Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.
The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information
Kesler, D.C.; Haig, S.M.
Information about the interaction between behavior and landscape resources is key to directing conservation management for endangered species. We studied multi-scale occurrence, habitat use, and selection in a cooperatively breeding population of Micronesian kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus) on the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. At the landscape level, point-transect surveys resulted in kingfisher detection frequencies that were higher than those reported in 1994, although they remained 15-40% lower than 1983 indices. Integration of spatially explicit vegetation information with survey results indicated that kingfisher detections were positively associated with the amount of wet forest and grass-urban vegetative cover, and they were negatively associated with agricultural forest, secondary vegetation, and upland forest cover types. We used radiotelemetry and remote sensing to evaluate habitat use by individual kingfishers at the home-range scale. A comparison of habitats in Micronesian kingfisher home ranges with those in randomly placed polygons illustrated that birds used more forested areas than were randomly available in the immediate surrounding area. Further, members of cooperatively breeding groups included more forest in their home ranges than birds in pair-breeding territories, and forested portions of study areas appeared to be saturated with territories. Together, these results suggested that forest habitats were limited for Micronesian kingfishers. Thus, protecting and managing forests is important for the restoration of Micronesian kingfishers to the island of Guam (United States Territory), where they are currently extirpated, as well as to maintaining kingfisher populations on the islands of Pohnpei and Palau. Results further indicated that limited forest resources may restrict dispersal opportunities and, therefore, play a role in delayed dispersal and cooperative behaviors in Micronesian kingfishers.
Moorman, C.E.; D.C. Guynn, Jr.
Research on the effects of creating group-selection openings of various sizes on breeding birds habitat use in a bottomland hardwood forest of the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Creation of 0.5-ha group selection openings in southern bottomland forests should provide breeding habitat for some field-edge species in gaps and habitat for forest-interior species and canopy-dwelling forest-edge species between gaps provided that enough mature forest is made available.
Prokešová, Jarmila; Kocian, Ľ.
Roč. 59, č. 5 (2004), s. 637-644 ISSN 0006-3088 Grant - others:VEGA(SK) 1/7197/20; VEGA(SK) 1/0017/03 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : reed warblers * breeding * habitat selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.207, year: 2004 http://biologia.savba.sk/59_5_04/Prokesova_J.pdf
Danchin, E.; Boulinier, T.; Massot, M.
Habitat selection is a crucial process in the life cycle of animals because it can affect most components of fitness. It has been proposed that some animals cue on the reproductive success of conspecifics to select breeding habitats. We tested this hypothesis with demographic and behavioral data from a 17-yr study of the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a cliff-nesting seabird. As the hypothesis assumes, the Black-legged Kittiwake nesting environment was patchy, and the relative quality of the different patches (i.e., breeding cliffs) varied in time. The average reproductive success of the breeders of a given cliff was predictable from one year to the next, but this predictability faded after several years. The dynamic nature of cliff quality in the long term is partly explained by the autocorrelation of the prevalence of an ectoparasite that influences reproductive success. As predicted by the performance-based conspecific attraction hypothesis, the reproductive success of current breeders on a given cliff was predictive of the reproductive success of new recruits on the cliff in the following year. Breeders tended to recruit to the previous year's most productive cliffs and to emigrate from the least productive ones. Consequently, the dynamics of breeder numbers on the cliffs were explained by local reproductive success on a year-to-year basis. Because, on average, young Black-legged Kittiwakes first breed when 4 yr old, such a relationship probably results from individual choices based on the assessment of previous-year local quality. When breeders changed breeding cliffs between years, they selected cliffs of per capita higher reproductive success. Furthermore, after accounting for the potential effects of age and sex as well as between-year variations, the effect of individual breeding performance on breeding dispersal was strongly influenced by the average reproductive success of other breeders on the same cliff. Individual breeding performance did
Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D
Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
Šálek, Martin; Lövy, M.
Roč. 22, č. 3 (2012), s. 328-338 ISSN 0959-2709 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Little Owl * home range size * habitat use * compositional analysis * grasslands * short-sward vegetation Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.074, year: 2012
Full Text Available The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (<20 m and regions within 2 km of the shoreline. Preferred regions for female-calf pairs comprised water depths between 40-60 m, regions of rugged bottom topography and regions that lay between 4 and 6 km from a small boat harbor (Lahaina Harbor that fell within the study area. In contrast to other humpback whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap.
Full Text Available The Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola, which was once a typical breeding species of the sodic grasslands of the Great Plain, has become threatened with extinction from Hungary. It disappeared from the traditional grassland breeding sites before the 2000 and is currently breeding only in three sites in agricultural environments in Hungary. The objectives of our research were to find links between the use of shallow wetlands and the breeding behaviour of the species and to identify the characteristics of its breeding on ploughed fields. Data were collected between 2008 and 2016 as part of preparations for the conservation of the largest population which is found in the Nagykunság. We found a positive correlation between colony size and the area of the nearby wetland. We calculated the proportion of habitat-types used for nesting, and found that cultivated fields and fallow lands were the most important. Additionally, we also found that colony sizes were substantially smaller during the research period than those found earlier in the traditional grassland habitats. Finally, we found a positive trend in the size of the population during the research period.
Newell, Mark A; Jannink, Jean-Luc
Genomic selection (GS) is a method to predict the genetic value of selection candidates based on the genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV) predicted from high-density markers positioned throughout the genome. Unlike marker-assisted selection, the GEBV is based on all markers including both minor and major marker effects. Thus, the GEBV may capture more of the genetic variation for the particular trait under selection.
Jedlikowski, Jan; Chibowski, Piotr; Karasek, Tomasz; Brambilla, Mattia
Habitat selection often involves choices made at different spatial scales, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood, and studies that investigate the relative importance of individual scales are rare. We investigated the effect of three spatial scales (landscape, territory, nest-site) on the occurrence pattern of little crake Zapornia parva and water rail Rallus aquaticus at 74 ponds in the Masurian Lakeland, Poland. Habitat structure, food abundance and water chemical parameters were measured at nests and random points within landscape plots (from 300-m to 50-m radius), territory (14-m) and nest-site plots (3-m). Regression analyses suggested that the most relevant scale was territory level, followed by landscape, and finally by nest-site for both species. Variation partitioning confirmed this pattern for water rail, but also highlighted the importance of nest-site (the level explaining the highest share of unique variation) for little crake. The most important variables determining the occurrence of both species were water body fragmentation (landscape), vegetation density (territory) and water depth (at territory level for little crake, and at nest-site level for water rail). Finally, for both species multi-scale models including factors from different levels were more parsimonious than single-scale ones, i.e. habitat selection was likely a multi-scale process. The importance of particular spatial scales seemed more related to life-history traits than to the extent of the scales considered. In the case of our study species, the territory level was highly important likely because both rallids have to obtain all the resources they need (nest site, food and mates) in relatively small areas, the multi-purpose territories they defend.
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
Habitat selection patterns of Merriamâs Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...
Gauthreaux, Sidney, A.; Steven J. Wagner.
Gauthreaux, Sidney, A., and Steven J. Wagner. 2005. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS). Final Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 48 pp. Abstract: During the 1970's and 1980's a dramatic decline occurred in the populations of Neotropical migratory birds, species that breed in North America and winter south of the border in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In 1991 an international initiative was mounted by U. S. governmental land management agencies, nongovernmental conservation agencies, and the academic and lay ornithological communities to understand the decline of Neotropical migratory birds in the Americas. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service - Savannah River (FS - SR) we began 1992 a project directed to monitoring population densities of breeding birds using the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) methodology in selected habitats within the Savannah River Site SRS. In addition we related point count data on the occurrence of breeding Neotropical migrants and other bird species to the habitat data gathered by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service and data on habitat treatments within forest stands.
Jennifer C. Rock
Full Text Available Breeding seabirds are threatened by human activities that affect nesting and foraging habitat. In Canada, one of the seabirds most at risk of extirpation is the Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii. Although critical nesting habitat has been identified for the Roseate Tern in Canada, its foraging locations and the diet of its chicks are unknown. Therefore, our goal was to determine the foraging locations and diet of chicks of Roseate Tern breeding on Country Island, Nova Scotia, which is one of Canada's two main breeding colonies. In 2003 and 2004, we radio-tracked the Roseate Tern by plane to locate foraging areas and conducted feeding watches to determine the diet of chicks. Roseate Tern foraged approximately 7 km from the breeding colony over shallow water < 5 m deep. In both years, sand lance, Ammodytes spp., was the most common prey item delivered to chicks, followed by hake, Urophycis spp. Our results are consistent with previous work at colonies in the northeastern United States, suggesting that throughout its range, this species may be restricted in both habitat use and prey selection. The reliance on a specific habitat type and narrow range of prey species makes the Roseate Tern generally susceptible to habitat perturbations and reductions in the availability of prey.
Junior A. Tremblay
Full Text Available We investigated home-range characteristics and habitat selection by Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus in an unburned, boreal forest landscape managed by mosaic harvesting in Quebec, Canada. Habitat selection by this species was specifically examined to determine home-range establishment and foraging activities. We hypothesized that Black-backed Woodpeckers would respond to harvesting by adjusting their home-range size as a function of the amount of dead wood available. Twenty-two birds were tracked using radiotelemetry, and reliable estimates of home-range size were obtained for seven breeding individuals (six males and one female. The average home-range size was 151.5 ± 18.8 ha (range: 100.4-256.4 ha. Our results indicate that this species establishes home ranges in areas where both open and forested habitats are available. However, during foraging activities, individuals preferentially selected areas dominated by old coniferous stands. The study also showed that the spatial distribution of preferred foraging habitat patches influenced space use, with home-range area increasing with the median distance between old coniferous habitat patches available within the landscape. Finally, these data show that Black-backed Woodpeckers may successfully breed in an unburned forest with at least 35 m3 ha-1 of dead wood, of which 42% (15 m3 ha-1 is represented by dead wood at the early decay stage.
Full Text Available Farm ponds are important habitats for amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. In Taiwan, artificial ponds were originally created on farmlands for irrigation purposes and the needs of the domestic water supply. Although pond creation is a typical farming practice, it also provides habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Thus, it is essential to understand the current status of habitats and their vulnerability regarding urgent conservation needs for target species. Günther’s frog (Hylarana guentheri, a pond-breeding amphibian, has a high sensitivity towards surrounding environmental changes, and can be used as an indicator species to assess habitat suitability. The purpose of this study is to establish a systematic framework to assess the habitat suitability of pond-breeding amphibians by using Günther’s frog as a pilot-study species. First, we collected frog survey data from Chiayi, Taiwan, from winter 2013 to spring 2015, and investigated the present status of the environmental conditions around the ponds. Next, expert questionnaires and the fuzzy Delphi method were applied to establish the hierarchical evaluation criteria regarding the habitat suitability assessment. Four indicators: the aquatic environments of farm ponds; the terrestrial environments around ponds; landscape connectivity; and the conservation perceptions of the residents, were determined as first-layer factors in the assessment criteria, while ten other indicators were defined as second-layer factors. Based on the established assessment criteria, we performed in situ habitat suitability evaluations on 69 selected sites and surveyed the perceptions of the residents using questionnaires. Results revealed that 19% of locations were rich in frog species with a high habitat suitability. However, 67% of locations showed signs of habitat degradation, which may imply a higher need in practicing habitat improvement or restoration. The Kappa value was 0.6061, which indicated a high
Julianna M. A. Jenkins; Frank R. Thompson; John Faaborg; Andrew J. Kroll
Habitat selection is a fundamental component of community ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology and can be especially important to species with complex annual habitat requirements, such as migratory birds. Resource preferences on the breeding grounds may change during the postfledging period for migrant songbirds, however, the degree to which selection...
Michelot, Candice; Pinaud, David; Fortin, Matthieu; Maes, Philippe; Callard, Benjamin; Leicher, Marine; Barbraud, Christophe
Studies of habitat selection by higher trophic level species are necessary for using top predator species as indicators of ecosystem functioning. However, contrary to terrestrial ecosystems, few habitat selection studies have been conducted at a fine scale for coastal marine top predator species, and fewer have coupled diet data with habitat selection modeling to highlight a link between prey selection and habitat use. The aim of this study was to characterize spatially and oceanographically, at a fine scale, the habitats used by the European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis in the Special Protection Area (SPA) of Houat-Hœdic in the Mor Braz Bay during its foraging activity. Habitat selection models were built using in situ observation data of foraging shags (transect sampling) and spatially explicit environmental data to characterize marine benthic habitats. Observations were first adjusted for detectability biases and shag abundance was subsequently spatialized. The influence of habitat variables on shag abundance was tested using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). Diet data were finally confronted to habitat selection models. Results showed that European shags breeding in the Mor Braz Bay changed foraging habitats according to the season and to the different environmental and energetic constraints. The proportion of the main preys also varied seasonally. Rocky and coarse sand habitats were clearly preferred compared to fine or muddy sand habitats. Shags appeared to be more selective in their foraging habitats during the breeding period and the rearing of chicks, using essentially rocky areas close to the colony and consuming preferentially fish from the Labridae family and three other fish families in lower proportions. During the post-breeding period shags used a broader range of habitats and mainly consumed Gadidae. Thus, European shags seem to adjust their feeding strategy to minimize energetic costs, to avoid intra-specific competition and to maximize access
Zeigler, Sara; Thieler, E. Robert; Gutierrez, Ben; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Hines, Megan K.; Fraser, James D.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Karpanty, Sarah M.
Understanding patterns of habitat selection across a species’ geographic distribution can be critical for adequately managing populations and planning for habitat loss and related threats. However, studies of habitat selection can be time consuming and expensive over broad spatial scales, and a lack of standardized monitoring targets or methods can impede the generalization of site-based studies. Our objective was to collaborate with natural resource managers to define available nesting habitat for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) throughout their U.S. Atlantic coast distribution from Maine to North Carolina, with a goal of providing science that could inform habitat management in response to sea-level rise. We characterized a data collection and analysis approach as being effective if it provided low-cost collection of standardized habitat-selection data across the species’ breeding range within 1–2 nesting seasons and accurate nesting location predictions. In the method developed, >30 managers and conservation practitioners from government agencies and private organizations used a smartphone application, “iPlover,” to collect data on landcover characteristics at piping plover nest locations and random points on 83 beaches and barrier islands in 2014 and 2015. We analyzed these data with a Bayesian network that predicted the probability a specific combination of landcover variables would be associated with a nesting site. Although we focused on a shorebird, our approach can be modified for other taxa. Results showed that the Bayesian network performed well in predicting habitat availability and confirmed predicted habitat preferences across the Atlantic coast breeding range of the piping plover. We used the Bayesian network to map areas with a high probability of containing nesting habitat on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York, USA, as an example application. Our approach facilitated the collation of evidence-based information on habitat selection
O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.
Prebreeding habitat selection in birds can often be explained in part by habitat characteristics. However, females may also select habitats on the basis of fidelity to areas of previous reproductive success or use by conspecifics. The relative influences of sociobehavioural attributes versus habitat characteristics in habitat selection has been primarily investigated in songbirds, while less is known about how these factors affect habitat selection processes in migratory waterfowl. Animal resource selection models often exhibit much unexplained variation; spatial patterns driven by social and behavioural characteristics may account for some of this. We radiomarked female lesser scaup, Aythya affinis, in the southwestern extent of their breeding range to explore hypotheses regarding relative roles of habitat quality, site fidelity and conspecific density in prebreeding habitat selection. We used linear mixed-effects models to relate intensity of use within female home ranges to habitat features, distance to areas of reproductive success during the previous breeding season and conspecific density. Home range habitats included shallow water (≤118 cm), moderate to high densities of flooded emergent vegetation/open water edge and open water areas with submerged aquatic vegetation. Compared with habitat features, conspecific female density and proximity to successful nesting habitats from the previous breeding season had greater influences on habitat use within home ranges. Fidelity and conspecific attraction are behavioural characteristics in some waterfowl species that may exert a greater influence than habitat features in influencing prebreeding space use and habitat selection within home ranges, particularly where quality habitat is abundant. These processes may be of critical importance to a better understanding of habitat selection in breeding birds.
Mikula, P.; Hromada, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Tryjanowski, P.
Roč. 49, č. 1 (2014), s. 83-92 ISSN 0001-6454 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : breeding success * coexistence * nest-habitat partitioning * nest site selection * predation * synurbization * urban habitat * thrushes Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.745, year: 2014
The ultimate goal of plant breeding is the development of new varieties. An important phase in the development process is testing and selecting potential new varieties. The varieties are tested by means of experiments at various sites, (sometimes) in several years. The observations from the
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a clonally propagated staple food crop in the tropics. Genomic selection (GS) has been implemented at three breeding institutions in Africa in order to reduce cycle times. Initial studies provided promising estimates of predictive abilities. Here, we expand on p...
Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M
According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.
Clark, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason B.; McEnroe, Jeffery R.; Lightcap, Scott W.
The fitness of female Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) with respect to breeding behavior can be partitioned into at least four fitness components: survival to reproduction, competition for breeding sites, success of egg incubation, and suitability of the local environment near breeding sites for early rearing of juveniles. We evaluated the relative influences of habitat features linked to these fitness components with respect to selection of breeding sites by coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). We also evaluated associations between breeding site selection and additions of large wood, as the latter were introduced into the study system as a means of restoring habitat conditions to benefit coho salmon. We used a model selection approach to organize specific habitat features into groupings reflecting fitness components and influences of large wood. Results of this work suggest that female coho salmon likely select breeding sites based on a wide range of habitat features linked to all four hypothesized fitness components. More specifically, model parameter estimates indicated that breeding site selection was most strongly influenced by proximity to pool-tail crests and deeper water (mean and maximum depths). Linkages between large wood and breeding site selection were less clear. Overall, our findings suggest that breeding site selection by coho salmon is influenced by a suite of fitness components in addition to the egg incubation environment, which has been the emphasis of much work in the past.
Mac Key, J.
In plant breeding, major genes are preferably handled by inbreeding, back-crosses and selection through the family/pedigree method. Polygenic systems need gene accumulation, i.e. handling in bulk allowing natural/recurrent selection to operate. The two types of genetic control normally occur together irrespective of whether the variation is created by crossing or by mutagenesis. Cross-breeding can conveniently work with both types of variation and offers a range of genetic backgrounds. Problems are the often enormous recombination potential risking the break-down of already accomplished genic constellations or undesirable linkages. Mutation induction implies a scattered mono- to oligo-factorial variation mostly functioning as a negative load. As a result, it will be difficult and unrealistic to try to explore micromutations, as defined by Gaul, in vegetatively propagated and autogamous crop plants. Quantitative analyses have not been able to give guidance since the induced variation includes disturbed vitality and main or side-effects of events that are possible to define as macro-mutations. The possibility of better exhausting the variation induced will mainly depend on the precision in selection techniques, i.e. by dividing complex traits into their components, by improving environmental conditions for selection, and/or by sharpening the screening technique. Contrary to recombination breeding, mutation-induced variation does not fit a plan encompassing overall agronomic traits simultaneously. The progress has to go step by step. Thus, even more than in cross-breeding, it is important that accurately outlined objectives be set. Some characters, such as flower colour, can easily be defined while others, such as yield, may be more interdependent, calling for compromises difficult to foresee. The complexity of the latter category of traits is illustrated by the interaction pattern in relation to grain yield in cereals where both shoot and root are considered
Full Text Available Land managers often respond to declining numbers of target species by creating additional areas of habitat. If these habitats are also subject to human disturbance, then their efforts may be wasted. The European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus is a ground-nesting bird that is listed as a species of European Conservation Concern. It appears to be susceptible to human disturbance during the breeding season. We examined habitat use and reproductive success over 10 years in a breeding population on 1335 ha of managed land in Nottinghamshire, England. The study site was divided into a heavily disturbed section and a less disturbed section of equal habitat availability, forming a natural long-term experiment. The site is open to the public, and visitor numbers approximately doubled during the study. We found that overall Nightjar density was significantly lower and there were significantly fewer breeding pairs in the heavily disturbed habitat compared with the less disturbed habitat. However, average breeding success per pair, in terms of eggs and fledglings produced, was not significantly different between the two sections across years. Our findings suggest that human recreational disturbance may drastically alter settlement patterns and nest site selection of arriving females in some migratory ground-nesting species and may reduce the utility of apparently suitable patches of remnant and created habitat. Land managers should bear this in mind when creating new areas of habitat that will also be accessible to the public. Our study also highlights the value of long-term population monitoring, which can detect trends that short-term studies may miss.
Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni
Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.
Full Text Available Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, common buzzard (Buteo buteo and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus. We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.
Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo
Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805
Full Text Available Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca. We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.
Scott E Nielsen
Full Text Available Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments.
Bluso-Demers, Jill; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Peterson, Sarah
The highly urbanized San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA, is currently undergoing large-scale habitat restoration, and several thousand hectares of former salt evaporation ponds are being converted to tidal marsh. To identify potential effects of this habitat restoration on breeding waterbirds, habitat selection of radiotagged Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) was examined at multiple spatial scales during the pre-breeding and breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006. At each spatial scale, habitat selection ratios were calculated by season, year, and sex. Forster's Terns selected salt pond habitats at most spatial scales and demonstrated the importance of salt ponds for foraging and roosting. Salinity influenced the types of salt pond habitats that were selected. Specifically, Forster's Terns strongly selected lower salinity salt ponds (0.5–30 g/L) and generally avoided higher salinity salt ponds (≥31 g/L). Forster's Terns typically used tidal marsh and managed marsh habitats in proportion to their availability, avoided upland and tidal flat habitats, and strongly avoided open bay habitats. Salt ponds provide important habitat for breeding waterbirds, and restoration efforts to convert former salt ponds to tidal marsh may reduce the availability of preferred breeding and foraging areas.
Organic dairy farming started to take off in the early 1990s, when the European Union laid down organic standards for animal production. Until now, however, only incidental steps have been taken towards organic breeding and organic farmers mainly use breeding stock from conventional breeding
Gois, I B; Borém, A; Cristofani-Yaly, M; de Resende, M D V; Azevedo, C F; Bastianel, M; Novelli, V M; Machado, M A
Genome wide selection (GWS) is essential for the genetic improvement of perennial species such as Citrus because of its ability to increase gain per unit time and to enable the efficient selection of characteristics with low heritability. This study assessed GWS efficiency in a population of Citrus and compared it with selection based on phenotypic data. A total of 180 individual trees from a cross between Pera sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) and Murcott tangor (Citrus sinensis Osbeck x Citrus reticulata Blanco) were evaluated for 10 characteristics related to fruit quality. The hybrids were genotyped using 5287 DArT_seq TM (diversity arrays technology) molecular markers and their effects on phenotypes were predicted using the random regression - best linear unbiased predictor (rr-BLUP) method. The predictive ability, prediction bias, and accuracy of GWS were estimated to verify its effectiveness for phenotype prediction. The proportion of genetic variance explained by the markers was also computed. The heritability of the traits, as determined by markers, was 16-28%. The predictive ability of these markers ranged from 0.53 to 0.64, and the regression coefficients between predicted and observed phenotypes were close to unity. Over 35% of the genetic variance was accounted for by the markers. Accuracy estimates with GWS were lower than those obtained by phenotypic analysis; however, GWS was superior in terms of genetic gain per unit time. Thus, GWS may be useful for Citrus breeding as it can predict phenotypes early and accurately, and reduce the length of the selection cycle. This study demonstrates the feasibility of genomic selection in Citrus.
Namgail, T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Sivananinthaperumal, B.; Areendran, G.; Sathiyaselvam, P.; Mundkur, T.; Mccracken, T.; Newman, S.
India is an important non-breeding ground for migratory waterfowl in the Central Asian Flyway. Millions of birds visit wetlands across the country, yet information on their distribution, abundance, and use of resources is rudimentary at best. Limited information suggests that populations of several species of migratory ducks are declining due to encroachment of wetland habitats largely by agriculture and industry. The development of conservation strategies is stymied by a lack of ecological information on these species. We conducted a preliminary assessment of the home range and habitat use of Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in the northeast Indian state of Assam. Seven Ruddy Shelducks were fitted with solar-powered Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite transmitters, and were tracked on a daily basis during the winter of 2009-2010. Locations from all seven were used to describe habitat use, while locations from four were used to quantify their home range, as the other three had too few locations (2 (range = 22-87 km2) and an average home range (95% contour) of 610 km2 (range = 222-1,550 km2). Resource Selection Functions (RSF), used to describe habitat use, showed that the birds frequented riverine wetlands more than expected, occurred on grasslands and shrublands in proportion to their availability, and avoided woods and cropland habitats. The core use areas for three individuals (75%) were on the Brahmaputra River, indicating their preference for riverine habitats. Management and protection of riverine habitats and nearby grasslands may benefit conservation efforts for the Ruddy Shelduck and waterfowl species that share these habitats during the non-breeding season.
Julianna M A Jenkins
Full Text Available Habitat selection is a fundamental component of community ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology and can be especially important to species with complex annual habitat requirements, such as migratory birds. Resource preferences on the breeding grounds may change during the postfledging period for migrant songbirds, however, the degree to which selection changes, timing of change, and whether all or only a few species alter their resource use is unclear. We compared resource selection for nest sites and resource selection by postfledging juvenile ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla and Acadian flycatchers (Empidonax virescens followed with radio telemetry in Missouri mature forest fragments from 2012-2015. We used Bayesian discrete choice modeling to evaluate support for local vegetation characteristics on the probability of selection for nest sites and locations utilized by different ages of postfledging juveniles. Patterns of resource selection variation were species-specific. Resource selection models indicated that Acadian flycatcher habitat selection criteria were similar for nesting and dependent postfledging juveniles and selection criteria diverged when juveniles became independent from adults. After independence, flycatcher resource selection was more associated with understory foliage density. Ovenbirds differed in selection criteria between the nesting and postfledging periods. Fledgling ovenbirds selected areas with higher densities of understory structure compared to nest sites, and the effect of foliage density on selection increased as juveniles aged and gained independence. The differences observed between two sympatric forest nesting species, in both the timing and degree of change in resource selection criteria over the course of the breeding season, illustrates the importance of considering species-specific traits and postfledging requirements when developing conservation efforts, especially when foraging guilds or
Janssen, K.; Chavanne, H.; Berentsen, P.; Komen, H.
Objectives of this study were to determine the combined market share of breeding companies in aquaculture production in Europe, to describe the main characteristics of breeding companies and their programs, and to provide per species estimates on cumulative genetic gain in growth performance.
Pospahala, Richard S.; Anderson, David R.; Henny, Charles J.
This report, the second in a series on a comprehensive analysis of mallard population data, provides information on mallard breeding habitat, the size and distribution of breeding populations, and indices to production. The information in this report is primarily the result of large-scale aerial surveys conducted during May and July, 1955-73. The history of the conflict in resource utilization between agriculturalists and wildlife conservation interests in the primary waterfowl breeding grounds is reviewed. The numbers of ponds present during the breeding season and the midsummer period and the effects of precipitation and temperature on the number of ponds present are analyzed in detail. No significant cycles in precipitation were detected and it appears that precipitation is primarily influenced by substantial seasonal and random components. Annual estimates (1955-73) of the number of mallards in surveyed and unsurveyed breeding areas provided estimates of the size and geographic distribution of breeding mallards in North America. The estimated size of the mallard breeding population in North America has ranged from a high of 14.4 million in 1958 to a low of 7.1 million in 1965. Generally, the mallard breeding population began to decline after the 1958 peak until 1962, and remained below 10 million birds until 1970. The decline and subsequent low level of the mallard population between 1959 and 1969 .generally coincided with a period of poor habitat conditions on the major breeding grounds. The density of mallards was highest in the Prairie-Parkland Area with an average of nearly 19.2 birds per square mile. The proportion of the continental mallard breeding population in the Prairie-Parkland Area ranged from 30% in 1962 to a high of 600/0 in 1956. The geographic distribution of breeding mallards throughout North America was significantly related to the number of May ponds in the Prairie-Parkland Area. Estimates of midsummer habitat conditions and indices to
The aim of this thesis was to optimise the selective breeding program for Nile tilapia in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Two breeding schemes, the “classic” BLUP scheme following the GIFT method (with pair mating) and a rotational mating scheme with own performance selection and
Owen, J.C.; Sogge, M.K.; Kern, M.D.
The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus; here- after “flycatcher”) is a federally listed endangered species that breeds in densely vegetated riparian habitats dominated by native and exotic plants, including introduced monotypic saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima). Some workers have theorized that saltcedar is unsuitable habitat for the flycatcher, primarily because it generally supports a smaller and less diverse invertebrate community (the flycatcher's food base) than native habitats (e.g. Salix spp.). However, differences in insect communities between native and saltcedar habitats are not proof that saltcedar habitats are inferior. The only way to evaluate whether the habitats differ in dietary or energetic quality is to document actual food limitation or its manifestations. Measurements of an individual's body condition and metabolic state can serve as indicators of environmental stressors, such as food limitation and environmental extremes. We captured 130 flycatchers breeding in native and saltcedar habitats in Arizona and New Mexico and measured 12 variables of physiological condition. These variables included body mass, fat level, body condition index, hematocrit, plasma triglycerides, plasma free fatty acids and glycerol, plasma glucose and beta-hydroxybutyrate, plasma uric acid, total leukocyte count, and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. We found substantial sex-based differences in the condition of male and female flycatchers. Ten of the 12 measures of physiological condition differed significantly between the sexes. In all cases where male and female condition differed (except mass), the differences suggest that males were in poorer condition than females. We found few habitat-based differences in flycatcher condition. Only 3 of the 12 physiological condition indices differed significantly between habitats. Our data show that, at least in some parts of the flycatcher's range, there is no evidence that flycatchers breeding in
Janos C Hennicke
Full Text Available In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments. During brooding, males and females showed similar foraging behaviour under average marine productivity of oceanic waters close to the colony, but males shifted to more distant and more productive habitats when conditions deteriorated to continue with reduced chick provisioning. During the late chick rearing period, females progressively increased their foraging range to the more distant but productive marine areas that only males had visited during brooding. Birds spent the non-breeding period roosting in highly productive waters of the Sunda Shelf. The sex-specific utilisation of three different foraging habitats with different primary productivity (oceanic, coastal, and shelf areas allowed for temporal and spatial segregation in the exploitation of favourable habitats which seems to enable each sex to optimise its foraging profitability. In addition, post-fledging foraging movements of females suggest a biennial breeding cycle, while limited information on males suggests the possibility of an annual breeding cycle.
Ferede, Getachew; Tiruneh, Moges; Abate, Ebba; Kassa, Wondmeneh Jemberie; Wondimeneh, Yitayih; Damtie, Demekech; Tessema, Belay
The Aedes mosquito is a vector for transmitting many arboviruses. Knowledge of the breeding habitat of this vector is vital for implementing appropriate interventions. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the breeding habitats and presence of Aedes mosquito species in the study areas. A house-to-house cross-sectional survey of Aedes mosquito breeding habitats was carried out in Metema and Humera, Ethiopia, in August 2017. All available water-holding containers present in and around houses were inspected for the presence of immature stages of Aedes mosquitoes, and they were collected and reared to the adult stage for species identification. In the larval survey, the house index, container index, and Breteau index were computed as risk indices. Of the 384 houses surveyed for the presence of Aedes mosquito larval breeding, 98 were found to be positive for larvae. During the survey, a total of 566 containers were inspected, of which 186 were found to be infested with Aedes mosquito larvae, with a container index of 32.9, a house index of 25.5, and a Breteau index of 48.4. The most common Aedes mosquito breeding habitats were discarded tires (57.5%), followed by mud pots (30.0%). Of the 1,077 larvae and pupae collected and reared, Aedes aegypti (49.3%), Ae. vittatus (6.5%), and Culex species (44.2%) were identified. Discarded tires were the most preferred breeding habitats for Aedes mosquitoes. Moreover, Ae. aegypti , the main vector of dengue and other arboviruses, was identified for the first time in this region, suggesting a high potential for arbovirus transmission in the study areas.
Khara M. Strum
Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2836q0qgThe Central Valley of California provides important breeding habitat to numerous species of wetland-dependent birds, despite the loss of over 90% of naturally occurring wetlands. A majority of shorebirds breeding in this region rely on shallow-flooded habitat adjacent to sparsely vegetated uplands as provided by rice (Oryza sativa, managed wetlands, and other habitats. We estimated the current extent of potential breeding shorebird habitat provided by rice and managed permanent and semi-permanent wetlands in each of four major planning regions of the Central Valley, and estimated the average breeding densities and current population sizes of two species of shorebirds: the Black-Necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus and American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana. Using a population status framework based on principles of conservation biology, we estimated that stilt populations are small (<10,000 individuals or very small (<1,000 individuals in three of the four planning regions, and avocet populations are small or very small in all four planning regions. We then used the framework to define long-term (100-year population objectives for stilts, avocets, and a third species, Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous, designed to meet our long-term conservation goal of supporting self-sustaining, genetically robust, and resilient populations of breeding shorebirds in the Central Valley. We also estimated the long-term species’ density and wetland habitat objectives necessary to achieve the population objectives for all three species. The corresponding short-term (10-year conservation objectives are to restore semi-permanent wetlands to provide an additional 11,537 ha (28,508 ac of habitat for breeding shorebirds (by planning region: 2,842 ha in Sacramento, 2,897 ha in Yolo–Delta, 2,943 ha in San Joaquin, and 2,855 ha in Tulare, and to enhance existing habitat to support density objectives. Our approach provides a
Nakaya, Akihiro; Isobe, Sachiko N
Genomic selection or genome-wide selection (GS) has been highlighted as a new approach for marker-assisted selection (MAS) in recent years. GS is a form of MAS that selects favourable individuals based on genomic estimated breeding values. Previous studies have suggested the utility of GS, especially for capturing small-effect quantitative trait loci, but GS has not become a popular methodology in the field of plant breeding, possibly because there is insufficient information available on GS for practical use. In this review, GS is discussed from a practical breeding viewpoint. Statistical approaches employed in GS are briefly described, before the recent progress in GS studies is surveyed. GS practices in plant breeding are then reviewed before future prospects are discussed. Statistical concepts used in GS are discussed with genetic models and variance decomposition, heritability, breeding value and linear model. Recent progress in GS studies is reviewed with a focus on empirical studies. For the practice of GS in plant breeding, several specific points are discussed including linkage disequilibrium, feature of populations and genotyped markers and breeding scheme. Currently, GS is not perfect, but it is a potent, attractive and valuable approach for plant breeding. This method will be integrated into many practical breeding programmes in the near future with further advances and the maturing of its theory.
Nakaya, Akihiro; Isobe, Sachiko N.
Background Genomic selection or genome-wide selection (GS) has been highlighted as a new approach for marker-assisted selection (MAS) in recent years. GS is a form of MAS that selects favourable individuals based on genomic estimated breeding values. Previous studies have suggested the utility of GS, especially for capturing small-effect quantitative trait loci, but GS has not become a popular methodology in the field of plant breeding, possibly because there is insufficient information avail...
Full Text Available Objective Increasing food safety demands in the animal product market have created a need for a system to trace the food distribution process, from the manufacturer to the retailer, and genetic traceability is an effective method to trace the origin of animal products. In this study, we successfully achieved the farm tracing of 6,018 multi-breed pigs, using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers strictly selected through least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO feature selection. Methods We performed farm tracing of domesticated pig (Sus scrofa from SNP markers and selected the most relevant features for accurate prediction. Considering multi-breed composition of our data, we performed feature selection using LASSO penalization on 4,002 SNPs that are shared between breeds, which also includes 179 SNPs with small between-breed difference. The 100 highest-scored features were extracted from iterative simulations and then evaluated using machine-leaning based classifiers. Results We selected 1,341 SNPs from over 45,000 SNPs through iterative LASSO feature selection, to minimize between-breed differences. We subsequently selected 100 highest-scored SNPs from iterative scoring, and observed high statistical measures in classification of breeding farms by cross-validation only using these SNPs. Conclusion The study represents a successful application of LASSO feature selection on multi-breed pig SNP data to trace the farm information, which provides a valuable method and possibility for further researches on genetic traceability.
Jacobsen, Lars Bo; Chrenkova, Monika; Sunde, Peter
The population of Little Owls in Denmark is close to extinction. The main cause is food limitation during the breeding season. Efforts to improve breeding success include providing breeding pairs with supplementary food and attempts to improve foraging habitats by creating short grass areas near ...... reproductive output in an endangered raptor, but also to decreased working effort, which in turn may improve adult survival....
Giffen, J.G.; Scott, J.M.; Mountainspring, S.
The abundance and range of the Hawaiian crow, or alala, (Corvus hawaiiensis) have decreased drastically since the 1890's. Fewer than 10 breeding pairs remained in the wild in 1985. A sample of 82 nests during 1970-82 were used to determine habitat associations. Two hundred firty-nine alala observations were used to estimate densities occurring in different vegetation types in 1978. Compared to available habitat, more nests and higher bird densities during the breeding season occurred in areas where: (1) canopy cover was > 60%; (2) koa (Acacia koa) and ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha) were dominant species in the crown layer; (3) native plants constituted > 75% of the understory cover; and (4) the elevation was 1,100-1,500 m. Compared to breeding habitat, nonbreeding habitat tended to lie at lower elevations and in wetter forests having the crown layer dominated by ohia but lacking koa. Habitat loss is a major factor underlying the decline of this species although predation on fledgings, avian disease, and shooting also have reduced the population. Remaining key habitat areas have little or no legal protection through zoning and land ownership. Preserves should be established to encompass the location of existing pairs and to assure the provision of optimum breeding habitat and suitable nonbreeding habitat.
Cristina Santos Sotomaior
Full Text Available It is well known that the susceptibility of sheep to scrapie is determined by the host’s prion protein gene (PRNP. PRNP polymorphisms at codons 136 (alanine, A/valine, V, 154 (histidine, H/arginine, R and 171 (glutamine, Q/histidine, H/arginine, R are the main determinants of sheep susceptibility/resistance to classical scrapie. There are four major variants of the wild-type ARQ allele: VRQ, AHQ, ARH and ARR. Breeding programs have been developed in the European Union and the USA to increase the frequency of the resistant ARR allele while decreasing the frequency of the susceptible VRQ allele in sheep populations. In Brazil, little PRNP genotyping data are available for sheep, and thus far, no controlled breeding scheme for scrapie has been implemented. This review will focus on important epidemiological aspects of scrapie and the use of genetic resistance as a tool in breeding programs to control the disease.
Ciarniello, Lana M; Boyce, Mark S; Seip, Dale R; Heard, Douglas C
The purpose of our study is to show how ecologists' interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is altered by the scale of observation and also how management questions would be best addressed using predetermined scales of analysis. Using resource selection functions (RSF) we examined how variation in the spatial extent of availability affected our interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears inhabiting mountain and plateau landscapes. We estimated separate models for females and males using three spatial extents: within the study area, within the home range, and within predetermined movement buffers. We employed two methods for evaluating the effects of scale on our RSF designs. First, we chose a priori six candidate models, estimated at each scale, and ranked them using Akaike Information Criteria. Using this method, results changed among scales for males but not for females. For female bears, models that included the full suite of covariates predicted habitat use best at each scale. For male bears that resided in the mountains, models based on forest successional stages ranked highest at the study-wide and home range extents, whereas models containing covariates based on terrain features ranked highest at the buffer extent. For male bears on the plateau, each scale estimated a different highest-ranked model. Second, we examined differences among model coefficients across the three scales for one candidate model. We found that both the magnitude and direction of coefficients were dependent upon the scale examined; results varied between landscapes, scales, and sexes. Greenness, reflecting lush green vegetation, was a strong predictor of the presence of female bears in both landscapes and males that resided in the mountains. Male bears on the plateau were the only animals to select areas that exposed them to a high risk of mortality by humans. Our results show that grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent. Further, the
Katrínardóttir, Borgný; Alves, José A; Sigurjónsdóttir, Hrefna; Hersteinsson, Páll; Gunnarsson, Tómas G
Distinct preference of species for habitats is most often driven by long term differences in demographic rates between habitats. Estimating variation in those rates is key for developing successful conservation strategies. Stochastic events can interact with underlying variation in habitat quality in regulating demography but the opportunities to explore such interactions are rare. Whimbrels in Iceland show a strong preference for sparsely vegetated riverplains. Such habitats in Iceland face various threats, e.g., climate change, river regulation and spread of alien plant species. In this study we compared demographic parameters of breeding Whimbrels between riverplains and other habitats before, during and after volcanic eruption events to estimate the importance of the habitats for the species and the effect of ash deposit on breeding success. We found that an estimated minimum of 23% of the Icelandic population of Whimbrels and c. 10% of the world population of the species breed in riverplain habitats in Iceland. Whimbrels bred consistently at much higher densities in riverplain habitats than in other habitats and riverplains also had higher densities of pairs with fledglings although the proportion of successful breeders was similar between habitats. Predation by livestock may have had a considerable negative effect on breeding success on our study sites. Breeding was negatively affected by the volcanic activity, probably through the effects of ash on the invertebrate food supply, with breeding success being gradually worse closer to the eruption. Breeding success was equally affected by volcanism across habitats which differed in underlying habitat quality. This study gives an example of how populations can be regulated by factors which operate at different spatial scales, such as local variation in habitat quality and stochastic events which impact larger areas.
Bouquet, A; Juga, J
Extensive genetic progress has been achieved in dairy cattle populations on many traits of economic importance because of efficient breeding programmes. Success of these programmes has relied on progeny testing of the best young males to accurately assess their genetic merit and hence their potential for breeding. Over the last few years, the integration of dense genomic information into statistical tools used to make selection decisions, commonly referred to as genomic selection, has enabled gains in predicting accuracy of breeding values for young animals without own performance. The possibility to select animals at an early stage allows defining new breeding strategies aimed at boosting genetic progress while reducing costs. The first objective of this article was to review methods used to model and optimize breeding schemes integrating genomic selection and to discuss their relative advantages and limitations. The second objective was to summarize the main results and perspectives on the use of genomic selection in practical breeding schemes, on the basis of the example of dairy cattle populations. Two main designs of breeding programmes integrating genomic selection were studied in dairy cattle. Genomic selection can be used either for pre-selecting males to be progeny tested or for selecting males to be used as active sires in the population. The first option produces moderate genetic gains without changing the structure of breeding programmes. The second option leads to large genetic gains, up to double those of conventional schemes because of a major reduction in the mean generation interval, but it requires greater changes in breeding programme structure. The literature suggests that genomic selection becomes more attractive when it is coupled with embryo transfer technologies to further increase selection intensity on the dam-to-sire pathway. The use of genomic information also offers new opportunities to improve preservation of genetic variation. However
Ruth, J.M.; Stanley, T.R.
We studied Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla) and Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) habitat use in allopatric and sympatric populations in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming in order to better understand the different habitat needs and interactions of these two species. Foraging Wilson's Warblers and Yellow Warblers used very similar habitat, both selecting larger, more open shrubs. In spite of similar foraging habitat, comparisons of habitat use by the two species at the sympatric sites yielded no evidence of foraging habitat partitioning or exclusion. There was evidence of nesting habitat partitioning. Wilson's Warblers nested on the ground, with some evidence that they used smaller, more densely stemmed shrubs under which to nest. Yellow Warblers are shrub nesters and selected larger, more open shrubs in which to nest. Results provide no evidence that Yellow Warblers can be blamed for population declines in Wilson's Warblers.
-introduction of selected primate species in the wild using Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN) and Drill Rehabilitation and Breeding Center (PANDRILLUS) of Cross Rivers State as case ...
Zhao, Yusheng; Gowda, Manje; Liu, Wenxin; Würschum, Tobias; Maurer, Hans P; Longin, Friedrich H; Ranc, Nicolas; Reif, Jochen C
Genomic selection is a promising breeding strategy for rapid improvement of complex traits. The objective of our study was to investigate the prediction accuracy of genomic breeding values through cross validation. The study was based on experimental data of six segregating populations from a half-diallel mating design with 788 testcross progenies from an elite maize breeding program. The plants were intensively phenotyped in multi-location field trials and fingerprinted with 960 SNP markers. We used random regression best linear unbiased prediction in combination with fivefold cross validation. The prediction accuracy across populations was higher for grain moisture (0.90) than for grain yield (0.58). The accuracy of genomic selection realized for grain yield corresponds to the precision of phenotyping at unreplicated field trials in 3-4 locations. As for maize up to three generations are feasible per year, selection gain per unit time is high and, consequently, genomic selection holds great promise for maize breeding programs.
Jonas, Elisabeth; de Koning, Dirk-Jan
Plant breeding largely depends on phenotypic selection in plots and only for some, often disease-resistance-related traits, uses genetic markers. The more recently developed concept of genomic selection, using a black box approach with no need of prior knowledge about the effect or function of individual markers, has also been proposed as a great opportunity for plant breeding. Several empirical and theoretical studies have focused on the possibility to implement this as a novel molecular method across various species. Although we do not question the potential of genomic selection in general, in this Opinion, we emphasize that genomic selection approaches from dairy cattle breeding cannot be easily applied to complex plant breeding. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Steen, Valerie A.; Powell, Abby N.
We examined wetland selection by the Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), a species that breeds primarily in the prairie pothole region, has experienced population declines, and is difficult to manage because of low site fidelity. To characterize its selection of wetlands in this region, we surveyed 589 wetlands throughout North and South Dakota. We documented breeding at 5% and foraging at 17% of wetlands. We created predictive habitat models with a machine-learning algorithm, Random Forests, to explore the relative role of local wetland characteristics and those of the surrounding landscape and to evaluate which characteristics were important to predicting breeding versus foraging. We also examined area-dependent wetland selection while addressing the passive sampling bias by replacing occurrence of terns in the models with an index of density. Local wetland variables were more important than landscape variables in predictions of occurrence of breeding and foraging. Wetland size was more important to prediction of foraging than of breeding locations, while floating matted vegetation was more important to prediction of breeding than of foraging locations. The amount of seasonal wetland in the landscape was the only landscape variable important to prediction of both foraging and breeding. Models based on a density index indicated that wetland selection by foraging terns may be more area dependent than that by breeding terns. Our study provides some of the first evidence for differential breeding and foraging wetland selection by Black Terns and for a more limited role of landscape effects and area sensitivity than has been previously shown.
Three distinct zones, four habitats and six subhabitats were identified. Zonation and habitat selection appeared to be related to cover for two small mammal species. The arthropod orders were less susceptible to zonation and strict habitat selection, although some of the species showed selection. The normally unfavourable ...
However, the two species appeared to differ in nest site selection; Rudd's Lark nests were most frequently built in unburned grass and Botha's Lark nests on recently burned land. First egg dates of 93 Rudd's Lark nests ranged from late October to late March, with peak laying in January and February. Most clutches were of ...
Perry, M.C.; Kidwell, D.M.; Wells, A.M.; Lohnes, E.J.R.; Osenton, P.C.; Altmann, S.H.; Hanson, Alan; Kerekes, Joseph; Paquet, Julie
We analyzed characteristics of wetland habitats used by breeding black scoters (Melanitta nigra) and surf scoters (M. perspicillata) in the eastern boreal forest and subarctic regions of Canada based on satellite telemetry data collected in the spring and summer. During 2002 and 2004, nine black scoters (four males, five females) were tracked to breeding areas in Quebec, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. In addition, in 2001?04, seven surf scoters (three males, four females) were tracked to breeding areas in Labrador, Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Based on satellite telemetry data, locations of black and surf scoters in breeding areas were not significantly different in regard to latitude and longitude. Presumed breeding areas were manually plotted on topographic maps and percent cover type and water were estimated. Breeding habitat of black scoters was significantly different than that for surf scoters, with black scoters mainly using open (tundra) areas (44%) and surf scoters using mainly forest areas (66%). Surf scoters presumed breeding areas were at significantly higher elevations than areas used by black scoters. Some breeding areas were associated with islands, but the role of islands for breeding areas is equivocal. These results aid in the identification of potentially critical breeding areas and provide a baseline classification of breeding habitats used by these two species.
Full Text Available Commercial sheep raised for mutton grow faster than traditional Chinese sheep breeds. Here, we aimed to evaluate genetic selection among three different types of sheep breed: two well-known commercial mutton breeds and one indigenous Chinese breed.We first combined locus-specific branch lengths and di statistical methods to detect candidate regions targeted by selection in the three different populations. The results showed that the genetic distances reached at least medium divergence for each pairwise combination. We found these two methods were highly correlated, and identified many growth-related candidate genes undergoing artificial selection. For production traits, APOBR and FTO are associated with body mass index. For meat traits, ALDOA, STK32B and FAM190A are related to marbling. For reproduction traits, CCNB2 and SLC8A3 affect oocyte development. We also found two well-known genes, GHR (which affects meat production and quality and EDAR (associated with hair thickness were associated with German mutton merino sheep. Furthermore, four genes (POL, RPL7, MSL1 and SHISA9 were associated with pre-weaning gain in our previous genome-wide association study.Our results indicated that combine locus-specific branch lengths and di statistical approaches can reduce the searching ranges for specific selection. And we got many credible candidate genes which not only confirm the results of previous reports, but also provide a suite of novel candidate genes in defined breeds to guide hybridization breeding.
Wang, Huihua; Zhang, Li; Cao, Jiaxve; Wu, Mingming; Ma, Xiaomeng; Liu, Zhen; Liu, Ruizao; Zhao, Fuping; Wei, Caihong; Du, Lixin
Commercial sheep raised for mutton grow faster than traditional Chinese sheep breeds. Here, we aimed to evaluate genetic selection among three different types of sheep breed: two well-known commercial mutton breeds and one indigenous Chinese breed. We first combined locus-specific branch lengths and di statistical methods to detect candidate regions targeted by selection in the three different populations. The results showed that the genetic distances reached at least medium divergence for each pairwise combination. We found these two methods were highly correlated, and identified many growth-related candidate genes undergoing artificial selection. For production traits, APOBR and FTO are associated with body mass index. For meat traits, ALDOA, STK32B and FAM190A are related to marbling. For reproduction traits, CCNB2 and SLC8A3 affect oocyte development. We also found two well-known genes, GHR (which affects meat production and quality) and EDAR (associated with hair thickness) were associated with German mutton merino sheep. Furthermore, four genes (POL, RPL7, MSL1 and SHISA9) were associated with pre-weaning gain in our previous genome-wide association study. Our results indicated that combine locus-specific branch lengths and di statistical approaches can reduce the searching ranges for specific selection. And we got many credible candidate genes which not only confirm the results of previous reports, but also provide a suite of novel candidate genes in defined breeds to guide hybridization breeding.
McKee, Anna M; Maerz, John C; Smith, Lora L; Glenn, Travis C
Population genetic diversity is widely accepted as important to the conservation and management of wildlife. However, habitat features may differentially affect evolutionary processes that facilitate population genetic diversity among sympatric species. We measured genetic diversity for two pond-breeding amphibian species (Dwarf salamanders, Eurycea quadridigitata ; and Southern Leopard frogs, Lithobates sphenocephalus ) to understand how habitat characteristics and spatial scale affect genetic diversity across a landscape. Samples were collected from wetlands on a longleaf pine reserve in Georgia. We genotyped microsatellite loci for both species to assess population structures and determine which habitat features were most closely associated with observed heterozygosity and rarefied allelic richness. Both species exhibited significant population genetic structure; however, structure in Southern Leopard frogs was driven primarily by one outlier site. Dwarf salamander allelic richness was greater at sites with less surrounding road area within 0.5 km and more wetland area within 1.0 and 2.5 km, and heterozygosity was greater at sites with more wetland area within 0.5 km. In contrast, neither measure of Southern Leopard frog genetic diversity was associated with any habitat features at any scale we evaluated. Genetic diversity in the Dwarf salamander was strongly associated with land cover variables up to 2.5 km away from breeding wetlands, and/or results suggest that minimizing roads in wetland buffers may be beneficial to the maintenance of population genetic diversity. This study suggests that patterns of genetic differentiation and genetic diversity have associations with different habitat features across different spatial scales for two syntopic pond-breeding amphibian species.
Michael J Anteau
Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
DANANG WAHYU PURNOMO
Full Text Available Purnomo DW. 2010. A Habitat selection model for Javan deer (Rusa timorensis in Wanagama I Forest, Yogyakarta. Nusantara Bioscience 2: 84-89. Wanagama I Forest is the natural breeding habitat of Javan deer (Rusa timorensis de Blainville, 1822. Habitat changes had affected Timor’s resource selection and caused the deer to move from undisturbed areas to developed areas with agriculture and human settlements. We suspected that this shift was caused by the degradation of natural habitat. The research aimed to identify factors that might influence future habitat selection. Habitat selection was analyzed by comparing proportions of sites actually used to sites that we considered available to use. The results of a logistic regression of site categories showed there are three habitat variables that influence resource selection: sum of tree species (expß=1.305, slope (expß=1.061, and distance to a water source (expß=1.002. The three variables influence the deer existing in a certain site of Wanagama Forest and arrange resource selection probability function (RSPF.
Bertolini, Francesca; Gandolfi, Barbara; Kim, Eui Soo; Haase, Bianca; Lyons, Leslie A; Rothschild, Max F
The Persian cat is mainly characterized by an extremely brachycephalic face as part of the standard body conformation. Despite the popularity, world-wide distribution, and economic importance of the Persian cat as a fancy breed, little is known about the genetics of their hallmark morphology, brachycephaly. Over 800 cats from different breeds including Persian, non-Persian breeds (Abyssinian, Cornish Rex, Bengal, La Perm, Norwegian Forest, Maine Coon, Manx, Oriental, and Siamese), and Persian-derived breeds (British Shorthair, Scottish Fold, Selkirk Rex) were genotyped with the Illumina 63 K feline DNA array. The experimental strategy was composed of three main steps: (i) the Persian dataset was screened for runs of homozygosity to find and select highly homozygous regions; (ii) selected Persian homozygous regions were evaluated for the difference of homozygosity between Persians and those considered non-Persian breeds, and, (iii) the Persian homozygous regions most divergent from the non-Persian breeds were investigated by haplotype analysis in the Persian-derived breeds. Four regions with high homozygosity (H > 0.7) were detected, each with an average length of 1 Mb. Three regions can be considered unique to the Persian breed, with a less conservative haplotype pattern in the Persian-derived breeds. Moreover, two genes, CHL1 and CNTN6 known to determine face shape modification in humans, reside in one of the identified regions and therefore are positional candidates for the brachycephalic face in Persians. In total, the homozygous regions contained several neuronal genes that could be involved in the Persian cat behavior and can provide new insights into cat domestication.
/ An integrated management plan to create favorable nesting habitat for the world-endangered Dalmatian pelicans, was tested at Kerkini irrigation reservoir, a Ramsar wetland. The lake is the major wintering site of Dalmatian pelicans in Europe, where the species lives year-round without breeding. The rise of water level at the reservoir during spring (exceeding 5 m) has an impact on the whole system, including several birds, which lose their nesting habitat. Although the integrity of the wetland demands ecological restoration with changes in its hydrologic regime, local socioeconomic conditions allow only habitat level interventions. During the planning phase of the management plan, both the ecological and social context of the interventions were considered. Monitoring of all pelican habitats and populations provided the scientific basis, while a socioecological survey on knowledge/attitudes of local fishermen toward wetland identified conflicts with specific resources and planned management. To gain public support, a broad information/education program was implemented. The education program for fishermen was based on the findings of the socioecological survey. The in situ management involved experimental construction of floating rafts, platforms over water, dredged-spoil islands, and platforms at various sites of the wetland. Monitoring of the managed habitats showed that most waterbirds used them for resting and roosting. Common terns nested on the rafts, cormorants on the platforms, and Dalmatian pelicans on the man-made island. Under the prevailing hydrologic and weather conditions, islands seem to be the most suitable habitat for pelican nesting. It is concluded that wildlife habitat management should integrate the ecological component, related to the needs of the species and ecosystem, with the social one, expressed by cooperation and involvement of the local community.KEY WORDS: Integrated management; Pelican; Nesting habitat; Habitat management; Reservoir
Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T
Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
FAO estimates that there are around 200 species in aquaculture. However, only a few species have ongoing selective breeding programmes. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) is not used in any aquaculture breeding scheme today. The aim of this chapter, therefore, is to review briefly the current status of aquaculture breeding schemes and to evaluate the possibilities for MAS of aquaculture species. Genetic marker maps have been published for some species in culture. The marker density of these maps is, in general, rather low and the maps are composed of many amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers anchored to few microsatellites. Some quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified for economically important traits, but they are not yet mapped at a high density. Computer simulations of within-family MAS schemes show a very high increase in genetic gain compared with conventional family-based breeding schemes, mainly due to the large family sizes that are typical for aquaculture breeding schemes. The use of genetic markers to identify individuals and their implications for breeding schemes with control of inbreeding are discussed. (author)
Ney Sussumu Sakiyama
Full Text Available Over the past three decades, molecular marker studies reached extraordinary advances, especially for sequencing and bioinformatics techniques. Marker-assisted selection became part of the breeding program routines of important seed companies, in order to accelerate and optimize the cultivar developing processes. Private seed companies increasingly use marker-assisted selection, especially for the species of great importance to the seed market, e.g. corn, soybean, cotton, and sunflower. In the Brazilian public institutions few breeding programs use it efficiently. The possible reasons are: lack of know-how, lack of appropriate laboratories, few validated markers, high cost, and lack of urgency in obtaining cultivars. In this article we analyze the use and the constraints of marker-assisted selection in plant breeding programs of Brazilian public institutes
The main goals of breeding programmes for fish and shellfish are to increase the profitability and sustainability of aquaculture. Traditionally, these have been carried out successfully using pedigree information by selecting individuals based on breeding values predicted for traits measured on candidates using an 'animal model'. This methodology assumes that phenotypes are explained by a large number of genes with small effects and random environmental deviations. However, information on individual genes with medium or large effects cannot be used in this manner. In selective breeding programmes using pedigree information, molecular markers have been used primarily for parentage assignment when tagging individual fish is difficult and to avoid causing common environmental effects from rearing families in separate tanks. The use of these techniques in such conventional breeding programmes is discussed in detail. Exploiting the great biological diversity of many fish and shellfish species, different experimental designs may use either chromosomal manipulations or large family sizes to increase the likelihood of finding the loci affecting quantitative traits, the so-called QTL, by screening the segregation of molecular markers. Using information on identified loci in breeding schemes in aquaculture is expected to be cost-effective compared with traditional breeding methods only when the accuracy of predicting breeding values is rather low, e.g. for traits with low heritability such as disease resistance or carcass quality. One of the problems facing aquaculture is that some of the resources required to locate QTL accurately, such as dense linkage maps, are not yet available for the many species. Recently, however, information from expressed sequence tag (EST) databases has been used for developing molecular markers such as microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Marker-assisted selection (MAS) or genome-wide marker-assisted selection (G-MAS) using
Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn R.; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.
We present a hands-on outdoor activity coupled with classroom discussion to teach students about wildlife habitat selection, the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or habitats with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predators), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce. Biologists track animal movement using radio telemetry technology to study habitat selection so they can better provide species with habitats that promote population growth. We present a curriculum in which students locate “animals” (transmitters) using radio telemetry equipment and apply math skills (use of fractions and percentages) to assess their “animal's” habitat selection by comparing the availability of habitat types with the proportion of “animals” they find in each habitat type.
Crossa, José; Pérez-Rodríguez, Paulino; Cuevas, Jaime; Montesinos-López, Osval; Jarquín, Diego; de Los Campos, Gustavo; Burgueño, Juan; González-Camacho, Juan M; Pérez-Elizalde, Sergio; Beyene, Yoseph; Dreisigacker, Susanne; Singh, Ravi; Zhang, Xuecai; Gowda, Manje; Roorkiwal, Manish; Rutkoski, Jessica; Varshney, Rajeev K
Genomic selection (GS) facilitates the rapid selection of superior genotypes and accelerates the breeding cycle. In this review, we discuss the history, principles, and basis of GS and genomic-enabled prediction (GP) as well as the genetics and statistical complexities of GP models, including genomic genotype×environment (G×E) interactions. We also examine the accuracy of GP models and methods for two cereal crops and two legume crops based on random cross-validation. GS applied to maize breeding has shown tangible genetic gains. Based on GP results, we speculate how GS in germplasm enhancement (i.e., prebreeding) programs could accelerate the flow of genes from gene bank accessions to elite lines. Recent advances in hyperspectral image technology could be combined with GS and pedigree-assisted breeding. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland. In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8% and insectivores (37.9 %. Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.
Francis, Robert A; Taylor, Jimmy D; Dibble, Eric; Strickland, Bronson; Petro, Vanessa M; Easterwood, Christine; Wang, Guiming
Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data. Explanatory variables between the landscape and fine spatial scale were compared for consistency. Our findings suggested that beaver habitat selection at coarse (study area) and fine (within home range) scales was congruent, and was influenced by increasing amounts of woody wetland edge density and shrub edge density, and decreasing amounts of open water edge density. Habitat suitability at the landscape scale also increased with decreasing amounts of grass frequency. As territorial, central-place foragers, beavers likely trade-off open water edge density (i.e., smaller non-forested wetlands or lodges closer to banks) for defense and shorter distances to forage and obtain construction material. Woody plants along edges and expanses of open water for predator avoidance may limit beaver fitness and subsequently determine beaver habitat selection.
Hoek, Wim van der; Amerasinghe, F P; Konradsen, F
, potential secondary vectors, were characterized by site, exposure to sunlight, substratum, turbidity of the water, presence of vegetation, and presence of fauna. Availability of pools of stagnant water in the stream near the village and along the edge of the village tank was highly predictive for presence......In and around a village in the Anuradhapura District of Sri Lanka anopheline larvae were sampled from July 1994 to April 1996 in all surface water bodies. Samples positive for Anopheles culicifacies, the established vector of malaria in Sri Lanka, and for An. barbirostris, An. vagus, and An. varuna...... clear water pools, was able to exploit habitats that were shaded and contained turbid water. Environmental management interventions to control An. culicifacies breeding have to take into account that the secondary vectors of malaria exploit other habitats and would not be affected by the interventions....
A trail census was conducted of the breeding birds found in three major habitats in the Field Irradiator Gamma area at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, Pinawa, Manitoba. The area sampled was about 10.50 ha in size, and included 4.25 ha of upland forest, 4.75 ha of lowland conifers, and 1.50 ha of black spruce-tamarack bog. Forty-four species of birds were identified, of which 24 were considered to be resident in the study area. The highest population density was observed in the bog, followed by upland forest and lowland conifer respectively. In contrast, species diversity was greatest in the upland forest, while it decreased markedly in the relatively monotypic lowland conifer and bog habitats. (author)
Franck A Hollander
Full Text Available In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio, as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human
Johnson, Matthew J.; Hatten, James R.; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.
The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Yellow-billed cuckoo conservation efforts require the identification of features and area requirements associated with high quality, riparian forest habitat at spatial scales that range from nest microhabitat to landscape, as well as lower-suitability areas that can be enhanced or restored. Spatially explicit models inform conservation efforts by increasing ecological understanding of a target species, especially at landscape scales. Previous yellow-billed cuckoo modelling efforts derived plant-community maps from aerial photography, an expensive and oftentimes inconsistent approach. Satellite models can remotely map vegetation features (e.g., vegetation density, heterogeneity in vegetation density or structure) across large areas with near perfect repeatability, but they usually cannot identify plant communities. We used aerial photos and satellite imagery, and a hierarchical spatial scale approach, to identify yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat along the Lower Colorado River and its tributaries. Aerial-photo and satellite models identified several key features associated with yellow-billed cuckoo breeding locations: (1) a 4.5 ha core area of dense cottonwood-willow vegetation, (2) a large native, heterogeneously dense forest (72 ha) around the core area, and (3) moderately rough topography. The odds of yellow-billed cuckoo occurrence decreased rapidly as the amount of tamarisk cover increased or when cottonwood-willow vegetation was limited. We achieved model accuracies of 75–80% in the project area the following year after updating the imagery and location data. The two model types had very similar probability maps, largely predicting the same areas as high quality habitat. While each model provided unique information, a dual-modelling approach provided a more complete picture of yellow-billed cuckoo habitat
Juarez Campolina Machado
Full Text Available The development of heat-tolerant varieties is an important goal of wheat breeding programs, requiringefficient selection methods. In the present study the use of recurrent selection was evaluated as a strategy to improve heatstress tolerance in wheat. Two cycles of recurrent selection were performed in experiments conducted in research areas of theUniversidade Federal de Viçosa, located in Coimbra-MG and Viçosa-MG, in 2004 and 2007, in two growing seasons (summerand winter. The genetic gain and the existence of variability show the possibility of successful recurrent selection for heattolerancein wheat.
Liu, X.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Skidmore, A.K.; Shao, X.; Dang, D.; Wang, T.; Prins, H.H.T.
Little is known about habitat selection of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), especially about the relationship between giant panda presence and bamboo and tree structures. We presented data on giant panda habitat use and selection in Foping Nature Reserve (NR), China. We used 1,066
Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent; Fontaine, Joseph J.
We present a hands-on outdoor activity coupled with classroom discussion to teach students about wildlife habitat selection, the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or habitats with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predators), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce.…
Full Text Available The diet of non-breeding White Storks was studied by pellet analysis and included mainly insects (99.9%, n=28947 with a predominance of grasshoppers (Orthoptera, 76.1%, and beetles (Coleoptera, 26.1%. The bush crickets Decticus albifrons/verrucivorus were the most numerous prey (29.9% by items, occurring in almost all pellets (98% occurrence in pellets, n=147 and predominating in half of them (49.7%. The grasshopper associations in the pellets specify foraging mainly in mesophytic grasslands that usually replace abandoned fields and overgrown pastures with a low level of grazing. The xerophytic grass-shrubby habitats, not rare on stony terrains, were of less importance, providing around 20% by prey. The typical aquatic inhabitants and the use of carrion around villages were exceptions in the study diet. The number of innutritious materials in the pellets rose when the White Storks hunted on nippy and agile grasshoppers and decreased when the main pray was slower beetles taken from the ground. The roosting of non-breeding White Storks disappeared when their preferred feeding habitats were ploughed up in the following years.
Rodrigo B Ferreira
Full Text Available Understanding the response of species with differing life-history traits to habitat edges and habitat conversion helps predict their likelihood of persistence across changing landscape. In Brazil's Atlantic Forest, we evaluated frog richness and abundance by breeding guild at four distances from the edge of a reserve: i 200 m inside the forest, ii 50 m inside the forest, iii at the forest edge, and iv 50 m inside three different converted habitats (coffee plantation, non-native Eucalyptus plantation, and abandoned pastures, hereafter matrix types. By sampling a dry and a wet season, we recorded 622 individual frogs representing 29 species, of which three were undescribed. Breeding guild (i.e. bromeliad, leaf-litter, and water-body breeders was the most important variable explaining frog distributions in relation to edge effects and matrix types. Leaf-litter and bromeliad breeders decreased in richness and abundance from the forest interior toward the matrix habitats. Water-body breeders increased in richness toward the matrix and remained relatively stable in abundance across distances. Number of large trees (i.e. DBH > 15 cm and bromeliads best explained frog richness and abundance across distances. Twenty species found in the interior of the forest were not found in any matrix habitat. Richness and abundance across breeding guilds were higher in the rainy season but frog distributions were similar across the four distances in the two seasons. Across matrix types, leaf-litter species primarily used Eucalyptus plantations, whereas water-body species primarily used coffee plantations. Bromeliad breeders were not found inside any matrix habitat. Our study highlights the importance of primary forest for bromeliad and leaf-litter breeders. We propose that water-body breeders use edge and matrix habitats to reach breeding habitats along the valleys. Including life-history characteristics, such as breeding guild, can improve predictions of frog
Ferreira, Rodrigo B; Beard, Karen H; Crump, Martha L
Understanding the response of species with differing life-history traits to habitat edges and habitat conversion helps predict their likelihood of persistence across changing landscape. In Brazil's Atlantic Forest, we evaluated frog richness and abundance by breeding guild at four distances from the edge of a reserve: i) 200 m inside the forest, ii) 50 m inside the forest, iii) at the forest edge, and iv) 50 m inside three different converted habitats (coffee plantation, non-native Eucalyptus plantation, and abandoned pastures, hereafter matrix types). By sampling a dry and a wet season, we recorded 622 individual frogs representing 29 species, of which three were undescribed. Breeding guild (i.e. bromeliad, leaf-litter, and water-body breeders) was the most important variable explaining frog distributions in relation to edge effects and matrix types. Leaf-litter and bromeliad breeders decreased in richness and abundance from the forest interior toward the matrix habitats. Water-body breeders increased in richness toward the matrix and remained relatively stable in abundance across distances. Number of large trees (i.e. DBH > 15 cm) and bromeliads best explained frog richness and abundance across distances. Twenty species found in the interior of the forest were not found in any matrix habitat. Richness and abundance across breeding guilds were higher in the rainy season but frog distributions were similar across the four distances in the two seasons. Across matrix types, leaf-litter species primarily used Eucalyptus plantations, whereas water-body species primarily used coffee plantations. Bromeliad breeders were not found inside any matrix habitat. Our study highlights the importance of primary forest for bromeliad and leaf-litter breeders. We propose that water-body breeders use edge and matrix habitats to reach breeding habitats along the valleys. Including life-history characteristics, such as breeding guild, can improve predictions of frog distributions in
Bartelt, Paul E; Gallant, Alisa L; Klaver, Robert W; Wright, Chris K; Patla, Debra A; Peterson, Charles R
The ability to predict amphibian breeding across landscapes is important for informing land management decisions and helping biologists better understand and remediate factors contributing to declines in amphibian populations. We built geospatial models of likely breeding habitats for each of four amphibian species that breed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We used field data collected in 2000-2002 from 497 sites among 16 basins and predictor variables from geospatial models produced from remotely sensed data (e.g., digital elevation model, complex topographic index, landform data, wetland probability, and vegetative cover). Except for 31 sites in one basin that were surveyed in both 2000 and 2002, all sites were surveyed once. We used polytomous regression to build statistical models for each species of amphibian from (1) field survey site data only, (2) field data combined with data from geospatial models, and (3) data from geospatial models only. Based on measures of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) scores, models of the second type best explained likely breeding habitat because they contained the most information (ROC values ranged from 0.70 to 0.88). However, models of the third type could be applied to the entire YNP landscape and produced maps that could be verified with reserve field data. Accuracy rates for models built for single years were highly variable, ranging from 0.30 to 0.78. Accuracy rates for models built with data combined from multiple years were higher and less variable, ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. Combining results from the geospatial multiyear models yielded maps of "core" breeding areas (areas with high probability values for all three years) surrounded by areas that scored high for only one or two years, providing an estimate of variability among years. Such information can highlight landscape options for amphibian conservation. For example, our models identify alternative areas that could be protected for each species
Full Text Available Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1 before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2 in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection. Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.
Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof
Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.
Rigby, Elizabeth A.; Haukos, David A.
Mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) on the western Gulf Coast have exhibited a steep population decline since the mid 1990s. Low rates of breeding incidence and nest success have been implicated in this decline, but duckling survival and the habitat needs of broods have not been previously investigated in this region. We fitted mottled duck ducklings and adult females with radio transmitters and tracked broods to estimate duckling survival and brood habitat selection on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Duckling survival to 30 days was high (range among models 0.354–0.567) compared to other dabbling duck species. Estimated fecundity was low, (range among models 0.398–0.634) however, indicating that overall reproductive output is low. Within coastal marsh, broods selected home ranges with more water cover and less upland and fresh marsh landcover than was available in the study area. Within coastal marsh home ranges, broods selected for water cover relative to other landcover types, and there was some evidence that broods avoided unvegetated landcover. Although high quality brood habitat is undeniably important, management efforts to increase mottled duck population growth on the western Gulf Coast may best be spent on increasing nesting habitat quality to increase nest success and breeding incidence.
Ayllón, Daniel; Nicola, Graciela G.; Parra, Irene; Elvira, Benigno; Almodóvar, Ana
Habitat selection can be viewed as an emergent property of the quality and availability of habitat but also of the number of individuals and the way they compete for its use. Consequently, habitat selection can change across years due to fluctuating resources or to changes in population numbers. However, habitat selection predictive models often do not account for ecological dynamics, especially density dependent processes. In stage-structured population, the strength of density dependent interactions between individuals of different age classes can exert a profound influence on population trajectories and evolutionary processes. In this study, we aimed to assess the effects of fluctuating densities of both older and younger competing life stages on the habitat selection patterns (described as univariate and multivariate resource selection functions) of young-of-the-year, juvenile and adult brown trout Salmo trutta. We observed all age classes were selective in habitat choice but changed their selection patterns across years consistently with variations in the densities of older but not of younger age classes. Trout of an age increased selectivity for positions highly selected by older individuals when their density decreased, but this pattern did not hold when the density of younger age classes varied. It suggests that younger individuals are dominated by older ones but can expand their range of selected habitats when density of competitors decreases, while older trout do not seem to consider the density of younger individuals when distributing themselves even though they can negatively affect their final performance. Since these results may entail critical implications for conservation and management practices based on habitat selection models, further research should involve a wider range of river typologies and/or longer time frames to fully understand the patterns of and the mechanisms underlying the operation of density dependence on brown trout habitat
Juarez Campolina Machado; Moacil Alves de Souza; Davi Melo de Oliveira; Adeliano Cargnin; Aderico Júnior Badaró Pimentel; Josiane Cristina de Assis
The development of heat-tolerant varieties is an important goal of wheat breeding programs, requiringefficient selection methods. In the present study the use of recurrent selection was evaluated as a strategy to improve heatstress tolerance in wheat. Two cycles of recurrent selection were performed in experiments conducted in research areas of theUniversidade Federal de Viçosa, located in Coimbra-MG and Viçosa-MG, in 2004 and 2007, in two growing seasons (summerand winter). The genetic gain ...
Arthur, S.; Garner, G.; ,
We present a method of comparing data on habitat use and availability that allows availability to differ among observations. This method is applicable when habitats change over time and when animals are unable to move throughout a predetermined study area between observations. We used maximum-likelihood techniques to derive an index that estimates the probability that each habitat type would be used if all were equally available. We also demonstrate how these indices can be used to compare relative use of available habitats, assign them ranks, and assess statistical differences between pairs of indices. The set of these indices for all habitats can be compared between groups of animals that represent different seasons, sex or age classes, or experimental treatments. This method allows quantitative comparisons among types and is not affected by arbitrary decisions about which habitats to include in the study. We provide an example by comparing the availability of four categories of sea ice concentration to their use by adult female polar bears, whose movements were monitored by satellite radio tracking in the Bering and Chukchi Seas during 1990. Use of ice categories by bears was nonrandom, and the pattern of use differed between spring and late summer seasons.
Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars B.
Despite the dynamic nature of habitat selection, temporal variation as arising from factors such as weather are rarely quantified in species-habitat relationships. We analysed habitat use and selection (use/availability) of foraging, radio-tagged little owls (Athene noctua), a nocturnal, year...... and quadratic effects of temperature. Even when controlling for the temporal context, both land cover types were used more evenly than predicted from variation in availability (functional response in habitat selection). Use of two other land cover categories (pastures and moist areas) increased linearly...... with temperature and was proportional to their availability. The study shows that habitat selection by generalist foragers may be highly dependent on temporal variables such as weather, probably because such foragers switch between weather dependent feeding opportunities offered by different land cover types...
Joseph W Hinton
Full Text Available Recovery of large carnivores remains a challenge because complex spatial dynamics that facilitate population persistence are poorly understood. In particular, recovery of the critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus has been challenging because of its vulnerability to extinction via human-caused mortality and hybridization with coyotes (Canis latrans. Therefore, understanding red wolf space use and habitat selection is important to assist recovery because key aspects of wolf ecology such as interspecific competition, foraging, and habitat selection are well-known to influence population dynamics and persistence. During 2009-2011, we used global positioning system (GPS radio-telemetry to quantify space use and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient red wolves on the Albemarle Peninsula of eastern North Carolina. The Albemarle Peninsula was a predominantly agricultural landscape in which red wolves maintained spatially stable home ranges that varied between 25 km2 and 190 km2. Conversely, transient red wolves did not maintain home ranges and traversed areas between 122 km2 and 681 km2. Space use by transient red wolves was not spatially stable and exhibited shifting patterns until residency was achieved by individual wolves. Habitat selection was similar between resident and transient red wolves in which agricultural habitats were selected over forested habitats. However, transients showed stronger selection for edges and roads than resident red wolves. Behaviors of transient wolves are rarely reported in studies of space use and habitat selection because of technological limitations to observed extensive space use and because they do not contribute reproductively to populations. Transients in our study comprised displaced red wolves and younger dispersers that competed for limited space and mating opportunities. Therefore, our results suggest that transiency is likely an important life-history strategy for red wolves that
Hinton, Joseph W.; Proctor, Christine; Kelly, Marcella J.; van Manen, Frank T.; Vaughan, Michael R.; Chamberlain, Michael J.
Recovery of large carnivores remains a challenge because complex spatial dynamics that facilitate population persistence are poorly understood. In particular, recovery of the critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been challenging because of its vulnerability to extinction via human-caused mortality and hybridization with coyotes (Canis latrans). Therefore, understanding red wolf space use and habitat selection is important to assist recovery because key aspects of wolf ecology such as interspecific competition, foraging, and habitat selection are well-known to influence population dynamics and persistence. During 2009–2011, we used global positioning system (GPS) radio-telemetry to quantify space use and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient red wolves on the Albemarle Peninsula of eastern North Carolina. The Albemarle Peninsula was a predominantly agricultural landscape in which red wolves maintained spatially stable home ranges that varied between 25 km2 and 190 km2. Conversely, transient red wolves did not maintain home ranges and traversed areas between 122 km2 and 681 km2. Space use by transient red wolves was not spatially stable and exhibited shifting patterns until residency was achieved by individual wolves. Habitat selection was similar between resident and transient red wolves in which agricultural habitats were selected over forested habitats. However, transients showed stronger selection for edges and roads than resident red wolves. Behaviors of transient wolves are rarely reported in studies of space use and habitat selection because of technological limitations to observed extensive space use and because they do not contribute reproductively to populations. Transients in our study comprised displaced red wolves and younger dispersers that competed for limited space and mating opportunities. Therefore, our results suggest that transiency is likely an important life-history strategy for red wolves that facilitates
Han, Xuesong; Guo, Yumin; Mi, Chunrong; Huettmann, Falk; Wen, Lijia
The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is the only alpine crane species and is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. The breeding habitats of this species are poorly understood, which greatly hampers practical research and conservation work. Using machine learning methods and the best-available data from our 7,000-kilometer mega-transect survey and open access data, we built the first species distribution model (SDM) to analyze the black-necked crane's breeding habitats. Our model showed that current conservation gaps account for 26.7% of its predicted breeding habitats. Specifically, the northern parts of the Hengduan Mountains and the southeastern Tibet Valley, the northern side of the middle Kunlun Mountains, parts of the Pamir Plateau, the northern Pakistan Highlands and the western Hindu Kush should be considered as its main potential breeding areas. Additionally, our model suggested that the crane prefers to breed in alpine meadows at an elevation over 2,800 m, a maximum temperature of the warmest month below 20.5 °C, and a temperature seasonality above 7,800 units. The identified conservation gaps and potential breeding areas can aid in clearly prioritizing future conservation and research, but more attention and study should be directed to the unassessed Western Development of China to secure this endangered crane lineage and other wildlife on the Tibetan Plateau.
Vepsaelaeinen, Ville [Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki (Finland)
Here, I present the first comparison of the abundance of farmland birds in energy grass fields and in cereal-dominated conventionally cultivated fields (CCFs). I demonstrate that in boreal farmland, skylark (Alauda arvensis) densities were significantly lower in reed canary grass (RCG) (Phalaris arundinacea) fields than in CCFs. I found that during the early breeding season RCG fields and CCFs are equally good habitats, but over the ensuing couple of weeks RCG rapidly grows too tall and dense for field-nesting species. Consequently, RCG is an inferior habitat for skylark for laying replacement clutches (after failure of first nesting) or for a second clutch after one successful nesting. The results imply that if RCG cultivation is to be expanded, the establishment of large monocultures should be avoided in farmland landscapes; otherwise the novel habitat may affect detrimentally the seriously depleted skylark population, and probably also other field-nesting bird species with similar breeding habitats. (author)
Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.
Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.
Langevelde, van F.
Landscape fragmentation constrains movement of animals between habitat patches. Fragmentation may, therefore, limit the possibilities to explore and select the best habitat patches, and some animals may have to cope with low-quality patches due to these movement constraints. If so, these individuals
Study conducted in the forested bitumen belt of Ode-Irele, Ondo state, Nigeria evaluated habitat use by birds using 20- minutes birds point count to a radius of 30 meters, carried out in six selected habitats. The vegetation cover was sampled using 5x5-meters and 1m2quadrants. Data collected were subjected to t-test of ...
Grant, C.A. [AAFC Brandon Research Centre, Box 1000A, R.R. 3, Brandon, MB, R7A 5Y3 (Canada)], E-mail: email@example.com; Clarke, J.M. [AAFC Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre, Swift Current, SK, S9H 3X2 (Canada); Duguid, S. [AAFC Morden Research Station, Morden, MB, R6M 1Y5 (Canada); Chaney, R.L. [USDA, ARS, Animal Manure and Byproducts Laboratory, Room 013, Building 007, BARC-West, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 (United States)
Natural variation occurs in the uptake and distribution of essential and nonessential trace elements among crop species and among cultivars within species. Such variation can be responsible for trace element deficiencies and toxicities, which in turn can affect the quality of food. Plant breeding can be an important tool to both increase the concentration of desirable trace elements and reduce that of potentially harmful trace elements such as cadmium (Cd). Selection programs for a low-Cd content of various crops, including durum wheat, sunflower, rice and soybean have been established and low-Cd durum wheat cultivars and sunflower hybrids have been developed. In durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum), low-Cd concentration is controlled by a single dominant gene. The trait is highly heritable, and incorporation of the low-Cd allele can help to reduce the average grain Cd to levels below proposed international limits. The allele for low-Cd concentration does not appear to affect major economic traits and should not cause problems when incorporated into durum cultivars. The cost of Cd selection in a breeding program is initially large both in terms of Cd determination and reduced progress towards development of other economic traits, but declines as more breeding lines in the program carry the low-Cd trait and are utilized in new crosses. Production of low-Cd crop cultivars can be used as a tool to reduce the risk of movement of Cd into the human diet.
Pedersen, L D; Sørensen, A C; Henryon, M
ADAM is a computer program that models selective breeding schemes for animals using stochastic simulation. The program simulates a population of animals and traces the genetic changes in the population under different selective breeding scenarios. It caters to different population structures......, genetic models, selection strategies, and mating designs. ADAM can be used to evaluate breeding schemes and generate genetic data to test statistical tools...
Full Text Available Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle, most hatchling (<12-month-old freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni are found in floating vegetation mats or grassy banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk.
Somaweera, Ruchira; Webb, Jonathan K.; Shine, Richard
Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle), most hatchling (banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles) were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk. PMID:22163308
Piatt, John F.; Naslund, Nancy L.; van Pelt, Thomas I.
On 13 June 1993, a new Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) nest was discovered near Red Mountain on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The nest was on a 22° slope at about 900 m elevation with a northeast aspect, and contained a 60.2 × 40.6 mm egg that weighed 49.0 g. Downy feathers and weathered fecal material found at the nest indicated re-use from a previous year, suggesting possible nest site fidelity. The nest was located in an area scoured by winds and free of snow during early spring, suggesting that this may be an important mesoscale factor influencing selection of nesting habitat. Proximity to suitable foraging habitat, particularly sheltered bays and glacial river outflows, may affect breeding habitat choice over larger spatial scales.
McFarland, Heather R.; Kendall, Steve J.; Powell, Abby
Despite changes in shrub cover and weather patterns associated with climate change in the Arctic, little is known about the breeding requirements of most passerines tied to northern regions. We investigated the nesting biology and nest habitat characteristics of Smith's Longspurs (Calcarius pictus) in 2 study areas in the Brooks Range of Alaska, USA. First, we examined variation in nesting phenology in relation to local temperatures. We then characterized nesting habitat and analyzed nest-site selection for a subset of nests (n = 86) in comparison with paired random points. Finally, we estimated the daily survival rate of 257 nests found in 2007–2013 with respect to both habitat characteristics and weather variables. Nest initiation was delayed in years with snow events, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures early in the breeding season. Nests were typically found in open, low-shrub tundra, and never among tall shrubs (mean shrub height at nests = 26.8 ± 6.7 cm). We observed weak nest-site selection patterns. Considering the similarity between nest sites and paired random points, coupled with the unique social mating system of Smith's Longspurs, we suggest that habitat selection may occur at the neighborhood scale and not at the nest-site scale. The best approximating model explaining nest survival suggested a positive relationship with the numbers of days above 21°C that an individual nest experienced; there was little support for models containing habitat variables. The daily nest survival rate was high (0.972–0.982) compared with that of most passerines in forested or grassland habitats, but similar to that of passerines nesting on tundra. Considering their high nesting success and ability to delay nest initiation during inclement weather, Smith's Longspurs may be resilient to predicted changes in weather regimes on the breeding grounds. Thus, the greatest threat to breeding Smith's Longspurs associated with climate change may be the loss of low
Adam Duarte,; Hatfield, Jeffrey; Todd M. Swannack,; Michael R. J. Forstner,; M. Clay Green,; Floyd W. Weckerly,
Population viability analyses provide a quantitative approach that seeks to predict the possible future status of a species of interest under different scenarios and, therefore, can be important components of large-scale species’ conservation programs. We created a model and simulated range-wide population and breeding habitat dynamics for an endangered woodland warbler, the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia). Habitat-transition probabilities were estimated across the warbler's breeding range by combining National Land Cover Database imagery with multistate modeling. Using these estimates, along with recently published demographic estimates, we examined if the species can remain viable into the future given the current conditions. Lastly, we evaluated if protecting a greater amount of habitat would increase the number of warblers that can be supported in the future by systematically increasing the amount of protected habitat and comparing the estimated terminal carrying capacity at the end of 50 years of simulated habitat change. The estimated habitat-transition probabilities supported the hypothesis that habitat transitions are unidirectional, whereby habitat is more likely to diminish than regenerate. The model results indicated population viability could be achieved under current conditions, depending on dispersal. However, there is considerable uncertainty associated with the population projections due to parametric uncertainty. Model results suggested that increasing the amount of protected lands would have a substantial impact on terminal carrying capacities at the end of a 50-year simulation. Notably, this study identifies the need for collecting the data required to estimate demographic parameters in relation to changes in habitat metrics and population density in multiple regions, and highlights the importance of establishing a common definition of what constitutes protected habitat, what management goals are suitable within those protected
Gopal, Murali; Gupta, Alka
" No plant is an island too …" Plants, though sessile, have developed a unique strategy to counter biotic and abiotic stresses by symbiotically co-evolving with microorganisms and tapping into their genome for this purpose. Soil is the bank of microbial diversity from which a plant selectively sources its microbiome to suit its needs. Besides soil, seeds, which carry the genetic blueprint of plants during trans-generational propagation, are home to diverse microbiota that acts as the principal source of microbial inoculum in crop cultivation. Overall, a plant is ensconced both on the outside and inside with a diverse assemblage of microbiota. Together, the plant genome and the genes of the microbiota that the plant harbors in different plant tissues, i.e., the 'plant microbiome,' form the holobiome which is now considered as unit of selection: 'the holobiont.' The 'plant microbiome' not only helps plants to remain fit but also offers critical genetic variability, hitherto, not employed in the breeding strategy by plant breeders, who traditionally have exploited the genetic variability of the host for developing high yielding or disease tolerant or drought resistant varieties. This fresh knowledge of the microbiome, particularly of the rhizosphere, offering genetic variability to plants, opens up new horizons for breeding that could usher in cultivation of next-generation crops depending less on inorganic inputs, resistant to insect pest and diseases and resilient to climatic perturbations. We surmise, from ever increasing evidences, that plants and their microbial symbionts need to be co-propagated as life-long partners in future strategies for plant breeding. In this perspective, we propose bottom-up approach to co-propagate the co-evolved, the plant along with the target microbiome, through - (i) reciprocal soil transplantation method, or (ii) artificial ecosystem selection method of synthetic microbiome inocula, or (iii) by exploration of microRNA transfer
Groff, Luke A.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.; Loftin, Cynthia S.
Poikilothermic species, such as amphibians, endure harsh winter conditions via freeze-tolerance or freeze-avoidance strategies. Freeze-tolerance requires a suite of complex, physiological mechanisms (e.g., cryoprotectant synthesis); however, behavioral strategies (e.g., hibernal habitat selection) may be used to regulate hibernaculum temperatures and promote overwintering survival. We investigated the hibernal ecology of the freeze-tolerant Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) in north-central Maine. Our objectives were to characterize the species hibernaculum microclimate (temperature, relative humidity), evaluate hibernal habitat selection, and describe the spatial arrangement of breeding, post-breeding, and hibernal habitats. We monitored 15 frogs during two winters (2011/12: N = 10; 2012/13: N = 5), measured hibernal habitat features at micro (2 m) and macro (10 m) spatial scales, and recorded microclimate hourly in three strata (hibernaculum, leaf litter, ambient air). We compared these data to that of 57 random locations with logistic regression models, Akaike Information Criterion, and Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests. Hibernaculum microclimate was significantly different and less variable than leaf litter, ambient air, and random location microclimate. Model averaging indicated that canopy cover (−), leaf litter depth (+), and number of logs and stumps (+; microhabitat only) were important predictors of Wood Frog hibernal habitat. These habitat features likely act to insulate hibernating frogs from extreme and variable air temperatures. For example, decreased canopy cover facilitates increased snowpack depth and earlier snowpack accumulation and melt. Altered winter temperature and precipitation patterns attributable to climate change may reduce snowpack insulation, facilitate greater temperature variation in the underlying hibernacula, and potentially compromise Wood Frog winter survival.
Michael J Whitehouse
Full Text Available Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing temperatures. However, few have considered the likely outcome of predicted extreme conditions and the relative vulnerability of populations in different habitats. Here, we compare phenology and breeding success in great tits and blue tits over a 10 year period, including the extremely harsh conditions during spring 2012, at three sites in eastern England--mixed deciduous woodland, riparian and urban habitat. Production, measured as brood biomass, was significantly lower in 2012 compared with the previous 9 years, with the decrease in productivity relatively greatest in woodland habitat. Production was related to hatch delay, i.e. birds not initiating incubation immediately after clutch completion, which was more common in 2012 than in previous years. The best predictor of hatch delay was daytime temperature (not nighttime minimum temperature and rainfall, which convincingly reflected low growth and activity of caterpillar prey. We found that birds breeding in riparian and urban habitats were less vulnerable to the extremes of weather than those breeding in mixed deciduous woodland.
William H. Lane; David E. Andersen; Thomas H. Nicholls
To determine habitat use and movements of male Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in northeast Minnesota, we monitored 10 radio-equipped owls from 1990-1992. We used mist nets, bal-chartris, and the taped playback recording of the primary song of the male Boreal Owl to trap territorial male owls during the springtime breeding season.
Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of
Joseph W Hinton
Full Text Available Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2. Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009-2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as "biding" areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.
Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T.; Chamberlain, Michael J
Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009–2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as “biding” areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.
Hatten, James R.; Sogge, Mark K.
Introduction The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus; hereafter SWFL) is a federally endangered bird (USFWS 1995) that breeds in riparian areas in portions of New Mexico, Arizona, southwestern Colorado, extreme southern Utah and Nevada, and southern California (USFWS 2002). Across this range, it uses a variety of plant species as nesting/breeding habitat, but in all cases prefers sites with dense vegetation, high canopy, and proximity to surface water or saturated soils (Sogge and Marshall 2000). As of 2005, the known rangewide breeding population of SWFLs was roughly 1,214 territories, with approximately 393 territories distributed among 36 sites in New Mexico (Durst et al. 2006), primarily along the Rio Grande. One of the key challenges facing the management and conservation of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher is that riparian areas are dynamic, with individual habitat patches subject to cycles of creation, growth, and loss due to drought, flooding, fire, and other disturbances. Former breeding patches can lose suitability, and new habitat can develop within a matter of only a few years, especially in reservoir drawdown zones. Therefore, measuring and predicting flycatcher habitat - either to discover areas that might support SWFLs, or to identify areas that may develop into appropriate habitat - requires knowledge of recent/current habitat conditions and an understanding of the factors that determine flycatcher use of riparian breeding sites. In the past, much of the determination of whether a riparian site is likely to support breeding flycatchers has been based on qualitative criteria (for example, 'dense vegetation' or 'large patches'). These determinations often require on-the-ground field evaluations by local or regional SWFL experts. While this has proven valuable in locating many of the currently known breeding sites, it is difficult or impossible to apply this approach effectively over large geographic areas (for example, the
Guo Yahua; Xie Libo; Wang Xue; Deng Liping
New pepper variety Yujiao No.1 and new pepper lines with different horticultural characters are obtained by new breeding technique: combination of space inducement and regular breeding, field selection and inherited marker
Escoriza, Daniel; Boix, Dani
The existence of suitable breeding habitats is an important factor explaining the regional presence of an anuran species. This study examined patterns of habitat selection in populations of three species of the genus Discoglossus: Discoglossusgalganoi (south-western Iberian Peninsula), Discoglossusscovazzi (Morocco) and Discoglossuspictus (three different areas were included in the study: Sicily, Tunisia and north-eastern Iberian Peninsula). The populations of D. pictus on the Iberian Peninsula are allochthonous, and analysis of these patterns may provide insights into the processes that regulate the invasion phase. The hypotheses tested were: (i) congeneric species show the same patterns of habitat selection, and alien species have been established following these patterns; (ii) there are differences in species associations between assemblages structured deterministically and by chance, i.e. native versus invaded assemblages. The larval habitats of three species of this genus were characterized by measuring physical and chemical parameters of the water bodies. We examined the covariation between the presence of Discoglossus species and the species richness of sympatric anurans, and investigated a possible relationship between morphological similarity (as a proxy of functional group) and overlap in habitat use. The results showed that congeneric species are morphologically conservative and also select very similar types of aquatic habitat. The alien population and other sympatric species showed a high degree of overlap in habitat use, which was greater than that observed in the native assemblage with a similar functional richness. Species associations were not structured on the basis of morphological similarity in any of the assemblages. Among native populations, the presence of Discoglossus was either negatively correlated or not significantly correlated with species richness. Only the alien population showed a positive correlation between its presence and species
Full Text Available Plants, though sessile, have developed a unique strategy to counter biotic and abiotic stresses by symbiotically co-evolving with microorganisms and tapping into their genome for this purpose. Soil is the bank of microbial diversity from which a plant selectively sources its microbiome to suit its needs. Besides soil, seeds, which carry the genetic blueprint of plants during trans-generational propagation, are home to diverse microbiota that acts as the principal source of microbial inoculum in crop cultivation. Overall, a plant is ensconced both on the outside and inside with a diverse assemblage of microbiota. Together, the plant genome and the genes of the microbiota that the plant harbours in different plant tissues i.e the ‘plant microbiome’, form the holobiome which is now considered as unit of selection: ‘the holobiont’. The ‘plant microbiome’ not only helps plants to remain fit but also offers critical genetic variability, hitherto, not employed in the breeding strategy by plant breeders, who traditionally have exploited the genetic variability of the host for developing high yielding or disease tolerant or drought resistant varieties. This fresh knowledge of the microbiome, particularly of the rhizosphere, offering genetic variability to plants, opens up new horizons for breeding that could usher in cultivation of next-generation crops depending less on inorganic inputs, resistant to insect pest and diseases and resilient to climatic perturbations. We surmise, from ever increasing evidences, that plants and their microbial symbionts need to be co-propagated as life-long partners in future strategies for plant breeding.
Elferink, Martin G.; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Vereijken, Addie; Hu, Xiaoxiang; Crooijmans, Richard P. M. A.; Groenen, Martien A. M.
Identifying genomics regions that are affected by selection is important to understand the domestication and selection history of the domesticated chicken, as well as understanding molecular pathways underlying phenotypic traits and breeding goals. While whole-genome approaches, either high-density SNP chips or massively parallel sequencing, have been successfully applied to identify evidence for selective sweeps in chicken, it has been difficult to distinguish patterns of selection and stochastic and breed specific effects. Here we present a study to identify selective sweeps in a large number of chicken breeds (67 in total) using a high-density (58 K) SNP chip. We analyzed commercial chickens representing all major breeding goals. In addition, we analyzed non-commercial chicken diversity for almost all recognized traditional Dutch breeds and a selection of representative breeds from China. Based on their shared history or breeding goal we in silico grouped the breeds into 14 breed groups. We identified 396 chromosomal regions that show suggestive evidence of selection in at least one breed group with 26 of these regions showing strong evidence of selection. Of these 26 regions, 13 were previously described and 13 yield new candidate genes for performance traits in chicken. Our approach demonstrates the strength of including many different populations with similar, and breed groups with different selection histories to reduce stochastic effects based on single populations. PMID:22384281
le Roex, N; Berrington, C M; Hoal, E G; van Helden, P D
The high prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in regions of southern African has a negative economic impact on the trade of animals and animal products, represents an ecological threat to biodiversity, and poses a health risk to local communities through the wildlife-cattle-human interface. Test and cull methods may not be logistically feasible in many free-range wildlife systems, and with the presence of co-existing BTB hosts and the limited effectiveness of the BCG vaccine in buffalo, there is a need for alternative methods of BTB management. Selective breeding for increased resistance to BTB in buffalo may be a viable method of BTB management in the future, particularly if genetic information can be incorporated into these schemes. To explore this possibility, we discuss the different strategies that can be employed in selective breeding programmes, and consider the implementation of genetic improvement schemes. We reflect on the suitability of applying this strategy for enhanced BTB resistance in African buffalo, and address the challenges of this approach that must be taken into account. Conclusions and the implications for management are presented. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Domesticated species are often composed of distinct populations differing in the character and strength of artificial and natural selection pressures, providing a valuable model to study adaptation. In contrast to pure-breed dogs that constitute artificially maintained inbred lines, free-ranging dogs are typically free-breeding, i.e., unrestrained in mate choice. Many traits in free-breeding dogs (FBDs may be under similar natural and sexual selection conditions to wild canids, while relaxation of sexual selection is expected in pure-breed dogs. We used a Bayesian approach with strict false-positive control criteria to identify FST-outlier SNPs between FBDs and either European or East Asian breeds, based on 167,989 autosomal SNPs. By identifying outlier SNPs located within coding genes, we found four candidate genes under diversifying selection shared by these two comparisons. Three of them are associated with the Hedgehog (HH signaling pathway regulating vertebrate morphogenesis. A comparison between FBDs and East Asian breeds also revealed diversifying selection on the BBS6 gene, which was earlier shown to cause snout shortening and dental crowding via disrupted HH signaling. Our results suggest that relaxation of natural and sexual selection in pure-breed dogs as opposed to FBDs could have led to mild changes in regulation of the HH signaling pathway. HH inhibits adhesion and the migration of neural crest cells from the neural tube, and minor deficits of these cells during embryonic development have been proposed as the underlying cause of “domestication syndrome.” This suggests that the process of breed formation involved the same genetic and developmental pathways as the process of domestication.
Bjørneraas, Kari; Herfindal, Ivar; Solberg, Erling Johan; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer Moe
Identifying factors shaping variation in resource selection is central for our understanding of the behaviour and distribution of animals. We examined summer habitat selection and space use by 108 Global Positioning System (GPS)-collared moose in Norway in relation to sex, reproductive status, habitat quality, and availability. Moose selected habitat types based on a combination of forage quality and availability of suitable habitat types. Selection of protective cover was strongest for reproducing females, likely reflecting the need to protect young. Males showed strong selection for habitat types with high quality forage, possibly due to higher energy requirements. Selection for preferred habitat types providing food and cover was a positive function of their availability within home ranges (i.e. not proportional use) indicating functional response in habitat selection. This relationship was not found for unproductive habitat types. Moreover, home ranges with high cover of unproductive habitat types were larger, and smaller home ranges contained higher proportions of the most preferred habitat type. The distribution of moose within the study area was partly related to the distribution of different habitat types. Our study shows how distribution and availability of habitat types providing cover and high-quality food shape ungulate habitat selection and space use.
Dimitrijevic, Aleksandra; Horn, Renate
In sunflower, molecular markers for simple traits as, e.g., fertility restoration, high oleic acid content, herbicide tolerance or resistances to Plasmopara halstedii, Puccinia helianthi , or Orobanche cumana have been successfully used in marker-assisted breeding programs for years. However, agronomically important complex quantitative traits like yield, heterosis, drought tolerance, oil content or selection for disease resistance, e.g., against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum have been challenging and will require genome-wide approaches. Plant genetic resources for sunflower are being collected and conserved worldwide that represent valuable resources to study complex traits. Sunflower association panels provide the basis for genome-wide association studies, overcoming disadvantages of biparental populations. Advances in technologies and the availability of the sunflower genome sequence made novel approaches on the whole genome level possible. Genotype-by-sequencing, and whole genome sequencing based on next generation sequencing technologies facilitated the production of large amounts of SNP markers for high density maps as well as SNP arrays and allowed genome-wide association studies and genomic selection in sunflower. Genome wide or candidate gene based association studies have been performed for traits like branching, flowering time, resistance to Sclerotinia head and stalk rot. First steps in genomic selection with regard to hybrid performance and hybrid oil content have shown that genomic selection can successfully address complex quantitative traits in sunflower and will help to speed up sunflower breeding programs in the future. To make sunflower more competitive toward other oil crops higher levels of resistance against pathogens and better yield performance are required. In addition, optimizing plant architecture toward a more complex growth type for higher plant densities has the potential to considerably increase yields per hectare. Integrative approaches
Dimitrijevic, Aleksandra; Horn, Renate
In sunflower, molecular markers for simple traits as, e.g., fertility restoration, high oleic acid content, herbicide tolerance or resistances to Plasmopara halstedii, Puccinia helianthi, or Orobanche cumana have been successfully used in marker-assisted breeding programs for years. However, agronomically important complex quantitative traits like yield, heterosis, drought tolerance, oil content or selection for disease resistance, e.g., against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum have been challenging and will require genome-wide approaches. Plant genetic resources for sunflower are being collected and conserved worldwide that represent valuable resources to study complex traits. Sunflower association panels provide the basis for genome-wide association studies, overcoming disadvantages of biparental populations. Advances in technologies and the availability of the sunflower genome sequence made novel approaches on the whole genome level possible. Genotype-by-sequencing, and whole genome sequencing based on next generation sequencing technologies facilitated the production of large amounts of SNP markers for high density maps as well as SNP arrays and allowed genome-wide association studies and genomic selection in sunflower. Genome wide or candidate gene based association studies have been performed for traits like branching, flowering time, resistance to Sclerotinia head and stalk rot. First steps in genomic selection with regard to hybrid performance and hybrid oil content have shown that genomic selection can successfully address complex quantitative traits in sunflower and will help to speed up sunflower breeding programs in the future. To make sunflower more competitive toward other oil crops higher levels of resistance against pathogens and better yield performance are required. In addition, optimizing plant architecture toward a more complex growth type for higher plant densities has the potential to considerably increase yields per hectare. Integrative approaches
Full Text Available In sunflower, molecular markers for simple traits as, e.g., fertility restoration, high oleic acid content, herbicide tolerance or resistances to Plasmopara halstedii, Puccinia helianthi, or Orobanche cumana have been successfully used in marker-assisted breeding programs for years. However, agronomically important complex quantitative traits like yield, heterosis, drought tolerance, oil content or selection for disease resistance, e.g., against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum have been challenging and will require genome-wide approaches. Plant genetic resources for sunflower are being collected and conserved worldwide that represent valuable resources to study complex traits. Sunflower association panels provide the basis for genome-wide association studies, overcoming disadvantages of biparental populations. Advances in technologies and the availability of the sunflower genome sequence made novel approaches on the whole genome level possible. Genotype-by-sequencing, and whole genome sequencing based on next generation sequencing technologies facilitated the production of large amounts of SNP markers for high density maps as well as SNP arrays and allowed genome-wide association studies and genomic selection in sunflower. Genome wide or candidate gene based association studies have been performed for traits like branching, flowering time, resistance to Sclerotinia head and stalk rot. First steps in genomic selection with regard to hybrid performance and hybrid oil content have shown that genomic selection can successfully address complex quantitative traits in sunflower and will help to speed up sunflower breeding programs in the future. To make sunflower more competitive toward other oil crops higher levels of resistance against pathogens and better yield performance are required. In addition, optimizing plant architecture toward a more complex growth type for higher plant densities has the potential to considerably increase yields per hectare
Sakata, Masayuki K.; Maki, Nobutaka; Sugiyama, Hideki; Minamoto, Toshifumi
Freshwater biodiversity has been severely threatened in recent years, and to conserve endangered species, their distribution and breeding habitats need to be clarified. However, identifying breeding sites in a large area is generally difficult. Here, by combining the emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis with subsequent traditional collection surveys, we successfully identified a breeding habitat for the critically endangered freshwater fish Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan, which is one of the original habitats of this species. Based on DNA cytochrome B sequences of A. typus and closely related species, we developed species-specific primers and a probe that were used in real-time PCR for detecting A. typus eDNA. After verifying the specificity and applicability of the primers and probe on water samples from known artificial habitats, eDNA analysis was applied to water samples collected at 99 sites along Omono River. Two of the samples were positive for A. typus eDNA, and thus, small fixed nets and bottle traps were set out to capture adult fish and verify egg deposition in bivalves (the preferred breeding substrate for A. typus) in the corresponding regions. Mature female and male individuals and bivalves containing laid eggs were collected at one of the eDNA-positive sites. This was the first record of adult A. typus in Omono River in 11 years. This study highlights the value of eDNA analysis to guide conventional monitoring surveys and shows that combining both methods can provide important information on breeding sites that is essential for species' conservation.
Sakata, Masayuki K; Maki, Nobutaka; Sugiyama, Hideki; Minamoto, Toshifumi
Freshwater biodiversity has been severely threatened in recent years, and to conserve endangered species, their distribution and breeding habitats need to be clarified. However, identifying breeding sites in a large area is generally difficult. Here, by combining the emerging environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis with subsequent traditional collection surveys, we successfully identified a breeding habitat for the critically endangered freshwater fish Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan, which is one of the original habitats of this species. Based on DNA cytochrome B sequences of A. typus and closely related species, we developed species-specific primers and a probe that were used in real-time PCR for detecting A. typus eDNA. After verifying the specificity and applicability of the primers and probe on water samples from known artificial habitats, eDNA analysis was applied to water samples collected at 99 sites along Omono River. Two of the samples were positive for A. typus eDNA, and thus, small fixed nets and bottle traps were set out to capture adult fish and verify egg deposition in bivalves (the preferred breeding substrate for A. typus) in the corresponding regions. Mature female and male individuals and bivalves containing laid eggs were collected at one of the eDNA-positive sites. This was the first record of adult A. typus in Omono River in 11 years. This study highlights the value of eDNA analysis to guide conventional monitoring surveys and shows that combining both methods can provide important information on breeding sites that is essential for species' conservation.
Full Text Available At our work we have analysed the organisation of calving in Charolais breed during the years from 1998 to 2001 at selected farm. Our monitoring of calving during winter season (from January to February shows the percentage of calving was in particular years ranged from 43.2 to 71.1. The most calves were born in February. We found out (total all years diffi cult calving (value 3 in 2 cases in April (1998 and 1999 and 1 case in February (1998 and 1 in March (1999. Calving marked with value 2 (total of all years we found out in January (2 cases, February (3 cases, March (4 cases and from September to December past one case. From 18 cases of diffi cult calving what we found out, 11 calves (61.11 % come from CHV 529 bull. In calves born by normal calving was found out average weight 34.75 kg, in ones born by calving with level 2 of diffi culty 36.36 kg, and in calves born by calving with diffi culty 3 was recorded average weight 41.5 kg. Recorded weight at 210 days of age in mostly cases was similar like in published breed standard.
Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.
The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Donovan, Therese M.; Cornell, Kerri L.
Habitat selection theory predicts that individuals choose breeding habitats that maximize fitness returns on the basis of indirect environmental cues at multiple spatial scales. We performed a 3-year field experiment to evaluate five alternative hypotheses regarding whether individuals choose breeding territories in heterogeneous landscapes on the basis of (1) shrub cover within a site, (2) forest land-cover pattern surrounding a site, (3) conspecific song cues during prebreeding settlement periods, (4) a combination of these factors, and (5) interactions among these factors. We tested hypotheses with playbacks of conspecific song across a gradient of landscape pattern and shrub density and evaluated changes in territory occupancy patterns in a forest-nesting passerine, the Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens). Our results support the hypothesis that vegetation structure plays a primary role during presettlement periods in determining occupancy patterns in this species. Further, both occupancy rates and territory turnover were affected by an interaction between local shrub density and amount of forest in the surrounding landscape, but not by interactions between habitat cues and social cues. Although previous studies of this species in unfragmented landscapes found that social postbreeding song cues played a key role in determining territory settlement, our prebreeding playbacks were not associated with territory occupancy or turnover. Our results suggest that in heterogeneous landscapes during spring settlement, vegetation structure may be a more reliable signal of reproductive performance than the physical location of other individuals.
Van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer M; Basille, Mathieu; Gaillard, Jean-Michel
Animal space use has been studied by focusing either on geographic (e.g. home ranges, species' distribution) or on environmental (e.g. habitat use and selection) space. However, all patterns of space use emerge from individual movements, which are the primary means by which animals change their environment. Individuals increase their use of a given area by adjusting two key movement components: the duration of their visit and/or the frequency of revisits. Thus, in spatially heterogeneous environments, animals exploit known, high-quality resource areas by increasing their residence time (RT) in and/or decreasing their time to return (TtoR) to these areas. We expected that spatial variation in these two movement properties should lead to observed patterns of space use in both geographic and environmental spaces. We derived a set of nine predictions linking spatial distribution of movement properties to emerging space-use patterns. We predicted that, at a given scale, high variation in RT and TtoR among habitats leads to strong habitat selection and that long RT and short TtoR result in a small home range size. We tested these predictions using moose (Alces alces) GPS tracking data. We first modelled the relationship between landscape characteristics and movement properties. Then, we investigated how the spatial distribution of predicted movement properties (i.e. spatial autocorrelation, mean, and variance of RT and TtoR) influences home range size and hierarchical habitat selection. In landscapes with high spatial autocorrelation of RT and TtoR, a high variation in both RT and TtoR occurred in home ranges. As expected, home range location was highly selective in such landscapes (i.e. second-order habitat selection); RT was higher and TtoR lower within the selected home range than outside, and moose home ranges were small. Within home ranges, a higher variation in both RT and TtoR was associated with higher selectivity among habitat types (i.e. third-order habitat
Jannink, Jean-Luc; Lorenz, Aaron J; Iwata, Hiroyoshi
We intuitively believe that the dramatic drop in the cost of DNA marker information we have experienced should have immediate benefits in accelerating the delivery of crop varieties with improved yield, quality and biotic and abiotic stress tolerance. But these traits are complex and affected by many genes, each with small effect. Traditional marker-assisted selection has been ineffective for such traits. The introduction of genomic selection (GS), however, has shifted that paradigm. Rather than seeking to identify individual loci significantly associated with a trait, GS uses all marker data as predictors of performance and consequently delivers more accurate predictions. Selection can be based on GS predictions, potentially leading to more rapid and lower cost gains from breeding. The objectives of this article are to review essential aspects of GS and summarize the important take-home messages from recent theoretical, simulation and empirical studies. We then look forward and consider research needs surrounding methodological questions and the implications of GS for long-term selection.
Morton, Richard; Howarth, Jordan M
Fish bred in tanks or ponds cannot be easily tagged individually. The parentage of any individual may be determined by DNA fingerprinting, but is sufficiently expensive that large numbers cannot be so finger-printed. The measurement of the objective trait can be made on a much larger sample relatively cheaply. This article deals with experimental designs for selecting individuals to be finger-printed and for the estimation of the individual and family breeding values. The general setup provides estimates for both genetic effects regarded as fixed or random and for fixed effects due to known regressors. The family effects can be well estimated when even very small numbers are finger-printed, provided that they are the individuals with the most extreme phenotypes.
Fijn, R. C.; de Jong, J.; Courtens, W.; Verstraete, H.; Stienen, E. W. M.; Poot, M. J. M.
Breeding success of seabirds critically depends on their foraging success offshore. However, studies combining at-sea tracking and visual provisioning observations are scarce, especially for smaller species of seabirds. This study is the first in which breeding Sandwich Terns were tracked with GPS-loggers to collect detailed data on foraging habitat use in four breeding seasons. The maximum home range of individual Sandwich Terns comprised approximately 1900 km2 and the average foraging range was 27 km. Trip durations were on average 135 min with average trip lengths of 67 km. Actual foraging behaviour comprised 35% of the time budget of a foraging trip. Substantial year-to-year variation was found in habitat use and trip variables, yet with the exception of 2012, home range size remained similar between years. Food availability, chick age and environmental conditions are proposed as the main driving factors between inter- and intra-annual variations in trip variables. Our multi-method approach also provided geo-referenced information on prey presence and we conclude that future combining of colony observations and GPS-loggers deployments can potentially provide a near complete insight into the feeding ecology of breeding Sandwich Terns, including the behaviour of birds at sea.
Full Text Available Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal.
Thomsen, Jörn; Stapp, Laura S; Haynert, Kristin; Schade, Hanna; Danelli, Maria; Lannig, Gisela; Wegner, K Mathias; Melzner, Frank
Ocean acidification severely affects bivalves, especially their larval stages. Consequently, the fate of this ecologically and economically important group depends on the capacity and rate of evolutionary adaptation to altered ocean carbonate chemistry. We document successful settlement of wild mussel larvae ( Mytilus edulis ) in a periodically CO 2 -enriched habitat. The larval fitness of the population originating from the CO 2 -enriched habitat was compared to the response of a population from a nonenriched habitat in a common garden experiment. The high CO 2 -adapted population showed higher fitness under elevated P co 2 (partial pressure of CO 2 ) than the non-adapted cohort, demonstrating, for the first time, an evolutionary response of a natural mussel population to ocean acidification. To assess the rate of adaptation, we performed a selection experiment over three generations. CO 2 tolerance differed substantially between the families within the F 1 generation, and survival was drastically decreased in the highest, yet realistic, P co 2 treatment. Selection of CO 2 -tolerant F 1 animals resulted in higher calcification performance of F 2 larvae during early shell formation but did not improve overall survival. Our results thus reveal significant short-term selective responses of traits directly affected by ocean acidification and long-term adaptation potential in a key bivalve species. Because immediate response to selection did not directly translate into increased fitness, multigenerational studies need to take into consideration the multivariate nature of selection acting in natural habitats. Combinations of short-term selection with long-term adaptation in populations from CO 2 -enriched versus nonenriched natural habitats represent promising approaches for estimating adaptive potential of organisms facing global change.
Full Text Available Although translocation has been used in mitigating human-carnivore conflict for decades, few studies have been conducted on the behavioral ecology of released animals. Such information is necessary in the context of sustainable forest management. In this study we determine the type of land cover used as main habitat and examine the activity pattern of translocated tigers. Between 2008 and 2010 we captured six conflict tigers and translocated them 74-1,350 km from their capture sites in Sumatera. All tigers were fitted with global positioning system (GPS collars. The collars were set to fix 24-48 location coordinates per day. All translocated tigers showed a preference for a certain habitat type within their new home range, and tended to select the majority of natural land cover type within the landscape as their main habitat, but the availability of natural forest habitat within the landscape remains essensial for their survival. The activity of male translocated tigers differed significantly between the six time intervals of 24 hours, and their most active periods were in the afternoon (14:00-18:00 hours and in the evening (18:00-22:00 hours. Despite being preliminary, the findings of this study-which was the first such study conducted in Sumatera-highlight the conservation value of tiger translocation and provide valuable information for improving future management of conflict tigers.Keywords: activity pattern, GPS collars, habitat selection, sumateran tiger, translocation
Reginia H Y Yan
Full Text Available The ratio of the length of the second digit (index finger divided by the fourth digit (ring finger tends to be lower in men than in women. This 2D:4D digit ratio is often used as a proxy for prenatal androgen exposure in studies of human health and behavior. For example, 2D:4D ratio is lower (i.e. more "masculinized" in both men and women of greater physical fitness and/or sporting ability. Lab mice have also shown variation in 2D:4D as a function of uterine environment, and mouse digit ratios seem also to correlate with behavioral traits, including daily activity levels. Selective breeding for increased rates of voluntary exercise (wheel running in four lines of mice has caused correlated increases in aerobic exercise capacity, circulating corticosterone level, and predatory aggression. Here, we show that this selection regime has also increased 2D:4D. This apparent "feminization" in mice is opposite to the relationship seen between 2D:4D and physical fitness in human beings. The present results are difficult to reconcile with the notion that 2D:4D is an effective proxy for prenatal androgen exposure; instead, it may more accurately reflect effects of glucocorticoids, or other factors that regulate any of many genes.
LaGory, K.E.; Chang, Young-Soo; Chun, K.C.; Reeves, T.; Liebich, R.; Smith, K.
This report, conducted from May through July 2000, addressed the potential effect of compressor noise on breeding birds in gas-production areas administered by the FFO, specifically in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The study was designed to quantify and characterize noise output from these compressors and to determine if compressor noise affected bird populations in adjacent habitat during the breeding season.
Wang, Yu; Bennewitz, Jörn; Wellmann, Robin
Optimum contribution selection (OCS) is effective for increasing genetic gain, controlling the rate of inbreeding and enables maintenance of genetic diversity. However, this diversity may be caused by high migrant contributions (MC) in the population due to introgression of genetic material from other breeds, which can threaten the conservation of small local populations. Therefore, breeding objectives should not only focus on increasing genetic gains but also on maintaining genetic originality and diversity of native alleles. This study aimed at investigating whether OCS was improved by including MC and modified kinships that account for breed origin of alleles. Three objective functions were considered for minimizing kinship, minimizing MC and maximizing genetic gain in the offspring generation, and we investigated their effects on German Angler and Vorderwald cattle. In most scenarios, the results were similar for Angler and Vorderwald cattle. A significant positive correlation between MC and estimated breeding values of the selection candidates was observed for both breeds, thus traditional OCS would increase MC. Optimization was performed under the condition that the rate of inbreeding did not exceed 1% and at least 30% of the maximum progress was achieved for all other criteria. Although traditional OCS provided the highest breeding values under restriction of classical kinship, the magnitude of MC in the progeny generation was not controlled. When MC were constrained or minimized, the kinship at native alleles increased compared to the reference scenario. Thus, in addition to constraining MC, constraining kinship at native alleles is required to ensure that native genetic diversity is maintained. When kinship at native alleles was constrained, the classical kinship was automatically lowered in most cases and more sires were selected. However, the average breeding value in the next generation was also lower than that obtained with traditional OCS. For local
Jonas, Elisabeth; de Koning, Dirk Jan
Genomic Selection is an important topic in quantitative genetics and breeding. Not only does it allow the full use of current molecular genetic technologies, it stimulates also the development of new methods and models. Genomic selection, if fully implemented in commercial farming, should have a major impact on the productivity of various agricultural systems. But suggested approaches need to be applicable in commercial breeding populations. Many of the published research studies focus on methodologies. We conclude from the reviewed publications, that a stronger focus on strategies for the implementation of genomic selection in advanced breeding lines, introduction of new varieties, hybrids or multi-line crosses is needed. Efforts to find solutions for a better prediction and integration of environmental influences need to continue within applied breeding schemes. Goals of the implementation of genomic selection into crop breeding should be carefully defined and crop breeders in the private sector will play a substantial part in the decision-making process. However, the lack of published results from studies within, or in collaboration with, private companies diminishes the knowledge on the status of genomic selection within applied breeding programmes. Studies on the implementation of genomic selection in plant breeding need to evaluate models and methods with an enhanced emphasis on population-specific requirements and production environments. Adaptation of methods to breeding schemes or changes to breeding programmes for a better integration of genomic selection strategies are needed across species. More openness with a continuous exchange will contribute to successes.
Jennifer L. Koch; Kathleen Knight; Therese Poland; David W. Carey; Daniel A. Herms; Mary E. Mason
Breeding for pest resistance in forest trees is a proven approach for managing both native and nonnative insects and diseases. A recent study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports 255 forest tree breeding programs for insect or disease resistance in 33 diff erent countries (http://www.fao.org/forestry/26445/en/). Advantages to...
Full Text Available Genomic selection is a promising development in agriculture, aiming improved production by exploiting molecular genetic markers to design novel breeding programs and to develop new markers-based models for genetic evaluation. It opens opportunities for research, as novel algorithms and lab methodologies are developed. Genomic selection can be applied in many breeds and species. Further research on the implementation of genomic selection in breeding programs is highly desirable not only for the common good, but also the private sector (breeding companies. It has been projected that this approach will improve selection routines, especially in species with long reproduction cycles, late or sex-limited or expensive trait recording and for complex traits. The task of integrating genomic selection into existing breeding programs is, however, not straightforward. Despite successful integration into breeding programs for dairy cattle, it has yet to be shown how much emphasis can be given to the genomic information and how much additional phenotypic information is needed from new selection candidates. Genomic selection is already part of future planning in many breeding companies of pigs and beef cattle among others, but further research is needed to fully estimate how effective the use of genomic information will be for the prediction of the performance of future breeding stock. Genomic prediction of production in crossbreeding and across-breed schemes, costs and choice of individuals for genotyping are reasons for a reluctance to fully rely on genomic information for selection decisions. Breeding objectives are highly dependent on the industry and the additional gain when using genomic information has to be considered carefully. This review synthesizes some of the suggested approaches in selected livestock species including cattle, pig, chicken and fish. It outlines tasks to help understanding possible consequences when applying genomic information in
Genomic selection (GS) uses genome-wide molecular marker data to predict the genetic value of selection candidates in breeding programs. In plant breeding, the ability to produce large numbers of progeny per cross allows GS to be conducted within each family. However, this approach requires phenotyp...
Jonas, Elisabeth; de Koning, Dirk-Jan
Genomic selection is a promising development in agriculture, aiming improved production by exploiting molecular genetic markers to design novel breeding programs and to develop new markers-based models for genetic evaluation. It opens opportunities for research, as novel algorithms and lab methodologies are developed. Genomic selection can be applied in many breeds and species. Further research on the implementation of genomic selection (GS) in breeding programs is highly desirable not only for the common good, but also the private sector (breeding companies). It has been projected that this approach will improve selection routines, especially in species with long reproduction cycles, late or sex-limited or expensive trait recording and for complex traits. The task of integrating GS into existing breeding programs is, however, not straightforward. Despite successful integration into breeding programs for dairy cattle, it has yet to be shown how much emphasis can be given to the genomic information and how much additional phenotypic information is needed from new selection candidates. Genomic selection is already part of future planning in many breeding companies of pigs and beef cattle among others, but further research is needed to fully estimate how effective the use of genomic information will be for the prediction of the performance of future breeding stock. Genomic prediction of production in crossbreeding and across-breed schemes, costs and choice of individuals for genotyping are reasons for a reluctance to fully rely on genomic information for selection decisions. Breeding objectives are highly dependent on the industry and the additional gain when using genomic information has to be considered carefully. This review synthesizes some of the suggested approaches in selected livestock species including cattle, pig, chicken, and fish. It outlines tasks to help understanding possible consequences when applying genomic information in breeding scenarios.
Stanley, Thomas R.; Newmark, William D.
Most tropical insectivorous birds, unlike their temperate counterparts, hold and defend a feeding and breeding territory year-around. However, our understanding of ecological factors influencing territory selection and size in tropical insectivores is limited. Here we examine three prominent hypotheses relating food abundance, food dispersion (spatial arrangement of food items), and habitat structure to territoriality in the Usambara Thrush Turdus roehli. We first compared leaf-litter macro-invertebrate abundance and dispersion, and habitat structure between territories and random sites. We then examined the relation between these same ecological factors and territory size. Invertebrate abundance and dispersion were sparsely and evenly distributed across our study system and did not vary between territories and random sites. In contrast, habitat structure did vary between territories and random sites indicating the Usambara Thrush selects territories with open understorey and closed overstorey habitat. Invertebrate abundance and dispersion within territories of the Usambara Thrush were not associated with habitat structure. We believe the most likely explanation for the Usambara Thrush’s preference for open understorey and closed overstorey habitat relates to foraging behavior. Using information-theoretic model selection we found that invertebrate abundance was the highest-ranked predictor of territory size and was inversely related, consistent with food value theory of territoriality.
Gunia, M; Phocas, F; Gourdine, J-L; Bijma, P; Mandonnet, N
The Creole goat is a local breed used for meat production in Guadeloupe (French West Indies). As in other tropical countries, improvement of parasite resistance is needed. In this study, we compared predicted selection responses for alternative breeding programs with or without parasite resistance and resilience traits. The overall breeding goal included traits for production, reproduction, and parasite resilience and resistance to ensure a balanced selection outcome. The production traits were BW and dressing percentage (DP). The reproduction trait was fertility (FER), which was the number of doe kiddings per mating. The resistance trait was worm fecal egg count (FEC), which is a measurement of the number of gastro-intestinal parasite eggs found in the feces. The resilience trait was the packed cell volume (PCV), which is a measurement of the volume of red blood cells in the blood. Dressing percentage, BW, and FEC were measured at 11 mo of age, which is the mating or selling age. Fertility and PCV were measured on females at each kidding period. The breeding program accounting for the overall breeding goal and a selection index including all traits gave annual selection responses of 800 g for BW, 3.75% for FER, 0.08% for DP, -0.005 ln(eggs/g) for FEC, and 0.28% for PCV. The expected selection responses for BW and DP in this breeding program were reduced by 2% and 6%, respectively, compared with a breeding program not accounting for FEC and PCV. The overall breeding program, proposed for the Creole breed, offers the best breeding strategy in terms of expected selection responses, making it possible to improve all traits together. It offers a good balance between production and adaptation traits and may present some interest for the selection of other goat breeds in the tropics.
Full Text Available Every year, thousands of purebred domestic dogs are bred by registered dog breeders. Yet, little is known about the rearing environment of these dogs, or the attitudes and priorities surrounding breeding practices of these dog breeders. The objective of this study was to explore some of the factors that dog breeders consider important for stock selection, with a particular emphasis on issues relating to the dam. Two-hundred and seventy-four Australian purebred dog breeders, covering 91 breeds across all Australian National Kennel Club breed groups, completed an online survey relating to breeding practices. Most breeders surveyed (76% reported specialising in one breed of dog, the median number of dogs and bitches per breeder was two and three respectively, and most breeders bred two litters or less a year. We identified four components, relating to the dam, that were considered important to breeders. These were defined as Maternal Care, Offspring Potential, Dam Temperament, and Dam Genetics and Health. Overall, differences were observed in attitudes and beliefs across these components, showing that there is variation according to breed/breed groups. In particular, the importance of Maternal Care varied according to dog breed group. Breeders of brachycephalic breeds tended to differ the most in relation to Offspring Potential and Dam Genetics and Health. The number of breeding dogs/bitches influenced breeding priority, especially in relation to Dam Temperament, however no effect was found relating to the number of puppies bred each year. Only 24% of breeders used their own sire for breeding. The finding that some breeders did not test for diseases relevant to their breed, such as hip dysplasia in Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, provides important information on the need to educate some breeders, and also buyers of purebred puppies, that screening for significant diseases should occur. Further research into the selection of breeding dams
Luciane R. da Silva Mohr
Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus (Gmelin, 1788, is a globally vulnerable icterid endemic to grasslands and open areas, and a priority species for research and conservation programs. This contribution provides information on the population size, habitat, behavior, breeding biology and nest success of X. flavus in two conservation units (CUs in Viamão, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: the Environmental Protection Area Banhado Grande, and the Wildlife Refuge Banhado dos Pachecos, classified as an “Important Bird Area”. Searches for X. flavus were carried out mainly in open areas, the type of habitat favored by the species. Outside the breeding season individual behavior was recorded by the ad libitum method; during the breeding season, selected X. flavus pairs were observed following the sequence sampling method. The research areas were visited once a month, totaling approximately 530 hours of observations (September 2014 to June 2016 over 84 days, which included two breeding seasons. The species was observed across all months (not necessarily within the same year and several X. flavus flocks were encountered, some with more than one hundred individuals (range = 2-137. Additionally, the behavior and feeding aspects, habitat use and breeding information on X. flavus were recorded. Two breeding colonies were found, and eleven nests were monitored. The estimated nesting success was 10% in Colony 1, but zero in Colony 2, where all eggs and nestlings were predated. Saffron-cowled Blackbirds were recorded in mixed flocks, mostly with Pseudoleistes guirahuro (Vieillot, 1819, P. virescens (Vieillot, 1819 and Xolmis dominicanus (Vieillot, 1823, the last also a globally endangered species. The collected information highlights the importance of CUs for the maintenance of X. flavus populations in the region. Maintenance of proper areas for feeding and breeding is necessary and urgent. Information from current research is being
Full Text Available In birds, the environmental variables and intrinsic characteristics of the nest have important fitness consequences through its influence on the selection of nesting sites. However, the extent to which these variables interact with variables that operate at the landscape scale, and whether there is a hierarchy among the different scales that influences nest-site selection, is unknown. This interaction could be crucial in burrowing birds, which depend heavily on the availability of suitable nesting locations. One representative of this group is the burrowing parrot, Cyanoliseus patagonus that breeds on specific ravines and forms large breeding colonies. At a particular site, breeding aggregations require the concentration of adequate environmental elements for cavity nesting, which are provided by within ravine characteristics. Therefore, intrinsic ravine characteristics should be more important in determining nest site selection compared to landscape level characteristics. Here, we assess this hypothesis by comparing the importance of ravine characteristics operating at different scales on nest-site selection and their interrelation with reproductive success. We quantified 12 characteristics of 105 ravines in their reproductive habitat. For each ravine we quantified morphological variables, distance to resources and disturbance as well as nest number and egg production in order to compare selected and non-selected ravines and determine the interrelationship among variables in explaining ravine differences. In addition, the number of nests and egg production for each reproductive ravine was related to ravine characteristics to assess their relation to reproductive success. We found significant differences between non-reproductive and reproductive ravines in both intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics. The multidimensional environmental gradient of variation between ravines, however, shows that differences are mainly related to intrinsic
Chavanne, Hervé; Janssen, K.P.E.; Hofherr, Johann; Contini, Franca; Haffray, P.; Komen, J.; Nielsen, E.E.; Bargelloni, L.
The use of selective breeding is still relatively limited in aquaculture species. Information on such activities is sparse, hindering an overall evaluation of their success. Here, we report on the results of an online survey of the major aqua-culture breeding companies operating in Europe. Six main
Gunia, M.; Phocas, F.; Gourdine, J.L.; Bijma, P.; Mandonnet, N.
The Creole goat is a local breed used for meat production in Guadeloupe (French West Indies). As in other tropical countries, improvement of parasite resistance is needed. In this study, we compared predicted selection responses for alternative breeding programs with or without parasites resistance
Empowering breeding programs with new approaches to overcome constraints for selecting superior quality traits of rice
Mariafe N. Calingacion
Most rice breeding programs have focused on improving agronomic traits such as yield, while enhancing grain quality traits
Selective breeding programmes in Belgium are discussed, and a number of seed plantations are listed. Descriptions are given of the performance of European provenances of spruce and larch and American and Canadian Douglas fir, at 3 plantations in Belgium. An account is given of Belgian success in breeding varieties of spruce with late-opening buds resistant to late frosts. (Refs. 8).
Full Text Available Genomic selection (GS is a promising strategy for enhancing genetic gain. We investigated the accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV in four inter-related synthetic populations that underwent several cycles of recurrent selection in an upland rice-breeding program. A total of 343 S2:4 lines extracted from those populations were phenotyped for flowering time, plant height, grain yield and panicle weight, and genotyped with an average density of one marker per 44.8 kb. The relative effect of the linkage disequilibrium (LD and minor allele frequency (MAF thresholds for selecting markers, the relative size of the training population (TP and of the validation population (VP, the selected trait and the genomic prediction models (frequentist and Bayesian on the accuracy of GEBVs was investigated in 540 cross validation experiments with 100 replicates. The effect of kinship between the training and validation populations was tested in an additional set of 840 cross validation experiments with a single genomic prediction model. LD was high (average r2 = 0.59 at 25 kb and decreased slowly, distribution of allele frequencies at individual loci was markedly skewed toward unbalanced frequencies (MAF average value 15.2% and median 9.6%, and differentiation between the four synthetic populations was low (FST ≤0.06. The accuracy of GEBV across all cross validation experiments ranged from 0.12 to 0.54 with an average of 0.30. Significant differences in accuracy were observed among the different levels of each factor investigated. Phenotypic traits had the biggest effect, and the size of the incidence matrix had the smallest. Significant first degree interaction was observed for GEBV accuracy between traits and all the other factors studied, and between prediction models and LD, MAF and composition of the TP. The potential of GS to accelerate genetic gain and breeding options to increase the accuracy of predictions are discussed.
Grenier, Cécile; Cao, Tuong-Vi; Ospina, Yolima; Quintero, Constanza; Châtel, Marc Henri; Tohme, Joe; Courtois, Brigitte; Ahmadi, Nourollah
Genomic selection (GS) is a promising strategy for enhancing genetic gain. We investigated the accuracy of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) in four inter-related synthetic populations that underwent several cycles of recurrent selection in an upland rice-breeding program. A total of 343 S2:4 lines extracted from those populations were phenotyped for flowering time, plant height, grain yield and panicle weight, and genotyped with an average density of one marker per 44.8 kb. The relative effect of the linkage disequilibrium (LD) and minor allele frequency (MAF) thresholds for selecting markers, the relative size of the training population (TP) and of the validation population (VP), the selected trait and the genomic prediction models (frequentist and Bayesian) on the accuracy of GEBVs was investigated in 540 cross validation experiments with 100 replicates. The effect of kinship between the training and validation populations was tested in an additional set of 840 cross validation experiments with a single genomic prediction model. LD was high (average r2 = 0.59 at 25 kb) and decreased slowly, distribution of allele frequencies at individual loci was markedly skewed toward unbalanced frequencies (MAF average value 15.2% and median 9.6%), and differentiation between the four synthetic populations was low (FST ≤0.06). The accuracy of GEBV across all cross validation experiments ranged from 0.12 to 0.54 with an average of 0.30. Significant differences in accuracy were observed among the different levels of each factor investigated. Phenotypic traits had the biggest effect, and the size of the incidence matrix had the smallest. Significant first degree interaction was observed for GEBV accuracy between traits and all the other factors studied, and between prediction models and LD, MAF and composition of the TP. The potential of GS to accelerate genetic gain and breeding options to increase the accuracy of predictions are discussed.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the conformation of stallions of the breeds American Quarter Horse (AQH, American Paint Horse (APH, Appaloosa (Appa, the Lipizzaner horse (LH and the Old Kladruby horse (OKH. Representatives of these breeds are characterized as the descendants of horses on the base of the Arab-Berber blood. Western breeds (AQH, APH, Appa due to different environmental conditions, nutrition and the other structure under the influence of a different type of use, type of riding demands differed considerably from the original Spanish-type horses. It was measured a total of 24 body dimensions. Representatives of The American western breeds are statistically highly conclusively (P ≤ 0.01 in 23 of the 24 observed effects. To be precise, they are: smaller wither height as measured by stick, lower at the tail-set, longer neck, narrower chest, longer oblique body length, wider front pelvis length, longer pelvis bones, longer femur bones, shorter hind cannons.A statistically significant difference (P ≤ 0.05 was found in the length of the humerus, where the Old Kladruby Horse has a humerus that is longer by 2.34 cm than that of the APH. The Lipizzaner horse differs statistically highly conclusively (P ≤ 0.01 from the Appaloosa and Old Kladruby horse in the tape length of its head.
James W Rivers
Full Text Available Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas. Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection and negative (avoidance effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development. Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize
Hargitai, Rita; Nagy, Gergely; Nyiri, Zoltán; Bervoets, Lieven; Eke, Zsuzsanna; Eens, Marcel; Török, János
In an urban environment, birds are exposed to metals, which may accumulate in their tissues and cause oxidative stress. Female birds may eliminate these pollutants through depositing them into eggs, thus eggs become suitable bioindicators of pollution. In this study, we aimed to analyse whether eggshell spotting pattern, egg volume, eggshell thickness and egg yolk antioxidant (lutein, tocopherol, retinol and selenium) levels were related to the breeding area (woodland versus urban) and the metal levels in the eggshell of a small passerine species, the great tit (Parus major). In the urban habitat, soil and eggshells contained higher concentrations of metals, and soil calcium level was also higher than that in the woodland. Eggshell spotting intensity and egg volume did not differ between eggs laid in the woodland and the urban park, and these traits were not related to the metal levels of the eggshell, suggesting that these egg characteristics are not sensitive indicators of metal pollution. A more aggregated eggshell spotting distribution indicated a higher Cu concentration of the eggshell. We found that eggshells were thinner in the less polluted woodland habitat, which is likely due to the limited Ca availability of the woodland area. Great tit eggs laid in the urban environment had lower yolk lutein, retinol and selenium concentrations, however, as a possible compensation for these lower antioxidant levels, urban females deposited more tocopherol into the egg yolk. It appears that females from different breeding habitats may provide similar antioxidant protection for their offspring against oxidative damage by depositing different specific dietary antioxidants. Egg yolk lutein and retinol levels showed a negative relationship with lead concentration of the eggshell, which may suggest that lead had a negative impact on the amount of antioxidants available for embryos during development in great tits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Knutson, Melinda G.; Herner-Thogmartin, Jennifer H.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Kapfer, Joshua M.; Nelson, John
Telemetry data for 59 Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens) breeding in ponds in Houston and Winona Counties, MN; 2001-2002. Agricultural intensification is causing declines in many wildlife species, including Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens). Specific information about frog movements, habitat selection, and sources of mortality can be used to inform conservation-focused land management and acquisition. We studied Northern Leopard Frogs in southeastern Minnesota, part of the Driftless Area ecoregion, characterized by hills and valleys and a mix of agriculture, forests, small towns and farmsteads. In this area, small farm ponds, originally built to control soil erosion are used by the species for breeding and wintering in addition to riparian wetlands. But, this agricultural landscape may be hazardous for frogs moving between breeding, feeding, and wintering habitats. We surgically implanted transmitters into the peritoneal cavity of 59 Northern Leopard Frogs and tracked them from May to October 2001-2002. The total distance traveled by radio-tagged frogs ranged from 12 to 3316 m, the 95% home range averaged 5.3 ± 1.2 (SE) ha, and the 50% core area averaged 1.05 ± 0.3 (SE) ha. As expected, Northern Leopard Frogs selected wetlands over all other land cover classes and row crops were generally avoided at all levels of selection. Only a few tracked frogs were successful at dispersing (n = 6). Most frogs attempting to disperse (n =31) ended up missing (n = 14), died due to mowing (n = 8), or were recorded as transmitter failure (n = 2) or unknown mortalities (n = 1). For the conservation of Northern Leopard Frogs in this agricultural setting, we must consider both the aquatic and the terrestrial needs of this species. Conservation agencies that restore, manage, and acquire wetlands should consider the hazards posed by land uses adjacent to frog breeding and wintering sites and plan for movement corridors between these locations. For example
Haberland, A M; König von Borstel, U; Simianer, H; König, S
Reliable selection criteria are required for young riding horses to increase genetic gain by increasing accuracy of selection and decreasing generation intervals. In this study, selection strategies incorporating genomic breeding values (GEBVs) were evaluated. Relevant stages of selection in sport horse breeding programs were analyzed by applying selection index theory. Results in terms of accuracies of indices (r(TI) ) and relative selection response indicated that information on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes considerably increases the accuracy of breeding values estimated for young horses without own or progeny performance. In a first scenario, the correlation between the breeding value estimated from the SNP genotype and the true breeding value (= accuracy of GEBV) was fixed to a relatively low value of r(mg) = 0.5. For a low heritability trait (h(2) = 0.15), and an index for a young horse based only on information from both parents, additional genomic information doubles r(TI) from 0.27 to 0.54. Including the conventional information source 'own performance' into the before mentioned index, additional SNP information increases r(TI) by 40%. Thus, particularly with regard to traits of low heritability, genomic information can provide a tool for well-founded selection decisions early in life. In a further approach, different sources of breeding values (e.g. GEBV and estimated breeding values (EBVs) from different countries) were combined into an overall index when altering accuracies of EBVs and correlations between traits. In summary, we showed that genomic selection strategies have the potential to contribute to a substantial reduction in generation intervals in horse breeding programs.
Ngugi, Harun N; Mutuku, Francis M; Ndenga, Bryson A; Musunzaji, Peter S; Mbakaya, Joel O; Aswani, Peter; Irungu, Lucy W; Mukoko, Dunstan; Vulule, John; Kitron, Uriel; LaBeaud, Angelle D
Aedes aegypti, the principal vector for dengue and other emerging arboviruses, breeds preferentially in various man-made and natural container habitats. In the absence of vaccine, epidemiological surveillance and vector control remain the best practices for preventing dengue outbreaks. Effective vector control depends on a good understanding of larval and adult vector ecology of which little is known in Kenya. In the current study, we sought to characterize breeding habitats and establish container productivity profiles of Ae. aegypti in rural and urban sites in western and coastal Kenya. Twenty sentinel houses in each of four study sites (in western and coastal Kenya) were assessed for immature mosquito infestation once a month for a period of 24 months (June 2014 to May 2016). All water-holding containers in and around the households were inspected for Ae. aegypti larvae and pupae. Collections were made from a total of 22,144 container visits: Chulaimbo (7575) and Kisumu (8003) in the west, and from Msambweni (3199) and Ukunda (3367) on the coast. Of these, only 4-5.6% were positive for Ae. aegypti immatures. In all four sites, significantly more positive containers were located outdoors than indoors. A total of 17,537 Ae. aegypti immatures were sampled from 10 container types. The most important habitat types were buckets, drums, tires, and pots, which produced over 75% of all the pupae. Key outdoor containers in the coast were buckets, drums and tires, which accounted for 82% of the pupae, while pots and tires were the only key containers in the western region producing 70% of the pupae. Drums, buckets and pots were the key indoor containers, producing nearly all of the pupae in the coastal sites. No pupae were collected indoors in the western region. The coastal region produced significantly more Ae. aegypti immatures than the western region both inside and outside the sentinel houses. These results indicate that productive Ae. aegypti larval habitats are
Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine
Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.
Full Text Available Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus, on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundanceis lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.
Hart, Kristen M.; Zawada, David G.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko
We used satellite telemetry to identify in-water habitat used by individuals in the smallest North-west Atlantic subpopulation of adult nesting loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta during the breeding season. During 2010, 2011 and 2012 breeding periods, a total of 20 adult females used habitats proximal to nesting beaches with various levels of protection within Dry Tortugas National Park. We then used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map habitat adjacent to nesting beaches, revealing the diversity and distribution of available benthic cover. Turtle behaviour showing measurable site-fidelity to these diverse habitats has implications for managing protected areas and human activities within them. Protecting diverse benthic areas adjacent to loggerhead turtle nesting beaches here and elsewhere could provide benefits for overall biodiversity conservation.
Full Text Available Some mammals breed throughout the year, while others breed only at certain times of year. These differences in reproductive behavior can be explained by evolution. We identified positively-selected genes in two sets of species with different degrees of relatedness including seasonal and non-seasonal breeding species, using branch-site models. After stringent filtering by sum of pairs scoring, we revealed that more genes underwent positive selection in seasonal compared with non-seasonal breeding species. Positively-selected genes were verified by cDNA mapping of the positive sites with the corresponding cDNA sequences. The design of the evolutionary analysis can effectively lower the false-positive rate and thus identify valid positive genes. Validated, positively-selected genes, including CGA, DNAH1, INVS, and CD151, were related to reproductive behaviors such as spermatogenesis and cell proliferation in non-seasonal breeding species. Genes in seasonal breeding species, including THRAP3, TH1L, and CMTM6, may be related to the evolution of sperm and the circadian rhythm system. Identification of these positively-selected genes might help to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying seasonal and non-seasonal reproductive behaviors.
Muranty, Hélène; Troggio, Michela; Sadok, Ben Inès; Rifaï, Al Mehdi; Auwerkerken, Annemarie; Banchi, E.; Velasco, Riccardo; Stevanato, P.; Weg, van de W.E.; Guardo, Di M.; Kumar, S.; Laurens, François; Bink, M.C.A.M.
The application of genomic selection in fruit tree crops is expected to enhance breeding efficiency by increasing prediction accuracy, increasing selection intensity and decreasing generation interval. The objectives of this study were to assess the accuracy of prediction and selection response in
Wan, Dongmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Qiuyu; Wang, Haitao; Liu, Mingyu
During April and May of 1985, 1995 and 1998, red-crowned crane's nesting and variation of breeding population quantities in Shuangtaihekou National Natural Reserve in Liaoning, and also the habitat fragmentation there were investigated. Associated with previous data of the reserve, red-crowned crane's nesting habitat had been seriously fragmentated into 91 patches from one integrated reed wetland. The area of the smallest patch was 0.37 km2, and the minimum distance of two nests was 304 m. Compared with records of previous data, the minimum area of nesting habitat reduced by 0.72 km2. However, the breeding population quantities of red-crowned crane had maintained at about 30 pairs for a long period. The red-crowned crane adapted to the changed environment by the ecological adaptation strategy of reducing area of nesting habitat.
Martin, Richard P.; Zwank, Phillip J.
The nesting range of Forster's terns hosts three allopatric breeding populations. The first and most important breeding area, in terms of the number of nes t i ng pairs, includes the western guIf coas t from the Louisiana-Mississippi border to northern Tamaulipas, Mexico (American Ornithologists' Union [AOUJ 1983). In addition, small numbers of Forster's terns have nested in Mobile County, Alabama (Imhof 1976). Although this species has not been recorded nesting in Mississippi (J. Jackson, Mississippi State University, Starkville; pers. comm.), it is observed in the coastal regions of that State every summer, and several thousand nest in adjacent Louisiana (Portnoy 1977; Clapp et ale 1983). The two largest colonies of Forster's terns documented in the literature were both in Louisiana: one of 2,750 pairs in Lake Borgne on the Louisiana-Mississippi border and one of 2,263 pairs in Calcasieu Lake (Portnoy 1977).
M.T. Hallworth; L.R. Reitsma; K. Parent
We used radiotelemetry to quantify habitat and spatial use patterns of neighboring Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) along two streams in the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico during 2005â2007. Home range sizes varied with younger birds having larger home ranges and core areas than older birds. All birds occupied some length of stream but a wide range...
Full Text Available The extraordinary phenotypic diversity of dog breeds has been sculpted by a unique population history accompanied by selection for novel and desirable traits. Here we perform a comprehensive analysis using multiple test statistics to identify regions under selection in 509 dogs from 46 diverse breeds using a newly developed high-density genotyping array consisting of >170,000 evenly spaced SNPs. We first identify 44 genomic regions exhibiting extreme differentiation across multiple breeds. Genetic variation in these regions correlates with variation in several phenotypic traits that vary between breeds, and we identify novel associations with both morphological and behavioral traits. We next scan the genome for signatures of selective sweeps in single breeds, characterized by long regions of reduced heterozygosity and fixation of extended haplotypes. These scans identify hundreds of regions, including 22 blocks of homozygosity longer than one megabase in certain breeds. Candidate selection loci are strongly enriched for developmental genes. We chose one highly differentiated region, associated with body size and ear morphology, and characterized it using high-throughput sequencing to provide a list of variants that may directly affect these traits. This study provides a catalogue of genomic regions showing extreme reduction in genetic variation or population differentiation in dogs, including many linked to phenotypic variation. The many blocks of reduced haplotype diversity observed across the genome in dog breeds are the result of both selection and genetic drift, but extended blocks of homozygosity on a megabase scale appear to be best explained by selection. Further elucidation of the variants under selection will help to uncover the genetic basis of complex traits and disease.
Banerjee, Soumyajit, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata 700 019 (India); Aditya, Gautam, E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata 700 019 (India); Department of Zoology, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag, Burdwan 713 104 (India); Saha, Goutam K, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata 700 019 (India)
Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer An assessment of different household wastes as larval habitats of dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus was made using Kolkata, India as a model geographical area. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Household wastes of four major categories namely earthen, porcelain, plastic and coconut shells varied significantly for Aedes immature depending on species, month and location. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Based on the relative density of Aedes immature, cluster analyses allowed segregation and classification of the waste containers and relative importance as mosquito larval habitats. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Conversion of disposed wastes into larval habitats cautions for continuance of Aedes population in Kolkata and similar cities of tropics lacking suitable waste management practices. - Abstract: An assessment of the household wastes as larval habitats of the dengue vectors was made considering Kolkata, India, as geographical area. Wastes of four major categories, namely, earthen, porcelain, plastic and coconut shells were monitored for positive with immature of either Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus. Twenty six types of wastes with varying size and shape, resembling containers, were identified that hosted mosquito immature. The number of waste containers positive for Aedes immature varied significantly (P < 0.05) with respect to location, type and month. The relative density of Aedes immature in the waste containers varied significantly (P < 0.05) with the types and months. The significant interaction between the month, waste container types and density of Aedes immature suggest that the household wastes are important contributors to the maintenance of the population of Aedes mosquito in the city. Based on the relative density of mosquito immature in the wastes, cluster analysis allowed segregation and classification of the wastes and their importance as mosquito larval habitats. Apparently, the containers that
Banerjee, Soumyajit; Aditya, Gautam; Saha, Goutam K
Highlights: ► An assessment of different household wastes as larval habitats of dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus was made using Kolkata, India as a model geographical area. ► Household wastes of four major categories namely earthen, porcelain, plastic and coconut shells varied significantly for Aedes immature depending on species, month and location. ► Based on the relative density of Aedes immature, cluster analyses allowed segregation and classification of the waste containers and relative importance as mosquito larval habitats. ► Conversion of disposed wastes into larval habitats cautions for continuance of Aedes population in Kolkata and similar cities of tropics lacking suitable waste management practices. - Abstract: An assessment of the household wastes as larval habitats of the dengue vectors was made considering Kolkata, India, as geographical area. Wastes of four major categories, namely, earthen, porcelain, plastic and coconut shells were monitored for positive with immature of either Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus. Twenty six types of wastes with varying size and shape, resembling containers, were identified that hosted mosquito immature. The number of waste containers positive for Aedes immature varied significantly (P < 0.05) with respect to location, type and month. The relative density of Aedes immature in the waste containers varied significantly (P < 0.05) with the types and months. The significant interaction between the month, waste container types and density of Aedes immature suggest that the household wastes are important contributors to the maintenance of the population of Aedes mosquito in the city. Based on the relative density of mosquito immature in the wastes, cluster analysis allowed segregation and classification of the wastes and their importance as mosquito larval habitats. Apparently, the containers that are most frequently disposed off contributed largely to the sustenance of Aedes mosquito population
Full Text Available Studies were carried out in 2010 by mean of simplified version of the mapping method. The study area (395 ha was located close to the city centre. It comprised a mosaic of urbanized habitats, with a clear dominance of green areas, such as parks (41.1 ha, gardens, cemeteries and tree clumps. A total of 48 breeding bird species were recorded in the whole study area. The most common (<25 pairs/100 ha were Passer domesticus, Passer montanus, Sturnus vulgaris, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Apus apus and Columba livia. Numerous (7-15 pairs/100 ha were also the following species: Columba palumbus, Turdus pilaris, Sylvia atricapilla, Serinus serinus, Turdus merula and Pica pica. Insectivorous birds were the most common birds constituting 63.3%, and granivorous -32.6% of all pairs recorded. Most birds nested in tree holes (39.3%, in/on buildings (30.2% and in trees/shrubs (25.6%. Distribution of breeding pairs of 23 bird species was presented on maps. Population trends for 17 species were documented. Rapid increase in numbers of Turdus pilaris, Corvus cornix and Phoenicurus phoenicurus and decrease of Pica pica were recorded.
Full Text Available Due to their extreme popularity as fresh cut flowers and garden plants, and being used extensively for landscaping, tulips undergone a continuous process of selective breeding. For almost nine decades, classical cytogenetic studies, mainly the chromosome counts, have been an important part in the breeding programme for polyploid tulips. The efficiency of breeding is greatly aided by a thorough knowledge of the occurrence of polyploidy in the plant material. While the traditional cytogenetic approaches are still highly useful in selecting polyploids and aneuploids arising from crosses involving (most often parents of different ploidy or from the material subjected to ploidy manipulation, the new strategies for inducing polyploidy in tulips, either in vivo or in vitro, and advances in molecular cytogenetics are expected to allow a significant increase in breeding efficiency. Together with the shortening of breeding cycle, major genetic improvements could be made for specific traits. In this we review the development of cytogenetic studies in tulips, and the most relevant achievements so far, providing an overview of what we consider to be valuable tools for the processes of selective breeding .
Bassi, Filippo M; Bentley, Alison R; Charmet, Gilles; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Crossa, Jose
In the last decade the breeding technology referred to as 'genomic selection' (GS) has been implemented in a variety of species, with particular success in animal breeding. Recent research shows the potential of GS to reshape wheat breeding. Many authors have concluded that the estimated genetic gain per year applying GS is several times that of conventional breeding. GS is, however, a new technology for wheat breeding and many programs worldwide are still struggling to identify the best strategy for its implementation. This article provides practical guidelines on the key considerations when implementing GS. A review of the existing GS literature for a range of species is provided and used to prime breeder-oriented considerations on the practical applications of GS. Furthermore, this article discusses potential breeding schemes for GS, genotyping considerations, and methods for effective training population design. The components of selection intensity, progress toward inbreeding in half- or full-sibs recurrent schemes, and the generation of selection are also presented. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Osama M E Seidahmed
Full Text Available In dengue-endemic areas, transmission shows both a seasonal and interannual variability. To investigate how rainfall impacts dengue seasonality in Singapore, we carried out a longitudinal survey in the Geylang neighborhood from August 2014 to August 2015. The survey comprised of twice-weekly random inspections to outdoor breeding habitats and continuous monitoring for positive ones. In addition, observations of rainstorms were collected. Out of 6824 inspected habitats, 67 contained Aedes aegypti, 11 contained Aedes albopictus and 24 contained Culex spp. The main outdoors habitat of Aedes aegypti was storm drains (54/67. We found that 80% of breeding sites in drains (43/54 were lost after intense rainstorms related to the wet phase of the Northeast monsoon (NE between November 2014 and early January 2015. Subsequently, 95% (41/43 of these flushed drains had dried out during the dry phase of the NE in late January-February 2015. A return in the outdoor breeding of Aedes aegypti was observed after the onset of Southwest monsoon (SW between May and August 2015. There was also a reduction in productivity of breeding habitats for larvae and pupae after the onset of the NE. In wet equatorial regions like Singapore, rainfall varies with the monsoons. A monsoon-driven sequence of flushing and drying shapes the outdoor seasonal abundance of Aedes aegypti. This finding can be used to optimize vector control strategies and better understand dengue in the context of climate change.
Seidahmed, Osama M E; Eltahir, Elfatih A B
In dengue-endemic areas, transmission shows both a seasonal and interannual variability. To investigate how rainfall impacts dengue seasonality in Singapore, we carried out a longitudinal survey in the Geylang neighborhood from August 2014 to August 2015. The survey comprised of twice-weekly random inspections to outdoor breeding habitats and continuous monitoring for positive ones. In addition, observations of rainstorms were collected. Out of 6824 inspected habitats, 67 contained Aedes aegypti, 11 contained Aedes albopictus and 24 contained Culex spp. The main outdoors habitat of Aedes aegypti was storm drains (54/67). We found that 80% of breeding sites in drains (43/54) were lost after intense rainstorms related to the wet phase of the Northeast monsoon (NE) between November 2014 and early January 2015. Subsequently, 95% (41/43) of these flushed drains had dried out during the dry phase of the NE in late January-February 2015. A return in the outdoor breeding of Aedes aegypti was observed after the onset of Southwest monsoon (SW) between May and August 2015. There was also a reduction in productivity of breeding habitats for larvae and pupae after the onset of the NE. In wet equatorial regions like Singapore, rainfall varies with the monsoons. A monsoon-driven sequence of flushing and drying shapes the outdoor seasonal abundance of Aedes aegypti. This finding can be used to optimize vector control strategies and better understand dengue in the context of climate change.
Jeffrey R. Row; Kevin E. Doherty; Todd B. Cross; Michael K. Schwartz; Sara Oyler-McCance; Dave E. Naugle; Steven T. Knick; Bradley C. Fedy
Functional connectivity, quantified using landscape genetics, can inform conservation through the identification of factors linking genetic structure to landscape mechanisms. We used breeding habitat metrics, landscape attributes and indices of grouse abundance, to compare fit between structural connectivity and genetic differentiation within five longâestablished Sage...
Victor K Muposhi
Full Text Available An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats.
Sherfy, Mark H.; Stucker, Jennifer H.; Buhl, Deborah A.
Federally endangered interior least terns (Sternula antillarum) nest on bare or sparsely vegetated sandbars on midcontinent river systems. Loss of nesting habitat has been implicated as a cause of population declines, and managing these habitats is a major initiative in population recovery. One such initiative involves construction of mid-channel sandbars on the Missouri River, where natural sandbar habitat has declined in quantity and quality since the late 1990s. We evaluated nest-site habitat selection by least terns on constructed and natural sandbars by comparing vegetation, substrate, and debris variables at nest sites (n = 798) and random points (n = 1,113) in bare or sparsely vegetated habitats. Our logistic regression models revealed that a broader suite of habitat features was important in nest-site selection on constructed than on natural sandbars. Odds ratios for habitat variables indicated that avoidance of habitat features was the dominant nest-site selection process on both sandbar types, with nesting terns being attracted to nest-site habitat features (gravel and debris) and avoiding vegetation only on constructed sandbars, and avoiding silt and leaf litter on both sandbar types. Despite the seemingly uniform nature of these habitats, our results suggest that a complex suite of habitat features influences nest-site choice by least terns. However, nest-site selection in this social, colonially nesting species may be influenced by other factors, including spatial arrangement of bare sand habitat, proximity to other least terns, and prior habitat occupancy by piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). We found that nest-site selection was sensitive to subtle variation in habitat features, suggesting that rigor in maintaining habitat condition will be necessary in managing sandbars for the benefit of least terns. Further, management strategies that reduce habitat features that are avoided by least terns may be the most beneficial to nesting least terns.
Pérez, Ana G; León, Lorenzo; Sanz, Carlos; de la Rosa, Raúl
Olive growing is mainly based on traditional varieties selected by the growers across the centuries. The few attempts so far reported to obtain new varieties by systematic breeding have been mainly focused on improving the olive adaptation to different growing systems, the productivity and the oil content. However, the improvement of oil quality has rarely been considered as selection criterion and only in the latter stages of the breeding programs. Due to their health promoting and organoleptic properties, phenolic compounds are one of the most important quality markers for Virgin olive oil (VOO) although they are not commonly used as quality traits in olive breeding programs. This is mainly due to the difficulties for evaluating oil phenolic composition in large number of samples and the limited knowledge on the genetic and environmental factors that may influence phenolic composition. In the present work, we propose a high throughput methodology to include the phenolic composition as a selection criterion in olive breeding programs. For that purpose, the phenolic profile has been determined in fruits and oils of several breeding selections and two varieties ("Picual" and "Arbequina") used as control. The effect of three different environments, typical for olive growing in Andalusia, Southern Spain, was also evaluated. A high genetic effect was observed on both fruit and oil phenolic profile. In particular, the breeding selection UCI2-68 showed an optimum phenolic profile, which sums up to a good agronomic performance previously reported. A high correlation was found between fruit and oil total phenolic content as well as some individual phenols from the two different matrices. The environmental effect on phenolic compounds was also significant in both fruit and oil, although the low genotype × environment interaction allowed similar ranking of genotypes on the different environments. In summary, the high genotypic variance and the simplified procedure of the
Vaysse, Amaury; Ratnakumar, Abhirami; Derrien, Thomas
The extraordinary phenotypic diversity of dog breeds has been sculpted by a unique population history accompanied by selection for novel and desirable traits. Here we perform a comprehensive analysis using multiple test statistics to identify regions under selection in 509 dogs from 46 diverse br...
Elliot L. Heffner
Full Text Available Genomic selection (GS uses genome-wide molecular marker data to predict the genetic value of selection candidates in breeding programs. In plant breeding, the ability to produce large numbers of progeny per cross allows GS to be conducted within each family. However, this approach requires phenotypes of lines from each cross before conducting GS. This will prolong the selection cycle and may result in lower gains per year than approaches that estimate marker-effects with multiple families from previous selection cycles. In this study, phenotypic selection (PS, conventional marker-assisted selection (MAS, and GS prediction accuracy were compared for 13 agronomic traits in a population of 374 winter wheat ( L. advanced-cycle breeding lines. A cross-validation approach that trained and validated prediction accuracy across years was used to evaluate effects of model selection, training population size, and marker density in the presence of genotype × environment interactions (G×E. The average prediction accuracies using GS were 28% greater than with MAS and were 95% as accurate as PS. For net merit, the average accuracy across six selection indices for GS was 14% greater than for PS. These results provide empirical evidence that multifamily GS could increase genetic gain per unit time and cost in plant breeding.
Nicholas R Deuel
Full Text Available Understanding habitat selection of gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus is essential to evaluate their potential response to changes in land use and predator communities. Few studies have evaluated temporal habitat selection or explicitly identified habitats used by gray foxes for diurnal refugia. We used GPS collars to obtain location data for 34 gray foxes (20 males and 14 females from February 2014 to December 2015 to evaluate temporal (seasonal and diel habitat selection and selection of diurnal refugia in southwestern Georgia, USA. We analyzed habitat selection at 2 levels, selection of a core area within the home range and selection of locations within the home range. Habitat selection was non-random (P 0.05. Hardwoods, human use (i.e., areas associated with regular human activity such as buildings, lawns, parking areas, etc., and roads were selected (P 0.05. Selection of habitats for diurnal refugia did not vary seasonally or by sex (P > 0.05, with foxes selecting (P < 0.05 areas near hardwood forests, roads, agriculture, human use, pastures/food plots, and shrub scrub habitats. Gray foxes were observed on the ground while resting, and we found no evidence of gray foxes diurnally resting in trees. Our results suggest that on our study area, gray foxes are an edge species that prefer forests with a hardwood component in areas near human use and roads.
Tiffany A Sprague
Full Text Available Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March-October, gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November-February, gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.
Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.
Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.
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.
Guarna, M Marta; Hoover, Shelley E; Huxter, Elizabeth; Higo, Heather; Moon, Kyung-Mee; Domanski, Dominik; Bixby, Miriam E F; Melathopoulos, Andony P; Ibrahim, Abdullah; Peirson, Michael; Desai, Suresh; Micholson, Derek; White, Rick; Borchers, Christoph H; Currie, Robert W; Pernal, Stephen F; Foster, Leonard J
We present a novel way to select for highly polygenic traits. For millennia, humans have used observable phenotypes to selectively breed stronger or more productive livestock and crops. Selection on genotype, using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genome profiling, is also now applied broadly in livestock breeding programs; however, selection on protein/peptide or mRNA expression markers has not yet been proven useful. Here we demonstrate the utility of protein markers to select for disease-resistant hygienic behavior in the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). Robust, mechanistically-linked protein expression markers, by integrating cis- and trans- effects from many genomic loci, may overcome limitations of genomic markers to allow for selection. After three generations of selection, the resulting marker-selected stock outperformed an unselected benchmark stock in terms of hygienic behavior, and had improved survival when challenged with a bacterial disease or a parasitic mite, similar to bees selected using a phenotype-based assessment for this trait. This is the first demonstration of the efficacy of protein markers for industrial selective breeding in any agricultural species, plant or animal.
Kim, Jin-Yong; Lee, Sanghun; Shin, Man-Seok; Lee, Chang-Hoon; Seo, Changwan; Eo, Soo Hyung
Altitudinal patterns in the population ecology of mountain bird species are useful for predicting species occurrence and behavior. Numerous hypotheses about the complex interactions among environmental factors have been proposed; however, these still remain controversial. This study aimed to identify the altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness or density and to test the hypotheses that climate, habitat heterogeneity (horizontal and vertical), and heterospecific attraction in a temperate forest, South Korea. We conducted a field survey of 142 plots at altitudes between 200 and 1,400 m a.s.l in the breeding season. A total of 2,771 individuals from 53 breeding bird species were recorded. Altitudinal patterns of species richness and density showed a hump-shaped pattern, indicating that the highest richness and density could be observed at moderate altitudes. Models constructed with 13 combinations of six variables demonstrated that species richness was positively correlated with vertical and horizontal habitat heterogeneity. Density was positively correlated with vertical, but not horizontal habitat heterogeneity, and negatively correlated with migratory bird ratio. No significant relationships were found between spring temperature and species richness or density. Therefore, the observed patterns in species richness support the hypothesis that habitat heterogeneity, rather than climate, is the main driver of species richness. Also, neither habitat heterogeneity nor climate hypotheses fully explains the observed patterns in density. However, vertical habitat heterogeneity does likely help explain observed patterns in density. The heterospecific attraction hypothesis did not apply to the distribution of birds along the altitudinal gradient. Appropriate management of vertical habitat heterogeneity, such as vegetation cover, should be maintained for the conservation of bird diversity in this area.
This technical note describes studies of environmental conditions and habitat quality of replicated pond ecosystems dominated by populations of exotic plants or mixed communities of native aquatic plants...
Dayane Cristina Lima
Full Text Available A common bean (Phaseolus vulgarisL. cultivar must combine desirable genotypes for several traits in order to be accepted by producers and consumers. This study aimed to evaluate selection efficiency when segregating bean populations for traits, by means of a selection index, in order to obtain superior progenies for traits considered. A total of 16 populations from the F4 and F5generations were evaluated in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The traits evaluated were plant architecture, plant disease, grain type and yield. Using standard scores (Z, the sum of the four traits (∑Z was obtained and, based on this information, the best populations were identified. The evaluation of selection effectiveness was performed on 31 progenies from each population. The 496 progenies plus eight controls were evaluated in the F5:6and F5:7 generations for the same traits in July and November 2012, respectively. The selection, using the index based on the sum of standardized variables (∑Z, was efficient for identifying populations with superior progenies for all the traits considered.
Sheldon, B C; Kruuk, L E B; Merilä, J
Many characteristics of organisms in free-living populations appear to be under directional selection, possess additive genetic variance, and yet show no evolutionary response to selection. Avian breeding time and clutch size are often-cited examples of such characters. We report analyses of inheritance of, and selection on, these traits in a long-term study of a wild population of the collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis. We used mixed model analysis with REML estimation ("animal models") to make full use of the information in complex multigenerational pedigrees. Heritability of laying date, but not clutch size, was lower than that estimated previously using parent-offspring regressions, although for both traits there was evidence of substantial additive genetic variance (h2 = 0.19 and 0.29, respectively). Laying date and clutch size were negatively genetically correlated (rA = -0.41 +/- 0.09), implying that selection on one of the traits would cause a correlated response in the other, but there was little evidence to suggest that evolution of either trait would be constrained by correlations with other phenotypic characters. Analysis of selection on these traits in females revealed consistent strong directional fecundity selection for earlier breeding at the level of the phenotype (beta = -0.28 +/- 0.03), but little evidence for stabilising selection on breeding time. We found no evidence that clutch size was independently under selection. Analysis of fecundity selection on breeding values for laying date, estimated from an animal model, indicated that selection acts directly on additive genetic variance underlying breeding time (beta = -0.20 +/- 0.04), but not on clutch size (beta = 0.03 +/- 0.05). In contrast, selection on laying date via adult female survival fluctuated in sign between years, and was opposite in sign for selection on phenotypes (negative) and breeding values (positive). Our data thus suggest that any evolutionary response to selection on
Ibanez-Escriche, N.; Gonzalez-Recio, O.
The aim of this work was to review the main challenges and pitfalls of the implementation of genomic selection in the breeding programs of different livestock species. Genomic selection is now one of the main challenges in animal breeding and genetics. Its application could considerably increase the genetic gain in traits of interest. However, the success of its practical implementation depends on the selection scheme characteristics, and these must be studied for each particular case. In dairy cattle, especially in Holsteins, genomic selection is a reality. However, in other livestock species (beef cattle, small ruminants, monogastrics and fish) genomic selection has mainly been used experimentally. The main limitation for its implementation in the mentioned livestock species is the high geno typing costs compared to the low selection value of the candidate. Nevertheless, nowadays the possibility of using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips of low density to make genomic selection applications economically feasible is under study. Economic studies may optimize the benefits of genomic selection (GS) to include new traits in the breeding goals. It is evident that genomic selection offers great potential; however, a suitable geno typing strategy and recording system for each case is needed in order to properly exploit it. (Author) 50 refs.
Niemuth, Neil D.; Ryba, Adam J.; Pearse, Aaron T.; Kvas, Susan M.; Brandt, David; Wangler, Brian; Austin, Jane; Carlisle, Martha J.
The Whooping Crane (Grus americana) is a federally endangered species in the United States and Canada that relies on wetland, grassland, and cropland habitat during its long migration between wintering grounds in coastal Texas, USA, and breeding sites in Alberta and Northwest Territories, Canada. We combined opportunistic Whooping Crane sightings with landscape data to identify correlates of Whooping Crane occurrence along the migration corridor in North Dakota and South Dakota, USA. Whooping Cranes selected landscapes characterized by diverse wetland communities and upland foraging opportunities. Model performance substantially improved when variables related to detection were included, emphasizing the importance of accounting for biases associated with detection and reporting of birds in opportunistic datasets. We created a predictive map showing relative probability of occurrence across the study region by applying our model to GIS data layers; validation using independent, unbiased locations from birds equipped with platform transmitting terminals indicated that our final model adequately predicted habitat use by migrant Whooping Cranes. The probability map demonstrated that existing conservation efforts have protected much top-tier Whooping Crane habitat, especially in the portions of North Dakota and South Dakota that lie east of the Missouri River. Our results can support species recovery by informing prioritization for acquisition and restoration of landscapes that provide safe roosting and foraging habitats. Our results can also guide the siting of structures such as wind towers and electrical transmission and distribution lines, which pose a strike and mortality risk to migrating Whooping Cranes.
Bradley A Strickland
Full Text Available Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17 on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their
Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco; Belant, Jerrold L.
Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance
Kevin McGarigal; Ho Yi Wan; Kathy A. Zeller; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman
Scale is the lens that focuses ecological relationships. Organisms select habitat at multiple hierarchical levels and at different spatial and/or temporal scales within each level. Failure to properly address scale dependence can result in incorrect inferences in multi-scale habitat selection modeling studies.
Variale, Vincenzo; Valentino, Vincenzo; Bak, Petr A.; Kuznetsov, Gennady I.; Skarbo, Boris; Tiunov, Michael A.; Clauser, Tarcisio; Boggia, Antonio; Raino, Antonio C.
The production of radioactive ion beam (RIB) with the ISOL technique could require a charge breeder device to increase the ion acceleration efficiency and reduce greatly the production cost. The 'charge breeder' is a device designed to accept radioactive 1+ ions in order to increase their charge state up to n+. In the framework of the SPES project, proposed at the INFN-LNL (Padua) for RIB production, an R and D experiment of a charge breeder device, BRIC, has been carried out at LNL. BRIC is an EBIS-type ion charge state breeder in which a radio frequency (RF) quadrupolar field has been superimposed in the trapped ion region to introduce a selective containment with the aim of increasing the ion trapping efficiency. In this paper, the device and the test measurements that demonstrate the selective containment effect due to the RF quadrupolar field are presented. Furthermore, some comments on the possibility of using that device as charge state breeder for RIB production has been also discussed in the conclusions. This experiment has been also considered as R and D program of the RIB European project EURISOL D S
Conallin, J.; Boegh, E.; Olsen, M.
Physical habitat is important in determining the carrying capacity of juvenile brown trout, and within freshwater management. Summer daytime physical habitat selection for the parr lifestage (7-20 cm) juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) was assessed in 6 small lowland streams. Habitat preference...... was determined for the four variables; water velocity, water depth, substrate and cover, and the preferences for physical habitat selection were expressed in terms of habitat suitability indices (HSI's). The statistical confidence of HSI's was evaluated using power analysis. It was found that a minimum of 22...... fish observations was needed to have statistical confidence in the HSIs for water depth, and a minimum of 92 fish observations for water velocity during daytime summer conditions. Generally parr were utilising the deeper habitats, indicating preference for deeper water. Cover was also being selected...
Full Text Available Genomic selection (GS provides an attractive option for accelerating genetic gain in perennial ryegrass ( improvement given the long cycle times of most current breeding programs. The present study used simulation to investigate the level of genetic gain and inbreeding obtained from GS breeding strategies compared with traditional breeding strategies for key traits (persistency, yield, and flowering time. Base population genomes were simulated through random mating for 60,000 generations at an effective population size of 10,000. The degree of linkage disequilibrium (LD in the resulting population was compared with that obtained from empirical studies. Initial parental varieties were simulated to match diversity of current commercial cultivars. Genomic selection was designed to fit into a company breeding program at two selection points in the breeding cycle (spaced plants and miniplot. Genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs for productivity traits were trained with phenotypes and genotypes from plots. Accuracy of GEBVs was 0.24 for persistency and 0.36 for yield for single plants, while for plots it was lower (0.17 and 0.19, respectively. Higher accuracy of GEBVs was obtained for flowering time (up to 0.7, partially as a result of the larger reference population size that was available from the clonal row stage. The availability of GEBVs permit a 4-yr reduction in cycle time, which led to at least a doubling and trebling genetic gain for persistency and yield, respectively, than the traditional program. However, a higher rate of inbreeding per cycle among varieties was also observed for the GS strategy.
Lin, Zibei; Cogan, Noel O I; Pembleton, Luke W; Spangenberg, German C; Forster, John W; Hayes, Ben J; Daetwyler, Hans D
Genomic selection (GS) provides an attractive option for accelerating genetic gain in perennial ryegrass () improvement given the long cycle times of most current breeding programs. The present study used simulation to investigate the level of genetic gain and inbreeding obtained from GS breeding strategies compared with traditional breeding strategies for key traits (persistency, yield, and flowering time). Base population genomes were simulated through random mating for 60,000 generations at an effective population size of 10,000. The degree of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the resulting population was compared with that obtained from empirical studies. Initial parental varieties were simulated to match diversity of current commercial cultivars. Genomic selection was designed to fit into a company breeding program at two selection points in the breeding cycle (spaced plants and miniplot). Genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs) for productivity traits were trained with phenotypes and genotypes from plots. Accuracy of GEBVs was 0.24 for persistency and 0.36 for yield for single plants, while for plots it was lower (0.17 and 0.19, respectively). Higher accuracy of GEBVs was obtained for flowering time (up to 0.7), partially as a result of the larger reference population size that was available from the clonal row stage. The availability of GEBVs permit a 4-yr reduction in cycle time, which led to at least a doubling and trebling genetic gain for persistency and yield, respectively, than the traditional program. However, a higher rate of inbreeding per cycle among varieties was also observed for the GS strategy. Copyright © 2016 Crop Science Society of America.
Mayor, Stephen J.; Schaefer, James A.; Schneider, David C.; Mahoney, Shane P.
Greater understanding of habitat selection requires investigation at the scales at which organisms perceive and respond to their environment. Such knowledge could reveal the relative importance of factors limiting populations and the extent of response to habitat changes, and so guide conservation initiatives. We conducted a novel, spatially explicit analysis of winter habitat selection by caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, Canada, to elucidate the spatial scales of habitat selection. We combined conventional hierarchical habitat analysis with a newly developed geospatial approach that quantifies selection across scales as the difference in variance between available and used sites. We used both ordination and univariate analyses of lichen and plant cover, snow hardness and depth. This represents the first use of ordination with geostatistics for the assessment of habitat selection. Caribou habitat selection was driven by shallow, soft snow and high cover of Cladina lichens and was strongest at feeding microsites (craters) and broader feeding areas. Habitat selection was most evident at distance lags of up to 15 km, perhaps an indication of the perceptual abilities of caribou.
Lopes, Marcos S; Bovenhuis, Henk; Hidalgo, André M; van Arendonk, Johan A M; Knol, Egbert F; Bastiaansen, John W M
Breed-specific effects are observed when the same allele of a given genetic marker has a different effect depending on its breed origin, which results in different allele substitution effects across breeds. In such a case, single-breed breeding values may not be the most accurate predictors of crossbred performance. Our aim was to estimate the contribution of alleles from each parental breed to the genetic variance of traits that are measured in crossbred offspring, and to compare the prediction accuracies of estimated direct genomic values (DGV) from a traditional genomic selection model (GS) that are trained on purebred or crossbred data, with accuracies of DGV from a model that accounts for breed-specific effects (BS), trained on purebred or crossbred data. The final dataset was composed of 924 Large White, 924 Landrace and 924 two-way cross (F1) genotyped and phenotyped animals. The traits evaluated were litter size (LS) and gestation length (GL) in pigs. The genetic correlation between purebred and crossbred performance was higher than 0.88 for both LS and GL. For both traits, the additive genetic variance was larger for alleles inherited from the Large White breed compared to alleles inherited from the Landrace breed (0.74 and 0.56 for LS, and 0.42 and 0.40 for GL, respectively). The highest prediction accuracies of crossbred performance were obtained when training was done on crossbred data. For LS, prediction accuracies were the same for GS and BS DGV (0.23), while for GL, prediction accuracy for BS DGV was similar to the accuracy of GS DGV (0.53 and 0.52, respectively). In this study, training on crossbred data resulted in higher prediction accuracy than training on purebred data and evidence of breed-specific effects for LS and GL was demonstrated. However, when training was done on crossbred data, both GS and BS models resulted in similar prediction accuracies. In future studies, traits with a lower genetic correlation between purebred and crossbred
D. T. Tyler Flockhart
Full Text Available Successful conservation of migratory birds demands we understand how habitat factors on the breeding grounds influences breeding success. Multiple factors are known to directly influence breeding success in territorial songbirds. For example, greater food availability and fewer predators can have direct effects on breeding success. However, many of these same habitat factors can also result in higher conspecific density that may ultimately reduce breeding success through density dependence. In this case, there is a negative indirect effect of habitat on breeding success through its effects on conspecific density and territory size. Therefore, a key uncertainty facing land managers is whether important habitat attributes directly influence breeding success or indirectly influence breeding success through territory size. We used radio-telemetry, point-counts, vegetation sampling, predator observations, and insect sampling over two years to provide data on habitat selection of a steeply declining songbird species, the Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis. These data were then applied in a hierarchical path modeling framework and an AIC model selection approach to determine the habitat attributes that best predict breeding success. Canada Warblers had smaller territories in areas with high shrub cover, in the presence of red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, at shoreline sites relative to forest-interior sites and as conspecific density increased. Breeding success was lower for birds with smaller territories, which suggests competition for limited food resources, but there was no direct evidence that food availability influenced territory size or breeding success. The negative relationship between shrub cover and territory size in our study may arise because these specific habitat conditions are spatially heterogeneous, whereby individuals pack into patches of preferred breeding habitat scattered throughout the landscape, resulting in reduced
Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura
Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales. Thus, explicit attention to scale dependency in species-habitat relationships is critical to understand the habitat suitability patterns as perceived by organisms in complex landscapes. Identification of the scales at which particular environmental variables influence habitat selection may be as important as...
Nov 8, 1988 ... in this study were vegetation cover, plant community structure and sand movement. ... The arthropod orders were less susceptible to zonation and strict habitat ... relationships which permit species to coexist and optimal.
Full Text Available We studied the seasonal habitat selection of the red deer, Cervus elaphus alxaicus Bobrinskii & Flerov, 1935, in the Helan Mountains, China, from December 2007 to December 2008. Habitat selection varied widely by season. Seasonal movements between high and low elevations were attributed to changes in forage availability, alpine topography, the arid climate of the Helan Mountains, and potential competition with blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur (Hodgson, 1833. The use of vegetation types varied seasonally according to food availability and ambient temperature. Red deer used montane coniferous forest and alpine shrub and meadow zones distributed above 2,000 m and 3,000 m in summer, alpine shrub and meadows above 3,000 m in autumn, being restricted to lower elevation habitats in spring and winter. The winter habitat of C. elaphus alxaicus was dominated by Ulmus glaucescens Franch. and Juglans regia Linnaeus, deciduous trees, and differed from the habitats selected by other subspecies of red deer. Cervus elaphus alxaicus preferred habitats with abundant vegetation coverage to open habitats in winter, but the reverse pattern was observed in summer and autumn. Red deer preferred gentle slopes (<10° but the use of slope gradient categories varied seasonally. Red deer avoidance of human disturbance in the Helan Mountains varied significantly by season. Information on red deer habitat selection can help understand the factors affecting seasonal movements and also support decision making in the management and conservation of red deer and their habitats.
Ana G. Pérez
Full Text Available Olive growing is mainly based on traditional varieties selected by the growers across the centuries. The few attempts so far reported to obtain new varieties by systematic breeding have been mainly focused on improving the olive adaptation to different growing systems, the productivity and the oil content. However, the improvement of oil quality has rarely been considered as selection criterion and only in the latter stages of the breeding programs. Due to their health promoting and organoleptic properties, phenolic compounds are one of the most important quality markers for Virgin olive oil (VOO although they are not commonly used as quality traits in olive breeding programs. This is mainly due to the difficulties for evaluating oil phenolic composition in large number of samples and the limited knowledge on the genetic and environmental factors that may influence phenolic composition. In the present work, we propose a high throughput methodology to include the phenolic composition as a selection criterion in olive breeding programs. For that purpose, the phenolic profile has been determined in fruits and oils of several breeding selections and two varieties (“Picual” and “Arbequina” used as control. The effect of three different environments, typical for olive growing in Andalusia, Southern Spain, was also evaluated. A high genetic effect was observed on both fruit and oil phenolic profile. In particular, the breeding selection UCI2-68 showed an optimum phenolic profile, which sums up to a good agronomic performance previously reported. A high correlation was found between fruit and oil total phenolic content as well as some individual phenols from the two different matrices. The environmental effect on phenolic compounds was also significant in both fruit and oil, although the low genotype × environment interaction allowed similar ranking of genotypes on the different environments. In summary, the high genotypic variance and the
Dueser, R D [Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville; Hallett, J G
In a study of habitat exploitation in a forest-floor small mammal community, we have collected habitat and population data for Peromyscus leucopus, Ochrotomys nuttalli, and Tamias striatus. Using multiple regression analysis, researchers estimate the effects of habitat selection and competition on the local distributions of these species during three seasons. Each of the partial regression coefficients relating the density of an independent species to the density of the dependent species is negative. This result indicates that competition is pervasive among these species. Competitive ability and habitat selectivity both increase in the order Peromyscus-Tamias-Ochrotomys. Peromyscus is a poorly competitive habitat generalist, Ochrotomys is a strongly competitive habitat specialist, and Tamias is intermediate in both respects. The competitive hierarchy is stable between seasons. These results both confirm the conclusions reached in previous studies of this small mammal community and suggest the design of experiments to further clarify the mode and consequences of interaction between these species.
Muhammad Shahzad Sarfraz
Full Text Available The spread of dengue fever depends mainly on the availability of favourable breeding sites for its mosquito vectors around human dwellings. To investigate if the various factors influencing breeding habitats can be mapped from space, dengue indices, such as the container index, the house index and the Breteau index, were calculated from Ministry of Public health data collected three times annually in Phitsanulok, Thailand between 2009 and 2011. The most influential factors were found to be temperature, humidity, rainfall, population density, elevation and land cover. Models were worked out using parameters mostly derived from freely available satellite images and fuzzy logic software with parameter synchronisation and a predication algorithm based on data mining and the Decision Tree method. The models developed were found to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate additional parameters and sampling data that might improve prediction of favourable breeding hotspots. The algorithm applied can not only be used for the prediction of near real-time scenarios with respect to dengue, but can also be applied for monitoring other diseases influenced by environmental and climatic factors. The multi-criteria model presented is a cost-effective way of identifying outbreak hotspots and early warning systems lend themselves for development based on this strategy. The proposed approach demonstrates the successful utilisation of remotely sensed images to map mosquito breeding habitats.
Full Text Available In metapopulations in which habitat patches vary in quality and occupancy it can be complicated to calculate the net time-averaged contribution to reproduction of particular populations. Surprisingly, few indices have been proposed for this purpose. We combined occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, and reproductive success to determine the net value of different sites through time and applied this method to a bird of conservation concern. The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor has experienced large population declines, is the most colonial songbird in North America, is largely confined to California, and breeds itinerantly in multiple habitat types. It has had chronically low reproductive success in recent years. Although young produced per nest have previously been compared across habitats, no study has simultaneously considered site occupancy and reproductive success. Combining occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, reproductive success and nest failure rate we found that that large colonies in grain fields fail frequently because of nest destruction due to harvest prior to fledging. Consequently, net time-averaged reproductive output is low compared to colonies in non-native Himalayan blackberry or thistles, and native stinging nettles. Cattail marshes have intermediate reproductive output, but their reproductive output might be improved by active management. Harvest of grain-field colonies necessitates either promoting delay of harvest or creating alternative, more secure nesting habitats. Stinging nettle and marsh colonies offer the main potential sources for restoration or native habitat creation. From 2005-2011 breeding site occupancy declined 3x faster than new breeding colonies were formed, indicating a rapid decline in occupancy. Total abundance showed a similar decline. Causes of variation in the value for reproduction of nesting substrates and factors behind continuing population declines merit urgent
Ouren, Douglas S.; Garrott, Robert A.; Watts, Raymond D.; Lukins, William J.
Problem Statement One of the major challenges to grizzly bear preservation in the greater Yellowstone area is the impact on grizzly bear habitat selection by various types and intensities of human activities. The most prevalent of these human activities is the presence and intensity of use of motorized transportation systems. These transportation systems provide increased access into grizzly bear habitat and thus increase the risk of mortality and dilute the effectiveness of their habitat (Br...
Full Text Available Habitat selection of semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus was investigated through faecal pellet- group counts and by direct observations of reindeer from helicopter in the Långfjället area in Idre reindeer herding district (62˚10’N and in Mittådalen reindeer herding district (62˚50’N, aerial observations only. Reindeer pellets were found to be most abundant in habitats at high altitudes, and in some vegetation types. Pellet-group densities tended to be higher near the tourist trails, which often follow higher altitudes in the terrain. The aerial surveys showed that the reindeer moved towards higher altitudes when the wind speed was low and the temperature was high both in June and July. In June they moved towards lower regions when temperature was low and the wind speed was strong. The conclusion is that the reindeer use Långfjället to escape insect harassment and warm weather, even though disturbance by tourism sometimes is high.Abstract in Swedish / Sammanfattning:Habitatval hos tamren (Rangifer tarandus tarandus undersöktes genom att göra en spillningsinventering och genom att göra flygobservationer från helikopter. Studien gjordes på Långfjället (62˚10’N i Idre nya sameby och i Mittådalens samebys sommarbetesområde (62˚50’N, endast flygobservationer. På Långfjället finns det vandringsleder som är frekventerade av vandrare från juni månad fram till september. Spillningen visade att renarna föredrog höjderna i området samt en del av vegetationstyperna. Det var också mer spillning närmare vandringslederna. Detta kan förklaras av att vandringslederna följer höjderna i terrängen. Flyginventeringarna under både juni och juli visade att renarna rörde sig mot högre terräng när det var varmt och lugnt väder. I juni rörde dom sig också i lägre terräng när det var stark vind och kallt väder. Slutsatsen är att renarna väljer att vistas i högre terräng för att undvika st
Viana, Duarte S; Granados, José Enrique; Fandos, Paulino; Pérez, Jesús M; Cano-Manuel, Francisco Javier; Burón, Daniel; Fandos, Guillermo; Aguado, María Ángeles Párraga; Figuerola, Jordi; Soriguer, Ramón C
Space use by animals is determined by the interplay between movement and the environment, and is thus mediated by habitat selection, biotic interactions and intrinsic factors of moving individuals. These processes ultimately determine home range size, but their relative contributions and dynamic nature remain less explored. We investigated the role of habitat selection, movement unrelated to habitat selection and intrinsic factors related to sex in driving space use and home range size in Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica . We used GPS collars to track ibex across the year in two different geographical areas of Sierra Nevada, Spain, and measured habitat variables related to forage and roost availability. By using integrated step selection analysis (iSSA), we show that habitat selection was important to explain space use by ibex. As a consequence, movement was constrained by habitat selection, as observed displacement rate was shorter than expected under null selection. Selection-independent movement, selection strength and resource availability were important drivers of seasonal home range size. Both displacement rate and directional persistence had a positive relationship with home range size while accounting for habitat selection, suggesting that individual characteristics and state may also affect home range size. Ibex living at higher altitudes, where resource availability shows stronger altitudinal gradients across the year, had larger home ranges. Home range size was larger in spring and autumn, when ibex ascend and descend back, and smaller in summer and winter, when resources are more stable. Therefore, home range size decreased with resource availability. Finally, males had larger home ranges than females, which might be explained by differences in body size and reproductive behaviour. Movement, selection strength, resource availability and intrinsic factors related to sex determined home range size of Iberian ibex. Our results highlight the need to integrate
Sánchez-Ribas, Jordi; Oliveira-Ferreira, Joseli; Rosa-Freitas, Maria Goreti; Trilla, Lluís; Silva-do-Nascimento, Teresa Fernandes
Here we present the first in a series of articles about the ecology of immature stages of anophelines in the Brazilian Yanomami area. We propose a new larval habitat classification and a new larval sampling methodology. We also report some preliminary results illustrating the applicability of the methodology based on data collected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in a longitudinal study of two remote Yanomami communities, Parafuri and Toototobi. In these areas, we mapped and classified 112 natural breeding habitats located in low-order river systems based on their association with river flood pulses, seasonality and exposure to sun. Our classification rendered seven types of larval habitats: lakes associated with the river, which are subdivided into oxbow lakes and nonoxbow lakes, flooded areas associated with the river, flooded areas not associated with the river, rainfall pools, small forest streams, medium forest streams and rivers. The methodology for larval sampling was based on the accurate quantification of the effective breeding area, taking into account the area of the perimeter and subtypes of microenvironments present per larval habitat type using a laser range finder and a small portable inflatable boat. The new classification and new sampling methodology proposed herein may be useful in vector control programs.
Full Text Available Here we present the first in a series of articles about the ecology of immature stages of anophelines in the Brazilian Yanomami area. We propose a new larval habitat classification and a new larval sampling methodology. We also report some preliminary results illustrating the applicability of the methodology based on data collected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in a longitudinal study of two remote Yanomami communities, Parafuri and Toototobi. In these areas, we mapped and classified 112 natural breeding habitats located in low-order river systems based on their association with river flood pulses, seasonality and exposure to sun. Our classification rendered seven types of larval habitats: lakes associated with the river, which are subdivided into oxbow lakes and nonoxbow lakes, flooded areas associated with the river, flooded areas not associated with the river, rainfall pools, small forest streams, medium forest streams and rivers. The methodology for larval sampling was based on the accurate quantification of the effective breeding area, taking into account the area of the perimeter and subtypes of microenvironments present per larval habitat type using a laser range finder and a small portable inflatable boat. The new classification and new sampling methodology proposed herein may be useful in vector control programs.
Lipka, Alexander E.; Lu, Fei; Cherney, Jerome H.; Buckler, Edward S.; Casler, Michael D.; Costich, Denise E.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial grass undergoing development as a biofuel feedstock. One of the most important factors hindering breeding efforts in this species is the need for accurate measurement of biomass yield on a per-hectare basis. Genomic selection on simple-to-measure traits that approximate biomass yield has the potential to significantly speed up the breeding cycle. Recent advances in switchgrass genomic and phenotypic resources are now making it possible to evaluate the potential of genomic selection of such traits. We leveraged these resources to study the ability of three widely-used genomic selection models to predict phenotypic values of morphological and biomass quality traits in an association panel consisting of predominantly northern adapted upland germplasm. High prediction accuracies were obtained for most of the traits, with standability having the highest ten-fold cross validation prediction accuracy (0.52). Moreover, the morphological traits generally had higher prediction accuracies than the biomass quality traits. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the quality of current genomic and phenotypic resources available for switchgrass is sufficiently high for genomic selection to significantly impact breeding efforts for biomass yield. PMID:25390940
Wendy D. Jones; Carlton M. Jones; Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried
The encinal savannas of the sub-mogollon southwestern United States are important for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat. Little data have been collected on the ecology of these Sierra Madrean types of woodland land areas, which makes management difficult. Obtaining information such as habitat preferences for selected wildlife species and livestock can be an...
Full Text Available Selection and breeding practices in goats have led to the fixation of several traits. This is probably due to the standardization of several peculiar morphological characteristics that have always been one of the major exclusion criteria of individuals from selection. Among these, ear carriage is one of the most ancient and considered a signature of domestication in several species, such as the dog, pig, sheep and goat (Boyko et al., 2010. The availability of improved genomic analyses tools for goats may provide useful information on genes involved in this trait. By studying, for example, the homozygosity decay of haplotypes (contiguous length of alleles such information can be detected. In the current study, we focused on the Maltese goat, a breed showing floppy ears, in comparison with other Italian breeds using a goat medium density SNP chip (Nicoloso et al., 2015. A total 48,767 SNP markers for 369 animals belonging to 16 breeds or populations were analyzed. Genotypes were imputed within population excluding markers without known position on the current genome assembly (ARS1, Bickhart et al., 2017. Population analysis using MDS, ADMIXTURE and fastSTRUCTURE confirmed the good differentiation among the populations. Integrated Haplotype Score (iHS, Sabeti et al., 2007 was performed for each population, comparing the regions detected on the Maltese breed with the others considered to detect genes that may be involved into shaping ear morphology. These results may provide new insights into ear carriage phenotype by detecting genes that play a pivotal role in shaping the goat phenotypic diversity. Acknowledgement The research was funded by INNOVAGEN project.
McCoy, J.R.; Wright, J.E.
The male boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, uses an aggregating pheromone to attract females, after which mating often occurs. Sterile boll weevil release programs depend upon this phenomenon to produce sterile matings with feral females. In an effort to increase the effectiveness of the individual sterile male and thereby reduce the number of sterile males required per hectare, a selective-breeding system was used to increase the total pheromone produced by individual male boll weevils. This breeding program increased the total pheromone production by individual male boll weevils to 4.5 times that of the parent population. After irradiation-induced sterilization, there remained 2.2 times more pheromone produced by the selected strain. Therefore, these sterile weevils should be about 2.2 times more attractive to feral females than the parent weevils now in use, and they have the potential to reduce the number of sterile males required in a sterile release program
Lidianne L. Rocha
Full Text Available We investigated the relationship among environmental variables, composition, and structure of bacterial communities in different habitats in a mangrove located nearby to an oil exploitation area, aiming to retrieve the natural pattern of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. The T-RFLP analysis showed a high diversity of bacterial populations and an increase in the bacterial richness from habitats closer to the sea and without vegetation (S1 to habitats covered by Avicennia schaueriana (S2 and Rhizophora mangle (S3. Environmental variables in S1 and S2 were more similar than in S3; however, when comparing the bacterial compositions, S2 and S3 shared more OTUs between them, suggesting that the presence of vegetation is an important factor in shaping these bacterial communities. In silico analyses of the fragments revealed a high diversity of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the 3 sites, although in general they presented quite different bacterial composition, which is probably shaped by the specificities of each habitat. This study shows that microhabitats inside of a mangrove ecosystem harbor diverse and distinct microbiota, reinforcing the need to conserve these ecosystems as a whole.
Rocha, Lidianne L.; Colares, Geórgia B.; Nogueira, Vanessa L. R.; Paes, Fernanda A.; Melo, Vânia M. M.
We investigated the relationship among environmental variables, composition, and structure of bacterial communities in different habitats in a mangrove located nearby to an oil exploitation area, aiming to retrieve the natural pattern of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. The T-RFLP analysis showed a high diversity of bacterial populations and an increase in the bacterial richness from habitats closer to the sea and without vegetation (S1) to habitats covered by Avicennia schaueriana (S2) and Rhizophora mangle (S3). Environmental variables in S1 and S2 were more similar than in S3; however, when comparing the bacterial compositions, S2 and S3 shared more OTUs between them, suggesting that the presence of vegetation is an important factor in shaping these bacterial communities. In silico analyses of the fragments revealed a high diversity of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the 3 sites, although in general they presented quite different bacterial composition, which is probably shaped by the specificities of each habitat. This study shows that microhabitats inside of a mangrove ecosystem harbor diverse and distinct microbiota, reinforcing the need to conserve these ecosystems as a whole. PMID:26989418
de Haas, E.M.; Wagner, C.; Koelmans, A.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.; Admiraal, W.
1. Sediments have been considered as a habitat, a cover from predators and a source of food, but also as a source of potential toxic compounds. Therefore, the choice of a suitable substrate is essential for the development of chironomids. 2. For the midge Chironomus riparius (Meigen 1804) the growth
Taher, Taherah Mohd; Lihan, Tukimat; Mustapha, Muzzneena Ahmad; Nor, Shukor Mohd
Large areas are converted into commercial land use such as agriculture and urban as a result from the increasing economic and population demand. This situation is largely affecting wildlife and its habitat. Malaysia as one of the largest oil palm-producing countries, should take precaution into conserving its forest and wildlife diversity. Although big mammal such as elephant and tiger are significant for wildlife diversity, medium and small mammals also contribute to the biological richness in Malaysia. This study aims to predict suitable habitat of medium mammal, Tragulus napu and Tragulus javanicus in the study area and identify its habitat characteristics. The method applied in this study uses maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling which utilized species distribution data and selected environmental variables to alienate potential habitat in the study area. The characteristic of the habitat was identified from the result of MaxEnt analysis. This method of habitat modeling shows different extent of predicted suitable habitat in the study area of both species in which Tragulus napu has a limited distribution compared to Tragulus javanicus. However, some characteristics are similar in both habitats. The knowledge on species habitat characteristics is important to predict wildlife habitat in order to make best decision on land use management and conservation.
Bonin, M. C.
Coral reef habitats are increasingly being degraded and destroyed by a range of disturbances, most notably climate-induced coral bleaching. Habitat specialists, particularly those associated with susceptible coral species, are clearly among the most vulnerable to population decline or extinction. However, the degree of specialization on coral microhabitats is still unclear for one of the most ubiquitous, abundant and well studied of coral reef fish families—the damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Using high taxonomic resolution surveys of microhabitat use and availability, this study provides the first species-level description of patterns of Acropora selectivity among recruits of 10 damselfish species in order to determine their vulnerability to habitat degradation. In addition, surveys of the bleaching susceptibility of 16 branching coral species revealed which preferred recruitment microhabitats are at highest risk of decline as a result of chronic coral bleaching. Four species (i.e., Chrysiptera parasema, Pomacentrus moluccensis, Dascyllus melanurus and Chromis retrofasciata) were identified as highly vulnerable because they used only branching hard corals as recruitment habitat and primarily associated with only 2-4 coral species. The bleaching surveys revealed that five species of Acropora were highly susceptible to bleaching, with more than 50% of colonies either severely bleached or already dead. These highly susceptible corals included two of the preferred microhabitats of the specialist C. parasema and represented a significant proportion of its total recruitment microhabitat. In contrast, highly susceptible corals were rarely used by another specialist, P. moluccensis, suggesting that this species faces a lower risk of bleaching-induced habitat loss compared to C. parasema. As degradation to coral reef habitats continues, specialists will increasingly be forced to use alternative recruitment microhabitats, and this is likely to reduce population
Full Text Available Physical habitat is important in determining the carrying capacity of juvenile brown trout, and within freshwater management. Summer daytime physical habitat selection for the parr lifestage (7–20 cm juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta was assessed in 6 small lowland streams. Habitat preference was determined for the four variables; water velocity, water depth, substrate and cover, and the preferences for physical habitat selection were expressed in terms of habitat suitability indices (HSI’s. The statistical confidence of HSI’s was evaluated using power analysis. It was found that a minimum of 22 fish observations was needed to have statistical confidence in the HSIs for water depth, and a minimum of 92 fish observations for water velocity during daytime summer conditions. Generally parr were utilising the deeper habitats, indicating preference for deeper water. Cover was also being selected for at all sites, but selection was inconsistent among sites for the variables substrate and velocity. The results indicate that during daytime summer conditions water depth is a significant variable for parr habitat selection in these small lowland streams, with cover also being important. Therefore, daytime refugia may be a critical limiting factor for parr in small lowland streams, and important for stream management actions under the Water Framework Directive.
An, Fengli; Wang, Jianlin
In order to explore the effect of strain on diverging post-hatch muscle properties, muscle regulation during embryo development was investigated in selected and unselected breeds. Four broiler strains were used: JingNing (JN) chicken (a Chinese native chicken), HuangYu (HY) broiler, BaiYu (BY) broiler and Hyline layer (commercial crossbred chickens). Results showed that the four breeds had almost the same characteristic during different incubation periods. BY broilers moved more than JN and Hyline layers from Hamburger & Hamilton stage (HH)24 to HH31 (P layers from HH27 to HH31 (P layers (P > 0.05); broilers presented smaller fiber diameter than JN chickens before HH31 (P > 0.05). From then on, JN chicken exhibited smaller fiber diameter compared to the broilers (P > 0.05). Western blotting indicated all the breeds had continuous insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) expression, with the highest expression level in broilers from HH19 to HH24 and highest expression level in JN chicks from HH27 to HH31. The results indicated that the diverging growth among breeds was already shown in embryonic stages; the different expression patterns of IGF-I may be involved in cell proliferation and differentiation. © 2016 Japanese Society of Animal Science.
Full Text Available Marker-assisted selection (MAS refers to the use of molecular markers to assist phenotypic selections in crop improvement. Several types of molecular markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, have been identified and effectively used in plant breeding. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS technologies has led to remarkable advances in whole genome sequencing, which provides ultra-throughput sequences to revolutionize plant genotyping and breeding. To further broaden NGS usages to large crop genomes such as maize and wheat, genotyping by sequencing (GBS has been developed and applied in sequencing multiplexed samples that combine molecular marker discovery and genotyping. GBS is a novel application of NGS protocols for discovering and genotyping SNPs in crop genomes and populations. The GBS approach includes the digestion of genomic DNA with restriction enzymes followed by the ligation of barcode adapter, PCR amplification and sequencing of the amplified DNA pool on a single lane of flow cells. Bioinformatic pipelines are needed to analyze and interpret GBS datasets. As an ultimate MAS tool and a cost-effective technique, GBS has been successfully used in implementing genome-wide association study (GWAS, genomic diversity study, genetic linkage analysis, molecular marker discovery and genomic selection (GS under a large scale of plant breeding programs.
Fleskes, Joseph P.; Gilmer, David S.; Jarvis, Robert L.
To determine relative importance of habitats available in the Grassland Ecological Area (GEA) to wintering female northern pintails, Anas acuta, we studied habitat use relative to availability (i.e., habitat selection) in the GEA during September through March, 1991-94 for 196 Hatch-Year (HY) and 221 After-Hatch-Year (AHY) female pintails that were radio tagged during August-early October in the GEA (n = 239), other San Joaquin Valley areas (n = 132), or other Central Valley areas (n = 46). Habitat availability and use varied among seasons and years, but pintails always selected shallow and, except on hunting days, open habitats. Swamp timothy, Heleochloa schoenoides, marsh was the most available, used, and selected habitat. Watergrass, Echinochloa crusgalli, marsh in the GEA was used less than available at night in contrast to previous studies in other SJV areas. Preferred late-winter habitats were apparently lacking in the GEA, at least relative to in the Sacramento Valley and Delta where most pintails moved to in December each year. Impacts on pintails of the increasing practice of managing marshes for increased emergent vegetation to attract other species should be monitored. Shallow, open habitats that produce seeds and invertebrates available to pintails in late winter would help maintain pintail abundance in the GEA.
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Maria A. Furey; Dirk E. Burhans; Hong He; Michael A. Gold; Bruce E. Cutter
Our research investigates the role of vegetation structure in the selection of breeding territories by red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) in two floodplain oak-restoration sites. Perches are used extensively by red-winged blackbirds in territorial display during the spring (Yasukawa and Searcy 1995). We hypothesized that breeding territory...
Capra, Hervé; Plichard, Laura; Bergé, Julien; Pella, Hervé; Ovidio, Michaël; McNeil, Eric; Lamouroux, Nicolas
Modeling individual fish habitat selection in highly variable environments such as hydropeaking rivers is required for guiding efficient management decisions. We analyzed fish microhabitat selection in the heterogeneous hydraulic and thermal conditions (modeled in two-dimensions) of a reach of the large hydropeaking Rhône River locally warmed by the cooling system of a nuclear power plant. We used modern fixed acoustic telemetry techniques to survey 18 fish individuals (five barbels, six catfishes, seven chubs) signaling their position every 3s over a three-month period. Fish habitat selection depended on combinations of current microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. velocity, depth), past microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. dewatering risk or maximum velocities during the past 15days) and to a lesser extent substrate and temperature. Mixed-effects habitat selection models indicated that individual effects were often stronger than specific effects. In the Rhône, fish individuals appear to memorize spatial and temporal environmental changes and to adopt a "least constraining" habitat selection. Avoiding fast-flowing midstream habitats, fish generally live along the banks in areas where the dewatering risk is high. When discharge decreases, however, they select higher velocities but avoid both dewatering areas and very fast-flowing midstream habitats. Although consistent with the available knowledge on static fish habitat selection, our quantitative results demonstrate temporal variations in habitat selection, depending on individual behavior and environmental history. Their generality could be further tested using comparative experiments in different environmental configurations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Korean Hanwoo cattle have been subjected to intensive artificial selection over the past four decades to improve meat production traits. Another three cattle varieties very closely related to Hanwoo reside in Korea (Jeju Black and Brindle and in China (Yanbian. These breeds have not been part of a breeding scheme to improve production traits. Here, we compare the selected Hanwoo against these similar but presumed to be unselected populations to identify genomic regions that have been under recent selection pressure due to the breeding program. Rsb statistics were used to contrast the genomes of Hanwoo versus a pooled sample of the three unselected population (UN. We identified 37 significant SNPs (FDR corrected in the HW/UN comparison and 21 known protein coding genes were within 1 MB to the identified SNPs. These genes were previously reported to affect traits important for meat production (14 genes, reproduction including mammary gland development (3 genes, coat color (2 genes, and genes affecting behavioral traits in a broader sense (2 genes. We subsequently sequenced (Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform 10 individuals of the brown Hanwoo and the Chinese Yanbian to identify SNPs within the candidate genomic regions. Based on allele frequency differences, haplotype structures, and literature research, we singled out one non-synonymous SNP in the APP gene (APP: c.569C>T, Ala199Val and predicted the mutational effect on the protein structure. We found that protein-protein interactions might be impaired due to increased exposed hydrophobic surfaces of the mutated protein. The APP gene has also been reported to affect meat tenderness in pigs and obesity in humans. Meat tenderness has been linked to intramuscular fat content, which is one of the main breeding goals for brown Hanwoo, potentially supporting a causal influence of the herein described nsSNP in the APP gene.
Lim, Dajeong; Strucken, Eva M; Choi, Bong Hwan; Chai, Han Ha; Cho, Yong Min; Jang, Gul Won; Kim, Tae-Hun; Gondro, Cedric; Lee, Seung Hwan
Korean Hanwoo cattle have been subjected to intensive artificial selection over the past four decades to improve meat production traits. Another three cattle varieties very closely related to Hanwoo reside in Korea (Jeju Black and Brindle) and in China (Yanbian). These breeds have not been part of a breeding scheme to improve production traits. Here, we compare the selected Hanwoo against these similar but presumed to be unselected populations to identify genomic regions that have been under recent selection pressure due to the breeding program. Rsb statistics were used to contrast the genomes of Hanwoo versus a pooled sample of the three unselected population (UN). We identified 37 significant SNPs (FDR corrected) in the HW/UN comparison and 21 known protein coding genes were within 1 MB to the identified SNPs. These genes were previously reported to affect traits important for meat production (14 genes), reproduction including mammary gland development (3 genes), coat color (2 genes), and genes affecting behavioral traits in a broader sense (2 genes). We subsequently sequenced (Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform) 10 individuals of the brown Hanwoo and the Chinese Yanbian to identify SNPs within the candidate genomic regions. Based on allele frequency differences, haplotype structures, and literature research, we singled out one non-synonymous SNP in the APP gene (APP: c.569C>T, Ala199Val) and predicted the mutational effect on the protein structure. We found that protein-protein interactions might be impaired due to increased exposed hydrophobic surfaces of the mutated protein. The APP gene has also been reported to affect meat tenderness in pigs and obesity in humans. Meat tenderness has been linked to intramuscular fat content, which is one of the main breeding goals for brown Hanwoo, potentially supporting a causal influence of the herein described nsSNP in the APP gene.
Chavanne, Hervé; Janssen, Kasper; Hofherr, Johann
–50 % market share. Only part of the European fish aquaculture industry today fully exploits selective breeding to the best advantage. A larger impact assessment still needs to be made by the remainder, particularly on the market share of fish seed (eggs, larvae or juveniles) and its consequences for hatchery...... of molecular tools is now common in all programs, mainly for pedigree traceability. An increasing number of programs use either genomic or marker-assisted selection. Results related to the seed production market confirmed that for Atlantic salmon there are a few dominant players at the European level, with 30...
White, Stephen N.; Knowles, Donald P.
Small ruminant lentiviruses include members that infect sheep (ovine lentivirus [OvLV]; also known as ovine progressive pneumonia virus/maedi-visna virus) and goats (caprine arthritis encephalitis virus [CAEV]). Breed differences in seroprevalence and proviral concentration of OvLV had suggested a strong genetic component in susceptibility to infection by OvLV in sheep. A genetic marker test for susceptibility to OvLV has been developed recently based on the TMEM154 gene with validation data from over 2,800 sheep representing nine cohorts. While no single genotype has been shown to have complete resistance to OvLV, consistent association in thousands of sheep from multiple breeds and management conditions highlight a new strategy for intervention by selective breeding. This genetic marker-assisted selection (MAS) has the potential to be a useful addition to existing viral control measures. Further, the discovery of multiple additional genomic regions associated with susceptibility to or control of OvLV suggests that additional genetic marker tests may be developed to extend the reach of MAS in the future. This review will cover the strengths and limitations of existing data from host genetics as an intervention and outline additional questions for future genetic research in sheep, goats, small ruminant lentiviruses, and their host-pathogen interactions. PMID:23771240
Donald P. Knowles
Full Text Available Small ruminant lentiviruses include members that infect sheep (ovine lentivirus [OvLV]; also known as ovine progressive pneumonia virus/maedi-visna virus and goats (caprine arthritis encephalitis virus [CAEV]. Breed differences in seroprevalence and proviral concentration of OvLV had suggested a strong genetic component in susceptibility to infection by OvLV in sheep. A genetic marker test for susceptibility to OvLV has been developed recently based on the TMEM154 gene with validation data from over 2,800 sheep representing nine cohorts. While no single genotype has been shown to have complete resistance to OvLV, consistent association in thousands of sheep from multiple breeds and management conditions highlight a new strategy for intervention by selective breeding. This genetic marker-assisted selection (MAS has the potential to be a useful addition to existing viral control measures. Further, the discovery of multiple additional genomic regions associated with susceptibility to or control of OvLV suggests that additional genetic marker tests may be developed to extend the reach of MAS in the future. This review will cover the strengths and limitations of existing data from host genetics as an intervention and outline additional questions for future genetic research in sheep, goats, small ruminant lentiviruses, and their host-pathogen interactions.
Lado, Bettina; Battenfield, Sarah; Guzmán, Carlos; Quincke, Martín; Singh, Ravi P; Dreisigacker, Susanne; Peña, R Javier; Fritz, Allan; Silva, Paula; Poland, Jesse; Gutiérrez, Lucía
The single most important decision in plant breeding programs is the selection of appropriate crosses. The ideal cross would provide superior predicted progeny performance and enough diversity to maintain genetic gain. The aim of this study was to compare the best crosses predicted using combinations of mid-parent value and variance prediction accounting for linkage disequilibrium (V) or assuming linkage equilibrium (V). After predicting the mean and the variance of each cross, we selected crosses based on mid-parent value, the top 10% of the progeny, and weighted mean and variance within progenies for grain yield, grain protein content, mixing time, and loaf volume in two applied wheat ( L.) breeding programs: Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) Uruguay and CIMMYT Mexico. Although the variance of the progeny is important to increase the chances of finding superior individuals from transgressive segregation, we observed that the mid-parent values of the crosses drove the genetic gain but the variance of the progeny had a small impact on genetic gain for grain yield. However, the relative importance of the variance of the progeny was larger for quality traits. Overall, the genomic resources and the statistical models are now available to plant breeders to predict both the performance of breeding lines per se as well as the value of progeny from any potential crosses. Copyright © 2017 Crop Science Society of America.
Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle
Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears. © 2016 The Author(s).
Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rode, Karyn D.; St Martin, Michelle
Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears.
He, Jiangfeng; Zhao, Xiaoqing; Laroche, André; Lu, Zhen-Xiang; Liu, HongKui; Li, Ziqin
Marker-assisted selection (MAS) refers to the use of molecular markers to assist phenotypic selections in crop improvement. Several types of molecular markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), have been identified and effectively used in plant breeding. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has led to remarkable advances in whole genome sequencing, which provides ultra-throughput sequences to revolutionize plant genotyping and breeding. To further broad...
Full Text Available Habitat selection studies generally assume that animals select habitat and food resources at multiple scales to maximise their fitness. However, animals sometimes prefer habitats of apparently low quality, especially when considering the costs associated with spatially heterogeneous human disturbance. We used spatial variation in human disturbance, and its consequences on lynx survival, a direct fitness component, to test the Hierarchical Habitat Selection hypothesis from a population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in southern Norway. Data from 46 lynx monitored with telemetry indicated that a high proportion of forest strongly reduced the risk of mortality from legal hunting at the home range scale, while increasing road density strongly increased such risk at the finer scale within the home range. We found hierarchical effects of the impact of human disturbance, with a higher road density at a large scale reinforcing its negative impact at a fine scale. Conversely, we demonstrated that lynx shifted their habitat selection to avoid areas with the highest road densities within their home ranges, thus supporting a compensatory mechanism at fine scale enabling lynx to mitigate the impact of large-scale disturbance. Human impact, positively associated with high road accessibility, was thus a stronger driver of lynx space use at a finer scale, with home range characteristics nevertheless constraining habitat selection. Our study demonstrates the truly hierarchical nature of habitat selection, which aims at maximising fitness by selecting against limiting factors at multiple spatial scales, and indicates that scale-specific heterogeneity of the environment is driving individual spatial behaviour, by means of trade-offs across spatial scales.
Kesler, Dylan C.; Haig, Susan M.
Limited nest-site availability appears to be an important factor in the evolution of delayed dispersal and cooperative breeding in some cavity-nesting species. The cooperatively breeding Pohnpei subspecies of Micronesian Kingfisher Todiramphus cinnamominus reichenbachii excavates nest cavities from the nests of arboreal termites Nasutitermes spp., or termitaria. In this first published description of nest-sites for this subspecies, we used surveys, remote sensing and radiotelemetry to evaluate the relationship between nest-site availability and co-operation. Results illustrate that nest termitaria are higher in the forest canopy, larger in volume and occur in areas with more contiguous canopy cover than unused termitaria. Nest termitaria were selected independently of the proximity to forest edges and territory boundaries, and we found no difference in characteristics of termitaria used by cooperative groups and breeding pairs. Logistic regression modelling indicated that termitaria with nest-like characteristics were not limited in abundance, suggesting that neither the prospects of inheriting nesting resources nor limited nest-site abundance are probable explanations for delayed dispersal in the Pohnpei subspecies of Micronesian Kingfisher.
Victoria A Bennett
Full Text Available It is essential to choose suitable habitat when reintroducing a species into its former range. Habitat quality may influence an individual's dispersal decisions and also ultimately where they choose to settle. We examined whether variation in habitat quality (quantified by the level of ground vegetation cover and the installation of nest boxes influenced the movement, habitat choice and survival of a reintroduced bird species. We experimentally reintroduced seven social groups (43 individuals of the brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus into two nature reserves in south-eastern Australia. We radio-tracked 18 brown treecreepers from release in November 2009 until February 2010. We observed extensive movements by individuals irrespective of the release environment or an individual's gender. This indicated that individuals were capable of dispersing and actively selecting optimum habitat. This may alleviate pressure on wildlife planners to accurately select the most optimum release sites, so long as the species' requirements are met. There was significant variation in movement between social groups, suggesting that social factors may be a more important influence on movement than habitat characteristics. We found a significant effect of ground vegetation cover on the likelihood of settlement by social groups, with high rates of settlement and survival in dry forests, rather than woodland (where the species typically resides, which has implications for the success of woodland restoration. However, overall the effects of variation in habitat quality were not as strong as we had expected, and resulted in some unpredicted effects such as low survival and settlement in woodland areas with medium levels of ground vegetation cover. The extensive movement by individuals and unforeseen effects of habitat characteristics make it difficult to predict the outcome of reintroductions, the movement behaviour and habitat selection of reintroduced individuals
Downs, J. L; Tiller, B. L [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Witter, M. [Shannon and Wilson, Inc., Seattle, WA (United States). Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants, Seattle, Washington (United States); Mazaika, R. [Corps of Engineers, Portland, OR (United States)
Studies in this document were initiated to establish baseline information on riparian and wetland habitat conditions at the areas studied under the current reservoir operations on the lower Snake River. Two approaches were used to assess habitat at 28 study sites selected on the four pools on the lower Snake River. These areas all contribute significant riparian habitat along the river, and several of these areas are designated habitat management units. At 14 of the 28 sites, we monitored riparian habitat on three dates during the growing season to quantify vegetation abundance and composition along three transects: soil nutrients, moisture, and pH and water level and pH. A second approach involved identifying any differences in the extent and amount of riparian/wetland habitat currently found at the study areas from that previously documented. We used both ground and boat surveys to map and classify the changes in vegetative cover along the shoreline at the 14 monitoring sites and at 14 additional sites along the lower Snake selected to represent various riparian/wetland habitat conditions. Results of these mapping efforts are compared with maps of cover types previously generated using aerial photography taken in 1987.
Bhat, Javaid A; Ali, Sajad; Salgotra, Romesh K; Mir, Zahoor A; Dutta, Sutapa; Jadon, Vasudha; Tyagi, Anshika; Mushtaq, Muntazir; Jain, Neelu; Singh, Pradeep K; Singh, Gyanendra P; Prabhu, K V
Genomic selection (GS) is a promising approach exploiting molecular genetic markers to design novel breeding programs and to develop new markers-based models for genetic evaluation. In plant breeding, it provides opportunities to increase genetic gain of complex traits per unit time and cost. The cost-benefit balance was an important consideration for GS to work in crop plants. Availability of genome-wide high-throughput, cost-effective and flexible markers, having low ascertainment bias, suitable for large population size as well for both model and non-model crop species with or without the reference genome sequence was the most important factor for its successful and effective implementation in crop species. These factors were the major limitations to earlier marker systems viz., SSR and array-based, and was unimaginable before the availability of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies which have provided novel SNP genotyping platforms especially the genotyping by sequencing. These marker technologies have changed the entire scenario of marker applications and made the use of GS a routine work for crop improvement in both model and non-model crop species. The NGS-based genotyping have increased genomic-estimated breeding value prediction accuracies over other established marker platform in cereals and other crop species, and made the dream of GS true in crop breeding. But to harness the true benefits from GS, these marker technologies will be combined with high-throughput phenotyping for achieving the valuable genetic gain from complex traits. Moreover, the continuous decline in sequencing cost will make the WGS feasible and cost effective for GS in near future. Till that time matures the targeted sequencing seems to be more cost-effective option for large scale marker discovery and GS, particularly in case of large and un-decoded genomes.
A. H. Sallam
Full Text Available Prediction accuracy of genomic selection (GS has been previously evaluated through simulation and cross-validation; however, validation based on progeny performance in a plant breeding program has not been investigated thoroughly. We evaluated several prediction models in a dynamic barley breeding population comprised of 647 six-row lines using four traits differing in genetic architecture and 1536 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers. The breeding lines were divided into six sets designated as one parent set and five consecutive progeny sets comprised of representative samples of breeding lines over a 5-yr period. We used these data sets to investigate the effect of model and training population composition on prediction accuracy over time. We found little difference in prediction accuracy among the models confirming prior studies that found the simplest model, random regression best linear unbiased prediction (RR-BLUP, to be accurate across a range of situations. In general, we found that using the parent set was sufficient to predict progeny sets with little to no gain in accuracy from generating larger training populations by combining the parent set with subsequent progeny sets. The prediction accuracy ranged from 0.03 to 0.99 across the four traits and five progeny sets. We explored characteristics of the training and validation populations (marker allele frequency, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium, LD as well as characteristics of the trait (genetic architecture and heritability, . Fixation of markers associated with a trait over time was most clearly associated with reduced prediction accuracy for the mycotoxin trait DON. Higher trait in the training population and simpler trait architecture were associated with greater prediction accuracy.
Cabrera-Bosquet, Llorenç; Crossa, José; von Zitzewitz, Jarislav; Serret, María Dolors; Araus, José Luis
Genomic selection (GS) and high-throughput phenotyping have recently been captivating the interest of the crop breeding community from both the public and private sectors world-wide. Both approaches promise to revolutionize the prediction of complex traits, including growth, yield and adaptation to stress. Whereas high-throughput phenotyping may help to improve understanding of crop physiology, most powerful techniques for high-throughput field phenotyping are empirical rather than analytical and comparable to genomic selection. Despite the fact that the two methodological approaches represent the extremes of what is understood as the breeding process (phenotype versus genome), they both consider the targeted traits (e.g. grain yield, growth, phenology, plant adaptation to stress) as a black box instead of dissecting them as a set of secondary traits (i.e. physiological) putatively related to the target trait. Both GS and high-throughput phenotyping have in common their empirical approach enabling breeders to use genome profile or phenotype without understanding the underlying biology. This short review discusses the main aspects of both approaches and focuses on the case of genomic selection of maize flowering traits and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and plant spectral reflectance as high-throughput field phenotyping methods for complex traits such as crop growth and yield. © 2012 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Azevedo Peixoto, Leonardo de; Laviola, Bruno Galvêas; Alves, Alexandre Alonso; Rosado, Tatiana Barbosa; Bhering, Leonardo Lopes
Genomic wide selection is a promising approach for improving the selection accuracy in plant breeding, particularly in species with long life cycles, such as Jatropha. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to estimate the genetic parameters for grain yield (GY) and the weight of 100 seeds (W100S) using restricted maximum likelihood (REML); to compare the performance of GWS methods to predict GY and W100S; and to estimate how many markers are needed to train the GWS model to obtain the maximum accuracy. Eight GWS models were compared in terms of predictive ability. The impact that the marker density had on the predictive ability was investigated using a varying number of markers, from 2 to 1,248. Because the genetic variance between evaluated genotypes was significant, it was possible to obtain selection gain. All of the GWS methods tested in this study can be used to predict GY and W100S in Jatropha. A training model fitted using 1,000 and 800 markers is sufficient to capture the maximum genetic variance and, consequently, maximum prediction ability of GY and W100S, respectively. This study demonstrated the applicability of genome-wide prediction to identify useful genetic sources of GY and W100S for Jatropha breeding. Further research is needed to confirm the applicability of the proposed approach to other complex traits.
Full Text Available Traditional cultivar Grüner Veltliner is the most appreciated vine in Austrian viticulture. Due to organic growing the demand for mildew resistance within the same wine profile has increased. Cross breeding can provide such new genotypes which combine traits from different sources by parenthood. Linkage of traits with chromosomes or markers allows to predict some aspects of the phenotype. Equipped with chromosomal assisted selection the development of new varieties could be much easier and faster. On the base of two segregating populations derived from crosses of Grüner Veltliner with Malverina and Seyval blanc we could define correlation of chromosomes with some traits. Mainly ampelographic descriptors and resistance against mildew could be aligned. As a quality parameter of the wine Rotundone analyses were performed and could be attributed to chromosome 5 and 9. Selection supported by the composition of the parental chromosomes enables breeding with some arguments of design. The limits for free choice were the availability of sufficient different genotypes with a broad spectrum of chromosomal combinations. Recently released descendent cultivar Donauveltliner was selected due to the high rate of Traminer alleles.
Leonardo de Azevedo Peixoto
Full Text Available Genomic wide selection is a promising approach for improving the selection accuracy in plant breeding, particularly in species with long life cycles, such as Jatropha. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to estimate the genetic parameters for grain yield (GY and the weight of 100 seeds (W100S using restricted maximum likelihood (REML; to compare the performance of GWS methods to predict GY and W100S; and to estimate how many markers are needed to train the GWS model to obtain the maximum accuracy. Eight GWS models were compared in terms of predictive ability. The impact that the marker density had on the predictive ability was investigated using a varying number of markers, from 2 to 1,248. Because the genetic variance between evaluated genotypes was significant, it was possible to obtain selection gain. All of the GWS methods tested in this study can be used to predict GY and W100S in Jatropha. A training model fitted using 1,000 and 800 markers is sufficient to capture the maximum genetic variance and, consequently, maximum prediction ability of GY and W100S, respectively. This study demonstrated the applicability of genome-wide prediction to identify useful genetic sources of GY and W100S for Jatropha breeding. Further research is needed to confirm the applicability of the proposed approach to other complex traits.
Arandas, Janaina Kelli Gomes; Alves, Ângelo Giuseppe Chaves; Facó, Olivardo; Belchior, Ernandes Barboza; Shiotsuki, Luciana; de Arruda Leite, Paulo Márcio Barbosa; Ribeiro, Maria Norma
The implementation of sustainable breeding programs requires genetic breeding strategies that are appropriate for the reality production systems. It is also essential that the choice of animal selection criteria be based on breeders' knowledge and objectives. This work is an ethno-zootechnical study of the Morada Nova sheep breed and its crossbreeds. The goals of this study were to register and analyze indigenous breeders' knowledge and practices regarding animal selection criteria and to generate technical information to support a participatory breeding program of the breed. This study was conducted in the Morada Nova municipality in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Semi-structured interviews were evaluated using two groups of individuals, purebred Morada Nova sheep breeders (RMN, n = 13) and breeders of Morada Nova crossbreeds (MMN, n = 48). Interview questions were used to identify local selection criteria adopted by each group in the choice of animals for breeding. Data from the interviews were submitted to frequency distribution analysis and the Shapiro-Wilk test to verify their distribution. Later, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the two groups of farmers based on that information, in addition to multivariate statistical analysis and evaluation of Smith salience index. Breeders in the RMN group used selection criteria related to breed standards, such as pelage color. In contrast, breeders of the MMN group used criteria related to productivity, such as body conformation and milk production. Breeders should be engaged in the development of breeding programs, and it is important to consider their preferences and objectives when evaluating breeding animals.
Pitman, James W.; Cain, James W.; Liley, Stewart; Gould, William R.; Quintana, Nichole T.; Ballard, Warren
Neonatal survival and juvenile recruitment are crucial to maintaining viable elk (Cervus elaphus) populations. Neonate survival is known to be influenced by many factors, including bed-site selection. Although neonates select the actual bed-site location, they must do so within the larger calf-rearing area selected by the mother. As calves age, habitat selection should change to meet the changing needs of the growing calf. Our main objectives were to characterize habitat selection at 2 spatial scales and in areas with different predator assemblages in New Mexico. We evaluated bed-site selection by calves and calf-rearing area selection by adult females. We captured 108 elk calves by hand and fitted them with ear tag transmitters in two areas in New Mexico: the Valle Vidal and Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. In both study areas, we found that concealing cover structure and distance to that cover influenced bed-site selection of young calves (i.e., age). Older calves (i.e., 3–10 weeks of age) still selected areas in relation to distance to cover, but also preferred areas with higher visibility. At the larger spatial scale of calf-rearing habitat selection by the adult female, concealing cover (e.g., rocks, shrubs, and logs) and other variables important to the hiding calves were still in the most supported models, but selection was also influenced by forage availability and indices of forage quality. Studies that seek to obtain insight into microhabitat selection of ungulate neonates should consider selection by the neonate and selection by the adult female, changes in selection as neonates age, and potential selection differences in areas of differing predation risk. By considering these influences together and at multiple scales, studies can achieve a broader understanding of neonatal ungulate habitat requirements.
Ulonska, E.; Gaul, H.; Baumer, M.; Gesellschaft fuer Strahlen- und Umweltforschung m.b.H., Gruenbach
This mutation breeding programme is investigating the qualification of micro-mutations for the selection of improved protein quality and quantity. Normally, improvement of protein content in micro-mutations is rather small. Therefore, it is important to develop methods and conditions of selection being (a) capable of measuring these small deviations in protein content and quality, and (b) simple to use. In two experiments carried out in 1971 and 1972 nitrogen fertilization was found to be the most important factor in the improvement of selection conditions. There is a highly significant negative correlation between crude protein content and the standard deviation; i.e. the higher the content of crude protein, the lower the variation coefficient. This in turn leads to an increase of genetic variation necessary for better selection progress. Nitrogen fertilization, especially during ear emergence, covers environmental influences - e.g., planting space, sowing rate, growing in different plots (6, 3, 2, 1 rows or in half-ear hills) - to a great extent. Thus, by applying high doses of nitrogen dressings comparable results can be achieved. In an overall selection experiment (testing the entire crossing and mutation material available at Weihenstephan in a stepwise selection from 1971 to 1973) and two selection experiments conducted in 1971 to 1973 with micro-mutants - variety Nota, 4 times X-rayed and the naked barley strain 1606 treated once with EMS - significant selection results were found. (author)
Gretchen H. Roffler; Michael K. Schwartz; Kristine Pilgrim; Sandra L. Talbot; George K. Sage; Layne G. Adams; Gordon Luikart
Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modeling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is...
All previous behavioural studies of Temminck's ground pangolins (Smutsia temminckii) have focused on populations in mesic regions. We examined home range size, activity periods, habitat selectivity and refuge site selection of 13 individuals over three years in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, near the western edge of ...
Tung, Wan-Ping; Chen, Yi-Huey; Cheng, Wei-Chun; Chuang, Ming-Feng; Hsu, Wan-Tso; Kam, Yeong-Choy; Lehtinen, Richard M
Overlapping offspring occurs when eggs are laid in a nest containing offspring from earlier reproduction. Earlier studies showed that the parentage is not always obvious due to difficulties in field observation and/or alternative breeding tactics. To unveil the parentage between overlapping offspring and parents is critical in understanding oviposition site selection and the reproductive strategies of parents. Amplectant pairs of an arboreal-breeding frog, Kurixalus eiffingeri, lay eggs in tadpole-occupied nests where offspring of different life stages (embryos and tadpoles) coexist. We used five microsatellite DNA markers to assess the parentage between parents and overlapping offspring. We also tested the hypothesis that the male or female frog would breed in the same breeding site because of the scarcity of nest sites. Results showed varied parentage patterns, which may differ from the phenomenon of overlapping egg clutches reported earlier. Parentage analyses showed that only 58 and 25% of the tadpole-occupied stumps were reused by the same male and female respectively, partially confirming our prediction. Re-nesting by the same individual was more common in males than females, which is most likely related to the cost of tadpole feeding and/or feeding schemes of females. On the other hand, results of parentage analyses showed that about 42 and 75% of male and female respectively bred in tadpole-occupied stumps where tadpoles were genetically unrelated. Results of a nest-choice experiment revealed that 40% of frogs chose tadpole-occupied bamboo cups when we presented identical stumps, without or with tadpoles, suggesting that the habitat saturation hypothesis does not fully explain why frogs used the tadpole-occupied stumps. Several possible benefits of overlapping offspring with different life stages were proposed. Our study highlights the importance of integrating molecular data with field observations to better understand the reproductive biology and nest
Northrup, Joseph; Anderson, Charles R.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Wittemyer, George
Ecological processes operate across temporal and spatial scales. Anthropogenic disturbances impact these processes, but examinations of scale dependence in impacts are infrequent. Such examinations can provide important insight to wildlife–human interactions and guide management efforts to reduce impacts. We assessed spatiotemporal scale dependence in habitat selection of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Piceance Basin of Colorado, USA, an area of ongoing natural gas development. We employed a newly developed animal movement method to assess habitat selection across scales defined using animal-centric spatiotemporal definitions ranging from the local (defined from five hour movements) to the broad (defined from weekly movements). We extended our analysis to examine variation in scale dependence between night and day and assess functional responses in habitat selection patterns relative to the density of anthropogenic features. Mule deer displayed scale invariance in the direction of their response to energy development features, avoiding well pads and the areas closest to roads at all scales, though with increasing strength of avoidance at coarser scales. Deer displayed scale-dependent responses to most other habitat features, including land cover type and habitat edges. Selection differed between night and day at the finest scales, but homogenized as scale increased. Deer displayed functional responses to development, with deer inhabiting the least developed ranges more strongly avoiding development relative to those with more development in their ranges. Energy development was a primary driver of habitat selection patterns in mule deer, structuring their behaviors across all scales examined. Stronger avoidance at coarser scales suggests that deer behaviorally mediated their interaction with development, but only to a degree. At higher development densities than seen in this area, such mediation may not be possible and thus maintenance of sufficient
Ochsner, K P; MacNeil, M D; Lewis, R M; Spangler, M L
An economic selection index was developed for Beefmaster cattle in a general-purpose production system in which bulls are mated to a combination of heifers and mature cows, with resulting progeny retained as replacements or sold at weaning. National average prices from 2010 to 2014 were used to establish income and expenses for the system. Genetic parameters were obtained from the literature. Economic values were estimated by simulating 100,000 animals and approximating the partial derivatives of the profit function by perturbing traits 1 at a time, by 1 unit, while holding the other traits constant at their respective means. Relative economic values for the objective traits calving difficultly direct (CDd), calving difficulty maternal (CDm), weaning weight direct (WWd), weaning weight maternal (WWm), mature cow weight (MW), and heifer pregnancy (HP) were -2.11, -1.53, 18.49, 11.28, -33.46, and 1.19, respectively. Consequently, under the scenario assumed herein, the greatest improvements in profitability could be made by decreasing maintenance energy costs associated with MW followed by improvements in weaning weight. The accuracy of the index lies between 0.218 (phenotypic-based index selection) and 0.428 (breeding values known without error). Implementation of this index would facilitate genetic improvement and increase profitability of Beefmaster cattle operations with a general-purpose breeding objective when replacement females are retained and with weaned calves as the sale end point.
Riedelsheimer, Christian; Melchinger, Albrecht E
We developed a universally applicable planning tool for optimizing the allocation of resources for one cycle of genomic selection in a biparental population. The framework combines selection theory with constraint numerical optimization and considers genotype × environment interactions. Genomic selection (GS) is increasingly implemented in plant breeding programs to increase selection gain but little is known how to optimally allocate the resources under a given budget. We investigated this problem with model calculations by combining quantitative genetic selection theory with constraint numerical optimization. We assumed one selection cycle where both the training and prediction sets comprised double haploid (DH) lines from the same biparental population. Grain yield for testcrosses of maize DH lines was used as a model trait but all parameters can be adjusted in a freely available software implementation. An extension of the expected selection accuracy given by Daetwyler et al. (2008) was developed to correctly balance between the number of environments for phenotyping the training set and its population size in the presence of genotype × environment interactions. Under small budget, genotyping costs mainly determine whether GS is superior over phenotypic selection. With increasing budget, flexibility in resource allocation increases greatly but selection gain leveled off quickly requiring balancing the number of populations with the budget spent for each population. The use of an index combining phenotypic and GS predicted values in the training set was especially beneficial under limited resources and large genotype × environment interactions. Once a sufficiently high selection accuracy is achieved in the prediction set, further selection gain can be achieved most efficiently by massively expanding its size. Thus, with increasing budget, reducing the costs for producing a DH line becomes increasingly crucial for successfully exploiting the
Kraus, J.M.; Vonesh, J.R.
1. Non-consumptive effects of predators are increasingly recognized as important drivers of community assembly and structure. Specifically, habitat selection responses to top predators during colonization and oviposition can lead to large differences in aquatic community structure, composition and diversity. 2. These differences among communities due to predators may develop as communities assemble, potentially altering the relative quality of predator vs. predator-free habitats through time. If so, community assembly would be expected to modify the subsequent behavioural responses of colonists to habitats containing top predators. Here, we test this hypothesis by manipulating community assembly and the presence of fish in experimental ponds and measuring their independent and combined effects on patterns of colonization by insects and amphibians. 3. Assembly modified habitat selection of dytscid beetles and hylid frogs by decreasing or even reversing avoidance of pools containing blue-spotted sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus). However, not all habitat selection responses to fish depended on assembly history. Hydrophilid beetles and mosquitoes avoided fish while chironomids were attracted to fish pools, regardless of assembly history. 4. Our results show that community assembly causes taxa-dependent feedbacks that can modify avoidance of habitats containing a top predator. Thus, non-consumptive effects of a top predator on community structure change as communities assemble and effects of competitors and other predators combine with the direct effects of top predators to shape colonization. 5. This work reinforces the importance of habitat selection for community assembly in aquatic systems, while illustrating the range of factors that may influence colonization rates and resulting community structure. Directly manipulating communities both during colonization and post-colonization is critical for elucidating how sequential processes interact to shape communities.
Demers, Scott A.; Takekawa, John Y.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Warnock, N.; Athearn, N.D.
San Francisco Bay is a wintering area for shorebirds, including American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana). Recently, a new resident population of avocets has emerged, presumably because of the development of tidal marshes into salt-evaporation ponds. In habitat restoration now underway, as many as 90% of salt ponds will be restored to tidal marsh. However, it is unknown if wintering and resident avocets coexist and if their requirements for space and habitat differ, necessitating different management for their populations to be maintained during restoration. We captured and radio-marked wintering avocets at a salt pond and a tidal flat to determine their population status (migrant or resident) and examine their space use and habitat selection. Of the radio-marked avocets, 79% were migrants and 21% were residents. At the salt pond, residents' fidelity to their location of capture was higher, and residents moved less than did migrants from the same site. Conversely, on the tidal flat, fidelity of residents to their site of capture was lower, and residents' home ranges were larger than those of migrants from the same site. Habitat selection of migrants and residents differed little; however, capture site influenced habitat selection far more than the birds' status as migrants or residents. Our study suggests that individual avocets have high site fidelity while wintering in San Francisco Bay, although the avocet as a species is plastic in its space use and habitat selection. This plasticity may allow wintering migrant and resident avocets to adapt to habitat change in San Francisco Bay. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.
Pickens, Bradley A.; King, Sammy L.; Vasseur, Phillip L.; Zimorski, Sara E.; Selman, Will
Eleven of 15 species of cranes (family: Gruidae) are considered vulnerable or endangered, and the increase of agriculture and aquaculture at the expense of natural wetlands and grasslands is a threat to Gruidae worldwide. A reintroduced population of Whooping Crane (Grus americana) was studied in coastal and agricultural wetlands of Louisiana and Texas, USA. The objectives were to compare Whooping Crane movements across seasons, quantify multiscale habitat selection, and identify seasonal shifts in selection. Whooping Cranes (n = 53) were tracked with satellite transmitters to estimate seasonal core-use areas (50% home range contours) via Brownian bridge movement models and assess habitat selection. Whooping Crane core-use areas (n = 283) ranged from 4.7 to 438.0 km2, and habitat selection changed seasonally as shallow water availability varied. Whooping Crane core-use areas were composed of more fresh marsh in spring/summer, but shifted towards rice and crawfish (Procambarus spp.) aquaculture in the fall/winter. Within core-use areas, aquaculture was most strongly selected, particularly in fall when fresh marsh became unsuitable. Overall, the shifting of Whooping Crane habitat selection over seasons is likely to require large, heterogeneous areas. Whooping Crane use of agricultural and natural wetlands may depend on spatio-temporal dynamics of water depth.
Harris, J.M.; Paukert, Craig P.; Bush, S.C.; Allen, M.J.; Siepker, Michael
Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède) use of installed habitat structure was evaluated in a large Midwestern USA reservoir to determine whether or not these structures were used in similar proportion to natural habitats. Seventy largemouth bass (>380 mm total length) were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and a subset was relocated monthly during day and night for one year. The top habitat selection models (based on Akaike's information criterion) suggest largemouth bass select 2–4 m depths during night and 4–7 m during day, whereas littoral structure selection was similar across diel periods. Largemouth bass selected boat docks at twice the rate of other structures. Installed woody structure was selected at similar rates to naturally occurring complex woody structure, whereas both were selected at a higher rate than simple woody structure. The results suggest the addition of woody structure may concentrate largemouth bass and mitigate the loss of woody habitat in a large reservoir.
Hubert, Jan; Stejskal, Václav; Kubátová, Alena; Munzbergová, Zuzana; Vánová, Marie; Zd'árková, Eva
Mites are well documented as vectors of micromycetes in stored products. Since their vectoring capacity is low due to their small size, they can be serious vectors only where there is selective transfer of a high load of specific fungal species. Therefore the aim of our work was to find out whether the transfer of fungi is selective. Four kinds of stored seeds (wheat, poppy, lettuce, mustard) infested by storage mites were subjected to mycological analysis. We compared the spectrum of micromycete species isolated from different species of mites (Acarus siro, Lepidoglyphus destructor, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, Caloglyphus rhizoglyphoides and Cheyletus malaccensis) and various kinds of stored seeds. Fungi were separately isolated from (a) the surface of mites, (b) the mites' digestive tract (= faeces), and (c) stored seeds and were then cultivated and determined. The fungal transport via mites is selective. This conclusion is supported by (i) lower numbers of isolated fungal species from mites than from seeds; (ii) lower Shannon-Weaver diversity index in the fungal communities isolated from mites than from seeds; (iii) significant effect of mites/seeds as environmental variables on fungal presence in a redundancy analysis (RDA); (iv) differences in composition of isolated fungi between mite species shown by RDA. The results of our work support the hypothesis that mite-fungal interactions are dependent on mite species. The fungi attractive to mites seem to be dispersed more than others. The selectivity of fungal transport via mites enhances their pest importance.
Marcio P. Arruda
Full Text Available Genomic selection (GS is a breeding method that uses marker–trait models to predict unobserved phenotypes. This study developed GS models for predicting traits associated with resistance to head blight (FHB in wheat ( L.. We used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS to identify 5054 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, which were then treated as predictor variables in GS analysis. We compared how the prediction accuracy of the genomic-estimated breeding values (GEBVs was affected by (i five genotypic imputation methods (random forest imputation [RFI], expectation maximization imputation [EMI], -nearest neighbor imputation [kNNI], singular value decomposition imputation [SVDI], and the mean imputation [MNI]; (ii three statistical models (ridge-regression best linear unbiased predictor [RR-BLUP], least absolute shrinkage and operator selector [LASSO], and elastic net; (iii marker density ( = 500, 1500, 3000, and 4500 SNPs; (iv training population (TP size ( = 96, 144, 192, and 218; (v marker-based and pedigree-based relationship matrices; and (vi control for relatedness in TPs and validation populations (VPs. No discernable differences in prediction accuracy were observed among imputation methods. The RR-BLUP outperformed other models in nearly all scenarios. Accuracies decreased substantially when marker number decreased to 3000 or 1500 SNPs, depending on the trait; when sample size of the training set was less than 192; when using pedigree-based instead of marker-based matrix; or when no control for relatedness was implemented. Overall, moderate to high prediction accuracies were observed in this study, suggesting that GS is a very promising breeding strategy for FHB resistance in wheat.
Roberto A. Moreno-García
Full Text Available Aim of study: Our objective was to find habitat associations at a microhabitat level for two endemic birds in a Chilean temperate forest (biodiversity “hotspots”, in order to integrate biodiversity into forest planning.Area of study: Nahuelbuta Range, Chile.Material and methods: The two birds studied were Scelorchilus rubecula (Chucao Tapaculo and Scytalopus magellanicus (Magellanic Tapaculo, both belonging to the Rhinocryptidae family. Presence or absence of the two species was sampled in 57 census spots. Habitat was categorized according to presence/absence results. We assessed the influence of abiotic variables (altitude, exposure, slope and vegetation structure (percentage of understory cover, number of strata using a statistical cluster analysis.Main results: The two bird species selected the habitat. Most frequent presence was detected at a range of 600-1100 masl, but Magellanic Tapaculo was associated to more protected sites in terms of vegetation structure (50-75% for understory cover and 2-3 strata. Slope was the most relevant abiotic variable in habitat selection due to its linkage to vegetation traits in this area.Research highlights: Our results can help managers to integrate biodiversity (endemic fauna species into forest planning by preserving certain traits of the vegetation as part of a habitat (at a microhabitat level selected by the fauna species. That planning should be implemented with both an adequate wood harvesting cuts system and specific silvicultural treatments.Key words: Chile; Nahuelbuta; rhinocryptidae; cluster analysis; rorest planning; vegetation structure.
Coker, Darren James
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Coker, Darren James; Hoey, Andrew S.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Depczynski, Martial; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.; Holmes, Thomas H.; Pratchett, Morgan S.
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Darren J Coker
Full Text Available Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Coker, Darren J; Hoey, Andrew S; Wilson, Shaun K; Depczynski, Martial; Graham, Nicholas A J; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; Holmes, Thomas H; Pratchett, Morgan S
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Kats, van R.J.M.; Melman, T.C.P.; Teunissen, W.A.
Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the
Full Text Available Coral-reef fishes experience a major challenge when facing settlement in a multi-threat environment, within which, using settlement cues, they need to select a suitable site. Studies in laboratories and artificial setups have shown that the presence of conspecific adults often serves as a positive settlement cue, whose value is explained by the increased survival of juveniles in an already proven fit environment. However, settlement in already inhabited corals may expose the recruits to adult aggression. Daily observations and manipulation experiments were used in the present study, which was conducted in the natural reef. We revealed differential strategies of settlers, which do not necessarily join conspecific adults. Dascyllus aruanus prefer to settle near (not with their aggressive adults, and to join them only after gaining in size; whereas Dascyllus marginatus settlers in densely populated reefs settle independently of their adult distribution. Our results present different solutions to the challenges faced by fish recruits while selecting their microhabitat, and emphasize the complexity of habitat selection by the naïve settlers. Although laboratory experiments are important to the understanding of fish habitat selection, further studies in natural habitats are essential in order to elucidate the actual patterns of settlement and habitat selection, which are crucial for the survival of coral-reef fish populations.
Gourdine, Jean-Luc; Sørensen, Anders Christian; Rydhmer, Lotta
at random. With optimum contribution selection, genetic progress can be achieved that is almost as great as that with truncation selection based on BLUP breeding values (0.2 to 0.5 vs. 0.3 to 0.5 genetic SD, P
Kijas, James W.; Lenstra, Johannes A.; Hayes, Ben; Boitard, Simon; Porto Neto, Laercio R.; San Cristobal, Magali; Servin, Bertrand; McCulloch, Russell; Whan, Vicki; Gietzen, Kimberly; Paiva, Samuel; Barendse, William; Ciani, Elena; Raadsma, Herman; McEwan, John; Dalrymple, Brian
Through their domestication and subsequent selection, sheep have been adapted to thrive in a diverse range of environments. To characterise the genetic consequence of both domestication and selection, we genotyped 49,034 SNP in 2,819 animals from a diverse collection of 74 sheep breeds. We find the majority of sheep populations contain high SNP diversity and have retained an effective population size much higher than most cattle or dog breeds, suggesting domestication occurred from a broad genetic base. Extensive haplotype sharing and generally low divergence time between breeds reveal frequent genetic exchange has occurred during the development of modern breeds. A scan of the genome for selection signals revealed 31 regions containing genes for coat pigmentation, skeletal morphology, body size, growth, and reproduction. We demonstrate the strongest selection signal has occurred in response to breeding for the absence of horns. The high density map of genetic variability provides an in-depth view of the genetic history for this important livestock species. PMID:22346734
James W Kijas
Full Text Available Through their domestication and subsequent selection, sheep have been adapted to thrive in a diverse range of environments. To characterise the genetic consequence of both domestication and selection, we genotyped 49,034 SNP in 2,819 animals from a diverse collection of 74 sheep breeds. We find the majority of sheep populations contain high SNP diversity and have retained an effective population size much higher than most cattle or dog breeds, suggesting domestication occurred from a broad genetic base. Extensive haplotype sharing and generally low divergence time between breeds reveal frequent genetic exchange has occurred during the development of modern breeds. A scan of the genome for selection signals revealed 31 regions containing genes for coat pigmentation, skeletal morphology, body size, growth, and reproduction. We demonstrate the strongest selection signal has occurred in response to breeding for the absence of horns. The high density map of genetic variability provides an in-depth view of the genetic history for this important livestock species.
Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.
We defined patterns of habitat use and selection by female grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Besa-Prophet watershed of northern British Columbia. We fitted 13 adult females with Geographic Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars and monitored them between 2001 and 2004. We examined patterns of habitat selection by grizzly bears relative to topographical attributes and 3 potential surrogates of food availability: land-cover class, vegetation biomass or quality (as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and selection value for prey species themselves (moose [Alces alces], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Although vegetation biomass and quality, and selection values for prey were important in seasonal selection by some individual bears, land-cover class, elevation, aspect, and vegetation diversity most influenced patterns of habitat selection across grizzly bears, which rely on availability of plant foods and encounters with ungulate prey. Grizzly bears as a group avoided conifer stands and areas of low vegetation diversity, and selected for burned land-cover classes and high vegetation diversity across seasons. They also selected mid elevations from what was available within seasonal ranges. Quantifying relative use of different attributes helped place selection patterns within the context of the landscape. Grizzly bears used higher elevations (1,595??31 m SE) in spring and lower elevations (1,436??27 m) in fall; the range of average elevations used among individuals was highest (500 m) during the summer. During all seasons, grizzly bears most frequented aspects with high solar gain. Use was distributed across 10 land-cover classes and depended on season. Management and conservation actions must maintain a diverse habitat matrix distributed across a large elevational gradient to ensure persistence of grizzly bears as levels of human access increase in the northern Rocky Mountains
Richard Le Boucher
Full Text Available Genetic adaptation to dietary environments is a key process in the evolution of natural populations and is of great interest in animal breeding. In fish farming, the use of fish meal and fish oil has been widely challenged, leading to the rapidly increasing use of plant-based products in feed. However, high substitution rates impair fish health and growth in carnivorous species. We demonstrated that survival rate, mean body weight and biomass can be improved in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss after a single generation of selection for the ability to adapt to a totally plant-based diet (15.1%, 35.3% and 54.4%, respectively. Individual variability in the ability to adapt to major diet changes can be effectively used to promote fish welfare and a more sustainable aquaculture.
Full Text Available Maize is the principal crop and major staple food in the most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. However, due to the influence of abiotic and biotic stress factors, maize production faces serious constraints. Among the agro-ecological conditions, the main constraints are: lack and poor distribution of rainfall; low soil fertility; diseases (maize streak virus, downy mildew, leaf blights, rusts, gray leaf spot, stem/cob rots and pests (borers and storage pests. Among the socio-economic production constraints are: poor economy, serious shortage of trained manpower; insufficient management expertise, lack of use of improved varieties and poor cultivation practices. To develop desirable varieties, and thus consequently alleviate some of these constraints, appropriate breeding approaches and field-based methodologies in selection for multiple stress tolerance, were implemented. These approaches are mainly based on: a Crossing selected genotypes with more desirable stress tolerant and other agronomic traits; b Using the disease/pest spreader row method, combined with testing and selection of created progenies under strong to intermediate pressure of drought and low soil fertility in nurseries; and c Evaluation of the varieties developed in multi-location trials under low and "normal" inputs. These approaches provide testing and selection of large number of progenies, which is required for simultaneous selection for multiple stress tolerance. Data obtained revealed that remarkable improvement of the traits under selection was achieved. Biggest progress was obtained in selection for maize streak virus and downy mildew resistance, flintiness and earliness. In the case of drought stress, statistical analyses revealed significant negative correlation between yield and anthesis-silking interval, and between yield and days to silk, but positive correlation between yield and grain weight per ear.
Lindberg, William J; Frazer, Thomas K; Portier, Kenneth M; Vose, Frederic; Loftin, James; Murie, Debra J; Mason, Doran M; Nagy, Brian; Hart, Mary K
Many exploited reef fish are vulnerable to overfishing because they concentrate over hard-bottom patchy habitats. How mobile reef fish use patchy habitat, and the potential consequences on demographic parameters, must be known for spatially explicit population dynamics modeling, for discriminating essential fish habitat (EFH), and for effectively planning conservation measures (e.g., marine protected areas, stock enhancement, and artificial reefs). Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis, is an ecologically and economically important warm-temperate grouper in the southeastern United States, with behavioral and life history traits conducive to large-scale field experiments. The Suwannee Regional Reef System (SRRS) was built of standard habitat units (SHUs) in 1991-1993 to manipulate and control habitat patchiness and intrinsic habitat quality, and thereby test predictions from habitat selection theory. Colonization of the SRRS by gag over the first six years showed significant interactions of SHU size, spacing, and reef age; with trajectories modeled using a quadratic function for closely spaced SHUs (25 m) and a linear model for widely spaced SHUs (225 m), with larger SHUs (16 standardized cubes) accumulating significantly more gag faster than smaller 4-cube SHUs (mean = 72.5 gag/16-cube SHU at 225-m spacing by year 6, compared to 24.2 gag/4-cube SHU for same spacing and reef age). Residency times (mean = 9.8 mo), indicative of choice and measured by ultrasonic telemetry (1995-1998), showed significant interaction of SHU size and spacing consistent with colonization trajectories. Average relative weight (W(r)) and incremental growth were greater on smaller than larger SHUs (mean W(r) = 104.2 vs. 97.7; incremental growth differed by 15%), contrary to patterns of abundance and residency. Experimental manipulation of shelter on a subset of SRRS sites (2000-2001) confirmed our hypothesis that shelter limits local densities of gag, which, in turn, regulates their growth and
The hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) is an enigmatic bird that lives in the riparian lowlands of northern South America. Among its peculiar attributes are 1) microbial foregut fermentation, unique in birds, to convert plant cellulose in the foliage which it consumes into simple sugars, 2) an ongoing debate about the puzzling taxonomic position, although a relationship to the Cuculiformes appears likely, 3) adaptive wing claws in the young which are used for climbing, and 4) co-operative breeding...
Laury Cullen Junior
Full Text Available We used data from VHF and GPS radio-tagged jaguars, Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758 to quantify jaguar habitat selection and how adult individuals in the Upper Paraná River region selected among the available habitat types. We followed the framework in which animals make decisions about resource use at hierarchical stages, namely selection of home range within a study area (second-order selection and selection of patches within a home range (third-order selection. We quantified habitat preferences at two orders of selection with respect to habitat types and to test the null hypothesis that habitat utilization by jaguars was random at both study sites. Using compositional analysis, we assessed habitat selection by jaguars at second- and third-orders of selection. Jaguars consistently preferred dense marshes and primary forests, and avoided human-dominated areas such as intensively managed open pastures. Although the avoidance of disturbed and developed habitat types by jaguars is not surprising, this is the first study to document it. If small protected areas, such as the ones already existing in the Upper Paraná region, are to sustain jaguar populations they, must include and protect as many primary forests and marshlands as possible, so that jaguars can disperse, hunt wild prey and take care of their cubs without being disturbed. What is urgently needed in these jaguar-protected areas is the creation of larger protected areas that can sustain jaguars in their favored habitat.
Xia, Qin; Yang, Zhao-wu; Li, Min; Xia, Dong-mei
To breed a new good cultivar of Curcuma phaeocaulis. Three rounds of selection were systematically made for screening the new cultivar using biological technology. Firstly, individual plant selection. Promising individual plant selection was made based on the thousands of Curcuma phaeocaulis resources collected from all over the country. Secondly, strain selection. The promising strain was selected continually from the superior individuals on basis of specificities such as biological characteristics, yield, content of volatile oil and resistance. Thirdly, strain comparison test. The superior strain was selected through strain trial and regional trial. For the new cultivar "ChuanPeng 1" , its main rhizome was in ovoid or spindle shape, and it was fleshy and corpulent. Average amount of rhizome was 4, with 6. 27 cm in length and 3. 37 cm in diameter, while the secondary roots were cylindrical-like, with a yellow green cross section as the main rhizome. Slender root ends were inflated into the fleshy spindle shape, average amount of whose was 25, 3. 20 cm in length and 1. 33 cm in diameter with a yellow green or near white cross section. Average yield of rhizome is 5 314. 5 kg/hm2, while the root is 1 942. 5 kg/hm2, which was 32. 9% and 22. 7% higher than the local main cultivar respectively. The average extract content of rhizome was 15. 41% and content of volatile oil was 2. 82%, which was 15. 60% and 9. 30% higher than the local cultivar respectively. " ChuanPeng 1" has good stability and strong adaptability with high yield and superior internal quality. It can be cultivated and promoted in Jinma River Valley,Sichuan.
Clennon, Julie A; Kamanga, Aniset; Musapa, Mulenga; Shiff, Clive; Glass, Gregory E
Malaria, caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in southern Zambia. In the Mapanza Chiefdom, where transmission is seasonal, Anopheles arabiensis is the dominant malaria vector. The ability to predict larval habitats can help focus control measures. A survey was conducted in March-April 2007, at the end of the rainy season, to identify and map locations of water pooling and the occurrence anopheline larval habitats; this was repeated in October 2007 at the end of the dry season and in March-April 2008 during the next rainy season. Logistic regression and generalized linear mixed modeling were applied to assess the predictive value of terrain-based landscape indices along with LandSat imagery to identify aquatic habitats and, especially, those with anopheline mosquito larvae. Approximately two hundred aquatic habitat sites were identified with 69 percent positive for anopheline mosquitoes. Nine species of anopheline mosquitoes were identified, of which, 19% were An. arabiensis. Terrain-based landscape indices combined with LandSat predicted sites with water, sites with anopheline mosquitoes and sites specifically with An. arabiensis. These models were especially successful at ruling out potential locations, but had limited ability in predicting which anopheline species inhabited aquatic sites. Terrain indices derived from 90 meter Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation data (DEM) were better at predicting water drainage patterns and characterizing the landscape than those derived from 30 m Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) DEM. The low number of aquatic habitats available and the ability to locate the limited number of aquatic habitat locations for surveillance, especially those containing anopheline larvae, suggest that larval control maybe a cost-effective control measure in the fight against malaria in Zambia and other regions with seasonal
Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria, caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in southern Zambia. In the Mapanza Chiefdom, where transmission is seasonal, Anopheles arabiensis is the dominant malaria vector. The ability to predict larval habitats can help focus control measures. Methods A survey was conducted in March-April 2007, at the end of the rainy season, to identify and map locations of water pooling and the occurrence anopheline larval habitats; this was repeated in October 2007 at the end of the dry season and in March-April 2008 during the next rainy season. Logistic regression and generalized linear mixed modeling were applied to assess the predictive value of terrain-based landscape indices along with LandSat imagery to identify aquatic habitats and, especially, those with anopheline mosquito larvae. Results Approximately two hundred aquatic habitat sites were identified with 69 percent positive for anopheline mosquitoes. Nine species of anopheline mosquitoes were identified, of which, 19% were An. arabiensis. Terrain-based landscape indices combined with LandSat predicted sites with water, sites with anopheline mosquitoes and sites specifically with An. arabiensis. These models were especially successful at ruling out potential locations, but had limited ability in predicting which anopheline species inhabited aquatic sites. Terrain indices derived from 90 meter Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation data (DEM were better at predicting water drainage patterns and characterizing the landscape than those derived from 30 m Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER DEM. Conclusions The low number of aquatic habitats available and the ability to locate the limited number of aquatic habitat locations for surveillance, especially those containing anopheline larvae, suggest that larval control maybe a cost-effective control measure in the fight
Full Text Available When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF. Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.
Takahata, Chihiro; Nielsen, Scott Eric; Takii, Akiko; Izumiyama, Shigeyuki
When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF). Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.
Byrne, Michael E; Clint McCoy, J; Hinton, Joseph W; Chamberlain, Michael J; Collier, Bret A
Accurately describing animal space use is vital to understanding how wildlife use habitat. Improvements in GPS technology continue to facilitate collection of telemetry data at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Application of the recently introduced dynamic Brownian bridge movement model (dBBMM) to such data is promising as the method explicitly incorporates the behavioural heterogeneity of a movement path into the estimated utilization distribution (UD). Utilization distributions defining space use are normally estimated for time-scales ranging from weeks to months, obscuring much of the fine-scale information available from high-volume GPS data sets. By accounting for movement heterogeneity, the dBBMM provides a rigorous, behaviourally based estimate of space use between each set of relocations. Focusing on UDs generated between individual sets of locations allows us to quantify fine-scale circadian variation in habitat use. We used the dBBMM to estimate UDs bounding individual time steps for three terrestrial species with different life histories to illustrate how the method can be used to identify fine-scale variations in habitat use. We also demonstrate how dBBMMs can be used to characterize circadian patterns of habitat selection and link fine-scale patterns of habitat use to behaviour. We observed circadian patterns of habitat use that varied seasonally for a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and coyote (Canis latrans). We found seasonal patterns in selection by the white-tailed deer and were able to link use of conifer forests and agricultural fields to behavioural state of the coyote. Additionally, we were able to quantify the date in which a Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) initiated laying as well as when during the day, she was most likely to visit the nest site to deposit eggs. The ability to quantify circadian patterns of habitat use may have important implications for research and management of wildlife
van der Westhuizen, R R; van der Westhuizen, J
It is generally accepted that feed intake and growth (gain) are the most important economic components when calculating profitability in a growth test or feedlot. We developed a single post-weaning growth (feedlot) index based on the economic values of different components. Variance components, heritabilities and genetic correlations for and between initial weight (IW), final weight (FW), feed intake (FI), and shoulder height (SHD) were estimated by multitrait restricted maximum likelihood procedures. The estimated breeding values (EBVs) and the economic values for IW, FW and FI were used in a selection index to estimate a post-weaning or feedlot profitability value. Heritabilities for IW, FW, FI, and SHD were 0.41, 0.40, 0.33, and 0.51, respectively. The highest genetic correlations were 0.78 (between IW and FW) and 0.70 (between FI and FW). EBVs were used in a selection index to calculate a single economical value for each animal. This economic value is an indication of the gross profitability value or the gross test value (GTV) of the animal in a post-weaning growth test. GTVs varied between -R192.17 and R231.38 with an average of R9.31 and a standard deviation of R39.96. The Pearson correlations between EBVs (for production and efficiency traits) and GTV ranged from -0.51 to 0.68. The lowest correlation (closest to zero) was 0.26 between the Kleiber ratio and GTV. Correlations of 0.68 and -0.51 were estimated between average daily gain and GTV and feed conversion ratio and GTV, respectively. These results showed that it is possible to select for GTV. The selection index can benefit feedlotting in selecting offspring of bulls with high GTVs to maximize profitability.
Switchgrass breeding and genetics research was conducted from 1992-2002 at the Oklahoma State University as part of the national DOE-Bioenergy Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) effort to develop the species as a bioenergy feedstock crop. The fundamental objective of the program was to implement and conduct a breeding program to increase biomass yield capability in switchgrass and develop cultivars for the central and southern United States. Supporting research objectives included: (1) switchgrass germplasm collection, characterization, and enhancement; (2) elucidation of cytogenetic and breeding behavior; and (3) identification of best breeding procedures.
Chalupnicki, Marc A.; Johnson, James H.; McKenna, James E.; Dittman, Dawn E.
Walleyes Sander vitreus are stocked into Owasco Lake, New York, to provide a sport fishery, but the population must be sustained by annual hatchery supplementation despite the presence of appropriate habitat. Therefore, we evaluated walleye spawning success in Dutch Hollow Brook, a tributary of Owasco Lake, to determine whether early survival limited recruitment. Spawning success during spring 2006 and 2007 was evaluated by estimating egg densities from samples collected in the lower 725 m of the stream. Environmental variables were also recorded to characterize the selected spawning habitat. Drift nets were set downstream of the spawning section to assess egg survival and larval drift. We estimated that 162,596 larvae hatched in 2006. For 2007, we estimated that 360,026 eggs were deposited, with a hatch of 127,500 larvae and hatching success of 35.4%. Egg density was significantly correlated to percent cover, substrate type, and depth : velocity ratio. Two sections had significantly higher egg deposition than other areas. Adult spawning walleyes selected shallow, slow habitats with some cover and gravel substrate in the accessible reaches of Dutch Hollow Brook. Our results show that walleyes found suitable spawning habitat in Dutch Hollow Brook and that egg and larval development does not appear to limit natural reproduction.
The ability to predict individual breeding values in natural populations with known pedigrees has provided a powerful tool to separate phenotypic values into their genetic and environmental components in a nonexperimental setting. This has allowed sophisticated analyses of selection, as well as
Schiavo, G; Galimberti, G; Calò, D G; Samorè, A B; Bertolini, F; Russo, V; Gallo, M; Buttazzoni, L; Fontanesi, L
In this study, we investigated at the genome-wide level if 20 years of artificial directional selection based on boar genetic evaluation obtained with a classical BLUP animal model shaped the genome of the Italian Large White pig breed. The most influential boars of this breed (n = 192), born from 1992 (the beginning of the selection program of this breed) to 2012, with an estimated breeding value reliability of >0.85, were genotyped with the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip. After grouping the boars in eight classes according to their year of birth, filtered single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to evaluate the effects of time on genotype frequency changes using multinomial logistic regression models. Of these markers, 493 had a PBonferroni selection program. The obtained results indicated that the genome of the Italian Large White pigs was shaped by a directional selection program derived by the application of methodologies assuming the infinitesimal model that captured a continuous trend of allele frequency changes in the boar population. © 2015 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.
Velmala, William; Helle, Samuli; Ahola, Markus P.; Klaassen, M.R.J.; Lehikoinen, Esa; Rainio, Kalle; Sirkia, Paivi M.; Laaksonen, Toni
For migratory birds, the earlier arrival of males to breeding grounds is often expected to have fitness benefits. However, the selection differential on male arrival time has rarely been decomposed into the direct effect of male arrival and potential indirect effects through female traits. We
Lesmerises, Rémi; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues
Habitat selection studies conducted at the population scale commonly aim to describe general patterns that could improve our understanding of the limiting factors in species-habitat relationships. Researchers often consider interindividual variation in selection patterns to control for its effects and avoid pseudoreplication by using mixed-effect models that include individuals as random factors. Here, we highlight common pitfalls and possible misinterpretations of this strategy by describing habitat selection of 21 black bears Ursus americanus. We used Bayesian mixed-effect models and compared results obtained when using random intercept (i.e., population level) versus calculating individual coefficients for each independent variable (i.e., individual level). We then related interindividual variability to individual characteristics (i.e., age, sex, reproductive status, body condition) in a multivariate analysis. The assumption of comparable behavior among individuals was verified only in 40% of the cases in our seasonal best models. Indeed, we found strong and opposite responses among sampled bears and individual coefficients were linked to individual characteristics. For some covariates, contrasted responses canceled each other out at the population level. In other cases, interindividual variability was concealed by the composition of our sample, with the majority of the bears (e.g., old individuals and bears in good physical condition) driving the population response (e.g., selection of young forest cuts). Our results stress the need to consider interindividual variability to avoid misinterpretation and uninformative results, especially for a flexible and opportunistic species. This study helps to identify some ecological drivers of interindividual variability in bear habitat selection patterns.
Ostrand, William D.; Gotthardt, Tracey A.; Howlin, Shay; Robards, Martin D.
We modeled habitat selection by Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) by examining their distribution in relation to water depth, distance to shore, bottom slope, bottom type, distance from sand bottom, and shoreline type. Through both logistic regression and classification tree models, we compared the characteristics of 29 known sand lance locations to 58 randomly selected sites. The best models indicated a strong selection of shallow water by sand lance, with weaker association between sand lance distribution and beach shorelines, sand bottoms, distance to shore, bottom slope, and distance to the nearest sand bottom. We applied an information-theoretic approach to the interpretation of the logistic regression analysis and determined importance values of 0.99, 0.54, 0.52, 0.44, 0.39, and 0.25 for depth, beach shorelines, sand bottom, distance to shore, gradual bottom slope, and distance to the nearest sand bottom, respectively. The classification tree model indicated that sand lance selected shallow-water habitats and remained near sand bottoms when located in habitats with depths between 40 and 60 m. All sand lance locations were at depths lance and the independent variables are discussed.
Orlando Joaqui Barandica
Full Text Available Breeding cassava relies on a phenotypic recurrent selection that takes advantage of the vegetative propagation of this crop. Successive stages of selection (single row trial- SRT; preliminary yield trial – PYT; advanced yield trial – AYT; and uniform yield trials UYT, gradually reduce the number of genotypes as the plot size, number of replications and locations increase. An important feature of this scheme is that, because of the clonal, reproduction of cassava, the same identical genotypes are evaluated throughout these four successive stages of selection. For this study data, from 14 years (more than 30,000 data points of evaluation in a sub-humid tropical environment was consolidated for a meta-analysis. Correlation coefficients for fresh root yield (FRY, dry matter content (DMC, harvest index (HIN and plant type score (PTS along the different stages of selection were estimated. DMC and PTS measured in different trials showed the highest correlation coefficients, indicating a relatively good repeatability. HIN had an intermediate repeatability, whereas FRY had the lowest value. The association between HIN and FRY was lower than expected, suggesting that HIN in early stages was not reliable as indirect selection for FRY in later stages. There was a consistent decrease in the average performance of clones grown in PYTs compared with the earlier evaluation of the same genotypes at SRTs. A feasible explanation for this trend is the impact of the environment on the physiological and nutritional status of the planting material and/or epigenetic effects. The usefulness of HIN is questioned. Measuring this variable takes considerable efforts at harvest time. DMC and FRY showed a weak positive association in SRT (r= 0.21 but a clearly negative one at UYT (r= -0.42. The change if the relationship between these variables is the result of selection. In later stages of selection, the plant is forced to maximize productivity on a dry weight basis
Gill, R.E.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Mason, J.D.; Handel, Colleen M.
Results from an intensive survey in 1989 of one of the two known breeding localities of Bristle-thighed Curlews Numenius tahitiensis are reported. During the pre-nesting period birds confined most of their activity to two vegetation communities: shrub meadow tundra and low shrub/tussock tundra. During nesting more than half the Curlews seen were observed on shrub meadow tundra, whilst during brood rearing, use of low shrub/tussock tundra continued to decline in importance as birds attending young increased their use of sedge wet meadows. Despite extensive searches no nests were located; however, observations of broods indicated that nest initiation began around 25 May and that hatching occurred during the last week of June. Detailed observations are presented on the formation of four brood-groups, some of which held different combinations of unrelated adults or young. The adaptive significance of this unusual wader behaviour is discussed.
Windig, J.J.; Meuleman, H.; Lansbergen, L.M.T.E.
Scrapie is a fatal infectious neurodegenerative disease for which susceptibility is associated with polymorphisms in the ovine prion protein (PrP) gene. Scrapie-eradication programmes are based on eliminating the susceptible VRQ allele and/or breeding for the resistant ARR allele. In rare breeds or
Jared D. Wolfe; Peter Pyle; C. John. Ralph
Detailed accounts of molt and breeding cycles remain elusive for the majority of resident tropical bird species. We used data derived from a museum review and 12 years of banding data to infer breeding seasonality, molt patterns, and age and gender criteria for 27 common landbird species in northeastern Costa Rica. Prealternate molts appear to be rare, only occurring...
van Klink, Roel; Mandema, Freek S.; Bakker, Jan P.; Tinbergen, Joost M.
Capsule Breeding Meadow Pipits foraged for caterpillars and large spiders in vegetation that was less heterogeneous than vegetation at random locations.Aims To gain a better understanding of the foraging ecology of breeding Meadow Pipits on grazed coastal salt marshes, we tested three hypotheses:
Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.
Large predators respond to land cover and physiography that maximize the likelihood of encountering prey. Using locations from global positioning system-collared wolves (Canis lupus), we examined whether land cover, vegetation productivity or change, or habitat-selection value for ungulate prey species themselves most influenced patterns of selection by wolves in a large, intact multiprey system of northern British Columbia. Selection models based on land cover, in combination with topographical features, consistently outperformed models based on indexes of vegetation quantity and quality (using normalized difference vegetation index) or on selection value to prey species (moose [Alces americanus], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], and Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Wolves generally selected for shrub communities and high diversity of cover across seasons and avoided conifer stands and non-vegetated areas and west aspects year-round. Seasonal selection strategies were not always reflected in use patterns, which showed highest frequency of use in riparian, shrub, and conifer classes. Patterns of use and selection for individual wolf packs did not always conform to global models, and appeared related to the distribution of land cover and terrain within respective home ranges. Our findings corroborate the biological linkages between wolves and their habitat related to ease of movement and potential prey associations. ?? American 2011 Society of Mammalogists.
Martin, Thomas E.
Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.
Fox, Anthony D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hohman, William L.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.
This paper reviews factors affecting site selection amongst waterfowl (Anatidae) during the flightless remigial moult, emphasising the roles of predation and food supply (especially protein and energy). The current literature suggests survival during flightless moult is at least as high as at other times of the annual cycle, but documented cases of predation of flightless waterfowl under particular conditions lead us to infer that habitat selection is generally highly effective in mitigating or avoiding predation. High energetic costs of feather replacement and specific amino-acid requirements for their construction imply adoption of special energetic and nutritional strategies at a time when flightlessness limits movements. Some waterfowl meet their energy needs from endogenous stores accumulated prior to remigial moult, others rely on exogenous supply, but this varies with species, age, reproductive status and site. Limited evidence suggests feather proteins are derived from endogenous and exogenous sources which may affect site selection. Remigial moult does not occur independently of other annual cycle events and is affected by reproductive investment and success. Hence, moult strategies are affected by age, sex and reproductive history, and may be influenced by the need to attain a certain internal state for the next stage in the annual cycle (e.g. autumn migration). We know little about habitat selection during moult and urge more research of this poorly known part of the annual cycle, with particular emphasis on identifying key concentrations and habitats for specific flyway populations and the effects of disturbance upon these. This knowledge will better inform conservation actions and management actions concerning waterfowl during moult and the habitats that they exploit.
Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Jones, Edward C.; De Juilio, Kyle; Petros, Paul; Pinnix, William D.; Rupert, Derek L.
Models that formulate mathematical linkages between fish use and habitat characteristics are applied for many purposes. For riverine fish, these linkages are often cast as resource selection functions with variables including depth and velocity of water and distance to nearest cover. Ecologists are now recognizing the role that detection plays in observing organisms, and failure to account for imperfect detection can lead to spurious inference. Herein, we present a flexible N-mixture model to associate habitat characteristics with the abundance of riverine salmonids that simultaneously estimates detection probability. Our formulation has the added benefits of accounting for demographics variation and can generate probabilistic statements regarding intensity of habitat use. In addition to the conceptual benefits, model application to data from the Trinity River, California, yields interesting results. Detection was estimated to vary among surveyors, but there was little spatial or temporal variation. Additionally, a weaker effect of water depth on resource selection is estimated than that reported by previous studies not accounting for detection probability. N-mixture models show great promise for applications to riverine resource selection.
Herridge, D.F.; Holland, J.F.; Rose, I.A.; Redden, R.J.
During the period 1980-87, the areas sown to grain legumes in Australia increased dramatically, from 0.25 Mha to 1.65 Mha. These increases occurred in the western and southern cereal belts, but not in the north which N continued to be supplied by the mineralization of soil organic matter. Therefore, there was a need to promote the use of N 2 -fixing legumes in the cereal-dominated northern cropping belt. Certain problems had to be addressed before farmers would accept legumes and change established patterns of cropping. Here we describe our efforts to improve N 2 fixation by soybean, common bean and pigeon pea. Selection and breeding for enhanced N 2 fixation of soybean commenced at Tamworth in 1980 after surveys of commercial crops indicated that nodulation was sometimes inadequate, particularly on new land, and that the levels of fixed-N inputs were variable and often low. Similar programmes were established in 1985 (common bean) and 1988 (pigeon bean). Progress was made in increasing N 2 fixation by these legumes towards obtaining economic yields without fertilizer N and contributing organic N for the benefit of subsequent cereal crops
Amer, I.M.; Moustafa, H.A.M.; Mansour, M.F.
Mutation breeding program has been initiated for inducing canola mutations tolerance to saline stressed conditions for growing at harsh land in Egypt. Therefore, seed lots of three cultivars and exotic variety (Bactol, Serow 4, Serow 6 and Evita) were subjected to 100,400 and 600 Gy of gamma rays. Mass selection with 20 % intensity for high number of pods per plant has been done in each treatment in M2 generation. However, individually plants with high number of pods / plant were selected from each variety in M3 generation for test under saline stressed conditions at Ras Sudr region in M4 (8600 and 8300 ppm salinity for soil and irrigation, respectively). The obtained results revealed that eight mutated families from 12- test families in M4 generation surpassed their parents in seed yield / plant and related characters ( plant height ,fruiting zone length , No. of branches , No. of pods / plant ). In addition, the mutant F93 characterized by fast growing and non shuttering pods reflecting 50.4% over Evita control in seed yield/ plant. Twelve mutant lines in M5 represented the mutant families were grown in sandy-loam soil at Inshas region. The three mutant lines (L 22, L 38 and L 45) continuously surpassed their parents in seed yield and related characters, but the increases were less than the previous generation. The increase was 22.3 %, 38.7 % and 36.7 % over seed yield of respective parents. Moreover, mutant L66 exhibited an increase in its yield components in M5 at Inshas only, suggesting that gene expression and genomic structure extremely influenced by environmental factors. Genetic stability for the obtained mutations could be done at different environmental conditions in further studies
Lammerts van Bueren, E.T.; Backes, G.; de Vriend, H.
markers is not self-evident and is often debated. Organic and low-input farming conditions require breeding for robust and flexible varieties, which may be hampered by too much focus on the molecular level. Pros and contras for application of molecular markers in breeding for organic agriculture...... was the topic of a recent European plant breeding workshop. The participants evaluated strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the use of molecular markers and we formalized their inputs into breeder’s perspectives and perspectives seen from the organic sector’s standpoint. Clear strengths were...
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
We studied habitat selection patterns of Merriam's Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) hens with poults in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) ecosystem. Thirty-six radio-marked hens produced 19 broods, and we obtained 230 locations of hens with poults. We described vegetation of habitats using criteria from the Rocky...
Bradley C Fedy
Full Text Available Growing global energy demands ensure the continued growth of energy development. Energy development in wildlife areas can significantly impact wildlife populations. Efforts to mitigate development impacts to wildlife are on-going, but the effectiveness of such efforts is seldom monitored or assessed. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus are sensitive to energy development and likely serve as an effective umbrella species for other sagebrush-steppe obligate wildlife. We assessed the response of birds within an energy development area before and after the implementation of mitigation action. Additionally, we quantified changes in habitat distribution and abundance in pre- and post-mitigation landscapes. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development at large spatial scales is well documented. We limited our research to directly within an energy development field in order to assess the influence of mitigation in close proximity to energy infrastructure. We used nest-location data (n = 488 within an energy development field to develop habitat selection models using logistic regression on data from 4 years of research prior to mitigation and for 4 years following the implementation of extensive mitigation efforts (e.g., decreased activity, buried powerlines. The post-mitigation habitat selection models indicated less avoidance of wells (well density β = 0.18 ± 0.08 than the pre-mitigation models (well density β = -0.09 ± 0.11. However, birds still avoided areas of high well density and nests were not found in areas with greater than 4 wells per km2 and the majority of nests (63% were located in areas with ≤ 1 well per km2. Several other model coefficients differed between the two time periods and indicated stronger selection for sagebrush (pre-mitigation β = 0.30 ± 0.09; post-mitigation β = 0.82 ± 0.08 and less avoidance of rugged terrain (pre-mitigation β = -0.35 ± 0.12; post-mitigation β = -0.05 ± 0.09. Mitigation efforts
D. Joanne Saher
Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou are a threatened species throughout Canada. Special management is therefore required to ensure habitat needs are met, particularly because much of their current distribution is heavily influenced by resource extraction activities. Although winter habitat is thought to be limiting and is the primary focus of conservation efforts, maintaining connectivity between summer and winter ranges has received little attention. We used global positioning system data from an interprovincial, woodland caribou herd to define migratory movements on a relatively pristine range. Non-linear models indicated that caribou movement during migration was punctuated; caribou traveled for some distance (movement phase followed by a pause (resting/foraging phase. We then developed resource selection functions (RSFs, using case-controlled logistic regression, to describe resting/foraging sites and movement sites, at the landscape scale. The RSFs indicated that caribou traveled through areas that were less rugged and closer to water than random and that resting/foraging sites were associated with older forests that have a greater component of pine, and are further from water than were random available locations. This approach to analyzing animal location data allowed us to identify two patterns of habitat selection (travel and foraging/resting for caribou during the migratory period. Resultant models are important tools for land use planning to ensure that connectivity between caribou summer and winter ranges is maintained.
Loges, Brian W.; Lyons, James E.; Tavernia, Brian G.
The Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge (CCNWR) in the Mississippi River flood plain of eastern Missouri provides high quality emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat benefitting both nesting marsh birds and migrating waterfowl. Staff of CCNWR manipulate water levels and vegetation in the 17 units of the CCNWR to provide conditions favorable to these two important guilds. Although both guilds include focal species at multiple planning levels and complement objectives to provide a diversity of wetland community types and water regimes, additional decision support is needed for choosing how much emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat should be provided through annual management actions.To develop decision guidance for balanced delivery of high-energy waterfowl habitat and breeding marsh bird habitat, two measureable management objectives were identified: nonbreeding Anas Linnaeus (dabbling duck) use-days and Rallus elegans (king rail) occupancy of managed units. Three different composite management actions were identified to achieve these objectives. Each composite management action is a unique combination of growing season water regime and soil disturbance. The three composite management actions are intense moist-soil management (moist-soil), intermediate moist-soil (intermediate), and perennial management, which idles soils disturbance (perennial). The two management objectives and three management options were used in a multi-criteria decision analysis to indicate resource allocations and inform annual decision making. Outcomes of the composite management actions were predicted in two ways and multi-criteria decision analysis was used with each set of predictions. First, outcomes were predicted using expert-elicitation techniques and a panel of subject matter experts. Second, empirical data from the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Initiative collected between 2010 and 2013 were used; where data were lacking, expert judgment was used. Also, a
Michael F Cameron
Full Text Available The first year of life is typically the most critical to a pinniped's survival, especially for Arctic phocids which are weaned at only a few weeks of age and left to locate and capture prey on their own. Their seasonal movements and habitat selection are therefore important factors in their survival. During a cooperative effort between scientists and subsistence hunters in October 2004, 2005, and 2006, 13 female and 13 male young (i.e., age <2 bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus were tagged with satellite-linked dive recorders (SDRs in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska. Shortly after being released, most seals moved south with the advancing sea-ice through the Bering Strait and into the Bering Sea where they spent the winter and early spring. The SDRs of 17 (8 female and 9 male seals provided frequent high-quality positions in the Bering Sea; their data were used in our analysis. To investigate habitat selection, we simulated 20 tracks per seal by randomly selecting from the pooled distributions of the absolute bearings and swim speeds of the tagged seals. For each point in the observed and simulated tracks, we obtained the depth, sea-ice concentration, and the distances to sea-ice, open water, the shelf break and coastline. Using logistic regression with a stepwise model selection procedure, we compared the simulated tracks to those of the tagged seals and obtained a model for describing habitat selection. The regression coefficients indicated that the bearded seals in our study selected locations near the ice edge. In contrast, aerial surveys of the bearded seal population, predominantly composed of adults, indicated higher abundances in areas farther north and in heavier pack ice. We hypothesize that this discrepancy is the result of behavioral differences related to age. Ice concentration was also shown to be a statistically significant variable in our model. All else being equal, areas of higher ice concentration are selected for up to about 80%. The
Aschenbrenner, Alexandre; Hackradt, Carlos Werner; Ferreira, Beatrice Padovani
The early life history of Lutjanus alexandrei and Lutjanus jocu in Southwestern Atlantic is still largely unknown. Habitat use of different life stages (i.e. size categories and densities) of the Brazilian snapper (L. alexandrei) and dog snapper (L. jocu) was examined in a tropical portion of NE coast of Brazil. Visual surveys were conducted in different shallow habitats (mangroves and reefs). Both snapper species showed higher densities in early life stages in mangrove habitat, with a clear increase in fish size from mangrove to adjacent reefs. Post-settler individuals were exclusively found in mangroves for both species. Juveniles of L. alexandrei were also registered only in mangroves, while sub-adult individuals were associated with both mangrove and reef habitats. Mature individuals of L. alexandrei were only observed in reef habitats. Juvenile and sub-adult individuals of the dog snapper were both associated with mangrove and reef habitats, with high densities registered in mangroves. Mature individuals of L. jocu were not registered in the study area. This pattern suggests preference for mangrove habitat in early life stages for both species. Ontogenetic movement between habitats was also recorded. This pattern denotes habitat selection across different life cycle of both species. Such information highlights the importance of directing management and conservation efforts to these habitats to secure the continuity of contribution to adult populations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Geist, D.R.; Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR; Dauble, D.D.
Knowledge of the three-dimensional connectivity between rivers and groundwater within the hyporheic zone can be used to improve the definition of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat. Information exists on the microhabitat characteristics that define suitable salmon spawning habitat. However, traditional spawning habitat models that use these characteristics to predict available spawning habitat are restricted because they can not account for the heterogeneous nature of rivers. The authors present a conceptual spawning habitat model for fall chinook salmon that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Two case studies based on empirical data from fall chinook salmon spawning areas in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River are presented to illustrate important aspects of the conceptual model. The authors suggest that traditional habitat models and the conceptual model be combined to predict the limits of suitable fall chinook salmon spawning habitat. This approach can incorporate quantitative measures of river channel morphology, including general descriptors of geomorphic features at different spatial scales, in order to understand the processes influencing redd site selection and spawning habitat use. This information is needed in order to protect existing salmon spawning habitat in large rivers, as well as to recover habitat already lost
Buch, Line Hjortø; Sørensen, Morten Kargo; Berg, Peer
We tested the following hypotheses: (i) breeding schemes with genomic selection are superior to breeding schemes without genomic selection regarding annual genetic gain of the aggregate genotype (ΔGAG), annual genetic gain of the functional traits and rate of inbreeding per generation (ΔF), (ii......) a positive interaction exists between the use of genotypic information and a short generation interval on ΔGAG and (iii) the inclusion of an indicator trait in the selection index will only result in a negligible increase in ΔGAG if genotypic information about the breeding goal trait is known. We examined......, greater contributions of the functional trait to ΔGAG and lower ΔF than the two breeding schemes without genomic selection. Thus, the use of genotypic information may lead to more sustainable breeding schemes. In addition, a short generation interval increases the effect of using genotypic information...
Full Text Available Sustainable crop production is the major challenge in the current global climate change scenario. Drought stress is one of the most critical abiotic factors which negatively impact crop productivity. In recent years, knowledge about molecular regulation has been generated to understand drought stress responses. For example, information obtained by transcriptome analysis has enhanced our knowledge and facilitated the identification of candidate genes which can be utilized for plant breeding. On the other hand, it becomes more and more evident that the translational and post-translational machinery plays a major role in stress adaptation, especially for immediate molecular processes during stress adaptation. Therefore, it is essential to measure protein levels and post-translational protein modifications to reveal information about stress inducible signal perception and transduction, translational activity and induced protein levels. This information cannot be revealed by genomic or transcriptomic analysis. Eventually, these processes will provide more direct insight into stress perception then genetic markers and might build a complementary basis for future marker-assisted selection of drought resistance. In this review, we survey the role of proteomic studies to illustrate their applications in crop stress adaptation analysis with respect to productivity. Cereal crops such as wheat, rice, maize, barley, sorghum and pearl millet are discussed in detail. We provide a comprehensive and comparative overview of all detected protein changes involved in drought stress in these crops and have summarized existing knowledge into a proposed scheme of drought response. Based on a recent proteome study of pearl millet under drought stress we compare our findings with wheat proteomes and another recent study which defined genetic marker in pearl millet.
Xiang, Zuo-Fu; Huo, Sheng; Xiao, Wen
As anthropogenic habitat changes are often considered a threat to natural ecosystems and wildlife, a sound understanding of the effects of habitat alteration on endangered species is crucial when designing management strategies or performing conservation activities. Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are endemic to the trans-Himalayas in China. At present, there are only 15 groups and 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild, and they are facing intense habitat degradation with selective logging for house building and firewood. Habitat deterioration through wood extraction is occurring at Xiaochangdu, Tibet, where one stable group of R. bieti lives in a marginal habitat in the northernmost part of the species' distribution. To understand the species' response to selective logging in an extremely marginal habitat, data on habitat preference and diet composition of a group of R. bieti were collected at Xiaochangdu from 2003 to 2005. The monkeys used different habitats nonrandomly during the year. The selection index for secondary conifer forest (SC), where selective logging has occurred, was the highest of all habitat types (>1), suggesting that the groups strongly preferred SC. The monkeys fed more on buds/leaves, more on flowers/fruit/seeds, and less on lichen in SC than in primary conifer forest (PC). Dietary diversity was significantly higher in SC than in PC. These results indicate that over the short term, low-intensity disturbances may result in increased foliage diversity that enable groups of R. bieti to survive in this marginal habitat. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Bernal-Vasquez, Angela-Maria; Gordillo, Andres; Schmidt, Malthe; Piepho, Hans-Peter
The use of multiple genetic backgrounds across years is appealing for genomic prediction (GP) because past years' data provide valuable information on marker effects. Nonetheless, single-year GP models are less complex and computationally less demanding than multi-year GP models. In devising a suitable analysis strategy for multi-year data, we may exploit the fact that even if there is no replication of genotypes across years, there is plenty of replication at the level of marker loci. Our principal aim was to evaluate different GP approaches to simultaneously model genotype-by-year (GY) effects and breeding values using multi-year data in terms of predictive ability. The models were evaluated under different scenarios reflecting common practice in plant breeding programs, such as different degrees of relatedness between training and validation sets, and using a selected fraction of genotypes in the training set. We used empirical grain yield data of a rye hybrid breeding program. A detailed description of the prediction approaches highlighting the use of kinship for modeling GY is presented. Using the kinship to model GY was advantageous in particular for datasets disconnected across years. On average, predictive abilities were 5% higher for models using kinship to model GY over models without kinship. We confirmed that using data from multiple selection stages provides valuable GY information and helps increasing predictive ability. This increase is on average 30% higher when the predicted genotypes are closely related with the genotypes in the training set. A selection of top-yielding genotypes together with the use of kinship to model GY improves the predictive ability in datasets composed of single years of several selection cycles. Our results clearly demonstrate that the use of multi-year data and appropriate modeling is beneficial for GP because it allows dissecting GY effects from genomic estimated breeding values. The model choice, as well as ensuring
Full Text Available To evaluate the potential of genomic selection (GS, a selection experiment with GS and phenotypic selection (PS was performed in an allogamous crop, common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. To indirectly select for seed yield per unit area, which cannot be measured on a single-plant basis, a selection index was constructed from seven agro-morphological traits measurable on a single plant basis. Over 3 years, we performed two GS and one PS cycles per year for improvement in the selection index. In GS, a prediction model was updated every year on the basis of genotypes of 14,598–50,000 markers and phenotypes. Plants grown from seeds derived from a series of generations of GS and PS populations were evaluated for the traits in the selection index and other yield-related traits. GS resulted in a 20.9% increase and PS in a 15.0% increase in the selection index in comparison with the initial population. Although the level of linkage disequilibrium in the breeding population was low, the target trait was improved with GS. Traits with higher weights in the selection index were improved more than those with lower weights, especially when prediction accuracy was high. No trait changed in an unintended direction in either GS or PS. The accuracy of genomic prediction models built in the first cycle decreased in the later cycles because the genetic bottleneck through the selection cycles changed linkage disequilibrium patterns in the breeding population. The present study emphasizes the importance of updating models in GS and demonstrates the potential of GS in mass selection of allogamous crop species, and provided a pilot example of successful application of GS to plant breeding.
Yabe, Shiori; Hara, Takashi; Ueno, Mariko; Enoki, Hiroyuki; Kimura, Tatsuro; Nishimura, Satoru; Yasui, Yasuo; Ohsawa, Ryo; Iwata, Hiroyoshi
To evaluate the potential of genomic selection (GS), a selection experiment with GS and phenotypic selection (PS) was performed in an allogamous crop, common buckwheat ( Fagopyrum esculentum Moench). To indirectly select for seed yield per unit area, which cannot be measured on a single-plant basis, a selection index was constructed from seven agro-morphological traits measurable on a single plant basis. Over 3 years, we performed two GS and one PS cycles per year for improvement in the selection index. In GS, a prediction model was updated every year on the basis of genotypes of 14,598-50,000 markers and phenotypes. Plants grown from seeds derived from a series of generations of GS and PS populations were evaluated for the traits in the selection index and other yield-related traits. GS resulted in a 20.9% increase and PS in a 15.0% increase in the selection index in comparison with the initial population. Although the level of linkage disequilibrium in the breeding population was low, the target trait was improved with GS. Traits with higher weights in the selection index were improved more than those with lower weights, especially when prediction accuracy was high. No trait changed in an unintended direction in either GS or PS. The accuracy of genomic prediction models built in the first cycle decreased in the later cycles because the genetic bottleneck through the selection cycles changed linkage disequilibrium patterns in the breeding population. The present study emphasizes the importance of updating models in GS and demonstrates the potential of GS in mass selection of allogamous crop species, and provided a pilot example of successful application of GS to plant breeding.
Rostro-Garc?a, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced populatio...
He, Jiangfeng; Zhao, Xiaoqing; Laroche, André; Lu, Zhen-Xiang; Liu, HongKui; Li, Ziqin
Marker-assisted selection (MAS) refers to the use of molecular markers to assist phenotypic selections in crop improvement. Several types of molecular markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), have been identified and effectively used in plant breeding. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has led to remarkable advances in whole genome sequencing, which provides ultra-throughput sequences to revolutionize plant genotyping and breeding. To further broaden NGS usages to large crop genomes such as maize and wheat, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) has been developed and applied in sequencing multiplexed samples that combine molecular marker discovery and genotyping. GBS is a novel application of NGS protocols for discovering and genotyping SNPs in crop genomes and populations. The GBS approach includes the digestion of genomic DNA with restriction enzymes followed by the ligation of barcode adapter, PCR amplification and sequencing of the amplified DNA pool on a single lane of flow cells. Bioinformatic pipelines are needed to analyze and interpret GBS datasets. As an ultimate MAS tool and a cost-effective technique, GBS has been successfully used in implementing genome-wide association study (GWAS), genomic diversity study, genetic linkage analysis, molecular marker discovery and genomic selection under a large scale of plant breeding programs.
Full Text Available We examined home range characteristics and habitat selection of Daurian hedgehogs in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia. Home ranges of hedgehogs varied from 113.15 ha to 2,171.97 ha, and were larger in early summer than late summer. Hedgehogs showed relative preference for rocky outcrops and low-density shrub habitats, and relative avoidance of high- density shrub areas. Habitat selection also changed between early and late summer, shifting to greater use of low-density shrub areas and decreased use of forb-dominated short grass. Our baseline data on home ranges and habitat selection expand understanding of hedgehog ecology and provide guidance for future management decisions in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and elsewhere in Mongolia.
Atuo, Fidelis Akunke; O'Connell, Timothy John
Sympatric predators are predicted to partition resources, especially under conditions of food limitation. Spatial heterogeneity that influences prey availability might play an important role in the scales at which potential competitors select habitat. We assessed potential mechanisms for coexistence by examining the role of heterogeneity in resource partitioning between sympatric raptors overwintering in the southern Great Plains. We conducted surveys for wintering Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) and Northern Harrier ( Circus cyanea ) at two state wildlife management areas in Oklahoma, USA. We used information from repeated distance sampling to project use locations in a GIS. We applied resource selection functions to model habitat selection at three scales and analyzed for niche partitioning using the outlying mean index. Habitat selection of the two predators was mediated by spatial heterogeneity. The two predators demonstrated significant fine-scale discrimination in habitat selection in homogeneous landscapes, but were more sympatric in heterogeneous landscapes. Red-tailed hawk used a variety of cover types in heterogeneous landscapes but specialized on riparian forest in homogeneous landscapes. Northern Harrier specialized on upland grasslands in homogeneous landscapes but selected more cover types in heterogeneous landscapes. Our study supports the growing body of evidence that landscapes can affect animal behaviors. In the system we studied, larger patches of primary land cover types were associated with greater allopatry in habitat selection between two potentially competing predators. Heterogeneity within the scale of raptor home ranges was associated with greater sympatry in use and less specialization in land cover types selected.
Full Text Available A large number of potato varieties and distinguished breeding lines disappeared as an effect of nonfavourable climatically conditions and especially by viruses diseases, as well as other biological and viruses degeneration. To avoid the negative effect of degeneration on potato varieties and distinguished breeding lines, the method of selection for maintaining and multiplication of potato is applying in Romania in the frame of National Center for Maintaining of potato varieties and distinguished breeding lines Apa Rosie, Covasna County, which belong to the Station for Research and Development of Potato, Targu Secuiesc, Covasna County.In this center are maintained and multiplied all distinguished varieties and breeding centers from Romania (National Institute for research and Development of Potato and Sugar beet Brasov, Research and Development Station for Agriculture Suceava, Research and Development Station for Potato Targu Secuiesc, Research and development Station for Potato Miercurea Ciuc.Using the method of selection for maintaining it is possible an early identification of somatic mutations, disease (especially viruses infection by visual elimination or by serological testing.The viruses’ infection of potato leads to disturbed the metabolism of plants and produces anatomical – morphological alters as: mosaic, crinkle, rolling, browning of leaves and plants deformation.The disturbing of plant metabolism has as negative effect the reduction of vegetation period, decreasing the yield capacity, depreciation of physical and chemical quality of tubers.The genetically complex structure of cultivated potato (2n = 4x = 48 and strong segregation of long – expected characters in the obtained future progeny by sexual hybridization, complicated many times by nonfavourable linkage, are the backgrounds for initiation of maintain selection.
Full Text Available Of 30 known subpopulations of Phelsuma guimbeaui, 18 are in patches of exotic forest and are predicted to disappear in the next decade. One possible means of mitigating the reduction in genetic diversity associated with the loss of subpopulations is to translocate “at risk” subpopulations to more secure habitats. Prior to any such intervention, it is important to identify a species’ basic ecological needs. We had three main objectives: to calculate home range sizes of adult geckos; characterise habitat selection among age groups; and identify the order of importance of each habitat predictor. Habitat selection of P. guimbeaui was explored at the population, home range and microhabitat levels. Males had larger home ranges than females, and overlapped temporally with more females than males. We showed that habitat selection differed between age groups. In order of importance, tree diversity, tree species, tree height, trunk dbh and cavity density were important habitat predictors. We discuss how these data can be used to inform the choice of sites for the translocation of threatened subpopulations. Our results also highlight the importance of undertaking habitat restoration for the long-term conservation of the 12 subpopulations that survive in patches of endemic forest.
Gulls are good biological models to investigate anthropogenic changes affecting the environment. We studied the breeding ecology of a monospecific colony of yellow-legged gulls, Larus michahellis on the Algerian island of Srigina, during three consecutive years (2009–2011) and attempted to identify factors influencing ...
1College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, People's Republic of China ... breed population (1.76±0.03) was significantly greater than ... BMPR1B gene slightly acted on the growth trait of the 12-.
K. Anne-Isola Nekaris
Full Text Available Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.
Araújo, Cristiano V M; Griffith, Daniel M; Vera-Vera, Victoria; Jentzsch, Paul Vargas; Cervera, Laura; Nieto-Ariza, Beatriz; Salvatierra, David; Erazo, Santiago; Jaramillo, Rusbel; Ramos, Luis A; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui
Aquatic ecotoxicity assays used to assess ecological risk assume that organisms living in a contaminated habitat are forcedly exposed to the contamination. This assumption neglects the ability of organisms to detect and avoid contamination by moving towards less disturbed habitats, as long as connectivity exists. In fluvial systems, many environmental parameters vary spatially and thus condition organisms' habitat selection. We assessed the preference of zebra fish (Danio rerio) when exposed to water samples from two western Ecuadorian rivers with apparently distinct disturbance levels: Pescadillo River (highly disturbed) and Oro River (moderately disturbed). Using a non-forced exposure system in which water samples from each river were arranged according to their spatial sequence in the field and connected to allow individuals to move freely among samples, we assayed habitat selection by D. rerio to assess environmental disturbance in the two rivers. Fish exposed to Pescadillo River samples preferred downstream samples near the confluence zone with the Oro River. Fish exposed to Oro River samples preferred upstream waters. When exposed to samples from both rivers simultaneously, fish exhibited the same pattern of habitat selection by preferring the Oro River samples. Given that the rivers are connected, preference for the Oro River enabled us to predict a depression in fish populations in the Pescadillo River. Although these findings indicate higher disturbance levels in the Pescadillo River, none of the physical-chemical variables measured was significantly correlated with the preference pattern towards the Oro River. Non-linear spatial patterns of habitat preference suggest that other environmental parameters like urban or agricultural contaminants play an important role in the model organism's habitat selection in these rivers. The non-forced exposure system represents a habitat selection-based approach that can serve as a valuable tool to unravel the factors
Raabe, Ellen A.; D'Anjou, Robert; Pope, Domonique K.; Robbins, Lisa L.
This project combines underwater video with maps and descriptions to illustrate diverse seafloor habitats from Tampa Bay, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama. A swath of seafloor was surveyed with underwater video to 100 meters (m) water depth in 1999 and 2000 as part of the Gulfstream Natural Gas System Survey. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in St. Petersburg, Florida, in cooperation with Eckerd College and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), produced an archive of analog-to-digital underwater movies. Representative clips of seafloor habitats were selected from hundreds of hours of underwater footage. The locations of video clips were mapped to show the distribution of habitat and habitat transitions. The numerous benthic habitats in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico play a vital role in the region's economy, providing essential resources for tourism, natural gas, recreational water sports (fishing, boating, scuba diving), materials, fresh food, energy, a source of sand for beach renourishment, and more. These submerged natural resources are important to the economy but are often invisible to the general public. This product provides a glimpse of the seafloor with sample underwater video, maps, and habitat descriptions. It was developed to depict the range and location of seafloor habitats in the region but is limited by depth and by the survey track. It should not be viewed as comprehensive, but rather as a point of departure for inquiries and appreciation of marine resources and seafloor habitats. Further information is provided in the Resources section.
Full Text Available Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.
Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species’ habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa. PMID:25693067
Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F; Hunter, Luke T B
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.
Herein I compare the relative importance of preference for structurally complex habitat against avoidance of competitors and predators in two benthic fishes common in the Gulf of Mexico. The code goby Gobiosoma robustum Ginsburg and clown goby Microgobius gulosus (Girard) are common, ecologically similar fishes found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. In Florida Bay, these fishes exhibit habitat partitioning: G. robustum is most abundant in seagrass-dominated areas while M. gulosus is most abundant in sparsely vegetated habitats. In a small-scale field survey, I documented the microhabitat use of these species where their distributions overlap. In a series of laboratory experiments, I presented each species with structured (artificial seagrass) versus nonstructured (bare sand) habitats and measured their frequency of choosing either habitat type. I then examined the use of structured versus nonstructured habitats when the two species were placed together in a mixed group. Finally, I placed a predator (Opsanus beta) in the experimental aquaria to determine how its presence influenced habitat selection. In the field, G. robustum was more abundant in seagrass and M. gulosus was more abundant in bare mud. In the laboratory, both species selected grass over sand in allopatry. However, in sympatry, M. gulosus occupied sand more often when paired with G. robustum than when alone. G. robustum appears to directly influence the habitat choice of M. gulosus: It seems that M. gulosus is pushed out of the structured habitat that is the preferred habitat of G. robustum. Thus, competition appears to modify the habitat selection of these species when they occur in sympatry. Additionally, the presence of the toadfish was a sufficient stimulus to provoke both M. gulosus and G. robustum to increase their selection for sand (compared to single-species treatments). Distribution patterns of M. gulosus and G. robustum
Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the "preferred" CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator.
Zhao, Jie; Li, Tingting; Zhu, Chao; Jiang, Xiaoling; Zhao, Yan; Xu, Zhenzhen; Yang, Shuming; Chen, Ailiang
Meat traceability based on molecular markers is exerting a great influence on food safety and will enhance its key role in the future. This study aimed to investigate and verify the polymorphism of 23 microsatellite markers and select the most suitable markers for individual identification and meat traceability of six swine breeds in the Chinese market. The mean polymorphism information content value of these 23 loci was 0.7851, and each locus exhibited high polymorphism in the pooled population. There were 10 loci showing good polymorphism in each breed, namely, Sw632, S0155, Sw2406, Sw830, Sw2525, Sw72, Sw2448, Sw911, Sw122 and CGA. When six highly polymorphic loci were combined, the match probability value for two random individual genotypes among the pig breeds (Beijing Black, Sanyuan and Taihu) was lower than 1.151 E-06. An increasing number of loci indicated a gradually decreasing match probability value and therefore enhanced traceability accuracy. The validation results of tracing 18 blood and corresponding meat samples based on five highly polymorphic loci (Sw2525, S0005, Sw0107, Sw911 and Sw857) were successful, with 100% conformation probability, which provided a foundation for establishing a traceability system for pork in the Chinese market.
Hartati, Retno; Trianto, Agus; Widianingsih
Sea cucumbers face heavily overfished because of their high prices and very strong market demand. One effort suggested to overcome this problem is sea ranching. The objectives of present works were to determine biological, physical, and chemical characteristics of prospective location for sea ranching of sea cucumber Holothuria atra. Two location at Jepara Waters (Teluk Awur and Bandengan WateRs of Jepara Regency) were selected. The determination of chemical (salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen of water, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite and ammonium of water and sediment, organic matters of sediment), physical (transparancy, sedimen grains size, water current direction and its velocity), biologycal characteristic (coverage of seagrass and its macroalgae associated, phytoplankton as well as chlorophyl-a and phaeopytin of water and sediment) ware determined. The result of present work showed that some characteristic were matched with requirement as sea ranching location of sea cucumber because the density of sea cucumber in the sea is a function of habitat features. For sediment feeding holothurians of the family Aspidochirotida, the biologycal characteristic act as very important considerations by providing sea cucumber food. High cholophyl-a and phaeopytin in sediment also represent a prosperous habitat for sea cucumber ranching.
Parsons, P A
Fitness varies nonlinearly with environmental variables such as temperature, water availability, and nutrition, with maximum fitness at intermediate levels between more stressful extremes. For environmental agents that are highly toxic at exposures that substantially exceed background levels, fitness is maximized at concentrations near zero--a phenomenon often referred to as hormesis. Two main components are suggested: (1) background hormesis, which derives from the direct adaptation of organisms to their habitats; and (2) stress-derived hormonesis, which derives from metabolic reserves that are maintained as an adaptation to environmental stresses through evolutionary time. These reserves provide protection from lesser correlated stresses. This article discusses illustrative examples, including ethanol and ionizing radiation, aimed at placing hormesis into an ecological and evolutionary context. A unifying approach comes from fitness-stress continua that underlie responses to abiotic variables, whereby selection for maximum metabolic efficiency and hence fitness in adaptation to habitats in nature underlies hormetic zones. Within this reductionist model, more specific metabolic mechanisms to explain hormesis are beginning to emerge, depending upon the agent and the taxon in question. Some limited research possibilities based upon this evolutionary perspective are indicated.
Lecchini, David; Bertucci, Frédéric; Gache, Camille; Khalife, Adam; Besson, Marc; Roux, Natacha; Berthe, Cecile; Singh, Shubha; Parmentier, Eric; Nugues, Maggy M; Brooker, Rohan M; Dixson, Danielle L; Hédouin, Laetitia
Understanding the relationship between coral reef condition and recruitment potential is vital for the development of effective management strategies that maintain coral cover and biodiversity. Coral larvae (planulae) have been shown to use certain sensory cues to orient towards settlement habitats (e.g. the odour of live crustose coralline algae - CCA). However, the influence of auditory cues on coral recruitment, and any effect of anthropogenic noise on this process, remain largely unknown. Here, we determined the effect of protected reef (MPA), exploited reef (non-MPA) soundscapes, and a source of anthropogenic noise (boat) on the habitat preference for live CCA over dead CCA in the planula of two common Indo-Pacific coral species (Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora cytherea). Soundscapes from protected reefs significantly increased the phonotaxis of planulae of both species towards live CCA, especially when compared to boat noise. Boat noise playback prevented this preferential selection of live CCA as a settlement substrate. These results suggest that sources of anthropogenic noise such as motor boat can disrupt the settlement behaviours of coral planulae. Acoustic cues should be accounted for when developing management strategies aimed at maximizing larval recruitment to coral reefs.
Full Text Available Selective sweep can cause genetic differentiation across populations, which allows for the identification of possible causative regions/genes underlying important traits. The pig has experienced a long history of allele frequency changes through artificial selection in the domestication process. We obtained an average of 329,482,871 sequence reads for 24 pigs from three pig breeds: Yorkshire (n = 5, Landrace (n = 13, and Duroc (n = 6. An average read depth of 11.7 was obtained using whole-genome resequencing on an Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. In this study, cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity and cross-population composite likelihood ratio tests were implemented to detect genes experiencing positive selection for the genome-wide resequencing data generated from three commercial pig breeds. In our results, 26, 7, and 14 genes from Yorkshire, Landrace, and Duroc, respectively were detected by two kinds of statistical tests. Significant evidence for positive selection was identified on genes ST6GALNAC2 and EPHX1 in Yorkshire, PARK2 in Landrace, and BMP6, SLA-DQA1, and PRKG1 in Duroc.These genes are reportedly relevant to lactation, reproduction, meat quality, and growth traits. To understand how these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs related positive selection affect protein function, we analyzed the effect of non-synonymous SNPs. Three SNPs (rs324509622, rs80931851, and rs80937718 in the SLA-DQA1 gene were significant in the enrichment tests, indicating strong evidence for positive selection in Duroc. Our analyses identified genes under positive selection for lactation, reproduction, and meat-quality and growth traits in Yorkshire, Landrace, and Duroc, respectively.
Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.
Previous methods for constructing univariate habitat suitability criteria (HSC) curves have ranged from professional judgement to kernel-smoothed density functions or combinations thereof. We present a new method of generating HSC curves that applies probability density functions as the mathematical representation of the curves. Compared with previous approaches, benefits of our method include (1) estimation of probability density function parameters directly from raw data, (2) quantitative methods for selecting among several candidate probability density functions, and (3) concise methods for expressing estimation uncertainty in the HSC curves. We demonstrate our method with a thorough example using data collected on the depth of water used by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) in the Klamath River of northern California and southern Oregon. All R code needed to implement our example is provided in the appendix. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Mauro Rezende Tavares
Full Text Available The factors that influence the selection of marine macrophytes by meso-herbivores are complex, and may include the nutritional quality of algae, the value of the habitat as a shelter, and the availability of algae in the environment. Here we investigated the existence of differential use of Sargassum filipendula C. Agardh, 1824 (Phaeophyta and Galaxaura stupocaulon Kjellman, 1900 (Rhodophyta as habitats and feeding resources by species of Hyalidae and Ampithoidae, in laboratory manipulation experiments and in an algal bed on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. In the field, 19 fronds were collected from each alga and the associated amphipods were identified and counted. To evaluate food preference and habitat selection by amphipods, we conducted laboratory experiments using containers containing fragments of algae and individuals of Cymadusa filosa Savigny, 1816 or Hyale nigra (Haswell, 1879. In natural conditions, the density of C. filosa was significantly higher on G. stupocaulon, while in the feeding and habitat preference experiment we found a higher density on S. filipendula. The densities of H. nigra did not differ between the algae in both experiments, probably as a result of the variety of food items in its diet, and its high mobility and wide distribution on different substrates. The different results for C. filosa suggest that the pattern of feeding and habitat selection can be affected by external characteristics of the algae; probably, refuge from predation is an important selective force acting on the use of algae by these animals.
Full Text Available The variations in ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae assemblages across the three types of farmland habitats, arable land, meadows and woody vegetation were studied in relation to vegetation cover structure, intensity of agrotechnical interventions and selected soil properties. Material was pitfall trapped in 2010 and 2011 on twelve sites of the agricultural landscape in the Prešov town and its near vicinity, Eastern Slovakia. A total of 14,763 ground beetle individuals were entrapped. Material collection resulted into 92 Carabidae species, with the following six species dominating: Poecilus cupreus, Pterostichus melanarius, Pseudoophonus rufipes, Brachinus crepitans, Anchomenus dorsalis and Poecilus versicolor. Studied habitats differed significantly in the number of entrapped individuals, activity abundance as well as representation of the carabids according to their habitat preferences and ability to fly. However, no significant distinction was observed in the diversity, evenness neither dominance. The most significant environmental variables affecting Carabidae assemblages species variability were soil moisture and herb layer 0-20 cm. Another best variables selected by the forward selection were intensity of agrotechnical interventions, humus content and shrub vegetation. The other from selected soil properties seem to have just secondary meaning for the adult carabids. Environmental variables have the strongest effect on the habitat specialists, whereas ground beetles without special requirements to the habitat quality seem to be affected by the studied environmental variables just little.
Ho Yi Wan; Kevin McGarigal; Joseph L. Ganey; Valentin Lauret; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman
Anthropogenic environmental changes are leading to habitat loss and degradation, driving many species to extinction. In this context, habitat models become increasingly important for effective species management and conservation. However, most habitat studies lack replicated study areas and do not properly address the role of nonstationarity and spatial scales in...
Gabriel A. Leite
Full Text Available Patterns of habitat selection are influenced by local productivity, resource availability, and predation risk. Species have taken millions of years to hone the macro- and micro-habitats they occupy, but these may now overlap with contemporary human threats within natural species ranges. Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa, an endemic galliform species of the western Amazon, is threatened by both hunting and habitat loss, and is restricted to white-water floodplain forests of major Amazonian rivers. In this study conducted along the Juruá River, Amazonas, Brazil, we quantified the ranging ecology and fine-scale patterns of habitat selection of the species. We estimated the home range size of C. globulosa using conventional VHF telemetry. To estimate patterns of habitat selection, we used geo-locations of day ranges to examine the extent and intensity of use across the floodplain, which were then compared to a high-resolution flood map of the study area. We captured two females and one male, which we monitored for 13 months between September 2014 and September 2015. Average home range size was 283 ha, based on the 95% aLoCoH estimator. Wattled Curassows selected areas of prolonged flood pulses (six to eight months/year and had a consistent tendency to be near open water, usually in close proximity to river banks and lakes, especially during the dry season. Amazonian floodplains are densely settled, and the small portions of floodplain habitat used by Wattled Curassows are both the most accessible to hunters and most vulnerable to deforestation. As a result, the geographic and ecological distribution of Wattled Curassows places them at much higher extinction risk at multiple spatial scales, highlighting the need to consider habitat preferences within their conservation strategy.
Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of breed on haematological and biochemical indicators in 3 dwarf rabbit breeds. In the experiment, 30 sexually intact dwarf rabbit females aged 6 mo were used. With the sole exception of white blood cells and haematocrit value, breed had the most significant effect on the majority of haematological indicators monitored. The red blood cell count was higher in the Dwarf Lop compared to the Netherland Dwarf (+1.91×1012 cells/L; P<0.05 and also the Teddy Dwarf (+1.32×1012 cells/L; P<0.05. For haemoglobin concentration, a higher value was found in the Netherland Dwarf than in the Teddy Dwarf (+39.29 g/L; P<0.05 and the Dwarf Lop (+26.36 g/L; P<0.05. For erythrocytic indicators, the highest values of mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration were found in the Netherland Dwarf. The breed had a significant effect on the urea and potassium values. A higher value of urea was recorded in the Dwarf Lop compared to the Teddy Dwarf (+1.56 mmol/L; P<0.05. For potassium, a higher value was found in the Netherland Dwarf compared to the Teddy Dwarf (+0.85 mmol/L; P<0.05. In addition, a significantly positive correlation (P<0.05 was found between the live weight of dwarf females and values of haematocrit (0.49, albumin (0.54, alanine aminotransferase (0.51, and aspartate aminotransferase (0.41, while a significantly negative correlation (P<0.05 was found between their live weight and values of triacylglycerols (–0.44, alkaline phosphatase (–0.38 and inorganic phosphorus (–0.52.
Adrienne C. Shelton
Full Text Available Organic growers face unique challenges when raising sweet corn, and benefit from varieties that maintain high eating quality, germinate consistently, deter insect pests, and resist diseases. Genotype by environment rank changes can occur in the performance of cultivars grown on conventional and organic farms, yet few varieties have been bred specifically for organic systems. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the changes made to open-pollinated sweet corn populations using recurrent selection and a participatory plant breeding (PPB methodology. From 2008 to 2011, four cycles of two open-pollinated (OP sweet corn populations were selected on a certified organic farm in Minnesota using a modified ear-to-row recurrent selection scheme. Selections were made in collaboration with an organic farmer, with selection criteria based on traits identified by the farmer. In 2012 and 2013, the population cycles were evaluated in a randomized complete block design in two certified organic locations in Wisconsin, with multiple replications in each environment. Significant linear trends were found among cycles of selection for quantitative and qualitative traits, suggesting the changes were due to recurrent selection and PPB methodology for these populations. However, further improvement is necessary to satisfy the requirements for a useful cultivar for organic growers.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In this study we compare outlier loci detected using a FST based method with those identified by a recently described method based on spatial analysis (SAM. We tested a panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs previously genotyped in individuals of goat breeds of southern areas of the Mediterranean basin (Italy, Greece and Albania. We evaluate how the SAM method performs with SNPs, which are increasingly employed due to their high number, low cost and easy of scoring. Results The combined use of the two outlier detection approaches, never tested before using SNP polymorphisms, resulted in the identification of the same three loci involved in milk and meat quality data by using the two methods, while the FST based method identified 3 more loci as under selection sweep in the breeds examined. Conclusion Data appear congruent by using the two methods for FST values exceeding the 99% confidence limits. The methods of FST and SAM can independently detect signatures of selection and therefore can reduce the probability of finding false positives if employed together. The outlier loci identified in this study could indicate adaptive variation in the analysed species, characterized by a large range of climatic conditions in the rearing areas and by a history of intense trade, that implies plasticity in adapting to new environments.
Brock M Huntsman
Full Text Available Density-dependent (DD and density-independent (DI habitat selection is strongly linked to a species' evolutionary history. Determining the relative importance of each is necessary because declining populations are not always the result of altered DI mechanisms but can often be the result of DD via a reduced carrying capacity. We developed spatially and temporally explicit models throughout the Chena River, Alaska to predict important DI mechanisms that influence Chinook salmon spawning success. We used resource-selection functions to predict suitable spawning habitat based on geomorphic characteristics, a semi-distributed water-and-energy balance hydrologic model to generate stream flow metrics, and modeled stream temperature as a function of climatic variables. Spawner counts were predicted throughout the core and periphery spawning sections of the Chena River from escapement estimates (DD and DI variables. Additionally, we used isodar analysis to identify whether spawners actively defend spawning habitat or follow an ideal free distribution along the riverscape. Aerial counts were best explained by escapement and reference to the core or periphery, while no models with DI variables were supported in the candidate set. Furthermore, isodar plots indicated habitat selection was best explained by ideal free distributions, although there was strong evidence for active defense of core spawning habitat. Our results are surprising, given salmon commonly defend spawning resources, and are likely due to competition occurring at finer spatial scales than addressed in this study.
Full Text Available Intensification in rice crop production is generally understood as requiring increased use of material inputs: water, inorganic fertilizers, and agrochemicals. However, this is not the only kind of intensification available. More productive crop phenotypes, with traits such as more resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and shorter crop cycles, are possible through modifications in the management of rice plants, soil, water, and nutrients, reducing rather than increasing material inputs. Greater factor productivity can be achieved through the application of new knowledge and more skill, and (initially more labor, as seen from the System of Rice Intensification (SRI, whose practices are used in various combinations by as many as 10 million farmers on about 4 million hectares in over 50 countries. The highest yields achieved with these management methods have come from hybrids and improved rice varieties, confirming the importance of making genetic improvements. However, unimproved varieties are also responsive to these changes, which induce better growth and functioning of rice root systems and more abundance, diversity, and activity of beneficial soil organisms. Some of these organisms as symbiotic endophytes can affect and enhance the expression of rice plants' genetic potential as well as their phenotypic resilience to multiple stresses, including those of climate change. SRI experience and data suggest that decades of plant breeding have been selecting for the best crop genetic endowments under suboptimal growing conditions, with crowding of plants that impedes their photosynthesis and growth, flooding of rice paddies that causes roots to degenerate and forgoes benefits derived from aerobic soil organisms, and overuse of agrochemicals that adversely affect these organisms as well as soil and human health. This review paper reports evidence from research in India and Indonesia that changes in crop and water management can improve the
Full Text Available Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France, a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable, 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable. The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2 and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2 and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer or when flight conditions were poor (winter, limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools
Monsarrat, Sophie; Benhamou, Simon; Sarrazin, François; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Bouten, Willem; Duriez, Olivier
Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2)) and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2)) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for managing
Nirea Kahsay G
Full Text Available Abstract Background Simulation studies have shown that accuracy and genetic gain are increased in genomic selection schemes compared to traditional aquaculture sib-based schemes. In genomic selection, accuracy of selection can be maximized by increasing the precision of the estimation of SNP effects and by maximizing the relationships between test sibs and candidate sibs. Another means of increasing the accuracy of the estimation of SNP effects is to create individuals in the test population with extreme genotypes. The latter approach was studied here with creation of double haploids and use of non-random mating designs. Methods Six alternative breeding schemes were simulated in which the design of the test population was varied: test sibs inherited maternal (Mat, paternal (Pat or a mixture of maternal and paternal (MatPat double haploid genomes or test sibs were obtained by maximum coancestry mating (MaxC, minimum coancestry mating (MinC, or random (RAND mating. Three thousand test sibs and 3000 candidate sibs were genotyped. The test sibs were recorded for a trait that could not be measured on the candidates and were used to estimate SNP effects. Selection was done by truncation on genome-wide estimated breeding values and 100 individuals were selected as parents each generation, equally divided between both sexes. Results Results showed a 7 to 19% increase in selection accuracy and a 6 to 22% increase in genetic gain in the MatPat scheme compared to the RAND scheme. These increases were greater with lower heritabilities. Among all other scenarios, i.e. Mat, Pat, MaxC, and MinC, no substantial differences in selection accuracy and genetic gain were observed. Conclusions In conclusion, a test population designed with a mixture of paternal and maternal double haploids, i.e. the MatPat scheme, increases substantially the accuracy of selection and genetic gain. This will be particularly interesting for traits that cannot be recorded on the
Filla, Marc; Premier, Joseph; Magg, Nora; Dupke, Claudia; Khorozyan, Igor; Waltert, Matthias; Bufka, Luděk; Heurich, Marco
The greatest threat to the protected Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx ) in Central Europe is human-induced mortality. As the availability of lynx prey often peaks in human-modified areas, lynx have to balance successful prey hunting with the risk of encounters with humans. We hypothesized that lynx minimize this risk by adjusting habitat choices to the phases of the day and over seasons. We predicted that (1) due to avoidance of human-dominated areas during daytime, lynx range use is higher at nighttime, that (2) prey availability drives lynx habitat selection at night, whereas high cover, terrain inaccessibility, and distance to human infrastructure drive habitat selection during the day, and that (3) habitat selection also differs between seasons, with altitude being a dominant factor in winter. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed telemetry data (GPS, VHF) of 10 lynx in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (Germany, Czech Republic) between 2005 and 2013 using generalized additive mixed models and considering various predictor variables. Night ranges exceeded day ranges by more than 10%. At night, lynx selected open habitats, such as meadows, which are associated with high ungulate abundance. By contrast, during the day, lynx selected habitats offering dense understorey cover and rugged terrain away from human infrastructure. In summer, land-cover type greatly shaped lynx habitats, whereas in winter, lynx selected lower altitudes. We concluded that open habitats need to be considered for more realistic habitat models and contribute to future management and conservation (habitat suitability, carrying capacity) of Eurasian lynx in Central Europe.
Full Text Available A model developed for Zostera marina was adapted and used to select suitable areas for Posidonia oceanica transplantation in the Gulf of Palermo, where recent rehabilitation programmes have reduced human pressure. This model consists of three steps: (1 habitat selection, by calculation of the Preliminary Transplant Suitability Index (PTSI; (2 field assessments and test-transplanting, to evaluate the site suitability and to estimate the effects of tearing on transplant units (about 50%; (3 identification of suitable restoration sites, by calculation of the Transplant Suitability Index (TSI. A new parameter was added to the literature model: the number of grids detached, which is linked to factors (hydrodynamic regime, anchoring, fishing that have a potentially great effect on the final outcome of the transplant. Only one site (TSI = 16 in the Gulf of Palermo was indicated as potentially suitable for restoration with P. oceanica. In this site, a transplant of 40 m2 was implemented. From 2008 to 2014, transplant effectiveness was evaluated in terms of establishment, detachment and mortality of cuttings and shoot density. The long-term monitoring (6 years allowed us to detect changes in the structural conditions of the transplanted meadow and to identify the possible turning point in P. oceanica recovery (2 years after transplanting. Moreover, 6 years after transplantation the P. oceanica meadow has exceeded the transplant shoot density of about 16%, with a mean and a maximum value of 11.6 and 17 shoots per cutting, respectively.
Jonas, I.; Schubert, K. A.; Reijne, A. C.; Scholte, J.; Garland, T.; Gerkema, M. P.; Scheurink, A. J. W.; Nyakas, C.; van Dijk, G.; Garland Jr., T.; Maxson, Stephen
Voluntary physical activity may be related to personality traits. Here, we investigated these relations in two mouse lines selectively bred for high voluntary wheel-running behavior and in one non-selected control line. Selection lines were more explorative and "information gathering" in the
Phocas, F; Belloc, C; Bidanel, J; Delaby, L; Dourmad, J Y; Dumont, B; Ezanno, P; Fortun-Lamothe, L; Foucras, G; Frappat, B; González-García, E; Hazard, D; Larzul, C; Lubac, S; Mignon-Grasteau, S; Moreno, C R; Tixier-Boichard, M; Brochard, M
Agroecology uses natural processes and local resources rather than chemical inputs to ensure production while limiting the environmental footprint of livestock and crop production systems. Selecting to achieve a maximization of target production criteria has long proved detrimental to fitness traits. However, since the 1990s, developments in animal breeding have also focussed on animal robustness by balancing production and functional traits within overall breeding goals. We discuss here how an agroecological perspective should further shift breeding goals towards functional traits rather than production traits. Breeding for robustness aims to promote individual adaptive capacities by considering diverse selection criteria which include reproduction, animal health and welfare, and adaptation to rough feed resources, a warm climate or fluctuating environmental conditions. It requires the consideration of genotype×environment interactions in the prediction of breeding values. Animal performance must be evaluated in low-input systems in order to select those animals that are adapted to limiting conditions, including feed and water availability, climate variations and diseases. Finally, we argue that there is no single agroecological animal type, but animals with a variety of profiles that can meet the expectations of agroecology. The standardization of both animals and breeding conditions indeed appears contradictory to the agroecological paradigm that calls for an adaptation of animals to local opportunities and constraints in weakly artificialized systems tied to their physical environment.
Full Text Available Field studies were conducted in two years using 638 F2 and 1185 F3 lines of selected 16 F1 and 15 F2 parent lines (³80 pods plant-1 to evaluate pod number and CO2 exchange rate (CER as selection criteria. Pod and seed number, and seed weight of individual lines were observed during harvesting time, and CER of randomly selected 32 F2 and 30 F3 lines was measured at initial seed filling stage. The selection of F2 lines based on pod number to generate F3 lines increased the average of seed yield by 39%, and pod number by 77% in F3 lines compared with F2 lines. A close relationships was found between seed weight and pod or seed number per plant. Net CER responded sensitively to a reduction of light in a short-term and showed 78% of F2 lines and all F3 lines with maximum CER (Pmax³20 mmolCO2.m-2.s-1. The ratio of pod number per plant and Pmax varied between lines and were used to group lines resulting in close relationships between Pmax and pod number. It is concluded that the use of pod number and CER (Pmax as selection criteria offers an alternative approach in soybean breeding for high yield.
Indicators of breed composition such as hair color and ear length often result in increased or decreased prices of young calves marketed into feedlots. Similarly, feedlot research trials are often initiated with blended cattle from multiple sources with little more than coat color used as a blockin...
Takai, Toshiyuki; Adachi, Shunsuke; Taguchi-Shiobara, Fumio; Sanoh-Arai, Yumiko; Iwasawa, Norio; Yoshinaga, Satoshi; Hirose, Sakiko; Taniguchi, Yojiro; Yamanouchi, Utako; Wu, Jianzhong; Matsumoto, Takashi; Sugimoto, Kazuhiko; Kondo, Katsuhiko; Ikka, Takashi; Ando, Tsuyu; Kono, Izumi; Ito, Sachie; Shomura, Ayahiko; Ookawa, Taiichiro; Hirasawa, Tadashi; Yano, Masahiro; Kondo, Motohiko; Yamamoto, Toshio
Improvement of leaf photosynthesis is an important strategy for greater crop productivity. Here we show that the quantitative trait locus GPS (GREEN FOR PHOTOSYNTHESIS) in rice (Oryza sativa L.) controls photosynthesis rate by regulating carboxylation efficiency. Map-based cloning revealed that GPS is identical to NAL1 (NARROW LEAF1), a gene previously reported to control lateral leaf growth. The high-photosynthesis allele of GPS was found to be a partial loss-of-function allele of NAL1. This allele increased mesophyll cell number between vascular bundles, which led to thickened leaves, and it pleiotropically enhanced photosynthesis rate without the detrimental side effects observed in previously identified nal1 mutants, such as dwarf plant stature. Furthermore, pedigree analysis suggested that rice breeders have repeatedly selected the high-photosynthesis allele in high-yield breeding programs. The identification and utilization of NAL1 (GPS) can enhance future high-yield breeding and provides a new strategy for increasing rice productivity. PMID:23985993
Pan, Yen-Ju; Souissi, Anissa; Sadovskaya, Irina
In this study, we conducted a novel approach of selective breeding by using temperature acclimation to enhance the aquaculture potential of the tropical cyclopoid copepod Apocyclops royi. Two copepod culture strains were acclimated separately at high (28°C, control strain) and low (18°C, selective...
Brown, Matthew B G J; Gemmill, Chrissen E C; Miller, Steven; Wehi, Priscilla M
Insects are important but overlooked components of forest ecosystems in New Zealand. For many insect species, information on foraging patterns and trophic relationships is lacking. We examined diet composition and selectivity in a large-bodied insect, the Auckland tree wētā Hemideina thoracica , in three habitat zones in a lowland New Zealand forest. We asked whether H. thoracica selectively forage from available plant food sources, and whether these choices were lipid-rich compared to nonpreferred available plants. We also identified the proportion of invertebrates in their frass as a proxy for omnivory. From reconnaissance plot sampling, together with fecal fragment analysis, we report that more than 93% of individual tree wētā had eaten invertebrates before capture. Additionally, wētā in the highest elevation hillslope habitat zone consumed significantly fewer species of plants on average than wētā on the low-elevation terrace habitat. Upper hillslope wētā also had the highest average number of invertebrate fragments in their frass, significantly more than wētā in the low-elevation terrace habitat zone. Wētā showed high variability in the consumption of fruit and seeds across all habitat zones. Generally, we did not observe diet differences between the sexes (although it appears that male wētā in the mid-hillslope habitat ate fruits and seeds more voraciously than females), suggesting that the sexes have similar niche breadths and display similar degrees of omnivorous behavior. Extraction of leaf lipids demonstrated a range of lipid content values in available plants, and Ivlev's Electivity Index indicated that plant species which demonstrated high electivity tended to have higher concentrations of lipids in their leaves. Our findings indicate that H. thoracica forage omnivorously and selectively, and hence play multiple roles in native ecosystems and food webs.
Windig, J.J.; Hoving, A.H.
National legislation to breed for scrapie resistence was changed in 2007. The obligatory use of ARR/ARR rams was suspended in that year. Breeding for scrapie resistance is, however, still stimulated and not suspended. In this report a general advice on how to continue breeding for scrapie resistance
Leite, D C; Pinheiro, J B; Campos, J B; Di Mauro, A O; Unêda-Trevisoli, S H
The present study was undertaken to detect and map the quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to soybean oil content. We used 244 progenies derived from a bi-parental cross of the Lineage 69 (from Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho"/Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias - Breeding Program) and Tucunaré cultivar. A total of 358 simple sequence repeat (SSR; microsatellite) markers were used to investigate the polymorphism between the parental lines, and for the polymorphic lines all the F2 individuals were tested. Evaluation of the oil content and phenotype was performed with the aid of a Tango equipment by near infra-red reflectance spectroscopy, using single F2 seeds and F2:3 progenies, in triplicate. The data were analyzed by QTL Cartographer program for 56 SSR polymorphic markers. Two oil-content related QTLs were detected on K and H linkage groups. The total phenotypic variation explained by QTLs ranged from 7.8 to 46.75% for oil content. New QTLs were identified for the oil content in addition to those previously identified in other studies. The results reported in this study show that regions different from those already known could be involved in the genetic control of soybean oil content.
Selection and Breeding of Cattle in Asia: Strategies and Criteria for Improved Breeding. Prepared under the Framework of an RCA Project with the Technical Support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific Region (RCA), with the technical support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, implemented a Technical Cooperation (TC) project entitled Integrated Approach for Improving Livestock Production Using Indigenous Resources and Conserving the Environment (RAS/5/044). The 23 project counterparts and the IAEA technical officer, based on the lack of standard practices in the region with regard to selection of cattle for breeding purposes, and the need to properly manage the genetic resources within each country for improving the productivity of the existing stock while maintaining the unique and beneficial genetic characteristics of the indigenous breeds, agreed during the first meeting to request the IAEA to recruit a group of experts with the task of preparing guidelines for the selection and breeding of cattle and buffalo on the Asian continent. To address these recommendations, an experts meeting on Selection Criteria for Breeding Heifers was organized and held in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. The meeting was hosted by the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) from 6 to 10 February 2006. It was attended by six foreign experts and two local experts, and was supported by the technical officer of RAS/5/044. The experts from countries participating in RAS/5/044 gave presentations on the current state of cattle breeding in their countries and two experts working in industrialized countries within the region (New Zealand and Australia) informed the participants about the existing cattle breeding programmes in their respective countries and offered their perspectives on how similar approaches could be transferred to the Member States participating in RAS/5/044. All experts also made a field visit to a prominent dairy-producing region, to experience at first-hand some of the current programmes
Two generations of selection on restricted BLUP breeding values were applied in an experiment with laying hens. Selection had been on phenotype of income minus feed cost (IFC) between 21 and 40 wk of age in the previous five generations. The restriction of no genetic change in egg weight was included in the EBV for power-transformed IFC (i.e., IFCt, with t-values of 3.7 and 3.6 in the two generations, respectively). The experiment consisted of two selection lines plus a randomly bred control of 20 male and 80 female breeders each. Observations on 8,844 survivors to 40 wk were available. Relative to the base population average, the restriction reduced genetic gain in IFC from 4.1 and 3.9% to 2.0 and 2.2% per generation in the two selection lines, respectively. Average EBV for egg weight remained nearly constant after a strong increase in the previous five generations. Rates of genetic gain for egg number, body weight, and feed conversion (feed/egg mass) were not affected significantly. In the seventh generation, a genetic gain in feed conversion of 10.3% relative to the phenotypic mean of the base population was obtained.
Michalski, Marek; Nadolski, Jerzy
A long-term study on thermal conditions in selected urban and semi-natural habitats, where human corpses are likely to be found, was conducted in the city of Lodz (Central Poland). Thermal data were collected during two years at nine sites and compared with corresponding data from the nearest permanent meteorological station at Lodz Airport (ICAO code: EPLL). The conditions closest to those at the meteorological station prevailed in the deciduous forest, coefficient of determination R 2 for those sets of data was above 0.96. The open field was characterized by high daily amplitudes, especially during spring, while the site in the allotment gardens was characterized by relatively high winter temperatures. The conditions prevailing in all closed space sites were very diverse and only slightly similar to the external ones. The most distinct site was an unheated basement in a tenement house, where temperature was almost always above 0°C and daily amplitudes were negligible. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Alcinei Mistico Azevedo
Full Text Available The efficiency of artificial neural networks (ANN to model complex problems may enable the prediction of characteristics that are hard to measure, providing better results than the traditional indirect selection. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the potential of using artificial neural networks (ANN for indirect selection against early flowering in lettuce, identify the influence of genotype by environment interaction in this strategy and compare your results with the traditional indirect selection. The number of days to anthesis were used as the desired output and the information of six characteristics (fresh weight of shoots, mass of marketable fresh matter of shoots, commercial dry matter of shoots, average diameter of the head, head circumference and leaf number as input file for the training of the ANN-MLP (Perceptron Multi-Layer. The use of ANN has great potential adjustment for indirect selection for genetic improvement of lettuce against early flowering. The selection based on the predicted values by network provided estimates of gain selection largest that traditional indirect selection. The ANN trained with data from an experiment have low power extrapolation to another experiment, due to effect of interaction genotype by environment. The ANNs trained simultaneously with data from different experiments presented greater predictive power and extrapolation.
Kjøglum, Sissel; Henryon, Mark; Aasmundstad, Torunn
We reasoned that by challenging large numbers of Atlantic salmon families with the causative agents of furunculosis, infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) and infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN), we could show unequivocally that resistance to these diseases expresses moderate-to-high levels of additive...... genetic variation, and that the resistances are weakly correlated genetically. We tested this reasoning by challenging Atlantic salmon from 920 (approximately) full-sib families with the causative agents of furunculosis and ISA, and fish from 265 of these families with the causative agent of IPN. Additive...... indicate that it should be relatively easy to improve resistance to the diseases simultaneously. We believe that there is now strong evidence that selectively breeding Atlantic salmon for resistance can be highly successful...
Howard B. Stauffer; Cynthia J. Zabel; Jeffrey R. Dunk
We compared a set of competing logistic regression habitat selection models for Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in California. The habitat selection models were estimated, compared, evaluated, and tested using multiple sample datasets collected on federal forestlands in northern California. We used Bayesian methods in interpreting...
Full Text Available Biotelemetry is increasingly used to study animal movement at high spatial and temporal resolution and guide conservation and resource management. Yet, limited sample sizes and variation in space and habitat use across regions and life stages may compromise robustness of behavioral analyses and subsequent conservation plans. Here, we assessed variation in (i home range sizes, (ii home range selection, and (iii fine-scale resource selection of white storks across breeding status and regions and test model transferability. Three study areas were chosen within the Central German breeding grounds ranging from agricultural to fluvial and marshland. We monitored GPS-locations of 62 adult white storks equipped with solar-charged GPS/3D-acceleration (ACC transmitters in 2013–2014. Home range sizes were estimated using minimum convex polygons. Generalized linear mixed models were used to assess home range selection and fine-scale resource selection by relating the home ranges and foraging sites to Corine habitat variables and normalized difference vegetation index in a presence/pseudo-absence design. We found strong variation in home range sizes across breeding stages with significantly larger home ranges in non-breeding compared to breeding white storks, but no variation between regions. Home range selection models had high explanatory power and well predicted overall density of Central German white stork breeding pairs. Also, they showed good transferability across regions and breeding status although variable importance varied considerably. Fine-scale resource selection models showed low explanatory power. Resource preferences differed both across breeding status and across regions, and model transferability was poor. Our results indicate that habitat selection of wild animals may vary considerably within and between populations, and is highly scale dependent. Thereby, home range scale analyses show higher robustness whereas fine-scale resource
Mikami, H; Nishibata, R; Kawamoto, Y; Ino, T
We developed two lines of guinea pigs, one as model animals for bronchial asthma with bronchial hypersensitivity and the other with hyposensitivity as a control. In the last four years, the bronchial hypersensitive line (BHS) and hyposensitive line (BHR), both derived from Hartley strain guinea pigs, have been selected by using bronchial reactivity to acetylcholine and to histamine as parameters. Both lines have reached the F6 generation. The following results were obtained with the two lines: 1) Sib and cous in matings, and mating of selected consanguineous individuals were adopted in breeding BHS and BHR. The breeding started with six families, each, but in the F6 generation the number of families decreased to two in each line. 2) Appearance rates of hyper- or hyposensitivity to acetylcholine and histamine increased with successive generations in both lines, which had been completely separated by the F6 generation. 3) Coefficients of inbreeding in BHS and BHR in the F6 generation ranged from 42% to 45% in the former and 42% in the latter. 4) Heritabilities (h2) of BHS and BHR for the appearance rates of sensitivity to acetylcholine were presumed to be 0.54 in the former and 0.69 in the latter. 5) No difference in the body weight of 0, 20, and 40 day-old BHS was observed in any generation. On the other hand, the body weight of 20 and 40 day-old BHR tended to decrease with successive generations. 6) Mean litter sizes of BHS and BHR in each of the generations ranged from 2.24 to 3.47 animals in the former and from 2.63 to 3.38 animals in the latter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Johnson, D.H.; Grier, J.W.
The settling of breeding habitat by migratory waterfowl is a topic of both theoretical and practical interest. We use the results of surveys conducted annually during 1955-81 in major breeding areas to examine the factors that affect the distributions of 10 common North American duck species. Three patterns of settling are described: homing, opportunistic, and flexible. Homing is generally more pronounced among species that use more stable (more predictable) wetlands, such as the redhead (Aythya americana), canvasback (A. valisineria), lesser scaup (A. affinis), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (Anas strepera), and northern shoveler (Anas clypeata). Opportunistic settling is more prevalent among species that use less stable (less predictable) wetlands, such as northern pintail (Anas acuta) and blue-winged teal (Anas discors). Flexible settling is exhibited to various degrees by most species.The 10 species are shown to fall along a natural ordination reflecting different life history characteristics. Average values of indices of r- and K-selection indicated that pintail, mallard, blue-winged teal, and shoveler have the most features associated with unstable or unpredictable environments. Gadwall, American wigeon (Anas americana), and green-winged teal (Anas crecca) were intermediate, and attributes of the diving ducks were associated with the use of stable or predictable environments.Some species--notably mallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal, redhead, and canvasback--tend to fill available breeding habitat first in the central portions of their range, and secondly in peripheral areas. Other species--American wigeon, green-winged teal, northern shoveler, northern pintail, and lesser scaup--fill their habitat in the order it is encountered during spring migration.Age and sex classes within species vary in their settling pattern. Some of this variation can be predicted from the mating systems of ducks in which breeding females, especially successful ones, have a
Deperno, Christopher Shannon
Habitat selection, survival rates, the Black Hills National Forest Habitat Capability Model (HABCAP), and the USDA Forest Service Geographic Information System (GIS) data base were evaluated for a declining white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus dacotensis) herd in the central Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. From July 1993 through July 1996, 73 adult and yearling female and 12 adult and yearling male white-tailed deer were radiocollared and visually monitored. Habitat information was collected at 4,662 white-tailed deer locations and 1,087 random locations. Natural mortality (71%) was the primary cause of female mortality, followed by harvest (22.5%) and accidental causes (6.5%). More females died in spring (53.2%) than in fall (22.6%), winter (14.5%), or summer (9.7%). Male mortality resulted from hunting in fall (66.7%) and natural causes in spring (33.3%). Survival rates for all deer by year were 62.1% in 1993, 51.1% in 1994, 56.4% in 1995, and 53.9% in 1996 and were similar (P = 0.691) across years. During winter, white-tailed deer selected ponderosa pine- (Pinus ponderosa ) deciduous and burned pine cover types. Overstory-understory habitats selected included pine/grass-forb, pine/bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), pine/snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), burned pine/grass-forb, and pine/shrub habitats. Structural stages selected included sapling-pole pine stands with >70% canopy cover, burned pine sapling-pole and saw-timber stands with 40% canopy cover and all sapling-pole pine structural stages; sapling-pole stands with >70% canopy cover received the greatest use. White-tailed deer primarily fed in pine saw-timber structural stage with less than 40% canopy cover. Overall, selected habitats contained lower amounts of grass/forb, shrubs, and litter than random locations. Male and female deer generally bedded in areas that were characterized by greater horizontal cover than feeding and random sites. When feeding and bedding sites were combined
Bhering, L L; Junqueira, V S; Peixoto, L A; Cruz, C D; Laviola, B G
The aim of this study was to evaluate different methods used in genomic selection, and to verify those that select a higher proportion of individuals with superior genotypes. Thus, F2 populations of different sizes were simulated (100, 200, 500, and 1000 individuals) with 10 replications each. These consisted of 10 linkage groups (LG) of 100 cM each, containing 100 equally spaced markers per linkage group, of which 200 controlled the characteristics, defined as the 20 initials of each LG. Genetic and phenotypic values were simulated assuming binomial distribution of effects for each LG, and the absence of dominance. For phenotypic values, heritabilities of 20, 50, and 80% were considered. To compare methodologies, the analysis processing time, coefficient of coincidence (selection of 5, 10, and 20% of superior individuals), and Spearman correlation between true genetic values, and the genomic values predicted by each methodology were determined. Considering the processing time, the three methodologies were statistically different, rrBLUP was the fastest, and Bayesian LASSO was the slowest. Spearman correlation revealed that the rrBLUP and GBLUP methodologies were equivalent, and Bayesian LASSO provided the lowest correlation values. Similar results were obtained in coincidence variables among the individuals selected, in which Bayesian LASSO differed statistically and presented a lower value than the other methodologies. Therefore, for the scenarios evaluated, rrBLUP is the best methodology for the selection of genetically superior individuals.
Curran, Janet H.; Rice, William J.
Small streams in the rapidly developing Matanuska-Susitna Valley in south-central Alaska are known to support anadromous and resident fish but little is known about their hydrologic and riparian conditions, or their sensitivity to the rapid development of the area or climate variability. To help address this need, channel geometry and aquatic habitat data were collected in 2005 as a baseline of stream conditions for selected streams. Three streams were selected as representative of various stream types, and one drainage network, the Big Lake drainage basin, was selected for a systematic assessment. Streams in the Big Lake basin were drawn in a Geographic Information System (GIS), and 55 reaches along 16 miles of Meadow Creek and its primary tributary Little Meadow Creek were identified from orthoimagery and field observations on the basis of distinctive physical and habitat parameters, most commonly gradient, substrate, and vegetation. Data-collection methods for sites at the three representative reaches and the 55 systematically studied reaches consisted of a field survey of channel and flood-plain geometry and collection of 14 habitat attributes using published protocols or slight modifications. Width/depth and entrenchment ratios along the Meadow-Little Meadow Creek corridor were large and highly variable upstream of Parks Highway and lower and more consistent downstream of Parks Highway. Channel width was strongly correlated with distance, increasing downstream in a log-linear relation. Runs formed the most common habitat type, and instream vegetation dominated the habitat cover types, which collectively covered 53 percent of the channel. Gravel suitable for spawning covered isolated areas along Meadow Creek and about 29 percent of Little Meadow Creek. Broad wetlands were common along both streams. For a comprehensive assessment of small streams in the Mat-Su Valley, critical additional data needs include hydrologic, geologic and geomorphic, and biologic data
Full Text Available Domesticated animals provide a unique opportunity to identify genomic targets of artificial selection to the captive environment. Here, we screened three independent domesticated/captive Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar strains and their wild progenitor populations in an effort to detect potential signals of domestication selection by typing of 261 SNPs and 70 microsatellite loci. By combining information from four different neutrality tests, in total ten genomic regions showed signs of directional selection based on multiple sources of evidence. Most of the identified candidate regions were rather small ranging from zero to a few centimorgans (cM in the female Atlantic salmon linkage map. We also evaluated how adaptation from standing variation affects adjacent SNP and microsatellite variation along the chromosomes and, by using forward simulations with strong selection, we were able to generate genetic differentiation patterns comparable to the observed data. This study highlights the significance of standing genetic variation during the early stages of adaptation and represents a useful step towards identifying functional variants involved in domestication of Atlantic salmon.
Mittal, N.; Saarman, N. P.; Pogson, G.
Introduced species contribute to decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Introduced species threaten native species by increasing competition for space and resources, changing their habitat, and disrupting species interactions. Protecting native species is crucial to preserving ecosystem services (i.e. medicinal, agricultural, ecological, and cultural benefits) for future generations. In marine communities, the number of invasive species is dramatically increasing every year, further magnifying the negative impact on native species. This research determines if habitat-specific selection can protect native species from their invasive relatives, and could allow targeted habitat restoration for native species to maintain high levels of biodiversity. Blue mussels provide an ideal system for studying the impact of an invasive species (Mytilus galloprovincialis) on native mussels (M. trossulus), because M. galloprovincialis is marked as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. Hybridization between M. galloprovincialis and M. trossulus occurs wherever their distributions overlap (i.e. Japan, Puget Sound, and central California). In central California, hybrids form in a broad variety of habitats ever since M. galloprovincialis was introduced about 100 years ago. The current level of threat posed to native mussels in central California is unknown. When population growth rate of an invasive species is higher than the native within a hybrid zone, the invader's genes become more prominent in the hybrids than the native species' genes. This uneven mix of genes and decrease of pure native mussels threatens to drive M. trossulus to extinction. Therefore, it is important to research which environment fosters highest success of pure native species. We conducted a field experiment in San Francisco Bay where mussels were reared in different habitats. We then collected samples and extracted DNA from each treatment, and genotyped them by a next-generation sequencing
Drobney, R.D.; Schulz, J.H.; Sheriff, S.L.; Fuemmeler, W.J.
Previous Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nesting studies conducted in areas containing a mixture of edge and continuous habitats have focused on edge habitats. Consequently, little is known about the potential contribution of continuous habitats to dove production. In this study we evaluated the relative importance of these two extensive habitat types by monitoring the habitat use and nest success of 59 radio-marked doves during 1990-1991 in central Missouri. Of 83 nests initiated by our marked sample, most (81.9%) were located in edge habitats. Although continuous habitats were selected less as nest sites, the proportion of successful nests did not differ significantly from that in edge habitats. Our data indicate that continuous habitats should not be considered marginal nesting habitat. If the intensity of use and nest success that we observed are representative regionally or nationally, continuous habitats could contribute substantially to annual Mourning Dove production because of the high availability of these habitats throughout much of the Mourning Dove breeding range.
Full Text Available Abstract Effective selection on the PrP gene has been implemented since October 2001 in all French sheep breeds. After four years, the ARR "resistant" allele frequency increased by about 35% in young males. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of this strong selection on genetic variability. It is focussed on four French sheep breeds and based on the comparison of two groups of 94 animals within each breed: the first group of animals was born before the selection began, and the second, 3–4 years later. Genetic variability was assessed using genealogical and molecular data (29 microsatellite markers. The expected loss of genetic variability on the PrP gene was confirmed. Moreover, among the five markers located in the PrP region, only the three closest ones were affected. The evolution of the number of alleles, heterozygote deficiency within population, expected heterozygosity and the Reynolds distances agreed with the criteria from pedigree and pointed out that neutral genetic variability was not much affected. This trend depended on breed, i.e. on their initial states (population size, PrP frequencies and on the selection strategies for improving scrapie resistance while carrying out selection for production traits.
Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we provide a quantitative characterization of agricultural habitats and their use by Black-tailed Godwits Limosa I. limosa in the south-western part of the province of Friesland, The Netherlands, in ...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Aspen naturally grows in large, single-species, even-aged stands that regenerate clonally after fire disturbance. This offers an opportunity for an intensive clonal forestry system that closely emulates the natural life history of the species. In this paper, we assess the potential of genetic tree improvement and clonal deployment to enhance the productivity of aspen forests in Alberta. We further investigate geographic patterns of genetic variation in aspen and infer forest management strategies under uncertain future climates. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Genetic variation among 242 clones from Alberta was evaluated in 13 common garden trials after 5-8 growing seasons in the field. Broad-sense heritabilities for height and diameter at breast height (DBH ranged from 0.36 to 0.64, allowing 5-15% genetic gains in height and 9-34% genetic gains in DBH. Geographic partitioning of genetic variance revealed predominant latitudinal genetic differentiation. We further observed that northward movement of clones almost always resulted in increased growth relative to local planting material, while southward movement had a strong opposite effect. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Aspen forests are an important natural resource in western Canada that is used for pulp and oriented strandboard production, accounting for ~40% of the total forest harvest. Moderate to high broad-sense heritabilities in growth traits suggest good potential for a genetic tree improvement program with aspen. Significant productivity gains appear possible through clonal selection from existing trials. We propose two breeding regions for Alberta, and suggest that well-tested southern clones may be used in the northern breeding region, accounting for a general warming trend observed over the last several decades in Alberta.
Gylander, Tim; Hamann, Andreas; Brouard, Jean S.; Thomas, Barb R.
Background Aspen naturally grows in large, single-species, even-aged stands that regenerate clonally after fire disturbance. This offers an opportunity for an intensive clonal forestry system that closely emulates the natural life history of the species. In this paper, we assess the potential of genetic tree improvement and clonal deployment to enhance the productivity of aspen forests in Alberta. We further investigate geographic patterns of genetic variation in aspen and infer forest management strategies under uncertain future climates. Methodology/Principal Findings Genetic variation among 242 clones from Alberta was evaluated in 13 common garden trials after 5–8 growing seasons in the field. Broad-sense heritabilities for height and diameter at breast height (DBH) ranged from 0.36 to 0.64, allowing 5–15% genetic gains in height and 9–34% genetic gains in DBH. Geographic partitioning of genetic variance revealed predominant latitudinal genetic differentiation. We further observed that northward movement of clones almost always resulted in increased growth relative to local planting material, while southward movement had a strong opposite effect. Conclusion/Significance Aspen forests are an important natural resource in western Canada that is used for pulp and oriented strandboard production, accounting for ∼40% of the total forest harvest. Moderate to high broad-sense heritabilities in growth traits suggest good potential for a genetic tree improvement program with aspen. Significant productivity gains appear possible through clonal selection from existing trials. We propose two breeding regions for Alberta, and suggest that well-tested southern clones may be used in the northern breeding region, accounting for a general warming trend observed over the last several decades in Alberta. PMID:22957006
Araújo, Cristiano V M; Rodríguez, Elizabeth N V; Salvatierra, David; Cedeño-Macias, Luis A; Vera-Vera, Victoria C; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui
Habitat selection by fish is the outcome of a choice between different stimuli. Typically, the presence of food tends to attract organisms, while contamination triggers an avoidance response to prevent toxic effects. Given that both food and contaminants are not homogeneously distributed in the environment and that food can be available in contaminated zones, a key question has been put forward in the present study: does a higher availability of food in contaminated areas interfere in the avoidance response to contaminants regardless of the contamination level? Tilapia fry (Oreochromis sp.; 2.5-3.0 cm and 0.5-0.8 g) were exposed to two different effluent samples, diluted along a free-choice, non-forced exposure system simulating a contamination gradient. Initially, avoidance to the effluents was checked during a one hour exposure. Afterwards, food was added to the system so that the availability of food increased with the increase in the level of contamination, and the avoidance response to contamination was checked during another hour. Results clearly showed a concentration-dependent avoidance response for both effluents during the first hour (i.e., with no food). However, in presence of the food, the avoidance pattern was altered: organisms were propelled to intermittently move towards contaminated areas where food availability was higher. The incursions were taken regardless of the potential risk linked to the toxic effects. In conclusion, even when the risk of toxicity was imminent, tilapia fry were more intensively stimulated by the attractiveness of the food than by repulsion to the contamination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Senar, Juan Carlos; Conroy, Michael J; Quesada, Javier; Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando
A standard approach to model how selection shapes phenotypic traits is the analysis of capture-recapture data relating trait variation to survival. Divergent selection, however, has never been analyzed by the capture-recapture approach. Most reported examples of differences between urban and nonurban animals reflect behavioral plasticity rather than divergent selection. The aim of this paper was to use a capture-recapture approach to test the hypothesis that divergent selection can also drive local adaptation in urban habitats. We focused on the size of the black breast stripe (i.e., tie width) of the great tit (Parus major), a sexual ornament used in mate choice. Urban great tits display smaller tie sizes than forest birds. Because tie size is mostly genetically determined, it could potentially respond to selection. We analyzed capture/recapture data of male great tits in Barcelona city (N = 171) and in a nearby (7 km) forest (N = 324) from 1992 to 2008 using MARK. When modelling recapture rate, we found it to be strongly influenced by tie width, so that both for urban and forest habitats, birds with smaller ties were more trap-shy and more cautious than their larger tied counterparts. When modelling survival, we found that survival prospects in forest great tits increased the larger their tie width (i.e., directional positive selection), but the reverse was found for urban birds, with individuals displaying smaller ties showing higher survival (i.e., directional negative selection). As melanin-based tie size seems to be related to personality, and both are heritable, results may be explained by cautious personalities being favored in urban environments. More importantly, our results show that divergent selection can be an important mechanism in local adaptation to urban habitats and that capture-recapture is a powerful tool to test it.
Escamilla Sanchez, Diana Marcela
Natto and sprout soybeans are produced using small-seeded soybeans and their production is a high value alternative to grow grain soybeans for food in U.S. The development of soybean cultivars with improved natto and sprout quality is crucial for maintaining and increasing the soyfood market. However, there is insufficient information on sprout soybean characteristics. Therefore, the first objective of this study was to evaluate seed and sprout traits as potential selection criteria and study...
Afik, Ohad; Dag, Arnon; Yeselson, Yelena; Schaffer, Arthur; Shafir, Sharoni
Intensive activity of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., is essential for high fruit set in avocado, Persea americana Mill., orchards, but even when hives are located inside the orchard, many bees still search for alternative blooms. We tested for a possible genetic component for a preference of avocado bloom relative to competing bloom. The honey from each hive was extracted at the end of the avocado bloom and the concentration of perseitol, a carbohydrate that is unique to avocado, was analyzed as a measure for avocado foraging. During the first year, five bee strains were compared in three different sites in Israel. Significant differences were found between strains in honey perseitol concentrations, suggesting differences in their efficiency as avocado pollinators, although these differences were site dependent. At two sites, colonies with the highest and lowest perseitol concentrations were selected as parental "high" and "low" lines. Queens were raised from the selected colonies and were instrumentally inseminated by drones from other colonies of this line. During the second and third years, colonies with inseminated queens were introduced to the avocado orchards, together with the selected colonies still surviving from the previous year. Colonies of the high line had greater perseitol concentrations than those of the low line. Selected colonies that survived from the previous year performed consistently vis-à-vis perseitol concentration, in the second year of testing. Heritability value of 0.22 was estimated based on regression of offspring on midparent. The results reveal a heritable component for willingness of honey bees to collect avocado nectar.
Blask, Katarina; Walther, Eva; Frings, Christian
We investigated in two experiments whether selective attention processes modulate evaluative conditioning (EC). Based on the fact that the typical stimuli in an EC paradigm involve an affect-laden unconditioned stimulus (US) and a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS), we started from the assumption that learning might depend in part upon selective attention to the US. Attention to the US was manipulated by including a variant of the Eriksen flanker task in the EC paradigm. Similarly to the original Flanker paradigm, we implemented a target-distracter logic by introducing the CS as the task-relevant stimulus (i.e. the target) to which the participants had to respond and the US as a task-irrelevant distracter. Experiment 1 showed that CS-US congruence modulated EC if the CS had to be selected against the US. Specifically, EC was more pronounced for congruent CS-US pairs as compared to incongruent CS-US pairs. Experiment 2 disentangled CS-US congruence and CS-US compatibility and suggested that it is indeed CS-US stimulus congruence rather than CS-US response compatibility that modulates EC.
Tracey, Jeff A.; Madden, Melanie C.; Bloom, Peter H.; Katzner, Todd E.; Fisher, Robert N.
Beginning in 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Bloom Biological, Inc., began telemetry research on golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) captured in the San Diego, Orange, and western Riverside Counties of southern California. This work was supported by the San Diego Association of Governments, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 2014, we have tracked more than 40 eagles, although this report focuses only on San Diego County eagles.An important objective of this research is to develop habitat selection models for golden eagles. Here we provide predictions of population-level habitat selection for golden eagles in San Diego County based on environmental covariates related to land use and terrain.
David I. King; Carlin C. Chandler; John H. Rappole; Richard B. Chandler; David W. Mehlman
The Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia is a federally endangered Neotropical migrant that inhabits montane pine-oak forests in Mexico and northern Central America during the non-breeding season. Although it is known that Golden-cheeked Warblers are closely associated with ‘encino’ oaks (...
Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Van Kats, R.J.M.; Melman, D.; Teunissen, W.A.
Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the
Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar
Full Text Available Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris, which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory
Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar
Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits
Social evolution has influenced every aspect of contemporary honey bee biology, but the details are difficult to reconstruct. The reproductive ground plan hypothesis of social evolution proposes that central regulators of the gonotropic cycle of solitary insects have been coopted to coordinate social complexity in honey bees, such as the division of labor among workers. The predicted trait associations between reproductive physiology and social behavior have been identified in the context of the pollen hoarding syndrome, a larger suite of interrelated traits. The genetic architecture of this syndrome is characterized by a partially overlapping genetic architecture with several consistent, pleiotropic QTL. Despite these central QTL and an integrated hormonal regulation, separate aspects of the pollen hoarding syndrome may evolve independently due to peripheral QTL and additionally segregating genetic variance. The characterization of the pollen hoarding syndrome has also demonstrated that this syndrome involves many non-behavioral traits, which may be the case for numerous "behavioral" syndromes. Furthermore, the genetic architecture of the pollen hoarding syndrome has implications for breeding programs for improving honey health and other desirable traits: If these traits are comparable to the pollen hoarding syndrome, consistent pleiotropic QTL will enable marker assisted selection, while sufficient additional genetic variation may permit the dissociation of trade-offs for efficient multiple trait selection.
Wang, Quanchao; Yu, Yang; Li, Fuhua; Zhang, Xiaojun; Xiang, Jianhai
Genomic selection (GS) can be used to accelerate genetic improvement by shortening the selection interval. The successful application of GS depends largely on the accuracy of the prediction of genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV). This study is a first attempt to understand the practicality of GS in Litopenaeus vannamei and aims to evaluate models for GS on growth traits. The performance of GS models in L. vannamei was evaluated in a population consisting of 205 individuals, which were genotyped for 6 359 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers by specific length amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) and phenotyped for body length and body weight. Three GS models (RR-BLUP, BayesA, and Bayesian LASSO) were used to obtain the GEBV, and their predictive ability was assessed by the reliability of the GEBV and the bias of the predicted phenotypes. The mean reliability of the GEBVs for body length and body weight predicted by the different models was 0.296 and 0.411, respectively. For each trait, the performances of the three models were very similar to each other with respect to predictability. The regression coefficients estimated by the three models were close to one, suggesting near to zero bias for the predictions. Therefore, when GS was applied in a L. vannamei population for the studied scenarios, all three models appeared practicable. Further analyses suggested that improved estimation of the genomic prediction could be realized by increasing the size of the training population as well as the density of SNPs.
Wathen, G.; Coghlan, S.M.; Zydlewski, Joseph D.; Trial, J.G.
Introduced smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu have invaded much of the historic freshwater habitat of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in North America, yet little is known about the ecological interactions between the two species. We investigated the possibility of competition for habitat between age-0 Atlantic salmon and age-0 and age-1 smallmouth bass by means of in situ observations and a mesocosm experiment. We used snorkel observation to identify the degree and timing of overlap in habitat use in our in situ observations and to describe habitat shifts by Atlantic salmon in the presence of smallmouth bass in our mesocosm experiments. In late July 2008, we observed substantial overlap in the depths and mean water column velocities used by both species in sympatric in situ conditions and an apparent shift by age-0 Atlantic salmon to shallower water that coincided with the period of high overlap. In the mesocosm experiments, we detected no overlap or habitat shifts by age-0 Atlantic salmon in the presence age-1 smallmouth bass and low overlap and no habitat shifts of Atlantic salmon and age-0 smallmouth bass in fall 2009. In 2009, summer floods with sustained high flows and low temperatures resulted in the nearly complete reproductive failure of the smallmouth bass in our study streams, and we did not observe a midsummer habitat shift by Atlantic salmon similar to that seen in 2008. Although this prevented us from replicating our 2008 experiments under similar conditions, the virtual year-class failure of smallmouth bass itself is enlightening. We suggest that future studies incorporate the effects of varying temperature and discharge to determine how abiotic factors affect the interactions between these species and thus mediate the outcomes of potential competition.
Genomic selection and association mapping in rice (Oryza sativa): effect of trait genetic architecture, training population composition, marker number and statistical model on accuracy of rice genomic selection in elite, tropical rice breeding lines.
Spindel, Jennifer; Begum, Hasina; Akdemir, Deniz; Virk, Parminder; Collard, Bertrand; Redoña, Edilberto; Atlin, Gary; Jannink, Jean-Luc; McCouch, Susan R
Genomic Selection (GS) is a new breeding method in which genome-wide markers are used to predict the breeding value of individuals in a breeding population. GS has been shown to improve breeding efficiency in dairy cattle and several crop plant species, and here we evaluate for the first time its efficacy for breeding inbred lines of rice. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in conjunction with five-fold GS cross-validation on a population of 363 elite breeding lines from the International Rice Research Institute's (IRRI) irrigated rice breeding program and herein report the GS results. The population was genotyped with 73,147 markers using genotyping-by-sequencing. The training population, statistical method used to build the GS model, number of markers, and trait were varied to determine their effect on prediction accuracy. For all three traits, genomic prediction models outperformed prediction based on pedigree records alone. Prediction accuracies ranged from 0.31 and 0.34 for grain yield and plant height to 0.63 for flowering time. Analyses using subsets of the full marker set suggest that using one marker every 0.2 cM is sufficient for genomic selection in this collection of rice breeding materials. RR-BLUP was the best performing statistical method for grain yield where no large effect QTL were detected by GWAS, while for flowering time, where a single very large effect QTL was detected, the non-GS multiple linear regression method outperformed GS models. For plant height, in which four mid-sized QTL were identified by GWAS, random forest produced the most consistently accurate GS models. Our results suggest that GS, informed by GWAS interpretations of genetic architecture and population structure, could become an effective tool for increasing the efficiency of rice breeding as the costs of genotyping continue to decline.
Genomic selection and association mapping in rice (Oryza sativa: effect of trait genetic architecture, training population composition, marker number and statistical model on accuracy of rice genomic selection in elite, tropical rice breeding lines.
Full Text Available Genomic Selection (GS is a new breeding method in which genome-wide markers are used to predict the breeding value of individuals in a breeding population. GS has been shown to improve breeding efficiency in dairy cattle and several crop plant species, and here we evaluate for the first time its efficacy for breeding inbred lines of rice. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS in conjunction with five-fold GS cross-validation on a population of 363 elite breeding lines from the International Rice Research Institute's (IRRI irrigated rice breeding program and herein report the GS results. The population was genotyped with 73,147 markers using genotyping-by-sequencing. The training population, statistical method used to build the GS model, number of markers, and trait were varied to determine their effect on prediction accuracy. For all three traits, genomic prediction models outperformed prediction based on pedigree records alone. Prediction accuracies ranged from 0.31 and 0.34 for grain yield and plant height to 0.63 for flowering time. Analyses using subsets of the full marker set suggest that using one marker every 0.2 cM is sufficient for genomic selection in this collection of rice breeding materials. RR-BLUP was the best performing statistical method for grain yield where no large effect QTL were detected by GWAS, while for flowering time, where a single very large effect QTL was detected, the non-GS multiple linear regression method outperformed GS models. For plant height, in which four mid-sized QTL were identified by GWAS, random forest produced the most consistently accurate GS models. Our results suggest that GS, informed by GWAS interpretations of genetic architecture and population structure, could become an effective tool for increasing the efficiency of rice breeding as the costs of genotyping continue to decline.
Genomic Selection and Association Mapping in Rice (Oryza sativa): Effect of Trait Genetic Architecture, Training Population Composition, Marker Number and Statistical Model on Accuracy of Rice Genomic Selection in Elite, Tropical Rice Breeding Lines
Spindel, Jennifer; Begum, Hasina; Akdemir, Deniz; Virk, Parminder; Collard, Bertrand; Redoña, Edilberto; Atlin, Gary; Jannink, Jean-Luc; McCouch, Susan R.
Genomic Selection (GS) is a new breeding method in which genome-wide markers are used to predict the breeding value of individuals in a breeding population. GS has been shown to improve breeding efficiency in dairy cattle and several crop plant species, and here we evaluate for the first time its efficacy for breeding inbred lines of rice. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in conjunction with five-fold GS cross-validation on a population of 363 elite breeding lines from the International Rice Research Institute's (IRRI) irrigated rice breeding program and herein report the GS results. The population was genotyped with 73,147 markers using genotyping-by-sequencing. The training population, statistical method used to build the GS model, number of markers, and trait were varied to determine their effect on prediction accuracy. For all three traits, genomic prediction models outperformed prediction based on pedigree records alone. Prediction accuracies ranged from 0.31 and 0.34 for grain yield and plant height to 0.63 for flowering time. Analyses using subsets of the full marker set suggest that using one marker every 0.2 cM is sufficient for genomic selection in this collection of rice breeding materials. RR-BLUP was the best performing statistical method for grain yield where no large effect QTL were detected by GWAS, while for flowering time, where a single very large effect QTL was detected, the non-GS multiple linear regression method outperformed GS models. For plant height, in which four mid-sized QTL were identified by GWAS, random forest produced the most consistently accurate GS models. Our results suggest that GS, informed by GWAS interpretations of genetic architecture and population structure, could become an effective tool for increasing the efficiency of rice breeding as the costs of genotyping continue to decline. PMID:25689273
Henryon, M; Berg, P; Sørensen, A C
We reasoned that mating animals by minimising the covariance between ancestral contributions (MCAC mating) will generate less inbreeding and at least as much genetic gain as minimum-coancestry mating in breeding schemes where the animals are truncation-selected. We tested this hypothesis by stoch...
Ababio, R.C.; Sanginga, K.E.; Dashiell, K.E.
Selection for atmospheric dinitrogen fixation in promiscuous soybeans by indigenous rhizobia populations is usually determined indirectly based on visual assessment of nodulation. As the method has been criticized extensively, we have examined this assay in relation to other N 2 fixation indices by evaluating growth of promiscuous soybeans in four ecological zones of Nigeria. Nodulation was affected considerably by rainfall indigenous, rhizobia populations and soil P. The N 2 fixation indices measured, nodule development, apparent effectiveness, total N accumulation and N derived from fixation, varied among soybean genotypes. The visual nodule assessment index correlated with nodule weight (r = 0.74; P = 0.01), but had no significant correlation (r = 0.13) with proportion of apparent effective nodules. All nodule parameters, however, correlated significantly (r = 0.16-0.71; P=0.05) with total N accumulation and seed yield. The percent apparent effectiveness of nodules was a superior index to nodule score and nodule number but inferior to nodule mass. Total N accumulation patterns in the genotypes indicated that N 2 fixation in some genotypes could be substantial during the reproductive growth phase and may serve as suitable criteria for selection. Therefore, in low N soils, percent nodule effectiveness and total N accumulation may be used to augment the visual scores particularly for genotypes, which seem to nodulate profusely with indigenous rhizohia populations (author)
Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry
The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River, USA, are believed to provide critical habitat features for several wildlife species. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated habitat quality in these areas. Our main objective was to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channel areas for several species using habitat suitability index (HSI) models. To test the effectiveness of these models, we attempted to relate HSI scores and the variables measured for each model with measures of relative abundance for the model species. The mean belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) HSI was greater on the main than back channel. However, the model failed to predict kingfisher abundance. The mean reproduction component of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) HSI, total common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) HSI, winter cover component of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) HSI, and brood-rearing component of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) HSI were all greater on the back than main channel, and were positively related with the relative abundance of each species. We found that island back channels provide characteristics not found elsewhere on the Ohio River and warrant conservation as important riparian wildlife habitat. The effectiveness of using HSI models to predict species abundance on the river was mixed. Modifications to several of the models are needed to improve their use on the Ohio River and, likely, other large rivers.
Odendaal, F J; Bull, C M; Nias, R C
Two leptodactylid frog species Ranidella signifera and R. riparia occupy adjacent but different habitat types in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. R. signifera is found in slow-flowing creeks with mud or sand substrates. R. riparia occupies fast-flowing rocky creeks. The two coexist in a narrow overlap zone with heterogeneous habitats. Laboratory experiments were used to test habitat preferences of tadpoles in a tub with sand and rock substrates. R. riparia was most commonly found on the rock substrate. R. signifera showed no distinct preference for sand, but when mixed with R. riparia increased its use of the habitat in the spaces between and under rocks. This was particularly apparent in flowing water where 81% of all R. signifera tadpoles were observed in this sheltered habitat.The data suggest that R. signifera tadpoles have reduced fitness in flowing water because they cannot exploit exposed feeding sites where most of the algae grow, and that interspecific interactions with R. riparia tadpoles reduce their fitness further. This helps to explain why R. signifera do not extend their distribution into R. riparia occupied creeks. The data do not explain why R. riparia do not colonize the slow muddy creeks occupied by R. signifera.
Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark P.; Smith, Lacy M.; Moskal, Stacy M.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Yee, Julie L.; Takekawa, John Y.
The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project aims to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation ponds into tidal marsh in South San Francisco Bay, California. However, large numbers of waterbirds use these ponds annually as nesting and foraging habitat. Islands within ponds are particularly important habitat for nesting, foraging, and roosting waterbirds. To maintain current waterbird populations, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project plans to create new islands within former salt ponds in South San Francisco Bay. In a series of studies, we investigated pond and individual island attributes that are most beneficial to nesting, foraging, and roosting waterbirds.
Full Text Available Organic breeding is a new trend in plant breeding aimed at breeding of organic cultivars adapted to conditions and expectations of organic plant production. The best proof for the need of organic cultivars is the existence of interaction between the performances of genotypes with the kind of production (conventional or organic (graph. 1. The adaptation to low-input conditions of organic production by more eddicient uptake and utilization of plant nutrients is especially important for organic cultivars. One of the basic mechanism of weed control in organic production is the competition of organic cultivars and weeds i.e. the enhanced ability of organic cultivars to suppress the weeds. Resistance/tolerance to diseases and pests is among the most important expectations toward the organic cultivars. In comparison with the methods of conventional plant breeding, in case of organic plant breeding limitations exist in choice of methods for creation of variability and selection classified as permitted, conditionally permitted and banned. The use of genetically modified organisms and their derivated along with induced mutations is not permitted in organic production. The use of molecular markers in organic plant breeding is the only permitted modern method of biotechnology. It is not permitted to patent the breeding material of organic plant breeding or the organic cultivars. .
Full Text Available The Canadian goldenrod Solidago canadensis (L is an invasive species in Poland. It occurs both in habitats only weakly impacted by anthropogenic factors as well as in habitats subjected to intensive transformations by humans. The aim of this study was to characterise the habitats of S. canadensis in Mińsk Mazowiecki and in out-of-town areas. It has been shown, based on an analysis of the principal soil properties, that the sites where S. canadensis was found had clayey-sandy soil and a C/N ratio indicative of medium and high soil degradation. Canadian goldenrod was found at sites with a diverse content of phosphorus, calcium and magnesium in soil, as well as a diverse soil pH, indicative of a strongly acidic, acidic and alkaline character of the soil.
Lopez-Cruz, Marco; Crossa, Jose; Bonnett, David; Dreisigacker, Susanne; Poland, Jesse; Jannink, Jean-Luc; Singh, Ravi P; Autrique, Enrique; de los Campos, Gustavo
Genomic selection (GS) models use genome-wide genetic information to predict genetic values of candidates of selection. Originally, these models were developed without considering genotype × environment interaction(G×E). Several authors have proposed extensions of the single-environment GS model that accommodate G×E using either covariance functions or environmental covariates. In this study, we model G×E using a marker × environment interaction (M×E) GS model; the approach is conceptually simple and can be implemented with existing GS software. We discuss how the model can be implemented by using an explicit regression of phenotypes on markers or using co-variance structures (a genomic best linear unbiased prediction-type model). We used the M×E model to analyze three CIMMYT wheat data sets (W1, W2, and W3), where more than 1000 lines were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing and evaluated at CIMMYT's research station in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, under simulated environmental conditions that covered different irrigation levels, sowing dates and planting systems. We compared the M×E model with a stratified (i.e., within-environment) analysis and with a standard (across-environment) GS model that assumes that effects are constant across environments (i.e., ignoring G×E). The prediction accuracy of the M×E model was substantially greater of that of an across-environment analysis that ignores G×E. Depending on the prediction problem, the M×E model had either similar or greater levels of prediction accuracy than the stratified analyses. The M×E model decomposes marker effects and genomic values into components that are stable across environments (main effects) and others that are environment-specific (interactions). Therefore, in principle, the interaction model could shed light over which variants have effects that are stable across environments and which ones are responsible for G×E. The data set and the scripts required to reproduce the analysis are
L.J. Henne; K.J. Buckley
This is the second aquatic biological monitoring report generated by Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) Water Quality and Hydrology Group. The study has been conducted to generate impact-based assessments of habitat and water quality for LANL waterways. The monitoring program was designed to allow for the detection of spatial and temporal trends in water and habitat quality through ongoing, biannual monitoring of habitat characteristics and benthic aquatic macroinvertebrate communities at six key sites in Los Alamos, Sandia, Water, Pajarito, and Starmer's Gulch Canyons. Data were collected on aquatic habitat characteristics, channel substrate, and macroinvertebrate communities during 2001 and 2002. Aquatic habitat scores were stable between 2001 and 2002 at all locations except Starmer's Gulch and Pajarito Canyon, which had lower scores in 2002 due to low flow conditions. Channel substrate changes were most evident at the upper Los Alamos and Pajarito study reaches. The macroinvertebrate Stream Condition Index (SCI) indicated moderate to severe impairment at upper Los Alamos Canyon, slight to moderate impairment at upper Sandia Canyon, and little or no impairment at lower Sandia Canyon, Starmer's Gulch, and Pajarito Canyon. Habitat, substrate, and macroinvertebrate data from the site in upper Los Alamos Canyon indicated severe impacts from the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000. Impairment in the macroinvertebrate community at upper Sandia Canyon was probably due to effluent-dominated flow at that site. The minimal impairment SCI scores for the lower Sandia site indicated that water quality improved with distance downstream from the outfall at upper Sandia Canyon.
Steensels, Jan; Meersman, Esther; Snoek, Tim; Saels, Veerle
The concentrations and relative ratios of various aroma compounds produced by fermenting yeast cells are essential for the sensory quality of many fermented foods, including beer, bread, wine, and sake. Since the production of these aroma-active compounds varies highly among different yeast strains, careful selection of variants with optimal aromatic profiles is of crucial importance for a high-quality end product. This study evaluates the production of different aroma-active compounds in 301 different Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces paradoxus, and Saccharomyces pastorianus yeast strains. Our results show that the production of key aroma compounds like isoamyl acetate and ethyl acetate varies by an order of magnitude between natural yeasts, with the concentrations of some compounds showing significant positive correlation, whereas others vary independently. Targeted hybridization of some of the best aroma-producing strains yielded 46 intraspecific hybrids, of which some show a distinct heterosis (hybrid vigor) effect and produce up to 45% more isoamyl acetate than the best parental strains while retaining their overall fermentation performance. Together, our results demonstrate the potential of large-scale outbreeding to obtain superior industrial yeasts that are directly applicable for commercial use. PMID:25192996
Puddhanon, Prawit; Pintanon, Prateep; Chaithep, Waree; Songjuntuke, Ksan
Full text: Effects of 80 keV ion beam (10 16 ion/cm 2 on mutations of RD6 and Sanpatong 1 rice varieties were studied in 2006. In order to obtain the phenotypic mutants, each variety was sown in the laboratory and under field conditions at Maejo University in 2007 dry season. Seed germination noticeably declined. For RD6, only 45.1% germinated in the laboratory, and 18.1% were established under the field condition. Similarly, 62.3% of Sanpatong 1 germinated in the laboratory and 31.4% established in the field. No phenotypic mutants were observed in the first generation (M 1 ). The M2 seeds were harvested separately from 3 panicles of each M plant in RD6 and Sanpatong1, totaling 810 and 1,878 lines, respectively. In 2007 rainy season, they were planted on a panicle to row basis. It was found that more phenotypic mutants were observed in the M 2 for Sanpatong 1 than for RD6. The mutant characters included dwarf plants, early maturity, male sterility and larger panicle sizes. As a result, about 420 within line selections were collected and the M 3 seeds were harvested for further field condition and gene markers evaluations
Brad C. Timm; Kevin McGarigal; Samuel A. Cushman; Joseph L. Ganey
Efficacy of future habitat selection studies will benefit by taking a multi-scale approach. In addition to potentially providing increased explanatory power and predictive capacity, multi-scale habitat models enhance our understanding of the scales at which species respond to their environment, which is critical knowledge required to implement effective...
Stephen N. Matthews; Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Matthew P. Peters
Mounting evidence shows that organisms have already begun to respond to global climate change. Advances in our knowledge of how climate shapes species distributional patterns has helped us better understand the response of birds to climate change. However, the distribution of birds across the landscape is also driven by biotic and abiotic components, including habitat...
Ana M. Poets
Full Text Available Barley was introduced to North America ∼400 yr ago but adaptation to modern production environments is more recent. Comparisons of allele frequencies among growth habits and spike (inflorescence types in North America indicate that significant genetic differentiation has accumulated in a relatively short evolutionary time span. Allele frequency differentiation is greatest among barley with two-row vs. six-row spikes, followed by spring vs. winter growth habit. Large changes in allele frequency among breeding programs suggest a major contribution of genetic drift and linked selection on genetic variation. Despite this, comparisons of 3613 modern North American cultivated barley breeding lines that differ for spike-type and growth habit permit the discovery of 142 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP outliers putatively linked to targets of selection. For example, SNPs within the Cbf4, Ppd-H1, and Vrn-H1 loci, which have previously been associated with agronomically adaptive phenotypes, are identified as outliers. Analysis of extended haplotype sharing identifies genomic regions shared within and among breeding populations, suggestive of a number of genomic regions subject to recent selection. Finally, we are able to identify recent bouts of gene flow between breeding populations that could point to the sharing of agronomically adaptive variation. These results are supported by pedigrees and breeders’ understanding of germplasm sharing.
Flachowsky, Henryk; Le Roux, Pierre-Marie; Peil, Andreas; Patocchi, Andrea; Richter, Klaus; Hanke, Magda-Viola
Breeding of apple (Malus × domestica) remains a slow process because of protracted generation cycles. Shortening the juvenile phase to achieve the introgression of traits from wild species into prebreeding material within a reasonable time frame is a great challenge. In this study, we evaluated early flowering transgenic apple lines overexpressing the BpMADS4 gene of silver birch with regard to tree morphology in glasshouse conditions. Based on the results obtained, line T1190 was selected for further analysis and application to fast breeding. The DNA sequences flanking the T-DNA were isolated and the T-DNA integration site was mapped on linkage group 4. The inheritance and correctness of the T-DNA integration were confirmed after meiosis. A crossbred breeding programme was initiated by crossing T1190 with the fire blight-resistant wild species Malus fusca. Transgenic early flowering F(1) seedlings were selected and backcrossed with 'Regia' and 98/6-10 in order to introgress the apple scab Rvi2, Rvi4 and powdery mildew Pl-1, Pl-2 resistance genes and the fire blight resistance quantitative trait locus FB-F7 present in 'Regia'. Three transgenic BC'1 seedlings pyramiding Rvi2, Rvi4 and FB-F7, as well as three other BC'1 seedlings combining Pl-1 and Pl-2, were identified. Thus, the first transgenic early flowering-based apple breeding programme combined with marker-assisted selection was established. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.
Geist, David R.
This report summarizes results of research activities conducted from 1995 through 1998 on identifying the spawning habitat requirements of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. The project investigated whether traditional spawning habitat models could be improved in order to make better predictions of available habitat for fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. Results suggest models could be improved if they used spawning area-specific, rather than river-specific, spawning characteristics; incorporated hyporheic discharge measurements; and gave further consideration to the geomorphic features that are present in the unconstrained segments of large alluvial rivers. Ultimately the recovery of endangered fall chinook salmon will depend on how well we are able to recreate the characteristics once common in alluvial floodplains of large rivers. The results from this research can be used to better define the relationship between these physical habitat characteristics and fall chinook salmon spawning site selection, and provide more efficient use of limited recovery resources. This report is divided into four chapters which were presented in the author's doctoral dissertation which he completed through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Each of the chapters has been published in peer reviewed journals or is currently under review. Chapter one is a conceptual spawning habitat model that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Chapter two describes the comparison of the physical factors associated with fall chinook salmon redd clusters located at two sites within the Reach. Spatial point pattern analysis of redds showed that redd clusters averaged approximately 10 hectares in area and their locations were consistent from
Yan, Xue; Wang, Haowen; Wang, Qingfeng; Rudstam, Lars G.
Heterogeneity of contaminant-stress can be an important environmental factor for clonal plants. We focused on Cu transport among the clones, the foraging or fugitive behavior and biomass allocation of submerged plant, Vallisneria natans (Lour.) Hara, exposed to heterogeneous sediments. This study was carried out in aquatic mesocosms between March and September 2010. Cu accumulated in contaminated ramets was exported horizontally via stolons to other ramets in uncontaminated patches, and then transported both acropetally to leaves and basipetally to belowground structures. There was no indication that V. natans adopted morphological plasticity in response to heterogeneous contaminated habitat. In contrast to predictions, more biomass was allocated to belowground tissues in contaminated patches. We concluded that risk of Cu stress spread among submerged clones, and V. natans did not actively select habitat in contaminated patchy environment. Furthermore, V. natans adopted compensatory investments instead of division of labor to acquire nutrient and survive. -- Highlights: ► Response of submerged clonal plant in heterogeneous Cu soil was studied. ► Cu can spread among V. natans clones in contaminated patches. ► Ramets of V. natans grow randomly instead of habitat selection actively. ► Individual growth in patchy pollution was relative independent rather than DoL. -- Cu can spread among V. natans clones and the clones grow randomly and relative independent in heterogeneous Cu-contaminated sediment
Burgess, Scott C; Treml, Eric A; Marshall, Dustin J
Despite the importance of dispersal for population connectivity, dispersal is often costly to the individual. A major impediment to understanding connectivity has been a lack of data combining the movement of individuals and their survival to reproduction in the new habitat (realized connectivity). Although mortality often occurs during dispersal (an immediate cost), in many organisms costs are paid after dispersal (deferred costs). It is unclear how such deferred costs influence the mismatch between dispersal and realized connectivity. Through a series of experiments in the field and laboratory, we estimated both direct and indirect deferred costs in a marine bryozoan (Bugula neritina). We then used the empirical data to parameterize a theoretical model in order to formalize predictions about how dispersal costs influence realized connectivity. Individuals were more likely to colonize poor-quality habitat after prolonged dispersal durations. Individuals that colonized poor-quality habitat performed poorly after colonization because of some property of the habitat (an indirect deferred cost) rather than from prolonged dispersal per se (a direct deferred cost). Our theoretical model predicted that indirect deferred costs could result in nonlinear mismatches between spatial patterns of potential and realized connectivity. The deferred costs of dispersal are likely to be crucial for determining how well patterns of dispersal reflect realized connectivity. Ignoring these deferred costs could lead to inaccurate predictions of spatial population dynamics.
Cotes, Belén; Rännbäck, Linda Marie; Björkman, Maria
both a parasitoid and its host, parasitoids may reduce the risk of intraguild predation (IGP) by avoiding such patches. In this study, we examined whether the presence of the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium brunneum and Beauveria bassiana in soil habitats of a root herbivore, Delia radicum, affects...
Groen, Niko M.; Kentie, Rosemarie; de Goeij, Petra; Verheijen, Bram; Piersma, Theunis; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we
Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we
Migration is one of the most poorly understood components of a bird’s life cycle. For that reason, migratory stopover habitats are often not part of conservation planning and may be overlooked when planning new development projects. This project highlights and addresses an overl...
Jared D. Wolfe; Matthew D. Johnson; C. John Ralph; R. Mark Brigham
Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover...
Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Pratt, Aaron C.
Conservation reserves established to protect important habitat for wildlife species are used world-wide as a wildlife conservation measure. Effective reserves must adequately protect year-round habitats to maintain wildlife populations. Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Area policy was established to protect breeding habitats for greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus). Protecting only one important seasonal habitat could result in loss or degradation of other important habitats and potential declines in local populations. The purpose of our study was to identify the timing of winter habitat use, the extent which individuals breeding in Core Areas used winter habitats, and develop resource selection functions to assess effectiveness of Core Areas in conserving sage-grouse winter habitats in portions of 5 Core Areas in central and north-central Wyoming during winters 2011-2015. We found that use of winter habitats occured over a longer period than current Core Area winter timing stipulations and a substantial amount of winter habitat outside of Core Areas was used by individuals that bred in Core Areas, particularly in smaller Core Areas. Resource selection functions for each study area indicated that sage-grouse were selecting habitats in response to landscapes dominated by big sagebrush and flatter topography similar to other research on sage-grouse winter habitat selection. The substantial portion of sage-grouse locations and predicted probability of selection during winter outside small Core Areas illustrate that winter requirements for sage-grouse are not adequately met by existing Core Areas. Consequently, further considerations for identifying and managing important winter sage-grouse habitats under Wyoming's Core Area Policy are warranted.
Full Text Available The combination of GPS-Telemetry and resource selection functions is widely used to analyze animal habitat selection. Rapid large-scale assessment of vegetation structure allows bridging the requirements of habitat selection studies on grain size and extent, particularly in forest habitats. For roe deer, the cold period in winter forces individuals to optimize their trade off in searching for food and shelter. We analyzed the winter habitat selection of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus in a montane forest landscape combining estimates of vegetation cover in three different height strata, derived from high resolution airborne Laser-scanning (LiDAR, Light detection and ranging, and activity data from GPS telemetry. Specifically, we tested the influence of temperature, snow height, and wind speed on site selection, differentiating between active and resting animals using mixed-effects conditional logistic regression models in a case-control design. Site selection was best explained by temperature deviations from hourly means, snow height, and activity status of the animals. Roe deer tended to use forests of high canopy cover more frequently with decreasing temperature, and when snow height exceeded 0.6 m. Active animals preferred lower canopy cover, but higher understory cover. Our approach demonstrates the potential of LiDAR measures for studying fine scale habitat selection in complex three-dimensional habitats, such as forests.
Murty, B.R.; Taborda, F.; Reinoso, A.
The present report of Mutational rectifications in local Sorghums involved improvement in adaptation and disease resistance. After seed treatment at 20, 30 and 40 kr the material now in the M 6 generation has given promising response to the above selection. Similarly, chemical mutagens with Na Azide + 5 kr γ-radiation of seeds also gave valuable mutants now in M 4 generation. More than 20 promising mutants are isolated with dwarf habit (100-125 cms), good head size, resistance to charcoal rot, good seed size and root development, more heads/unit area and yield increases (40%-100%) over the parents and much higher than the hybrids under cultivation. The mutants were also superior or equal to the parent in micronutrient uptake (Zn), protein content, nutrient uptake, light interception, photo-synthetic rate, and transfer to grain for N and P, root activities, regeneration capacity and disease resistance under artificial inoculation with better yield potential under close spacing (50 cm x 10 cm vs 75 cm x 10 cm). The multilocation test for wide adaptation in 3 locations revealed that at least 4 of the mutants have a wide range of adaptation. Biochemical studies of seed proteins by gel electrophoresis revealed distinct differences between the mutants and also the parents. Similar results were obtained for tannin content, Zn, phosphate (p 32 tracer) N uptake, indicating the presence of diverse mechanisms of adaptation and yield. Differences between the mutants in tillering, regeneration capacity rooting pattern, panicle no. and size, grain size and threshing % were observed. The integrated selection for the above attributes from M 3 to M 6 involved both field and laboratory testing demonstrating the utility of interdisciplinary approach in mutation breeding for effective selection in problem areas with complex ecological conditions and cropping patterns. The results of these studies are discussed with emphasis on selection methodology for the multiple traits involving
Chessa, S; Bulgari, O; Rizzi, R; Calamari, L; Bani, P; Biffani, S; Caroli, A M
Milk coagulation is based on a series of physicochemical changes at the casein micelle level, resulting in formation of a gel. Milk coagulation properties (MCP) are relevant for cheese quality and yield, important factors for the dairy industry. They are also evaluated in herd bulk milk to reward or penalize producers of Protected Designation of Origin cheeses. The economic importance of improving MCP justifies the need to account for this trait in the selection process. A pilot study was carried out to determine the feasibility of including MCP in the selection schemes of the Italian Holstein. The MCP were predicted in 1,055 individual milk samples collected in 16 herds (66 ± 24 cows per herd) located in Brescia province (northeastern Italy) by means of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The coefficient of determination of prediction models indicated moderate predictions for milk rennet coagulation time (RCT=0.65) and curd firmness (a₃₀=0.68), and poor predictions for curd-firming time (k₂₀=0.49), whereas the range error ratio (8.9, 6.9, and 9.5 for RCT, k₂₀, and a₃₀, respectively) indicated good practical utility of the predictive models for all parameters. Milk proteins were genotyped and casein haplotypes (αS₁-, β-, αS₂-, and κ-casein) were reconstructed. Data from 51 half-sib families (19.9 ± 16.4 daughters per sire) were analyzed by an animal model to estimate (1) the genetic parameters of predicted RCT, k₂₀, and a₃₀; (2) the breeding values for these predicted clotting variables; and (3) the effect of milk protein genotypes and casein haplotypes on predicted MCP (pMCP). This is the first study to estimate both genetic parameters and breeding values of pMCP, together with the effects of milk protein genotypes and casein haplotypes, that also considered k₂₀, probably the most important parameter for the dairy industry (because it indicates the time for the beginning of curd-cutting). Heritability of predicted
Lenz, Patrick R N; Beaulieu, Jean; Mansfield, Shawn D; Clément, Sébastien; Desponts, Mireille; Bousquet, Jean
Genomic selection (GS) uses information from genomic signatures consisting of thousands of genetic markers to predict complex traits. As such, GS represents a promising approach to accelerate tree breeding, which is especially relevant for the genetic improvement of boreal conifers characterized by long breeding cycles. In the present study, we tested GS in an advanced-breeding population of the boreal black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] BSP) for growth and wood quality traits, and concurrently examined factors affecting GS model accuracy. The study relied on 734 25-year-old trees belonging to 34 full-sib families derived from 27 parents and that were established on two contrasting sites. Genomic profiles were obtained from 4993 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) representative of as many gene loci distributed among the 12 linkage groups common to spruce. GS models were obtained for four growth and wood traits. Validation using independent sets of trees showed that GS model accuracy was high, related to trait heritability and equivalent to that of conventional pedigree-based models. In forward selection, gains per unit of time were three times higher with the GS approach than with conventional selection. In addition, models were also accurate across sites, indicating little genotype-by-environment interaction in the area investigated. Using information from half-sibs instead of full-sibs led to a significant reduction in model accuracy, indicating that the inclusion of relatedness in the model contributed to its higher accuracies. About 500 to 1000 markers were sufficient to obtain GS model accuracy almost equivalent to that obtained with all markers, whether they were well spread across the genome or from a single linkage group, further confirming the implication of relatedness and potential long-range linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the high accuracy estimates obtained. Only slightly higher model accuracy was obtained when using marker subsets that were
Xia, Jun Hong; Li, Hong Lian; Zhang, Yong; Meng, Zi Ning; Lin, Hao Ran
Fish species inhabitating seawater (SW) or freshwater (FW) habitats have to develop genetic adaptations to alternative environment factors, especially salinity. Functional consequences of the protein variations associated with habitat environments in fish mitochondrial genomes have not yet received much attention. We analyzed 829 complete fish mitochondrial genomes and compared the amino acid differences of 13 mitochondrial protein families between FW and SW fish groups. We identified 47 specificity determining sites (SDS) that associated with FW or SW environments from 12 mitochondrial protein families. Thirty-two (68%) of the SDS sites are hydrophobic, 13 (28%) are neutral, and the remaining sites are acidic or basic. Seven of those SDS from ND1, ND2 and ND5 were scored as probably damaging to the protein structures. Furthermore, phylogenetic tree based Bayes Empirical Bayes analysis also detected 63 positive sites associated with alternative habitat environments across ten mtDNA proteins. These signatures could be important for studying mitochondrial genetic variation relevant to fish physiology and ecology.
Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.
We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.
Claghorn, Gerald C; Thompson, Zoe; Kay, Jarren C; Ordonez, Genesis; Hampton, Thomas G; Garland, Theodore
stride characteristics of house mice are adaptable in response to both selective breeding and changes in daily locomotor behavior (activity levels) that occur during as few as 6 d. These results have important implications for understanding the evolution and coadaptation of locomotor behavior and performance.
Benjamin M Croak
Full Text Available Organisms selecting retreat sites may evaluate not only the quality of the specific shelter, but also the proximity of that site to resources in the surrounding area. Distinguishing between habitat selection at these two spatial scales is complicated by co-variation among microhabitat factors (i.e., the attributes of individual retreat sites often correlate with their proximity to landscape features. Disentangling this co-variation may facilitate the restoration or conservation of threatened systems. To experimentally examine the role of landscape attributes in determining retreat-site quality for saxicolous ectotherms, we deployed 198 identical artificial rocks in open (sun-exposed sites on sandstone outcrops in southeastern Australia, and recorded faunal usage of those retreat sites over the next 29 months. Several landscape-scale attributes were associated with occupancy of experimental rocks, but different features were important for different species. For example, endangered broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides preferred retreat sites close to cliff edges, flat rock spiders (Hemicloea major preferred small outcrops, and velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii preferred rocks close to the cliff edge with higher-than-average sun exposure. Standardized retreat sites can provide robust experimental data on the effects of landscape-scale attributes on retreat site selection, revealing interspecific divergences among sympatric taxa that use similar habitats.
Wolven, G. [WIN Energy REMC, Vincennes, IN (United States)
Automation of a small 16,000 member rural electric cooperative covering approximately 2,500 miles of distribution lines in Indiana, is described. The project was undertaken in an effort to meet the challenge of annual load growth of 15 per cent over the last several years, and to keep rates low by investing in technological solutions. To ensure the best possible computer software in each area of operation, WIN Energy decided to use the Best Breed approach (in place of the 'single vendor' approach) to select software for accounting, staking, mapping, automated mater reading and customer information systems. This decision was taken despite the obvious difficulties involved in getting software vendors to communicate willingly among themselves, and to come up with the custom interfaces or integration between the various systems. Based on the success of their participation in a cooperative study to test the viability of interfacing different software systems using a software specification called MultiSpeak, WIN Energy decided to focus on MultiSpeak compliant products. This article describes the implementation of the following software packages: Minimax Stakeout for field design and automation, Lookout for utility-wide map viewing, the ArcGIS geographic information system, Hunt Technologies' AMR for automated meter reading, NISC's CAPsXL+ financial accounting and Milsoft's Windmill for use in engineering analysis. To date, implementation is proceeding smoothly. Plans include the addition of Milsoft's DisSPatch Outage package at a future date.
analysis of the physicochemical parameters of the water samples was carried out in the Nigerian ... Key words: Malaria, Anopheles mosquitoes, breeding habitat, physico-chemical properties. ... Anopheles mosquito has been found to breed in.
Fieberg, John R.; Forester, James D.; Street, Garrett M.; Johnson, Douglas H.; ArchMiller, Althea A.; Matthiopoulos, Jason
“Species distribution modeling” was recently ranked as one of the top five “research fronts” in ecology and the environmental sciences by ISI's Essential Science Indicators (Renner and Warton 2013), reflecting the importance of predicting how species distributions will respond to anthropogenic change. Unfortunately, species distribution models (SDMs) often perform poorly when applied to novel environments. Compounding on this problem is the shortage of methods for evaluating SDMs (hence, we may be getting our predictions wrong and not even know it). Traditional methods for validating SDMs quantify a model's ability to classify locations as used or unused. Instead, we propose to focus on how well SDMs can predict the characteristics of used locations. This subtle shift in viewpoint leads to a more natural and informative evaluation and validation of models across the entire spectrum of SDMs. Through a series of examples, we show how simple graphical methods can help with three fundamental challenges of habitat modeling: identifying missing covariates, non-linearity, and multicollinearity. Identifying habitat characteristics that are not well-predicted by the model can provide insights into variables affecting the distribution of species, suggest appropriate model modifications, and ultimately improve the reliability and generality of conservation and management recommendations.
Wunderlich, A. C.; Pinheiro, M. A. A.
Environmental factors strongly affect mangrove crabs, and some factors modulate population structure and habitat partitioning during the crabs' life cycle. However, the effect of these environmental factors on habitat selection by mangrove crabs is still unknown. We evaluated habitat selection by the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus in mangrove forests with different degrees of predominance of Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa or Avicennia schaueriana, two tidal flooding levels (less- and more-flooded), and two biological periods (breeding and non-breeding seasons). Sampling was conducted in four mangrove forests with different influences of these biotic and abiotic parameters. We used the data for sex ratio to explain environmental partitioning by this species. Females predominated in R. mangle mangroves, independently of the biological period (breeding or non-breeding seasons), and males predominated only in the less-flooded L. racemosa mangroves. The flooding level affected the sex ratio of U. cordatus, with a predominance of males in less-flooded mangroves, independently of the biological period; and a gender balance in the more-flooded mangroves only during the breeding season. Outside the breeding season, the largest specimens were recorded in the R. mangle mangroves, but in the breeding season, the largest crabs were recorded in the L. racemosa mangroves with a higher level of flooding. These results suggest that tree-species composition and tidal flooding level can have a significant effect on the habitat partitioning of sexes and sizes of the mangrove crab U. cordatus both during and outside the breeding season.
Hwang, Jusun; Gottdenker, Nicole; Min, Mi-Sook; Lee, Hang; Chun, Myung-Sun
In this study, we evaluated the potential association between the habitat types of feral cats and the prevalence of selected infectious pathogens and health status based on a set of blood parameters. We live-trapped 72 feral cats from two different habitat types: an urban area (n = 48) and a rural agricultural area (n = 24). We compared blood values and the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and haemotropic Mycoplasma infection in feral cats from the two contrasting habitats. Significant differences were observed in several blood values (haematocrit, red blood cells, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine) depending on the habitat type and/or sex of the cat. Two individuals from the urban area were seropositive for FIV (3.0%), and eight (12.1%) were positive for FeLV infection (five from an urban habitat and three from a rural habitat). Haemoplasma infection was more common. Based on molecular analysis, 38 cats (54.3%) were positive for haemoplasma, with a significantly higher infection rate in cats from rural habitats (70.8%) compared with urban cats (47.8%). Our study recorded haematological and serum biochemical values, and prevalence of selected pathogens in feral cat populations from two different habitat types. A subset of important laboratory parameters from rural cats showed values under or above the corresponding reference intervals for healthy domestic cats, suggesting potential differences in the health status of feral cats depending on the habitat type. Our findings provide information about the association between 1) blood values (haematological and serum biochemistry parameters) and 2) prevalence of selected pathogen infections and different habitat types; this may be important for veterinarians who work with feral and/or stray cats and for overall cat welfare management. © ISFM and AAFP 2015.