    2014-07-01

    Two of the most common mating tactics in vertebrates are mate guarding and territoriality, yet much of the research on these strategies has focused on mating systems in birds, despite novel insights gained from studying less traditional systems. North American stream salamanders that comprise the Eurycea bislineata complex represent an excellent nontraditional system for comparing mating strategies because these species exhibit a continuum of male morphologies, diverse habitat associations, and various potential mating strategies. We studied two species within this complex that exhibit the extremes of this continuum, Eurycea aquatica (robust morph) and Eurycea cirrigera (slender morph). The larger head in males of E. aquatica is due to larger musculature around the jaw and may be associated with aggressive behavior. Therefore, we hypothesized that the robust morphology exhibited by males of E. aquatica provides benefits during either territorial defense or mate defense and that males of E. cirrigera would not exhibit aggression in either scenario. We found that neither species exhibited aggressive behavior to defend a territory. However, in the presence of a female, males of E. aquatica were significantly more aggressive toward intruding males than were males of E. cirrigera. Therefore, mate-guarding behavior occurs in E. aquatica, and the enlarged head of males likely aids in deterring rivals. This is the first demonstration of mate-guarding behavior in a plethodontid, the most speciose family of salamanders.

  8. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karraker, Nancy E., E-mail: karraker@hku.hk [Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210 (United States); Gibbs, James P. [Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210 (United States)

    2011-03-15

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. - Road deicing salts irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

  9. Macrophages are required for adult salamander limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godwin, James W; Pinto, Alexander R; Rosenthal, Nadia A

    2013-06-04

    The failure to replace damaged body parts in adult mammals results from a muted growth response and fibrotic scarring. Although infiltrating immune cells play a major role in determining the variable outcome of mammalian wound repair, little is known about the modulation of immune cell signaling in efficiently regenerating species such as the salamander, which can regrow complete body structures as adults. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of immune signaling during limb regeneration in axolotl, an aquatic salamander, and reveal a temporally defined requirement for macrophage infiltration in the regenerative process. Although many features of mammalian cytokine/chemokine signaling are retained in the axolotl, they are more dynamically deployed, with simultaneous induction of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers within the first 24 h after limb amputation. Systemic macrophage depletion during this period resulted in wound closure but permanent failure of limb regeneration, associated with extensive fibrosis and disregulation of extracellular matrix component gene expression. Full limb regenerative capacity of failed stumps was restored by reamputation once endogenous macrophage populations had been replenished. Promotion of a regeneration-permissive environment by identification of macrophage-derived therapeutic molecules may therefore aid in the regeneration of damaged body parts in adult mammals.

  10. Bayesian least squares deconvolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asensio Ramos, A.; Petit, P.

    2015-11-01

    Aims: We develop a fully Bayesian least squares deconvolution (LSD) that can be applied to the reliable detection of magnetic signals in noise-limited stellar spectropolarimetric observations using multiline techniques. Methods: We consider LSD under the Bayesian framework and we introduce a flexible Gaussian process (GP) prior for the LSD profile. This prior allows the result to automatically adapt to the presence of signal. We exploit several linear algebra identities to accelerate the calculations. The final algorithm can deal with thousands of spectral lines in a few seconds. Results: We demonstrate the reliability of the method with synthetic experiments and we apply it to real spectropolarimetric observations of magnetic stars. We are able to recover the magnetic signals using a small number of spectral lines, together with the uncertainty at each velocity bin. This allows the user to consider if the detected signal is reliable. The code to compute the Bayesian LSD profile is freely available.

  11. Hybrid Batch Bayesian Optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Azimi, Javad; Fern, Xiaoli

    2012-01-01

    Bayesian Optimization aims at optimizing an unknown non-convex/concave function that is costly to evaluate. We are interested in application scenarios where concurrent function evaluations are possible. Under such a setting, BO could choose to either sequentially evaluate the function, one input at a time and wait for the output of the function before making the next selection, or evaluate the function at a batch of multiple inputs at once. These two different settings are commonly referred to as the sequential and batch settings of Bayesian Optimization. In general, the sequential setting leads to better optimization performance as each function evaluation is selected with more information, whereas the batch setting has an advantage in terms of the total experimental time (the number of iterations). In this work, our goal is to combine the strength of both settings. Specifically, we systematically analyze Bayesian optimization using Gaussian process as the posterior estimator and provide a hybrid algorithm t...

  12. Bayesian least squares deconvolution

    CERN Document Server

    Ramos, A Asensio

    2015-01-01

    Aims. To develop a fully Bayesian least squares deconvolution (LSD) that can be applied to the reliable detection of magnetic signals in noise-limited stellar spectropolarimetric observations using multiline techniques. Methods. We consider LSD under the Bayesian framework and we introduce a flexible Gaussian Process (GP) prior for the LSD profile. This prior allows the result to automatically adapt to the presence of signal. We exploit several linear algebra identities to accelerate the calculations. The final algorithm can deal with thousands of spectral lines in a few seconds. Results. We demonstrate the reliability of the method with synthetic experiments and we apply it to real spectropolarimetric observations of magnetic stars. We are able to recover the magnetic signals using a small number of spectral lines, together with the uncertainty at each velocity bin. This allows the user to consider if the detected signal is reliable. The code to compute the Bayesian LSD profile is freely available.

  13. Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conti, Gabriella; Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia; Heckman, James J.;

    2014-01-01

    This paper develops and applies a Bayesian approach to Exploratory Factor Analysis that improves on ad hoc classical approaches. Our framework relies on dedicated factor models and simultaneously determines the number of factors, the allocation of each measurement to a unique factor, and the corr......This paper develops and applies a Bayesian approach to Exploratory Factor Analysis that improves on ad hoc classical approaches. Our framework relies on dedicated factor models and simultaneously determines the number of factors, the allocation of each measurement to a unique factor......, and the corresponding factor loadings. Classical identification criteria are applied and integrated into our Bayesian procedure to generate models that are stable and clearly interpretable. A Monte Carlo study confirms the validity of the approach. The method is used to produce interpretable low dimensional aggregates...

  14. Bayesian Visual Odometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Center, Julian L.; Knuth, Kevin H.

    2011-03-01

    Visual odometry refers to tracking the motion of a body using an onboard vision system. Practical visual odometry systems combine the complementary accuracy characteristics of vision and inertial measurement units. The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, used this type of visual odometry. The visual odometry algorithms in Spirit and Opportunity were based on Bayesian methods, but a number of simplifying approximations were needed to deal with onboard computer limitations. Furthermore, the allowable motion of the rover had to be severely limited so that computations could keep up. Recent advances in computer technology make it feasible to implement a fully Bayesian approach to visual odometry. This approach combines dense stereo vision, dense optical flow, and inertial measurements. As with all true Bayesian methods, it also determines error bars for all estimates. This approach also offers the possibility of using Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) inertial components, which are more economical, weigh less, and consume less power than conventional inertial components.

  15. Bayesian Analysis of Individual Level Personality Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Cripps

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available A Bayesian technique with analyses of within-person processes at the level of the individual is presented. The approach is used to examine if the patterns of within-person responses on a 12 trial simulation task are consistent with the predictions of ITA theory (Dweck, 1999. ITA theory states that the performance of an individual with an entity theory of ability is more likely to spiral down following a failure experience than the performance of an individual with an incremental theory of ability. This is because entity theorists interpret failure experiences as evidence of a lack of ability, which they believe is largely innate and therefore relatively fixed; whilst incremental theorists believe in the malleability of abilities and interpret failure experiences as evidence of more controllable factors such as poor strategy or lack of effort. The results of our analyses support ITA theory at both the within- and between-person levels of analyses and demonstrate the benefits of Bayesian techniques for the analysis of within-person processes. These include more formal specification of the theory and the ability to draw inferences about each individual, which allows for more nuanced interpretations of individuals within a personality category, such as differences in the individual probabilities of spiralling. While Bayesian techniques have many potential advantages for the analyses of within-person processes at the individual level, ease of use is not one of them for psychologists trained in traditional frequentist statistical techniques.

  16. Probabilistic Inferences in Bayesian Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Ding, Jianguo

    2010-01-01

    This chapter summarizes the popular inferences methods in Bayesian networks. The results demonstrates that the evidence can propagated across the Bayesian networks by any links, whatever it is forward or backward or intercausal style. The belief updating of Bayesian networks can be obtained by various available inference techniques. Theoretically, exact inferences in Bayesian networks is feasible and manageable. However, the computing and inference is NP-hard. That means, in applications, in ...

  17. Bayesian multiple target tracking

    CERN Document Server

    Streit, Roy L

    2013-01-01

    This second edition has undergone substantial revision from the 1999 first edition, recognizing that a lot has changed in the multiple target tracking field. One of the most dramatic changes is in the widespread use of particle filters to implement nonlinear, non-Gaussian Bayesian trackers. This book views multiple target tracking as a Bayesian inference problem. Within this framework it develops the theory of single target tracking, multiple target tracking, and likelihood ratio detection and tracking. In addition to providing a detailed description of a basic particle filter that implements

  18. Modified Bayesian Kriging for Noisy Response Problems for Reliability Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    CIE 2015 August 2-5, 2015, Boston, Massachusetts, USA [DRAFT] DETC2015-47370 MODIFIED BAYESIAN KRIGING FOR NOISY RESPONSE PROBLEMS FOR...Lamb US Army RDECOM/TARDEC Warren, MI 48397-5000, USA david.lamb@us.army.mil ABSTRACT This paper develops a new modified Bayesian Kriging (MBKG...surrogate modeling method for problems in which simulation analyses are inherently noisy and thus standard Kriging approaches fail to properly

  19. Egg predators of an endemic Italian salamander, Salamandrina perspicillata (Savi, 1821

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Romano

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available We report new aquatic predators feeding on Northern spectacled salamander eggs, Salamandrina perspicillata, an endemic Italian species. Eggs were preyed upon by the leech, Trocheta bykowskii, and the trichopteran larvae of Potamophylax cingulatus and Halesus appenninus.

  20. Water and sediment quality in habitat springs of Edwards Aquifer salamanders

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Many springs associated with the Edwards Aquifer of Texas are inhabited by relict populations of neotenic salamanders in the genus Eurycea. This study was done to...

  1. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  2. Cheat Mountain Salamanders Search Report 2004 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a report that outlines the results of a one-day survey for the endangered Cheat Mountain Salamander at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in 2004. The...

  3. Larval salamanders and channel geomorphology are indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regulatory agencies need rapid indicators of hydrologic permanence for jurisdictional determinations of headwater streams. Our study objective was to assess the utility of larval salamander presence and assemblage structure and habitat variables for determining stream permanence ...

  4. Contaminant discharge in habitat springs of the Barton Springs Salamander during storm rainfall events

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Aquatic habitat of the endangered Barton Springs salamander, Eurycea sosorum, in Travis County, Texas can potentially be impacted by contaminants in surface runoff...

  5. Cheat Mountain Salamander coverboard data analysis Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — From 2000 to 2008 data was collected from three Cheat Mountain salamander coverboard sites at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge: Cabin Knob A, Cabin Knob B, and...

  6. Stoichiometry of excreta and excretion rates of a stream-dwelling plethodontid salamander

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Stoichiometry of excreta and excretion rates of a stream-dwelling plethodontid salamander in Cincinnati, OH, USA. This dataset is associated with the following...

  7. Cheat Mountain Salamanders Search Reports 2008 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This documents six different surveys between July and September, 2008 that were done to monitor the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander at Canaan Valley National...

  8. Salamander võib õpetada jäsemete kasvatamist / Tiit Kändler

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Kändler, Tiit, 1948-

    2008-01-01

    Salamander on selgroogsete seas ainulaadne olevus. Ta suudab endale kasvatada ka täiskasvanuna uued kehaosad. Kui arstiteadlased välja uurivad, kuidas ta seda teeb, võib see aidata ka inimest rasketest haavadest ravida

  9. Salamander regeneration as a model for developing novel regenerative and anticancer therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fior, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    Among vertebrates, urodele amphibians are the only tetrapods with the ability to regenerate complex structures such as limbs, tail, and spinal cord throughout their lives. Furthermore, the salamander regeneration process has been shown to reverse tumorigenicity. Fibroblasts are essential for salamander regeneration, but the mechanisms underlying their role in the formation of a regeneration blastema remain unclear. Here, I review the role of fibroblasts in salamander limb regeneration and how their activity compares with that of human fibroblasts. In addition, the question of whether salamander blastema tissue could induce regeneration and tumor regression in animals with a limited regeneration ability is discussed. A deeper understanding of these processes may lead to the development of novel regenerative and anticancer therapies.

  10. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M; Willard, Scott T; Kouba, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration.

  11. Transcriptomic analysis of the host response to an iridovirus infection in Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Yuding; Chang, Ming Xian; Ma, Jie; LaPatra, Scott E.; Hu, Yi Wei; Huang, Lili; Nie, Pin; Zeng, Lingbing

    2015-01-01

    International audience; AbstractThe emergence of an infectious viral disease caused by the Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV) has led to substantial economic losses. However, no more molecular information is available for the understanding of the mechanisms associated with virus–host interaction. In this study, de novo sequencing was used to obtain abundant high-quality ESTs and investigate differentially-expressed genes in the spleen of Chinese giant salamanders that were either infe...

  12. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M.; Willard, Scott T.; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration. PMID:27258650

  13. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition.

  14. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Zhang

    Full Text Available Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15 and the Donghe River (n = 16 in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702 was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405. Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8 increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025. Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration.

  15. Woodland salamander responses to a shelterwood harvest-prescribed burn silvicultural treatment within Appalachian mixed-oak forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W. Mark; Mahoney, Kathleen R.; Russell, Kevin R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Riddle, Jason D.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Adams, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Forest management practices that mimic natural canopy disturbances, including prescribed fire and timber harvests, may reduce competition and facilitate establishment of favorable vegetative species within various ecosystems. Fire suppression in the central Appalachian region for almost a century has contributed to a transition from oak-dominated to more mesophytic, fire-intolerant forest communities. Prescribed fire coupled with timber removal is currently implemented to aid in oak regeneration and establishment but responses of woodland salamanders to this complex silvicultural system is poorly documented. The purpose of our research was to determine how woodland salamanders respond to shelterwood harvests following successive burns in a central Appalachian mixed-oak forest. Woodland salamanders were surveyed using coverboard arrays in May, July, and August–September 2011 and 2012. Surveys were conducted within fenced shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires, shelterwood harvest, and fencing to prevent white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus] herbivory), shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires and shelterwood harvest), and control plots. Relative abundance was modeled in relation to habitat variables measured within treatments for mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus), slimy salamanders (Plethodon glutinosus), and eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Mountain dusky salamander relative abundance was positively associated with canopy cover and there were significantly more individuals within controls than either shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments. Conversely, habitat variables associated with slimy salamanders and eastern red-backed salamanders did not differ among treatments. Salamander age-class structure within controls did not differ from shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments for any species. Overall, the woodland salamander assemblage remained relatively intact throughout the shelterwoodburn

  16. Slow Lives in the Fast Landscape: Conservation and Management of Plethodontid Salamanders in Production Forests of the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Jessica A. Homyack; Andrew J. Kroll

    2014-01-01

    Intensively-managed forest (IMF) ecosystems support environmental processes, retain biodiversity and reduce pressure to extract wood products from other forests, but may affect species, such as plethodontid salamanders, that are associated with closed canopies and possess limited vagility. We describe: (1) critical aspects of IMF ecosystems; (2) effectiveness of plethodontid salamanders as barometers of forest change; (3) two case studies of relationships between salamanders and coarse wood...

  17. Bayesian Graphical Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Finn Verner; Nielsen, Thomas Dyhre

    2016-01-01

    and edges. The nodes represent variables, which may be either discrete or continuous. An edge between two nodes A and B indicates a direct influence between the state of A and the state of B, which in some domains can also be interpreted as a causal relation. The wide-spread use of Bayesian networks...

  18. Subjective Bayesian Beliefs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Antoniou, Constantinos; Harrison, Glenn W.; Lau, Morten I.;

    2015-01-01

    A large literature suggests that many individuals do not apply Bayes’ Rule when making decisions that depend on them correctly pooling prior information and sample data. We replicate and extend a classic experimental study of Bayesian updating from psychology, employing the methods of experimental...

  19. Organisation of the spinal central pattern generators for locomotion in the salamander: biology and modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevallier, Stéphanie; Jan Ijspeert, Auke; Ryczko, Dimitri; Nagy, Frédéric; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie

    2008-01-01

    Among living tetrapods, salamanders are regarded as most closely resembling the first terrestrial vertebrates, and are therefore an interesting group in which the evolutionary changes in the locomotor behaviour from aquatic to terrestrial habitats can be inferred. Salamanders exhibit two locomotor modes: swimming and terrestrial stepping. The swimming is anguilliform and resembles closely that of the lamprey. On the ground, the salamander switches to a stepping gait with axial undulations that is also observed in many reptiles. The salamander is therefore ideally suited for examining the neural mechanisms for the generation of these two locomotor modes, as well as the neural mechanisms of gait transition. In the present paper, we describe the kinematics and patterns of activation of axial and limb muscles during stepping and swimming in adult salamanders. We then review the current neurobiological data about the organisation of the spinal networks underlying swimming and stepping, and the mechanisms of gait transition. Finally we report modelling studies aimed at understanding the organisation and operation of the salamander locomotor circuits. Altogether, the neurobiological and the modelling data support the hypothesis of a phylogenetic conservatism from agnathians to amphibians of the spinal locomotor networks generating axial motor patterns.

  20. Group sequential control of overall toxicity incidents in clinical trials - non-Bayesian and Bayesian approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jihnhee; Hutson, Alan D; Siddiqui, Adnan H; Kedron, Mary A

    2016-02-01

    In some small clinical trials, toxicity is not a primary endpoint; however, it often has dire effects on patients' quality of life and is even life-threatening. For such clinical trials, rigorous control of the overall incidence of adverse events is desirable, while simultaneously collecting safety information. In this article, we propose group sequential toxicity monitoring strategies to control overall toxicity incidents below a certain level as opposed to performing hypothesis testing, which can be incorporated into an existing study design based on the primary endpoint. We consider two sequential methods: a non-Bayesian approach in which stopping rules are obtained based on the 'future' probability of an excessive toxicity rate; and a Bayesian adaptation modifying the proposed non-Bayesian approach, which can use the information obtained at interim analyses. Through an extensive Monte Carlo study, we show that the Bayesian approach often provides better control of the overall toxicity rate than the non-Bayesian approach. We also investigate adequate toxicity estimation after the studies. We demonstrate the applicability of our proposed methods in controlling the symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage rate for treating acute ischemic stroke patients.

  1. Plethodon cinerius (eastern red-backed salamander) movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterrett, Sean; Brand, Adrianne; Fields, William R.; Katz, Rachel A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Lungless salamanders (family Plethodontidae) are relatively sedentary and are presumed to have limited dispersal ability (Marsh et al. 2004. Ecology 85:3396–3405). Site fidelity in Plethodontidae is high, and individuals displaced 90 m return to home territories (Kleeberger and Werner 1982. Copeia 1982:409–415). Individuals defend territories (Jaeger et al. 1982. Anim. Behav. 30:490–496) and female home ranges have been estimated to be 24.34 m2 (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). Females may seek out suitable subsurface habitat to oviposit eggs, yet little is known about their maximum movement distances (Petranka 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington. 587 pp.).On 18 September 2014, a female P. cinereus (lead back morphotype; SVL = 44.68 mm; 0.89 g) was found under a coverboard during a standard sampling event and uniquely marked using visual implant elastomer at the S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, Massachusetts, USA (42.59280°N, 72.58070°W, datum WGS84; elev. 74 m). This individual was subsequently recaptured at ~1500 h on 8 October 2014 under a coverboard within 3 m of the original capture location and then again ~1430 h on 16 October 2014 under a log, within the same forest patch, though in a 50 x 150 m area adjacent to the original study area. Because we found the marked salamander while collecting multiple individuals for a laboratory study, the exact recapture location of the marked individual is not known. However, the distance between the 8 October capture location and the nearest edge of the 16 October search area (i.e. 50 x 150 m) was 143 m, indicating a minimum movement distance. As far as we are aware, this is the longest recorded movement for P. cinereus by more than 53 m (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). This finding followed a rain event of 1.63 cm within 24 h and the second largest sustained rain event during October. The movement we observed may have been due to

  2. Predicted Changes in Climatic Niche and Climate Refugia of Conservation Priority Salamander Species in the Northeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B. Sutton

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1 evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2 using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus, Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi, Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia, Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei, and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch, whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.

  3. Deep divergences and extensive phylogeographic structure in a clade of lowland tropical salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rovito Sean M

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The complex geological history of Mesoamerica provides the opportunity to study the impact of multiple biogeographic barriers on population differentiation. We examine phylogeographic patterns in a clade of lowland salamanders (Bolitoglossa subgenus Nanotriton using two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene. We use several phylogeographic analyses to infer the history of this clade and test hypotheses regarding the geographic origin of species and location of genetic breaks within species. We compare our results to those for other taxa to determine if historical events impacted different species in a similar manner. Results Deep genetic divergence between species indicates that they are relatively old, and two of the three widespread species show strong phylogeographic structure. Comparison of mtDNA and nuclear gene trees shows no evidence of hybridization or introgression between species. Isolated populations of Bolitoglossa rufescens from Los Tuxtlas region constitute a separate lineage based on molecular data and morphology, and divergence between Los Tuxtlas and other areas appears to predate the arrival of B. rufescens in other areas west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The Isthmus appears responsible for Pliocene vicariance within B. rufescens, as has been shown for other taxa. The Motagua-Polochic fault system does not appear to have caused population vicariance, unlike in other systems. Conclusions Species of Nanotriton have responded to some major geological events in the same manner as other taxa, particularly in the case of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The deep divergence of the Los Tuxtlas populations of B. rufescens from other populations highlights the contribution of this volcanic system to patterns of regional endemism, and morphological differences observed in the Los Tuxtlas populations suggests that they may represent an undescribed species of Bolitoglossa. The absence of phylogeographic structure in B

  4. Bayesian data analysis in population ecology: motivations, methods, and benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorazio, Robert

    2016-01-01

    During the 20th century ecologists largely relied on the frequentist system of inference for the analysis of their data. However, in the past few decades ecologists have become increasingly interested in the use of Bayesian methods of data analysis. In this article I provide guidance to ecologists who would like to decide whether Bayesian methods can be used to improve their conclusions and predictions. I begin by providing a concise summary of Bayesian methods of analysis, including a comparison of differences between Bayesian and frequentist approaches to inference when using hierarchical models. Next I provide a list of problems where Bayesian methods of analysis may arguably be preferred over frequentist methods. These problems are usually encountered in analyses based on hierarchical models of data. I describe the essentials required for applying modern methods of Bayesian computation, and I use real-world examples to illustrate these methods. I conclude by summarizing what I perceive to be the main strengths and weaknesses of using Bayesian methods to solve ecological inference problems.

  5. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P

    2011-03-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations.

  6. Positional identity of adult stem cells in salamander limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B; Brockes, Jeremy P

    2007-01-01

    Limb regeneration in larval and adult salamanders proceeds from a mound of mesenchymal stem cells called the limb blastema. The blastema gives rise just to those structures distal to its level of origin, and this property of positional identity is reset to more proximal values by treatment with retinoic acid. We have identified a cell surface protein, called Prod1/CD59, which appears to be a determinant of proximodistal identity. Prod1 is expressed in an exponential gradient in an adult limb as determined by detection of both mRNA and immunoreactive protein. Prod1 protein is up-regulated after treatment of distal blastemas with RA and this is particularly marked in cells of the dermis. These cells have previously been implicated in pattern formation during limb regeneration.

  7. Predator-prey relationships among larval dragonflies, salamanders, and frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, J P; Thorp, J H; Jervey, T O

    1980-09-01

    Tadpoles of the barking tree frog, Hyla gratiosa, are abundant in spring and summer in some ponds and Carolina bays on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. To determine how these tadpoles survive in the presence of predaceous salamander larvae, Ambystoma talpoideum, and larvae of an aeshnid dragonfly, Anax junius, we determined fields densities and sizes of the predators and the prey and conducted predation experiments in the laboratory. Tadpoles rapidly grow to a size not captured by Ambystoma, although Anax larvae can capture slightly larger tadpoles. Differing habitat preferences among the tadpoles and the two predator species probably aid in reducing predation pressure. Preliminary work indicates that the tadpoles may have an immobility response to an attack by a predator. In addition, the smallest, most vulnerable tadpoles have a distinctive color pattern which may function to disrupt the body outline and make them indiscernable to predators.

  8. Mitochondrial cytochrome B phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus (Amphibia, Caudata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Gen; Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto

    2013-03-01

    The Tohoku salamander, Hynobius lichenatus Boulenger, 1883, is a lentic breeding species widespread throughout montane regions of northeastern Japan. To explore intraspecific genetic variation and infer evolutionary history of H. lichenatus, we performed mitochondrial DNA analysis (complete 1141 bp sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene) using 215 adult and larval individuals collected from 75 localities, encompassing known distributional range of the species. Hynobius lichenatus proved to be monophyletic, including three well-supported and geographically structured clades (Clade I from northern Kanto, Clade II from southern Tohoku, and Clade III from northern Tohoku). These clades, respectively, comprise several subclades, and show genetic distances as large as those seen between different species of Hynobius. Results of population statistic analyses indicate that all clades and most subclades have maintained high genetic diversity and demographic stability over long periods. Molecular dating indicates divergence in H. lichenatus concords with topographic evolution of northeastern Japan from late Miocene to early Pleistocene, suggesting that paleogeographic events in this region, such as orogenesis, sea level change, and volcanic activity, have been crucial for shaping genetic patterns and diversity in this species. Hynobius lichenatus greatly differs from many other animal species from northeastern Japan in its much older periods and the pattern of genetic differentiation, and is suggested as an old faunal element in this region.

  9. Current and historical drivers of landscape genetic structure differ in core and peripheral salamander populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachael Y Dudaniec

    Full Text Available With predicted decreases in genetic diversity and greater genetic differentiation at range peripheries relative to their cores, it can be difficult to distinguish between the roles of current disturbance versus historic processes in shaping contemporary genetic patterns. To address this problem, we test for differences in historic demography and landscape genetic structure of coastal giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus in two core regions (Washington State, United States versus the species' northern peripheral region (British Columbia, Canada where the species is listed as threatened. Coalescent-based demographic simulations were consistent with a pattern of post-glacial range expansion, with both ancestral and current estimates of effective population size being much larger within the core region relative to the periphery. However, contrary to predictions of recent human-induced population decline in the less genetically diverse peripheral region, there was no genetic signature of population size change. Effects of current demographic processes on genetic structure were evident using a resistance-based landscape genetics approach. Among core populations, genetic structure was best explained by length of the growing season and isolation by resistance (i.e. a 'flat' landscape, but at the periphery, topography (slope and elevation had the greatest influence on genetic structure. Although reduced genetic variation at the range periphery of D. tenebrosus appears to be largely the result of biogeographical history rather than recent impacts, our analyses suggest that inherent landscape features act to alter dispersal pathways uniquely in different parts of the species' geographic range, with implications for habitat management.

  10. A tutorial on Bayesian Normal linear regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klauenberg, Katy; Wübbeler, Gerd; Mickan, Bodo; Harris, Peter; Elster, Clemens

    2015-12-01

    Regression is a common task in metrology and often applied to calibrate instruments, evaluate inter-laboratory comparisons or determine fundamental constants, for example. Yet, a regression model cannot be uniquely formulated as a measurement function, and consequently the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM) and its supplements are not applicable directly. Bayesian inference, however, is well suited to regression tasks, and has the advantage of accounting for additional a priori information, which typically robustifies analyses. Furthermore, it is anticipated that future revisions of the GUM shall also embrace the Bayesian view. Guidance on Bayesian inference for regression tasks is largely lacking in metrology. For linear regression models with Gaussian measurement errors this tutorial gives explicit guidance. Divided into three steps, the tutorial first illustrates how a priori knowledge, which is available from previous experiments, can be translated into prior distributions from a specific class. These prior distributions have the advantage of yielding analytical, closed form results, thus avoiding the need to apply numerical methods such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo. Secondly, formulas for the posterior results are given, explained and illustrated, and software implementations are provided. In the third step, Bayesian tools are used to assess the assumptions behind the suggested approach. These three steps (prior elicitation, posterior calculation, and robustness to prior uncertainty and model adequacy) are critical to Bayesian inference. The general guidance given here for Normal linear regression tasks is accompanied by a simple, but real-world, metrological example. The calibration of a flow device serves as a running example and illustrates the three steps. It is shown that prior knowledge from previous calibrations of the same sonic nozzle enables robust predictions even for extrapolations.

  11. Bayesian multimodel inference for dose-response studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, W.A.; Albers, P.H.

    2007-01-01

    Statistical inference in dose?response studies is model-based: The analyst posits a mathematical model of the relation between exposure and response, estimates parameters of the model, and reports conclusions conditional on the model. Such analyses rarely include any accounting for the uncertainties associated with model selection. The Bayesian inferential system provides a convenient framework for model selection and multimodel inference. In this paper we briefly describe the Bayesian paradigm and Bayesian multimodel inference. We then present a family of models for multinomial dose?response data and apply Bayesian multimodel inferential methods to the analysis of data on the reproductive success of American kestrels (Falco sparveriuss) exposed to various sublethal dietary concentrations of methylmercury.

  12. Editorial: Bayesian benefits for child psychology and psychiatry researchers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldehinkel, Albertine J

    2016-09-01

    For many scientists, performing statistical tests has become an almost automated routine. However, p-values are frequently used and interpreted incorrectly; and even when used appropriately, p-values tend to provide answers that do not match researchers' questions and hypotheses well. Bayesian statistics present an elegant and often more suitable alternative. The Bayesian approach has rarely been applied in child psychology and psychiatry research so far, but the development of user-friendly software packages and tutorials has placed it well within reach now. Because Bayesian analyses require a more refined definition of hypothesized probabilities of possible outcomes than the classical approach, going Bayesian may offer the additional benefit of sparkling the development and refinement of theoretical models in our field.

  13. Probability and Bayesian statistics

    CERN Document Server

    1987-01-01

    This book contains selected and refereed contributions to the "Inter­ national Symposium on Probability and Bayesian Statistics" which was orga­ nized to celebrate the 80th birthday of Professor Bruno de Finetti at his birthplace Innsbruck in Austria. Since Professor de Finetti died in 1985 the symposium was dedicated to the memory of Bruno de Finetti and took place at Igls near Innsbruck from 23 to 26 September 1986. Some of the pa­ pers are published especially by the relationship to Bruno de Finetti's scientific work. The evolution of stochastics shows growing importance of probability as coherent assessment of numerical values as degrees of believe in certain events. This is the basis for Bayesian inference in the sense of modern statistics. The contributions in this volume cover a broad spectrum ranging from foundations of probability across psychological aspects of formulating sub­ jective probability statements, abstract measure theoretical considerations, contributions to theoretical statistics an...

  14. Bayesian community detection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mørup, Morten; Schmidt, Mikkel N

    2012-01-01

    Many networks of scientific interest naturally decompose into clusters or communities with comparatively fewer external than internal links; however, current Bayesian models of network communities do not exert this intuitive notion of communities. We formulate a nonparametric Bayesian model...... consistent with ground truth, and on real networks, it outperforms existing approaches in predicting missing links. This suggests that community structure is an important structural property of networks that should be explicitly modeled....... for community detection consistent with an intuitive definition of communities and present a Markov chain Monte Carlo procedure for inferring the community structure. A Matlab toolbox with the proposed inference procedure is available for download. On synthetic and real networks, our model detects communities...

  15. Bayesian Independent Component Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winther, Ole; Petersen, Kaare Brandt

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we present an empirical Bayesian framework for independent component analysis. The framework provides estimates of the sources, the mixing matrix and the noise parameters, and is flexible with respect to choice of source prior and the number of sources and sensors. Inside the engine...... in a Matlab toolbox, is demonstrated for non-negative decompositions and compared with non-negative matrix factorization....

  16. A Bayesian method for pulsar template generation

    CERN Document Server

    Imgrund, M; Kramer, M; Lesch, H

    2015-01-01

    Extracting Times of Arrival from pulsar radio signals depends on the knowledge of the pulsars pulse profile and how this template is generated. We examine pulsar template generation with Bayesian methods. We will contrast the classical generation mechanism of averaging intensity profiles with a new approach based on Bayesian inference. We introduce the Bayesian measurement model imposed and derive the algorithm to reconstruct a "statistical template" out of noisy data. The properties of these "statistical templates" are analysed with simulated and real measurement data from PSR B1133+16. We explain how to put this new form of template to use in analysing secondary parameters of interest and give various examples: We implement a nonlinear filter for determining ToAs of pulsars. Applying this method to data from PSR J1713+0747 we derive ToAs self consistently, meaning all epochs were timed and we used the same epochs for template generation. While the average template contains fluctuations and noise as unavoida...

  17. Bayesian theory and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Dellaportas, Petros; Polson, Nicholas G; Stephens, David A

    2013-01-01

    The development of hierarchical models and Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques forms one of the most profound advances in Bayesian analysis since the 1970s and provides the basis for advances in virtually all areas of applied and theoretical Bayesian statistics. This volume guides the reader along a statistical journey that begins with the basic structure of Bayesian theory, and then provides details on most of the past and present advances in this field. The book has a unique format. There is an explanatory chapter devoted to each conceptual advance followed by journal-style chapters that provide applications or further advances on the concept. Thus, the volume is both a textbook and a compendium of papers covering a vast range of topics. It is appropriate for a well-informed novice interested in understanding the basic approach, methods and recent applications. Because of its advanced chapters and recent work, it is also appropriate for a more mature reader interested in recent applications and devel...

  18. Bayesian modelling of geostatistical malaria risk data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Gosoniu

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Bayesian geostatistical models applied to malaria risk data quantify the environment-disease relations, identify significant environmental predictors of malaria transmission and provide model-based predictions of malaria risk together with their precision. These models are often based on the stationarity assumption which implies that spatial correlation is a function of distance between locations and independent of location. We relax this assumption and analyse malaria survey data in Mali using a Bayesian non-stationary model. Model fit and predictions are based on Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation methods. Model validation compares the predictive ability of the non-stationary model with the stationary analogue. Results indicate that the stationarity assumption is important because it influences the significance of environmental factors and the corresponding malaria risk maps.

  19. Bayesian modelling of geostatistical malaria risk data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosoniu, L; Vounatsou, P; Sogoba, N; Smith, T

    2006-11-01

    Bayesian geostatistical models applied to malaria risk data quantify the environment-disease relations, identify significant environmental predictors of malaria transmission and provide model-based predictions of malaria risk together with their precision. These models are often based on the stationarity assumption which implies that spatial correlation is a function of distance between locations and independent of location. We relax this assumption and analyse malaria survey data in Mali using a Bayesian non-stationary model. Model fit and predictions are based on Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation methods. Model validation compares the predictive ability of the non-stationary model with the stationary analogue. Results indicate that the stationarity assumption is important because it influences the significance of environmental factors and the corresponding malaria risk maps.

  20. IMPACT OF GUTHION ON SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF THE FROG PSEUDACRIS REGILLA AND THE SALAMANDERS AMBYSTOMA GRACILE AND AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of the insecticides Guthion (technical grade) and Guthion 2S(commercial formulation) on survival and growth of tadpoles of the Pacific treefrog Pseudacris regilla, and larvae of the Northwestern salamander Ambystoma gracile and the spotted salamander Ambystoma macula...

  1. Morphological variation in two genetically distinct groups of the golden-striped salamander, Chioglossa lusitanica (Amphibia: Urodela)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alexandrino, J.; Ferrand, N.; Arntzen, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    Morphometric and colour pattern variation in the endemic Iberian salamander Chioglossa lusitanica is concordant with the genetic differentiation of two groups of populations separated by the Mondego river in Portugal. Salamanders from the south have shorter digits than those from the north. Clinal v

  2. Individual (co)variation in standard metabolic rate, feeding rate, and exploratory behavior in wild-caught semiaquatic salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gifford, Matthew E; Clay, Timothy A; Careau, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Repeatability is an important concept in evolutionary analyses because it provides information regarding the benefit of repeated measurements and, in most cases, a putative upper limit to heritability estimates. Repeatability (R) of different aspects of energy metabolism and behavior has been demonstrated in a variety of organisms over short and long time intervals. Recent research suggests that consistent individual differences in behavior and energy metabolism might covary. Here we present new data on the repeatability of body mass, standard metabolic rate (SMR), voluntary exploratory behavior, and feeding rate in a semiaquatic salamander and ask whether individual variation in behavioral traits is correlated with individual variation in metabolism on a whole-animal basis and after conditioning on body mass. All measured traits were repeatable, but the repeatability estimates ranged from very high for body mass (R = 0.98), to intermediate for SMR (R = 0.39) and food intake (R = 0.58), to low for exploratory behavior (R = 0.25). Moreover, repeatability estimates for all traits except body mass declined over time (i.e., from 3 to 9 wk), although this pattern could be a consequence of the relatively low sample size used in this study. Despite significant repeatability in all traits, we find little evidence that behaviors are correlated with SMR at the phenotypic and among-individual levels when conditioned on body mass. Specifically, the phenotypic correlations between SMR and exploratory behavior were negative in all trials but significantly so in one trial only. Salamanders in this study showed individual variation in how their exploratory behavior changed across trials (but not body mass, SMR, and feed intake), which might have contributed to observed changing correlations across trials.

  3. The importance of comparative phylogeography in diagnosing introduced species: a lesson from the seal salamander, Desmognathus monticola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wooten Jessica A

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In most regions of the world human influences on the distribution of flora and fauna predate complete biotic surveys. In some cases this challenges our ability to discriminate native from introduced species. This distinction is particularly critical for isolated populations, because relicts of native species may need to be conserved, whereas introduced species may require immediate eradication. Recently an isolated population of seal salamanders, Desmognathus monticola, was discovered on the Ozark Plateau, ~700 km west of its broad continuous distribution in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America. Using Nested Clade Analysis (NCA we test whether the Ozark isolate results from population fragmentation (a natural relict or long distance dispersal (a human-mediated introduction. Results Despite its broad distribution in the Appalachian Mountains, the primary haplotype diversity of D. monticola is restricted to less than 2.5% of the distribution in the extreme southern Appalachians, where genetic diversity is high for other co-distributed species. By intensively sampling this genetically diverse region we located haplotypes identical to the Ozark isolate. Nested Clade Analysis supports the hypothesis that the Ozark population was introduced, but it was necessary to include haplotypes that are less than or equal to 0.733% divergent from the Ozark population in order to arrive at this conclusion. These critical haplotypes only occur in Conclusion Our analyses suggest that the isolated population of D. monticola from the Ozarks is not native to the region and may need to be extirpated rather than conserved, particularly because of its potential negative impacts on endemic Ozark stream salamander communities. Diagnosing a species as introduced may require locating nearly identical haplotypes in the known native distribution, which may be a major undertaking. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering comparative

  4. Estimating superpopulation size and annual probability of breeding for pond-breeding salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinkead, K.E.; Otis, D.L.

    2007-01-01

    It has long been accepted that amphibians can skip breeding in any given year, and environmental conditions act as a cue for breeding. In this paper, we quantify temporary emigration or nonbreeding probability for mole and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum). We estimated that 70% of mole salamanders may skip breeding during an average rainfall year and 90% may skip during a drought year. Spotted salamanders may be more likely to breed, with only 17% avoiding the breeding pond during an average rainfall year. We illustrate how superpopulations can be estimated using temporary emigration probability estimates. The superpopulation is the total number of salamanders associated with a given breeding pond. Although most salamanders stay within a certain distance of a breeding pond for the majority of their life spans, it is difficult to determine true overall population sizes for a given site if animals are only captured during a brief time frame each year with some animals unavailable for capture at any time during a given year. ?? 2007 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  5. Anatomy, function, and evolution of jaw and hyobranchial muscles in cryptobranchoid salamander larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Matsui, Masafumi; Haas, Alexander

    2014-02-01

    Larval salamanders (Lissamphibia: Caudata) are known to be effective suction feeders in their aquatic environments, although they will eventually transform into terrestrial tongue feeding adults during metamorphosis. Early tetrapods may have had a similar biphasic life cycle and this makes larval salamanders a particularly interesting model to study the anatomy, function, development, and evolution of the feeding apparatus in terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we provide a description of the muscles that are involved in the feeding strike in salamander larvae of the Hynobiidae and compare them to larvae of the paedomorphic Cryptobranchidae. We provide a functional and evolutionary interpretation for the observed muscle characters. The cranial muscles in larvae from species of the Hynobiidae and Cryptobranchidae are generally very similar. Most notable are the differences in the presence of the m. hyomandibularis, a muscle that connects the hyobranchial apparatus with the lower jaw. We found this muscle only in Onychodactylus japonicus (Hynobiidae) but not in other hynobiid or cryptobranchid salamanders. Interestingly, the m. hyomandibularis in O. japonicus originates from the ceratobranchial I and not the ceratohyal, and thus exhibits what was previously assumed to be the derived condition. Finally, we applied a biomechanical model to simulate suction feeding in larval salamanders. We provide evidence that a flattened shape of the hyobranchial apparatus in its resting position is beneficial for a fast and successful suction feeding strike.

  6. Interactions between introduced trout and larval salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in high-elevation lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, T.; Liss, W.J.; Ganio, L.; Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.; Deimling, E.; Lomnicky, G.A.

    1998-01-01

    The larval stage of the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) is the top vertebrate predator in high-elevation fishless lakes in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Washington (U.S.A.). Although most of these high-elevation lakes were naturally fishless, trout have been stocked in many of them. We sought to determine the effects of physicochemical factors and introduced trout on abundance and behavior of A. macrodactylum larvae. Larval salamander densities were estimated by snorkeling. Snorkelers carefully searched through substrate materials within 2 m of the shoreline and recorded the number of larvae observed and if larvae were hidden in benthic substrates. Physicochemical factors were measured in each lake on the same day that snorkel surveys were conducted. In fishless lakes, larval salamander densities were positively related to total Kjeldahl-N concentration and negatively related to lake elevation. Crustacean zooplankton, especially cladocerans, were important food resources for larval A. macrodactylum. Crustacean zooplankton and cladoceran densities were positively related to total Kjeldahl-N, suggesting that increased food resources contributed to increased densities of larval A. macrodactylum. Differences in larval salamander densities between fish and fishless lakes were related to total Kjeldahl-N concentrations and the reproductive status of trout. Mean larval salamander densities for fishless lakes with total Kjeldahl-N amphibians requires an understanding of natural abiotic and biotic factors and processes influencing amphibian distribution and abundance.

  7. A case for using Plethodontid salamanders for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem integrity of North American forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, H.H.; Droege, S.

    2001-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders of the family P!ethodontidae have unique attributes that make them excellent indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in forested habitats. Their longevity, small territory size, site fidelity, sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic perturbations, tendency to occur in high densities, and low sampling costs mean that counts of plethodontid salamanders provide numerous advantages over counts of other North American forest organisms for indicating environmental change. Furthermore, they are tightly linked physiologically to microclimatic and successional processes that influence the distribution and abundance of numerous other hydrophilic but difficult-to-study forest-dwelling plants and animals. Ecosystem processes such as moisture cycling, food-web dynamics, and succession, with their related structural and microclimatic variability, all affect forest biodiversity and have been shown to affect salamander populations as well. We determined the variability associated with sampling for plethodontid salamanders by estimating the coefficient of variation (CV) from available time-series data. The median coefficient of variation indicated that variation in counts of individuals among studies was much lower in plethodonticis (27%) than in lepidoptera (93%), passerine birds (57%), small mammals (69%), or other amphibians (37-46%), which means plethodontid salamanders provide an important statistical advantage over other species for monitoring long-term forest health.

  8. Stream water temperature limits occupancy of salamanders in mid-Atlantic protected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Wiewel, Amber N. M.; Rice, Karen C.

    2014-01-01

    Stream ecosystems are particularly sensitive to urbanization, and tolerance of water-quality parameters is likely important to population persistence of stream salamanders. Forecasted climate and landscape changes may lead to significant changes in stream flow, chemical composition, and temperatures in coming decades. Protected areas where landscape alterations are minimized will therefore become increasingly important for salamander populations. We surveyed 29 streams at three national parks in the highly urbanized greater metropolitan area of Washington, DC. We investigated relationships among water-quality variables and occupancy of three species of stream salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus, Eurycea bislineata, and Pseudotriton ruber). With the use of a set of site-occupancy models, and accounting for imperfect detection, we found that stream-water temperature limits salamander occupancy. There was substantial uncertainty about the effects of the other water-quality variables, although both specific conductance (SC) and pH were included in competitive models. Our estimates of occupancy suggest that temperature, SC, and pH have some importance in structuring stream salamander distribution.

  9. Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenison, Erin K.; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predators can influence prey directly through consumption or indirectly through nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) by altering prey behavior, morphology, and life history. We investigated whether predator-avoidance behaviors by larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in lakes with nonnative trout result in NCEs on morphology and development. Field studies in lakes with and without trout were corroborated by experimental enclosures, where prey were exposed only to visual and chemical cues of predators. We found that salamanders in lakes with trout were consistently smaller than in lakes without trout: 38% lower weight, 24% shorter body length, and 29% shorter tail length. Similarly, salamanders in protective enclosures grew 2.9 times slower when exposed to visual and olfactory trout cues than when no trout cues were present. Salamanders in trout-free lakes and enclosures were 22.7 times and 1.48 times, respectively, more likely to metamorphose during the summer season than those exposed to trout in lakes and/or their cues. Observed changes in larval growth rate and development likely resulted from a facultative response to predator-avoidance behavior and demonstrate NCEs occurred even when predation risk was only perceived. Reduced body size and growth, as well as delayed metamorphosis, could have ecological consequences for salamander populations existing with fish if those effects carry-over into lower recruitment, survival, and fecundity.

  10. Low levels of LTR retrotransposon deletion by ectopic recombination in the gigantic genomes of salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frahry, Matthew Blake; Sun, Cheng; Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2015-02-01

    Across the tree of life, species vary dramatically in nuclear genome size. Mutations that add or remove sequences from genomes-insertions or deletions, or indels-are the ultimate source of this variation. Differences in the tempo and mode of insertion and deletion across taxa have been proposed to contribute to evolutionary diversity in genome size. Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, an amphibian clade with genome sizes ranging from ~14 to ~120 Gb. Salamander genomes have been shown to experience slower rates of DNA loss through small (i.e., salamander genomes resulting from larger deletions. Here, we focus on one type of large deletion-ectopic-recombination-mediated removal of LTR retrotransposon sequences. In ectopic recombination, double-strand breaks are repaired using a "wrong" (i.e., ectopic, or non-allelic) template sequence-typically another locus of similar sequence. When breaks occur within the LTR portions of LTR retrotransposons, ectopic-recombination-mediated repair can produce deletions that remove the internal transposon sequence and the equivalent of one of the two LTR sequences. These deletions leave a signature in the genome-a solo LTR sequence. We compared levels of solo LTRs in the genomes of four salamander species with levels present in five vertebrates with smaller genomes. Our results demonstrate that salamanders have low levels of solo LTRs, suggesting that ectopic-recombination-mediated deletion of LTR retrotransposons occurs more slowly than in other vertebrates with smaller genomes.

  11. Salamanders increase their feeding activity when infected with the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Alexandra; McAllister, Caroline; DeMarchi, Joseph; Zidek, Makenzie; Murone, Julie; Venesky, Matthew D

    2015-10-27

    Immune function is a costly line of defense against parasitism. When infected with a parasite, hosts frequently lose mass due to these costs. However, some infected hosts (e.g. highly resistant individuals) can clear infections with seemingly little fitness losses, but few studies have tested how resistant hosts mitigate these costly immune defenses. We explored this topic using eastern red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bd is generally lethal for amphibians, and stereotypical symptoms of infection include loss in mass and deficits in feeding. However, individuals of P. cinereus can clear their Bd infections with seemingly few fitness costs. We conducted an experiment in which we repeatedly observed the feeding activity of Bd-infected and non-infected salamanders. We found that Bd-infected salamanders generally increased their feeding activity compared to non-infected salamanders. The fact that we did not observe any differences in mass change between the treatments suggests that increased feeding might help Bd-infected salamanders minimize the costs of an effective immune response.

  12. Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2007-10-02

    Hybridization between differentiated lineages can have many different consequences depending on fitness variation among hybrid offspring. When introduced organisms hybridize with natives, the ensuing evolutionary dynamics may substantially complicate conservation decisions. Understanding the fitness consequences of hybridization is an important first step in predicting its evolutionary outcome and conservation impact. Here, we measured natural selection caused by differential viability of hybrid larvae in wild populations where native California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) have been hybridizing for 50-60 years. We found strong evidence of hybrid vigor; mixed-ancestry genotypes had higher survival rates than genotypes containing mostly native or mostly introduced alleles. Hybrid vigor may be caused by heterozygote advantage (overdominance) or recombinant hybrid vigor (due to epistasis or complementation). These genetic mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and we find statistical support for both overdominant and recombinant contributions to hybrid vigor in larval tiger salamanders. Because recombinant homozygous genotypes can breed true, a single highly fit genotype with a mosaic of native and introduced alleles may eventually replace the historically pure California Tiger Salamander (listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act). The management implications of this outcome are complex: Genetically pure populations may not persist into the future, but average fitness and population viability of admixed California Tiger Salamanders may be enhanced. The ecological consequences for other native species are unknown.

  13. Bayesian network as a modelling tool for risk management in agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Svend; Madsen, Anders Læsø; Lund, Mogens

    . In this paper we use Bayesian networks as an integrated modelling approach for representing uncertainty and analysing risk management in agriculture. It is shown how historical farm account data may be efficiently used to estimate conditional probabilities, which are the core elements in Bayesian network models....... We further show how the Bayesian network model RiBay is used for stochastic simulation of farm income, and we demonstrate how RiBay can be used to simulate risk management at the farm level. It is concluded that the key strength of a Bayesian network is the transparency of assumptions...

  14. Bayesian grid matching

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartelius, Karsten; Carstensen, Jens Michael

    2003-01-01

    A method for locating distorted grid structures in images is presented. The method is based on the theories of template matching and Bayesian image restoration. The grid is modeled as a deformable template. Prior knowledge of the grid is described through a Markov random field (MRF) model which...... nodes and the arc prior models variations in row and column spacing across the grid. Grid matching is done by placing an initial rough grid over the image and applying an ensemble annealing scheme to maximize the posterior distribution of the grid. The method can be applied to noisy images with missing...

  15. Applied Bayesian modelling

    CERN Document Server

    Congdon, Peter

    2014-01-01

    This book provides an accessible approach to Bayesian computing and data analysis, with an emphasis on the interpretation of real data sets. Following in the tradition of the successful first edition, this book aims to make a wide range of statistical modeling applications accessible using tested code that can be readily adapted to the reader's own applications. The second edition has been thoroughly reworked and updated to take account of advances in the field. A new set of worked examples is included. The novel aspect of the first edition was the coverage of statistical modeling using WinBU

  16. Bayesian nonparametric data analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Müller, Peter; Jara, Alejandro; Hanson, Tim

    2015-01-01

    This book reviews nonparametric Bayesian methods and models that have proven useful in the context of data analysis. Rather than providing an encyclopedic review of probability models, the book’s structure follows a data analysis perspective. As such, the chapters are organized by traditional data analysis problems. In selecting specific nonparametric models, simpler and more traditional models are favored over specialized ones. The discussed methods are illustrated with a wealth of examples, including applications ranging from stylized examples to case studies from recent literature. The book also includes an extensive discussion of computational methods and details on their implementation. R code for many examples is included in on-line software pages.

  17. Low metabolic rates in salamanders are correlated with weak selective constraints on mitochondrial genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-03-01

    Mitochondria are the site for the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), the final steps of ATP synthesis via cellular respiration. Each mitochondrion contains its own genome; in vertebrates, this is a small, circular DNA molecule that encodes 13 subunits of the multiprotein OXPHOS electron transport complexes. Vertebrate lineages vary dramatically in metabolic rates; thus, functional constraints on mitochondrial-encoded proteins likely differ, potentially impacting mitochondrial genome evolution. Here, we examine mitochondrial genome evolution in salamanders, which have the lowest metabolic requirements among tetrapods. We show that salamanders experience weaker purifying selection on protein-coding sequences than do frogs, a comparable amphibian clade with higher metabolic rates. In contrast, we find no evidence for weaker selection against mitochondrial genome expansion in salamanders. Together, these results suggest that different aspects of mitochondrial genome evolution (i.e., nucleotide substitution, accumulation of noncoding sequences) are differently affected by metabolic variation across tetrapod lineages.

  18. Heterogeneous vesicles in mucous epithelial cells of posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Zhang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Chinese giant salamander belongs to an old lineage of salamanders and endangered species. Many studies of breeding and disease regarding this amphibian had been implemented. However, the studies on the ultrastructure of this amphibian are rare. In this work, we provide a histological and ultrastructural investigation on posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander. The sections of amphibian esophagus were stained by hematoxylin & eosin (H&E. Moreover, the esophageal epithelium was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM. The results showed that esophageal epithelium was a single layer epithelium, which consisted of mucous cells and columnar cells. The esophageal glands were present in submucosa. The columnar cells were ciliated. According to the diverging ultrastructure of mucous vesicles, three types of mucous cells could be identified in the esophageal mucosa: i electron-lucent vesicles mucous cell (ELV-MC; ii electron-dense vesicles mucous cell (EDV-MC; and iii mixed vesicles mucous cell (MV-MC.

  19. Resource partitioning in two stream salamanders, Dicamptodon tenebrosus and Rhyacotriton cascadae, from the Oregon Cascade Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cudmore, Wynn W.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the potential for resource partitioning between the Coastal giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) and the Cascade torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton cascadae) by examining their diet and microhabitats in forest streams. Larval D. tenebrosus and R. cascadae fed primarily upon aquatic insect larvae. We found similar foods in larval and adult R. cascadae and combined these results. Dicamptodon larvae consumed ephemeropteran, plecopteran, and trichopteran larvae in about equal amounts whereas R. cascadae ate more trichopteran and less ephemeropteran larvae than D. tenebrosus. Diet of all R. cascadae overlapped more with smaller than larger sized D. tenebrosus larvae. Comparisons of diets with available foods indicated R. cascadae is more selective or more gape-limited in its feeding habits than D. tenebrosus larvae. The two salamanders differed in use of microhabitats in creeks, which may contribute to their diet differences.

  20. Wildlife disease. Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, A; Blooi, M; Adriaensen, C; Van Rooij, P; Beukema, W; Fisher, M C; Farrer, R A; Schmidt, B R; Tobler, U; Goka, K; Lips, K R; Muletz, C; Zamudio, K R; Bosch, J; Lötters, S; Wombwell, E; Garner, T W J; Cunningham, A A; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A; Salvidio, S; Ducatelle, R; Nishikawa, K; Nguyen, T T; Kolby, J E; Van Bocxlaer, I; Bossuyt, F; Pasmans, F

    2014-10-31

    Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicity with phylogenetic methods to estimate the threat that this infection poses to amphibian diversity. Results show that B. salamandrivorans is restricted to, but highly pathogenic for, salamanders and newts (Urodela). The pathogen likely originated and remained in coexistence with a clade of salamander hosts for millions of years in Asia. As a result of globalization and lack of biosecurity, it has recently been introduced into naïve European amphibian populations, where it is currently causing biodiversity loss.

  1. Two new species of Salamanders, Genus Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Plethodontidae), from the Eastern Colombian Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo, Aldemar A; Wake, David B; Márquez, Roberto; Silva, Karen; Franco, Rosmery; Amézquita, Adolfo

    2013-01-25

    The salamander fauna of Colombia is very poorly known, probably because most research efforts have been devoted to anurans during the last two decades. Here, we describe two new species of the genus Bolitoglossa (Eladinea) from the eastern flank of the Eastern Colombian Andes (Cordillera Oriental), near the border with Venezuela. Bolitoglossa tamaense sp. nov. is distributed between 2000 to 2700 m.a.s.l. and Bolitoglossa leandrae sp. nov. is distributed in the low-lands at about 600 m. The new species are diagnosed by a combination of molecular (16S rRNA sequences), coloration, body size, and morphometric (number of maxillary and vomerine teeth and differences in foot webbing) characters. Both species face threats such as chytridiomycosis infections and habitat fragmentation that have already affected other sala-manders in the country. Thus, intensive field and museum work is needed to better document and perhaps protect the local salamander diversity.

  2. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B; Czarkwiani, Anna; Brockes, Jeremy P

    2015-10-26

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern.

  3. Salamander limb regeneration involves the activation of a multipotent skeletal muscle satellite cell population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Jamie I; Lööf, Sara; He, Pingping; Simon, András

    2006-01-30

    In contrast to mammals, salamanders can regenerate complex structures after injury, including entire limbs. A central question is whether the generation of progenitor cells during limb regeneration and mammalian tissue repair occur via separate or overlapping mechanisms. Limb regeneration depends on the formation of a blastema, from which the new appendage develops. Dedifferentiation of stump tissues, such as skeletal muscle, precedes blastema formation, but it was not known whether dedifferentiation involves stem cell activation. We describe a multipotent Pax7+ satellite cell population located within the skeletal muscle of the salamander limb. We demonstrate that skeletal muscle dedifferentiation involves satellite cell activation and that these cells can contribute to new limb tissues. Activation of salamander satellite cells occurs in an analogous manner to how the mammalian myofiber mobilizes stem cells during skeletal muscle tissue repair. Thus, limb regeneration and mammalian tissue repair share common cellular and molecular programs. Our findings also identify satellite cells as potential targets in promoting mammalian blastema formation.

  4. Fundamental differences in dedifferentiation and stem cell recruitment during skeletal muscle regeneration in two salamander species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Wang, Heng; Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Roensch, Kathleen; Nacu, Eugeniu; Tazaki, Akira; Joven, Alberto; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András

    2014-02-06

    Salamanders regenerate appendages via a progenitor pool called the blastema. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration of muscle have been much debated but have remained unclear. Here we applied Cre-loxP genetic fate mapping to skeletal muscle during limb regeneration in two salamander species, Notophthalmus viridescens (newt) and Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Remarkably, we found that myofiber dedifferentiation is an integral part of limb regeneration in the newt, but not in axolotl. In the newt, myofiber fragmentation results in proliferating, PAX7(-) mononuclear cells in the blastema that give rise to the skeletal muscle in the new limb. In contrast, myofibers in axolotl do not generate proliferating cells, and do not contribute to newly regenerated muscle; instead, resident PAX7(+) cells provide the regeneration activity. Our results therefore show significant diversity in limb muscle regeneration mechanisms among salamanders and suggest that multiple strategies may be feasible for inducing regeneration in other species, including mammals.

  5. Classification using Bayesian neural nets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.C. Bioch (Cor); O. van der Meer; R. Potharst (Rob)

    1995-01-01

    textabstractRecently, Bayesian methods have been proposed for neural networks to solve regression and classification problems. These methods claim to overcome some difficulties encountered in the standard approach such as overfitting. However, an implementation of the full Bayesian approach to neura

  6. Bayesian Intersubjectivity and Quantum Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Suárez, Marcos; Santos, David J.

    2005-02-01

    Two of the major approaches to probability, namely, frequentism and (subjectivistic) Bayesian theory, are discussed, together with the replacement of frequentist objectivity for Bayesian intersubjectivity. This discussion is then expanded to Quantum Theory, as quantum states and operations can be seen as structural elements of a subjective nature.

  7. Bayesian Approach for Inconsistent Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, M; Beer, M; Kreinovich, V

    2013-10-01

    In engineering situations, we usually have a large amount of prior knowledge that needs to be taken into account when processing data. Traditionally, the Bayesian approach is used to process data in the presence of prior knowledge. Sometimes, when we apply the traditional Bayesian techniques to engineering data, we get inconsistencies between the data and prior knowledge. These inconsistencies are usually caused by the fact that in the traditional approach, we assume that we know the exact sample values, that the prior distribution is exactly known, etc. In reality, the data is imprecise due to measurement errors, the prior knowledge is only approximately known, etc. So, a natural way to deal with the seemingly inconsistent information is to take this imprecision into account in the Bayesian approach - e.g., by using fuzzy techniques. In this paper, we describe several possible scenarios for fuzzifying the Bayesian approach. Particular attention is paid to the interaction between the estimated imprecise parameters. In this paper, to implement the corresponding fuzzy versions of the Bayesian formulas, we use straightforward computations of the related expression - which makes our computations reasonably time-consuming. Computations in the traditional (non-fuzzy) Bayesian approach are much faster - because they use algorithmically efficient reformulations of the Bayesian formulas. We expect that similar reformulations of the fuzzy Bayesian formulas will also drastically decrease the computation time and thus, enhance the practical use of the proposed methods.

  8. Inference in hybrid Bayesian networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lanseth, Helge; Nielsen, Thomas Dyhre; Rumí, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    Since the 1980s, Bayesian Networks (BNs) have become increasingly popular for building statistical models of complex systems. This is particularly true for boolean systems, where BNs often prove to be a more efficient modelling framework than traditional reliability-techniques (like fault trees...... decade's research on inference in hybrid Bayesian networks. The discussions are linked to an example model for estimating human reliability....

  9. A Bayesian sequential design with binary outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Han; Yu, Qingzhao; Mercante, Donald E

    2017-03-02

    Several researchers have proposed solutions to control type I error rate in sequential designs. The use of Bayesian sequential design becomes more common; however, these designs are subject to inflation of the type I error rate. We propose a Bayesian sequential design for binary outcome using an alpha-spending function to control the overall type I error rate. Algorithms are presented for calculating critical values and power for the proposed designs. We also propose a new stopping rule for futility. Sensitivity analysis is implemented for assessing the effects of varying the parameters of the prior distribution and maximum total sample size on critical values. Alpha-spending functions are compared using power and actual sample size through simulations. Further simulations show that, when total sample size is fixed, the proposed design has greater power than the traditional Bayesian sequential design, which sets equal stopping bounds at all interim analyses. We also find that the proposed design with the new stopping for futility rule results in greater power and can stop earlier with a smaller actual sample size, compared with the traditional stopping rule for futility when all other conditions are held constant. Finally, we apply the proposed method to a real data set and compare the results with traditional designs.

  10. Different season, different strategies: Feeding ecology of two syntopic forest-dwelling salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastiano, Salvidio; Antonio, Romano; Fabrizio, Oneto; Dario, Ottonello; Roberta, Michelon

    2012-08-01

    Trophic niche may be the most important ecological dimension for some vertebrate groups and in particular for terrestrial amphibians, that are important predators of soil invertebrates. In general, resource partitioning occurs between syntopic species with similar ecological niches, and coexistence patterns seem to be regulated by temporal resource variability. However most of the generalization on foraging strategies of terrestrial salamanders are extrapolated from studies on New World temperate species, thus we investigated the seasonal effect of resource variation in an European forest ecosystem, in which two ecologically similar but phylogenetically distinct salamander species are found. The diet of adult and juvenile cave salamanders (Speleomantes strinati), and of adult spectacled salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) was obtained by stomach flushing, and results showed large seasonal changes both in prey availability and in salamander realised trophic niche. Values of trophic diversity were similar and niche overlaps were large among all salamander groups in spring, during high prey availability. Conversely in autumn, when a two-fold reduction in prey biomass was observed, there was a clear niche partitioning as the smaller S. perspicillata shifted from a generalist to a specialized trophic strategy. Juvenile Speleomantes strinatii, that largely overlapped in size with S. perspicillata, did not show any change in diet, suggesting that the feeding strategies were species-specific and not size-mediated. The observed patterns of variation in feeding ecology indicate that similar predators may react differently to changing prey availability to enhance niche partitioning. We also observed an increased energy intake during autumn for S perspicillata and S. strinatii juveniles, possibly related to differences in microhabitat use and activity patterns.

  11. Fictive rhythmic motor patterns produced by the tail spinal cord in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charrier, V; Cabelguen, J-M

    2013-01-01

    Most investigations into the role of the body axis in vertebrate locomotion have focused on the trunk, although in most tetrapods, the tail also plays an active role. In salamanders, the tail contributes to propulsion during swimming and to dynamic balance and maneuverability during terrestrial locomotion. The aim of the present study was to obtain information concerning the neural mechanisms that produce tail muscle contractions during locomotion in the salamander Pleurodeles waltlii. We recorded the ventral root activities in in vitro spinal cord preparations in which locomotor-like activity was induced via bath application of N-methyl-d-aspartate (20μM) and d-serine (10μM). Recordings showed that the tail spinal cord is capable of producing propagated waves of motor activity that alternate between the left and right sides. Lesion experiments further revealed that the tail rhythmogenic network is composed of a double chain of identical hemisegmental oscillators. Finally, using spinal cord preparations bathed in a chamber partitioned into two pools, we revealed efficient short-distance coupling between the trunk and tail networks. Together, our results demonstrate the existence of a pattern generator for rhythmic tail movements in the salamander and show that the global architecture of the tail network is similar to that previously proposed for the mid-trunk locomotor network in the salamander. Our findings further support the view that salamanders can control their trunk and tail independently during stepping movements. The relevance of our results in relation to the generation of tail muscle contractions in freely moving salamanders is discussed.

  12. Bayesian Inference on Gravitational Waves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asad Ali

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The Bayesian approach is increasingly becoming popular among the astrophysics data analysis communities. However, the Pakistan statistics communities are unaware of this fertile interaction between the two disciplines. Bayesian methods have been in use to address astronomical problems since the very birth of the Bayes probability in eighteenth century. Today the Bayesian methods for the detection and parameter estimation of gravitational waves have solid theoretical grounds with a strong promise for the realistic applications. This article aims to introduce the Pakistan statistics communities to the applications of Bayesian Monte Carlo methods in the analysis of gravitational wave data with an  overview of the Bayesian signal detection and estimation methods and demonstration by a couple of simplified examples.

  13. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is the predominant chytrid fungus in Vietnamese salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laking, Alexandra E.; Ngo, Hai Ngoc; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An; Nguyen, Tao Thien

    2017-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungi, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), pose a major threat to amphibian biodiversity. Recent evidence suggests Southeast Asia as a potential cradle for both fungi, which likely resulted in widespread host-pathogen co-existence. We sampled 583 salamanders from 8 species across Vietnam in 55 locations for Bsal and Bd, determined scaled mass index as a proxy for fitness and collected environmental data. Bsal was found within 14 of the 55 habitats (2 of which it was detected in 2013), in 5 salamandrid species, with a prevalence of 2.92%. The globalized pandemic lineage of Bd was found within one pond on one species with a prevalence of 0.69%. Combined with a complete lack of correlation between infection and individual body condition and absence of indication of associated disease, this suggests low level pathogen endemism and Bsal and Bd co-existence with Vietnamese salamandrid populations. Bsal was more widespread than Bd, and occurs at temperatures higher than tolerated by the type strain, suggesting a wider thermal niche than currently known. Therefore, this study provides support for the hypothesis that these chytrid fungi may be endemic to Asia and that species within this region may act as a disease reservoir. PMID:28287614

  14. Approximate Bayesian computation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikael Sunnåker

    Full Text Available Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC constitutes a class of computational methods rooted in Bayesian statistics. In all model-based statistical inference, the likelihood function is of central importance, since it expresses the probability of the observed data under a particular statistical model, and thus quantifies the support data lend to particular values of parameters and to choices among different models. For simple models, an analytical formula for the likelihood function can typically be derived. However, for more complex models, an analytical formula might be elusive or the likelihood function might be computationally very costly to evaluate. ABC methods bypass the evaluation of the likelihood function. In this way, ABC methods widen the realm of models for which statistical inference can be considered. ABC methods are mathematically well-founded, but they inevitably make assumptions and approximations whose impact needs to be carefully assessed. Furthermore, the wider application domain of ABC exacerbates the challenges of parameter estimation and model selection. ABC has rapidly gained popularity over the last years and in particular for the analysis of complex problems arising in biological sciences (e.g., in population genetics, ecology, epidemiology, and systems biology.

  15. The effect of waist twisting on walking speed of an amphibious salamander like robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Xin-Yan; Jia, Li-Chao; Wang, Chen; Xie, Guang-Ming

    2016-06-01

    Amphibious salamanders often swing their waist to coordinate quadruped walking in order to improve their crawling speed. A robot with a swing waist joint, like an amphibious salamander, is used to mimic this locomotion. A control method is designed to allow the robot to maintain the rotational speed of its legs continuous and avoid impact between its legs and the ground. An analytical expression is established between the amplitude of the waist joint and the step length. Further, an optimization amplitude is obtained corresponding to the maximum stride. The simulation results based on automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) and physical experiments verify the rationality and validity of this expression.

  16. The effect of waist twisting on walking speed of an amphibious salamander like robot

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xin-Yan Yin; Li-Chao Jia; Chen Wang; Guang-Ming Xie

    2016-01-01

    Amphibious salamanders often swing their waist to coordinate quadruped walking in order to improve their crawling speed. A robot with a swing waist joint, like an amphibious salamander, is used to mimic this locomotion. A control method is designed to allow the robot to maintain the rotational speed of its legs continuous and avoid impact between its legs and the ground. An analytical expression is established between the amplitude of the waist joint and the step length. Further, an optimization amplitude is obtained corresponding to the maximum stride. The simulation results based on automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) and physical experiments verify the rationality and validity of this expression.

  17. How to practise Bayesian statistics outside the Bayesian church: What philosophy for Bayesian statistical modelling?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borsboom, D.; Haig, B.D.

    2013-01-01

    Unlike most other statistical frameworks, Bayesian statistical inference is wedded to a particular approach in the philosophy of science (see Howson & Urbach, 2006); this approach is called Bayesianism. Rather than being concerned with model fitting, this position in the philosophy of science primar

  18. Bayesian analysis of cosmic structures

    CERN Document Server

    Kitaura, Francisco-Shu

    2011-01-01

    We revise the Bayesian inference steps required to analyse the cosmological large-scale structure. Here we make special emphasis in the complications which arise due to the non-Gaussian character of the galaxy and matter distribution. In particular we investigate the advantages and limitations of the Poisson-lognormal model and discuss how to extend this work. With the lognormal prior using the Hamiltonian sampling technique and on scales of about 4 h^{-1} Mpc we find that the over-dense regions are excellent reconstructed, however, under-dense regions (void statistics) are quantitatively poorly recovered. Contrary to the maximum a posteriori (MAP) solution which was shown to over-estimate the density in the under-dense regions we obtain lower densities than in N-body simulations. This is due to the fact that the MAP solution is conservative whereas the full posterior yields samples which are consistent with the prior statistics. The lognormal prior is not able to capture the full non-linear regime at scales ...

  19. Bayesian Analysis of Type Ia Supernova Data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王晓峰; 周旭; 李宗伟; 陈黎

    2003-01-01

    Recently, the distances to type Ia supernova (SN Ia) at z ~ 0.5 have been measured with the motivation of estimating cosmological parameters. However, different sleuthing techniques tend to give inconsistent measurements for SN Ia distances (~0.3 mag), which significantly affects the determination of cosmological parameters.A Bayesian "hyper-parameter" procedure is used to analyse jointly the current SN Ia data, which considers the relative weights of different datasets. For a flat Universe, the combining analysis yields ΩM = 0.20 ± 0.07.

  20. Implementing Bayesian Vector Autoregressions Implementing Bayesian Vector Autoregressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard M. Todd

    1988-03-01

    Full Text Available Implementing Bayesian Vector Autoregressions This paper discusses how the Bayesian approach can be used to construct a type of multivariate forecasting model known as a Bayesian vector autoregression (BVAR. In doing so, we mainly explain Doan, Littermann, and Sims (1984 propositions on how to estimate a BVAR based on a certain family of prior probability distributions. indexed by a fairly small set of hyperparameters. There is also a discussion on how to specify a BVAR and set up a BVAR database. A 4-variable model is used to iliustrate the BVAR approach.

  1. Ontogenetic convergence and evolution of foot morphology in European cave salamanders (Family: Plethodontidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nistri Annamaria

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand the evolution of phenotypic diversity. Both natural and sexual selection play a large role in generating phenotypic adaptations, with biomechanical requirements and developmental mechanisms mediating patterns of phenotypic evolution. For many traits, the relative importance of selective and developmental components remains understudied. Results We investigated ontogenetic trajectories of foot morphology in the eight species of European plethodontid cave salamander to test the hypothesis that adult foot morphology was adapted for climbing. Using geometric morphometrics and other approaches, we found that developmental patterns in five species displayed little morphological change during growth (isometry, where the extensive interdigital webbing in adults was best explained as the retention of the juvenile morphological state. By contrast, three species exhibited significant allometry, with an increase in interdigital webbing during growth. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that multiple evolutionary transitions between isometry and allometry of foot webbing have occurred in this lineage. Allometric parameters of foot growth were most similar to those of a tropical species previously shown to be adapted for climbing. Finally, interspecific variation in adult foot morphology was significantly reduced as compared to variation among juveniles, indicating that ontogenetic convergence had resulted in a common adult foot morphology across species. Conclusions The results presented here provide evidence of a complex history of phenotypic evolution in this clade. The common adult phenotype exhibited among species reveals that selection plays an important part in generating patterns of foot diversity in the group. However, developmental trajectories arriving at this common morphology are distinct; with some species displaying developmental stasis (isometry, while others show an increase

  2. Augmenting Data with Published Results in Bayesian Linear Regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leeuw, Christiaan; Klugkist, Irene

    2012-01-01

    In most research, linear regression analyses are performed without taking into account published results (i.e., reported summary statistics) of similar previous studies. Although the prior density in Bayesian linear regression could accommodate such prior knowledge, formal models for doing so are absent from the literature. The goal of this…

  3. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-04-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and 'salamander A') has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions.

  4. Effect of arsenic on p53 mutation and occurrence of teratogenic salamanders: their potential as ecological indicators for arsenic contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jin-Soo; Gu, Man Bock; Kim, Kyoung-Woong

    2009-05-01

    The p53 mutation in salamanders can be used as an indicator of arsenic contamination. The influence of arsenic exposure was studied on mutation of tumor suppressor gene in salamanders collected from several As-contaminated mine areas in Korea. Salamander eggs and larvae were exposed to arsenic in a toxicity test, and teratogenic salamanders found in heavy metal- and As-contaminated water from As-Bi mines were evaluated using PCR-SSCP to determine if they would be useful as an ecological indicator species. Changes in amino acids were shown to have occurred as a result of an arsenic-accumulating event that occurred after the DNA damage. In addition, both of the Hynobius leechii exposed groups were primarily affected by forms of skin damage, changes in the lateral tail/dorsal flexure and/or abnormality teratogenesis. Single-base sense mutation in codons 346 (AAG: Lys to ATG: Met), 224 (TTT: Phe to TTA: Leu), 211 (ATG: Met to AAG: Lys), 244 (TTT: Phe to TTTG: insertion), 245 (Glu GAG to Gln CAG) and 249 (TGT Cys to TGA stop) of the p53 gene were simultaneously found in mutated salamanders. Based on the results of our data illustrating the effect of arsenic exposure on the p53 mutation of salamanders in arsenic-contaminated mine areas, these mutated salamanders can be used as potential ecological indicators in the arsenic-contaminated ecosystems.

  5. Responses of Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to chemical cues of prey presented in soluble and volatile forms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telfer, A C; Laberge, F

    2013-04-10

    Terrestrial salamanders are able to detect prey items using chemical cues, but the nature of the cues involved is uncertain. This study aimed to tease apart the roles of the soluble and volatile components of prey cues detected by Eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), assuming the likelihood that these different components are respectively detected by the vomeronasal (accessory) and main olfactory organs. Wild-caught salamanders were exposed to control or soluble and volatile cricket cues in two different behavioural assays conducted in the laboratory. The first series of assays focused on localized presentation of soluble cues on the substrate, and the second on point sources of volatile cues delivered through plastic tubes. Room temperature was varied across experiments. Salamanders increased chemoinvestigation of the substrate via nosetapping when soluble prey cues were distributed non-uniformly on the substrate. In the warmer of two temperatures tested, salamanders additionally showed a spatial preference for location of soluble cue deposition. Attraction to a point source of volatile cues was not evident when examining the responses of salamanders grouped together; however, investigation of the volatile point source was significantly correlated with side preference only when both soluble cues and a volatile point source were present. The latter suggests that a subset of salamanders were attracted to the point source of volatile cues in the presence of soluble cues on the substrate. This study indicates that soluble prey cues alone are sufficient to trigger salamander foraging behaviour, and that temperature influences this foraging response. It supports the notion that the vomeronasal system plays an important role in prey detection, but suggests that volatile cues are also investigated by some salamanders when soluble prey cues have been detected.

  6. telemetric data reveals ecolgoically adaptive behavior of captive raised chinese giant salamanders when reintroduced into their native habitat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    little is known about the ecology of the chinese giant salamander (andrias davidianus),a critically endangered species.such information is needed to make informed decisions concerning the conservation and management of this species.four a.davidianus raised in a pool were released into their native habitat on 04 may 2005 and were subsequently radio-tracked for approximately 155-168 days.following their release,the giant salamanders traveled upstream in search of suitable micro-habitats,and settled after 10 days.later,a devastating summer flash flood destroyed the salamanders' dens,triggering another bout of habitat searching by the animals.eventually,the salamanders settled in different sections of the stream where they remained until the end of the study.on average,each habitat searching endeavor took 7.5 days,during which a giant salamander explored a 310 m stretch of stream with a surface area of about 1157 m2 and occupied 3.5 temporary dwellings.each giant salamander spent an average of 144.5 days in semi-permanent micro-habitats,and occupied territories that had a mean size of 34.75 m2.our results indicate that the chinese giant salamander responds to habitat disturbance by seeking new habitats upstream,both water temperature and water level affect the salamander's habitat searching activity,and the size of the salamander's semi-permanent territory is influenced by the size of the pool containing the animal's den.

  7. Book review: Bayesian analysis for population ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, William A.

    2011-01-01

    Brian Dennis described the field of ecology as “fertile, uncolonized ground for Bayesian ideas.” He continued: “The Bayesian propagule has arrived at the shore. Ecologists need to think long and hard about the consequences of a Bayesian ecology. The Bayesian outlook is a successful competitor, but is it a weed? I think so.” (Dennis 2004)

  8. Bayesian Causal Induction

    CERN Document Server

    Ortega, Pedro A

    2011-01-01

    Discovering causal relationships is a hard task, often hindered by the need for intervention, and often requiring large amounts of data to resolve statistical uncertainty. However, humans quickly arrive at useful causal relationships. One possible reason is that humans use strong prior knowledge; and rather than encoding hard causal relationships, they encode beliefs over causal structures, allowing for sound generalization from the observations they obtain from directly acting in the world. In this work we propose a Bayesian approach to causal induction which allows modeling beliefs over multiple causal hypotheses and predicting the behavior of the world under causal interventions. We then illustrate how this method extracts causal information from data containing interventions and observations.

  9. Bayesian Rose Trees

    CERN Document Server

    Blundell, Charles; Heller, Katherine A

    2012-01-01

    Hierarchical structure is ubiquitous in data across many domains. There are many hier- archical clustering methods, frequently used by domain experts, which strive to discover this structure. However, most of these meth- ods limit discoverable hierarchies to those with binary branching structure. This lim- itation, while computationally convenient, is often undesirable. In this paper we ex- plore a Bayesian hierarchical clustering algo- rithm that can produce trees with arbitrary branching structure at each node, known as rose trees. We interpret these trees as mixtures over partitions of a data set, and use a computationally efficient, greedy ag- glomerative algorithm to find the rose trees which have high marginal likelihood given the data. Lastly, we perform experiments which demonstrate that rose trees are better models of data than the typical binary trees returned by other hierarchical clustering algorithms.

  10. Bayesian inference in geomagnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backus, George E.

    1988-01-01

    The inverse problem in empirical geomagnetic modeling is investigated, with critical examination of recently published studies. Particular attention is given to the use of Bayesian inference (BI) to select the damping parameter lambda in the uniqueness portion of the inverse problem. The mathematical bases of BI and stochastic inversion are explored, with consideration of bound-softening problems and resolution in linear Gaussian BI. The problem of estimating the radial magnetic field B(r) at the earth core-mantle boundary from surface and satellite measurements is then analyzed in detail, with specific attention to the selection of lambda in the studies of Gubbins (1983) and Gubbins and Bloxham (1985). It is argued that the selection method is inappropriate and leads to lambda values much larger than those that would result if a reasonable bound on the heat flow at the CMB were assumed.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  12. Effects of Buffering Key Habitat for Terrestrial Salamanders: Implications for the Management of the Federally Threatened Red Hills Salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti and Other Imperiled Plethodontids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph J. Apodaca

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Forestry practices are placing ever increasing emphasis on sustainability and the maintenance of ecological processes, biodiversity, and endangered species or populations. Balancing timber harvest and the management of imperiled species presents a particularly difficult challenge during this shift, as we often know very little about these species’ natural history and how and why silviculture practices affect their populations. Accordingly, investigation of and improvement on current management practices for threatened species is imperative. We investigated the effectiveness of habitat buffers as a management technique for the imperiled Red Hills salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti by combining genetic, transect, and body-condition data. We found that populations where habitat buffers have been employed have higher genetic diversity and higher population densities, and individuals have better overall body condition. These results indicate that buffering the habitat of imperiled species can be an effective management tool for terrestrial salamanders. Additionally, they provide further evidence that leaving the habitat of imperiled salamanders unbuffered can have both immediate and long-term negative impacts on populations.

  13. Current trends in Bayesian methodology with applications

    CERN Document Server

    Upadhyay, Satyanshu K; Dey, Dipak K; Loganathan, Appaia

    2015-01-01

    Collecting Bayesian material scattered throughout the literature, Current Trends in Bayesian Methodology with Applications examines the latest methodological and applied aspects of Bayesian statistics. The book covers biostatistics, econometrics, reliability and risk analysis, spatial statistics, image analysis, shape analysis, Bayesian computation, clustering, uncertainty assessment, high-energy astrophysics, neural networking, fuzzy information, objective Bayesian methodologies, empirical Bayes methods, small area estimation, and many more topics.Each chapter is self-contained and focuses on

  14. Data from proteomic analysis of the skin of Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofang Geng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus, renowned as a living fossil, is the largest and longest-lived amphibian species in the world. Its skin is rich in collagens, and has developed mucous gland which could secrete a large amount of mucus under the scraping and electric stimulation. The molting is the degraded skin stratum corneum. To establish the functional skin proteome of Chinese giant salamander, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE and mass spectrometry (MS were applied to detect the composition and relative abundance of the proteins in the skin, mucus and molting. The determination of the general proteome in the skin can potentially serve as a foundation for future studies characterizing the skin proteomes from diseased salamander to provide molecular and mechanistic insights into various disease states and potential therapeutic interventions. Data presented here are also related to the research article “Proteomic analysis of the skin of Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus” in the Journal of Proteomics [1].

  15. Behavioral and Physiological Responses of Ozark Zigzag Salamanders to Stimuli from an Invasive Predator: The Armadillo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. Crane

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available When new predators invade a habitat, either through range extensions or introductions, prey may be at a high risk because they do not recognize the predators as dangerous. The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus has recently expanded its range in North America. Armadillos forage by searching soil and leaf litter, consuming invertebrates and small vertebrates, including salamanders. We tested whether Ozark zigzag salamanders (Plethodon angusticlavius from a population coexisting with armadillos for about 30 years exhibit antipredator behavior in the presence of armadillo chemical cues and whether they can discriminate between stimuli from armadillos and a nonpredatory sympatric mammal (white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. Salamanders appeared to recognize substrate cues from armadillos as a threat because they increased escape behaviors and oxygen consumption. When exposed to airborne cues from armadillos, salamanders also exhibited an antipredator response by spending more time in an inconspicuous posture. Additionally, individually consistent behaviors across treatments for some response variables suggest the potential for a behavioral syndrome in this species.

  16. Sal-Site: Integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weisrock David W

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1 Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2 Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3 Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4 Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5 Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6 Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at http://www.ambystoma.org.

  17. Prevalence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a Nicaraguan, micro-endemic Neotropical salamander, Bolitoglossa mombachoensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stark, Tariq; Laurijssens, Carlijn; Weterings, Martijn; Martel, An; Köhler, Gunther; Pasmans, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Amphibians are the most threatened terrestrial vertebrates on the planet and are iconic in the global biodiversity crisis. Their global decline caused by the fungal agent Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is well known. Declines of Mesoamerican salamanders of the family Plethodontidae, mainly affe

  18. Context-dependent movement behavior of woodland salamanders (Plethodon) in two habitat types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-12-01

    Animal movement is critical to the maintenance of functional connectivity at the landscape scale and can play a key role in population persistence and metapopulation dynamics. The permeability of habitat to animal movement may vary as a result of either differential mortality, physical resistance, or simply the behavioral responses of organisms to perceived habitat quality. Understanding how and when animal movement behavior varies among habitat types is critical for identifying barriers to dispersal and predicting species distributions in relation to landscape features. We conducted an experimental translocation study and compared the movement success and behavioral strategies of plethodontid salamanders in both forest and open-canopy habitat. We found that individuals in closed-canopy forest oriented more strongly towards their home ranges and moved significantly farther on their release night. In spite of the clear differences in movement paths, the ultimate movement success of homing salamanders did not appear to vary with habitat type. Our study contributes to a growing body of literature suggesting the importance of recognizing the context dependence of animal movement behavior. Because the movement rates of displaced salamanders were significantly reduced in open-canopy, dispersal rates of plethodontid salamanders in open-canopy habitat are likely lower than in control forest. Further mechanistic studies focusing on habitat-specific movement behavior and survival costs will be valuable for effectively identifying and mitigating barriers to animal movement.

  19. A new species of salamander (Bolitoglossa: Plethodontidae from the Cordillera Oriental of the Colombian Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés R. Acosta-Galvis

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Eight species of salamanders are recognized to Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. Here we describe a new species of the genus Bolitoglossa, named Bolitoglossa guaneae sp. nov. The highest number of species of this genus is found in the cloud forests located in the western flank of the Cordillera Oriental.

  20. Coexistence in streams: do source-sink dynamics allow salamanders to persist with fish predators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulveda, Adam J; Lowe, Winsor H

    2011-08-01

    Theory suggests that source-sink dynamics can allow coexistence of intraguild predators and prey, but empirical evidence for this coexistence mechanism is limited. We used capture-mark-recapture, genetic methods, and stable isotopes to test whether source-sink dynamics promote coexistence between stream fishes, the intraguild predator, and stream salamanders (Dicamptodon aterrimus), the intraguild prey. Salamander populations from upstream reaches without fish were predicted to maintain or supplement sink populations in downstream reaches with fish. We found instead that downstream reaches with fish were not sinks even though fish consumed salamander larvae-apparent survival, recruitment, and population growth rate did not differ between upstream and downstream reaches. There was also no difference between upstream and downstream reaches in net emigration. We did find that D. aterrimus moved frequently along streams, but believe that this is a response to seasonal habitat changes rather than intraguild predation. Our study provides empirical evidence that local-scale mechanisms are more important than dispersal dynamics to coexistence of streams salamanders and fish. More broadly, it shows the value of empirical data on dispersal and gene flow for distinguishing between local and spatial mechanisms of coexistence.

  1. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in fully aquatic salamanders from Southeastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatfield, Matthew W H; Moler, Paul; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the impact that the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has on fully aquatic salamander species of the eastern United States. As a first step in determining the impacts of Bd on these species, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Bd in wild populations of fully aquatic salamanders in the genera Amphiuma, Necturus, Pseudobranchus, and Siren. We sampled a total of 98 salamanders, representing nine species from sites in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Overall, infection prevalence was found to be 0.34, with significant differences among genera but no clear geographic pattern. We also found evidence for seasonal variation, but additional sampling throughout the year is needed to clarify this pattern. The high rate of infection discovered in this study is consistent with studies of other amphibians from the southeastern United States. Coupled with previously published data on life histories and population densities, the results presented here suggest that fully aquatic salamanders may be serving as important vectors of Bd and the interaction between these species and Bd warrants additional research.

  2. Cutaneous bacteria of the redback salamander prevent morbidity associated with a lethal disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew H Becker

    Full Text Available Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd, is an infectious disease that causes population declines of many amphibians. Cutaneous bacteria isolated from redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, and mountain yellow-legged frogs, Rana muscosa, inhibit the growth of Bd in vitro. In this study, the bacterial community present on the skin of P. cinereus individuals was investigated to determine if it provides protection to salamanders from the lethal and sub-lethal effects of chytridiomycosis. When the cutaneous bacterial community was reduced prior to Bd exposure, salamanders experienced a significantly greater decrease in body mass, which is a symptom of the disease, when compared to infected individuals with a normal bacterial community. In addition, a greater proportion of infected individuals with a reduced bacterial community experienced limb-lifting, a behavior seen only in infected individuals. Overall, these results demonstrate that the cutaneous bacterial community of P. cinereus provides protection to the salamander from Bd and that alteration of this community can change disease resistance. Therefore, symbiotic microbes associated with this species appear to be an important component of its innate skin defenses.

  3. Cheat Mountain Salamanders Search Report 2006 Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objective of the survey was to document Cheat Mountain salamander use on either side of Powderline ski trail or Three-Mile ski trail in an effort to continue to...

  4. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy studies of Chinese giant salamanders in aquaculture production

    Science.gov (United States)

    NIR spectra were collected at three surface locations for Chinese giant salamanders to ascertain whether spectral signatures could be separated by anatomical, presumably physiologically-based, locations. The first location was the smooth area immediately above the cloaca on the animal’s abdomen, whi...

  5. A single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual Ambystoma salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwald, Katherine R; Lisle Gibbs, H

    2012-03-01

    Unisexual (all female) salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are animals of variable ploidy (2N-5N) that reproduce via a unique system of 'leaky' gynogenesis. As a result, these salamanders have a diverse array of nuclear genome combinations from up to five sexual species: the blue-spotted (A. laterale), Jefferson (A. jeffersonianum), smallmouth (A. texanum), tiger (A. tigrinum) and streamside (A. barbouri) salamanders. Identifying the genome complement, or biotype, is a critical first step in addressing a broad range of ecological and evolutionary questions about these salamanders. Previous work relied upon genome-related differences in allele size distributions for specific microsatellite loci, but overlap in these distributions among different genomes makes definitive identification and ploidy determination in unisexuals difficult or impossible. Here, we develop the first single nucleotide polymorphism assay for the identification of unisexual biotypes, based on species-specific nucleotide polymorphisms in noncoding DNA loci. Tests with simulated and natural unisexual DNA samples show that this method can accurately identify genome complement and estimate ploidy, making this a valuable tool for assessing the genome composition of unisexual samples.

  6. Using the Eastern Hellbender Salamander in a High School Genetics & Ecological Conservation Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudyk, Sarah; McMillan, Amy; Lange, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    This article contains an original 5E lesson plan developed from conservation genetics research on the giant North American hellbender salamander, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis. The lesson plan provides background information on the hellbender, reviews basic genetics, and exposes students to the scientific process that is used during…

  7. A survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endangered and highly susceptible Vietnamese salamanders (Tylototriton spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thien, Tao Nguyen; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sparreboom, Max; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Fisher, Matthew C; Beukema, Wouter; Van, Tang Duong; Chiers, Koen; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia.

  8. Cytogenetics of the Brazilian Bolitoglossa paraensis (Unterstein, 1930 salamanders (Caudata, Plethodontidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica Barata da Silva

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa constitute the largest and most diverse group of salamanders, including around 20% of living caudate species. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of five recognized species in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. We present here the first cytogenetic data of a Brazilian salamander, which may prove to be a useful by contribution to the cytotaxonomy of the genus. Specimens were collected near the "type" locality (Utinga, Belém, PA, Brazil. Chromosomal preparations from duodenal epithelial cells and testes were subjected to Giemsa staining, C-banding and DAPI/CMA3 fluorochrome staining. All specimens showed a karyotype with 13 bi-armed chromosome pairs (2n = 26. Nucleolar Organizer Regions, evidenced by CMA3, were located distally on the long arm of pair 7 (7q. DAPI+ heterochromatin was predominantly centromeric, with some small pericentromeric bands. Although the C-banding patterns of other Bolitoglossa species are so far unknown, cytogenetic studies conducted in other Plethodontid salamanders have demonstrated that pericentromeric heterochromatin is a useful cytological marker for identifying interspecific homeologies. Species diversification is usually accompanied by chromosomal changes. Therefore, the cytogenetic characterization of Bolitoglossa populations from the middle and western Brazilian Amazon Basin could identify differences which may lead to the identification of new species.

  9. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Putta Srikrishna

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76 and tiger salamander (n = 292 than were identified as shared (n = 108. All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome

  10. Irregular-Time Bayesian Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Ramati, Michael

    2012-01-01

    In many fields observations are performed irregularly along time, due to either measurement limitations or lack of a constant immanent rate. While discrete-time Markov models (as Dynamic Bayesian Networks) introduce either inefficient computation or an information loss to reasoning about such processes, continuous-time Markov models assume either a discrete state space (as Continuous-Time Bayesian Networks), or a flat continuous state space (as stochastic dif- ferential equations). To address these problems, we present a new modeling class called Irregular-Time Bayesian Networks (ITBNs), generalizing Dynamic Bayesian Networks, allowing substantially more compact representations, and increasing the expressivity of the temporal dynamics. In addition, a globally optimal solution is guaranteed when learning temporal systems, provided that they are fully observed at the same irregularly spaced time-points, and a semiparametric subclass of ITBNs is introduced to allow further adaptation to the irregular nature of t...

  11. At random meetings to the creation of new species of Salamander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brillant, Marie-Pierre

    2013-04-01

    The pupils in final year of high school (15-18 years old) study the notion "species" and the creation of new species in various ways. Having studied genetic admixtures, this activity allows the pupils to build a scenario explaining the creation of a new species of Salamander in southern California from an ancestral population existing in northern Oregon. They can observe, on Google Earth, various populations of Salamander of the genus Ensatina. Salamanders of the genus Ensatina live in California around the Joaquin and Sacramento dry valleys. In this software, the pupils get information about the salamanders' environment and photographs of individuals and environments. During a migratory movement toward new territories to be colonized, these salamanders meet an inhospitable environment that they can not occupy. This population then splits up into two migratory branches, east and west, each overcoming the obstacles in different ways. The two groups gradually colonized southern territories but they avoided the too dry and hot San Joaquin plains. The two main branches of the original population gradually move away from each other, and genetic exchanges between them decrease over time. Eventually, we can find various populations of Salamander on both sides of the valleys, since the salamanders occupied new territories and diversified along the way. Among mutations that randomly occur, only those mutations that are best adapted in the origin were conserved in the genetic heritage of every population. When the individuals stemming from different western populations met, they were interfertile and give fertile hybrids, which was verified in the laboratory. Likewise, when individuals of the different eastern subspecies met accidentally, fertile hybrids also could arise from these crossings. The pupils can observe what happens in the overlap of various populations : interfertility or not. They also have geological, geographical and climatic information about the San Joaquin

  12. A Bayesian approach to combining animal abundance and demographic data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooks, S. P.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available In studies of wild animals, one frequently encounters both count and mark-recapture-recovery data. Here, we consider an integrated Bayesian analysis of ring¿recovery and count data using a state-space model. We then impose a Leslie-matrix-based model on the true population counts describing the natural birth-death and age transition processes. We focus upon the analysis of both count and recovery data collected on British lapwings (Vanellus vanellus combined with records of the number of frost days each winter. We demonstrate how the combined analysis of these data provides a more robust inferential framework and discuss how the Bayesian approach using MCMC allows us to remove the potentially restrictive normality assumptions commonly assumed for analyses of this sort. It is shown how WinBUGS may be used to perform the Bayesian analysis. WinBUGS code is provided and its performance is critically discussed.

  13. Bayesian Inference: with ecological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, William A.; Barker, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    This text provides a mathematically rigorous yet accessible and engaging introduction to Bayesian inference with relevant examples that will be of interest to biologists working in the fields of ecology, wildlife management and environmental studies as well as students in advanced undergraduate statistics.. This text opens the door to Bayesian inference, taking advantage of modern computational efficiencies and easily accessible software to evaluate complex hierarchical models.

  14. Bayesian Networks and Influence Diagrams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærulff, Uffe Bro; Madsen, Anders Læsø

     Probabilistic networks, also known as Bayesian networks and influence diagrams, have become one of the most promising technologies in the area of applied artificial intelligence, offering intuitive, efficient, and reliable methods for diagnosis, prediction, decision making, classification......, troubleshooting, and data mining under uncertainty. Bayesian Networks and Influence Diagrams: A Guide to Construction and Analysis provides a comprehensive guide for practitioners who wish to understand, construct, and analyze intelligent systems for decision support based on probabilistic networks. Intended...

  15. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    Amphibians (Lissamphibia) are characterized by a bi-phasic life-cycle that comprises an aquatic larval stage and metamorphosis to the adult. The ancestral aquatic feeding behavior of amphibian larvae is suction feeding. The negative pressure that is needed for ingestion of prey is created by depression of the hyobranchial apparatus as a result of hyobranchial muscle action. Understanding the homologies of hyobranchial muscles in amphibian larvae is a crucial step in understanding the evolution of this important character complex. However, the literature mostly focuses on the adult musculature and terms used for hyal and ventral branchial muscles in different amphibians often do not reflect homologies across lissamphibian orders. Here we describe the hyal and ventral branchial musculature in larvae of caecilians (Gymnophiona) and salamanders (Caudata), including juveniles of two permanently aquatic salamander species. Based on previous alternative terminology schemes, we propose a terminology for the hyal and ventral branchial muscles that reflects the homologies of muscles and that is suited for studies on hyobranchial muscle evolution in amphibians. We present a discussion of the hyal and ventral branchial muscles in larvae of the most recent common ancestor of amphibians (i.e. the ground plan of Lissamphibia). Based on our terminology, the hyal and ventral branchial musculature of caecilians and salamanders comprises the following muscles: m. depressor mandibulae, m. depressor mandibulae posterior, m. hyomandibularis, m. branchiohyoideus externus, m. interhyoideus, m. interhyoideus posterior, m. subarcualis rectus I, m. subarcualis obliquus II, m. subarcualis obliquus III, m. subarcualis rectus II-IV, and m. transversus ventralis IV. Except for the m. branchiohyoideus externus, all muscles considered herein can be assigned to the ground plan of the Lissamphibia with certainty. The m. branchiohyoideus externus is either apomorphic for the Batrachia (frogs

  16. Mercury Speciation and Trophic Magnification Slopes in Giant Salamander Larvae from the Pacific Northwest, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bank, M. S.; Crocker, J.; Wachtl, J.; Kleeman, P.; Fellers, G.; Currens, C.; Hothem, R.; Madej, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of stream salamanders in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States has received little attention. Here we report total Hg (HgT) and methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations in larval giant salamanders (Dicamptodon spp.) and surface water from forested and chaparral lotic ecosystems distributed along a latitudinal gradient throughout Northern California and Washington. To test hypotheses related to potential effects from mining land-use activities, salamander larvae were also sampled from a reference site at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, California, and at a nearby, upstream site (Shasta county) on Bureau of Land Management land where Hg contamination from gold mining activities has been documented. HgT concentrations in whole body larvae ranged from 4.6 to 74.5 ng/g wet wt. and percent MeHg ranged from 67% to 86%. Both HgT and MeHg larval tissue concentrations were significantly higher at the mining site in comparison to measured background levels (P salamander larvae in remote stream ecosystems, where Hg sources were dominated by atmospheric deposition, were generally low in HgT and MeHg and, in comparison, watersheds with a legacy of land-use practices (i.e., mining operations) had approximately 4.5 - 5.5 times the level of HgT bioaccumulation. Moreover, trophic magnification slopes were highest in the Shasta county region where mining was present. These findings suggest that mining activities increase HgT and MeHg exposure to salamander larvae in the region and may present a threat to other higher trophically positioned organisms, and their associated food webs.

  17. Bayesian generalized linear mixed modeling of Tuberculosis using informative priors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojo, Oluwatobi Blessing; Lougue, Siaka; Woldegerima, Woldegebriel Assefa

    2017-01-01

    TB is rated as one of the world's deadliest diseases and South Africa ranks 9th out of the 22 countries with hardest hit of TB. Although many pieces of research have been carried out on this subject, this paper steps further by inculcating past knowledge into the model, using Bayesian approach with informative prior. Bayesian statistics approach is getting popular in data analyses. But, most applications of Bayesian inference technique are limited to situations of non-informative prior, where there is no solid external information about the distribution of the parameter of interest. The main aim of this study is to profile people living with TB in South Africa. In this paper, identical regression models are fitted for classical and Bayesian approach both with non-informative and informative prior, using South Africa General Household Survey (GHS) data for the year 2014. For the Bayesian model with informative prior, South Africa General Household Survey dataset for the year 2011 to 2013 are used to set up priors for the model 2014.

  18. Elite Athletes Refine Their Internal Clocks: A Bayesian Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yin-Hua; Verdinelli, Isabella; Cesari, Paola

    2016-07-01

    This paper carries out a full Bayesian analysis for a data set examined in Chen & Cesari (2015). These data were collected for assessing people's ability in evaluating short intervals of time. Chen & Cesari (2015) showed evidence of the existence of two independent internal clocks for evaluating time intervals below and above the second. We reexamine here, the same question by performing a complete statistical Bayesian analysis of the data. The Bayesian approach can be used to analyze these data thanks to the specific trial design. Data were obtained from evaluation of time ranges from two groups of individuals. More specifically, information gathered from a nontrained group (considered as baseline) allowed us to build a prior distribution for the parameter(s) of interest, and data from the trained group determined the likelihood function. This paper's main goals are (i) showing how the Bayesian inferential method can be used in statistical analyses and (ii) showing that the Bayesian methodology gives additional support to the findings presented in Chen & Cesari (2015) regarding the existence of two internal clocks in assessing duration of time intervals.

  19. A bayesian approach to classification criteria for spectacled eiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, B.L.; Wade, P.R.; Stehn, R.A.; Cochrane, J.F.

    1996-01-01

    To facilitate decisions to classify species according to risk of extinction, we used Bayesian methods to analyze trend data for the Spectacled Eider, an arctic sea duck. Trend data from three independent surveys of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta were analyzed individually and in combination to yield posterior distributions for population growth rates. We used classification criteria developed by the recovery team for Spectacled Eiders that seek to equalize errors of under- or overprotecting the species. We conducted both a Bayesian decision analysis and a frequentist (classical statistical inference) decision analysis. Bayesian decision analyses are computationally easier, yield basically the same results, and yield results that are easier to explain to nonscientists. With the exception of the aerial survey analysis of the 10 most recent years, both Bayesian and frequentist methods indicated that an endangered classification is warranted. The discrepancy between surveys warrants further research. Although the trend data are abundance indices, we used a preliminary estimate of absolute abundance to demonstrate how to calculate extinction distributions using the joint probability distributions for population growth rate and variance in growth rate generated by the Bayesian analysis. Recent apparent increases in abundance highlight the need for models that apply to declining and then recovering species.

  20. Report on the Status of the Cheat Mountain Salamander in the Cabin Mountain Area of West Virginia 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This outlines the results of field surveys that were conducted for the Cheat Mountain salamander on the Kelley property on three mountains in the Cabin Mountain area...

  1. The phenology of a rare salamander (Salamandra infraimmaculata in a population breeding under unpredictable ambient conditions: a 25 year study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Warburg

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available This is a long-term study (1974-1999 on the phenology of the rare, xeric- inhabiting salamander Salamandra infraimmaculata in a small isolated population during the breeding season near the breeding ponds on Mt. Carmel. This is a fringe area of the genus’ south-easternmost Palaearctic distribution. Salamanders were captured during the 25 year long study. The first years up to the 1980s the total number of salamanders increased but during the last years there seems to have been a decline. Although this could be a phase in normal population cyclic oscillations nevertheless when compared with long-term data on a European Salamandra it does not seem so. The interpretation of the species’ status is dependent on numbers of salamanders captured as well as on the duration of the study. These subjects are reviewed and discussed in this paper.

  2. Comparative 3D analyses and palaeoecology of giant early amphibians (Temnospondyli: Stereospondyli)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Steyer, J.-Sébastien; de Esteban-Trivigno, Soledad; Mujal, Eudald; Gil, Lluís

    2016-01-01

    Macroevolutionary, palaeoecological and biomechanical analyses in deep time offer the possibility to decipher the structural constraints, ecomorphological patterns and evolutionary history of extinct groups. Here, 3D comparative biomechanical analyses of the extinct giant early amphibian group of stereospondyls together with living lissamphibians and crocodiles, shows that: i) stereospondyls had peculiar palaeoecological niches with proper bites and stress patterns very different than those of giant salamanders and crocodiles; ii) their extinction may be correlated with the appearance of neosuchians, which display morphofunctional innovations. Stereospondyls weathered the end-Permian mass extinction, re-radiated, acquired gigantic sizes and dominated (semi) aquatic ecosystems during the Triassic. Because these ecosystems are today occupied by crocodilians, and stereospondyls are extinct amphibians, their palaeobiology is a matter of an intensive debate: stereospondyls were a priori compared with putative living analogous such as giant salamanders and/or crocodilians and our new results try to close this debate. PMID:27457883

  3. Dynamic Batch Bayesian Optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Azimi, Javad; Fern, Xiaoli

    2011-01-01

    Bayesian optimization (BO) algorithms try to optimize an unknown function that is expensive to evaluate using minimum number of evaluations/experiments. Most of the proposed algorithms in BO are sequential, where only one experiment is selected at each iteration. This method can be time inefficient when each experiment takes a long time and more than one experiment can be ran concurrently. On the other hand, requesting a fix-sized batch of experiments at each iteration causes performance inefficiency in BO compared to the sequential policies. In this paper, we present an algorithm that asks a batch of experiments at each time step t where the batch size p_t is dynamically determined in each step. Our algorithm is based on the observation that the sequence of experiments selected by the sequential policy can sometimes be almost independent from each other. Our algorithm identifies such scenarios and request those experiments at the same time without degrading the performance. We evaluate our proposed method us...

  4. Life history as a predictor of salamander recovery rate from timber harvest in southern appalachian forests, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-12-01

    Forest management often represents a balance between social, economic, and ecological objectives. In the eastern United States, numerous studies have established that terrestrial salamander populations initially decline in abundance following timber harvest, yet the large-scale and long-term consequences are relatively unknown. We used count data from terrestrial survey points to examine the relation between salamander abundance and historic timber harvest while accounting for imperfect detection of individuals. Overall, stream- and terrestrial-breeding salamanders appeared to differ by magnitude of population decline, rate of population recovery, and extent of recolonization from surrounding forest. Specifically, estimated abundance of both species groups was positively associated with stand age and recovery rates were predicted to increase over time for red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani) and decrease in stream-breeding species. Abundance of stream-breeding salamanders was predicted to reach a peak by 100 years after timber harvest, and the population growth rate of red-legged salamanders was predicted to undergo a significant increase 100 years after harvest. Estimated abundance of stream-breeding salamanders in young forest stands was also negatively associated with the distance to adjacent forest, a result that suggests immigration has a role in the recovery of these species. Our results indicate that salamander abundance in young forest stands may be only modestly lower than in more mature forest but that full recovery from timber harvest may take a substantial amount of time and that species life history may affect patterns of recovery. Historia de Vida como un Vaticinador de la Tasa de Recuperación de una Salamandra a la Colecta de Madera en los Bosques del Sur de los Apalaches, E.U.A.

  5. First report of a ranavirus associated with morbidity and mortality in farmed Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Y; Wang, K Y; Zhou, Z Y; Li, C W; Wang, J; He, M; Yin, Z Q; Lai, W M

    2011-07-01

    From February to May 2010, an outbreak of disease occurred amongst farmed Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) in Hanzhong County, Shanxi Province, China. Clinical signs included anorexia, lethargy, ecchymoses and swollen areas on the head and limbs, and skin ulceration. The aim of this study was to determine the cause of this disease. Necropsy examination revealed subcutaneous and intramuscular oedema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal haemorrhage, swollen kidneys with multifocal haemorrhage and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of haemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions suggestive of a viral infection in a variety of organs, as well as degeneration and necrosis of these organs. Electron microscopy of ultrathin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. Of the six specimens tested, all were positive for ranavirus major capsid protein (MCP) gene. Sequence alignments of the ranavirus MCP gene from these specimens showed 95-98% similarity with published ranavirus data. The virus, provisionally designated as Chinese giant salamander virus (CGSV), was isolated from tissue homogenates of diseased salamanders following inoculation of epithelioma papilloma cyprini cells. Sequence analysis of the MCP genes showed that the isolated virus was a ranavirus with marked sequence identity to other members of the genus Ranavirus. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by infecting healthy Chinese giant salamanders with the CGSV. These salamanders all died within 6-8 days. This is the first report of ranavirus infection associated with mass mortality in Chinese giant salamanders.

  6. Bayesian seismic AVO inversion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buland, Arild

    2002-07-01

    A new linearized AVO inversion technique is developed in a Bayesian framework. The objective is to obtain posterior distributions for P-wave velocity, S-wave velocity and density. Distributions for other elastic parameters can also be assessed, for example acoustic impedance, shear impedance and P-wave to S-wave velocity ratio. The inversion algorithm is based on the convolutional model and a linearized weak contrast approximation of the Zoeppritz equation. The solution is represented by a Gaussian posterior distribution with explicit expressions for the posterior expectation and covariance, hence exact prediction intervals for the inverted parameters can be computed under the specified model. The explicit analytical form of the posterior distribution provides a computationally fast inversion method. Tests on synthetic data show that all inverted parameters were almost perfectly retrieved when the noise approached zero. With realistic noise levels, acoustic impedance was the best determined parameter, while the inversion provided practically no information about the density. The inversion algorithm has also been tested on a real 3-D dataset from the Sleipner Field. The results show good agreement with well logs but the uncertainty is high. The stochastic model includes uncertainties of both the elastic parameters, the wavelet and the seismic and well log data. The posterior distribution is explored by Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation using the Gibbs sampler algorithm. The inversion algorithm has been tested on a seismic line from the Heidrun Field with two wells located on the line. The uncertainty of the estimated wavelet is low. In the Heidrun examples the effect of including uncertainty of the wavelet and the noise level was marginal with respect to the AVO inversion results. We have developed a 3-D linearized AVO inversion method with spatially coupled model parameters where the objective is to obtain posterior distributions for P-wave velocity, S

  7. Bayesian microsaccade detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihali, Andra; van Opheusden, Bas; Ma, Wei Ji

    2017-01-01

    Microsaccades are high-velocity fixational eye movements, with special roles in perception and cognition. The default microsaccade detection method is to determine when the smoothed eye velocity exceeds a threshold. We have developed a new method, Bayesian microsaccade detection (BMD), which performs inference based on a simple statistical model of eye positions. In this model, a hidden state variable changes between drift and microsaccade states at random times. The eye position is a biased random walk with different velocity distributions for each state. BMD generates samples from the posterior probability distribution over the eye state time series given the eye position time series. Applied to simulated data, BMD recovers the “true” microsaccades with fewer errors than alternative algorithms, especially at high noise. Applied to EyeLink eye tracker data, BMD detects almost all the microsaccades detected by the default method, but also apparent microsaccades embedded in high noise—although these can also be interpreted as false positives. Next we apply the algorithms to data collected with a Dual Purkinje Image eye tracker, whose higher precision justifies defining the inferred microsaccades as ground truth. When we add artificial measurement noise, the inferences of all algorithms degrade; however, at noise levels comparable to EyeLink data, BMD recovers the “true” microsaccades with 54% fewer errors than the default algorithm. Though unsuitable for online detection, BMD has other advantages: It returns probabilities rather than binary judgments, and it can be straightforwardly adapted as the generative model is refined. We make our algorithm available as a software package. PMID:28114483

  8. Maximum margin Bayesian network classifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernkopf, Franz; Wohlmayr, Michael; Tschiatschek, Sebastian

    2012-03-01

    We present a maximum margin parameter learning algorithm for Bayesian network classifiers using a conjugate gradient (CG) method for optimization. In contrast to previous approaches, we maintain the normalization constraints on the parameters of the Bayesian network during optimization, i.e., the probabilistic interpretation of the model is not lost. This enables us to handle missing features in discriminatively optimized Bayesian networks. In experiments, we compare the classification performance of maximum margin parameter learning to conditional likelihood and maximum likelihood learning approaches. Discriminative parameter learning significantly outperforms generative maximum likelihood estimation for naive Bayes and tree augmented naive Bayes structures on all considered data sets. Furthermore, maximizing the margin dominates the conditional likelihood approach in terms of classification performance in most cases. We provide results for a recently proposed maximum margin optimization approach based on convex relaxation. While the classification results are highly similar, our CG-based optimization is computationally up to orders of magnitude faster. Margin-optimized Bayesian network classifiers achieve classification performance comparable to support vector machines (SVMs) using fewer parameters. Moreover, we show that unanticipated missing feature values during classification can be easily processed by discriminatively optimized Bayesian network classifiers, a case where discriminative classifiers usually require mechanisms to complete unknown feature values in the data first.

  9. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keinath, Melissa C; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y; Tsonis, Panagiotis A; Voss, S Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J

    2015-11-10

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes.

  10. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  11. Analysis of COSIMA spectra: Bayesian approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Lehto

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We describe the use of Bayesian analysis methods applied to TOF-SIMS spectra. The method finds the probability density functions of measured line parameters (number of lines, and their widths, peak amplitudes, integrated amplitudes, positions in mass intervals over the whole spectrum. We discuss the results we can expect from this analysis. We discuss the effects the instrument dead time causes in the COSIMA TOF SIMS. We address this issue in a new way. The derived line parameters can be used to further calibrate the mass scaling of TOF-SIMS and to feed the results into other analysis methods such as multivariate analyses of spectra. We intend to use the method in two ways, first as a comprehensive tool to perform quantitative analysis of spectra, and second as a fast tool for studying interesting targets for obtaining additional TOF-SIMS measurements of the sample, a property unique for COSIMA. Finally, we point out that the Bayesian method can be thought as a means to solve inverse problems but with forward calculations only.

  12. Bayesian modeling using WinBUGS

    CERN Document Server

    Ntzoufras, Ioannis

    2009-01-01

    A hands-on introduction to the principles of Bayesian modeling using WinBUGS Bayesian Modeling Using WinBUGS provides an easily accessible introduction to the use of WinBUGS programming techniques in a variety of Bayesian modeling settings. The author provides an accessible treatment of the topic, offering readers a smooth introduction to the principles of Bayesian modeling with detailed guidance on the practical implementation of key principles. The book begins with a basic introduction to Bayesian inference and the WinBUGS software and goes on to cover key topics, including: Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms in Bayesian inference Generalized linear models Bayesian hierarchical models Predictive distribution and model checking Bayesian model and variable evaluation Computational notes and screen captures illustrate the use of both WinBUGS as well as R software to apply the discussed techniques. Exercises at the end of each chapter allow readers to test their understanding of the presented concepts and all ...

  13. Case studies in Bayesian microbial risk assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Turner Joanne

    2009-12-01

    case study the effective number of inputs was reduced from 30 to 7 in the screening stage, and just 2 inputs were found to explain 82.8% of the output variance. A combined total of 500 runs of the computer code were used. Conclusion These case studies illustrate the use of Bayesian statistics to perform detailed uncertainty and sensitivity analyses, integrating multiple information sources in a way that is both rigorous and efficient.

  14. Bayesian Methods and Universal Darwinism

    CERN Document Server

    Campbell, John

    2010-01-01

    Bayesian methods since the time of Laplace have been understood by their practitioners as closely aligned to the scientific method. Indeed a recent champion of Bayesian methods, E. T. Jaynes, titled his textbook on the subject Probability Theory: the Logic of Science. Many philosophers of science including Karl Popper and Donald Campbell have interpreted the evolution of Science as a Darwinian process consisting of a 'copy with selective retention' algorithm abstracted from Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. Arguments are presented for an isomorphism between Bayesian Methods and Darwinian processes. Universal Darwinism, as the term has been developed by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Susan Blackmore, is the collection of scientific theories which explain the creation and evolution of their subject matter as due to the operation of Darwinian processes. These subject matters span the fields of atomic physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences. The principle of Maximum Entropy states that system...

  15. Attention in a bayesian framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whiteley, Louise Emma; Sahani, Maneesh

    2012-01-01

    The behavioral phenomena of sensory attention are thought to reflect the allocation of a limited processing resource, but there is little consensus on the nature of the resource or why it should be limited. Here we argue that a fundamental bottleneck emerges naturally within Bayesian models...... of perception, and use this observation to frame a new computational account of the need for, and action of, attention - unifying diverse attentional phenomena in a way that goes beyond previous inferential, probabilistic and Bayesian models. Attentional effects are most evident in cluttered environments......, and include both selective phenomena, where attention is invoked by cues that point to particular stimuli, and integrative phenomena, where attention is invoked dynamically by endogenous processing. However, most previous Bayesian accounts of attention have focused on describing relatively simple experimental...

  16. Probability biases as Bayesian inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre; C. R. Martins

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available In this article, I will show how several observed biases in human probabilistic reasoning can be partially explained as good heuristics for making inferences in an environment where probabilities have uncertainties associated to them. Previous results show that the weight functions and the observed violations of coalescing and stochastic dominance can be understood from a Bayesian point of view. We will review those results and see that Bayesian methods should also be used as part of the explanation behind other known biases. That means that, although the observed errors are still errors under the be understood as adaptations to the solution of real life problems. Heuristics that allow fast evaluations and mimic a Bayesian inference would be an evolutionary advantage, since they would give us an efficient way of making decisions. %XX In that sense, it should be no surprise that humans reason with % probability as it has been observed.

  17. Bayesian Missile System Reliability from Point Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-28

    OCT 2014 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Bayesian Missile System Reliability from Point Estimates 5a. CONTRACT...Principle (MEP) to convert point estimates to probability distributions to be used as priors for Bayesian reliability analysis of missile data, and...illustrate this approach by applying the priors to a Bayesian reliability model of a missile system. 15. SUBJECT TERMS priors, Bayesian , missile

  18. Perception, illusions and Bayesian inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nour, Matthew M; Nour, Joseph M

    2015-01-01

    Descriptive psychopathology makes a distinction between veridical perception and illusory perception. In both cases a perception is tied to a sensory stimulus, but in illusions the perception is of a false object. This article re-examines this distinction in light of new work in theoretical and computational neurobiology, which views all perception as a form of Bayesian statistical inference that combines sensory signals with prior expectations. Bayesian perceptual inference can solve the 'inverse optics' problem of veridical perception and provides a biologically plausible account of a number of illusory phenomena, suggesting that veridical and illusory perceptions are generated by precisely the same inferential mechanisms.

  19. Bayesian test and Kuhn's paradigm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Xiaoping

    2006-01-01

    Kuhn's theory of paradigm reveals a pattern of scientific progress,in which normal science alternates with scientific revolution.But Kuhn underrated too much the function of scientific test in his pattern,because he focuses all his attention on the hypothetico-deductive schema instead of Bayesian schema.This paper employs Bayesian schema to re-examine Kuhn's theory of paradigm,to uncover its logical and rational components,and to illustrate the tensional structure of logic and belief,rationality and irrationality,in the process of scientific revolution.

  20. 3D Bayesian contextual classifiers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    We extend a series of multivariate Bayesian 2-D contextual classifiers to 3-D by specifying a simultaneous Gaussian distribution for the feature vectors as well as a prior distribution of the class variables of a pixel and its 6 nearest 3-D neighbours.......We extend a series of multivariate Bayesian 2-D contextual classifiers to 3-D by specifying a simultaneous Gaussian distribution for the feature vectors as well as a prior distribution of the class variables of a pixel and its 6 nearest 3-D neighbours....

  1. Distribution of the Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chambert, Thierry A; Carreon Arroyo, Gerardo; Hurtado Felix, David; Toyos Martinez, Daniel; Jones, Thomas R

    2016-01-01

    The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi Lowe, 1954) was listed as federally endangered in the USA in 1997 (USFWS 1997). In the USA, the distribution of A. mavortium stebbinsi is limited to the San Rafael Valley (approximately 567 km2), between the Sierra San Antonio (called the Patagonia Mountains in Arizona) and Huachuca Mountains, and south of the Canelo Hills, Arizona (Fig. 1). The USA listing was triggered by loss of natural wetland habitats, threats from invasive predators, frequent die-offs from disease, introgression with the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (A. mavortium mavortium), and small range and number of breeding sites that increases susceptibility to stochastic events (USFWS 1997). Small population sizes and limited gene flow have caused inbreeding, which may further reduce population viability and the potential for recovery (Jones et al. 1988; Storfer et al. 2014). 

  2. Climate-mediated competition in a high-elevation salamander community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallalio, Eric A.; Brand, Adrianne; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2017-01-01

    The distribution of the federally endangered Shenandoah Salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is presumed to be limited by competition with the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). In particular, the current distribution of P. shenandoah is understood to be restricted to warmer and drier habitats because of interspecific interactions. These habitats may be particularly sensitive to climate change, though the influence of competition may also be affected by temperature and relative humidity. We investigated the response of P. shenandoah to competition with P. cinereus under four climate scenarios in 3-dimensional mesocosms. The results suggest that, although climate change may alleviate competitive pressure from P. cinereus, warmer temperatures may also significantly influence the persistence of the species across its known range.

  3. Gender-dependent dimorphic teeth in four species of Mesoamerican plethodontid salamanders (Urodela, Amphibia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehmcke, Jens; Wistuba, Joachim; Clemen, Günter

    2004-06-01

    The tooth shapes of premaxillary and maxillary teeth of adults of four Mesoamerican salamander species (Urodela, Plethodontidae) were examined. Using scanning electron microscopy we determined whether the monocuspid teeth that are present only on the premaxillary of sexually mature males belong to the conical, unbladed, monocuspid tooth type found in urodele larvae or whether they represent morphological variations of the typical, bladed, bicuspid teeth of metamorphosed individuals. The teeth of some studied species are, in fact, unbladed and in some cases show one very reduced tip. But none of the studied teeth is per definitionem monocuspid and no tooth shows an enameloid layer between dentine shaft and enamel cap, which is always present in the teeth of early urodele larvae. The "monocuspid" teeth of adult males of Mesoamerican plethodontid salamanders have to be considered a morphological variation of the metamorphosed, bicuspid tooth type typical for metamorphosed urodeles.

  4. The spinal cord supports of vertebrae in the crown-group salamanders (Caudata, Urodela).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skutschas, Pavel P; Baleeva, Nataly V

    2012-09-01

    The development of spinal cord supports (bony thickenings which extend into the vertebral canal of vertebrae) in primitive (Salamandrella keyserlingii) and derived (Lissotriton vulgaris) salamanders were described. The spinal cord supports develop as the protuberances of periostal bone of the neural arches in the anteroproximal part of the septal collagenous fibers which connect a transverse myoseptum with the notochord and spinal cord, in the septal bundle inside the vertebral canal. Spinal cord supports were also found in some teleostean (Salmo salar, Oncorhynchus mykiss) and dipnoan (Protopterus sp.) fishes. The absence of the spinal cord supports in vertebrates with cartilaginous vertebrae (lampreys, chondrichthyan, and chondrostean fishes) corresponds to the fact that the spinal cord supports are bone structures. The absence of the spinal cord supports in frogs correlates with the lack of the well developed septal bundles inside the vertebral canal. The spinal cord supports are, presumably, a synapomorphic character for salamanders which originated independently of those observed in teleostean and dipnoan fishes.

  5. A Bayesian Nonparametric Approach to Test Equating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karabatsos, George; Walker, Stephen G.

    2009-01-01

    A Bayesian nonparametric model is introduced for score equating. It is applicable to all major equating designs, and has advantages over previous equating models. Unlike the previous models, the Bayesian model accounts for positive dependence between distributions of scores from two tests. The Bayesian model and the previous equating models are…

  6. Bayesian Model Averaging for Propensity Score Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, David; Chen, Jianshen

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore Bayesian model averaging in the propensity score context. Previous research on Bayesian propensity score analysis does not take into account model uncertainty. In this regard, an internally consistent Bayesian framework for model building and estimation must also account for model uncertainty. The…

  7. Bayesian networks and food security - An introduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, A.

    2004-01-01

    This paper gives an introduction to Bayesian networks. Networks are defined and put into a Bayesian context. Directed acyclical graphs play a crucial role here. Two simple examples from food security are addressed. Possible uses of Bayesian networks for implementation and further use in decision sup

  8. Plug & Play object oriented Bayesian networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bangsø, Olav; Flores, J.; Jensen, Finn Verner

    2003-01-01

    Object oriented Bayesian networks have proven themselves useful in recent years. The idea of applying an object oriented approach to Bayesian networks has extended their scope to larger domains that can be divided into autonomous but interrelated entities. Object oriented Bayesian networks have b...

  9. Scalable Bayesian modeling, monitoring and analysis of dynamic network flow data

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Traffic flow count data in networks arise in many applications, such as automobile or aviation transportation, certain directed social network contexts, and Internet studies. Using an example of Internet browser traffic flow through site-segments of an international news website, we present Bayesian analyses of two linked classes of models which, in tandem, allow fast, scalable and interpretable Bayesian inference. We first develop flexible state-space models for streaming count data, able to...

  10. Comparing population patterns to processes: abundance and survival of a forest salamander following habitat degradation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint R V Otto

    Full Text Available Habitat degradation resulting from anthropogenic activities poses immediate and prolonged threats to biodiversity, particularly among declining amphibians. Many studies infer amphibian response to habitat degradation by correlating patterns in species occupancy or abundance with environmental effects, often without regard to the demographic processes underlying these patterns. We evaluated how retention of vertical green trees (CANOPY and coarse woody debris (CWD influenced terrestrial salamander abundance and apparent survival in recently clearcut forests. Estimated abundance of unmarked salamanders was positively related to CANOPY (β Canopy  = 0.21 (0.02-1.19; 95% CI, but not CWD (β CWD  = 0.11 (-0.13-0.35 within 3,600 m2 sites, whereas estimated abundance of unmarked salamanders was not related to CANOPY (β Canopy  = -0.01 (-0.21-0.18 or CWD (β CWD  = -0.02 (-0.23-0.19 for 9 m2 enclosures. In contrast, apparent survival of marked salamanders within our enclosures over 1 month was positively influenced by both CANOPY and CWD retention (β Canopy  = 0.73 (0.27-1.19; 95% CI and β CWD  = 1.01 (0.53-1.50. Our results indicate that environmental correlates to abundance are scale dependent reflecting habitat selection processes and organism movements after a habitat disturbance event. Our study also provides a cautionary example of how scientific inference is conditional on the response variable(s, and scale(s of measure chosen by the investigator, which can have important implications for species conservation and management. Our research highlights the need for joint evaluation of population state variables, such as abundance, and population-level process, such as survival, when assessing anthropogenic impacts on forest biodiversity.

  11. First record of salamander predation by a Liophis (Wagler, 1830 snake in the Venezuelan Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Felipe Esqueda

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Information available so far is exceedingly meagre about the diet of the snakes included in the genus Liophis, one of the most diverse groups that inhabit terrestrial ecosystems of South America. For the first time is documented the predation of a salamander by Liophis from Venezuela, including a brief overview on the alteration of montane and submontane Andean ecosystem and their effect on the natural dynamic.

  12. SURGICAL IMPLANTATION OF COELOMIC RADIOTRANSMITTERS AND POSTOPERATIVE SURVIVAL OF CHINESE GIANT SALAMANDERS (ANDRIAS DAVIDIANUS) FOLLOWING REINTRODUCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcec, Ruth; Kouba, Andrew; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Hongxing; Wang, Qijun; Zhao, Hu; Jiang, Wei; Willard, Scott

    2016-03-01

    Worldwide, there are only a handful of reintroduction programs for threatened salamander species, and very few have conducted postrelease studies to examine survival, habitat selection, and dispersal. Limitations in postrelease monitoring are primarily due to size constraints of amphibians and to dimensions of the radiotransmitters available for implantation. However, due to the large size of the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), these animals make optimal candidates for surgical implantation of radiotransmitters prior to reintroduction or translocation. The objective of this study was to develop an anesthetic protocol using tricane methanesulfonate (MS-222) and test a surgical procedure for coelomic implantation of radiotransmitters for this species. A total of 32 Chinese giant salamanders from two age groups (Group A: 4.7 yr old, n = 16; Group B: 2.7 yr old, n = 16) were implanted with 4-g radiotransmitters designed for underwater monitoring of fish. Group A was held 16 wk before release while Group B was held 6 wk before release, and the salamanders' survival and postoperative complications recorded for the first month postrelease. Group A animals took longer to reach a surgical plane of anesthesia than did Group B animals, and this was directly correlated to mass of the animals. Postsurgery, one animal from Group B died of dehiscence before release while 83.9% animals survived after the first month in the wild. All of the animals that died postrelease were from Group B; three animals experienced dehiscence of the suture site and died while another two animals expired from trauma and fungal infection, respectively. Improvements for future studies include use of alternative suture material for closure after implantation and additional healing time of the incision.

  13. A little bit is better than nothing: the incomplete parthenogenesis of salamanders, frogs and fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schartl Manfred

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A re-examination of the mitochondrial genomes of unisexual salamander lineages, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, shows them to be the oldest unisexual vertebrates known, having been around for 5 million years. This presents a challenge to the prediction that lack of genetic recombination is a fast track to extinction. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/238

  14. Environmental factors determining growth of salamander larvae:A field study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Laura LIMONGI; Gentile Francesco FICETOLA; Giuseppe ROMEO; Raoul MANENTI

    2015-01-01

    Larval growth and survival of organisms are strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic factors, as demonstrated by ex-perimental studies performed under controlled laboratory or semi-natural conditions. Even if they have many advantages, ex-periments cannot cover the full complexity of natural conditions and field studies are needed for a better understanding of how environmental variation determines growth and development rate. Fire salamanderSalamandra salamandrafemales give birth to larvae in a variety of habitats, both epigean and subterranean. In caves, salamander larvae successfully grow and metamorphose, but their growth is more than three times longer than in epigean streams and factors determining these differences require inves-tigation. We performed a field study to understand the factors related to the growth of fire salamander larvae in different envi-ronmental conditions, evaluating the relationship between environmental features and larval growth and differences between caves and epigean spring habitats. Both caves and epigean larvae successfully grew. Capture-mark-recapture allowed to individu-ally track individuals along their whole development, and measure their performance. Growth rate was significantly affected by environmental variables: larvae grew faster in environments with abundant invertebrates and few conspecifics. Taking into ac-count the effect of environmental variables, larval growth was significantly lower in caves. Food availability plays a different ef-fect in the two environments. Larval growth was positively related to the availability of invertebrates in epigean sites only. The development rate of hypogeous populations of salamanders is slower because of multiple parameters, but biotic factors play a much stronger role than the abiotic ones [Current Zoology 61 (3): 421–427, 2015].

  15. Microbial community dynamics and effect of environmental microbial reservoirs on red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loudon, Andrew H; Woodhams, Douglas C; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Archer, Holly; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie; Harris, Reid N

    2014-04-01

    Beneficial cutaneous bacteria on amphibians can protect against the lethal disease chytridiomycosis, which has devastated many amphibian species and is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We describe the diversity of bacteria on red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in the wild and the stability of these communities through time in captivity using culture-independent Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing. After field sampling, salamanders were housed with soil from the field or sterile media. The captive conditions led to different trajectories of bacterial communities. Eight OTUs present on >90% of salamanders in the field, through time, and in both treatments were defined as the core community, suggesting that some bacteria are closely associated with the host and are independent of an environmental reservoir. One of these taxa, a Pseudomonas sp., was previously cultured from amphibians and found to be antifungal. As all host-associated bacteria were found in the soil reservoir, environmental microbes strongly influence host-microbial diversity and likely regulate the core community. Using PICRUSt, an exploratory bioinformatics tool to predict gene functions, we found that core skin bacteria provided similar gene functions to the entire community. We suggest that future experiments focus on testing whether core bacteria on salamander skin contribute to the observed resistance to chytridiomycosis in this species even under hygenic captive conditions. For disease-susceptible hosts, providing an environmental reservoir with defensive bacteria in captive-rearing programs may improve outcomes by increasing bacterial diversity on threatened amphibians or increasing the likelihood that defensive bacteria are available for colonization.

  16. Multimodal communication, mismatched messages and the effects of turbidity on the antipredator behavior of the Barton Springs salamander, Eurycea sosorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabierek, Kristina C; Gabor, Caitlin R

    2016-09-01

    Prey may use multiple sensory channels to detect predators, whose cues may differ in altered sensory environments, such as turbid conditions. Depending on the environment, prey may use cues in an additive/complementary manner or in a compensatory manner. First, to determine whether the purely aquatic Barton Springs salamander, Eurycea sosorum, show an antipredator response to visual cues, we examined their activity when exposed to either visual cues of a predatory fish (Lepomis cyanellus) or a non-predatory fish (Etheostoma lepidum). Salamanders decreased activity in response to predator visual cues only. Then, we examined the antipredator response of these salamanders to all matched and mismatched combinations of chemical and visual cues of the same predatory and non-predatory fish in clear and low turbidity conditions. Salamanders decreased activity in response to predator chemical cues matched with predator visual cues or mismatched with non-predator visual cues. Salamanders also increased latency to first move to predator chemical cues mismatched with non-predator visual cues. Salamanders decreased activity and increased latency to first move more in clear as opposed to turbid conditions in all treatment combinations. Our results indicate that salamanders under all conditions and treatments preferentially rely on chemical cues to determine antipredator behavior, although visual cues are potentially utilized in conjunction for latency to first move. Our results also have potential conservation implications, as decreased antipredator behavior was seen in turbid conditions. These results reveal complexity of antipredator behavior in response to multiple cues under different environmental conditions, which is especially important when considering endangered species.

  17. Toxicological responses of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to subchronic soil exposures of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazar, Mathew A; Quinn, Michael J; Mozzachio, Kristie; Johnson, Mark S

    2008-06-01

    Since World War I, trinitrotoluene (TNT) has been the most commonly used explosive. Environmental contamination associated with synthesis, manufacture of weapons, and use during training exercises has been extensive, with soil concentrations reaching 145,000 mg/kg. Some of these areas include habitats for amphibian species. Earlier studies have shown that salamanders dermally absorb TNT from soil. To ascertain what soil concentrations of TNT are toxic to amphibians, red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) were exposed to one of five concentrations of TNT in soil for 28 d and evaluated for indicators of toxicity. A total of 100 salamanders were randomly sorted by weight and assigned to target TNT concentrations in soil of either 3,000, 1,500, 750, 325, or 0 mg/kg dry weight. Food consisted of uncontaminated flightless Drosophila melanogaster. Survival was reduced in salamanders exposed to 1,500 and 3,000 mg/kg by 10 and 55%, respectively. Most mortality/morbidity occurred within the first week of exposure. Salamanders had a reduction in hemoglobin at 750 mg/kg or greater and a reduction in red blood cell concentration at 1,500 mg/kg or greater. Food consumption was affected in salamanders at 750 mg/kg or greater; a reduction in body mass and liver glycogen content also occurred at and above this concentration. Splenic congestion also was observed in salamanders from these groups. These data suggest that soil TNT concentrations of 373 +/- 41.0 mg/kg or greater result in reduced body mass, reduced feed intake, and hematological effects.

  18. Bayesian networks for fMRI: a primer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumford, Jeanette A; Ramsey, Joseph D

    2014-02-01

    Bayesian network analysis is an attractive approach for studying the functional integration of brain networks, as it includes both the locations of connections between regions of the brain (functional connectivity) and more importantly the direction of the causal relationship between the regions (directed functional connectivity). Further, these approaches are more attractive than other functional connectivity analyses in that they can often operate on larger sets of nodes and run searches over a wide range of candidate networks. An important study by Smith et al. (2011) illustrated that many Bayesian network approaches did not perform well in identifying the directionality of connections in simulated single-subject data. Since then, new Bayesian network approaches have been developed that have overcome the failures in the Smith work. Additionally, an important discovery was made that shows a preprocessing step used in the Smith data puts some of the Bayesian network methods at a disadvantage. This work provides a review of Bayesian network analyses, focusing on the methods used in the Smith work as well as methods developed since 2011 that have improved estimation performance. Importantly, only approaches that have been specifically designed for fMRI data perform well, as they have been tailored to meet the challenges of fMRI data. Although this work does not suggest a single best model, it describes the class of models that perform best and highlights the features of these models that allow them to perform well on fMRI data. Specifically, methods that rely on non-Gaussianity to direct causal relationships in the network perform well.

  19. Unexpected Rarity of the Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957–2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muletz, Carly; Caruso, Nicholas M.; Fleischer, Robert C.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Lips, Karen R.

    2014-01-01

    Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals) for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs) and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957–987), four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957–2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1–0.7%). All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection. PMID:25084159

  20. Genic regions of a large salamander genome contain long introns and novel genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryant Susan V

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The basis of genome size variation remains an outstanding question because DNA sequence data are lacking for organisms with large genomes. Sixteen BAC clones from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum: c-value = 32 × 109 bp were isolated and sequenced to characterize the structure of genic regions. Results Annotation of genes within BACs showed that axolotl introns are on average 10× longer than orthologous vertebrate introns and they are predicted to contain more functional elements, including miRNAs and snoRNAs. Loci were discovered within BACs for two novel EST transcripts that are differentially expressed during spinal cord regeneration and skin metamorphosis. Unexpectedly, a third novel gene was also discovered while manually annotating BACs. Analysis of human-axolotl protein-coding sequences suggests there are 2% more lineage specific genes in the axolotl genome than the human genome, but the great majority (86% of genes between axolotl and human are predicted to be 1:1 orthologs. Considering that axolotl genes are on average 5× larger than human genes, the genic component of the salamander genome is estimated to be incredibly large, approximately 2.8 gigabases! Conclusion This study shows that a large salamander genome has a correspondingly large genic component, primarily because genes have incredibly long introns. These intronic sequences may harbor novel coding and non-coding sequences that regulate biological processes that are unique to salamanders.

  1. Safe caves and dangerous forests? Predation risk may contribute to salamander colonization of subterranean habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Palumbi, Giulia; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that many organisms actively colonize the subterranean environment to avoid climatic stress, exploit new ecological opportunities and reduce competition and predation. Terrestrial salamanders are known to colonize the more stable subterranean habitats mainly to escape external climatic extremes, while the role of predation avoidance remains untested. To better understand the importance of predation, we used clay models of the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii to compare the predation occurring in woodland and subterranean habitats. Models were positioned in three forests and in three caves in NW Italy. One-hundred eighty-four models were retrieved from the field and 59 (32%) were attacked by predators. Models were attacked on their head more often than expected by chance and, therefore, were perceived by predators as real prey items. In the woodlands, clay models showed a four-time higher probability of being attacked in comparison to caves, suggesting a different level of potential predation risk in these surface habitats. These findings are one of the first experimental evidences that, in terrestrial ecosystems, predation avoidance may contribute to the salamander underground colonization process.

  2. Trends in Ranavirus Prevalence Among Plethodontid Salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, William B; Gray, Matthew J; Hoverman, Jason T; Secrist, Richard G; Super, Paul E; Hardman, Rebecca H; Tucker, Jennifer L; Miller, Debra L

    2015-06-01

    Emerging pathogens are a potential contributor to global amphibian declines. Ranaviruses, which infect ectothermic vertebrates and are common in aquatic environments, have been implicated in die-offs of at least 72 amphibian species worldwide. Most studies on the subject have focused on pool-breeding amphibians, and infection trends in other amphibian species assemblages have been understudied. Our primary study objective was to evaluate hypotheses explaining ranavirus prevalence within a lungless salamander assemblage (Family Plethodontidae) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. We sampled 566 total plethodontid salamanders representing 14 species at five sites over a 6-year period (2007-2012). We identified ranavirus-positive individuals in 11 of the 14 (78.6%) sampled species, with salamanders in the genus Desmognathus having greatest infection prevalence. Overall, we found the greatest support for site elevation and sampling year determining infection prevalence. We detected the greatest number of infections in 2007 with 82.5% of sampled individuals testing positive for ranavirus, which we attribute to record drought during this year. Infection prevalence remained relatively high in low-elevation sites in 2008 and 2009. Neither body condition nor aquatic dependence was a significant predictor of ranavirus prevalence. Overall, our results indicate that life history differences among species play a minor role determining ranavirus prevalence compared to the larger effects of site elevation and yearly fluctuations (likely due to environmental stressors) during sampling years.

  3. The dynamic evolutionary history of genome size in North American woodland salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Catherine E; Gregory, T Ryan; Austin, Christopher C

    2017-04-01

    The genus Plethodon is the most species-rich salamander genus in North America, and nearly half of its species face an uncertain future. It is also one of the most diverse families in terms of genome sizes, which range from 1C = 18.2 to 69.3 pg, or 5-20 times larger than the human genome. Large genome size in salamanders results in part from accumulation of transposable elements and is associated with various developmental and physiological traits. However, genome sizes have been reported for only 25% of the species of Plethodon (14 of 55). We collected genome size data for Plethodon serratus to supplement an ongoing phylogeographic study, reconstructed the evolutionary history of genome size in Plethodontidae, and inferred probable genome sizes for the 41 species missing empirical data. Results revealed multiple genome size changes in Plethodon: genomes of western Plethodon increased, whereas genomes of eastern Plethodon decreased, followed by additional decreases or subsequent increases. The estimated genome size of P. serratus was 21 pg. New understanding of variation in genome size evolution, along with genome size inferences for previously unstudied taxa, provide a foundation for future studies on the biology of plethodontid salamanders.

  4. Seasonal variation in microhabitat of salamanders: environmental variation or shift of habitat selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico Lunghi

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Relationships between species and their habitats are not always constant. Different processes may determine changes in species-habitat association: individuals may prefer different habitat typologies in different periods, or they may be forced to occupy a different habitat in order to follow the changing environment. The aim of our study was to assess whether cave salamanders change their habitat association pattern through the year, and to test whether such changes are determined by environmental changes or by changes in preferences. We monitored multiple caves in Central Italy through one year, and monthly measured biotic and abiotic features of microhabitat and recorded Italian cave salamanders distribution. We used mixed models and niche similarity tests to assess whether species-habitat relationships remain constant through the year. Microhabitat showed strong seasonal variation, with the highest variability in the superficial sectors. Salamanders were associated to relatively cold and humid sectors in summer, but not during winter. Such apparent shift in habitat preferences mostly occurred because the environmental gradient changed through the year, while individuals generally selected similar conditions. Nevertheless, juveniles were more tolerant to dry sectors during late winter, when food demand was highest. This suggests that tolerance for suboptimal abiotic conditions may change through time, depending on the required resources. Differences in habitat use are jointly determined by environmental variation through time, and by changes in the preferred habitat. The trade-offs between tolerance and resources requirement are major determinant of such variation.

  5. Unexpected rarity of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957-2011.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly Muletz

    Full Text Available Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957-987, four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957-2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.7%. All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection.

  6. Variable infection of stream salamanders in the southern Appalachians by the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis (family: Heterophyidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyderko, Jennie A; Benfield, Ernest F; Maerz, John C; Cecala, Kristen C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-08-01

    Many factors contribute to parasites varying in host specificity and distribution among potential hosts. Metagonimoides oregonensis is a digenetic trematode that uses stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders as second intermediate hosts in the Eastern US. We completed a field survey to identify which stream salamander species, at a regional level, are most likely to be important for transmission to raccoon definitive hosts. We surveyed six plethodontid species (N = 289 salamanders) from 23 Appalachian headwater sites in North Carolina: Desmognathus quadramaculatus (n = 69), Eurycea wilderae (n = 160), Desmognathus ocoee (n = 31), Desmognathus monticola (n = 3), Eurycea guttolineata (n = 7), and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (n = 19). We found infection in all species except D. monticola. Further analysis focused on comparing infection in the two most abundant species, D. quadramaculatus and E. wilderae. We found that D. quadramaculatus had significantly higher infection prevalence and intensity, probably due to a longer aquatic larval period and larger body sizes and thus greater cumulative exposure to the parasite.

  7. Potential reduction in terrestrial salamander ranges associated with Marcellus shale development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Adrianne; Wiewel, Amber N. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2014-01-01

    Natural gas production from the Marcellus shale is rapidly increasing in the northeastern United States. Most of the endemic terrestrial salamander species in the region are classified as ‘globally secure’ by the IUCN, primarily because much of their ranges include state- and federally protected lands, which have been presumed to be free from habitat loss. However, the proposed and ongoing development of the Marcellus gas resources may result in significant range restrictions for these and other terrestrial forest salamanders. To begin to address the gaps in our knowledge of the direct impacts of shale gas development, we developed occurrence models for five species of terrestrial plethodontid salamanders found largely within the Marcellus shale play. We predicted future Marcellus shale development under several scenarios. Under scenarios of 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000 new gas wells, we predict 4%, 8%, and 20% forest loss, respectively, within the play. Predictions of habitat loss vary among species, but in general, Plethodon electromorphus and Plethodonwehrlei are predicted to lose the greatest proportion of forested habitat within their ranges if future Marcellus development is based on characteristics of the shale play. If development is based on current well locations,Plethodonrichmondi is predicted to lose the greatest proportion of habitat. Models showed high uncertainty in species’ ranges and emphasize the need for distribution data collected by widespread and repeated, randomized surveys.

  8. Unexpected rarity of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Appalachian Plethodon Salamanders: 1957-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muletz, Carly; Caruso, Nicholas M; Fleischer, Robert C; McDiarmid, Roy W; Lips, Karen R

    2014-01-01

    Widespread population declines in terrestrial Plethodon salamanders occurred by the 1980s throughout the Appalachian Mountains, the center of global salamander diversity, with no evident recovery. We tested the hypothesis that the historic introduction and spread of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) into the eastern US was followed by Plethodon population declines. We expected to detect elevated prevalence of Bd prior to population declines as observed for Central American plethodontids. We tested 1,498 Plethodon salamanders of 12 species (892 museum specimens, 606 wild individuals) for the presence of Bd, and tested 94 of those for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs) and for ranavirus. Field samples were collected in 2011 from 48 field sites across a 767 km transect. Historic samples from museum specimens were collected at five sites with the greatest number and longest duration of collection (1957-987), four of which were sampled in the field in 2011. None of the museum specimens were positive for Bd, but four P. cinereus from field surveys were positive. The overall Bd prevalence from 1957-2011 for 12 Plethodon species sampled across a 757 km transect was 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.7%). All 94 samples were negative for Bs and ranavirus. We conclude that known amphibian pathogens are unlikely causes for declines in these Plethodon populations. Furthermore, these exceptionally low levels of Bd, in a region known to harbor Bd, may indicate that Plethodon specific traits limit Bd infection.

  9. Frequency-dependent selection by wild birds promotes polymorphism in model salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shook Kim

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Co-occurrence of distinct colour forms is a classic paradox in evolutionary ecology because both selection and drift tend to remove variation from populations. Apostatic selection, the primary hypothesis for maintenance of colour polymorphism in cryptic animals, proposes that visual predators focus on common forms of prey, resulting in higher survival of rare forms. Empirical tests of this frequency-dependent foraging hypothesis are rare, and the link between predator behaviour and maintenance of variation in prey has been difficult to confirm. Here, we show that predatory birds can act as agents of frequency-dependent selection on terrestrial salamanders. Polymorphism for presence/absence of a dorsal stripe is widespread in many salamander species and its maintenance is a long-standing mystery. Results We used realistic food-bearing model salamanders to test whether selection by wild birds maintains a stripe/no-stripe polymorphism. In experimental manipulations, whichever form was most common was most likely to be attacked by ground-foraging birds, resulting in a survival advantage for the rare form. Conclusion This experiment demonstrates that frequency-dependent foraging by wild birds can maintain colour polymorphism in cryptic prey.

  10. Sex in unisexual salamanders: discovery of a new sperm donor with ancient affinities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogart, J P; Bartoszek, J; Noble, D W A; Bi, K

    2009-12-01

    Although bisexual reproduction has considerable evolutionary benefits, several all-female vertebrates exist. Unisexual salamanders in the genus Ambystoma are common around the Great Lakes region in eastern North America. They originated from a hybridization event that involved a female that shared a common ancestor with Ambystoma barbouri 2.4 to 3.9 million years ago but, unexpectedly, A. barbouri nuclear genomes were unknown in unisexuals. Unisexual salamanders steal sperm from donors of normally bisexual species, so their reproductive mode is described as kleptogenesis. Most known unisexuals are polyploid and they all possess at least one A. laterale genome. One or more other genomes are taken from sperm donors that may include A. jeffersonianum, A. laterale, A. texanum and A. tigrinum. We examined unisexual adults and larvae in a southern Ohio pond where unisexual individuals coexist with male A. barbouri. This population provided an opportunity to test hypotheses pertaining to the role of A. barbouri in the evolution of the disparate cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes in unisexual salamanders. Microsatellite DNA loci, mitochondrial DNA sequences and genomic in situ hybridization were used to identify the genomic constitution of individuals. A. barbouri was found to be an acceptable sperm donor for unisexuals but only contributed genomes in ploidy-elevated individuals. In the absence of A. jeffersonianum, this Ohio population is likely experiencing a recent switch in sperm donors from A. jeffersonianum to A. barbouri and demonstrates the evolutionary flexibility and dynamics of kleptogenesis.

  11. Evidence for the local evolution of mechanisms underlying limb regeneration in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza-Garcia, A Acely; Driscoll, Paul C; Brockes, Jeremy P

    2010-10-01

    The most extensive regenerative ability in adult vertebrates is found in the salamanders. Although it is often suggested that regeneration is an ancestral property for vertebrates, our studies on the cell-surface three-finger-protein Prod 1 provide clear evidence for the importance of local evolution of limb regeneration in salamanders. Prod 1 is implicated in both patterning and growth in the regeneration of limbs. It interacts with well-conserved proteins such as the epidermal growth-factor receptor and the anterior gradient protein that are widely expressed in phylogeny. A detailed analysis of the structure and sequence of Prod 1 in relation to other vertebrate three-finger proteins in mammals and zebra fish supports the view that it is a salamander-specific protein. This is the first example of a taxon-specific protein that is clearly implicated in the mechanisms of regeneration. We propose the hypothesis that regeneration depends on the activity of taxon-specific components in orchestrating a cellular machinery that is extensively conserved between regenerating and non-regenerating taxa. This hypothesis has significant implications for our outlook on regeneration in vertebrates, as well as for the strategies employed in extending regenerative ability in mammals.

  12. A Bayesian Foundation for Physical Theories

    CERN Document Server

    Alamino, Roberto C

    2010-01-01

    Bayesian probability theory is used as a framework to develop a formalism for the scientific method based on principles of inductive reasoning. The formalism allows for precise definitions of the key concepts in theories of physics and also leads to a well-defined procedure to select one or more theories among a family of (well-defined) candidates by ranking them according to their posterior probability distributions, which result from Bayes's theorem by incorporating to an initial prior the information extracted from a dataset, ultimately defined by experimental evidence. Examples with different levels of complexity are given and three main applications to basic cosmological questions are analysed: (i) typicality of human observers, (ii) the multiverse hypothesis and, extremely briefly, some few observations about (iii) the anthropic principle. Finally, it is demonstrated that this formulation can address problems that were out of the scope of scientific research until now by presenting the isolated worlds p...

  13. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this paper we review recent advances in Stable Isotope Mixing Models (SIMMs) and place them into an over-arching Bayesian statistical framework which allows for several useful extensions. SIMMs are used to quantify the proportional contributions of various sources to a mixtur...

  14. Naive Bayesian for Email Filtering

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    The paper presents a method of email filter based on Naive Bayesian theory that can effectively filter junk mail and illegal mail. Furthermore, the keys of implementation are discussed in detail. The filtering model is obtained from training set of email. The filtering can be done without the users specification of filtering rules.

  15. Bayesian analysis of binary sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torney, David C.

    2005-03-01

    This manuscript details Bayesian methodology for "learning by example", with binary n-sequences encoding the objects under consideration. Priors prove influential; conformable priors are described. Laplace approximation of Bayes integrals yields posterior likelihoods for all n-sequences. This involves the optimization of a definite function over a convex domain--efficiently effectuated by the sequential application of the quadratic program.

  16. Bayesian NL interpretation and learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeevat, H.

    2011-01-01

    Everyday natural language communication is normally successful, even though contemporary computational linguistics has shown that NL is characterised by very high degree of ambiguity and the results of stochastic methods are not good enough to explain the high success rate. Bayesian natural language

  17. ANALYSIS OF BAYESIAN CLASSIFIER ACCURACY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Schneider Costa

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The naïve Bayes classifier is considered one of the most effective classification algorithms today, competing with more modern and sophisticated classifiers. Despite being based on unrealistic (naïve assumption that all variables are independent, given the output class, the classifier provides proper results. However, depending on the scenario utilized (network structure, number of samples or training cases, number of variables, the network may not provide appropriate results. This study uses a process variable selection, using the chi-squared test to verify the existence of dependence between variables in the data model in order to identify the reasons which prevent a Bayesian network to provide good performance. A detailed analysis of the data is also proposed, unlike other existing work, as well as adjustments in case of limit values between two adjacent classes. Furthermore, variable weights are used in the calculation of a posteriori probabilities, calculated with mutual information function. Tests were applied in both a naïve Bayesian network and a hierarchical Bayesian network. After testing, a significant reduction in error rate has been observed. The naïve Bayesian network presented a drop in error rates from twenty five percent to five percent, considering the initial results of the classification process. In the hierarchical network, there was not only a drop in fifteen percent error rate, but also the final result came to zero.

  18. Bayesian inference for Hawkes processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jakob Gulddahl

    The Hawkes process is a practically and theoretically important class of point processes, but parameter-estimation for such a process can pose various problems. In this paper we explore and compare two approaches to Bayesian inference. The first approach is based on the so-called conditional...

  19. Bayesian Classification of Image Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goswami, Dibyendu; Kalkan, Sinan; Krüger, Norbert

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we describe work on Bayesian classi ers for distinguishing between homogeneous structures, textures, edges and junctions. We build semi-local classiers from hand-labeled images to distinguish between these four different kinds of structures based on the concept of intrinsic dimensi...

  20. 3-D contextual Bayesian classifiers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Rasmus

    In this paper we will consider extensions of a series of Bayesian 2-D contextual classification pocedures proposed by Owen (1984) Hjort & Mohn (1984) and Welch & Salter (1971) and Haslett (1985) to 3 spatial dimensions. It is evident that compared to classical pixelwise classification further...

  1. Bayesian Networks and Influence Diagrams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærulff, Uffe Bro; Madsen, Anders Læsø

    Bayesian Networks and Influence Diagrams: A Guide to Construction and Analysis, Second Edition, provides a comprehensive guide for practitioners who wish to understand, construct, and analyze intelligent systems for decision support based on probabilistic networks. This new edition contains six new...

  2. Bayesian image restoration, using configurations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorarinsdottir, Thordis

    configurations are expressed in terms of the mean normal measure of the random set. These probabilities are used as prior probabilities in a Bayesian image restoration approach. Estimation of the remaining parameters in the model is outlined for salt and pepper noise. The inference in the model is discussed...

  3. Bayesian image restoration, using configurations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorarinsdottir, Thordis Linda

    2006-01-01

    configurations are expressed in terms of the mean normal measure of the random set. These probabilities are used as prior probabilities in a Bayesian image restoration approach. Estimation of the remaining parameters in the model is outlined for the salt and pepper noise. The inference in the model is discussed...

  4. Bayesian Evidence and Model Selection

    CERN Document Server

    Knuth, Kevin H; Malakar, Nabin K; Mubeen, Asim M; Placek, Ben

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we review the concept of the Bayesian evidence and its application to model selection. The theory is presented along with a discussion of analytic, approximate and numerical techniques. Application to several practical examples within the context of signal processing are discussed.

  5. Differentiated Bayesian Conjoint Choice Designs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Z. Sándor (Zsolt); M. Wedel (Michel)

    2003-01-01

    textabstractPrevious conjoint choice design construction procedures have produced a single design that is administered to all subjects. This paper proposes to construct a limited set of different designs. The designs are constructed in a Bayesian fashion, taking into account prior uncertainty about

  6. Bayesian Alternation During Tactile Augmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caspar Mathias Goeke

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available A large number of studies suggest that the integration of multisensory signals by humans is well described by Bayesian principles. However, there are very few reports about cue combination between a native and an augmented sense. In particular, we asked the question whether adult participants are able to integrate an augmented sensory cue with existing native sensory information. Hence for the purpose of this study we build a tactile augmentation device. Consequently, we compared different hypotheses of how untrained adult participants combine information from a native and an augmented sense. In a two-interval forced choice (2 IFC task, while subjects were blindfolded and seated on a rotating platform, our sensory augmentation device translated information on whole body yaw rotation to tactile stimulation. Three conditions were realized: tactile stimulation only (augmented condition, rotation only (native condition, and both augmented and native information (bimodal condition. Participants had to choose one out of two consecutive rotations with higher angular rotation. For the analysis, we fitted the participants’ responses with a probit model and calculated the just notable difference (JND. Then we compared several models for predicting bimodal from unimodal responses. An objective Bayesian alternation model yielded a better prediction (χred2 = 1.67 than the Bayesian integration model (χred2= 4.34. Slightly higher accuracy showed a non-Bayesian winner takes all model (χred2= 1.64, which either used only native or only augmented values per subject for prediction. However the performance of the Bayesian alternation model could be substantially improved (χred2= 1.09 utilizing subjective weights obtained by a questionnaire. As a result, the subjective Bayesian alternation model predicted bimodal performance most accurately among all tested models. These results suggest that information from augmented and existing sensory modalities in

  7. Bayesian analysis of rare events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straub, Daniel, E-mail: straub@tum.de; Papaioannou, Iason; Betz, Wolfgang

    2016-06-01

    In many areas of engineering and science there is an interest in predicting the probability of rare events, in particular in applications related to safety and security. Increasingly, such predictions are made through computer models of physical systems in an uncertainty quantification framework. Additionally, with advances in IT, monitoring and sensor technology, an increasing amount of data on the performance of the systems is collected. This data can be used to reduce uncertainty, improve the probability estimates and consequently enhance the management of rare events and associated risks. Bayesian analysis is the ideal method to include the data into the probabilistic model. It ensures a consistent probabilistic treatment of uncertainty, which is central in the prediction of rare events, where extrapolation from the domain of observation is common. We present a framework for performing Bayesian updating of rare event probabilities, termed BUS. It is based on a reinterpretation of the classical rejection-sampling approach to Bayesian analysis, which enables the use of established methods for estimating probabilities of rare events. By drawing upon these methods, the framework makes use of their computational efficiency. These methods include the First-Order Reliability Method (FORM), tailored importance sampling (IS) methods and Subset Simulation (SuS). In this contribution, we briefly review these methods in the context of the BUS framework and investigate their applicability to Bayesian analysis of rare events in different settings. We find that, for some applications, FORM can be highly efficient and is surprisingly accurate, enabling Bayesian analysis of rare events with just a few model evaluations. In a general setting, BUS implemented through IS and SuS is more robust and flexible.

  8. STATISTICAL BAYESIAN ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTAL DATA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AHLAM LABDAOUI

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The Bayesian researcher should know the basic ideas underlying Bayesian methodology and the computational tools used in modern Bayesian econometrics.  Some of the most important methods of posterior simulation are Monte Carlo integration, importance sampling, Gibbs sampling and the Metropolis- Hastings algorithm. The Bayesian should also be able to put the theory and computational tools together in the context of substantive empirical problems. We focus primarily on recent developments in Bayesian computation. Then we focus on particular models. Inevitably, we combine theory and computation in the context of particular models. Although we have tried to be reasonably complete in terms of covering the basic ideas of Bayesian theory and the computational tools most commonly used by the Bayesian, there is no way we can cover all the classes of models used in econometrics. We propose to the user of analysis of variance and linear regression model.

  9. Bayesian methods for measures of agreement

    CERN Document Server

    Broemeling, Lyle D

    2009-01-01

    Using WinBUGS to implement Bayesian inferences of estimation and testing hypotheses, Bayesian Methods for Measures of Agreement presents useful methods for the design and analysis of agreement studies. It focuses on agreement among the various players in the diagnostic process.The author employs a Bayesian approach to provide statistical inferences based on various models of intra- and interrater agreement. He presents many examples that illustrate the Bayesian mode of reasoning and explains elements of a Bayesian application, including prior information, experimental information, the likelihood function, posterior distribution, and predictive distribution. The appendices provide the necessary theoretical foundation to understand Bayesian methods as well as introduce the fundamentals of programming and executing the WinBUGS software.Taking a Bayesian approach to inference, this hands-on book explores numerous measures of agreement, including the Kappa coefficient, the G coefficient, and intraclass correlation...

  10. Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L.D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieka; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2016-01-20

    The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salamander biodiversity. A formal working group, led by Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins Science Center, and Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, was held at the USGS Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States from June 23 to June 25, 2015, to identify crucial Bsal research and monitoring needs that could inform conservation and management strategies for salamanders in the United States. Key findings of the workshop included the following: (1) the introduction of Bsal into the United States is highly probable, if not inevitable, thus requiring development of immediate short-term and long-term intervention strategies to prevent Bsal establishment and biodiversity decline; (2) management actions targeted towards pathogen containment may be ineffective in reducing the long-term spread of Bsal throughout the United States; and (3) early detection of Bsal through surveillance at key amphibian import locations, among high-risk wild populations, and through analysis of archived samples is necessary for developing management responses. Top research priorities during the preinvasion stage included the following: (1) deployment of qualified diagnostic methods for Bsal and establishment of standardized laboratory practices, (2) assessment of susceptibility for amphibian hosts (including anurans), and (3) development and evaluation of short- and long-term pathogen intervention and management strategies. Several outcomes were achieved during the workshop, including development

  11. Intraerythrocytic rickettsial inclusions in Ocoee salamanders (Desmognathus ocoee): prevalence, morphology, and comparisons with inclusions of Plethodon cinereus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Andrew K; Cecala, Kristen

    2010-07-01

    Reports of an unusual intraerythrocytic pathogen in amphibian blood have been made for decades; these pathogens appear as membrane-bound vacuoles within erythrocytes. It is now understood that the pathogen is a Rickettsia bacteria, which are obligate intracellular parasites, and most are transmitted by arthropod vectors. In an effort to further understand the host range and characteristics of this pathogen, we examined 20 Ocoee salamanders (Desmognathus ocoee) from a site in southwest North Carolina for the presence of rickettsial inclusions and report the general characteristics of infections. Seven individuals (35%) were infected, and this level of prevalence was consistent with all other members of this genus examined to date. In contrast, infections within the genus Plethodon tend to occur in less than 10% of individuals, based on review of the literature. The difference could be related to the semi-aquatic nature of Desmognathus salamanders versus the completely terrestrial Plethodon. It is also possible that both groups are hosts to different types of rickettsial bacteria, since the inclusions found here only vaguely resembled those found recently in red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Inclusions in Ocoee salamanders measured 4 microm in diameter on average, and most cells (88%) only had one inclusion. Of all infected individuals, inclusions occurred in approximately 3% of erythrocytes. Similar to that found in red-backed salamanders, infected hosts were significantly larger than non-infected. Future investigations into the nature of this unusual parasite of amphibians would help to further our understanding of its life cycle and transmission.

  12. Identification of Euryhelmis costaricensis metacercariae in the skin of Tohoku hynobiid salamanders (Hynobius lichenatus), northeastern Honshu, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Hiroshi; Ihara, Sadao; Inaba, Osamu; Une, Yumi

    2010-07-01

    Since 2000, cutaneous nodular lesions were observed in Tohoku hynobiid salamanders (Hynobius lichenatus) in the northern Abukuma Mountains, northeastern Honshu, Japan. The distribution of diseased salamanders has expanded, along with the increasing severity of the disease. Samples (foreleg, hindleg, and tail) from five diseased salamanders caught in the spring of 2009 contained 11 to 383 metacercarial cysts (0.43-0.48 mm in diameter) per individual. Experimental inoculations of the metacercariae into rats (Rattus norvegicus) resulted in the development of pentagonal adults with intrauterine eggs that were collected at 3 days, 2 wk, and 5 wk postinoculation. Although adults obtained from rats were smaller, the flukes were morphologically similar to Euryhelmis costaricensis, recorded from Japanese martens (Martes melampus) in northeastern Honshu. The ribosomal RNA gene sequences of the metacercariae collected from salamanders and the E. costaricensis collected from a Japanese marten were identical, confirming the morphology-based species identification. Environmental changes responsible for the increased frequency of diseased salamanders and the increased parasite load are unknown, although increases in feral populations of introduced raccoons (Procyon lotor) and American minks (Neovison vison) may be associated.

  13. Similarity and differentiation between bacteria associated with skin of salamanders (Plethodon jordani) and free-living assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Allison, Amanda L

    2014-06-01

    All animals and plants have intimate associations with microbes. Opinion has shifted from viewing microbes primarily as pathogens to the idea that healthy animals and plants carry specialized communities of coevolving microorganisms. However, the generality of this proposition is unknown because surveys rarely compare host-associated microbes with samples from relevant microhabitats. Symbiotic communities might be assembled from local environments with little evolutionary specialization. We evaluated the specificity of bacteria associated with salamander skin in comparison with surfaces in their immediate environments using 16S rRNA sequences. Host-associated and free-living samples were significantly different. However, relative abundances were strongly correlated; the most abundant taxa on salamander skin were also most abundant on moist debris on the forest floor. Thus, although bacterial assemblages on salamander skin are statistically differentiated from those on inanimate surfaces, they are not entirely 'distinct'. Candidate salamander specialists were few in number and occurred at low relative abundances. Within some OTUs, differences in allele frequency suggested genetic specialization at finer levels. Although host-associated and free-living assemblages were similar, a range of more or less specialized symbiotes was evident and bacteria on salamander skin were often specific genotypes of OTUs commonly found on other moist surfaces in the environment.

  14. Kvalitative analyser ..

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boolsen, Merete Watt

    bogen forklarer de fundamentale trin i forskningsprocessen og applikerer dem på udvalgte kvalitative analyser: indholdsanalyse, Grounded Theory, argumentationsanalyse og diskursanalyse......bogen forklarer de fundamentale trin i forskningsprocessen og applikerer dem på udvalgte kvalitative analyser: indholdsanalyse, Grounded Theory, argumentationsanalyse og diskursanalyse...

  15. Bayesian versus 'plain-vanilla Bayesian' multitarget statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahler, Ronald P. S.

    2004-08-01

    Finite-set statistics (FISST) is a direct generalization of single-sensor, single-target Bayes statistics to the multisensor-multitarget realm, based on random set theory. Various aspects of FISST are being investigated by several research teams around the world. In recent years, however, a few partisans have claimed that a "plain-vanilla Bayesian approach" suffices as down-to-earth, "straightforward," and general "first principles" for multitarget problems. Therefore, FISST is mere mathematical "obfuscation." In this and a companion paper I demonstrate the speciousness of these claims. In this paper I summarize general Bayes statistics, what is required to use it in multisensor-multitarget problems, and why FISST is necessary to make it practical. Then I demonstrate that the "plain-vanilla Bayesian approach" is so heedlessly formulated that it is erroneous, not even Bayesian denigrates FISST concepts while unwittingly assuming them, and has resulted in a succession of algorithms afflicted by inherent -- but less than candidly acknowledged -- computational "logjams."

  16. Guidance on the implementation and reporting of a drug safety Bayesian network meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlssen, David; Price, Karen L; Xia, H Amy; Hong, Hwanhee; Kerman, Jouni; Fu, Haoda; Quartey, George; Heilmann, Cory R; Ma, Haijun; Carlin, Bradley P

    2014-01-01

    The Drug Information Association Bayesian Scientific Working Group (BSWG) was formed in 2011 with a vision to ensure that Bayesian methods are well understood and broadly utilized for design and analysis and throughout the medical product development process, and to improve industrial, regulatory, and economic decision making. The group, composed of individuals from academia, industry, and regulatory, has as its mission to facilitate the appropriate use and contribute to the progress of Bayesian methodology. In this paper, the safety sub-team of the BSWG explores the use of Bayesian methods when applied to drug safety meta-analysis and network meta-analysis. Guidance is presented on the conduct and reporting of such analyses. We also discuss different structural model assumptions and provide discussion on prior specification. The work is illustrated through a case study involving a network meta-analysis related to the cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

  17. Bayesian network as a modelling tool for risk management in agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Svend; Madsen, Anders L.; Lund, Mogens

    . In this paper we use Bayesian networks as an integrated modelling approach for representing uncertainty and analysing risk management in agriculture. It is shown how historical farm account data may be efficiently used to estimate conditional probabilities, which are the core elements in Bayesian network models....... We further show how the Bayesian network model RiBay is used for stochastic simulation of farm income, and we demonstrate how RiBay can be used to simulate risk management at the farm level. It is concluded that the key strength of a Bayesian network is the transparency of assumptions......The importance of risk management increases as farmers become more exposed to risk. But risk management is a difficult topic because income risk is the result of the complex interaction of multiple risk factors combined with the effect of an increasing array of possible risk management tools...

  18. Experimental exposure of adult San Marcos salamanders and larval leopard frogs to the cercariae of Centrocestus formosanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huston, D C; Cantu, V; Huffman, D G

    2014-04-01

    The gill parasite Centrocestus formosanus (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) is an exotic parasite of concern in Texas because it has been shown to infect multiple threatened and endangered fish species. The purpose of this study was to determine if C. formosanus could present a threat to larval anurans, as well as threatened neotenic salamanders endemic to the spring-fed systems of Texas. We exposed adults of the San Marcos salamander Eurycea nana (Caudata: Plethodontidae) and tadpoles of the Rio Grande leopard frog Lithobates berlandieri (Anura: Ranidae) to the cercariae of C. formosanus . The San Marcos salamander showed no signs of metacercarial infection, suggesting that E. nana may be refractory to C. formosanus cercariae. Centrocestus formosanus readily infects the gills of leopard frog tadpoles, but the metacercariae apparently died prior to reaching maturity in our tadpoles.

  19. Cloning of a cDNA encoding cathepsin D from salamander, Hynobius leechii, and its expression in the limb regenerates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, B G; Kim, W S

    2000-01-01

    Cathepsin D is a major lysosomal aspartic proteinase participating in the degradation or modification of intra- and extracellular matrix molecules, and its activity is known to increase in the process of tissue reorganization during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration. Here, we report the cloning of a salamander cathepsin D cDNA from Hynobius leechii and its expression profile in normal and retinoic acid (RA) treated limb regenerates. The gene expression of cathepsin D increased notably during the dedifferentiation stage and decreased gradually thereafter. Furthermore, RA that enhances dedifferentiation of regenerating salamander limb caused the elevation of cathepsin D expression both in terms of level and duration. These results suggest that cathepsin D plays important role(s) in the dedifferentiation process, and enhancement of cathepsin D expression might be closely related to RA-evoked pattern duplication.

  20. Bayesian priors for transiting planets

    CERN Document Server

    Kipping, David M

    2016-01-01

    As astronomers push towards discovering ever-smaller transiting planets, it is increasingly common to deal with low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) events, where the choice of priors plays an influential role in Bayesian inference. In the analysis of exoplanet data, the selection of priors is often treated as a nuisance, with observers typically defaulting to uninformative distributions. Such treatments miss a key strength of the Bayesian framework, especially in the low SNR regime, where even weak a priori information is valuable. When estimating the parameters of a low-SNR transit, two key pieces of information are known: (i) the planet has the correct geometric alignment to transit and (ii) the transit event exhibits sufficient signal-to-noise to have been detected. These represent two forms of observational bias. Accordingly, when fitting transits, the model parameter priors should not follow the intrinsic distributions of said terms, but rather those of both the intrinsic distributions and the observational ...

  1. Bayesian approach to rough set

    CERN Document Server

    Marwala, Tshilidzi

    2007-01-01

    This paper proposes an approach to training rough set models using Bayesian framework trained using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. The prior probabilities are constructed from the prior knowledge that good rough set models have fewer rules. Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling is conducted through sampling in the rough set granule space and Metropolis algorithm is used as an acceptance criteria. The proposed method is tested to estimate the risk of HIV given demographic data. The results obtained shows that the proposed approach is able to achieve an average accuracy of 58% with the accuracy varying up to 66%. In addition the Bayesian rough set give the probabilities of the estimated HIV status as well as the linguistic rules describing how the demographic parameters drive the risk of HIV.

  2. Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prosper Harrison B.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A revolution is underway in which deep neural networks are routinely used to solve diffcult problems such as face recognition and natural language understanding. Particle physicists have taken notice and have started to deploy these methods, achieving results that suggest a potentially significant shift in how data might be analyzed in the not too distant future. We discuss a few recent developments in the application of deep neural networks and then indulge in speculation about how such methods might be used to automate certain aspects of data analysis in particle physics. Next, the connection to Bayesian methods is discussed and the paper ends with thoughts on a significant practical issue, namely, how, from a Bayesian perspective, one might optimize the construction of deep neural networks.

  3. Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosper, Harrison B.

    2017-03-01

    A revolution is underway in which deep neural networks are routinely used to solve diffcult problems such as face recognition and natural language understanding. Particle physicists have taken notice and have started to deploy these methods, achieving results that suggest a potentially significant shift in how data might be analyzed in the not too distant future. We discuss a few recent developments in the application of deep neural networks and then indulge in speculation about how such methods might be used to automate certain aspects of data analysis in particle physics. Next, the connection to Bayesian methods is discussed and the paper ends with thoughts on a significant practical issue, namely, how, from a Bayesian perspective, one might optimize the construction of deep neural networks.

  4. Bayesian Source Separation and Localization

    CERN Document Server

    Knuth, K H

    1998-01-01

    The problem of mixed signals occurs in many different contexts; one of the most familiar being acoustics. The forward problem in acoustics consists of finding the sound pressure levels at various detectors resulting from sound signals emanating from the active acoustic sources. The inverse problem consists of using the sound recorded by the detectors to separate the signals and recover the original source waveforms. In general, the inverse problem is unsolvable without additional information. This general problem is called source separation, and several techniques have been developed that utilize maximum entropy, minimum mutual information, and maximum likelihood. In previous work, it has been demonstrated that these techniques can be recast in a Bayesian framework. This paper demonstrates the power of the Bayesian approach, which provides a natural means for incorporating prior information into a source model. An algorithm is developed that utilizes information regarding both the statistics of the amplitudes...

  5. Bayesian Inference for Radio Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Lochner, Michelle; Zwart, Jonathan T L; Smirnov, Oleg; Bassett, Bruce A; Oozeer, Nadeem; Kunz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    (Abridged) New telescopes like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will push into a new sensitivity regime and expose systematics, such as direction-dependent effects, that could previously be ignored. Current methods for handling such systematics rely on alternating best estimates of instrumental calibration and models of the underlying sky, which can lead to inaccurate uncertainty estimates and biased results because such methods ignore any correlations between parameters. These deconvolution algorithms produce a single image that is assumed to be a true representation of the sky, when in fact it is just one realisation of an infinite ensemble of images compatible with the noise in the data. In contrast, here we report a Bayesian formalism that simultaneously infers both systematics and science. Our technique, Bayesian Inference for Radio Observations (BIRO), determines all parameters directly from the raw data, bypassing image-making entirely, by sampling from the joint posterior probability distribution. Thi...

  6. Bayesian inference on proportional elections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Hideki Vatanabe Brunello

    Full Text Available Polls for majoritarian voting systems usually show estimates of the percentage of votes for each candidate. However, proportional vote systems do not necessarily guarantee the candidate with the most percentage of votes will be elected. Thus, traditional methods used in majoritarian elections cannot be applied on proportional elections. In this context, the purpose of this paper was to perform a Bayesian inference on proportional elections considering the Brazilian system of seats distribution. More specifically, a methodology to answer the probability that a given party will have representation on the chamber of deputies was developed. Inferences were made on a Bayesian scenario using the Monte Carlo simulation technique, and the developed methodology was applied on data from the Brazilian elections for Members of the Legislative Assembly and Federal Chamber of Deputies in 2010. A performance rate was also presented to evaluate the efficiency of the methodology. Calculations and simulations were carried out using the free R statistical software.

  7. Study on the toxicity and antioxidant activity of mucus powder from salamander skin%大鲵皮肤黏液的抗氧化性及安全性评价研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐伟良; 陈德经; 魏泓; 刘宇

    2015-01-01

    The study focuses on antioxidant performance and safety evaluation of acute toxicity of sala-mander skin mucus.The study first uses pyrogallol autoxidation and DPPH method to determine salamander mucus to superoxide anion radical( O-·2 ) scavenging and DPPH radical scavenging.Then it experiments with giant salamander breeding mice fed to test acute toxicity of Andrias davidianus skin mucus and analyses toxic constituents of mucus temperament by using GC-MS chromatography.The results show that the clearance rate of Salamander mucus flour to superoxide anion radical and to DPPH radical scavenging is 6.77%and 90.25%respectively, and that LD50 value of Andrias mucus powder is 4.64 g/kg and toxic ingredient is imethyl disul-fide ( C2 H6 S2 ) .It concludes that Andrias mucus is antioxidant and low in toxicity, and that it can be devel-oped for health care products after detoxification.%为研究大鲵皮肤黏液的抗氧化性及急毒性安全性评价,利用邻苯三酚自氧化法和DPPH法,测定了大鲵黏液对超氧阴离子自由基( O-·2)及DPPH自由基的清除率;通过对小鼠灌胃饲养实验检测大鲵皮肤黏液的急毒性,并采用气质联用色谱分析黏液中的毒性成分。结果显示:大鲵黏液对超氧阴离子自由基的清除率为6.77%,对 DPPH 自由基的清除率为90.25%;大鲵黏液全粉的LD50值为4.64 g/kg,毒性成分为二甲基二硫醚( C2 H6 S2)。表明大鲵黏液具有抗氧化性和低毒性,经脱毒后可开发为保健产品。

  8. Bayesian analysis for kaon photoproduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marsainy, T., E-mail: tmart@fisika.ui.ac.id; Mart, T., E-mail: tmart@fisika.ui.ac.id [Department Fisika, FMIPA, Universitas Indonesia, Depok 16424 (Indonesia)

    2014-09-25

    We have investigated contribution of the nucleon resonances in the kaon photoproduction process by using an established statistical decision making method, i.e. the Bayesian method. This method does not only evaluate the model over its entire parameter space, but also takes the prior information and experimental data into account. The result indicates that certain resonances have larger probabilities to contribute to the process.

  9. Bayesian priors and nuisance parameters

    CERN Document Server

    Gupta, Sourendu

    2016-01-01

    Bayesian techniques are widely used to obtain spectral functions from correlators. We suggest a technique to rid the results of nuisance parameters, ie, parameters which are needed for the regularization but cannot be determined from data. We give examples where the method works, including a pion mass extraction with two flavours of staggered quarks at a lattice spacing of about 0.07 fm. We also give an example where the method does not work.

  10. Elements of Bayesian experimental design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sivia, D.S. [Rutherford Appleton Lab., Oxon (United Kingdom)

    1997-09-01

    We consider some elements of the Bayesian approach that are important for optimal experimental design. While the underlying principles used are very general, and are explained in detail in a recent tutorial text, they are applied here to the specific case of characterising the inferential value of different resolution peakshapes. This particular issue was considered earlier by Silver, Sivia and Pynn (1989, 1990a, 1990b), and the following presentation confirms and extends the conclusions of their analysis.

  11. Bayesian Sampling using Condition Indicators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Michael H.; Sørensen, John Dalsgaard

    2002-01-01

    . This allows for a Bayesian formulation of the indicators whereby the experience and expertise of the inspection personnel may be fully utilized and consistently updated as frequentistic information is collected. The approach is illustrated on an example considering a concrete structure subject to corrosion....... It is shown how half-cell potential measurements may be utilized to update the probability of excessive repair after 50 years....

  12. In search of critically endangered species: the current situation of two tiny salamander species in the Neotropical mountains of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Sandoval-Comte

    Full Text Available Worldwide, one in every three species of amphibian is endangered, 39 species have gone extinct in the last 500 years and another 130 species are suspected to have gone extinct in recent decades. Of the amphibians, salamanders have the highest portion of their species in one of the risk categories, even higher than the frogs. To date there have been few studies that have used recent field data to examine the status of populations of endangered salamanders. In this study we evaluate the current situation of two tiny salamanders, Parvimolge townsendi and Thorius pennatulus, both of which are distributed at intermediate elevations in the mountains of the northern Neotropics and are considered to be critically endangered; the first has been proposed as possibly extinct. By carrying out exhaustive surveys in both historical and potentially suitable sites for these two species, we evaluated their abundance and the characteristics of their habitats, and we estimated their potential geographic distribution. We visited 22 sites, investing 672 person-hours of sampling effort in the surveys, and found 201 P. townsendi salamanders in 11 sites and only 13 T. pennatulus salamanders in 5 sites. Both species were preferentially found in cloud forest fragments that were well conserved or only moderately transformed, and some of the salamanders were found in shade coffee plantations. The potential distribution area of both species is markedly fragmented and we estimate that it has decreased by more than 48%. The results of this study highlight the importance of carrying out exhaustive, systematic field surveys to obtain accurate information about the current situation of critically endangered species, and help us better understand the crisis that amphibians are facing worldwide.

  13. Embracing Uncertainty: The Interface of Bayesian Statistics and Cognitive Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith L. Anderson

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists working in conservation and resource management are discovering the importance of using Bayesian analytic methods to deal explicitly with uncertainty in data analyses and decision making. However, Bayesian procedures require, as inputs and outputs, an idea that is problematic for the human brain: the probability of a hypothesis ("single-event probability". I describe several cognitive concepts closely related to single-event probabilities, and discuss how their interchangeability in the human mind results in "cognitive illusions," apparent deficits in reasoning about uncertainty. Each cognitive illusion implies specific possible pitfalls for the use of single-event probabilities in ecology and resource management. I then discuss recent research in cognitive psychology showing that simple tactics of communication, suggested by an evolutionary perspective on human cognition, help people to process uncertain information more effectively as they read and talk about probabilities. In addition, I suggest that carefully considered standards for methodology and conventions for presentation may also make Bayesian analyses easier to understand.

  14. Competing risk models in reliability systems, a weibull distribution model with bayesian analysis approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iskandar, Ismed; Satria Gondokaryono, Yudi

    2016-02-01

    In reliability theory, the most important problem is to determine the reliability of a complex system from the reliability of its components. The weakness of most reliability theories is that the systems are described and explained as simply functioning or failed. In many real situations, the failures may be from many causes depending upon the age and the environment of the system and its components. Another problem in reliability theory is one of estimating the parameters of the assumed failure models. The estimation may be based on data collected over censored or uncensored life tests. In many reliability problems, the failure data are simply quantitatively inadequate, especially in engineering design and maintenance system. The Bayesian analyses are more beneficial than the classical one in such cases. The Bayesian estimation analyses allow us to combine past knowledge or experience in the form of an apriori distribution with life test data to make inferences of the parameter of interest. In this paper, we have investigated the application of the Bayesian estimation analyses to competing risk systems. The cases are limited to the models with independent causes of failure by using the Weibull distribution as our model. A simulation is conducted for this distribution with the objectives of verifying the models and the estimators and investigating the performance of the estimators for varying sample size. The simulation data are analyzed by using Bayesian and the maximum likelihood analyses. The simulation results show that the change of the true of parameter relatively to another will change the value of standard deviation in an opposite direction. For a perfect information on the prior distribution, the estimation methods of the Bayesian analyses are better than those of the maximum likelihood. The sensitivity analyses show some amount of sensitivity over the shifts of the prior locations. They also show the robustness of the Bayesian analysis within the range

  15. 12th Brazilian Meeting on Bayesian Statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Louzada, Francisco; Rifo, Laura; Stern, Julio; Lauretto, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Through refereed papers, this volume focuses on the foundations of the Bayesian paradigm; their comparison to objectivistic or frequentist Statistics counterparts; and the appropriate application of Bayesian foundations. This research in Bayesian Statistics is applicable to data analysis in biostatistics, clinical trials, law, engineering, and the social sciences. EBEB, the Brazilian Meeting on Bayesian Statistics, is held every two years by the ISBrA, the International Society for Bayesian Analysis, one of the most active chapters of the ISBA. The 12th meeting took place March 10-14, 2014 in Atibaia. Interest in foundations of inductive Statistics has grown recently in accordance with the increasing availability of Bayesian methodological alternatives. Scientists need to deal with the ever more difficult choice of the optimal method to apply to their problem. This volume shows how Bayes can be the answer. The examination and discussion on the foundations work towards the goal of proper application of Bayesia...

  16. Bayesian Inversion of Seabed Scattering Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Bayesian Inversion of Seabed Scattering Data (Special Research Award in Ocean Acoustics) Gavin A.M.W. Steininger School of Earth & Ocean...project are to carry out joint Bayesian inversion of scattering and reflection data to estimate the in-situ seabed scattering and geoacoustic parameters...valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 30 SEP 2014 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Bayesian

  17. Anomaly Detection and Attribution Using Bayesian Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    UNCLASSIFIED Anomaly Detection and Attribution Using Bayesian Networks Andrew Kirk, Jonathan Legg and Edwin El-Mahassni National Security and...detection in Bayesian networks , en- abling both the detection and explanation of anomalous cases in a dataset. By exploiting the structure of a... Bayesian network , our algorithm is able to efficiently search for local maxima of data conflict between closely related vari- ables. Benchmark tests using

  18. Compiling Relational Bayesian Networks for Exact Inference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaeger, Manfred; Chavira, Mark; Darwiche, Adnan

    2004-01-01

    We describe a system for exact inference with relational Bayesian networks as defined in the publicly available \\primula\\ tool. The system is based on compiling propositional instances of relational Bayesian networks into arithmetic circuits and then performing online inference by evaluating...... and differentiating these circuits in time linear in their size. We report on experimental results showing the successful compilation, and efficient inference, on relational Bayesian networks whose {\\primula}--generated propositional instances have thousands of variables, and whose jointrees have clusters...

  19. Calibration of crash risk models on freeways with limited real-time traffic data using Bayesian meta-analysis and Bayesian inference approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chengcheng; Wang, Wei; Liu, Pan; Li, Zhibin

    2015-12-01

    This study aimed to develop a real-time crash risk model with limited data in China by using Bayesian meta-analysis and Bayesian inference approach. A systematic review was first conducted by using three different Bayesian meta-analyses, including the fixed effect meta-analysis, the random effect meta-analysis, and the meta-regression. The meta-analyses provided a numerical summary of the effects of traffic variables on crash risks by quantitatively synthesizing results from previous studies. The random effect meta-analysis and the meta-regression produced a more conservative estimate for the effects of traffic variables compared with the fixed effect meta-analysis. Then, the meta-analyses results were used as informative priors for developing crash risk models with limited data. Three different meta-analyses significantly affect model fit and prediction accuracy. The model based on meta-regression can increase the prediction accuracy by about 15% as compared to the model that was directly developed with limited data. Finally, the Bayesian predictive densities analysis was used to identify the outliers in the limited data. It can further improve the prediction accuracy by 5.0%.

  20. Behavioral and physiological antipredator responses of the San Marcos salamander, Eurycea nana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Drew R; Gabor, Caitlin R

    2015-02-01

    Exposure to predatory stimuli typically results in the elevation of circulating glucocorticoid levels and a behavioral response of freezing or escape behavior in many prey species. Corticosterone (CORT) is the main glucocorticoid in amphibians and is known to be important in modulating many behaviors and developmental functions. The federally threatened San Marcos salamander, Eurycea nana, decreases activity in response to both native and introduced predatory fish, however, experience may further influence these interactions. To better understand the indirect effects of fish predators on this salamander, we examined both the antipredator behavior and water-borne CORT release rates in response to chemical cues (kairomones) from two fish species that varied in temporal risk of predation: (1) a low encounter frequency predator (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides), (2) a high encounter frequency predator (redbreast sunfish, Lepomis auritus), and (3) a blank water control. Salamanders reduced activity (antipredator response) after exposure to both predator treatments, but not to the blank water control, and the response to M. salmoides was significantly stronger than that to L. auritus. The CORT response (post-stimulus/pre-stimulus release rates) did not differ between the blank water control and L. auritus treatments, and both were significantly less than the CORT response to M. salmoides. Overall, E. nana showed a decreased antipredator response and no CORT response towards the high encounter frequency L. auritus as compared to the low encounter frequency M. salmoides. Eurycea nana may mute antipredator and CORT responses to high temporal frequency predators. There was, however, no correlation between CORT release rates and antipredator behavior, which suggests that the presence of predators may be affecting CORT response and behavior independently.

  1. Life history plasticity does not confer resilience to environmental change in the mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney L. Davis,; David A.W. Miller,; Walls, Susan; Barichivich, William J.; Riley, Jeffrey W.; Brown, Mary E.

    2017-01-01

    Plasticity in life history strategies can be advantageous for species that occupy spatially or temporally variable environments. We examined how phenotypic plasticity influences responses of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, to disturbance events at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (SMNWR), FL, USA from 2009 to 2014. We observed periods of extensive drought early in the study, in contrast to high rainfall and expansive flooding events in later years. Flooding facilitated colonization of predatory fishes to isolated wetlands across the refuge. We employed multistate occupancy models to determine how this natural experiment influenced the occurrence of aquatic larvae and paedomorphic adults and what implications this may have for the population. We found that, in terms of occurrence, responses to environmental variation differed between larvae and paedomorphs, but plasticity (i.e. the ability to metamorphose rather than remain in aquatic environment) was not sufficient to buffer populations from declining as a result of environmental perturbations. Drought and fish presence negatively influenced occurrence dynamics of larval and paedomorphic mole salamanders and, consequently, contributed to observed short-term declines of this species. Overall occurrence of larval salamanders decreased from 0.611 in 2009 to 0.075 in 2014 and paedomorph occurrence decreased from 0.311 in 2009 to 0.121 in 2014. Although variation in selection pressures has likely maintained this polyphenism previously, our results suggest that continued changes in environmental variability and the persistence of fish in isolated wetlands could lead to a loss of paedomorphosis in the SMNWR population and, ultimately, impact regional persistence in the future.

  2. Bayesian Monitoring of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Polyakov

    Full Text Available We define data analyses to monitor a change in R, the average number of secondary cases caused by a typical infected individual. The input dataset consists of incident cases partitioned into outbreaks, each initiated from a single index case. We split the input dataset into two successive subsets, to evaluate two successive R values, according to the Bayesian paradigm. We used the Bayes factor between the model with two different R values and that with a single R value to justify that the change in R is statistically significant. We validated our approach using simulated data, generated using known R. In particular, we found that claiming two distinct R values may depend significantly on the number of outbreaks. We then reanalyzed data previously studied by Jansen et al. [Jansen et al. Science 301 (5634, 804], concerning the effective reproduction number for measles in the UK, during 1995-2002. Our analyses showed that the 1995-2002 dataset should be divided into two separate subsets for the periods 1995-1998 and 1999-2002. In contrast, Jansen et al. take this splitting point as input of their analysis. Our estimated effective reproduction numbers R are in good agreement with those found by Jansen et al. In conclusion, our methodology for detecting temporal changes in R using outbreak-size data worked satisfactorily with both simulated and real-world data. The methodology may be used for updating R in real time, as surveillance outbreak data become available.

  3. SYNTHESIZED EXPECTED BAYESIAN METHOD OF PARAMETRIC ESTIMATE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming HAN; Yuanyao DING

    2004-01-01

    This paper develops a new method of parametric estimate, which is named as "synthesized expected Bayesian method". When samples of products are tested and no failure events occur, thedefinition of expected Bayesian estimate is introduced and the estimates of failure probability and failure rate are provided. After some failure information is introduced by making an extra-test, a synthesized expected Bayesian method is defined and used to estimate failure probability, failure rateand some other parameters in exponential distribution and Weibull distribution of populations. Finally,calculations are performed according to practical problems, which show that the synthesized expected Bayesian method is feasible and easy to operate.

  4. Learning dynamic Bayesian networks with mixed variables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bøttcher, Susanne Gammelgaard

    This paper considers dynamic Bayesian networks for discrete and continuous variables. We only treat the case, where the distribution of the variables is conditional Gaussian. We show how to learn the parameters and structure of a dynamic Bayesian network and also how the Markov order can be learned....... An automated procedure for specifying prior distributions for the parameters in a dynamic Bayesian network is presented. It is a simple extension of the procedure for the ordinary Bayesian networks. Finally the W¨olfer?s sunspot numbers are analyzed....

  5. Variational bayesian method of estimating variance components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arakawa, Aisaku; Taniguchi, Masaaki; Hayashi, Takeshi; Mikawa, Satoshi

    2016-07-01

    We developed a Bayesian analysis approach by using a variational inference method, a so-called variational Bayesian method, to determine the posterior distributions of variance components. This variational Bayesian method and an alternative Bayesian method using Gibbs sampling were compared in estimating genetic and residual variance components from both simulated data and publically available real pig data. In the simulated data set, we observed strong bias toward overestimation of genetic variance for the variational Bayesian method in the case of low heritability and low population size, and less bias was detected with larger population sizes in both methods examined. The differences in the estimates of variance components between the variational Bayesian and the Gibbs sampling were not found in the real pig data. However, the posterior distributions of the variance components obtained with the variational Bayesian method had shorter tails than those obtained with the Gibbs sampling. Consequently, the posterior standard deviations of the genetic and residual variances of the variational Bayesian method were lower than those of the method using Gibbs sampling. The computing time required was much shorter with the variational Bayesian method than with the method using Gibbs sampling.

  6. Role of habitat complexity in predator-prey dynamics between an introduced fish and larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenison, Erin K; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Tom E

    2016-01-01

    Predation by nonnative fishes has reduced abundance and increased extinction risk for amphibian populations worldwide. Although rare, fish and palatable amphibians have been observed to coexist where aquatic vegetation and structural complexity provide suitable refugia. We examined whether larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum Baird, 1849) increased use of vegetation cover in lakes with trout and whether adding vegetation structure could reduce predation risk and nonconsumptive effects (NCEs), such as reductions in body size and delayed metamorphosis. We compared use of vegetation cover by larval salamanders in lakes with and without trout and conducted a field experiment to investigate the influence of added vegetation structure on salamander body morphology and life history. The probability of catching salamanders in traps in lakes with trout was positively correlated with the proportion of submerged vegetation and surface cover. Growth rates of salamanders in enclosures with trout cues decreased as much as 85% and the probability of metamorphosis decreased by 56%. We did not find evidence that adding vegetation reduced NCEs in experimental enclosures, but salamanders in lakes with trout utilized more highly-vegetated areas which suggests that adding vegetation structure at the scale of the whole lake may facilitate coexistence between salamanders and introduced trout.

  7. Persistence and extirpation in invaded landscapes: patch characteristics and connectivity determine effects of non-native predatory fish on native salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert S.; Maxell, Bryce A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies have demonstrated negative effects of non-native, predatory fishes on native amphibians, yet it is still unclear why some amphibian populations persist, while others are extirpated, following fish invasion. We examined this question by developing habitat-based occupancy models for the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and nonnative fish using survey data from 1,749 water bodies across 470 catchments in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. We first modeled the habitat associations of salamanders at 468 fishless water bodies in 154 catchments where non-native fish were historically, and are currently, absent from the entire catchment. Wethen applied this habitat model to the complete data set to predict the probability of salamander occupancy in each water body, removing any effect of fish presence. Finally, we compared field-observed occurrences of salamanders and fish to modeled probability of salamander occupancy. Suitability models indicated that fish and salamanders had similar habitat preferences, possibly resulting in extirpations of salamander populations from entire catchments where suitable habitats were limiting. Salamanders coexisted with non-native fish in some catchments by using marginal quality, isolated (no inlet or outlet) habitats that remained fishless. They rarely coexisted with fish within individual water bodies and only where habitat quality was highest. Connectivity of water bodies via streams resulted in increased probability of fish invasion and consequently reduced probability of salamander occupancy.These results could be used to identify and prioritize catchments and water bodies where control measures would be most effective at restoring amphibian populations. Our approach could be useful as a framework for improved investigations into questions of persistence and extirpation of native species when non-native species have already become established.

  8. Linking the evolution of habitat choice to ecosystem functioning: direct and indirect effects of pond-reproducing fire salamanders on aquatic-terrestrial subsidies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, Timm; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Paetzold, Achim; Weitere, Markus

    2013-09-01

    Shifts in life history traits and in the behaviour of species can potentially alter ecosystem functioning. The reproduction of the central European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), which usually deposits its larvae in first-order streams, in small pool and pond-like habitats, is an example of a recent local adaptation in this species. Here we aimed to quantify the direct and indirect effects of the predatory larvae on the aquatic food webs in the ponds and on the flux of matter between the ponds and adjacent terrestrial habitats. Our estimates are based on biomass data of the present pond fauna as well as on the analysis of stomach content data, growth rates and population dynamics of the salamander larvae in pond habitats. By their deposition of larvae in early spring, female fire salamanders import between 0.07 and 2.86 g dry mass m(-2) larval biomass into the ponds. Due to high mortality rates in the larval phase and the relatively small size at metamorphosis of the pond-adapted salamanders compared to stream-adapted ones, the biomass export of the metamorphosed salamanders clearly falls below the initial biomass import. Catastrophic events such as high water temperatures and low oxygen levels may even occasionally result in mass mortalities of salamander larvae and thus in a net 100 % import of the salamander biomass into the pond food webs. Indirect effects further accelerate this net import of matter into the aquatic habitat, e.g. the feeding of salamanders on aquatic insect larvae with the emergence of terrestrial adults-thus preventing export-and on terrestrial organisms that fall on the water surface (supporting import). This study demonstrates that the adaptation of salamanders to pond reproduction can alter food web linkages across ecosystem boundaries by enhancing the flux of materials and energy from terrestrial (i.e. forest) to the aquatic (i.e. pond) habitat.

  9. Evaluation of a partial genome screening of two asthma susceptibility regions using bayesian network based bayesian multilevel analysis of relevance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ildikó Ungvári

    Full Text Available Genetic studies indicate high number of potential factors related to asthma. Based on earlier linkage analyses we selected the 11q13 and 14q22 asthma susceptibility regions, for which we designed a partial genome screening study using 145 SNPs in 1201 individuals (436 asthmatic children and 765 controls. The results were evaluated with traditional frequentist methods and we applied a new statistical method, called bayesian network based bayesian multilevel analysis of relevance (BN-BMLA. This method uses bayesian network representation to provide detailed characterization of the relevance of factors, such as joint significance, the type of dependency, and multi-target aspects. We estimated posteriors for these relations within the bayesian statistical framework, in order to estimate the posteriors whether a variable is directly relevant or its association is only mediated.With frequentist methods one SNP (rs3751464 in the FRMD6 gene provided evidence for an association with asthma (OR = 1.43(1.2-1.8; p = 3×10(-4. The possible role of the FRMD6 gene in asthma was also confirmed in an animal model and human asthmatics.In the BN-BMLA analysis altogether 5 SNPs in 4 genes were found relevant in connection with asthma phenotype: PRPF19 on chromosome 11, and FRMD6, PTGER2 and PTGDR on chromosome 14. In a subsequent step a partial dataset containing rhinitis and further clinical parameters was used, which allowed the analysis of relevance of SNPs for asthma and multiple targets. These analyses suggested that SNPs in the AHNAK and MS4A2 genes were indirectly associated with asthma. This paper indicates that BN-BMLA explores the relevant factors more comprehensively than traditional statistical methods and extends the scope of strong relevance based methods to include partial relevance, global characterization of relevance and multi-target relevance.

  10. Bayesian Methods and Universal Darwinism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, John

    2009-12-01

    Bayesian methods since the time of Laplace have been understood by their practitioners as closely aligned to the scientific method. Indeed a recent Champion of Bayesian methods, E. T. Jaynes, titled his textbook on the subject Probability Theory: the Logic of Science. Many philosophers of science including Karl Popper and Donald Campbell have interpreted the evolution of Science as a Darwinian process consisting of a `copy with selective retention' algorithm abstracted from Darwin's theory of Natural Selection. Arguments are presented for an isomorphism between Bayesian Methods and Darwinian processes. Universal Darwinism, as the term has been developed by Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Susan Blackmore, is the collection of scientific theories which explain the creation and evolution of their subject matter as due to the Operation of Darwinian processes. These subject matters span the fields of atomic physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences. The principle of Maximum Entropy states that Systems will evolve to states of highest entropy subject to the constraints of scientific law. This principle may be inverted to provide illumination as to the nature of scientific law. Our best cosmological theories suggest the universe contained much less complexity during the period shortly after the Big Bang than it does at present. The scientific subject matter of atomic physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences has been created since that time. An explanation is proposed for the existence of this subject matter as due to the evolution of constraints in the form of adaptations imposed on Maximum Entropy. It is argued these adaptations were discovered and instantiated through the Operations of a succession of Darwinian processes.

  11. parallelMCMCcombine: an R package for bayesian methods for big data and analytics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey Miroshnikov

    Full Text Available Recent advances in big data and analytics research have provided a wealth of large data sets that are too big to be analyzed in their entirety, due to restrictions on computer memory or storage size. New Bayesian methods have been developed for data sets that are large only due to large sample sizes. These methods partition big data sets into subsets and perform independent Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo analyses on the subsets. The methods then combine the independent subset posterior samples to estimate a posterior density given the full data set. These approaches were shown to be effective for Bayesian models including logistic regression models, Gaussian mixture models and hierarchical models. Here, we introduce the R package parallelMCMCcombine which carries out four of these techniques for combining independent subset posterior samples. We illustrate each of the methods using a Bayesian logistic regression model for simulation data and a Bayesian Gamma model for real data; we also demonstrate features and capabilities of the R package. The package assumes the user has carried out the Bayesian analysis and has produced the independent subposterior samples outside of the package. The methods are primarily suited to models with unknown parameters of fixed dimension that exist in continuous parameter spaces. We envision this tool will allow researchers to explore the various methods for their specific applications and will assist future progress in this rapidly developing field.

  12. parallelMCMCcombine: an R package for bayesian methods for big data and analytics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miroshnikov, Alexey; Conlon, Erin M

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in big data and analytics research have provided a wealth of large data sets that are too big to be analyzed in their entirety, due to restrictions on computer memory or storage size. New Bayesian methods have been developed for data sets that are large only due to large sample sizes. These methods partition big data sets into subsets and perform independent Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo analyses on the subsets. The methods then combine the independent subset posterior samples to estimate a posterior density given the full data set. These approaches were shown to be effective for Bayesian models including logistic regression models, Gaussian mixture models and hierarchical models. Here, we introduce the R package parallelMCMCcombine which carries out four of these techniques for combining independent subset posterior samples. We illustrate each of the methods using a Bayesian logistic regression model for simulation data and a Bayesian Gamma model for real data; we also demonstrate features and capabilities of the R package. The package assumes the user has carried out the Bayesian analysis and has produced the independent subposterior samples outside of the package. The methods are primarily suited to models with unknown parameters of fixed dimension that exist in continuous parameter spaces. We envision this tool will allow researchers to explore the various methods for their specific applications and will assist future progress in this rapidly developing field.

  13. Bayesian Query-Focused Summarization

    CERN Document Server

    Daumé, Hal

    2009-01-01

    We present BayeSum (for ``Bayesian summarization''), a model for sentence extraction in query-focused summarization. BayeSum leverages the common case in which multiple documents are relevant to a single query. Using these documents as reinforcement for query terms, BayeSum is not afflicted by the paucity of information in short queries. We show that approximate inference in BayeSum is possible on large data sets and results in a state-of-the-art summarization system. Furthermore, we show how BayeSum can be understood as a justified query expansion technique in the language modeling for IR framework.

  14. Numeracy, frequency, and Bayesian reasoning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gretchen B. Chapman

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous research has demonstrated that Bayesian reasoning performance is improved if uncertainty information is presented as natural frequencies rather than single-event probabilities. A questionnaire study of 342 college students replicated this effect but also found that the performance-boosting benefits of the natural frequency presentation occurred primarily for participants who scored high in numeracy. This finding suggests that even comprehension and manipulation of natural frequencies requires a certain threshold of numeracy abilities, and that the beneficial effects of natural frequency presentation may not be as general as previously believed.

  15. Bayesian inference for Hawkes processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jakob Gulddahl

    2013-01-01

    The Hawkes process is a practically and theoretically important class of point processes, but parameter-estimation for such a process can pose various problems. In this paper we explore and compare two approaches to Bayesian inference. The first approach is based on the so-called conditional...... intensity function, while the second approach is based on an underlying clustering and branching structure in the Hawkes process. For practical use, MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) methods are employed. The two approaches are compared numerically using three examples of the Hawkes process....

  16. Bayesian inference for Hawkes processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jakob Gulddahl

    The Hawkes process is a practically and theoretically important class of point processes, but parameter-estimation for such a process can pose various problems. In this paper we explore and compare two approaches to Bayesian inference. The first approach is based on the so-called conditional...... intensity function, while the second approach is based on an underlying clustering and branching structure in the Hawkes process. For practical use, MCMC (Markov chain Monte Carlo) methods are employed. The two approaches are compared numerically using three examples of the Hawkes process....

  17. Bayesian homeopathy: talking normal again.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutten, A L B

    2007-04-01

    Homeopathy has a communication problem: important homeopathic concepts are not understood by conventional colleagues. Homeopathic terminology seems to be comprehensible only after practical experience of homeopathy. The main problem lies in different handling of diagnosis. In conventional medicine diagnosis is the starting point for randomised controlled trials to determine the effect of treatment. In homeopathy diagnosis is combined with other symptoms and personal traits of the patient to guide treatment and predict response. Broadening our scope to include diagnostic as well as treatment research opens the possibility of multi factorial reasoning. Adopting Bayesian methodology opens the possibility of investigating homeopathy in everyday practice and of describing some aspects of homeopathy in conventional terms.

  18. Vertebral number is highly evolvable in salamanders and newts (family Salamandridae) and variably associated with climatic parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arntzen, J.W.; Beukema, W.; Galis, F.; Ivanović, A.

    2015-01-01

    In vertebrates, the relative proportion of the number of trunk and caudal vertebrae is an important determinant of body shape. While among amphibians frogs and toads show low variation in vertebrae numbers, in salamanders the numbers of trunk and caudal vertebrae vary widely, giving rise to phenotyp

  19. Conservation genetics of extremely isolated urban populations of the northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus in New York City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Munshi-South

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization is a major cause of amphibian decline. Stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders are particularly susceptible to urbanization due to declining water quality and hydrological changes, but few studies have examined these taxa in cities. The northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus was once common in the New York City metropolitan area, but has substantially declined throughout the region in recent decades. We used five tetranucleotide microsatellite loci to examine population differentiation, genetic variation, and bottlenecks among five remnant urban populations of dusky salamanders in NYC. These genetic measures provide information on isolation, prevalence of inbreeding, long-term prospects for population persistence, and potential for evolutionary responses to future environmental change. All populations were genetically differentiated from each other, and the most isolated populations in Manhattan have maintained very little genetic variation (i.e. <20% heterozygosity. A majority of the populations also exhibited evidence of genetic bottlenecks. These findings contrast with published estimates of high genetic variation within and lack of structure between populations of other desmognathine salamanders sampled over similar or larger spatial scales. Declines in genetic variation likely resulted from population extirpations and the degradation of stream and terrestrial paths for dispersal in NYC. Loss of genetic variability in populations isolated by human development may be an underappreciated cause and/or consequence of the decline of this species in urbanized areas of the northeast USA.

  20. Bayesian credible interval construction for Poisson statistics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Yong-Sheng

    2008-01-01

    The construction of the Bayesian credible (confidence) interval for a Poisson observable including both the signal and background with and without systematic uncertainties is presented.Introducing the conditional probability satisfying the requirement of the background not larger than the observed events to construct the Bayesian credible interval is also discussed.A Fortran routine,BPOCI,has been developed to implement the calculation.

  1. Advances in Bayesian Modeling in Educational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Roy

    2016-01-01

    In this article, I provide a conceptually oriented overview of Bayesian approaches to statistical inference and contrast them with frequentist approaches that currently dominate conventional practice in educational research. The features and advantages of Bayesian approaches are illustrated with examples spanning several statistical modeling…

  2. Nonparametric Bayesian Modeling of Complex Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Mikkel Nørgaard; Mørup, Morten

    2013-01-01

    Modeling structure in complex networks using Bayesian nonparametrics makes it possible to specify flexible model structures and infer the adequate model complexity from the observed data. This article provides a gentle introduction to nonparametric Bayesian modeling of complex networks: Using...... for complex networks can be derived and point out relevant literature....

  3. Modeling Diagnostic Assessments with Bayesian Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almond, Russell G.; DiBello, Louis V.; Moulder, Brad; Zapata-Rivera, Juan-Diego

    2007-01-01

    This paper defines Bayesian network models and examines their applications to IRT-based cognitive diagnostic modeling. These models are especially suited to building inference engines designed to be synchronous with the finer grained student models that arise in skills diagnostic assessment. Aspects of the theory and use of Bayesian network models…

  4. Using Bayesian Networks to Improve Knowledge Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, Eva; Descalco, Luis; Castillo, Gladys; Oliveira, Paula; Diogo, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the integration and evaluation of an existing generic Bayesian student model (GBSM) into an existing computerized testing system within the Mathematics Education Project (PmatE--Projecto Matematica Ensino) of the University of Aveiro. This generic Bayesian student model had been previously evaluated with simulated…

  5. The Bayesian Revolution Approaches Psychological Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shultz, Thomas R.

    2007-01-01

    This commentary reviews five articles that apply Bayesian ideas to psychological development, some with psychology experiments, some with computational modeling, and some with both experiments and modeling. The reviewed work extends the current Bayesian revolution into tasks often studied in children, such as causal learning and word learning, and…

  6. Bayesian analysis of exoplanet and binary orbits

    OpenAIRE

    Schulze-Hartung, Tim; Launhardt, Ralf; Henning, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    We introduce BASE (Bayesian astrometric and spectroscopic exoplanet detection and characterisation tool), a novel program for the combined or separate Bayesian analysis of astrometric and radial-velocity measurements of potential exoplanet hosts and binary stars. The capabilities of BASE are demonstrated using all publicly available data of the binary Mizar A.

  7. Bayesian Network for multiple hypthesis tracking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.P. Zajdel; B.J.A. Kröse

    2002-01-01

    For a flexible camera-to-camera tracking of multiple objects we model the objects behavior with a Bayesian network and combine it with the multiple hypohesis framework that associates observations with objects. Bayesian networks offer a possibility to factor complex, joint distributions into a produ

  8. Purification and characterization of cholecystokinin from the skin of salamander Tylototriton verrucosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Wen-Bin; Hakim, Ma; Luo, Lei; Li, Bo-Wen; Yang, Shi-Long; Song, Yu-Zhu; Lai, Ren; Lu, Qiu-Min

    2015-05-18

    As a group of intestinal hormones and neurotransmitters, cholecystokinins (CCKs) regulate and affect pancreatic enzyme secretion, gastrointestinal motility, pain hypersensitivity, digestion and satiety, and generally contain a DYMGWMDFG sequence at the C-terminus. Many CCKs have been reported in mammals. However, only a few have been reported in amphibians, such as Hyla nigrovittata, Xenopus laevis, and Rana catesbeiana, with none reported in urodele amphibians like newts and salamanders. Here, a CCK called CCK-TV was identified and characterized from the skin of the salamander Tylototriton verrucosus. This CCK contained an amino acid sequence of DYMGWMDF-NH2 as seen in other CCKs. A cDNA encoding the CCK precursor containing 129 amino acid residues was cloned from the cDNA library of T. verrucosus skin. The CCK-TV had the potential to induce the contraction of smooth muscle strips isolated from porcine gallbladder, eliciting contraction at a concentration of 5.0 x 10⁻¹¹ mol/L and inducing maximal contraction at a concentration of 2.0 x 10⁻⁶ mol/L. The EC50 was 13.6 nmol/L. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to identify the presence of a CCK in an urodele amphibian.

  9. Transcriptome analysis of predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity in the Hokkaido salamander (Hynobius retardatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunami, Masatoshi; Kitano, Jun; Kishida, Osamu; Michimae, Hirofumi; Miura, Toru; Nishimura, Kinya

    2015-06-01

    Predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity is widely observed among amphibian species. Although ecological factors inducing diverse phenotypic responses have been extensively characterized, we know little about the molecular bases of variation in phenotypic plasticity. Larvae of the Hokkaido salamander, Hynobius retardatus, exhibit two distinct morphs: the presence of their prey, Rana pirica tadpoles, induces a broad-headed attack morph, and the presence of predatory dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna nigroflava) induces a defence morph with enlarged external gills and a high tail. To compare the genes involved in predator- and prey-induced phenotypic plasticity, we carried out a de novo transcriptome analysis of Hokkaido salamander larvae exposed to either prey or predator individuals. First, we found that the number of genes involved in the expression of the defence morph was approximately five times the number involved in the expression of the attack morph. This result is consistent with the fact that the predator-induced plasticity involves more drastic morphological changes than the prey-induced plasticity. Second, we found that particular sets of genes were upregulated during the induction of both the attack and defence morphs, but others were specific to the expression of one or the other morph. Because both shared and unique molecular mechanisms were used in the expression of each morph, the evolution of a new plastic phenotype might involve both the co-option of pre-existing molecular mechanisms and the acquisition of novel regulatory mechanisms.

  10. Cutaneous mastocytomas in the neotenic caudate amphibians Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) and Ambystoma tigrinun (tiger salamander)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harshbarger, J.C.; Chang, S.C.; DeLanney, L.E.; Rose, F.L.; Green, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.

  11. Cutaneous mastocytomas in the neotenic caudate amphibians Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) and Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harshbarger, J C; Chang, S C; DeLanney, L E; Rose, F L; Green, D E

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2 mm to 2 cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.

  12. Identification of Mutant Genes and Introgressed Tiger Salamander DNA in the Laboratory Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, M Ryan; Vaughn-Wolfe, Jennifer; Elias, Alexandra; Kump, D Kevin; Kendall, Katharina Denise; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir; Perry, Dustin W; Smith, Jeramiah J; Spiewak, Jessica E; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal

    2017-12-01

    The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr (a) ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr (a) has a 142 bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr (a) significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.

  13. Origin and control of the dominant time constant of salamander cone photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zang, Jingjing; Matthews, Hugh R

    2012-08-01

    Recovery of the light response in vertebrate photoreceptors requires the shutoff of both active intermediates in the phototransduction cascade: the visual pigment and the transducin-phosphodiesterase complex. Whichever intermediate quenches more slowly will dominate photoresponse recovery. In suction pipette recordings from isolated salamander ultraviolet- and blue-sensitive cones, response recovery was delayed, and the dominant time constant slowed when internal [Ca(2+)] was prevented from changing after a bright flash by exposure to 0Ca(2+)/0Na(+) solution. Taken together with a similar prior observation in salamander red-sensitive cones, these observations indicate that the dominance of response recovery by a Ca(2+)-sensitive process is a general feature of amphibian cone phototransduction. Moreover, changes in the external pH also influenced the dominant time constant of red-sensitive cones even when changes in internal [Ca(2+)] were prevented. Because the cone photopigment is, uniquely, exposed to the external solution, this may represent a direct effect of protons on the equilibrium between its inactive Meta I and active Meta II forms, consistent with the notion that the process dominating recovery of the bright flash response represents quenching of the active Meta II form of the cone photopigment.

  14. Memory of conspecifics in male salamanders Plethodon cinereus: Implications for territorial defense

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Nancy R.KOHN; Jennifer M.DEITLOFF; Schuyler F.DARTEZ; Michelle M.WILCOX; Robert G.JAEGER

    2013-01-01

    We investigated how exposure duration (time that two individuals initially interact) and separation interval (time between the initial interaction and a subsequent interaction) affect recognition memory of conspecifics in male red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus.Previous studies have demonstrated that this species aggressively defends territories.We recorded aggressive behavior to assess recognition memory,because aggression is more intense toward previously unencountered individuals compared to previously encountered individuals in this species.We found that with 15-min exposures and 5-day separation intervals,focal males did not spend significantly more time threatening ‘unfamiliar' intruders than ‘familiar' intruders.After either 8-hour exposures and 5-day separation intervals and 5-day exposures and 5-day separation intervals,focal males spent significantly more time threatening unfamiliar intruders than familiar intruders.These results suggest that male red-backed salamanders can remember familiar conspecifics (e.g.,territorial neighbors) after at least an 8-hour exposure duration and that memory persists at least as long as 5 days.After 5-day exposure and 15-day separation intervals,we found no significant difference in aggressive behavior toward familiar and unfamiliar intruders.Long separation intervals (15 days) may lead either to loss of memory of previously familiar individuals or,alternatively,aggressive reassessment of individuals as only a change in behavior indicates positively that memory has occurred.Thus,variance in territorial defense within an individual may depend on its ability to recognize conspecific males.

  15. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blooi, M; Pasmans, F; Rouffaer, L; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Martel, A

    2015-06-30

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after exposure to voriconazole, polymyxin E, itraconazole and terbinafine but not to florfenicol. Synergistic effects between polymyxin E and voriconazole or itraconazole significantly decreased the combined MICs necessary to inhibit Bsal growth. Topical treatment of infected fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra), with voriconazole or itraconazole alone (12.5 μg/ml and 0.6 μg/ml respectively) or in combination with polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) at an ambient temperature of 15 °C during 10 days decreased fungal loads but did not clear Bsal infections. However, topical treatment of Bsal infected animals with a combination of polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) and voriconazole (12.5 μg/ml) at an ambient temperature of 20 °C resulted in clearance of Bsal infections. This treatment protocol was validated in 12 fire salamanders infected with Bsal during a field outbreak and resulted in clearance of infection in all animals.

  16. Non-additive response of larval ringed salamanders to intraspecific density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2016-04-01

    Conditions experienced in early developmental stages can have long-term consequences for individual fitness. High intraspecific density during the natal period can affect juvenile and eventually adult growth rates, metabolism, immune function, survival, and fecundity. Despite the important ecological and evolutionary effects of early developmental density, the form of the relationship between natal density and resulting juvenile phenotype is poorly understood. To test competing hypotheses explaining responses to intraspecific density, we experimentally manipulated the initial larval density of ringed salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum), a pond-breeding amphibian, over 11 densities. We modeled the functional form of the relationship between natal density and juvenile traits, and compared the relative support for the various hypotheses based on their goodness of fit. These functional form models were then used to parameterize a simple simulation model of population growth. Our data support non-additive density dependence and presents an alternate hypothesis to additive density dependence, self-thinning and Allee effects in larval amphibians. We posit that ringed salamander larvae may be under selective pressure for tolerance to high density and increased efficiency in resource utilization. Additionally, we demonstrate that models of population dynamics are sensitive to assumptions of the functional form of density dependence.

  17. Evolution of paedomorphosis in plethodontid salamanders: ecological correlates and re-evolution of metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonett, Ronald M; Steffen, Michael A; Lambert, Shea M; Wiens, John J; Chippindale, Paul T

    2014-02-01

    Life-history modes can profoundly impact the biology of a species, and a classic example is the dichotomy between metamorphic (biphasic) and paedomorphic (permanently aquatic) life-history strategies in salamanders. However, despite centuries of research on this system, several basic questions about the evolution of paedomorphosis in salamanders have not been addressed. Here, we use a nearly comprehensive, time-calibrated phylogeny of spelerpine plethodontids to reconstruct the evolution of paedomorphosis and to test if paedomorphosis is (1) reversible; (2) associated with living in caves; (3) associated with relatively dry climatic conditions on the surface; and (4) correlated with limited range size and geographic dispersal. We find that paedomorphosis arose multiple times in spelerpines. We also find evidence for re-evolution of metamorphosis after several million years of paedomorphosis in a lineage of Eurycea from the Edwards Plateau region of Texas. We also show for the first time using phylogenetic comparative methods that paedomorphosis is highly correlated with cave-dwelling, arid surface environments, and small geographic range sizes, providing insights into both the causes and consequences of this major life history transition.

  18. Computer-assisted photo identification outperforms visible implant elastomers in an endangered salamander, Eurycea tonkawae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F Bendik

    Full Text Available Despite recognition that nearly one-third of the 6300 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, our understanding of the general ecology and population status of many amphibians is relatively poor. A widely-used method for monitoring amphibians involves injecting captured individuals with unique combinations of colored visible implant elastomer (VIE. We compared VIE identification to a less-invasive method - computer-assisted photographic identification (photoID - in endangered Jollyville Plateau salamanders (Eurycea tonkawae, a species with a known range limited to eight stream drainages in central Texas. We based photoID on the unique pigmentation patterns on the dorsal head region of 1215 individual salamanders using identification software Wild-ID. We compared the performance of photoID methods to VIEs using both 'high-quality' and 'low-quality' images, which were taken using two different camera types and technologies. For high-quality images, the photoID method had a false rejection rate of 0.76% compared to 1.90% for VIEs. Using a comparable dataset of lower-quality images, the false rejection rate was much higher (15.9%. Photo matching scores were negatively correlated with time between captures, suggesting that evolving natural marks could increase misidentification rates in longer term capture-recapture studies. Our study demonstrates the utility of large-scale capture-recapture using photo identification methods for Eurycea and other species with stable natural marks that can be reliably photographed.

  19. Environmental correlates of species and genetic richness in lungless salamanders (family plethodontidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Jeremy L.; Camp, Carlos D.

    2006-01-01

    Biological diversity is distributed across the planet in non-random, organised ways. At the species level, numerous environmental variables have been proposed to explain this non-random distribution with available energy and habitat heterogeneity receiving the most empirical support. With regard to genetic organisation, environmental stress and habitat heterogeneity have been widely supported. However, few studies have addressed if these two scales of biological organisation are structured via similar processes. Here, we tested whether or not the distributional organisation of genetic and species richness were driven by similar environmental variables for salamanders of the family Plethodontidae across North America. In general, we found that those environmental variables related to energy, particularly energy made accessible to salamanders via the actions of available moisture, were the primary determinants of both genetic and species richness. This finding is consistent with both the "more individuals hypothesis" of species richness and neutral-theory expectations for genetic richness. Additionally, greater habitat heterogeneity, as measured by increased topographic variance, was of secondary importance in positively influencing species richness, although its effects on genetic richness were far more variable. In total, our results suggest that both of these scales of biological organisation are influenced by similar environmental variables, even though increased genetic richness at the population-level does not always translate into greater species richness.

  20. Structured decision making as a conservation tool for recovery planning of two endangered salamanders

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Katherine; Messerman, Arianne F; Barichivich, William J.; Semlitsch, Raymond D.; Gorman, Thomas A.; Mitchell, Harold G; Allan, Nathan; Fenolio, Dante B.; Green, Adam; Johnson, Fred A.; Keever, Allison; Mandica, Mark; Martin, Julien; Mott, Jana; Peacock, Terry; Reinman, Joseph; Romanach, Stephanie; Titus, Greg; McGowan, Conor; Walls, Susan

    2017-01-01

    At least one-third of all amphibian species face the threat of extinction, and current amphibian extinction rates are four orders of magnitude greater than background rates. Preventing extirpation often requires both ex situ (i.e., conservation breeding programs) and in situ strategies (i.e., protecting natural habitats). Flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi and A. cingulatum) are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The two species have decreased from 476 historical locations to 63 recently extant locations (86.8% loss). We suggest that recovery efforts are needed to increase populations and prevent extinction, but uncertainty regarding optimal actions in both ex situ and in situ realms hinders recovery planning. We used structured decision making (SDM) to address key uncertainties regarding both captive breeding and habitat restoration, and we developed short-, medium-, and long-term goals to achieve recovery objectives. By promoting a transparent, logical approach, SDM has proven vital to recovery plan development for flatwoods salamanders. The SDM approach has clear advantages over other previous approaches to recovery efforts, and we suggest that it should be considered for other complex decisions regarding endangered species.

  1. Retrotransposon long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is activated during salamander limb regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M; Yeo, Gene W; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony

    2012-09-01

    Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration.

  2. Early gene expression during natural spinal cord regeneration in the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaghan, James R; Walker, John A; Page, Robert B; Putta, Srikrishna; Beachy, Christopher K; Voss, S Randal

    2007-04-01

    In contrast to mammals, salamanders have a remarkable ability to regenerate their spinal cord and recover full movement and function after tail amputation. To identify genes that may be associated with this greater regenerative ability, we designed an oligonucleotide microarray and profiled early gene expression during natural spinal cord regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum. We sampled tissue at five early time points after tail amputation and identified genes that registered significant changes in mRNA abundance during the first 7 days of regeneration. A list of 1036 statistically significant genes was identified. Additional statistical and fold change criteria were applied to identify a smaller list of 360 genes that were used to describe predominant expression patterns and gene functions. Our results show that a diverse injury response is activated in concert with extracellular matrix remodeling mechanisms during the early acute phase of natural spinal cord regeneration. We also report gene expression similarities and differences between our study and studies that have profiled gene expression after spinal cord injury in rat. Our study illustrates the utility of a salamander model for identifying genes and gene functions that may enhance regenerative ability in mammals.

  3. Lessons from the swamp: developing small molecules that confer salamander muscle cellularization in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Um, JungIn; Jung, Da-Woon; Williams, Darren Reece

    2017-12-01

    The ability of salamanders, such as newts, to regenerate damaged tissues has been studied for centuries. A prominent example of this regenerative power is the ability to re-grow entire amputated limbs. One important step in this regeneration process is skeletal muscle cellularization, in which the muscle fibers break down into dedifferentiated, mononuclear cells that proliferate and form new muscle in the replacement limb. In contrast, mammalian skeletal muscle does not undergo cellularization after injury. A significant proportion of research about tissue regeneration in salamanders aims to characterize regulatory genes that may have mammalian homologs. A less mainstream approach is to develop small molecule compounds that induce regeneration-related mechanisms in mammals. In this commentary, we discuss progress in discovering small molecules that induce cellularization in mammalian muscle. New research findings using these compounds has also shed light on cellular processes that regulate cellularization, such as apoptotic signaling. Although formidable technical hurdles remain, this progress increases our understanding of tissue regeneration and provide opportunities for developing small molecules that may enhance tissue repair in humans.

  4. Halo detection via large-scale Bayesian inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merson, Alexander I.; Jasche, Jens; Abdalla, Filipe B.; Lahav, Ofer; Wandelt, Benjamin; Jones, D. Heath; Colless, Matthew

    2016-08-01

    We present a proof-of-concept of a novel and fully Bayesian methodology designed to detect haloes of different masses in cosmological observations subject to noise and systematic uncertainties. Our methodology combines the previously published Bayesian large-scale structure inference algorithm, HAmiltonian Density Estimation and Sampling algorithm (HADES), and a Bayesian chain rule (the Blackwell-Rao estimator), which we use to connect the inferred density field to the properties of dark matter haloes. To demonstrate the capability of our approach, we construct a realistic galaxy mock catalogue emulating the wide-area 6-degree Field Galaxy Survey, which has a median redshift of approximately 0.05. Application of HADES to the catalogue provides us with accurately inferred three-dimensional density fields and corresponding quantification of uncertainties inherent to any cosmological observation. We then use a cosmological simulation to relate the amplitude of the density field to the probability of detecting a halo with mass above a specified threshold. With this information, we can sum over the HADES density field realisations to construct maps of detection probabilities and demonstrate the validity of this approach within our mock scenario. We find that the probability of successful detection of haloes in the mock catalogue increases as a function of the signal to noise of the local galaxy observations. Our proposed methodology can easily be extended to account for more complex scientific questions and is a promising novel tool to analyse the cosmic large-scale structure in observations.

  5. Hepatitis disease detection using Bayesian theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseleno, Andino; Hidayati, Rohmah Zahroh

    2017-02-01

    This paper presents hepatitis disease diagnosis using a Bayesian theory for better understanding of the theory. In this research, we used a Bayesian theory for detecting hepatitis disease and displaying the result of diagnosis process. Bayesian algorithm theory is rediscovered and perfected by Laplace, the basic idea is using of the known prior probability and conditional probability density parameter, based on Bayes theorem to calculate the corresponding posterior probability, and then obtained the posterior probability to infer and make decisions. Bayesian methods combine existing knowledge, prior probabilities, with additional knowledge derived from new data, the likelihood function. The initial symptoms of hepatitis which include malaise, fever and headache. The probability of hepatitis given the presence of malaise, fever, and headache. The result revealed that a Bayesian theory has successfully identified the existence of hepatitis disease.

  6. 2nd Bayesian Young Statisticians Meeting

    CERN Document Server

    Bitto, Angela; Kastner, Gregor; Posekany, Alexandra

    2015-01-01

    The Second Bayesian Young Statisticians Meeting (BAYSM 2014) and the research presented here facilitate connections among researchers using Bayesian Statistics by providing a forum for the development and exchange of ideas. WU Vienna University of Business and Economics hosted BAYSM 2014 from September 18th to 19th. The guidance of renowned plenary lecturers and senior discussants is a critical part of the meeting and this volume, which follows publication of contributions from BAYSM 2013. The meeting's scientific program reflected the variety of fields in which Bayesian methods are currently employed or could be introduced in the future. Three brilliant keynote lectures by Chris Holmes (University of Oxford), Christian Robert (Université Paris-Dauphine), and Mike West (Duke University), were complemented by 24 plenary talks covering the major topics Dynamic Models, Applications, Bayesian Nonparametrics, Biostatistics, Bayesian Methods in Economics, and Models and Methods, as well as a lively poster session ...

  7. BAYESIAN BICLUSTERING FOR PATIENT STRATIFICATION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khakabimamaghani, Sahand; Ester, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The move from Empirical Medicine towards Personalized Medicine has attracted attention to Stratified Medicine (SM). Some methods are provided in the literature for patient stratification, which is the central task of SM, however, there are still significant open issues. First, it is still unclear if integrating different datatypes will help in detecting disease subtypes more accurately, and, if not, which datatype(s) are most useful for this task. Second, it is not clear how we can compare different methods of patient stratification. Third, as most of the proposed stratification methods are deterministic, there is a need for investigating the potential benefits of applying probabilistic methods. To address these issues, we introduce a novel integrative Bayesian biclustering method, called B2PS, for patient stratification and propose methods for evaluating the results. Our experimental results demonstrate the superiority of B2PS over a popular state-of-the-art method and the benefits of Bayesian approaches. Our results agree with the intuition that transcriptomic data forms a better basis for patient stratification than genomic data.

  8. Bayesian wavelet PCA methodology for turbomachinery damage diagnosis under uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shengli; Jiang, Xiaomo; Huang, Jinzhi; Yang, Shuhua; Wang, Xiaofang

    2016-12-01

    Centrifugal compressor often suffers various defects such as impeller cracking, resulting in forced outage of the total plant. Damage diagnostics and condition monitoring of such a turbomachinery system has become an increasingly important and powerful tool to prevent potential failure in components and reduce unplanned forced outage and further maintenance costs, while improving reliability, availability and maintainability of a turbomachinery system. This paper presents a probabilistic signal processing methodology for damage diagnostics using multiple time history data collected from different locations of a turbomachine, considering data uncertainty and multivariate correlation. The proposed methodology is based on the integration of three advanced state-of-the-art data mining techniques: discrete wavelet packet transform, Bayesian hypothesis testing, and probabilistic principal component analysis. The multiresolution wavelet analysis approach is employed to decompose a time series signal into different levels of wavelet coefficients. These coefficients represent multiple time-frequency resolutions of a signal. Bayesian hypothesis testing is then applied to each level of wavelet coefficient to remove possible imperfections. The ratio of posterior odds Bayesian approach provides a direct means to assess whether there is imperfection in the decomposed coefficients, thus avoiding over-denoising. Power spectral density estimated by the Welch method is utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of Bayesian wavelet cleansing method. Furthermore, the probabilistic principal component analysis approach is developed to reduce dimensionality of multiple time series and to address multivariate correlation and data uncertainty for damage diagnostics. The proposed methodology and generalized framework is demonstrated with a set of sensor data collected from a real-world centrifugal compressor with impeller cracks, through both time series and contour analyses of vibration

  9. Bayesian Estimation of Small Effects in Exercise and Sports Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengersen, Kerrie L; Drovandi, Christopher C; Robert, Christian P; Pyne, David B; Gore, Christopher J

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to provide a Bayesian formulation of the so-called magnitude-based inference approach to quantifying and interpreting effects, and in a case study example provide accurate probabilistic statements that correspond to the intended magnitude-based inferences. The model is described in the context of a published small-scale athlete study which employed a magnitude-based inference approach to compare the effect of two altitude training regimens (live high-train low (LHTL), and intermittent hypoxic exposure (IHE)) on running performance and blood measurements of elite triathletes. The posterior distributions, and corresponding point and interval estimates, for the parameters and associated effects and comparisons of interest, were estimated using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations. The Bayesian analysis was shown to provide more direct probabilistic comparisons of treatments and able to identify small effects of interest. The approach avoided asymptotic assumptions and overcame issues such as multiple testing. Bayesian analysis of unscaled effects showed a probability of 0.96 that LHTL yields a substantially greater increase in hemoglobin mass than IHE, a 0.93 probability of a substantially greater improvement in running economy and a greater than 0.96 probability that both IHE and LHTL yield a substantially greater improvement in maximum blood lactate concentration compared to a Placebo. The conclusions are consistent with those obtained using a 'magnitude-based inference' approach that has been promoted in the field. The paper demonstrates that a fully Bayesian analysis is a simple and effective way of analysing small effects, providing a rich set of results that are straightforward to interpret in terms of probabilistic statements.

  10. A Gibbs sampler for Bayesian analysis of site-occupancy data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorazio, Robert M.; Rodriguez, Daniel Taylor

    2012-01-01

    1. A Bayesian analysis of site-occupancy data containing covariates of species occurrence and species detection probabilities is usually completed using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods in conjunction with software programs that can implement those methods for any statistical model, not just site-occupancy models. Although these software programs are quite flexible, considerable experience is often required to specify a model and to initialize the Markov chain so that summaries of the posterior distribution can be estimated efficiently and accurately. 2. As an alternative to these programs, we develop a Gibbs sampler for Bayesian analysis of site-occupancy data that include covariates of species occurrence and species detection probabilities. This Gibbs sampler is based on a class of site-occupancy models in which probabilities of species occurrence and detection are specified as probit-regression functions of site- and survey-specific covariate measurements. 3. To illustrate the Gibbs sampler, we analyse site-occupancy data of the blue hawker, Aeshna cyanea (Odonata, Aeshnidae), a common dragonfly species in Switzerland. Our analysis includes a comparison of results based on Bayesian and classical (non-Bayesian) methods of inference. We also provide code (based on the R software program) for conducting Bayesian and classical analyses of site-occupancy data.

  11. Terrestrial salamander captures in 100 m2 sub-plots two years after the 2003 Clark fire (Willamette National Forest, OR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Data exist in a Microsoft Access 2003 database, and are the result of fixed-area, time-constrained searches for terrestrial salamanders within and nearby a...

  12. Analysis of COSIMA spectra: Bayesian approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Lehto

    2015-06-01

    secondary ion mass spectrometer (TOF-SIMS spectra. The method is applied to the COmetary Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer (COSIMA TOF-SIMS mass spectra where the analysis can be broken into subgroups of lines close to integer mass values. The effects of the instrumental dead time are discussed in a new way. The method finds the joint probability density functions of measured line parameters (number of lines, and their widths, peak amplitudes, integrated amplitudes and positions. In the case of two or more lines, these distributions can take complex forms. The derived line parameters can be used to further calibrate the mass scaling of TOF-SIMS and to feed the results into other analysis methods such as multivariate analyses of spectra. We intend to use the method, first as a comprehensive tool to perform quantitative analysis of spectra, and second as a fast tool for studying interesting targets for obtaining additional TOF-SIMS measurements of the sample, a property unique to COSIMA. Finally, we point out that the Bayesian method can be thought of as a means to solve inverse problems but with forward calculations, only with no iterative corrections or other manipulation of the observed data.

  13. A Bayesian approach to mitigation of publication bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Maime; Vandekerckhove, Joachim

    2016-02-01

    The reliability of published research findings in psychology has been a topic of rising concern. Publication bias, or treating positive findings differently from negative findings, is a contributing factor to this "crisis of confidence," in that it likely inflates the number of false-positive effects in the literature. We demonstrate a Bayesian model averaging approach that takes into account the possibility of publication bias and allows for a better estimate of true underlying effect size. Accounting for the possibility of bias leads to a more conservative interpretation of published studies as well as meta-analyses. We provide mathematical details of the method and examples.

  14. A note on Bayesian logistic regression for spatial exponential family Gibbs point processes

    OpenAIRE

    Rajala, Tuomas

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a very attractive logistic regression inference method for exponential family Gibbs spatial point processes was introduced. We combined it with the technique of quadratic tangential variational approximation and derived a new Bayesian technique for analysing spatial point patterns. The technique is described in detail, and demonstrated on numerical examples.

  15. Using Discrete Loss Functions and Weighted Kappa for Classification: An Illustration Based on Bayesian Network Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwick, Rebecca; Lenaburg, Lubella

    2009-01-01

    In certain data analyses (e.g., multiple discriminant analysis and multinomial log-linear modeling), classification decisions are made based on the estimated posterior probabilities that individuals belong to each of several distinct categories. In the Bayesian network literature, this type of classification is often accomplished by assigning…

  16. Bayesian Meta-Analysis of Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha to Evaluate Informative Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Kensuke

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a new method to evaluate informative hypotheses for meta-analysis of Cronbach's coefficient alpha using a Bayesian approach. The coefficient alpha is one of the most widely used reliability indices. In meta-analyses of reliability, researchers typically form specific informative hypotheses beforehand, such as "alpha of…

  17. Hierarchical Bayesian modeling of the space-time diffusion patterns of cholera epidemic in Kumasi, Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Osei, Frank B.; Duker, Alfred A.; Stein, Alfred

    2011-01-01

    This study analyses the joint effects of the two transmission routes of cholera on the space-time diffusion dynamics. Statistical models are developed and presented to investigate the transmission network routes of cholera diffusion. A hierarchical Bayesian modelling approach is employed for a joint

  18. Quantum Bayesianism at the Perimeter

    CERN Document Server

    Fuchs, Christopher A

    2010-01-01

    The author summarizes the Quantum Bayesian viewpoint of quantum mechanics, developed originally by C. M. Caves, R. Schack, and himself. It is a view crucially dependent upon the tools of quantum information theory. Work at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics continues the development and is focused on the hard technical problem of a finding a good representation of quantum mechanics purely in terms of probabilities, without amplitudes or Hilbert-space operators. The best candidate representation involves a mysterious entity called a symmetric informationally complete quantum measurement. Contemplation of it gives a way of thinking of the Born Rule as an addition to the rules of probability theory, applicable when one gambles on the consequences of interactions with physical systems. The article ends by outlining some directions for future work.

  19. On Bayesian System Reliability Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soerensen Ringi, M.

    1995-05-01

    The view taken in this thesis is that reliability, the probability that a system will perform a required function for a stated period of time, depends on a person`s state of knowledge. Reliability changes as this state of knowledge changes, i.e. when new relevant information becomes available. Most existing models for system reliability prediction are developed in a classical framework of probability theory and they overlook some information that is always present. Probability is just an analytical tool to handle uncertainty, based on judgement and subjective opinions. It is argued that the Bayesian approach gives a much more comprehensive understanding of the foundations of probability than the so called frequentistic school. A new model for system reliability prediction is given in two papers. The model encloses the fact that component failures are dependent because of a shared operational environment. The suggested model also naturally permits learning from failure data of similar components in non identical environments. 85 refs.

  20. Hedging Strategies for Bayesian Optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Brochu, Eric; de Freitas, Nando

    2010-01-01

    Bayesian optimization with Gaussian processes has become an increasingly popular tool in the machine learning community. It is efficient and can be used when very little is known about the objective function, making it popular in expensive black-box optimization scenarios. It is able to do this by sampling the objective using an acquisition function which incorporates the model's estimate of the objective and the uncertainty at any given point. However, there are several different parameterized acquisition functions in the literature, and it is often unclear which one to use. Instead of using a single acquisition function, we adopt a portfolio of acquisition functions governed by an online multi-armed bandit strategy. We describe the method, which we call GP-Hedge, and show that this method almost always outperforms the best individual acquisition function.

  1. Nonparametric Bayesian inference in biostatistics

    CERN Document Server

    Müller, Peter

    2015-01-01

    As chapters in this book demonstrate, BNP has important uses in clinical sciences and inference for issues like unknown partitions in genomics. Nonparametric Bayesian approaches (BNP) play an ever expanding role in biostatistical inference from use in proteomics to clinical trials. Many research problems involve an abundance of data and require flexible and complex probability models beyond the traditional parametric approaches. As this book's expert contributors show, BNP approaches can be the answer. Survival Analysis, in particular survival regression, has traditionally used BNP, but BNP's potential is now very broad. This applies to important tasks like arrangement of patients into clinically meaningful subpopulations and segmenting the genome into functionally distinct regions. This book is designed to both review and introduce application areas for BNP. While existing books provide theoretical foundations, this book connects theory to practice through engaging examples and research questions. Chapters c...

  2. Bayesian Inference with Optimal Maps

    CERN Document Server

    Moselhy, Tarek A El

    2011-01-01

    We present a new approach to Bayesian inference that entirely avoids Markov chain simulation, by constructing a map that pushes forward the prior measure to the posterior measure. Existence and uniqueness of a suitable measure-preserving map is established by formulating the problem in the context of optimal transport theory. We discuss various means of explicitly parameterizing the map and computing it efficiently through solution of an optimization problem, exploiting gradient information from the forward model when possible. The resulting algorithm overcomes many of the computational bottlenecks associated with Markov chain Monte Carlo. Advantages of a map-based representation of the posterior include analytical expressions for posterior moments and the ability to generate arbitrary numbers of independent posterior samples without additional likelihood evaluations or forward solves. The optimization approach also provides clear convergence criteria for posterior approximation and facilitates model selectio...

  3. Multiview Bayesian Correlated Component Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamronn, Simon Due; Poulsen, Andreas Trier; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2015-01-01

    Correlated component analysis as proposed by Dmochowski, Sajda, Dias, and Parra (2012) is a tool for investigating brain process similarity in the responses to multiple views of a given stimulus. Correlated components are identified under the assumption that the involved spatial networks are iden......Correlated component analysis as proposed by Dmochowski, Sajda, Dias, and Parra (2012) is a tool for investigating brain process similarity in the responses to multiple views of a given stimulus. Correlated components are identified under the assumption that the involved spatial networks...... we denote Bayesian correlated component analysis, evaluates favorably against three relevant algorithms in simulated data. A well-established benchmark EEG data set is used to further validate the new model and infer the variability of spatial representations across multiple subjects....

  4. Bayesian networks in educational assessment

    CERN Document Server

    Almond, Russell G; Steinberg, Linda S; Yan, Duanli; Williamson, David M

    2015-01-01

    Bayesian inference networks, a synthesis of statistics and expert systems, have advanced reasoning under uncertainty in medicine, business, and social sciences. This innovative volume is the first comprehensive treatment exploring how they can be applied to design and analyze innovative educational assessments. Part I develops Bayes nets’ foundations in assessment, statistics, and graph theory, and works through the real-time updating algorithm. Part II addresses parametric forms for use with assessment, model-checking techniques, and estimation with the EM algorithm and Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). A unique feature is the volume’s grounding in Evidence-Centered Design (ECD) framework for assessment design. This “design forward” approach enables designers to take full advantage of Bayes nets’ modularity and ability to model complex evidentiary relationships that arise from performance in interactive, technology-rich assessments such as simulations. Part III describes ECD, situates Bayes nets as ...

  5. Bayesian anti-sparse coding

    CERN Document Server

    Elvira, Clément; Dobigeon, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Sparse representations have proven their efficiency in solving a wide class of inverse problems encountered in signal and image processing. Conversely, enforcing the information to be spread uniformly over representation coefficients exhibits relevant properties in various applications such as digital communications. Anti-sparse regularization can be naturally expressed through an $\\ell_{\\infty}$-norm penalty. This paper derives a probabilistic formulation of such representations. A new probability distribution, referred to as the democratic prior, is first introduced. Its main properties as well as three random variate generators for this distribution are derived. Then this probability distribution is used as a prior to promote anti-sparsity in a Gaussian linear inverse problem, yielding a fully Bayesian formulation of anti-sparse coding. Two Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms are proposed to generate samples according to the posterior distribution. The first one is a standard Gibbs sampler. The seco...

  6. Bayesian Inference in Queueing Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Sutton, Charles

    2010-01-01

    Modern Web services, such as those at Google, Yahoo!, and Amazon, handle billions of requests per day on clusters of thousands of computers. Because these services operate under strict performance requirements, a statistical understanding of their performance is of great practical interest. Such services are modeled by networks of queues, where one queue models each of the individual computers in the system. A key challenge is that the data is incomplete, because recording detailed information about every request to a heavily used system can require unacceptable overhead. In this paper we develop a Bayesian perspective on queueing models in which the arrival and departure times that are not observed are treated as latent variables. Underlying this viewpoint is the observation that a queueing model defines a deterministic transformation between the data and a set of independent variables called the service times. With this viewpoint in hand, we sample from the posterior distribution over missing data and model...

  7. A Bayesian Reflection on Surfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Wolf

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The topic of this paper is a novel Bayesian continuous-basis field representation and inference framework. Within this paper several problems are solved: The maximally informative inference of continuous-basis fields, that is where the basis for the field is itself a continuous object and not representable in a finite manner; the tradeoff between accuracy of representation in terms of information learned, and memory or storage capacity in bits; the approximation of probability distributions so that a maximal amount of information about the object being inferred is preserved; an information theoretic justification for multigrid methodology. The maximally informative field inference framework is described in full generality and denoted the Generalized Kalman Filter. The Generalized Kalman Filter allows the update of field knowledge from previous knowledge at any scale, and new data, to new knowledge at any other scale. An application example instance, the inference of continuous surfaces from measurements (for example, camera image data, is presented.

  8. Can the eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) persist in an acidified landscape?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondi, Cheryl A; Beier, Colin M.; Ducey, Peter K; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Bailey, Scott W.

    2016-01-01

    Hardwood forests of eastern North America have experienced decades of acidic deposition, leading to soil acidification where base cation supply was insufficient to neutralize acid inputs. Negative impacts of soil acidity on amphibians include disrupted embryonic development, lower growth rates, and habitat loss. However, some amphibians exhibit intraspecific variation in acid tolerance, suggesting the potential for local adaptation in areas where soils are naturally acidic. The eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is a highly abundant top predator of the northern hardwood forest floor. Early research found that P. cinereus was sensitive to acidic soils, avoiding substrates with pH < 3.8 and experiencing decreased growth rates in acidic habitats. However, recent studies have documented P. cinereus populations in lower pH conditions than previously observed, suggesting some populations may persist in acidic conditions. Here, we evaluated relationships between organic horizon soil pH and P. cinereus abundance, adult health (body size and condition), and microhabitat selection, based on surveys of 34 hardwood forests in northeastern United States that encompass a regional soil pH gradient. We found no associations between soil pH and P. cinereus abundance or health, and observed that this salamander used substrates with pH similar to that available, suggesting that pH does not mediate their fine-scale distributions. The strongest negative predictor of P. cinereus abundance was the presence of dusky salamanders (Desmognathus spp.), which were most abundant in the western Adirondacks. Our results indicate that P. cinereus occupies a wider range of soil pH than has been previously thought, which has implications for their functional role in forest food webs and nutrient cycles in acid-impaired ecosystems. Tolerance of P. cinereus for more acidic habitats, including anthropogenically acidified forests, may be due to local adaptation in

  9. Bayesian models a statistical primer for ecologists

    CERN Document Server

    Hobbs, N Thompson

    2015-01-01

    Bayesian modeling has become an indispensable tool for ecological research because it is uniquely suited to deal with complexity in a statistically coherent way. This textbook provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the latest Bayesian methods-in language ecologists can understand. Unlike other books on the subject, this one emphasizes the principles behind the computations, giving ecologists a big-picture understanding of how to implement this powerful statistical approach. Bayesian Models is an essential primer for non-statisticians. It begins with a definition of probabili

  10. Compiling Relational Bayesian Networks for Exact Inference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaeger, Manfred; Darwiche, Adnan; Chavira, Mark

    2006-01-01

    We describe in this paper a system for exact inference with relational Bayesian networks as defined in the publicly available PRIMULA tool. The system is based on compiling propositional instances of relational Bayesian networks into arithmetic circuits and then performing online inference...... by evaluating and differentiating these circuits in time linear in their size. We report on experimental results showing successful compilation and efficient inference on relational Bayesian networks, whose PRIMULA--generated propositional instances have thousands of variables, and whose jointrees have clusters...

  11. A Bayesian Surrogate Model for Rapid Time Series Analysis and Application to Exoplanet Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Ford, Eric B; Veras, Dimitri

    2011-01-01

    We present a Bayesian surrogate model for the analysis of periodic or quasi-periodic time series data. We describe a computationally efficient implementation that enables Bayesian model comparison. We apply this model to simulated and real exoplanet observations. We discuss the results and demonstrate some of the challenges for applying our surrogate model to realistic exoplanet data sets. In particular, we find that analyses of real world data should pay careful attention to the effects of uneven spacing of observations and the choice of prior for the "jitter" parameter.

  12. The Importance of Maintaining Upland Forest Habitat Surrounding Salamander Breeding Ponds: Case Study of the Eastern Tiger Salamander in New York, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valorie Titus

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Most amphibians use both wetland and upland habitats, but the extent of their movement in forested habitats is poorly known. We used radiotelemetry to observe the movements of adult and juvenile eastern tiger salamanders over a 4-year period. Females tended to move farther from the breeding ponds into upland forested habitat than males, while the distance a juvenile moved appeared to be related to body size, with the largest individuals moving as far as the adult females. Individuals chose refugia in native pitch pine—oak forested habitat and avoided open fields, roads, and developed areas. We also observed a difference in potential predation pressures in relation to the distance an individual moved from the edge of the pond. Our results support delineating forested wetland buffer zones on a case-by-case basis to reduce the impacts of concentrated predation, to increase and protect the availability of pitch pine—oak forests near the breeding pond, and to focus primarily on the habitat needs of the adult females and larger juveniles, which in turn will encompass habitat needs of adult males and smaller juveniles.

  13. The Diagnosis of Reciprocating Machinery by Bayesian Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    A Bayesian Network is a reasoning tool based on probability theory and has many advantages that other reasoning tools do not have. This paper discusses the basic theory of Bayesian networks and studies the problems in constructing Bayesian networks. The paper also constructs a Bayesian diagnosis network of a reciprocating compressor. The example helps us to draw a conclusion that Bayesian diagnosis networks can diagnose reciprocating machinery effectively.

  14. Treatment with corticosterone delays cutaneous wound healing in male and female salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jessica R; Woodley, Sarah K

    2015-05-15

    In vertebrates, exposure to stressors and stress hormones has a number of physiological effects including modulation of immune function. These effects on immune function have been well studied in mammals, but less is known in other groups, in particular amphibians. To analyze the effects of exposure to stressors and the stress hormone corticosterone, we monitored cutaneous wound healing as a measure of integrated immunity in male and female semi-terrestrial salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus) that were chased to induce endogenous release of corticosterone or were treated with physiologically relevant doses of corticosterone. As predicted, subjects treated daily with corticosterone healed more slowly than did controls. In contrast, subjects that had been chased daily healed at the same rate as controls. Surprisingly, repeated chasing did not elevate plasma corticosterone despite causing drops in body mass and survival. Additionally, females healed more slowly than males, possibly due to energetic constraints.

  15. Development and Characterization of Fifteen Polymorphic Microsatellites for Extremely Endangered Salamander, Echinotriton chinhaiensis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weizhao YANG; Jie WANG; Jianping JIANG; Cheng LI; Feng XIE

    2014-01-01

    Echinotriton chinhaiensis is a critically endangered salamander and its distribution is restricted to Ningbo, Zhejiang Province of China. In this study, we developed and characterized iffteen polymorphic microsatellite loci forE. chinhaiensis from dinucleotide- and tetranucleotide- enriched library. The number of alleles ranges from 4 to 12 with an average of 7.27 alleles per locus. The observed and expected heterozygosities values were from 0.250 to 0.844 and 0.511 to 0.872 with an average value of 0.596 and 0.722; respectively. The polymorphic microsatellite loci described in this paper are useful in the further study on genetic diversity and gene lfow, which would be helpful to formulate effective conservation strategies for theE. chinhaiensis.

  16. Dopamine controls neurogenesis in the adult salamander midbrain in homeostasis and during regeneration of dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Daniel A; Kirkham, Matthew; Wang, Heng; Frisén, Jonas; Simon, András

    2011-04-08

    Appropriate termination of regenerative processes is critical for producing the correct number of cells in tissues. Here we provide evidence for an end-product inhibition of dopamine neuron regeneration that is mediated by dopamine. Ablation of midbrain dopamine neurons leads to complete regeneration in salamanders. Regeneration involves extensive neurogenesis and requires activation of quiescent ependymoglia cells, which express dopamine receptors. Pharmacological compensation for dopamine loss by L-dopa inhibits ependymoglia proliferation and regeneration in a dopamine receptor-signaling-dependent manner, specifically after ablation of dopamine neurons. Systemic administration of the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol alone causes ependymoglia proliferation and the appearance of excessive number of neurons. Our data show that stem cell quiescence is under dopamine control and provide a model for termination once normal homeostasis is restored. The findings establish a role for dopamine in the reversible suppression of neurogenesis in the midbrain and have implications for regenerative strategies in Parkinson's disease.

  17. GPstuff: Bayesian Modeling with Gaussian Processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanhatalo, J.; Riihimaki, J.; Hartikainen, J.; Jylänki, P.P.; Tolvanen, V.; Vehtari, A.

    2013-01-01

    The GPstuff toolbox is a versatile collection of Gaussian process models and computational tools required for Bayesian inference. The tools include, among others, various inference methods, sparse approximations and model assessment methods.

  18. Picturing classical and quantum Bayesian inference

    CERN Document Server

    Coecke, Bob

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a graphical framework for Bayesian inference that is sufficiently general to accommodate not just the standard case but also recent proposals for a theory of quantum Bayesian inference wherein one considers density operators rather than probability distributions as representative of degrees of belief. The diagrammatic framework is stated in the graphical language of symmetric monoidal categories and of compact structures and Frobenius structures therein, in which Bayesian inversion boils down to transposition with respect to an appropriate compact structure. We characterize classical Bayesian inference in terms of a graphical property and demonstrate that our approach eliminates some purely conventional elements that appear in common representations thereof, such as whether degrees of belief are represented by probabilities or entropic quantities. We also introduce a quantum-like calculus wherein the Frobenius structure is noncommutative and show that it can accommodate Leifer's calculus of `cond...

  19. Learning Bayesian networks for discrete data

    KAUST Repository

    Liang, Faming

    2009-02-01

    Bayesian networks have received much attention in the recent literature. In this article, we propose an approach to learn Bayesian networks using the stochastic approximation Monte Carlo (SAMC) algorithm. Our approach has two nice features. Firstly, it possesses the self-adjusting mechanism and thus avoids essentially the local-trap problem suffered by conventional MCMC simulation-based approaches in learning Bayesian networks. Secondly, it falls into the class of dynamic importance sampling algorithms; the network features can be inferred by dynamically weighted averaging the samples generated in the learning process, and the resulting estimates can have much lower variation than the single model-based estimates. The numerical results indicate that our approach can mix much faster over the space of Bayesian networks than the conventional MCMC simulation-based approaches. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. An Intuitive Dashboard for Bayesian Network Inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Vikas; Charisse Farr, Anna; Wu, Paul; Mengersen, Kerrie; Yarlagadda, Prasad K. D. V.

    2014-03-01

    Current Bayesian network software packages provide good graphical interface for users who design and develop Bayesian networks for various applications. However, the intended end-users of these networks may not necessarily find such an interface appealing and at times it could be overwhelming, particularly when the number of nodes in the network is large. To circumvent this problem, this paper presents an intuitive dashboard, which provides an additional layer of abstraction, enabling the end-users to easily perform inferences over the Bayesian networks. Unlike most software packages, which display the nodes and arcs of the network, the developed tool organises the nodes based on the cause-and-effect relationship, making the user-interaction more intuitive and friendly. In addition to performing various types of inferences, the users can conveniently use the tool to verify the behaviour of the developed Bayesian network. The tool has been developed using QT and SMILE libraries in C++.

  1. Rapid evolution of plethodontid modulating factor, a hypervariable salamander courtship pheromone, is driven by positive selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Catherine A; Watts, Richard A; Hastings, Amy P; Houck, Lynne D; Arnold, Stevan J

    2010-05-01

    Sexual communication in plethodontid salamanders is mediated by a proteinaceous pheromone that a male delivers to a female during courtship, boosting her receptivity. The pheromone consists of three proteins from three unrelated protein families. These proteins are among a small group of pheromones known to affect female receptivity in vertebrates. Previously, we showed that the genes of two of these proteins (PRF and SPF) are prone to incessant evolution driven by positive selection, presumably as a consequence of coevolution with female receptors. In this report, we focus on the evolution of the third pheromone protein gene family, plethodontid modulating factor (PMF), to determine whether it shows the same pattern of diversification. We used RT-PCR in mental gland cDNA to survey PMF sequences from three genera of plethodontid salamanders (27 spp.) to measure rates of evolution, level of gene diversification, modes of selection, and types of amino acid substitution. Like PRF and SPF, PMF is produced by a multigene family characterized by gene duplication and high levels of polymorphism. PMF evolution is rapid, incessant, and driven by positive selection. PMF is more extreme in these dimensions than both PRF and SPF. Nestled within this extraordinary variation, however, is a signature of purifying selection, acting to preserve important structural and biochemical features of the PMF protein (i.e., secretion signal, cysteine residues, and pI). Although a pattern of persistent diversification exists at the molecular level, the morphological and behavioral aspects of the pheromone delivery system show evolutionary stasis over millions of years.

  2. Effects of modified chromophores on the spectral sensitivity of salamander, squirrel and macaque cones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, C L; Kraft, T W; Mathies, R A; Lugtenburg, J; Miley, M E; van der Steen, R; Baylor, D A

    1990-05-01

    1. Chemically modified retinal chromophores were used to investigate the mechanisms that produce the characteristic spectral absorptions of cone pigments. Spectral sensitivities of single cones from the salamander, squirrel and macaque retina were determined by electrical recording. The chromophore was then replaced by bleaching the pigment and regenerating it with a retinal analogue. 2. Exposing a bleached cone to 9-cis-retinal for a brief period (less than 20 min) caused its flash sensitivity to recover to about 0.2 of the pre-bleach value. Similar exposure to a locked 6-s-cis, 9-cis analogue gave a recovery to about 0.03 of the pre-bleach value. 3. Unlike the flash sensitivity, the saturating photocurrent amplitude often recovered completely after bleaching and regenerating the pigment. 4. When the 3-dehydroretinal chromophore in the salamander long-wavelength-sensitive (red) cone was replaced with 11-cis-retinal, shortening the conjugated chain in the chromophore, the spectral sensitivity underwent a blue shift of 67 nm. 5. Pigments containing the planar-locked 6-s-cis.9-cis-retinal analogue absorbed at substantially longer wavelength than those containing unmodified 9-cis-retinal. The opsin shift, a measure of the protein's ability to modify the chromophore's absorption was larger for the locked analogue than for 9-cis-retinal. This suggests that the native chromophore assumes a twisted 6-s-cis conformation in these pigments. 6. The spectral sensitivities of red and green macaque cones containing 9-cis-retinal or planar-locked 6-s-cis.9-cis-retinal retained the 30 nm separation characteristic of the native pigments. This suggests that the different absorptions of of the 6-7 carbon bond in the retinal chromophore.

  3. Metabolism, gas exchange, and acid-base balance of giant salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultsch, Gordon R

    2012-08-01

    The giant salamanders are aquatic and paedomorphic urodeles including the genera Andrias and Cryptobranchus (Cryptobranchidae), Amphiuma (Amphiumidae), Siren (Sirenidae), and Necturus (Proteidae, of which only N. maculosus is considered 'a giant'). Species in the genera Cryptobranchus and Necturus are considered aquatic salamanders well adapted for breathing water, poorly adapted for breathing air, and with limited abilities to compensate acid-base disturbances. As such, they are water-breathing animals with a somewhat fish-like respiratory and acid-base physiology, whose habitat selection is limited to waters that do not typically become hypoxic or hypercarbic (although this assertion has been questioned for N. maculosus). Siren and Amphiuma species, by contrast, are dependent upon air-breathing, have excellent lungs, inefficient (Siren) or no (Amphiuma) gills, and are obligate air-breathers with an acid-base status more similar to that of terrestrial tetrapods. As such, they can be considered to be air-breathing animals that live in water. Their response to the aquatic hypercarbia that they often encounter is to maintain intracellular pH (pH(i) ) and abandon extracellular pH regulation, a process that has been referred to as preferential pH(i) regulation. The acid-base status of some present-day tropical air-breathing fishes, and of Siren and Amphiuma, suggests that the acid-base transition from a low PCO(2) -low [] system typical of water-breathing fishes to the high PCO(2) -high [] systems of terrestrial tetrapods may have been completed before emergence onto land, and likely occurred in habitats that were typically both hypoxic and hypercarbic.

  4. Terrestrial distribution of pond-breeding salamanders around an isolated wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David E; Komoroski, Mark J; Croshaw, Dean A; Dixon, Philip M

    2013-11-01

    Terrestrial habitats surrounding isolated wetlands are a critical resource for many pond-breeding amphibian species, yet few studies have examined the terrestrial distribution of post-metamorphic juveniles and adults. We used an encircling drift fence at a breeding pond in conjunction with partial fences at 90, 172, and 332 m from the wetland to estimate the terrestrial distribution of adult marbled salamanders (Ambystoma opacum; four breeding seasons) and mole salamanders (A. talpoideum; two seasons), as well as the dispersion of newly metamorphosed A. opacum (one summer). For newly metamorphosed A. opacum, 79% emigrated < 90 m from the wetland, and 8% moved beyond 172 m; movement distance was unrelated to body size. Distribution of adult A. opacum varied among years, with an average of 28% (range 23-31%) occurring beyond 172 m in all years. Averaged across two years, 51% of adult A. talpoideum occurred beyond 172 m. Lognormal models provided a good fit to both the juvenile and adult ambystomatid distributions, and parameters differed between age classes, sexes, species, and years within species. For adult A. opacum a buffer radius of 300 m or 340 m, depending on the year, is estimated to include 95% of adults; for A. talpoideum the estimate is 464 m or 501 m. A reanalysis of distribution data for seven ambystomatid species shows that a previous estimate of a 164-m radius to protect 95% of a population underestimates the needed buffer radius by 185 m. Because our study wetland requires a nearly 500 m wide radius to protect 95% of its ambystomatid adults, preservation of similar communities may require much more surrounding terrestrial habitat than previously thought.

  5. Habitat adaptation rather than genetic distance correlates with female preference in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weitere Markus

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although some mechanisms of habitat adaptation of conspecific populations have been recently elucidated, the evolution of female preference has rarely been addressed as a force driving habitat adaptation in natural settings. Habitat adaptation of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra, as found in Middle Europe (Germany, can be framed in an explicit phylogeographic framework that allows for the evolution of habitat adaptation between distinct populations to be traced. Typically, females of S. salamandra only deposit their larvae in small permanent streams. However, some populations of the western post-glacial recolonization lineage use small temporary ponds as larval habitats. Pond larvae display several habitat-specific adaptations that are absent in stream-adapted larvae. We conducted mate preference tests with females from three distinct German populations in order to determine the influence of habitat adaptation versus neutral genetic distance on female mate choice. Two populations that we tested belong to the western post-glacial recolonization group, but are adapted to either stream or pond habitats. The third population is adapted to streams but represents the eastern recolonization lineage. Results Despite large genetic distances with FST values around 0.5, the stream-adapted females preferred males from the same habitat type regardless of genetic distance. Conversely, pond-adapted females did not prefer males from their own population when compared to stream-adapted individuals of either lineage. Conclusion A comparative analysis of our data showed that habitat adaptation rather than neutral genetic distance correlates with female preference in these salamanders, and that habitat-dependent female preference of a specific pond-reproducing population may have been lost during adaptation to the novel environmental conditions of ponds.

  6. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryant Susan V

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum, species with deep and diverse research histories. Results Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human – Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Conclusions Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research.

  7. Evolution along the mutation gradient in the dynamic mitochondrial genome of salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Rebecca A; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are intracellular organelles where oxidative phosphorylation is carried out to complete ATP synthesis. Mitochondria have their own genome; in metazoans, this is a small, circular molecule encoding 13 electron transport proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs. In invertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is common, and it is correlated with increased substitution rates. In vertebrates, mitochondrial gene rearrangement is rare, and its relationship to substitution rate remains unexplored. Mitochondrial genes can also show spatial variation in substitution rates around the genome due to the mechanism of mtDNA replication, which produces a mutation gradient. To date, however, the strength of the mutation gradient and whether movement along the gradient in rearranged (or otherwise modified) genomes impacts genic substitution rates remain unexplored in the majority of vertebrates. Salamanders include both normal mitochondrial genomes and independently derived rearrangements and expansions, providing a rare opportunity to test the effects of large-scale changes to genome architecture on vertebrate mitochondrial gene sequence evolution. We show that: 1) rearranged/expanded genomes have higher substitution rates; 2) most genes in rearranged/expanded genomes maintain their position along the mutation gradient, substitution rates of the genes that do move are unaffected by their new position, and the gradient in salamanders is weak; and 3) genomic rearrangements/expansions occur independent of levels of selective constraint on genes. Together, our results demonstrate that large-scale changes to genome architecture impact mitochondrial gene evolution in predictable ways; however, despite these impacts, the same functional constraints act on mitochondrial protein-coding genes in both modified and normal genomes.

  8. Variation in salamander tail regeneration is associated with genetic factors that determine tail morphology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth J Voss

    Full Text Available Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander's tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66-68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4% and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site.

  9. Variation in salamander tail regeneration is associated with genetic factors that determine tail morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Gareth J; Kump, D Kevin; Walker, John A; Voss, S Randal

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni) was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander's tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66-68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4%) and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site.

  10. Posterior tail development in the salamander Eurycea cirrigera: exploring cellular dynamics across life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaglia, Janet L; Fornari, Chet; Evans, Paula K

    2017-03-01

    During embryogenesis, the body axis elongates and specializes. In vertebrate groups such as salamanders and lizards, elongation of the posterior body axis (tail) continues throughout life. This phenomenon of post-embryonic tail elongation via addition of vertebrae has remained largely unexplored, and little is known about the underlying developmental mechanisms that promote vertebral addition. Our research investigated tail elongation across life stages in a non-model salamander species, Eurycea cirrigera (Plethodontidae). Post-embryonic addition of segments suggests that the tail tip retains some aspects of embryonic cell/tissue organization and gene expression throughout the life cycle. We describe cell and tissue differentiation and segmentation of the posterior tail using serial histology and expression of the axial tissue markers, MF-20 and Pax6. Embryonic expression patterns of HoxA13 and C13 are shown with in situ hybridization. Tissue sections reveal that the posterior spinal cord forms via cavitation and precedes development of the underlying cartilaginous rod after embryogenesis. Post-embryonic tail elongation occurs in the absence of somites and mesenchymal cells lateral to the midline express MF-20. Pax6 expression was observed only in the spinal cord and some mesenchymal cells of adult Eurycea tails. Distinct temporal and spatial patterns of posterior Hox13 gene expression were observed throughout embryogenesis. Overall, important insights to cell organization, differentiation, and posterior Hox gene expression may be gained from this work. We suggest that further work on gene expression in the elongating adult tail could shed light on mechanisms that link continual axial elongation with regeneration.

  11. A Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model decomposition of performance in Approach-Avoidance Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2015-01-01

    Common methods for analysing response time (RT) tasks, frequently used across different disciplines of psychology, suffer from a number of limitations such as the failure to directly measure the underlying latent processes of interest and the inability to take into account the uncertainty associated with each individual's point estimate of performance. Here, we discuss a Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model and apply it to RT data. This model allows researchers to decompose performance into meaningful psychological processes and to account optimally for individual differences and commonalities, even with relatively sparse data. We highlight the advantages of the Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model decomposition by applying it to performance on Approach-Avoidance Tasks, widely used in the emotion and psychopathology literature. Model fits for two experimental data-sets demonstrate that the model performs well. The Bayesian hierarchical diffusion model overcomes important limitations of current analysis procedures and provides deeper insight in latent psychological processes of interest.

  12. Extraction of features from sleep EEG for Bayesian assessment of brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Brain development can be evaluated by experts analysing age-related patterns in sleep electroencephalograms (EEG). Natural variations in the patterns, noise, and artefacts affect the evaluation accuracy as well as experts’ agreement. The knowledge of predictive posterior distribution allows experts to estimate confidence intervals within which decisions are distributed. Bayesian approach to probabilistic inference has provided accurate estimates of intervals of interest. In this paper we propose a new feature extraction technique for Bayesian assessment and estimation of predictive distribution in a case of newborn brain development assessment. The new EEG features are verified within the Bayesian framework on a large EEG data set including 1,100 recordings made from newborns in 10 age groups. The proposed features are highly correlated with brain maturation and their use increases the assessment accuracy. PMID:28323852

  13. ProFit: Bayesian galaxy fitting tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robotham, A. S. G.; Taranu, D.; Tobar, R.

    2016-12-01

    ProFit is a Bayesian galaxy fitting tool that uses the fast C++ image generation library libprofit (ascl:1612.003) and a flexible R interface to a large number of likelihood samplers. It offers a fully featured Bayesian interface to galaxy model fitting (also called profiling), using mostly the same standard inputs as other popular codes (e.g. GALFIT ascl:1104.010), but it is also able to use complex priors and a number of likelihoods.

  14. Bayesian target tracking based on particle filter

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    For being able to deal with the nonlinear or non-Gaussian problems, particle filters have been studied by many researchers. Based on particle filter, the extended Kalman filter (EKF) proposal function is applied to Bayesian target tracking. Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, the resampling step, etc novel techniques are also introduced into Bayesian target tracking. And the simulation results confirm the improved particle filter with these techniques outperforms the basic one.

  15. Variational Bayesian Approximation methods for inverse problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammad-Djafari, Ali

    2012-09-01

    Variational Bayesian Approximation (VBA) methods are recent tools for effective Bayesian computations. In this paper, these tools are used for inverse problems where the prior models include hidden variables and where where the estimation of the hyper parameters has also to be addressed. In particular two specific prior models (Student-t and mixture of Gaussian models) are considered and details of the algorithms are given.

  16. Bayesian Modeling of a Human MMORPG Player

    CERN Document Server

    Synnaeve, Gabriel

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes an application of Bayesian programming to the control of an autonomous avatar in a multiplayer role-playing game (the example is based on World of Warcraft). We model a particular task, which consists of choosing what to do and to select which target in a situation where allies and foes are present. We explain the model in Bayesian programming and show how we could learn the conditional probabilities from data gathered during human-played sessions.

  17. Bayesian Modeling of a Human MMORPG Player

    Science.gov (United States)

    Synnaeve, Gabriel; Bessière, Pierre

    2011-03-01

    This paper describes an application of Bayesian programming to the control of an autonomous avatar in a multiplayer role-playing game (the example is based on World of Warcraft). We model a particular task, which consists of choosing what to do and to select which target in a situation where allies and foes are present. We explain the model in Bayesian programming and show how we could learn the conditional probabilities from data gathered during human-played sessions.

  18. Fuzzy Functional Dependencies and Bayesian Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU WeiYi(刘惟一); SONG Ning(宋宁)

    2003-01-01

    Bayesian networks have become a popular technique for representing and reasoning with probabilistic information. The fuzzy functional dependency is an important kind of data dependencies in relational databases with fuzzy values. The purpose of this paper is to set up a connection between these data dependencies and Bayesian networks. The connection is done through a set of methods that enable people to obtain the most information of independent conditions from fuzzy functional dependencies.

  19. Perceptual decision making: Drift-diffusion model is equivalent to a Bayesian model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian eBitzer

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Behavioural data obtained with perceptual decision making experiments are typically analysed with the drift-diffusion model. This parsimonious model accumulates noisy pieces of evidence towards a decision bound to explain the accuracy and reaction times of subjects. Recently, Bayesian models have been proposed to explain how the brain extracts information from noisy input as typically presented in perceptual decision making tasks. It has long been known that the drift-diffusion model is tightly linked with such functional Bayesian models but the precise relationship of the two mechanisms was never made explicit. Using a Bayesian model, we derived the equations which relate parameter values between these models. In practice we show that this equivalence is useful when fitting multi-subject data. We further show that the Bayesian model suggests different decision variables which all predict equal responses and discuss how these may be discriminated based on neural correlates of accumulated evidence. In addition, we discuss extensions to the Bayesian model which would be difficult to derive for the drift-diffusion model. We suggest that these and other extensions may be highly useful for deriving new experiments which test novel hypotheses.

  20. Philosophy and the practice of Bayesian statistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelman, Andrew; Shalizi, Cosma Rohilla

    2013-02-01

    A substantial school in the philosophy of science identifies Bayesian inference with inductive inference and even rationality as such, and seems to be strengthened by the rise and practical success of Bayesian statistics. We argue that the most successful forms of Bayesian statistics do not actually support that particular philosophy but rather accord much better with sophisticated forms of hypothetico-deductivism. We examine the actual role played by prior distributions in Bayesian models, and the crucial aspects of model checking and model revision, which fall outside the scope of Bayesian confirmation theory. We draw on the literature on the consistency of Bayesian updating and also on our experience of applied work in social science. Clarity about these matters should benefit not just philosophy of science, but also statistical practice. At best, the inductivist view has encouraged researchers to fit and compare models without checking them; at worst, theorists have actively discouraged practitioners from performing model checking because it does not fit into their framework.