WorldWideScience

Sample records for carnivores

  1. Carnivorous Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canipe, Stephen

    This biology lesson on carnivorous (insectivorous) plants is designed to supplement the textbook in the areas of plant diversity, ecology, and distribution. An introduction provides general background information for use as lecture material by the teacher or as reading and/or study material for students. The introduction also includes…

  2. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    . We argue that these spaces of consumption express nostalgia and longing for authenticity that are simultaneously articulated as progressive and emancipatory. Consequently, these sites represent middle-class masculine counter-spaces – masculine, carnivorous heterotopias where archaic, working class...... modes of doing masculinity (such as commodification of female bodies and excessive meat consumption) are appropriated, legitimized and sought transformed through irony, hipness and nostalgia...

  3. Carnivores of Syria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Masseti

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to outline the local occurrence and recent distribution of carnivores in Syria (Syrian Arab Republic in order to offer a starting point for future studies. The species of large dimensions, such as the Asiatic lion, the Caspian tiger, the Asiatic cheetah, and the Syrian brown bear, became extinct in historical times, the last leopard being reputed to have been killed in 1963 on the Alauwit Mountains (Al Nusyriain Mountains. The checklist of the extant Syrian carnivores amounts to 15 species, which are essentially referable to 4 canids, 5 mustelids, 4 felids – the sand catbeen reported only recently for the first time – one hyaenid, and one herpestid. The occurrence of the Blandford fox has yet to be confirmed. This paper is almost entirely the result of a series of field surveys carried out by the author mainly between 1989 and 1995, integrated by data from several subsequent reports and sightings by other authors.

  4. Global large carnivore conservation and international law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, A.

    2015-01-01

    International cooperation, including through international legal instruments, appears important for the conservation of large carnivores worldwide. This is due to, inter alia, the worrying conservation status and population trends of many large carnivore species; the importance of large carnivores

  5. Can we save large carnivores without losing large carnivore science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Allen, Lee R.; Andrén, Henrik; Ballard, Guy; Boitani, Luigi; Engeman, Richard M.; Fleming, Peter J.S.; Haswell, Peter M.; Ford, Adam T.; Kowalczyk, Rafał; Mech, L. David; Linnell, John D.C.; Parker, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores are depicted to shape entire ecosystems through top-down processes. Studies describing these processes are often used to support interventionist wildlife management practices, including carnivore reintroduction or lethal control programs. Unfortunately, there is an increasing tendency to ignore, disregard or devalue fundamental principles of the scientific method when communicating the reliability of current evidence for the ecological roles that large carnivores may play, eroding public confidence in large carnivore science and scientists. Here, we discuss six interrelated issues that currently undermine the reliability of the available literature on the ecological roles of large carnivores: (1) the overall paucity of available data, (2) reliability of carnivore population sampling techniques, (3) general disregard for alternative hypotheses to top-down forcing, (4) lack of applied science studies, (5) frequent use of logical fallacies, and (6) generalisation of results from relatively pristine systems to those substantially altered by humans. We first describe how widespread these issues are, and given this, show, for example, that evidence for the roles of wolves (Canis lupus) and dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) in initiating trophic cascades is not as strong as is often claimed. Managers and policy makers should exercise caution when relying on this literature to inform wildlife management decisions. We emphasise the value of manipulative experiments and discuss the role of scientific knowledge in the decision-making process. We hope that the issues we raise here prompt deeper consideration of actual evidence, leading towards an improvement in both the rigour and communication of large carnivore science.

  6. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Seyfullah, Leyla J; Sadowski, Friederike; Fleischmann, Andreas; Behling, Hermann; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-06

    The fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants.

  7. The Carnivore Connection Hypothesis: Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennie C. Brand-Miller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The “Carnivore Connection” hypothesizes that, during human evolution, a scarcity of dietary carbohydrate in diets with low plant : animal subsistence ratios led to insulin resistance providing a survival and reproductive advantage with selection of genes for insulin resistance. The selection pressure was relaxed at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution when large quantities of cereals first entered human diets. The “Carnivore Connection” explains the high prevalence of intrinsic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in populations that transition rapidly from traditional diets with a low-glycemic load, to high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index diets that characterize modern diets. Selection pressure has been relaxed longest in European populations, explaining a lower prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, despite recent exposure to famine and food scarcity. Increasing obesity and habitual consumption of high-glycemic-load diets worsens insulin resistance and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in all populations.

  8. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zach J Farris

    Full Text Available The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica. Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year, the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans (mean=58 consumed/year, and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox (mean=31 consumed/year. Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest

  9. Nutrient limitation and stoichiometry of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, A M

    2006-11-01

    The cost-benefit model for the evolution of carnivorous plants posits a trade-off between photosynthetic costs associated with carnivorous structures and photosynthetic benefits accrued through additional nutrient acquisition. The model predicts that carnivory is expected to evolve if its marginal benefits exceed its marginal costs. Further, the model predicts that when nutrients are scarce but neither light nor water is limiting, carnivorous plants should have an energetic advantage in competition with non-carnivorous plants. Since the publication of the cost-benefit model over 20 years ago, marginal photosynthetic costs of carnivory have been demonstrated but marginal photosynthetic benefits have not. A review of published data and results of ongoing research show that nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium often (co-)limit growth of carnivorous plants and that photosynthetic nutrient use efficiency is 20 - 50 % of that of non-carnivorous plants. Assessments of stoichiometric relationships among limiting nutrients, scaling of leaf mass with photosynthesis and nutrient content, and photosynthetic nutrient use efficiency all suggest that carnivorous plants are at an energetic disadvantage relative to non-carnivorous plants in similar habitats. Overall, current data support some of the predictions of the cost-benefit model, fail to support others, and still others remain untested and merit future research. Rather than being an optimal solution to an adaptive problem, botanical carnivory may represent a set of limited responses constrained by both phylogenetic history and environmental stress.

  10. Determination of carnivores prey base by scat analysis in Samburu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    1981) this usually leads to retaliatory reactions against the perceived problem carnivore (Messmer and. Berryman 2009). This study through hair analysis from carnivore scats showed the problem carnivore(s) causing livestock losses through depredation. The information thus provided would find application in future conflict.

  11. Normal glucose metabolism of healthy carnivores mimics diabetes pathology of non-carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchermerhorn

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: 1. the hepatic glucokinase (GCK pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, 2. healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally-occurring diseases such as hemachromatosis, fatty liver, obesity and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes.

  12. Normal Glucose Metabolism in Carnivores Overlaps with Diabetes Pathology in Non-Carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schermerhorn, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: (1) the hepatic glucokinase (GCK) pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, (2) healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally occurring diseases such as hemochromatosis, fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet, and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes. PMID:24348462

  13. Managing conflict between large carnivores and livestock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Eeden, Lily M; Crowther, Mathew S; Dickman, Chris R; Macdonald, David W; Ripple, William J; Ritchie, Euan G; Newsome, Thomas M

    2018-02-01

    Large carnivores are persecuted globally because they threaten human industries and livelihoods. How this conflict is managed has consequences for the conservation of large carnivores and biodiversity more broadly. Mitigating human-predator conflict should be evidence-based and accommodate people's values while protecting carnivores. Despite much research into human and large-carnivore coexistence strategies, there have been few attempts to document the success of conflict-mitigation strategies on a global scale. We conducted a meta-analysis of global research on conflict mitigation related to large carnivores and humans. We focused on conflicts that arise from the threat large carnivores pose to livestock. We first used structured and unstructured searching to identify replicated studies that used before-after or control-impact design to measure change in livestock loss as a result of implementing a management intervention. We then extracted relevant data from these studies to calculate an overall effect size for each intervention type. Research effort and focus varied among continents and aligned with the histories and cultures that shaped livestock production and attitudes toward carnivores. Livestock guardian animals most effectively reduced livestock losses. Lethal control was the second most effective control, although its success varied the most, and guardian animals and lethal control did not differ significantly. Financial incentives have promoted tolerance of large carnivores in some settings and reduced retaliatory killings. We suggest coexistence strategies be location-specific, incorporate cultural values and environmental conditions, and be designed such that return on financial investment can be evaluated. Improved monitoring of mitigation measures is urgently required to promote effective evidence-based policy. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. "Sweet but dangerous": nectaries in carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartosz J. Płachno

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In carnivorous plants, two types of nectaries occur: extra-floral nectaries, generally associated with prey luring, and floral ones associated with pollination. Nectar produced by extra-floral nectaries not only attracts prey but may also be involved in trapping prey and plays a role in myrmecophily. The diversity of nectary structure in carnivorous plants reflects complicated evolutionary routes in this unique ecological group.

  15. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J.; Golden, Christopher D.; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M.; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar’s largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar’s largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (x¯ = 90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (x¯ = 58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (x¯ = 31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are

  16. Are carnivores universally good sentinels of plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, R Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-10-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plague foci. For three years, we systematically sampled carnivores in two distinct habitat types to determine whether carnivores may play a role in maintenance or transmission of Y. pestis and to identify habitats associated with increased plague prevalence. We sampled 83 individuals representing six carnivore species and found only two that had been exposed to Y. pestis. The low overall rate of plague exposure in carnivores suggests that plague may be ephemeral in this study system, and thus we cannot draw any conclusions regarding habitat-associated plague foci or temporal changes in plague activity. Plague epizootics involving prairie dogs were confirmed in this study system during two of the three years of this study, and we therefore suggest that the targeting carnivores to survey for plague may not be appropriate in all ecological systems.

  17. Pollinator-prey conflict in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jürgens, Andreas; Sciligo, Amber; Witt, Taina; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Suckling, D Max

    2012-08-01

    Most carnivorous plants utilize insects in two ways: the flowers attract insects as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction, and the leaves trap insects for nutrients. Feeding on insects has been explained as an adaptation to nutrient-poor soil, and carnivorous plants have been shown to benefit from insect capture through increased growth, earlier flowering and increased seed production. Most carnivorous plant species seem to benefit from insect pollination, although many species autonomously self-pollinate and some propagate vegetatively. However, assuming that outcross pollen is advantageous and is a more important determinant of reproductive success than the nutrients gained from prey, there should be a selective pressure on carnivorous plants not to feed on their potential pollen vectors. Therefore, it has been suggested that carnivorous plants are subject to a conflict, often called the pollinator-prey conflict (PPC). The conflict results from a trade-off of the benefits from feeding on potentially pollinating insects versus the need to use them as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction. In this review we analyze the conditions under which a PPC may occur, review the evidence for the existence of PPCs in carnivorous plants, and explore the mechanisms that may be in place to prevent or alleviate a PPC. With respect to the latter, we discuss how plant signals such as olfactory and visual cues may play a role in separating the functions of pollinator attraction and prey capture. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. [Helminths of carnivores relevant to veterinary practice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasslinger, M A

    1986-01-01

    Especially in an urban environment man and carnivores live closely together, whereby one has to pay attention not only to animal parasites, but also to human pathogenic connections regarding these parasites. Because of the infection risk the animal owner has to be competently informed by his veterinarian. While some cestodes make great demands on hygiene, with others the cycle can be interrupted by consequent diet restrictions. Of all nematodes the stomach worm of the cat is of greater importance as it is easily overlooked because of its small size, is difficult to diagnose and is occurring in our regions with an infestation rate of about 40%. "Larva migrans visceralis" and "Larva migrans cutanea" caused by ascaride and hookworm larvae are important in human medicine and demand therapeutic measures. The contamination of parks, playgrounds and beaches with these parasites caused by carnivores requires a critical evaluation of the human pathogen interests.

  19. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    OpenAIRE

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Heubl, Günther

    2009-01-01

    We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible ...

  20. Phthiraptera from some wild carnivores in Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez, Jesús M.; Soler, María Desamparados; Benítez, Rocio; Ruiz-Martínez, Isidoro; Palomares, Francisco; Delibes, M.

    1990-01-01

    During 1987 and the first months of 1988, several carnivores were surveyed for ecological studies by means of radio-tracking techniques and in order to identify the ischnoceran species parasitising these animals. The hosts belonged to the following species: Felis pardina, Felis silvestris, Herpestes ichneumon, Genetta genetta, Vulpes vulpes and Metes meles. While no lice were found on the two first species, the remaining ones were parasitised by Felicola (Felicola) inaequalis, Lorisicol...

  1. Are Carnivores Universally Good Sentinels of Plague?

    OpenAIRE

    Brinkerhoff, R. Jory; Collinge, Sharon K.; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plagu...

  2. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-07

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance.

  3. Interpreting carnivore scent-station surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargeant, G.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Berg, W.E.

    1998-01-01

    The scent-station survey method has been widely used to estimate trends in carnivore abundance. However, statistical properties of scent-station data are poorly understood, and the relation between scent-station indices and carnivore abundance has not been adequately evaluated. We assessed properties of scent-station indices by analyzing data collected in Minnesota during 1986-03. Visits to stations separated by intractable statistical distribution. Dichotomizing results for lines of 10 stations (0 or 21 visits) produced binomially distributed data that were robust to multiple visits by individuals. We abandoned 2-way comparisons among years in favor of tests for population trend, which are less susceptible to bias, and analyzed results separately for biogeographic sections of Minnesota because trends differed among sections. Before drawing inferences about carnivore population trends, we reevaluated published validation experiments. Results implicated low statistical power and confounding as possible explanations for equivocal or conflicting results of validation efforts. Long-term trends in visitation rates probably reflect real changes in populations, but poor spatial and temporal resolution, susceptibility to confounding, and low statistical power limit the usefulness of this survey method.

  4. Endocytotic uptake of nutrients in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Koller-Peroutka, Marianne; Bauer, Sonja; Koshkin, Edith; Lendl, Thomas; Lichtscheidl, Irene K

    2012-07-01

    Carnivorous plants trap, digest and absorb animals in order to supplement their mineral nutrition. Nutrients absorbed by the plant include different nitrogen species, phosphate, potassium, trace elements and small organic compounds. Uptake is usually thought to be performed via specific channels, but this study provides evidence that endocytosis is involved as well. Traps of the carnivorous plants Nepenthes coccinea, Nepenthes ventrata, Cephalotus follicularis, Drosophyllum lusitanicum, Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula, Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Genlisea violacea × lobata, Sarracenia psittacina and Sarracenia purpurea were stained with methylene blue in order to identify possible sites of uptake. The permeable parts of the traps were incubated with fluorescein isothiocyanate labelled bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) and other fluorescent endocytosis markers, combined with the soluble protein BSA or respiratory inhibitors. Uptake was studied by confocal microscopy. In Nepenthes, small fluorescent vesicles became visible 1 h after incubation with FITC-BSA. These vesicles fused to larger compartments within 30 h. A similar behaviour was found in the related genera Drosera, Dionaea, Aldrovanda and Drosophyllum but also in Cephalotus with glands of different evolutionary origin. In Genlisea and Sarracenia, no evidence for endocytosis was found. We propose that in many carnivorous plants, nutrient uptake by carriers is supplemented by endocytosis, which enables absorption and intracellular digestion of whole proteins. The advantage for the plant of reducing secretion of enzymes for extracellular digestion is evident. © 2012 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, R; Johnson, A J; Sankar, S; Hussain, A A; Sathish Kumar, C; Sabulal, B

    2013-05-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire most of their nutrients by capturing ants, insects and other arthropods through their leaf-evolved biological traps. So far, the best-known attractants in carnivorous prey traps are nectar, colour and olfactory cues. Here, fresh prey traps of 14 Nepenthes, five Sarracenia, five Drosera, two Pinguicula species/hybrids, Dionaea muscipula and Utricularia stellaris were scanned at UV 366 nm. Fluorescence emissions of major isolates of fresh Nepenthes khasiana pitcher peristomes were recorded at an excitation wavelength of 366 nm. N. khasiana field pitcher peristomes were masked by its slippery zone extract, and prey capture rates were compared with control pitchers. We found the existence of distinct blue fluorescence emissions at the capture spots of Nepenthes, Sarracenia and Dionaea prey traps at UV 366 nm. These alluring blue emissions gradually developed with the growth of the prey traps and diminished towards their death. On excitation at 366 nm, N. khasiana peristome 3:1 CHCl3–MeOH extract and its two major blue bands showed strong fluorescence emissions at 430–480 nm. Masking of blue emissions on peristomes drastically reduced prey capture in N. khasiana pitchers. We propose these molecular emissions as a critical factor attracting arthropods and other visitors to these carnivorous traps. Drosera, Pinguicula and Utricularia prey traps showed only red chlorophyll emissions at 366 nm.

  6. Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penteriani, Vincenzo; Delgado, María del Mar; Pinchera, Francesco; Naves, Javier; Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Kojola, Ilpo; Härkönen, Sauli; Norberg, Harri; Frank, Jens; Fedriani, José María; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Swenson, Jon E; Wabakken, Petter; Pellegrini, Mario; Herrero, Stephen; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2016-02-03

    The media and scientific literature are increasingly reporting an escalation of large carnivore attacks on humans in North America and Europe. Although rare compared to human fatalities by other wildlife, the media often overplay large carnivore attacks on humans, causing increased fear and negative attitudes towards coexisting with and conserving these species. Although large carnivore populations are generally increasing in developed countries, increased numbers are not solely responsible for the observed rise in the number of attacks by large carnivores. Here we show that an increasing number of people are involved in outdoor activities and, when doing so, some people engage in risk-enhancing behaviour that can increase the probability of a risky encounter and a potential attack. About half of the well-documented reported attacks have involved risk-enhancing human behaviours, the most common of which is leaving children unattended. Our study provides unique insight into the causes, and as a result the prevention, of large carnivore attacks on people. Prevention and information that can encourage appropriate human behaviour when sharing the landscape with large carnivores are of paramount importance to reduce both potentially fatal human-carnivore encounters and their consequences to large carnivores.

  7. Prevalence of echinococcosis in dogs and wild carnivores in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A prevalence study on echinococcosis in dogs and wild carnivores was conducted in northen Tanzania. Copro-antigen ELISA was used to screen 442 dog faecal samples from Magu, Bariadi and Ngorongoro districts, together with 88 wild carnivore samples from Serengeti National Park. Overall prevalence of E. granulosus ...

  8. The evolution of intelligence in mammalian carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holekamp, Kay E; Benson-Amram, Sarah

    2017-06-06

    Although intelligence should theoretically evolve to help animals solve specific types of problems posed by the environment, it is unclear which environmental challenges favour enhanced cognition, or how general intelligence evolves along with domain-specific cognitive abilities. The social intelligence hypothesis posits that big brains and great intelligence have evolved to cope with the labile behaviour of group mates. We have exploited the remarkable convergence in social complexity between cercopithecine primates and spotted hyaenas to test predictions of the social intelligence hypothesis in regard to both cognition and brain size. Behavioural data indicate that there has been considerable convergence between primates and hyaenas with respect to their social cognitive abilities. Moreover, compared with other hyaena species, spotted hyaenas have larger brains and expanded frontal cortex, as predicted by the social intelligence hypothesis. However, broader comparative study suggests that domain-general intelligence in carnivores probably did not evolve in response to selection pressures imposed specifically in the social domain. The cognitive buffer hypothesis, which suggests that general intelligence evolves to help animals cope with novel or changing environments, appears to offer a more robust explanation for general intelligence in carnivores than any hypothesis invoking selection pressures imposed strictly by sociality or foraging demands.

  9. Cats and Carbohydrates: The Carnivore Fantasy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbrugghe, Adronie; Hesta, Myriam

    2017-01-01

    The domestic cat’s wild ancestors are obligate carnivores that consume prey containing only minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Evolutionary events adapted the cat’s metabolism and physiology to this diet strictly composed of animal tissues and led to unique digestive and metabolic peculiarities of carbohydrate metabolism. The domestic cat still closely resembles its wild ancestor. Although the carnivore connection of domestic cats is well recognised, little is known about the precise nutrient profile to which the digestive physiology and metabolism of the cat have adapted throughout evolution. Moreover, studies show that domestic cats balance macronutrient intake by selecting low-carbohydrate foods. The fact that cats evolved consuming low-carbohydrate prey has led to speculations that high-carbohydrate diets could be detrimental for a cat’s health. More specifically, it has been suggested that excess carbohydrates could lead to feline obesity and diabetes mellitus. Additionally, the chances for remission of diabetes mellitus are higher in cats that consume a low-carbohydrate diet. This literature review will summarise current carbohydrate knowledge pertaining to digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, food selection and macronutrient balancing in healthy, obese and diabetic cats, as well as the role of carbohydrates in prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes mellitus. PMID:29140289

  10. Cats and Carbohydrates: The Carnivore Fantasy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adronie Verbrugghe

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The domestic cat’s wild ancestors are obligate carnivores that consume prey containing only minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Evolutionary events adapted the cat’s metabolism and physiology to this diet strictly composed of animal tissues and led to unique digestive and metabolic peculiarities of carbohydrate metabolism. The domestic cat still closely resembles its wild ancestor. Although the carnivore connection of domestic cats is well recognised, little is known about the precise nutrient profile to which the digestive physiology and metabolism of the cat have adapted throughout evolution. Moreover, studies show that domestic cats balance macronutrient intake by selecting low-carbohydrate foods. The fact that cats evolved consuming low-carbohydrate prey has led to speculations that high-carbohydrate diets could be detrimental for a cat’s health. More specifically, it has been suggested that excess carbohydrates could lead to feline obesity and diabetes mellitus. Additionally, the chances for remission of diabetes mellitus are higher in cats that consume a low-carbohydrate diet. This literature review will summarise current carbohydrate knowledge pertaining to digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, food selection and macronutrient balancing in healthy, obese and diabetic cats, as well as the role of carbohydrates in prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

  11. Cats and Carbohydrates: The Carnivore Fantasy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbrugghe, Adronie; Hesta, Myriam

    2017-11-15

    The domestic cat's wild ancestors are obligate carnivores that consume prey containing only minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Evolutionary events adapted the cat's metabolism and physiology to this diet strictly composed of animal tissues and led to unique digestive and metabolic peculiarities of carbohydrate metabolism. The domestic cat still closely resembles its wild ancestor. Although the carnivore connection of domestic cats is well recognised, little is known about the precise nutrient profile to which the digestive physiology and metabolism of the cat have adapted throughout evolution. Moreover, studies show that domestic cats balance macronutrient intake by selecting low-carbohydrate foods. The fact that cats evolved consuming low-carbohydrate prey has led to speculations that high-carbohydrate diets could be detrimental for a cat's health. More specifically, it has been suggested that excess carbohydrates could lead to feline obesity and diabetes mellitus. Additionally, the chances for remission of diabetes mellitus are higher in cats that consume a low-carbohydrate diet. This literature review will summarise current carbohydrate knowledge pertaining to digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, food selection and macronutrient balancing in healthy, obese and diabetic cats, as well as the role of carbohydrates in prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

  12. The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koufos, G. D.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes a great number of taxa, described in numerous articles since the first decades of the 19th Century. The present article is a revision of all these taxa, providing information about their history, localities, age, as well as their stratigraphic distribution and palaeoenvironment. The Early/Middle Miocene carnivore record of Greece is poor as the available fossiliferous sites and material are rare. However, the Late Miocene one is quite rich, including numerous taxa. The Miocene localities with carnivores and their age are given in a stratigraphic table covering the European Mammal zones from MN 4 to MN 13. The type locality, holotype, and some historical and morphological remarks are given for each taxon. Several carnivore taxa were erected from Greek material and new photos of their holotypes are given. The stratigraphic distribution of the Greek carnivore taxa indicates that they are covering the time span from ~19.0-5.3Ma. The majority of the Miocene taxa (Adcrocuta, Hyaenictitherium, Plioviverrops, Protictitherium, Ictitherium, Indarctos, Dinocrocuta, Promephitis disappeared at the end of Miocene. The composition of the Early/Middle Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes mainly viverrids (Lophocyon, Euboictis, while the hyaenids, percrocutids, felids and mustelids are very few. On the contrary the Late Miocene assemblage is richer, including more subfamilies and species; the hyaenids and mustelids dominate, while the viverrids are absent. The Late Miocene carnivore guild structure is similar to that of the modern Serengeti, indicating a relatively open, savannah-like environment.

    La asociación de carnívoros miocenos de Grecia incluye un gran número de taxones, descritos en numerosos artículos desde las primeras décadas del siglo XIX. El presente artículo supone un esfuerzo de síntesis de todos estos taxones, suministrando información sobre su

  13. Catapulting Tentacles in a Sticky Carnivorous Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Hartmeyer, Siegfried Richard Heinrich; Seidel, Robin; Masselter, Tom; Hartmeyer, Irmgard; Speck, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed ‘active’ have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin’s early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory. PMID:23049849

  14. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Hartmeyer, Siegfried Richard Heinrich; Seidel, Robin; Masselter, Tom; Hartmeyer, Irmgard; Speck, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  15. The carnivorous syndrome in Nepenthes pitcher plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Charles M

    2010-01-01

    Nepenthes is the largest genus of pitcher plants, with its center of diversity in SE Asia. The plants grow in substrates that are deficient in N and offset this deficiency by trapping animal prey, primarily arthropods. Recent research has provided new insights into the function of the pitchers, particularly with regard to prey tapping and retention. Species examined to date use combinations of wettable peristomes, wax layers and viscoelastic fluid to trap and retain prey. In many respects, this has redefined our understanding of the functioning of Nepenthes pitchers. In addition, recent research has shown that several Nepenthes species target specific groups of prey animals, or are even evolving away from a strictly carnivorous mode of operation. Future research into nutrient sequestration strategies and mechanisms of prey attraction would no doubt further enhance our knowledge of the ecology of this remarkable genus. PMID:21135573

  16. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Poppinga

    Full Text Available Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  17. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleischmann, Andreas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible isolation of high quality genomic DNA suitable for PCR reactions. DNA extraction can be conducted from both fresh and dried leaf tissue of various carnivorous plant taxa, irrespective of high contents of polysaccharides, phenolic compounds and other secondary plant metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and amplification.

    Probamos algunos protocolos publicados previamente para el aislamiento del ADN de plantas con alto contenido de polifenoles y polisacáridos para varios táxones de plantas carnívoras. Sin embargo, no conseguimos muy buenos resultados ni con tejidos de hojas frescas, ni con tejidos de hojas secadas en gel de sílice obtenidas de plantas colectadas en el campo o cultivadas en los invernaderos, ni de especímenes de herbario. Por lo tanto, hemos desarrollado un protocolo sencillo, modificado del Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit disponible en el mercado para el aislamiento rápido, eficaz y reproducible de ADN genómico de alta calidad conveniente para la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa. La extracción del ADN se puede realizar en tejidos de hojas frescas o secas de varios táxones de plantas carnívoras, sin importar el grado de contenido de polisacáridos, compuestos fenólicos u otros metabolitos secundarios que interfieren con el aislamiento y la amplificación del ADN.

  18. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R B Miller

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people's perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners' perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk. Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1 improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2 working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

  19. Cytochemical and ultrastructural aspects of aquatic carnivorous plant turions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Plachno, B.J.; Adamec, Lubomír; Kozieradzka-Kiszkurno, M.; Świątek, P.; Kamińska, I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 251, č. 6 (2014), s. 1449-1454 ISSN 0033-183X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plants * winter buds * storage functions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.651, year: 2014

  20. Trends in the extinction of carnivores in Madagascar

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    Cartagena–Matos, B.

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of top predators, such as mammalian carnivores can lead to dramatic changes in foodweb structure and ecosystem dynamics. Since all native Malagasy terrestrial mammalian carnivores are endemic, their extinction implies a significant loss of biodiversity in Madagascar. Here we review the literature on Madagascar’s mammalian carnivores, aiming to determine which species are most likely to become extinct in the near future in view of the factors threatening their survival. We scored each factor according to its impact on the species. According to our results, the giant–striped mongoose, Galidictis grandidieri, is the most likely species to next become extinct. This is no surprise because this species is considered one of the rarest carnivores in the world, inhabiting only a small, threatened forest ecosystem. Our results emphasize the need for robust data about each species to help and support decision–makers implement conservation measures.

  1. The large terrestrial carnivore guild in Quaternary Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Julien

    2014-07-01

    Much of Southeast Asia's large terrestrial carnivores appeared, evolved and disappeared from the region for reasons that remain poorly understood. Two of the most significant extinctions are represented by the charismatic Pleistocene megacarnivores Pachycrocuta and Pliocrocuta. Southeast Asia hosts the last populations of these species globally. Their persistence in southern China until the late Pleistocene suggests their extinction was not tied to that of the machairodont cats, which like the rest of the world became extinct sometime in the early Pleistocene in this region. Instead the disappearance of the hyenids is probably related to climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions. There is some evidence that the wolf and domesticated dog first appeared in Southeast Asia, although confirmation of this awaits more detailed fossil records. There does not appear to be a large carnivore guild turnover of the same scale or time as recorded in Europe and Africa, although an extinction event in the late Pleistocene is provisionally recorded. Environmental changes and fluctuating sea levels have had a unique impact on the region's large carnivore guild. Several large carnivores from Java show unique genetic and morphological variations, and this could potentially be related to the connection between Java and the Indochinese mainland sometime during the middle Pleistocene. The effects of islands on the large carnivores are complicated and at times contradictory. Nevertheless, periods of isolation of large carnivores on Java, Sumatra and Borneo from the continent had impacts on both extinctions and speciations, with at least one well documented endemic large carnivore evolving in Sundaland (Sunda clouded leopard). Hunting and deforestation ongoing since the mid- to late Holocene means that many extant members of the large carnivore guild are at high risk of extinction.

  2. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges...

  3. Carnivorous syndrome in Asian pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovic, Andrej; Masarovicová, Elena; Hudák, Ján

    2007-09-01

    Pitcher plants Nepenthes alata and N. mirabilis are carnivorous species with leaves composed of a photosynthetic part (lamina) and a pitcher trap. This characteristic permitted direct physiological and anatomical comparison between these two distinct parts of the leaves to determine those features involved in the 'carnivorous syndrome', which include low net photosynthetic assimilation rate (A(N)) and low photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE). Photosynthetic rate (A(N)) and respiration rate (R(d)) were measured gasometrically, chlorophyll concentration was determined spectrophotometrically and nitrogen concentration was determined using a CHN elemental analyser in lamina and trap separately. Anatomy of N. alata was observed using light, fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. A(N), foliar nitrogen and chlorophyll concentration were also compared with values for other carnivorous plant species (genera Sarracenia, Drosera) that combine both autotrophic and carnivorous functions into the same physical organ. It was found that the A(N) in Nepenthes lamina was low and PNUE was only slightly higher or similar in comparison with other carnivorous plants. It was not observed that the pitcher had a higher R(d) than the lamina, but A(N) in the pitcher was significantly lower than in the lamina. Nepenthes possesses a cluster of characters that could result in reduced photosynthesis in the pitcher and be responsible for carnivorous function of the leaf: replacement of chlorophyll-containing cells with digestive glands, low chlorophyll and nitrogen concentration, compact mesophyll with a small portion of intercellular spaces, absence of palisade parenchyma and low stomatal density. Low photosynthetic capacity, nitrogen efficiency, chlorophyll and nitrogen concentration of Nepenthes pitchers was found, together with a set of features that characterized the carnivorous syndrome. Dual use of leaves for photosynthesis and nutrient gain can decrease photosynthetic

  4. Evaluation of the finnish national policy on large carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Pohja-Mykrä, Mari; Kurki, Sami

    2014-01-01

    This evaluation of the Finnish national policy on large carnivores focuses on the success in accomplishing ecological, economic and social sustainability in population management during the period from 2007 to 2012, through objectives and actions in the implemented population management plans. The conclusions drawn in the evaluation are based on a logical framework which must in practice be seen as the logic behind the policy on large carnivores and associated development actions. Based on th...

  5. Carnivore hotspots in Peninsular Malaysia and their landscape attributes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnayeke, Shyamala; van Manen, Frank T.; Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben; Mohd Kulaimi, Noor Azleen; Sharp, Stuart P.

    2018-01-01

    Mammalian carnivores play a vital role in ecosystem functioning. However, they are prone to extinction because of low population densities and growth rates, and high levels of persecution or exploitation. In tropical biodiversity hotspots such as Peninsular Malaysia, rapid conversion of natural habitats threatens the persistence of this vulnerable group of animals. Here, we carried out the first comprehensive literature review on 31 carnivore species reported to occur in Peninsular Malaysia and updated their probable distribution. We georeferenced 375 observations of 28 species of carnivore from 89 unique geographic locations using records spanning 1948 to 2014. Using the Getis-Ord Gi*statistic and weighted survey records by IUCN Red List status, we identified hotspots of species that were of conservation concern and built regression models to identify environmental and anthropogenic landscape factors associated with Getis-Ord Gi* z scores. Our analyses identified two carnivore hotspots that were spatially concordant with two of the peninsula’s largest and most contiguous forest complexes, associated with Taman Negara National Park and Royal Belum State Park. A cold spot overlapped with the southwestern region of the Peninsula, reflecting the disappearance of carnivores with higher conservation rankings from increasingly fragmented natural habitats. Getis-Ord Gi* z scores were negatively associated with elevation, and positively associated with the proportion of natural land cover and distance from the capital city. Malaysia contains some of the world’s most diverse carnivore assemblages, but recent rates of forest loss are some of the highest in the world. Reducing poaching and maintaining large, contiguous tracts of lowland forests will be crucial, not only for the persistence of threatened carnivores, but for many mammalian species in general.

  6. Carnivore hotspots in Peninsular Malaysia and their landscape attributes

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Manen, Frank T.

    2018-01-01

    Mammalian carnivores play a vital role in ecosystem functioning. However, they are prone to extinction because of low population densities and growth rates, and high levels of persecution or exploitation. In tropical biodiversity hotspots such as Peninsular Malaysia, rapid conversion of natural habitats threatens the persistence of this vulnerable group of animals. Here, we carried out the first comprehensive literature review on 31 carnivore species reported to occur in Peninsular Malaysia and updated their probable distribution. We georeferenced 375 observations of 28 species of carnivore from 89 unique geographic locations using records spanning 1948 to 2014. Using the Getis-Ord Gi*statistic and weighted survey records by IUCN Red List status, we identified hotspots of species that were of conservation concern and built regression models to identify environmental and anthropogenic landscape factors associated with Getis-Ord Gi* z scores. Our analyses identified two carnivore hotspots that were spatially concordant with two of the peninsula’s largest and most contiguous forest complexes, associated with Taman Negara National Park and Royal Belum State Park. A cold spot overlapped with the southwestern region of the Peninsula, reflecting the disappearance of carnivores with higher conservation rankings from increasingly fragmented natural habitats. Getis-Ord Gi* z scores were negatively associated with elevation, and positively associated with the proportion of natural land cover and distance from the capital city. Malaysia contains some of the world’s most diverse carnivore assemblages, but recent rates of forest loss are some of the highest in the world. Reducing poaching and maintaining large, contiguous tracts of lowland forests will be crucial, not only for the persistence of threatened carnivores, but for many mammalian species in general. PMID:29617402

  7. Expanding the menu for carnivorous plants: uptake of potassium, iron and manganese by carnivorous pitcher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Steinhauser, Georg; Peroutka, Marianne; Musilek, Andreas; Sterba, Johannes H; Lichtscheidl, Irene K; Bichler, Max

    2009-12-01

    Carnivorous plants use animals as fertiliser substitutes which allow them to survive on nutrient deficient soils. Most research concentrated on the uptake of the prey's nitrogen and phosphorus; only little is known on the utilisation of other elements. We studied the uptake of three essential nutrients, potassium, iron and manganese, in three species of carnivorous pitcher plants (Cephalotus follicularis LaBilladiere, Sarracenia purpureaL., Heliamphora nutans Bentham). Using relatively short-lived and gamma-emitting radiotracers, we significantly improved the sensitivity compared to conventional protocols and gained the following results. We demonstrated the uptake of trace elements like iron and manganese. In addition, we found direct evidence for the uptake of potassium into the pitcher tissue. Potassium and manganese were absorbed to virtually 100% if offered in physiological concentrations or below in Cephalotus. Analysis of pitcher fluid collected in the natural habitat showed that uptake was performed here as efficiently as in the laboratory. The absorption of nutrients is an active process depending on living glandular cells in the pitcher epidermis and can be inhibited by azide. Unphysiologically high amounts of nutrients were taken up for a short time, but after a few hours the absorbing cells were damaged, and uptake stopped. Absorption rates of pitcher leaves from plants under controlled conditions varied highly, indicating that each trap is functionally independent. The comparison of minerals in typical prey with the plants' tissues showed that a complete coverage of the plants' needs by prey capture is improbable.

  8. Prey depletion as a threat to the world's large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J

    2016-08-01

    Large terrestrial carnivores are an ecologically important, charismatic and highly endangered group of species. Here, we assess the importance of prey depletion as a driver of large carnivore endangerment globally using lists of prey species for each large carnivore compiled from the literature. We consider spatial variation in prey endangerment, changes in endangerment over time and the causes of prey depletion, finding considerable evidence that loss of prey base is a major and wide-ranging threat among large carnivore species. In particular, the clouded leopard ( Neofelis nebulosa ), Sunda clouded leopard ( Neofelis diardi ), tiger ( Panthera tigris ), dhole ( Cuon alpinus ) and Ethiopian wolf ( Canis simensis ) all have at least 40% of their prey classified as threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and, along with the leopard ( Panethra pardus ), all of these species except the Ethiopian wolf have at least 50% of their prey classified as declining. Of the 494 prey species in our analysis, an average of just 6.9% of their ranges overlap protected areas. Together these results show the importance of a holistic approach to conservation that involves protecting both large carnivores directly and the prey upon which they depend.

  9. CARNIVORE: A Disruption-Tolerant System for Studying Wildlife

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams TerrieM

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We present CARNIVORE, a system for in situ, unobtrusive monitoring of cryptic, difficult-to-catch/observe wildlife in their natural habitat. CARNIVORE is a network of mobile and static nodes with sensing, processing, storage, and wireless communication capabilities. CARNIVORE's compact, low-power, mobile animal-borne nodes collect sensor data and transmit it to static nodes, which then relay it to the Internet. Depending on the wildlife being studied, the network can be quite sparse and therefore disconnected frequently for arbitrarily long periods of time. To support "disconnected operation", CARNIVORE uses an "opportunistic routing" approach taking advantage of every encounter between nodes (mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-static to propagate data. With a lifespan of 50–100 days, a CARNIVORE mobile node, outfitted on a collar, collects and transmits 1 GB of data compared to 450 kB of data from comparable commercially available wildlife collars. Each collar records 3-axis accelerometer and GPS data to infer animal behavior and energy consumption.Testing in both laboratory and free-range settings with domestic dogs shows that galloping and trotting behavior can be identified. Data collected from first deployments on mountain lions (Puma concolor near Santa Cruz, CA, USA show that the system is a viable and useful tool for wildlife research.

  10. Zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores: A systematic review in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahabeddin Sarvi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Parasitic infections, especially of the zoonotic-parasitic type, are the most important health, economic, and social problems in developing countries, including Iran. The aim of this study was to review systematically the available data on gastrointestinal parasites of carnivores in Iran and their ability to infect humans. Materials and Methods: Studies reporting intestinal parasites of carnivores were systematically collected from nine electronic English and Persian databases and Proceedings of Iranian parasitology and veterinary congresses published between 1997 and 2015. A total of 26 studies issued from 1997 to 2015 met the eligibility criteria. Results: The pooled proportion of intestinal parasites of carnivores was estimated as 80.4% (95% confidence interval=70.2-88.8%. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in dogs, cats, foxes, and jackals were 57.89%, 90.62%, 89.17%, and 97.32%, respectively. Dipylidium caninum (20.45%, Toxocara spp. (18.81%, Taenia hydatigena (15.28%, Mesocestoides lineatus (11.83%, Echinococcus granulosus (10%, and Toxascaris leonina (8.69% were the most frequently observed parasites. Conclusion: High prevalence rates of zoonotic intestinal parasites of carnivores particularly Echinococcus spp. and Toxocara spp. increase the risk of acquiring zoonotic infections such as cystic hydatid, alveolar cysts, and visceral or ocular larva migrants in Iranian people. Therefore, it is essential for public health centers to develop more effective control strategies to decrease infections rates in carnivores' populations.

  11. Forest carnivore conservation and management in the interior Columbia basin: issues and environmental correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary W. Witmer; Sandra K. Martin; Rodney D. Sayler

    1998-01-01

    Forest carnivores in the Pacific Northwest include 11 medium to large-sized mammalian species of canids, felids, mustelids, and ursids. These carnivores have widely differing status in the region, with some harvested in regulated furbearer seasons, some taken for depredations, and some protected because of rarity. Most large carnivores have declined in numbers or range...

  12. Simplified large African carnivore density estimators from track indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiaan W. Winterbach

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background The range, population size and trend of large carnivores are important parameters to assess their status globally and to plan conservation strategies. One can use linear models to assess population size and trends of large carnivores from track-based surveys on suitable substrates. The conventional approach of a linear model with intercept may not intercept at zero, but may fit the data better than linear model through the origin. We assess whether a linear regression through the origin is more appropriate than a linear regression with intercept to model large African carnivore densities and track indices. Methods We did simple linear regression with intercept analysis and simple linear regression through the origin and used the confidence interval for ß in the linear model y = αx + ß, Standard Error of Estimate, Mean Squares Residual and Akaike Information Criteria to evaluate the models. Results The Lion on Clay and Low Density on Sand models with intercept were not significant (P > 0.05. The other four models with intercept and the six models thorough origin were all significant (P < 0.05. The models using linear regression with intercept all included zero in the confidence interval for ß and the null hypothesis that ß = 0 could not be rejected. All models showed that the linear model through the origin provided a better fit than the linear model with intercept, as indicated by the Standard Error of Estimate and Mean Square Residuals. Akaike Information Criteria showed that linear models through the origin were better and that none of the linear models with intercept had substantial support. Discussion Our results showed that linear regression through the origin is justified over the more typical linear regression with intercept for all models we tested. A general model can be used to estimate large carnivore densities from track densities across species and study areas. The formula observed track density = 3.26 × carnivore

  13. The Microbiome and Occurrence of Methanotrophy in Carnivorous Sponges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Thomassen Hestetun

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available As shown by recent studies, filter-feeding sponges are known to host a wide variety of microorganisms. However, the microbial community of the non-filtering carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae has been the subject of less scrutiny. Here, we present the results from a comparative study of the methanotrophic carnivorous sponge Cladorhiza methanophila from a mud volcano-rich area at the Barbados Accretionary Prism (BAP, and five carnivorous species from the Jan Mayen Vent Field (JMVF at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Results from 16S rRNA microbiome data indicate the presence of a diverse assemblage of associated microorganisms in carnivorous sponges mainly from the Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteriaceae and Thaumarchaeota. While the abundance of particular groups varied throughout the dataset, we found interesting similarities to previous microbiome results from non-carnivorous deep sea sponges, suggesting that the carnivorous sponges share characteristics of a previously hypothesized putative deep-sea sponge microbial community. Chemolithoautotrophic symbiosis was confirmed for C. methanophila through a microbial community with a high abundance of Methylococcales and very light isotopic δ13C and δ15N ratios (-60 to -66‰/3.5 to 5.2‰ compared to the other cladorhizid species (-22 to -24‰/8.5-10.5‰. We provide evidence for the presence of putative sulfur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria in the arctic cladorhizids; however, δ13C and δ15N signatures did not provide evidence for significant chemoautotrophic symbiosis in this case, and the slightly higher abundance of cladorhizids at the JMVF site compared to the nearby deep sea likely stem from an increased abundance of prey rather than a more direct vent association. The phylogenetic position of C. methanophila in relation to other carnivorous sponges was established using a three-gene phylogenetic analysis, and it was found to be closely related to other non

  14. The Microbiome and Occurrence of Methanotrophy in Carnivorous Sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon T; Dahle, Håkon; Jørgensen, Steffen L; Olsen, Bernt R; Rapp, Hans T

    2016-01-01

    As shown by recent studies, filter-feeding sponges are known to host a wide variety of microorganisms. However, the microbial community of the non-filtering carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae) has been the subject of less scrutiny. Here, we present the results from a comparative study of the methanotrophic carnivorous sponge Cladorhiza methanophila from a mud volcano-rich area at the Barbados Accretionary Prism, and five carnivorous species from the Jan Mayen Vent Field (JMVF) at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. Results from 16S rRNA microbiome data indicate the presence of a diverse assemblage of associated microorganisms in carnivorous sponges mainly from the Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria, Flavobacteriaceae, and Thaumarchaeota. While the abundance of particular groups varied throughout the dataset, we found interesting similarities to previous microbiome results from non-carnivorous deep sea sponges, suggesting that the carnivorous sponges share characteristics of a previously hypothesized putative deep-sea sponge microbial community. Chemolithoautotrophic symbiosis was confirmed for C. methanophila through a microbial community with a high abundance of Methylococcales and very light isotopic δ 13 C and δ 15 N ratios (-60 to -66‰/3.5 to 5.2‰) compared to the other cladorhizid species (-22 to -24‰/8.5 to 10.5‰). We provide evidence for the presence of putative sulfur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria in the arctic cladorhizids; however, δ 13 C and δ 15 N signatures did not provide evidence for significant chemoautotrophic symbiosis in this case, and the slightly higher abundance of cladorhizids at the JMVF site compared to the nearby deep sea likely stem from an increased abundance of prey rather than a more direct vent association. The phylogenetic position of C. methanophila in relation to other carnivorous sponges was established using a three-gene phylogenetic analysis, and it was found to be closely related to other non-methanotrophic Cladorhiza

  15. Troublemaking carnivores: conflicts with humans in a diverse assemblage of large carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea T. Morehouse

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Human-wildlife conflicts are a global conservation and management challenge. Multipredator systems present added complexity to the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts because mitigation strategies often are species-specific. Documenting the type and distribution of such conflicts is an important first step toward ensuring that subsequent management and mitigation efforts are appropriately targeted. We reviewed 16 years of records of complaints about two species of strict carnivores, wolves (Canis lupus and cougars (Puma concolor, and two species of omnivores, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos and black bears (Ursus americanus in southwestern Alberta and evaluated the temporal and spatial distribution of these complaints. Conflicts were most frequently associated with bears (68.7% of complaint records, reflecting a diversity of conflict types attributable to their omnivorous diets. Although grizzly bears killed and injured livestock, the majority of conflicts with bears were attributable to attractants (grain and dead livestock for grizzly bears, garbage for black bears. In contrast, wolf and cougar incidents were almost exclusively related to killing or injury of livestock. Complaints for both bear species have increased over the past 16 years while cougar and wolf complaints have remained relatively constant. Grizzly bear and cougar conflicts have been expanding into private lands used for agriculture. Although community driven, targeted mitigation measures have helped reduce conflicts with grizzly bears at the site level, conflicts at the broader scale have continued to increase and continued work is necessary. Long-term human-carnivore coexistence clearly is possible, facilitated by continued monitoring and local efforts to mitigate conflicts.

  16. Predicting carnivore occurrence with noninvasive surveys and occupancy modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Long; Therese Donovan; Paula MacKay; William Zielinski; Jeffrey. Buzas

    2011-01-01

    Terrestrial carnivores typically have large home ranges and exist at low population densities, thus presenting challenges to wildlife researchers. We employed multiple, noninvasive survey methods—scat detection dogs, remote cameras, and hair snares—to collect detection–nondetection data for elusive American black bears (Ursus americanus), fishers...

  17. Functional characteristics of traps of aquatic carnivorous Utricularia species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 95, č. 3 (2011), 226-233 ISSN 0304-3770 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/0783 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plants * trap thickness measurements * water pumping Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.516, year: 2011

  18. Small carnivores of Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, southern Western Ghats, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Sreehari

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The first ever detailed study on the small carnivores of the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (PkTR in the southern Western Ghats, using camera trap techniques, reported 11 species.  A total of 1,350 camera-trap nights were used for the study.  This was supplemented with 242km of day transects and 344km of night transects using spot-lights.  The small carnivores reported were the Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni, Indian Grey Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii, Stripe-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Brown Mongoose Herpestes fuscus, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsii, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis.  About 90% of the small carnivores captured in the camera traps in PKTR were members of the Viverridae family such as the Small Indian Civet (31.67%, Common Palm Civet (30% and Brown Palm Civet (28.33%.  The study recorded all the four species of mongoose known from the Western Ghats from PkTR.  Two out of the 11 small carnivores belong to the ‘Vulnerable’ category on the IUCN Red List. 

  19. Small carnivores of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honnavalli N. Kumara

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available During the present study in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT, nine species of small carnivores viz., Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Rusty-spotted Cat Prionalilurus rubiginosus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Striped-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, were recorded using camera-trapping technique, transect walks, and night surveys. Vegetation type strongly influences the presence and abundance of each species. The most sightings of small carnivores occurred in dry deciduous forests. Among all the species, the Asian Palm Civet was the most abundant and was followed by the small Indian Civet. Compared to many other forests or regions in India, the sight records of the Rusty-spotted Cat were relatively higher in BRT. Although we were unable to use statistical methods to search for higher levels of interdependencies between forest types and small carnivore abundance, our study sheds light on patterns of small carnivore distribution in this unique habitat which bridges the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

  20. Relative brain size in the mammalian carnivores of the Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    30 species of mammalian carnivores from the Cape Province of South Mrica. These species fall into five families: Canidae,. Mustelidae, Viverridae, Felidae and Hyaeoidae. In this paper, the behavioural and ecological aspects that may be associated with variations in EQ are e.wnined and discussed. Materials and Methods.

  1. NEOSPORA CANINUM ANTIBODIES IN WILD CARNIVORES FROM SPAIN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serum samples from 251 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Neospora caninum by the commercial competitive screening enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) and confirmed by Neospora agglutination test (NAT) and/or by indirect fluorescent antibody test (I...

  2. Large carnivores in the Carpathian Mountains: status and conservation problems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Okarma, H.; Dovchanych, Y.; Findo, S.; Ionescu, O.; Koubek, Petr; Szemethy, L.

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 59, - (2002), s. 33-39 ISSN 0078-3250 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KSK6005114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : carnivores * conservation * Carpathians Subject RIV: EG - Zoology

  3. Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana

    2014-08-01

    The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils.

  4. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weise, Florian J; Stratford, Ken J; van Vuuren, Rudolf J

    2014-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars). Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23), and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6). One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%), followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4%) of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown) with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7%) were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0%) with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC) and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  5. Filarioid infections in wild carnivores: a multispecies survey in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionică, Angela Monica; Matei, Ioana Adriana; D'Amico, Gianluca; Ababii, Jana; Daskalaki, Aikaterini Alexandra; Sándor, Attila D; Enache, Dorin Valter; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2017-07-13

    Filarioids are vector-borne parasitic nematodes of vertebrates. In Europe, eight species of filarioids, including zoonotic species, have been reported mainly in domestic dogs, and occasionally in wild carnivores. In Romania, infections with Dirofilaria spp. and Acanthocheilonema reconditum are endemic in domestic dogs. Despite the abundant populations of wild carnivores in the country, their role in the epidemiology of filarioid parasites remains largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess the host range, prevalence and distribution of filarioid infections in wild carnivores present in Romania. Between May 2014 and February 2016, 432 spleen samples originating from 14 species of wild carnivores have been tested for the presence of DNA of three species of filarioids (D. immitis, D. repens and A. reconditum). Overall 14 samples (3.24%) were molecularly positive. The most prevalent species was D. immitis (1.62%), accounting for 50% (n = 7) of the positive animals. The prevalence of D. repens was 1.39%, while that of A. reconditum was 0.23%. No co-infections were detected. Dirofilaria immitis DNA was detected in five golden jackals, Canis aureus (7.58%), one red fox, Vulpes vulpes (0.33%), and one wildcat, Felis silvestris (10%). The presence of D. repens DNA was detected in two red foxes (0.66%), two golden jackals (3.03%), one grey wolf (7.14%), and one least weasel, Mustela nivalis (33.33%). Acanthocheilonema reconditum DNA was found only in one red fox (0.33%). The present study provides molecular evidence of filarial infections in wild carnivore species in Romania, suggesting their potential epidemiological role and reports a new host species for D. repens.

  6. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian J Weise

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars. Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23, and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6. One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%, followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4% of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7% were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0% with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  7. Pathogenic role of gastric Helicobacter sp in domestic carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecoindre, P; Chevallier, M; Peyrol, S; Boude, M; Ferrero, R L; Labigne, A

    1997-01-01

    As a result of phylogenic studies using new molecular biology techniques and fundamental experimental studies, we now know more about helicobacteria in domestic carnivores, their morphologic characteristics, their taxonomia and more important we know more about their ecological niche. Few clinical studies have been carried out, but the ones that have been undertaken are interesting in that they confirm the extensive prevalence of Helicobacter infections in domestic carnivores and underline their role in the genesis of the inflammatory gastropathies observed in these species. Finally, recent observations have demonstrated the ubiquitous character of these helicobacteria by showing their presence in the stomach of man, dog and cat. This ubiquitous character has led some scientists to consider the potential zoonotic risk of the human infection by Helicobacter heilmannii, felis or pylori.

  8. A simple visual estimation of food consumption in carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine R Potgieter

    Full Text Available Belly-size ratings or belly scores are frequently used in carnivore research as a method of rating whether and how much an animal has eaten. This method provides only a rough ordinal measure of fullness and does not quantify the amount of food an animal has consumed. Here we present a method for estimating the amount of meat consumed by individual African wild dogs Lycaon pictus. We fed 0.5 kg pieces of meat to wild dogs being temporarily held in enclosures and measured the corresponding change in belly size using lateral side photographs taken perpendicular to the animal. The ratio of belly depth to body length was positively related to the mass of meat consumed and provided a useful estimate of the consumption. Similar relationships could be calculated to determine amounts consumed by other carnivores, thus providing a useful tool in the study of feeding behaviour.

  9. Molecular Characterization of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in Wild Carnivores in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santín, Mónica; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Carmena, David; Mateo, Marta; Balseiro, Ana; Barral, Marta; Lima Barbero, José Francisco; Habela, Miguel Ángel

    2017-12-12

    Microsporidia comprises a diverse group of obligate intracellular parasites that infect a broad range of invertebrates and vertebrates. Among Microsporidia, Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most frequently detected species in humans and animals worldwide bringing into question the possible role of animal reservoirs in the epidemiology of this pathogen. Although E. bieneusi is an emerging zoonotic pathogen able to infect many domestic and wild mammals that could act as reservoir of infection for humans and other animals, only few studies have documented its occurrence in wild carnivores. To determine the occurrence of E. bieneusi in wild carnivores, we examined 190 wild carnivores collected from different locations in Spain. Twenty-five fecal samples (13.2%) from three host species (European badger, beech marten, and red fox) were E. bieneusi-positive by PCR. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the ITS region revealed a high degree of genetic diversity with a total of eight distinct genotypes including four known (PtEbIX, S5, S9, and WildBoar3) and four novel (EbCar1-EbCar4) genotypes identified. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the four novel genotypes (EbCar1-EbCar4), S5, S9, and WildBoar3 clustered within the previously designated zoonotic Group 1. Our results demonstrate that human-pathogenic genotypes are present in wild carnivores, corroborating their potential role as a source of human infection and environmental contamination. © 2017 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2017 International Society of Protistologists.

  10. Nomenclatural review of long digital forelimb flexors in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoor, C F; Badoux, D M

    1986-12-01

    A hitherto-unknown atavistic muscle in the dog initiated a review of the literature on the homologies and nomenclature of the forelimb flexors in carnivores and man. A consequence is that we recommend a revision of the nomenclature in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (Ithaca, New York, 1983) so that it is in agreement with the Nomina Anatomica (Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983). This revision mainly consists of the incorporation of the terms M. palmaris longus and Mm. flexores breves manus.

  11. Isotopic tracking of large carnivore palaeoecology in the mammoth steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocherens, Hervé

    2015-06-01

    Isotopic tracking of carnivore palaeoecology is a relatively new approach that yielded important results for the study of the non-analogue mammoth steppe biome. After describing the prerequisite to apply this approach and the possible complications, the main achievements will be described for extinct carnivore species such as scimitar-tooth cat Homotherium serum, cave lion Panthera spelaea, giant short-faced bear Arctodus simus, cave bear Ursus spelaeus s.l., as well as for ancient representatives of extant species such as brown bear Ursus arctos and wolf Canis lupus. Isotopic tracking showed that scimitar-tooth cats in Alaska were not specialist proboscidean predators but rather generalist consumers of other large herbivores. The majority of cave lions analysed so far were focused on reindeer, some individuals were specialized on cave bears, especially in contexts of competition with cave hyenas. Giant short-faced bears in Alaska were not pure herbivores and consumed meat from reindeer, muskoxen and possibly other predators, but may have still incorporated plant resources in their menu. In contrast, all cave bear populations studied so far for which a clear dietary reconstruction could be done were virtually pure herbivores, only a few cases are still unclear. Interestingly, brown bears used the opposite extreme of the dietary spectrum when competing with other large bears such as cave bears and giant short-faced bears, i.e. were more carnivorous in Europe and more herbivorous in Alaska. Finally wolves seem to have been outcompeted by hyenas but became dominant predators during the Lateglacial in Europe to the expense of the last cave lions. The results obtained through this approach are also relevant for improving conservation strategies of endangered extant large carnivores.

  12. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation. PMID:21844043

  13. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R; Burdett, Christopher L; Theobald, David M; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-09-27

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation.

  14. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Randau

    Full Text Available The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae, representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition.

  15. Assessing sloth bears as surrogates for carnivore conservation in Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnayeke, Shyamala; Van Manen, Frank T.

    2012-01-01

    Bears are large, charismatic mammals whose presence often garners conservation attention. Because healthy bear populations typically require large, contiguous areas of habitat, land conservation actions often are assumed to benefit co-occurring species, including other mammalian carnivores. However, we are not aware of an empirical test of this assumption. We used remote camera data from 2 national parks in Sri Lanka to test the hypothesis that the frequency of detection of sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) is associated with greater richness of carnivore species. We focused on mammalian carnivores because they play a pivotal role in the stability of ecological communities and are among Sri Lanka's most endangered species. Seven of Sri Lanka's carnivores are listed as endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened, and little empirical information exists on their status and distribution. During 2002–03, we placed camera traps at 152 sites to document carnivore species presence. We used Poisson regression to develop predictive models for 3 categories of dependent variables: species richness of (1) all carnivores, (2) carnivores considered at risk, and (3) carnivores of least conservation concern. For each category, we analyzed 8 a priori models based on combinations of sloth bear detections, sample year, and study area and used Akaike's information criterion (AICc) to test our research hypothesis. We detected sloth bears at 55 camera sites and detected 13 of Sri Lanka's 14 Carnivora species. Species richness of all carnivores showed positive associations with the number of sloth bear detections, regardless of study area. Sloth bear detections were also positively associated with species richness of carnivores at risk across both study years and study areas, but not with species richness of common carnivores. Sloth bears may serve as a valuable surrogate species whose habitat protection would contribute to conservation of other carnivores in Sri Lanka.

  16. Modelling disjunct carnivore distributions: the case of the wolf (Canis lupus) in the Iberian Peninsula

    OpenAIRE

    Barbosa, A.M.; Puerto, M.A.; Figueiredo, D.; Real, R.

    2012-01-01

    Book Description: In this book, the authors present current research in the conservation, species and management of carnivores. Topics discussed include the adaptation, impact and management of the raccoon dog in Europe; human perceptions of cougars in Canada and El Salvador; the impact on wildlife conservation of emerging protozoal tick-borne diseases of canids; mitigating conflict between humans and large carnivores in carnivore conservation; the management and conservation of wolves in the...

  17. Energetics and the evolution of carnivorous plants - Darwin's "most wonderful plants in the world"

    OpenAIRE

    Ellison, Aaron; Gotelli, Nicholas J.

    2008-01-01

    Carnivory has evolved independently at least six times in five angiosperm orders. In spite of these independent origins, there is a remarkable morphological convergence of carnivorous plant traps and physiological convergence of mechanisms for digesting and assimilating prey. These convergent traits have made carnivorous plants model systems for addressing questions in plant molecular genetics, physiology, and evolutionary ecology. New data show that carnivorous plant genera with morpholog...

  18. Locating human-wildlife interactions: landscape constructions andresponses to large carnivore conservation in India and Norway

    OpenAIRE

    Ghosal, Sunetro; Skogen, Ketil; Krishnan, Siddhartha

    2015-01-01

    - People’s reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landsc...

  19. Anaplasmataceae in wild ungulates and carnivores in northern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Pérez, A L; Oporto, B; Espí, A; del Cerro, A; Barral, M; Povedano, I; Barandika, J F; Hurtado, A

    2016-03-01

    Wild vertebrates are essential hosts for tick-borne diseases but data on the prevalence and diversity of Anaplasma spp. in wildlife are scarce. In this study, we used real-time PCR to investigate the distribution of Anaplasma species in spleen samples collected from 625 wild animals (137 cervids, 227 wild boar, and 261 carnivores) in two regions in northern Spain. A first generic real-time PCR assay was used to screen for the presence of Anaplasma spp. followed by a second species-specific multiplex real-time PCR or partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene for species identification. Anaplasma phagocytophilum was highly prevalent in cervids (64.2%), but it was absent from wild boar and carnivores. Interestingly, Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma ovis were not detected in cervids, but Anaplasma centrale was identified in 1 roe deer and 1 red deer, A. bovis in 4 roe deer, and a novel Ehrlichia sp. in one badger. These findings were highly associated with the tick burden identified in the different hosts. Thus, Ixodes ricinus, the recognized vector of A. phagocytophilum in Europe, was the main tick species parasitizing cervids (93.5%, 1674/1791), whereas Dermacentor reticulatus was the most abundant in wild boar (76.1%, 35/46) and Ixodes hexagonus in carnivores (58.4%, 265/454). More investigations are needed to assess the impact of the different Anaplasma species in wildlife and the risk of transmission to domestic animals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. S-like ribonuclease gene expression in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Emi; Kawahara, Minako; Kodaira, Reina; Kume, Marina; Arai, Naoki; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2013-11-01

    Functions of S-like ribonucleases (RNases) differ considerably from those of S-RNases that function in self-incompatibility. Expression of S-like RNases is usually induced by low nutrition, vermin damage or senescence. However, interestingly, an Australian carnivorous plant Drosera adelae (a sundew), which traps prey with a sticky digestive liquid, abundantly secretes an S-like RNase DA-I in the digestive liquid even in ordinary states. Here, using D. adelae, Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) and Cephalotus follicularis (Australian pitcher plant), we show that carnivorous plants use S-like RNases for carnivory: the gene da-I encoding DA-I and its ortholog cf-I of C. follicularis are highly expressed and constitutively active in each trap/digestion organ, while the ortholog dm-I of D. muscipula becomes highly active after trapping insects. The da-I promoter is unmethylated only in its trap/digestion organ, glandular tentacles (which comprise a small percentage of the weight of the whole plant), but methylated in other organs, which explains the glandular tentacles-specific expression of the gene and indicates a very rare gene regulation system. In contrast, the promoters of dm-I, which shows induced expression, and cf-I, which has constitutive expression, were not methylated in any organs examined. Thus, it seems that the regulatory mechanisms of the da-I, dm-I and cf-I genes differ from each other and do not correlate with the phylogenetic relationship. The current study suggests that under environmental pressure in specific habitats carnivorous plants have managed to evolve their S-like RNase genes to function in carnivory.

  1. First findings and prevalence of adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) in wild carnivores from Serbia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penezic, Aleksandra; Selakovic, Sanja|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/413334600; Pavlovic, Ivan; Cirovic, Dusko

    Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic roundworm that causes a zoonotic disease known as dirofilariosis. Little is known about the role of wild carnivores serving as reservoirs in nature. Therefore, we examined 738 hearts and lungs of free ranging wild carnivores from Serbia to determine the

  2. Historical and contemporary distributions of carnivores in forests of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J Zielinski; Richard L Truex; Fredrick V. Schlexer; Lori A. Campbell; Carlos Caroll

    2005-01-01

    Malammalian carnivores are considered particularly sensitive indicators of environmental change. Information on the distribution of carnivores from the early 1900s provides a unique opportunity to evaluate changes in their distributions over a 75-year period during which the influence of human uses of forest resources in California greatly increased. We present...

  3. Energetics and the evolution of carnivorous plants--Darwin's 'most wonderful plants in the world'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Aaron M; Gotelli, Nicholas J

    2009-01-01

    Carnivory has evolved independently at least six times in five angiosperm orders. In spite of these independent origins, there is a remarkable morphological convergence of carnivorous plant traps and physiological convergence of mechanisms for digesting and assimilating prey. These convergent traits have made carnivorous plants model systems for addressing questions in plant molecular genetics, physiology, and evolutionary ecology. New data show that carnivorous plant genera with morphologically complex traps have higher relative rates of gene substitutions than do those with simple sticky traps. This observation suggests two alternative mechanisms for the evolution and diversification of carnivorous plant lineages. The 'energetics hypothesis' posits rapid morphological evolution resulting from a few changes in regulatory genes responsible for meeting the high energetic demands of active traps. The 'predictable prey capture hypothesis' further posits that complex traps yield more predictable and frequent prey captures. To evaluate these hypotheses, available data on the tempo and mode of carnivorous plant evolution were reviewed; patterns of prey capture by carnivorous plants were analysed; and the energetic costs and benefits of botanical carnivory were re-evaluated. Collectively, the data are more supportive of the energetics hypothesis than the predictable prey capture hypothesis. The energetics hypothesis is consistent with a phenomenological cost-benefit model for the evolution of botanical carnivory, and also accounts for data suggesting that carnivorous plants have leaf construction costs and scaling relationships among leaf traits that are substantially different from those of non-carnivorous plants.

  4. The ultrafast valve of an aquatic carnivorous plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marmottant, Philippe; Vincent, Olivier; Joyeux, Marc; Quilliet, Catherine; Poppinga, Simon; Weisskopf, Carmen; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2010-11-01

    Aquatic carnivorous bladderworts (Utricularia spp.) are plants that catch prey animals with suction traps. Here we present an experimental study with high speed video analyses of the extremely fast trapping movements, and show that suction is performed in less than a millisecond, much faster than previously thought. We reveal how the convex door morphology is optimized for a fast opening and closure, which we confirm by numerical simulations: the trapdoor is an elastic valve that buckles inside (entailing rapid opening) and then unbuckles (entailing rapid closure). These precise and reproducible motions are coupled with a strong suction swirl causing accelerations of up to 600 g, and leaving little escape chances for prey animals.

  5. Beet western yellows virus infects the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miguel, Sissi; Biteau, Flore; Mignard, Benoit; Marais, Armelle; Candresse, Thierry; Theil, Sébastien; Bourgaud, Frédéric; Hehn, Alain

    2016-08-01

    Although poleroviruses are known to infect a broad range of higher plants, carnivorous plants have not yet been reported as hosts. Here, we describe the first polerovirus naturally infecting the pitcher plant Nepenthes mirabilis. The virus was identified through bioinformatic analysis of NGS transcriptome data. The complete viral genome sequence was assembled from overlapping PCR fragments and shown to share 91.1 % nucleotide sequence identity with the US isolate of beet western yellows virus (BWYV). Further analysis of other N. mirabilis plants revealed the presence of additional BWYV isolates differing by several insertion/deletion mutations in ORF5.

  6. A Viscoelastic Deadly Fluid in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, Laurence; Forterre, Yoel

    2008-07-01

    We study the rheology of the digestive fluid secreted by the carnivorous pitcher plants Nepenthes rafflesiana and its role in the mechanism of insects trapping. Using a combination of physical measurements (surface tension, wetting properties, extensional and shear rheometry), insects bioessays and high-speed video, we show that the digestive fluid of Nepenthes rafflesiana is a highly viscoelastic fluid and that this property is crucial for the retention of insect in its trap. Trapping efficiency is shown to remain strong even when the fluid is highly diluted by water, as long as the elastic relaxation time of the fluid is higher than the typical time scale of insect movements (large Deborah numbers).

  7. Carnivore repatriation and holarctic prey: narrowing the deficit in ecological effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Joel

    2007-08-01

    The continuing global decline of large carnivores has catalyzed great interest in reintroduction to restore populations and to reestablish ecologically functional relationships. I used variation in the distribution of four Holarctic prey species and their behavior as proxies to investigate the pace and intensity by which responses are lost or reinvigorated by carnivore repatriation. By simulating the presence of wolves (Canis lupus), tigers (Panthera tigris), and brown bears (Ursus arctos) at 19 transcontinental sites, I assayed three metrics of prey performance in areas with no large terrestrial carnivores (the polar islands of Greenland and Svalbard), extant native carnivores (Eastern Siberian Shield, boreal Canada, and Alaska); and repatriated carnivores (the Yellowstone region and Rocky Mountains). The loss and reestablishment of large carnivores changed the ecological effectiveness of systems by (1) dampening immediate group benefits, diminishing awareness, and diminishing flight reaction in caribou (Rangifer tarandus) where predation was eliminated and (2) reinstituting sensitivity to carnivores by elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) in the Yellowstone region to levels observed in Asian elk when sympatric with Siberian tigers and wolves or in Alaskan moose sympatric with wolves. Behavioral compensation to reintroduced carnivores occurred within a single generation, but only the vigilance reaction of bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone exceeded that of their wolf-exposed conspecifics from boreal Canada. Beyond these overt responses by prey, snow depth and distance to suitably vegetated habitat was related to heightened vigilance in moose and elk, respectively, but only at sites with carnivores. These findings are insufficient to determine whether similar patterns might apply to other species or in areas with alien predators, and they suggest that the presumed excessive vulnerability of naïve prey to repatriated carnivores may be ill-founded. Although

  8. [Helicobacter infections of man and of domestic carnivores: comparative data].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecoindre, P; Chevalier, M; Peyrol, S; Boude, M; Labigne, A; Lamouliatte, H; Pilet, C

    1997-03-18

    The role of Helicobacter pylori in generating of the chronic gastritis and in the maintaining of the gastroduodenal ulcerous disease, has been a major medical discovery of these past years in human gastroenterology. More recently in Man, studies have showed that the gastric tumours (adenocarcinoma, lymphoma) are epidemiologically associated with the H. pylori infection. Although the H. pylori infection is the one of the most frequent in the word, the epidemiologic and ecologic aspects of this infections are still not very well known. Thanks to phylogenic studies using the new molecular biology techniques and to fundamental experimental studies, we know more about helicobacteria in domestic carnivores as well as their morphologic characteristic, their taxonomia and more importantly details concerning their ecological niche. Few clinical studies have been made to this day, but the ones that have been undertaken are interesting in confirming the extensive prevalence of Helicobacter infections in domestic carnivores and in underlining their role in the genesis of the inflammatory gastropathies observed in these species. Recent observations have demonstrated the ubiquitous character of these helicobacteria by showing their presence in the stomach of man, dogs and cats. This ubiquitous character has led some scientists to consider the potential zoonotic risk of the human infection by Helicobacter heilmannii, felis or pylori. Finally, the Helicobacter infection of animals seems to be an interesting model not only in the study of the affections caused by these bacteria, but also in the elaboration of a future vaccine against the H. pylori infection in man.

  9. Predicting carnivore occurrence with noninvasive surveys and occupancy modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Robert A.; Donovan, Therese M.; MacKay, Paula; Zielinski, William J.; Buzas, Jeffrey S.

    2011-01-01

    Terrestrial carnivores typically have large home ranges and exist at low population densities, thus presenting challenges to wildlife researchers. We employed multiple, noninvasive survey methods—scat detection dogs, remote cameras, and hair snares—to collect detection–nondetection data for elusive American black bears (Ursus americanus), fishers (Martes pennanti), and bobcats (Lynx rufus) throughout the rugged Vermont landscape. We analyzed these data using occupancy modeling that explicitly incorporated detectability as well as habitat and landscape variables. For black bears, percentage of forested land within 5 km of survey sites was an important positive predictor of occupancy, and percentage of human developed land within 5 km was a negative predictor. Although the relationship was less clear for bobcats, occupancy appeared positively related to the percentage of both mixed forest and forested wetland habitat within 1 km of survey sites. The relationship between specific covariates and fisher occupancy was unclear, with no specific habitat or landscape variables directly related to occupancy. For all species, we used model averaging to predict occurrence across the study area. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses of our black bear and fisher models suggested that occupancy modeling efforts with data from noninvasive surveys could be useful for carnivore conservation and management, as they provide insights into habitat use at the regional and landscape scale without requiring capture or direct observation of study species.

  10. Effects of urbanization on carnivore species distribution and richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordenana, Miguel A.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Fisher, Robert N.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Siudyla, Shalene; Haas, Christopher D.; Harris, Sierra; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Turschak, Greta M.; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.

    2010-01-01

    Urban development can have multiple effects on mammalian carnivore communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 7,929 photographs from 217 localities in 11 camera-trap studies across coastal southern California to describe habitat use and determine the effects of urban proximity (distance to urban edge) and intensity (percentage of area urbanized) on carnivore occurrence and species richness in natural habitats close to the urban boundary. Coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were distributed widely across the region. Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), mountain lions (Puma concolor), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were detected less frequently, and long-tailed weasels (Mustela frenata), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were detected rarely. Habitat use generally reflected availability for most species. Coyote and raccoon occurrence increased with both proximity to and intensity of urbanization, whereas bobcat, gray fox, and mountain lion occurrence decreased with urban proximity and intensity. Domestic dogs and Virginia opossums exhibited positive and weak negative relationships, respectively, with urban intensity but were unaffected by urban proximity. Striped skunk occurrence increased with urban proximity but decreased with urban intensity. Native species richness was negatively associated with urban intensity but not urban proximity, probably because of the stronger negative response of individual species to urban intensity.

  11. Reproductive ecology of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas, S G; Alcalá, R E

    2018-03-01

    The interaction of plants with pollinators can be a determinant of their reproductive fitness. However, information about the pollination biology of carnivorous plants is scarce. To increase knowledge of reproductive ecology of carnivorous plants we focused on Pinguicula moranensis. Specifically, based on the presence of large, zygomorphic and spurred flowers, we predicted higher reproductive fitness in cross-pollinated than in self-pollinated flowers. Within a plot of 51 m 2 we characterised the reproductive phenology, including flower lifespan and stigmatic receptivity. We identified pollinators and their movement patterns within the plot. Breeding system was experimentally evaluated using hand-pollination (i.e. autonomous, self- and cross-pollination). Flowers of P. moranensis were visited by long-tongued pollinators, mainly members of the Lepidoptera. Hand-pollination experiments confirmed our prediction and suggest that flower traits might favour cross-pollination. We mainly discuss the implications of the patchy distribution of plants and behaviour of pollinators on gene movement in this plant species, as pollination between genetically related individuals could be occurring. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  12. Carnivorous pitcher plants: insights in an old topic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mithöfer, Axel

    2011-09-01

    Plant insect interactions are usually recognized as a scenario where herbivorous insects feed on a host plant. However, also the opposite situation is known, where plants feed on insects. Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes as well as other pitcher plants obtain many nutrients from caught insect prey. Special features of the pitcher traps' surface are responsible for attraction and trapping insects. Once caught, the prey is digested in the fluid of the pitchers to release nutrients and make them available for the plant. Nutrients are taken up by special glands localized on the inner surface of the pitchers. These glands also secrete the hydrolyzing enzymes into the digestion fluid. Although this is known for more than 100 years, our knowledge of the pitcher fluid composition is still limited. Only in recent years some enzymes have been purified from the pitcher fluid and their corresponding genes could be identified. Among them, many pathogenesis-related proteins have been identified, most of which exhibiting hydrolytic activities. The role of these proteins as well as the role of secondary metabolites, which have been identified in the pitcher fluid, is discussed in general and in the context of further studies on carnivorous plants that might give answers to basic questions in plant biology. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Coprophagous features in carnivorous Nepenthes plants: a task for ureases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Zhu, Anting; Ligabue-Braun, Rodrigo; Bartram, Stefan; Witte, Claus-Peter; Hedrich, Rainer; Hasabe, Mitsuyasu; Schöner, Caroline R; Schöner, Michael G; Kerth, Gerald; Carlini, Célia R; Mithöfer, Axel

    2017-09-14

    Most terrestrial carnivorous plants are specialized on insect prey digestion to obtain additional nutrients. Few species of the genus Nepenthes developed mutualistic relationships with mammals for nitrogen supplementation. Whether dietary changes require certain enzymatic composition to utilize new sources of nutrients has rarely been tested. Here, we investigated the role of urease for Nepenthes hemsleyana that gains nitrogen from the bat Kerivoula hardwickii while it roosts inside the pitchers. We hypothesized that N. hemsleyana is able to use urea from the bats' excrements. In fact, we demonstrate that 15 N-enriched urea provided to Nepenthes pitchers is metabolized and its nitrogen is distributed within the plant. As ureases are necessary to degrade urea, these hydrolytic enzymes should be involved. We proved the presence and enzymatic activity of a urease for Nepenthes plant tissues. The corresponding urease cDNA from N. hemsleyana was isolated and functionally expressed. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis for eukaryotic ureases, including Nepenthes and five other carnivorous plants' taxa, identified them as canonical ureases and reflects the plant phylogeny. Hence, this study reveals ureases as an emblematic example for an efficient, low-cost but high adaptive plasticity in plants while developing a further specialized lifestyle from carnivory to coprophagy.

  14. Remote camera-trap methods and analyses reveal impacts of rangeland management on Namibian carnivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, M.J.; Sanjayan, M.; Lowenstein, J.; Nelson, A.; Jeo, R.M.; Crooks, K.R.

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the abundance and distribution of mammalian carnivores is vital for understanding their ecology and providing for their long-term conservation. Because of the difficulty of trapping and handling carnivores many studies have relied on abundance indices that may not accurately reflect real abundance and distribution patterns. We developed statistical analyses that detect spatial correlation in visitation data from combined scent station and camera-trap surveys, and we illustrate how to use such data to make inferences about changes in carnivore assemblages. As a case study we compared the carnivore communities of adjacent communal and freehold rangelands in central Namibia. We used an index of overdispersion to test for repeat visits to individual camera-trap scent stations and a bootstrap simulation to test for correlations in visits to camera neighbourhoods. After distilling our presence-absence data to the most defensible spatial scale, we assessed overall carnivore visitation using logistic regression. Our analyses confirmed the expected pattern of a depauparate fauna on the communal rangelands compared to the freehold rangelands. Additionally, the species that were not detected on communal sites were the larger-bodied carnivores. By modelling these rare visits as a Poisson process we illustrate a method of inferring whether or not such patterns are because of local extinction of species or are simply a result of low sample effort. Our Namibian case study indicates that these field methods and analyses can detect meaningful differences in the carnivore communities brought about by anthropogenic influences. ?? 2007 FFI.

  15. Evaluating the adaptive evolutionary convergence of carnivorous plant taxa through functional genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Gregory L; Carstens, Bryan C

    2018-01-01

    Carnivorous plants are striking examples of evolutionary convergence, displaying complex and often highly similar adaptations despite lack of shared ancestry. Using available carnivorous plant genomes along with non-carnivorous reference taxa, this study examines the convergence of functional overrepresentation of genes previously implicated in plant carnivory. Gene Ontology (GO) coding was used to quantitatively score functional representation in these taxa, in terms of proportion of carnivory-associated functions relative to all functional sequence. Statistical analysis revealed that, in carnivorous plants as a group, only two of the 24 functions tested showed a signal of substantial overrepresentation. However, when the four carnivorous taxa were analyzed individually, 11 functions were found to be significant in at least one taxon. Though carnivorous plants collectively may show overrepresentation in functions from the predicted set, the specific functions that are overrepresented vary substantially from taxon to taxon. While it is possible that some functions serve a similar practical purpose such that one taxon does not need to utilize both to achieve the same result, it appears that there are multiple approaches for the evolution of carnivorous function in plant genomes. Our approach could be applied to tests of functional convergence in other systems provided on the availability of genomes and annotation data for a group.

  16. Evaluating the adaptive evolutionary convergence of carnivorous plant taxa through functional genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory L. Wheeler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Carnivorous plants are striking examples of evolutionary convergence, displaying complex and often highly similar adaptations despite lack of shared ancestry. Using available carnivorous plant genomes along with non-carnivorous reference taxa, this study examines the convergence of functional overrepresentation of genes previously implicated in plant carnivory. Gene Ontology (GO coding was used to quantitatively score functional representation in these taxa, in terms of proportion of carnivory-associated functions relative to all functional sequence. Statistical analysis revealed that, in carnivorous plants as a group, only two of the 24 functions tested showed a signal of substantial overrepresentation. However, when the four carnivorous taxa were analyzed individually, 11 functions were found to be significant in at least one taxon. Though carnivorous plants collectively may show overrepresentation in functions from the predicted set, the specific functions that are overrepresented vary substantially from taxon to taxon. While it is possible that some functions serve a similar practical purpose such that one taxon does not need to utilize both to achieve the same result, it appears that there are multiple approaches for the evolution of carnivorous function in plant genomes. Our approach could be applied to tests of functional convergence in other systems provided on the availability of genomes and annotation data for a group.

  17. Are pumas subordinate carnivores, and does it matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Mark Elbroch

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Interspecific competition affects species fitness, community assemblages and structure, and the geographic distributions of species. Established dominance hierarchies among species mitigate the need for fighting and contribute to the realized niche for subordinate species. This is especially important for apex predators, many of which simultaneous contend with the costs of competition with more dominant species and the costs associated with human hunting and lethal management. Methods Pumas are a widespread solitary felid heavily regulated through hunting to reduce conflicts with livestock and people. Across their range, pumas overlap with six apex predators (gray wolf, grizzly bear, American black bear, jaguar, coyote, maned wolf, two of which (gray wolf, grizzly bear are currently expanding in North America following recovery efforts. We conducted a literature search to assess whether pumas were subordinate or dominant with sympatric apex predators, as well as with three felid mesocarnivores with similar ecology (ocelot, bobcat, Canada lynx. We also conducted an analysis of the spatial distributions of pumas and their dominant sympatric competitors to estimate in what part of their range, pumas are dominant versus subordinate. Results We used 64 sources to assess dominance among pumas and other apex predators, and 13 sources to assess their relationships with felid mesocarnivores. Evidence suggested that wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, and jaguars are dominant over pumas, but that pumas are dominant over coyotes and maned wolves. Evidence suggested that pumas are also dominant over all three felid mesocarnivores with which they share range. More broadly, pumas are subordinate to at least one other apex carnivore in 10,799,252 (47.5% of their 22,735,268 km2 range across North and South America. Discussion Subordinate pumas change their habitat use, suffer displacement at food sources, likely experience increased energetic demands

  18. Are pumas subordinate carnivores, and does it matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbroch, L Mark; Kusler, Anna

    2018-01-01

    Interspecific competition affects species fitness, community assemblages and structure, and the geographic distributions of species. Established dominance hierarchies among species mitigate the need for fighting and contribute to the realized niche for subordinate species. This is especially important for apex predators, many of which simultaneous contend with the costs of competition with more dominant species and the costs associated with human hunting and lethal management. Pumas are a widespread solitary felid heavily regulated through hunting to reduce conflicts with livestock and people. Across their range, pumas overlap with six apex predators (gray wolf, grizzly bear, American black bear, jaguar, coyote, maned wolf), two of which (gray wolf, grizzly bear) are currently expanding in North America following recovery efforts. We conducted a literature search to assess whether pumas were subordinate or dominant with sympatric apex predators, as well as with three felid mesocarnivores with similar ecology (ocelot, bobcat, Canada lynx). We also conducted an analysis of the spatial distributions of pumas and their dominant sympatric competitors to estimate in what part of their range, pumas are dominant versus subordinate. We used 64 sources to assess dominance among pumas and other apex predators, and 13 sources to assess their relationships with felid mesocarnivores. Evidence suggested that wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, and jaguars are dominant over pumas, but that pumas are dominant over coyotes and maned wolves. Evidence suggested that pumas are also dominant over all three felid mesocarnivores with which they share range. More broadly, pumas are subordinate to at least one other apex carnivore in 10,799,252 (47.5%) of their 22,735,268 km 2 range across North and South America. Subordinate pumas change their habitat use, suffer displacement at food sources, likely experience increased energetic demands from harassment, exhibit increased starvation, and

  19. Total Mercury in Carnivorous Fish from Brazilian Southeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, M S; Marques, A N; Ribeiro, R O R; Conte, C A; Carneiro, C S; Santelli, R E; Freire, A S; São Clemente, S C; Mársico, E T

    2015-07-01

    Total mercury concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry in muscle tissue of two commercially important species of carnivorous fishes croaker (Micropogonias furnieri) and cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus) caught in Itaipu estuary, Rio de Janeiro. In this study, whitemouth croaker presented more mercury than Atlantic cutlassfish. Bioaccumulation differences can be explained by the biological behavior of juveniles whitemouth croaker, that remain in the estuary up to maturity, which makes them good indicators of local environmental impacts (0.110 mg Kg(-1) HgT). It also can be explained by differences in nutritional requirements between the different life stages of two species. The analysis showed the presence of low levels of the metal. However, our results suggest a possible risk to human health, depending on the level of fish consumption.

  20. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Oki Wong

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  1. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, William Oki; Dilcher, David Leonard; Labandeira, Conrad C; Sun, Ge; Fleischmann, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Archaeamphora longicervia H. Q. Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1) an innermost larval chamber; (2) an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3) an outermost wall of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the previously reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G. Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  2. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K.U.; Nichols, J.D.; Kumar, N.S.; Link, W.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  3. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K Ullas; Nichols, James D; Kumar, N Samba; Link, William A; Hines, James E

    2004-04-06

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  4. Phylogeny and biogeography of the carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae.

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    Aaron M Ellison

    Full Text Available The carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae comprises three genera of wetland-inhabiting pitcher plants: Darlingtonia in the northwestern United States, Sarracenia in eastern North America, and Heliamphora in northern South America. Hypotheses concerning the biogeographic history leading to this unusual disjunct distribution are controversial, in part because genus- and species-level phylogenies have not been clearly resolved. Here, we present a robust, species-rich phylogeny of Sarraceniaceae based on seven mitochondrial, nuclear, and plastid loci, which we use to illuminate this family's phylogenetic and biogeographic history. The family and genera are monophyletic: Darlingtonia is sister to a clade consisting of Heliamphora+Sarracenia. Within Sarracenia, two clades were strongly supported: one consisting of S. purpurea, its subspecies, and S. rosea; the other consisting of nine species endemic to the southeastern United States. Divergence time estimates revealed that stem group Sarraceniaceae likely originated in South America 44-53 million years ago (Mya (highest posterior density [HPD] estimate = 47 Mya. By 25-44 (HPD = 35 Mya, crown-group Sarraceniaceae appears to have been widespread across North and South America, and Darlingtonia (western North America had diverged from Heliamphora+Sarracenia (eastern North America+South America. This disjunction and apparent range contraction is consistent with late Eocene cooling and aridification, which may have severed the continuity of Sarraceniaceae across much of North America. Sarracenia and Heliamphora subsequently diverged in the late Oligocene, 14-32 (HPD = 23 Mya, perhaps when direct overland continuity between North and South America became reduced. Initial diversification of South American Heliamphora began at least 8 Mya, but diversification of Sarracenia was more recent (2-7, HPD = 4 Mya; the bulk of southeastern United States Sarracenia originated co-incident with Pleistocene glaciation

  5. Large-scale evaluation of carnivore road mortality: the effect of landscape and local scale characteristics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Červinka, J.; Riegert, J.; Grill, S.; Šálek, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 3 (2015), s. 233-243 ISSN 2199-2401 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * Landscape characteristics * Linear structures * Local characteristics * Road mortality * Temporal pattern Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  6. Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Mishra, C.

    2006-01-01

    Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard

  7. Feeding on prey increases photosynthetic efficiency in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pavlovič, A.; Krausko, M.; Libiaková, M.; Adamec, Lubomír

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 113, č. 1 (2014), s. 69-78 ISSN 0305-7364 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : carnivorous plants * fruit flies * digestive enzymes Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.654, year: 2014

  8. Chromosomal rearrangements and karyotype evolution in carnivores revealed by chromosome painting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, W; Wang, J; Su, W; Wang, D; Tanomtong, A; Perelman, P L; Graphodatsky, A S; Yang, F

    2012-01-01

    Chromosomal evolution in carnivores has been revisited extensively using cross-species chromosome painting. Painting probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of the domestic dog, which has one of the most rearranged karyotypes in mammals and the highest dipoid number (2n=78) in carnivores, are a powerful tool in detecting both evolutionary intra- and inter-chromosomal rearrangements. However, only a few comparative maps have been established between dog and other non-Canidae species. Here, we extended cross-species painting with dog probes to seven more species representing six carnivore families: Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), the stone marten (Martes foina), the small Indian civet (Viverricula indica), the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), Javan mongoose (Hepestes javanicas), the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). The numbers and positions of intra-chromosomal rearrangements were found to differ among these carnivore species. A comparative map between human and stone marten, and a map among the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis), stone marten and human were also established to facilitate outgroup comparison and to integrate comparative maps between stone marten and other carnivores with such maps between human and other species. These comparative maps give further insight into genome evolution and karyotype phylogenetic relationships among carnivores, and will facilitate the transfer of gene mapping data from human, domestic dog and cat to other species. PMID:22086079

  9. Spatio-temporal interactions facilitate large carnivore sympatry across a resource gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K. Ullas; Srivathsa, Arjun; Puri, Mahi; Parameshwaran, Ravishankar; Kumar, N. Samba

    2017-01-01

    Species within a guild vary their use of time, space and resources, thereby enabling sympatry. As intra-guild competition intensifies, such behavioural adaptations may become prominent. We assessed mechanisms of facilitating sympatry among dhole (Cuon alpinus), leopard (Panthera pardus) and tiger (Panthera tigris) in tropical forests of India using camera-trap surveys. We examined population-level temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal segregation among them across four reserves representing a gradient of carnivore and prey densities. Temporal and spatial overlaps were higher at lower prey densities. Combined spatio-temporal overlap was minimal, possibly due to chance. We found fine-scale avoidance behaviours at one high-density reserve. Our results suggest that: (i) patterns of spatial, temporal and spatio-temporal segregation in sympatric carnivores do not necessarily mirror each other; (ii) carnivores are likely to adopt temporal, spatial, and spatio-temporal segregation as alternative mechanisms to facilitate sympatry; and (iii) carnivores show adaptability across a gradient of resource availability, a driver of inter-species competition. We discuss behavioural mechanisms that permit carnivores to co-occupy rather than dominate functional niches, and adaptations to varying intensities of competition that are likely to shape structure and dynamics of carnivore guilds. PMID:28179511

  10. Road Killed Carnivores Illustrate the Status of Zoonotic Helminthes in Caspian Sea Littoral of Iran

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    Aida VAFAE ESLAHI

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Carnivore carcasses on the roads can be regarded as study materials in parasitology and eco-epidemiology. Stray carnivores such as dogs and cats are known to harbor so many different pathogens like zoonotic helminthes. The current investigation, apparent the status of the helminthic parasites found in road killed carnivores from different parts of Guilan Province north of Iran.Methods: Fifty road killed carnivores including 27 stray dogs (Canis familiaris, 11 golden jackals (Canis aureus and 12 stray cats (Felis catus were collected from 21 locations of Guilan Province, during Apr to Nov 2015. Internal organs of the carcasses, including digestive tract, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, eyes as well as muscles were carefully inspected and sampled for helminthological investigation.Results: About 80% of the 50 carnivores, (stray dogs 77.77%, golden jackals 81.81%, and stray cats 91.66% were found naturally infected with helminthic parasites. Dipylidum caninum, Toxocara cati, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonine, Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Dirofilaria immitis, Dioctophyma renale, Dipylidum caninum, Echinococcus granulosus, Mesocestoides spp., Taenia hydatigena, Taenia hydatigera, Joyuxiella spp., Spirometra spp. are reported herein.Conclusion: The prevalent occurrence of zoonotic helminthes such as T. canis, T. cati, T. leonina, E. granulosus, D. immitis and D. renale in stray carnivores should be considered as a public health hazard, specifically within a vast tourism area like Guilan Province.

  11. Spatio-temporal interactions facilitate large carnivore sympatry across a resource gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K Ullas; Srivathsa, Arjun; Vasudev, Divya; Puri, Mahi; Parameshwaran, Ravishankar; Kumar, N Samba

    2017-02-08

    Species within a guild vary their use of time, space and resources, thereby enabling sympatry. As intra-guild competition intensifies, such behavioural adaptations may become prominent. We assessed mechanisms of facilitating sympatry among dhole ( Cuon alpinus ), leopard ( Panthera pardus ) and tiger ( Panthera tigris ) in tropical forests of India using camera-trap surveys. We examined population-level temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal segregation among them across four reserves representing a gradient of carnivore and prey densities. Temporal and spatial overlaps were higher at lower prey densities. Combined spatio-temporal overlap was minimal, possibly due to chance. We found fine-scale avoidance behaviours at one high-density reserve. Our results suggest that: (i) patterns of spatial, temporal and spatio-temporal segregation in sympatric carnivores do not necessarily mirror each other; (ii) carnivores are likely to adopt temporal, spatial, and spatio-temporal segregation as alternative mechanisms to facilitate sympatry; and (iii) carnivores show adaptability across a gradient of resource availability, a driver of inter-species competition. We discuss behavioural mechanisms that permit carnivores to co-occupy rather than dominate functional niches, and adaptations to varying intensities of competition that are likely to shape structure and dynamics of carnivore guilds. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Locomotor adaptations in Plio-Pleistocene large carnivores from the Italian Peninsula: Palaeoecological implications

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    Carlo MELORO

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian carnivores are rarely considered for environmental reconstructions because they are extremely adaptable and their geographic range is usually large. However, the functional morphology of carnivore long bones can be indicative of locomotor behaviour as well as adaptation to specific kind of habitats. Here, different long bone ratios belonging to a subsample of extant large carnivores are used to infer palaeoecology of a comparative sample of Plio-Pleistocene fossils belonging to Italian paleo-communities. A multivariate long bone shape space reveals similarities between extant and fossil carnivores and multiple logistic regression models suggest that specific indices (the brachial and the Mt/F can be applied to predict adaptations to grassland and tropical biomes. These functional indices exhibit also a phylogenetic signal to different degree. The brachial index is a significant predictor of adaptations to tropical biomes when phylogeny is taken into account, while Mt/F is not correlated anymore to habitat adaptations. However, the proportion of grassland-adapted carnivores in Italian paleo-communities exhibits a negative relationship with mean oxygen isotopic values, which are indicative of past climatic oscillations. As climate became more unstable during the Ice Ages, large carnivore guilds from the Italian peninsula were invaded by tropical/closed-adapted species. These species take advantage of the temperate forest cover that was more spread after 1.0 Ma than in the initial phase of the Quaternary (2.0 Ma when the climate was more arid [Current Zoology 57 (3: 269–283, 2011].

  13. Construction costs, payback times, and the leaf economics of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karagatzides, Jim D; Ellison, Aaron M

    2009-09-01

    Understanding how different plant species and functional types "invest" carbon and nutrients is a major goal of plant ecologists. Two measures of such investments are "construction costs" (carbon needed to produce each gram of tissue) and associated "payback times" for photosynthesis to recover construction costs. These measurements integrate among traits used to assess leaf-trait scaling relationships. Carnivorous plants are model systems for examining mechanisms of leaf-trait coordination, but no studies have measured simultaneously construction costs of carnivorous traps and their photosynthetic rates to determine payback times of traps. We measured mass-based construction costs (CC(mass)) and photosynthesis (A(mass)) for traps, leaves, roots, and rhizomes of 15 carnivorous plant species grown under greenhouse conditions. There were highly significant differences among species in CC(mass) for each structure. Mean CC(mass) of carnivorous traps (1.14 ± 0.24 g glucose/g dry mass) was significantly lower than CC(mass) of leaves of 267 noncarnivorous plant species (1.47 ± 0.17), but all carnivorous plants examined had very low A(mass) and thus, long payback times (495-1551 h). Our results provide the first clear estimates of the marginal benefits of botanical carnivory and place carnivorous plants at the "slow and tough" end of the universal spectrum of leaf traits.

  14. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIV. Fleas (Insecta : Siphonaptera : Pulicidae collected from 15 carnivore species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Horak

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Fleas were collected from 61 wild carnivores belonging to 13 species in various nature reserves and on farms, two feral domestic cats in a nature reserve and a domestic dog in the city of Johannesburg. Eleven flea species, including two subspecies of one of these, belonging to six genera were recovered. Amongst these only Ctenocephalides felis felis and Ctenocephalides felis strongylus are considered specific parasites of carnivores. The remaining ten species normally infest the prey animals of the various carnivores.

  15. Sport hunting, predator control and conservation of large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Packer

    Full Text Available Sport hunting has provided important economic incentives for conserving large predators since the early 1970's, but wildlife managers also face substantial pressure to reduce depredation. Sport hunting is an inherently risky strategy for controlling predators as carnivore populations are difficult to monitor and some species show a propensity for infanticide that is exacerbated by removing adult males. Simulation models predict population declines from even moderate levels of hunting in infanticidal species, and harvest data suggest that African countries and U.S. states with the highest intensity of sport hunting have shown the steepest population declines in African lions and cougars over the past 25 yrs. Similar effects in African leopards may have been masked by mesopredator release owing to declines in sympatric lion populations, whereas there is no evidence of overhunting in non-infanticidal populations of American black bears. Effective conservation of these animals will require new harvest strategies and improved monitoring to counter demands for predator control by livestock producers and local communities.

  16. Metabolite profiling of the carnivorous pitcher plants Darlingtonia and Sarracenia.

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    Hannu Hotti

    Full Text Available Sarraceniaceae is a New World carnivorous plant family comprising three genera: Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia. The plants occur in nutrient-poor environments and have developed insectivorous capability in order to supplement their nutrient uptake. Sarracenia flava contains the alkaloid coniine, otherwise only found in Conium maculatum, in which its biosynthesis has been studied, and several Aloe species. Its ecological role and biosynthetic origin in S. flava is speculative. The aim of the current research was to investigate the occurrence of coniine in Sarracenia and Darlingtonia and to identify common constituents of both genera, unique compounds for individual variants and floral scent chemicals. In this comprehensive metabolic profiling study, we looked for compound patterns that are associated with the taxonomy of Sarracenia species. In total, 57 different Sarracenia and D. californica accessions were used for metabolite content screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The resulting high-dimensional data were studied using a data mining approach. The two genera are characterized by a large number of metabolites and huge chemical diversity between different species. By applying feature selection for clustering and by integrating new biochemical data with existing phylogenetic data, we were able to demonstrate that the chemical composition of the species can be explained by their known classification. Although transcriptome analysis did not reveal a candidate gene for coniine biosynthesis, the use of a sensitive selected ion monitoring method enabled the detection of coniine in eight Sarracenia species, showing that it is more widespread in this genus than previously believed.

  17. Feliform carnivores have a distinguished constitutive innate immune response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja K. Heinrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Determining the immunological phenotype of endangered and threatened populations is important to identify those vulnerable to novel pathogens. Among mammals, members of the order Carnivora are particularly threatened by diseases. We therefore examined the constitutive innate immune system, the first line of protection against invading microbes, of six free-ranging carnivore species; the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas, the brown hyena (Hyena brunnea, the caracal (Caracal caracal, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, the leopard (Panthera pardus and the lion (Panthera leo using a bacterial killing assay. The differences in immune responses amongst the six species were independent of their foraging behaviour, body mass or social organisation but reflected their phylogenetic relatedness. The bacterial killing capacity of black-backed jackals, a member of the suborder Caniformia, followed the pattern established for a wide variety of vertebrates. In contrast, the five representatives of the suborder Feliformia demonstrated a killing capacity at least an order of magnitude higher than any species reported previously, with a particularly high capacity in caracals and cheetahs. Our results suggest that the immunocompetence of threatened felids such as the cheetah has been underestimated and its assessment ought to consider both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.

  18. Angiostrongylus species in wild carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrikagoitia, X; Barral, M; Juste, R A

    2010-11-24

    A survey of Angiostrongylus parasites was carried out between 2003 and 2006 in wild carnivore species in the Basque Country (Northern Spain). Parasitological examination consisted in the dissection of heart and lungs for the extraction of adult worms. Nematodes were identified using morphometrical features and also PCR amplification and sequencing analysis. The animal species included in this study were Eurasian badger (Meles meles), Weasel (Mustela nivalis), Beech marten (Martes foina), Pine marten (Martes martes), Polecat (Mustela putorius), American mink (Mustela vison), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wolf (Canis lupus), Wild cat (Felis silvestris), and Small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta). Angiostrongylus parasites were only found in foxes and badgers at prevalences of 33.3% and 24%, respectively. Identification of the nematodes by morphometrical features revealed that foxes were infected with A. vasorum while badgers were infected by a different species of Angiostrongylus most likely A. daskalovi. Sequencing data of the second internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS2) of isolates from each species confirmed the species difference. The high prevalence of Angiostrongylus found in the present survey, indicates that the wild cycle of two different species of Angiostrongylus is present in the Basque Country. To our knowledge this is the first report of A. daskalovi in the Iberian Peninsula. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Carnivore fecal chemicals suppress feeding by Alpine goats (Capra hircus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, P J; Graham, D P; Mears, L P

    1993-12-01

    The efficacy of carnivore and ungulate fecal chemicals in suppressing the feeding behavior of Alpine goats (Capra hircus) was examined. In the first four experiments, goats were offered food covered with paper strips treated with fecal extracts of the Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, African lion, and brown bear, respectively; food covered with solvent-treated and untreated (plain) papers served as controls in each experiment. Goats made fewer head entries into, and ate less food from, buckets containing fecal extracts. In the fifth experiment, goats were offered food covered with paper strips treated with fecal extracts of the puma, Dorcas gazelle, white-bearded gnu, and conspecifics; food covered with solvent-treated and plain papers again served as controls. The amounts of food consumed from buckets containing puma, gazelle, gnu, and solvent treatments were statistically indistinguishable, but less food was consumed from them than from buckets containing the goat-scented or plain papers. No significant differences among treatments were detected with respect to head entries. Field experiments are needed on the use of predator-derived chemicals to reduce damage by goats to vegetation.

  20. Fenestration: a window of opportunity for carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, H Martin; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2014-01-01

    A long-standing but controversial hypothesis assumes that carnivorous plants employ aggressive mimicry to increase their prey capture success. A possible mechanism is that pitcher plants use aggressive mimicry to deceive prey about the location of the pitcher's exit. Specifically, species from unrelated families sport fenestration, i.e. transparent windows on the upper surfaces of pitchers which might function to mimic the exit of the pitcher. This hypothesis has not been evaluated against alternative hypotheses predicting that fenestration functions to attract insects from afar. By manipulating fenestration, we show that it does not increase the number of Drosophila flies or of two ant species entering pitchers in Sarracenia minor nor their retention time or a pitcher's capture success. However, fenestration increased the number of Drosophila flies alighting on the pitcher compared with pitchers of the same plant without fenestration. We thus suggest that fenestration in S. minor is not an example of aggressive mimicry but rather functions in long-range attraction of prey. We highlight the need to evaluate aggressive mimicry relative to alternative concepts of plant-animal communication.

  1. Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2010-10-07

    Several studies have demonstrated that competition between disparate taxa can be important in determining community structure, yet surprisingly, to our knowledge, no quantitative studies have been conducted on competition between carnivorous plants and animals. To examine potential competition between these taxa, we studied dietary and microhabitat overlap between pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in the field, and conducted a laboratory experiment examining the effects of wolf spiders on sundew fitness. In the field, we found that sundews and spiders had a high dietary overlap with each other and with the available arthropod prey. Associations between sundews and spiders depended on spatial scale: both sundews and spiders were found more frequently in quadrats with more abundant prey, but within quadrats, spiders constructed larger webs and located them further away from sundews as the total sundew trapping area increased, presumably to reduce competition. Spiders also constructed larger webs when fewer prey were available. In the laboratory, our experiment revealed that spiders can significantly reduce sundew fitness. Our findings suggest that members of the plant and animal kingdoms can and do compete.

  2. Trap diversity and character evolution in carnivorous bladderworts (Utricularia, Lentibulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westermeier, Anna Sofia; Fleischmann, Andreas; Müller, Kai; Schäferhoff, Bastian; Rubach, Carmen; Speck, Thomas; Poppinga, Simon

    2017-09-21

    Bladderworts (Utricularia, Lentibulariaceae, Lamiales) constitute the largest genus of carnivorous plants but only aquatic species (about one fifth of the genus) have so far been thoroughly studied as to their suction trap functioning. In this study, we comparatively investigated trap biomechanics in 19 Utricularia species to examine correlations between life-forms, trapping mechanisms, and functional-morphological traits. Our investigations show the existence of two functional trap principles (passive trap in U. multifida vs. active suction traps), and - in active suction traps - three main trapdoor movement types (with several subtypes). The trapdoor movement types and their corresponding functional-morphological features most presumably represent adaptations to the respective habitat. We furthermore give insights into fluid dynamics during suction in three representatives of the main types of trapdoor movement. The results on functional morphology and trapdoor movement were mapped onto a new phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus, derived from the rapidly evolving chloroplast regions trnK, rps16 and trnQ-rps16 and a sampling of 105 Utricularia species in total. We discuss potential scenarios of trap character evolution and species radiation, highlighting possible key innovations that enable such a unique carnivorous lifestyle in different habitats.

  3. Metabolite profiling of the carnivorous pitcher plants Darlingtonia and Sarracenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotti, Hannu; Gopalacharyulu, Peddinti; Seppänen-Laakso, Tuulikki; Rischer, Heiko

    2017-01-01

    Sarraceniaceae is a New World carnivorous plant family comprising three genera: Darlingtonia, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia. The plants occur in nutrient-poor environments and have developed insectivorous capability in order to supplement their nutrient uptake. Sarracenia flava contains the alkaloid coniine, otherwise only found in Conium maculatum, in which its biosynthesis has been studied, and several Aloe species. Its ecological role and biosynthetic origin in S. flava is speculative. The aim of the current research was to investigate the occurrence of coniine in Sarracenia and Darlingtonia and to identify common constituents of both genera, unique compounds for individual variants and floral scent chemicals. In this comprehensive metabolic profiling study, we looked for compound patterns that are associated with the taxonomy of Sarracenia species. In total, 57 different Sarracenia and D. californica accessions were used for metabolite content screening by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The resulting high-dimensional data were studied using a data mining approach. The two genera are characterized by a large number of metabolites and huge chemical diversity between different species. By applying feature selection for clustering and by integrating new biochemical data with existing phylogenetic data, we were able to demonstrate that the chemical composition of the species can be explained by their known classification. Although transcriptome analysis did not reveal a candidate gene for coniine biosynthesis, the use of a sensitive selected ion monitoring method enabled the detection of coniine in eight Sarracenia species, showing that it is more widespread in this genus than previously believed.

  4. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanlie E K Winterbach

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo, leopard (Panthera pardus, spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus. The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist

  5. The impact of land reform on the status of large carnivores in Zimbabwe

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    Samual T. Williams

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Large carnivores are decreasing in number due to growing pressure from an expanding human population. It is increasingly recognised that state-protected conservation areas are unlikely to be sufficient to protect viable populations of large carnivores, and that private land will be central to conservation efforts. In 2000, a fast-track land reform programme (FTLRP was initiated in Zimbabwe, ostensibly to redress the racial imbalance in land ownership, but which also had the potential to break up large areas of carnivore habitat on private land. To date, research has focused on the impact of the FTLRP process on the different human communities, while impacts on wildlife have been overlooked. Here we provide the first systematic assessment of the impact of the FTLRP on the status of large carnivores. Spoor counts were conducted across private, resettled and communal land use types in order to estimate the abundance of large carnivores, and to determine how this had been affected by land reform. The density of carnivore spoor differed significantly between land use types, and was lower on resettlement land than on private land, suggesting that the resettlement process has resulted in a substantial decline in carnivore abundance. Habitat loss and high levels of poaching in and around resettlement areas are the most likely causes. The FTLRP resulted in the large-scale conversion of land that was used sustainably and productively for wildlife into unsustainable, unproductive agricultural land uses. We recommended that models of land reform should consider the type of land available, that existing expertise in land management should be retained where possible, and that resettlement programmes should be carefully planned in order to minimise the impacts on wildlife and on people.

  6. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterbach, Hanlie E K; Winterbach, Christiaan W; Somers, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta), brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist in the

  7. Structural and functional characteristics of S-like ribonucleases from carnivorous plants.

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    Nishimura, Emi; Jumyo, Shinya; Arai, Naoki; Kanna, Kensuke; Kume, Marina; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Tanase, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2014-07-01

    Although the S-like ribonucleases (RNases) share sequence homology with the S-RNases involved in the self-incompatibility mechanism in plants, they are not associated with this mechanism. They usually function in stress responses in non-carnivorous plants and in carnivory in carnivorous plants. In this study, we clarified the structures of the S-like RNases of Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Nepenthes bicalcarata and Sarracenia leucophylla, and compared them with those of other plants. At ten positions, amino acid residues are conserved or almost conserved only for carnivorous plants (six in total). In contrast, two positions are specific to non-carnivorous plants. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the S-like RNases of the carnivorous plants form a group beyond the phylogenetic relationships of the plants. We also prepared and characterized recombinant S-like RNases of Dionaea muscipula, Cephalotus follicularis, A. vesiculosa, N. bicalcarata and S. leucophylla, and RNS1 of Arabidopsis thaliana. The recombinant carnivorous plant enzymes showed optimum activities at about pH 4.0. Generally, poly(C) was digested less efficiently than poly(A), poly(I) and poly(U). The kinetic parameters of the recombinant D. muscipula enzyme (DM-I) and A. thaliana enzyme RNS1 were similar. The k cat/K m of recombinant RNS1 was the highest among the enzymes, followed closely by that of recombinant DM-I. On the other hand, the k cat/K m of the recombinant S. leucophylla enzyme was the lowest, and was ~1/30 of that for recombinant RNS1. The magnitudes of the k cat/K m values or k cat values for carnivorous plant S-like RNases seem to correlate negatively with the dependency on symbionts for prey digestion.

  8. Use of an action-selection framework for human-carnivore conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.

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    Barlow, Adam C D; Greenwood, Christina J; Ahmad, Ishtiaq U; Smith, James L D

    2010-10-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is manifested in the death of humans, livestock, and carnivores. The resulting negative local attitudes and retribution killings imperil the future of many endangered carnivores. We tailored existing management tools to create a framework to facilitate the selection of actions to alleviate human-carnivore conflict and applied the framework to the human-tiger conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. We identified potential actions that consider previous management efforts, local knowledge, cost-effectiveness, fieldwork experience of authors and project staff, previous research on tiger ecology by the authors, and recommendations from human-carnivore conflict studies in other countries. Our framework includes creation of a profile to improve understanding of the nature of the conflict and its underlying causality. Identified actions include deterrents, education, direct tiger management, and response teams. We ranked actions by their potential to reduce conflict and the monetary cost of their implementation. We ranked tiger-response teams and monitoring problem tigers as the two best actions because both had relatively high impact and cost-effectiveness. We believe this framework could be used under a wide range of human-wildlife conflict situations because it provides a structured approach to selection of mitigating actions. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Effects of management of domestic dogs and recreation on carnivores in protected areas in northern California.

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    Reed, Sarah E; Merenlender, Adina M

    2011-06-01

    In developed countries dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are permitted to accompany human visitors to many protected areas (e.g., >96% of protected lands in California, U.S.A.), and protected-area management often focuses on regulating dogs due to concerns about predation, competition, or transmission of disease and conflicts with human visitors. In 2004 and 2005, we investigated whether carnivore species richness and abundance were associated with management of domestic dogs and recreational visitation in protected areas in northern California. We surveyed for mammalian carnivores and human visitors in 21 recreation areas in which dogs were allowed offleash or onleash or were excluded, and we compared our observations in the recreation areas with observations in seven reference sites that were not open to the public. Carnivore abundance and species richness did not differ among the three types of recreation areas, but native carnivore species richness was 1.7 times greater (p recreational effects on carnivores appear to be the presence and number of human visitors to protected areas. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. The comparative effects of large carnivores on the acquisition of carrion by scavengers.

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    Allen, Maximilian L; Elbroch, L Mark; Wilmers, Christopher C; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2015-06-01

    Pumas (Puma concolor) and black bears (Ursus americanus) are large carnivores that may influence scavenger population dynamics. We used motion-triggered video cameras deployed at deer carcasses to determine how pumas and black bears affected three aspects of carrion acquisition by scavengers: presence, total feeding time, and mean feeding-bout duration. We found that pumas were unable to limit acquisition of carrion by large carnivores but did limit aspects of carrion acquisition by both birds and mesocarnivores. Through their suppression of mesocarnivores and birds, pumas apparently initiated a cascading pattern and increased carrion acquisition by small carnivores. In contrast, black bears monopolized carrion resources and generally had larger limiting effects on carrion acquisition by all scavengers. Black bears also limited puma feeding behaviors at puma kills, which may require pumas to compensate for energetic losses through increasing their kill rates of ungulates. Our results suggest that pumas provide carrion and selectively influence species acquiring carrion, while black bears limit carrion availability to all other scavengers. These results suggest that the effects of large carnivores on scavengers depend on attributes of both carnivores and scavengers (including size) and that competition for carcasses may result in intraguild predation as well as mesocarnivore release.

  11. Space use of African wild dogs in relation to other large carnivores.

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    Angela M Darnell

    Full Text Available Interaction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus and dominant lions (Panthera leo and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta. Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, we found different responses from wild dogs to their two main competitors. Wild dogs avoided lions, particularly during denning, through a combination of spatial and temporal avoidance. However, wild dogs did not exhibit spatial or temporal avoidance of spotted hyenas, likely because wild dog pack sizes were large enough to adequately defend their kills. Understanding that larger carnivores affect the movements and space use of other carnivores is important for managing current small and fragmented carnivore populations, especially as reintroductions and translocations are essential tools used for the survival of endangered species, as with African wild dogs.

  12. Does litter size variation affect models of terrestrial carnivore extinction risk and management?

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    Eleanor S Devenish-Nelson

    Full Text Available Individual variation in both survival and reproduction has the potential to influence extinction risk. Especially for rare or threatened species, reliable population models should adequately incorporate demographic uncertainty. Here, we focus on an important form of demographic stochasticity: variation in litter sizes. We use terrestrial carnivores as an example taxon, as they are frequently threatened or of economic importance. Since data on intraspecific litter size variation are often sparse, it is unclear what probability distribution should be used to describe the pattern of litter size variation for multiparous carnivores.We used litter size data on 32 terrestrial carnivore species to test the fit of 12 probability distributions. The influence of these distributions on quasi-extinction probabilities and the probability of successful disease control was then examined for three canid species - the island fox Urocyon littoralis, the red fox Vulpes vulpes, and the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Best fitting probability distributions differed among the carnivores examined. However, the discretised normal distribution provided the best fit for the majority of species, because variation among litter-sizes was often small. Importantly, however, the outcomes of demographic models were generally robust to the distribution used.These results provide reassurance for those using demographic modelling for the management of less studied carnivores in which litter size variation is estimated using data from species with similar reproductive attributes.

  13. Complex inter-Kingdom interactions: carnivorous plants affect growth of an aquatic vertebrate.

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    Davenport, Jon M; Riley, Alex W

    2017-05-01

    Coexistence of organisms in nature is more likely when phenotypic similarities of individuals are reduced. Despite the lack of similarity, distantly related taxa still compete intensely for shared resources. No larger difference between organisms that share a common prey could exist than between carnivorous plants and animals. However, few studies have considered inter-Kingdom competition among carnivorous plants and animals. In order to evaluate interactions between a carnivorous plant (greater bladderwort, Utricularia vulgaris) and a vertebrate (bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus) on a shared prey (zooplankton), we conducted a mesocosm experiment. We deployed two levels of bladderwort presence (functional and crushed) and measured bluegill responses (survival and growth). Zooplankton abundance was reduced the greatest in bluegill and functional bladderwort treatments. Bluegill survival did not differ among treatments, but growth was greatest with crushed bladderwort. Thus, bluegill growth was facilitated by reducing interference competition in the presence of crushed bladderwort. The facilitating effect was dampened, however, when functional bladderwort removed a shared prey. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to experimentally demonstrate interactions between a carnivorous plant and a fish. Our data suggest that carnivorous plants may actively promote or reduce animal co-occurrence from some ecosystems via facilitation or competition. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  14. Fluorescence labelling of phosphatase activity in digestive glands of carnivorous plants.

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    Płachno, B J; Adamec, L; Lichtscheidl, I K; Peroutka, M; Adlassnig, W; Vrba, J

    2006-11-01

    A new ELF (enzyme labelled fluorescence) assay was applied to detect phosphatase activity in glandular structures of 47 carnivorous plant species, especially Lentibulariaceae, in order to understand their digestive activities. We address the following questions: (1) Are phosphatases produced by the plants and/or by inhabitants of the traps? (2) Which type of hairs/glands is involved in the production of phosphatases? (3) Is this phosphatase production a common feature among carnivorous plants or is it restricted to evolutionarily advanced species? Our results showed activity of the phosphatases in glandular structures of the majority of the plants tested, both from the greenhouse and from sterile culture. In addition, extracellular phosphatases can also be produced by trap inhabitants. In Utricularia, activity of phosphatase was detected in internal glands of 27 species from both primitive and advanced sections and different ecological groups. Further positive reactions were found in Genlisea, Pinguicula, Aldrovanda, Dionaea, Drosera, Drosophyllum, Nepenthes, and Cephalotus. In Utricularia and Genlisea, enzymatic secretion was independent of stimulation by prey. Byblis and Roridula are usually considered as "proto-carnivores", lacking digestive enzymes. However, we found high activity of phosphatases in both species. Thus, they should be classified as true carnivores. We suggest that the inflorescence of Byblis and some Pinguicula species might also be an additional "carnivorous organ", which can trap a prey, digest it, and finally absorb available nutrients.

  15. Influenza A virus infections in marine mammals and terrestrial carnivores.

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    Harder, Timm C; Siebert, Ursula; Wohlsein, Peter; Vahlenkamp, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Influenza A viruses (IAV), members of the Orthomyxoviridae, cover a wide host spectrum comprising a plethora of avian and, in comparison, a few mammalian species. The viral reservoir and gene pool are kept in metapopulations of aquatic wild birds. The mammalian-adapted IAVs originally arose by transspecies transmission from avian sources. In swine, horse and man, species-adapted IAV lineages circulate independently of the avian reservoir and cause predominantly respiratory disease of highly variable severity. Sporadic outbreaks of IAV infections associated with pneumonic clinical signs have repeatedly occurred in marine mammals (harbour seals [Phoca vitulina]) off the New England coast of the U.S.A. due to episodic transmission of avian IAV. However, no indigenous marine mammal IAV lineages are described. In contrast to marine mammals, avian- and equine-derived IAVs have formed stable circulating lineages in terrestrial carnivores: IAVs of subtype H3N2 and H3N8 are found in canine populations in South Korea, China, and the U.S.A. Experimental infections revealed that dogs and cats can be infected with an even wider range of avian IAVs. Cats, in particular, also proved susceptible to native infection with human pandemic H1N1 viruses and, according to serological data, may be vulnerable to infection with further human-adapted IAVs. Ferrets are susceptible to a variety of avian and mammalian IAVs and are an established animal model of human IAV infection. Thus, a potential role of pet cats, dogs and ferrets as mediators of avian-derived viruses to the human population does exist. A closer observation for influenza virus infections and transmissions at this animal-human interface is indicated.

  16. Risk avoidance in sympatric large carnivores: reactive or predictive?

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    Broekhuis, Femke; Cozzi, Gabriele; Valeix, Marion; McNutt, John W; Macdonald, David W

    2013-09-01

    1. Risks of predation or interference competition are major factors shaping the distribution of species. An animal's response to risk can either be reactive, to an immediate risk, or predictive, based on preceding risk or past experiences. The manner in which animals respond to risk is key in understanding avoidance, and hence coexistence, between interacting species. 2. We investigated whether cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), known to be affected by predation and competition by lions (Panthera leo) and spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), respond reactively or predictively to the risks posed by these larger carnivores. 3. We used simultaneous spatial data from Global Positioning System (GPS) radiocollars deployed on all known social groups of cheetahs, lions and spotted hyaenas within a 2700 km(2) study area on the periphery of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. The response to risk of encountering lions and spotted hyaenas was explored on three levels: short-term or immediate risk, calculated as the distance to the nearest (contemporaneous) lion or spotted hyaena, long-term risk, calculated as the likelihood of encountering lions and spotted hyaenas based on their cumulative distributions over a 6-month period and habitat-associated risk, quantified by the habitat used by each of the three species. 4. We showed that space and habitat use by cheetahs was similar to that of lions and, to a lesser extent, spotted hyaenas. However, cheetahs avoided immediate risks by positioning themselves further from lions and spotted hyaenas than predicted by a random distribution. 5. Our results suggest that cheetah spatial distribution is a hierarchical process, first driven by resource acquisition and thereafter fine-tuned by predator avoidance; thus suggesting a reactive, rather than a predictive, response to risk. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  17. Functional constraints on tooth morphology in carnivorous mammals

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    Smits Peter D

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The range of potential morphologies resulting from evolution is limited by complex interacting processes, ranging from development to function. Quantifying these interactions is important for understanding adaptation and convergent evolution. Using three-dimensional reconstructions of carnivoran and dasyuromorph tooth rows, we compared statistical models of the relationship between tooth row shape and the opposing tooth row, a static feature, as well as measures of mandibular motion during chewing (occlusion, which are kinetic features. This is a new approach to quantifying functional integration because we use measures of movement and displacement, such as the amount the mandible translates laterally during occlusion, as opposed to conventional morphological measures, such as mandible length and geometric landmarks. By sampling two distantly related groups of ecologically similar mammals, we study carnivorous mammals in general rather than a specific group of mammals. Results Statistical model comparisons demonstrate that the best performing models always include some measure of mandibular motion, indicating that functional and statistical models of tooth shape as purely a function of the opposing tooth row are too simple and that increased model complexity provides a better understanding of tooth form. The predictors of the best performing models always included the opposing tooth row shape and a relative linear measure of mandibular motion. Conclusions Our results provide quantitative support of long-standing hypotheses of tooth row shape as being influenced by mandibular motion in addition to the opposing tooth row. Additionally, this study illustrates the utility and necessity of including kinetic features in analyses of morphological integration.

  18. Reproductive biology and pollination of the carnivorous Genlisea violacea (Lentibulariaceae).

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    Aranguren, Y; Płachno, B J; Stpiczyńska, M; Miranda, V F O

    2018-05-01

    Genlisea violacea is a Brazilian endemic carnivorous plant species distributed in the cerrado biome, mainly in humid environments, on sandy and oligotrophic soil or wet rocks. Studies on reproductive biology or pollination in the Lentibulariaceae are notably scarce; regarding the genus Genlisea, the current study is the first to show systematic and standardised research on reproductive biology from field studies to describe the foraging of visiting insects and determine the effective pollinators of Genlisea. We studied two populations of G. violacea through the observation of flower visitors for 4 months of the rainy and dry seasons. Stigmatic receptivity, pollen viability, and breeding system were evaluated together with histochemistry and morphological analyses of flowers. The flowers showed stigmatic receptivity of 100% in open buds and mature flowers, reducing to 80% for senescent flowers. Nearly 80% of pollen grains are viable, decreasing to 40-45% after 48 h. Nectar is produced by glandular trichomes inside the spur. Two bee species are effective pollinators: one of the genus Lasioglossum (subgenus Dialictus: Halictidae) and the other of the genus Ceratina (subgenus Ceratinula: family Apidae). Moreover, bee-like flies of the Syrphidae family may also be additional pollinators. Genlisea violacea is an allogamous and self-compatible species. The differences in flower-visiting fauna for both populations can be attributed to factors such as climate, anthropogenic effect, seasonal factors related to insects and plants, as well as the morphological variation of flowers in both populations. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  19. Bats Are Acoustically Attracted to Mutualistic Carnivorous Plants.

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    Schöner, Michael G; Schöner, Caroline R; Simon, Ralph; Grafe, T Ulmar; Puechmaille, Sébastien J; Ji, Liaw Lin; Kerth, Gerald

    2015-07-20

    Mutualisms between plants and animals shape the world's ecosystems. In such interactions, achieving contact with the partner species is imperative. Plants regularly advertise themselves with signals that specifically appeal to the partner's perceptual preferences. For example, many plants have acquired traits such as brightly colored, fragrant flowers that attract pollinators with visual, olfactory, or--in the case of a few bat-pollinated flowers--even acoustic stimuli in the form of echo-reflecting structures. However, acoustic attraction in plants is rare compared to other advertisements and has never been found outside the pollination context and only in the Neotropics. We hypothesized that this phenomenon is more widespread and more diverse as plant-bat interactions also occur in the Paleotropics. In Borneo, mutualistic bats fertilize a carnivorous pitcher plant while roosting in its pitchers. The pitcher's orifice features a prolonged concave structure, which we predicted to distinctively reflect the bats' echolocation calls for a wide range of angles. This structure should facilitate the location and identification of pitchers even within highly cluttered surroundings. Pitchers lacking this structure should be less attractive for the bats. Ensonifications of the pitchers around their orifice revealed that this structure indeed acts as a multidirectional ultrasound reflector. In behavioral experiments where bats were confronted with differently modified pitchers, the reflector's presence clearly facilitated the finding and identification of pitchers. These results suggest that plants have convergently acquired reflectors in the Paleotropics and the Neotropics to acoustically attract bats, albeit for completely different ecological reasons. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A viscoelastic deadly fluid in carnivorous pitcher plants.

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    Laurence Gaume

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes, widely distributed in the Asian tropics, rely mostly on nutrients derived from arthropods trapped in their pitcher-shaped leaves and digested by their enzymatic fluid. The genus exhibits a great diversity of prey and pitcher forms and its mechanism of trapping has long intrigued scientists. The slippery inner surfaces of the pitchers, which can be waxy or highly wettable, have so far been considered as the key trapping devices. However, the occurrence of species lacking such epidermal specializations but still effective at trapping insects suggests the possible implication of other mechanisms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a combination of insect bioassays, high-speed video and rheological measurements, we show that the digestive fluid of Nepenthes rafflesiana is highly viscoelastic and that this physical property is crucial for the retention of insects in its traps. Trapping efficiency is shown to remain strong even when the fluid is highly diluted by water, as long as the elastic relaxation time of the fluid is higher than the typical time scale of insect movements. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This finding challenges the common classification of Nepenthes pitchers as simple passive traps and is of great adaptive significance for these tropical plants, which are often submitted to high rainfalls and variations in fluid concentration. The viscoelastic trap constitutes a cryptic but potentially widespread adaptation of Nepenthes species and could be a homologous trait shared through common ancestry with the sundew (Drosera flypaper plants. Such large production of a highly viscoelastic biopolymer fluid in permanent pools is nevertheless unique in the plant kingdom and suggests novel applications for pest control.

  1. Characterization of a western North American carnivore community using PCR-RFLP of cytochrome b obtained from fecal samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bidlack, Allison L.; Reed, Sarah E.; Palsboll, Per J.; Getz, Wayne M.

    2007-01-01

    We developed a simple and reliable method to identify carnivore scats to species using PCR and RFLP of a portion of the mtDNA cytochrome b gene, which works for seven of the most common carnivores in western North America. We identified a short (196 bp) polymorphic region of cytochrome b which would

  2. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient.

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    Theresa M Nogeire

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  3. Fatal attraction: carnivorous plants roll out the red carpet to lure insects.

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    Schaefer, H Martin; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2008-04-23

    We provide the first experimental test of the hypothesis that the coloration of carnivorous plants can act as a signal to lure insects and thus enhance capture rates. An experimental approach was needed to separate effects of the visual appearance of plants from those of traits that may correlate with appearance and also affect capture rates. We compared insect capture rates of pitcher plants with artificially coloured red and green pitchers in a paired design, and found that plants with red pitchers captured significantly more flying insects. Thus, we present the first experimental evidence of visual signalling in carnivorous plants. Further, it has previously been suggested that carnivorous plants use contrasting stripes or UV marks on their pitchers to lure insects; our results emphasize that insect traps do not need to sport contrasting colours to be attractive; it might be sufficient to be different from the background.

  4. Patterns of Livestock Predation by Carnivores: Human-Wildlife Conflict in Northwest Yunnan, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xueyou; Buzzard, Paul; Chen, Yongchun; Jiang, Xuelong

    2013-12-01

    Alleviating human-carnivore conflict is central to large carnivore conservation and is often of economic importance, where people coexist with carnivores. In this article, we report on the patterns of predation and economic losses from wild carnivores preying on livestock in three villages of northern Baima Xueshan Nature Reserve, northwest Yunnan during a 2-year period between January 2010 and December 2011. We analyzed claims from 149 households that 258 head of livestock were predated. Wolves ( Canis lupus) were responsible for 79.1 % of livestock predation; Asiatic black bears ( Selenarctos thibetanus) and dholes ( Cuon alpinus) were the other predators responsible. Predation frequency varied between livestock species. The majority of livestock killed were yak-cattle hybrids or dzo (40.3 %). Wolves killed fewer cattle than expected, and more donkeys and horses than expected. Wolves and bears killed more adult female and fewer adult male livestock than expected. Intensified predation in wet season coincided with livestock being left to graze unattended in alpine meadows far away from villages. On average, carnivore attacks claimed 2.1 % of range stock annually. This predation represented an economic loss of 17 % (SD = 14 %) of the annual household income. Despite this loss and a perceived increase in carnivore conflict, a majority of the herders (66 %) still supported the reserve. This support is primarily due to the benefits from the collection of nontimber resources such as mushrooms and medicinal plants. Our study also suggested that improvement of husbandry techniques and facilities will reduce conflicts and contribute to improved conservation of these threatened predators.

  5. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

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    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D; Schoeninger, Margaret J

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29).

  6. Herders’ ecological knowledge and carnivore predation on livestock investigations in Makgadikgadi and Nxai national parks, Botswana

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    Lucas P. Rutina

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Botswana is one of the countries in Southern Africa that pay compensation for human properties damaged by wildlife. Before compensation is paid, a thorough investigation on determining wildlife species that have caused the damage is mandatory. Because of insufficient resources by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, the initial investigation is carried out by herders. Three basic indicators are used to determine carnivore predation; sighting the carnivore at the kill, tracks of the predator and examining the carcasses. In this study, we tested herders’ knowledge on the above three indicators. The study was conducted in a communal area around Makgadikgadi and Nxai national parks, Botswana, where the main activities practiced by the local communities is pastoral farming. In general, there was a significant association between reported and perceived incidents of predation for all carnivores at all distances from protected areas. Herders were able to identify the large carnivores visually. But they had difficulties in identifying carnivore tracks and kill characteristics. The results demonstrate the importance of involvement of local communities in human–wildlife conflict management. However, more education regarding identification of carnivore tracks and kill behaviour is needed for herders in the study area. Conservation implications: Based on the results of this study, this calls for a change in the management of human–wildlife conflict (HWC and administration of the compensation scheme. Decentralising HWC to local communities using existing government structures that exist at local level will not only supplement the inadequate resources by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP to effectively mitigate the problem, but also empower local communities’ participation in wildlife management.

  7. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

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    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  8. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawa Sugiyama

    Full Text Available From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550, one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24 and felids (n = 29.

  9. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D.; Schoeninger, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1–550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma’s zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24) and felids (n = 29). PMID:26332042

  10. Locating Human-Wildlife Interactions: Landscape Constructions and Responses to Large Carnivore Conservation in India and Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunetro Ghosal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available People′s reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landscapes as a key concept to explore responses to large carnivores in the context of ecological, economic, social, and cultural changes in these areas. Based on this comparison, we argue that the process of change is complex, with a plurality of responses from the groups affected by it. The response to large carnivore presence is influenced by many different factors, of which the interpretation of change-particularly landscape change-plays a significant role.

  11. Species-Specific Responses of Carnivores to Human-Induced Landscape Changes in Central Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolás Caruso

    Full Text Available The role that mammalian carnivores play in ecosystems can be deeply altered by human-driven habitat disturbance. While most carnivore species are negatively affected, the impact of habitat changes is expected to depend on their ecological flexibility. We aimed to identify key factors affecting the habitat use by four sympatric carnivore species in landscapes of central Argentina. Camera trapping surveys were carried out at 49 sites from 2011 to 2013. Each site was characterized by 12 habitat attributes, including human disturbance and fragmentation. Four landscape gradients were created from Principal Component Analysis and their influence on species-specific habitat use was studied using Generalized Linear Models. We recorded 74 events of Conepatus chinga, 546 of Pseudalopex gymnocercus, 193 of Leopardus geoffroyi and 45 of Puma concolor. We found that the gradient describing sites away from urban settlements and with low levels of disturbance had the strongest influence. L. geoffroyi was the only species responding significantly to the four gradients and showing a positive response to modified habitats, which could be favored by the low level of persecution by humans. P. concolor made stronger use of most preserved sites with low proportion of cropland, even though the species also used sites with an intermediate level of fragmentation. A more flexible use of space was found for C. chinga and P. gymnocercus. Our results demonstrate that the impact of human activities spans across this guild of carnivores and that species-specific responses appear to be mediated by ecological and behavioral attributes.

  12. Species-Specific Responses of Carnivores to Human-Induced Landscape Changes in Central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Nicolás; Lucherini, Mauro; Fortin, Daniel; Casanave, Emma B.

    2016-01-01

    The role that mammalian carnivores play in ecosystems can be deeply altered by human-driven habitat disturbance. While most carnivore species are negatively affected, the impact of habitat changes is expected to depend on their ecological flexibility. We aimed to identify key factors affecting the habitat use by four sympatric carnivore species in landscapes of central Argentina. Camera trapping surveys were carried out at 49 sites from 2011 to 2013. Each site was characterized by 12 habitat attributes, including human disturbance and fragmentation. Four landscape gradients were created from Principal Component Analysis and their influence on species-specific habitat use was studied using Generalized Linear Models. We recorded 74 events of Conepatus chinga, 546 of Pseudalopex gymnocercus, 193 of Leopardus geoffroyi and 45 of Puma concolor. We found that the gradient describing sites away from urban settlements and with low levels of disturbance had the strongest influence. L. geoffroyi was the only species responding significantly to the four gradients and showing a positive response to modified habitats, which could be favored by the low level of persecution by humans. P. concolor made stronger use of most preserved sites with low proportion of cropland, even though the species also used sites with an intermediate level of fragmentation. A more flexible use of space was found for C. chinga and P. gymnocercus. Our results demonstrate that the impact of human activities spans across this guild of carnivores and that species-specific responses appear to be mediated by ecological and behavioral attributes. PMID:26950300

  13. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F. (Franziska); W.E. Kaman (Wendy); F.J. Bikker (Floris); Yilamujiang, A. (Ayufu); Mithöfer, A. (Axel)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractCarnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the

  14. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F.; Kaman, W.E.; Bikker, F.J.; Yilamujiang, A.; Mithöfer, A.

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants

  15. Fluorescence Labelling of Phosphatase Activity in Digestive Glands of Carnivorous Plants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Plachno, B.J.; Adamec, Lubomír; Lichtscheidl, I.K.; Peroutka, M.; Adlassnig, W.; Vrba, Jaroslav

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 8, - (2006), s. 813-820 ISSN 1435-8603 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KSK6005114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516; CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : carnivorous plants * digestion * digestive glands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.059, year: 2006

  16. Ecophysiological characterization of carnivorous plant roots: oxygen fluxes, respiration, and water exudation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 2 (2005), s. 247-255 ISSN 0006-3134 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6005909 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : terrestrial carnivorous plants * soil anoxia * Genlisea traps Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.792, year: 2005

  17. Shoot branching of the aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia australis as the key process of plant growth

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2011), 133-148 ISSN 0079-2047 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plant * branching characteristics * mathematical model Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.833, year: 2011

  18. Jasmonic acid and herbivory differentially induce carnivore-attracting plant volatiles in Lima bean plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Gols, R.; Ludeking, D.; Posthumus, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Lima bean plants respond to feeding damage of two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) with the emission of a complex blend of volatiles that are products of several different biosynthetic pathways. These volatiles attract the carnivorous mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialist predator of

  19. Usability of large carnivore as a keystone species in Eastern Black ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the study was to investigate the keystone species property of Brown bear (Ursus arctos), Wolf (Canis lupus) and Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). The main selecting criteria for keystone species can be summarized as top predator or large carnivore important prey species or provide key resources and species having ...

  20. Differentiating percussion pits and carnivore tooth pits using 3D reconstructions and geometric morphometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yravedra, José; Aramendi, Julia; Maté-González, Miguel Ángel; Austin Courtenay, Lloyd; González-Aguilera, Diego

    2018-01-01

    During the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century the discussion on early human behavioral patterns revolved around the hunting versus scavenging debate. The correct identification of bone modifications, including percussion, cut and tooth marks, is a key issue within this debate. While many authors have shown that carnivore and human modifications can be easily distinguished, it is true that sometimes percussion marks without associated microstriations and tooth pits overlap morphologically, causing confusion, especially when unmodified hammerstones are used. In order to solve this equifinality problem, many investigations have focused their efforts on other pieces of evidence such as the identification of notches, fragmentation patterns and frequencies, among others. These studies, however, cannot be considered as fully conclusive. Within this paper we address the problem of equifinality when identifying percussion marks produced with unmodified hammerstones and tooth pits created by carnivores using new methodologies based on the 3D reconstruction of marks and their statistical multivariate analysis. For the purpose of this study a total of 128 marks- 39 percussion marks produced with an unmodified quartzite hammerstone, and 89 pits generated by different carnivores-were virtually modelled with the aid of a DAVID structured-light scanner SLS-2 and later analyzed by means of geometric morphometrics. Our results show that percussion marks not associated with striae fields and the pits generated by the carnivores studied here can be successfully distinguished.

  1. A new carnivorous sponge, Chondrocladia robertballardi sp. nov. (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) from two Northeast Atlantic seamounts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cristobo, J.; Rios, P.; Pomponi, S.A.; Xavier, J.R.

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) are a particularly interesting group of species typically occurring in deep-sea habitats. In this study a new species, Chondrocladia (Chondrocladia) robertballardi sp. nov., is described from specimens collected on two large north-east Atlantic seamounts

  2. Quite a few reasons for calling carnivores 'the most wonderful plants in the world'

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Król, E.; Plancho, B. J.; Adamec, Lubomír; Stolarz, M.; Dziubińska, H.; Trebacz, K.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 109, č. 1 (2012), s. 47-64 ISSN 0305-7364 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : carnivorous plants * gland functioning * plant excitability Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.449, year: 2012

  3. Ecophysiological traits of terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous plants: are the costs and benefits the same?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ellison, A. M.; Adamec, Lubomír

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 120, č. 11 (2011), 1721-1731 ISSN 0030-1299 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous plants * photosynthesis * mineral nutrition Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.061, year: 2011

  4. Notes on some smaller carnivores from the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. G. L Mills

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Notes on relative densities, habitat choice, food and foraging, social organisation and anti-predatory behaviour of certain small and medium-sized carnivores are presented. Possible mechanisms of niche separation and the evolution of different anti- predatory behaviours are briefly discussed.

  5. Leaf absorption of mineral nutrients in carnivorous plants stimulates root nutrient uptake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 155, - (2002), s. 89-100 ISSN 0028-646X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6005905 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : terrestrial carnivorous plant s * utilization of prey * mineral nutrient re-utilization * leaf nutrient supply Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.945, year: 2002

  6. Quite a few reasons for calling carnivores ‘the most wonderful plants in the world’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Król, Elżbieta; Płachno, Bartosz J.; Adamec, Lubomír; Stolarz, Maria; Dziubińska, Halina; Trębacz, Kazimierz

    2012-01-01

    Background A plant is considered carnivorous if it receives any noticeable benefit from catching small animals. The morphological and physiological adaptations to carnivorous existence is most complex in plants, thanks to which carnivorous plants have been cited by Darwin as ‘the most wonderful plants in the world’. When considering the range of these adaptations, one realizes that the carnivory is a result of a multitude of different features. Scope This review discusses a selection of relevant articles, culled from a wide array of research topics on plant carnivory, and focuses in particular on physiological processes associated with active trapping and digestion of prey. Carnivory offers the plants special advantages in habitats where nutrient supply is scarce. Counterbalancing costs are the investments in synthesis and the maintenance of trapping organs and hydrolysing enzymes. With the progress in genetic, molecular and microscopic techniques, we are well on the way to a full appreciation of various aspects of plant carnivory. Conclusions Sufficiently complex to be of scientific interest and finite enough to allow conclusive appraisal, carnivorous plants can be viewed as unique models for the examination of rapid organ movements, plant excitability, enzyme secretion, nutrient absorption, food-web relationships, phylogenetic and intergeneric relationships or structural and mineral investment in carnivory. PMID:21937485

  7. Insecticides reduce survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Congelosi, Alexandra M; Rohr, Jason R

    2012-03-01

    While agrochemical pollution is thought to be an important conservation threat to carnivorous plants, the effects of insecticides on these taxa have not been quantified previously. Using a combination of lab- and field-based experiments, we tested the effects of commercial and technical grades of three widely used insecticides (carbaryl, lambda-cyhalothrin, and malathion) on survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory of pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula). Commercial grades were generally more harmful than technical grades under lab and field conditions, but all three insecticides were capable of reducing both survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory within recommended application rates. However, pink sundews appeared to be more susceptible to insecticides than Venus flytraps, perhaps because of larger numbers of digestive glands on the leaf surfaces. We make several recommendations for future research directions, such as examining the long-term effects of insecticides on carnivorous plant populations, for example in terms of growth rates and fitness. Additionally, future research should include representative species from a wider-range of carnivorous plant growth forms, and explore the mechanism by which insecticides are harming the plants. Given the effects we observed in the present study, we suggest that the use of insecticides should be carefully managed in areas containing vulnerable carnivorous plant species.

  8. Pollinator-prey conflicts in carnivorous plants: When flower and trap properties mean life or death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Byers, John A; Suckling, David M

    2016-02-18

    Insect-pollinated carnivorous plants are expected to have higher fitness if they resolve pollinator-prey conflicts by sparing insects pollinating their flowers while trapping prey insects. We examined whether separation between flowers and traps of the carnivorous sundew species or pollinator preferences for colours of flowers enable these plants to spare pollinators. In addition, we collected odours from flowers and traps of each carnivorous species in order to identify volatile chemicals that are attractive or repellent to pollinators and prey insects. In Drosera spatulata and D. arcturi, no volatiles were detected from either their flowers or traps that could serve as kairomone attractants for insects. However, behavioural experiments indicated white colour and spatial separation between flowers and traps aid in reducing pollinator entrapment while capturing prey. In contrast, D. auriculata have flowers that are adjacent to their traps. In this species we identified chemical signals emanating from flowers that comprised an eight-component blend, while the plant's traps emitted a unique four-component blend. The floral odour attracted both pollinator and prey insects, while trap odour only attracted prey. This is the first scientific report to demonstrate that carnivorous plants utilize visual, spatial, and chemical signals to spare flower visitors while trapping prey insects.

  9. Spatial-temporal patterns in Mediterranean carnivore road casualties: Consequences for mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilo, C.; Bissonette, J.A.; Santos-Reis, M.

    2009-01-01

    Many carnivores have been seriously impacted by the expansion of transportation systems and networks; however we know little about carnivore response to the extent and magnitude of road mortality, or which age classes may be disproportionately impacted. Recent research has demonstrated that wildlife-vehicle-collisions (WVC) involving carnivores are modulated by temporal and spatial factors. Thus, we investigated road mortality on a guild of small and medium-sized carnivores in southern Portugal using road-kill data obtained from a systematic 36 months monitoring period along highways (260 km) and national roads (314 km) by addressing the following questions: (a) which species and age class are most vulnerable to WVC? (b) are there temporal and/or spatial patterns in road-kill? and (c) which life-history and/or spatial factors influence the likelihood of collisions? We recorded a total of 806 carnivore casualties, which represented an average of 47 ind./100 km/year. Red fox and stone marten had the highest mortality rates. Our findings highlight three key messages: (1) the majority of road-killed individuals were adults of common species; (2) all carnivores, except genets, were more vulnerable during specific life-history phenological periods: higher casualties were observed when red fox and stone marten were provisioning young, Eurasian badger casualties occurred more frequently during dispersal, and higher Egyptian mongoose mortality occurred during the breeding period; and (3) modeling demonstrated that favorable habitat, curves in the road, and low human disturbance were major contributors to the deadliest road segments. Red fox carcasses were more likely to be found on road sections with passages distant from urban areas. Conversely, stone marten mortalities were found more often on national roads with high of cork oak woodland cover; Egyptian mongoose and genet road-kills were found more often on road segments close to curves. Based on our results, two key

  10. Comparison of carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore mammalian genomes with a new leopard assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Kim, Hak-Min; Chung, Oksung; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Seomun, Hong; Kim, Jeongho; Bang, Woo Young; Kim, Changmu; An, Junghwa; Bae, Chang Hwan; Bhak, Youngjune; Jeon, Sungwon; Yoon, Hyejun; Kim, Yumi; Jun, JeHoon; Lee, HyeJin; Cho, Suan; Uphyrkina, Olga; Kostyria, Aleksey; Goodrich, John; Miquelle, Dale; Roelke, Melody; Lewis, John; Yurchenko, Andrey; Bankevich, Anton; Cho, Juok; Lee, Semin; Edwards, Jeremy S; Weber, Jessica A; Cook, Jo; Kim, Sangsoo; Lee, Hang; Manica, Andrea; Lee, Ilbeum; O'Brien, Stephen J; Bhak, Jong; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2016-10-11

    There are three main dietary groups in mammals: carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Currently, there is limited comparative genomics insight into the evolution of dietary specializations in mammals. Due to recent advances in sequencing technologies, we were able to perform in-depth whole genome analyses of representatives of these three dietary groups. We investigated the evolution of carnivory by comparing 18 representative genomes from across Mammalia with carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous dietary specializations, focusing on Felidae (domestic cat, tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard), Hominidae, and Bovidae genomes. We generated a new high-quality leopard genome assembly, as well as two wild Amur leopard whole genomes. In addition to a clear contraction in gene families for starch and sucrose metabolism, the carnivore genomes showed evidence of shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with diet, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for successful hunting and meat consumption. Additionally, an analysis of highly conserved regions at the family level revealed molecular signatures of dietary adaptation in each of Felidae, Hominidae, and Bovidae. However, unlike carnivores, omnivores and herbivores showed fewer shared adaptive signatures, indicating that carnivores are under strong selective pressure related to diet. Finally, felids showed recent reductions in genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, which may be due to the inflexible nature of their strict diet, highlighting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our study provides a large-scale family level comparative genomic analysis to address genomic changes associated with dietary specialization. Our genomic analyses also provide useful resources for diet-related genetic and health research.

  11. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew E Gompper

    Full Text Available Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus and fisher (Martes pennanti distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor. Martens (Martes americana were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp. occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild.

  12. Landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California, USA, as assessed through carnivore habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Richard D.; Fisher, Robert N.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2003-01-01

    Although the fragmentation of the natural landscape of coastal southern California, USA, is accelerating, large-scale assessments of regional connectivity are lacking. Because of their large area requirements and long dispersal movements, mammalian carnivores can be effective focal species to use when evaluating landscape-level connectivity. Our goal was to make an initial assessment of the extent of landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California using mountain lions (Felis concolor [Linnaeus]) and bobcats (Felis rufus [Shreber]) as focal species. We first characterized habitat preferences for mountain lions and bobcats from previously derived habitat relationship models for these species; the resulting maps provided a coarse view of habitat preferences for use at regional scales. We then constructed GIS models to evaluate the disturbance impact of roadways and development, major determinants of carnivore distribution and abundance in the south coast region. Finally, we combined the habitat relationship models with the disturbance impact models to characterize habitat connectivity for mountain lions and bobcats in the ecoregion. Habitat connectivity in the ecoregion appeared higher for bobcats than for mountain lions due in part to higher habitat suitability for bobcats in coastal lowland areas. Our models suggest that much of the key carnivore habitat in the coastal southern California is at risk; over 80% of high suitability habitat and over 90% of medium suitability habitat for carnivores is found in the least protected land management classes. Overall, these models allow for (1) identification of core habitat blocks for carnivores and key landscape connections between core areas, (2) evaluation of the level of protection of these areas, and (3) a regional framework within which to develop and coordinate local management and conservation plans.

  13. An advanced method to assess the diet of free-ranging large carnivores based on scats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Wachter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The diet of free-ranging carnivores is an important part of their ecology. It is often determined from prey remains in scats. In many cases, scat analyses are the most efficient method but they require correction for potential biases. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed mass of each prey species, the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat needs to be determined and corrected for prey body mass because the proportion of digestible to indigestible matter increases with prey body mass. Prey body mass can be corrected for by conducting feeding experiments using prey of various body masses and fitting a regression between consumed prey mass to excrete one scat and prey body mass (correction factor 1. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed individuals of each prey species and includes prey animals not completely consumed, the actual mass of each prey consumed by the carnivore needs to be controlled for (correction factor 2. No previous study controlled for this second bias. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use an extended series of feeding experiments on a large carnivore, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, to establish both correction factors. In contrast to previous studies which fitted a linear regression for correction factor 1, we fitted a biologically more meaningful exponential regression model where the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat reaches an asymptote at large prey sizes. Using our protocol, we also derive correction factor 1 and 2 for other carnivore species and apply them to published studies. We show that the new method increases the number and proportion of consumed individuals in the diet for large prey animals compared to the conventional method. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results have important implications for the interpretation of scat-based studies in feeding ecology and the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts for the conservation of large carnivores.

  14. Poor construction, not time, takes its toll on subsidised fences designed to deter large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Frank

    Full Text Available Large carnivore conservation may be considered as successful in Sweden, as wolf (Canis lupus, lynx (Lynx lynx, brown bear (Ursus arctos, golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos, and wolverine (Gulo gulo populations have recovered from extinction or near extinction to viable populations during the last three decades. Particularly the wolf and lynx populations have returned at the cost of an increasing number of carnivore attacks on domestic livestock. To support coexistence between carnivores and livestock production, the Swedish authorities subsidise interventions to prevent or reduce the number of carnivore attacks. The most commonly used intervention is carnivore deterring fencing, and all livestock owners can apply for subsidies to build a fence. To receive reimbursement the fence must be approved by the authorities according to predefined criteria. An important part of any management aiming to be adaptive is evaluating interventions. In this paper we evaluate to what extent previously subsidised fences still meet the criteria 1-15 years after their approval. Of 296 fences that had received subsidies in the county of Värmland, 100 randomly selected fences were revisited in 2016. From this subsample 14% of the fences still met the initial criteria for subsidies. None of the fences that still fulfilled the criteria were more than 8 years old, whereas fences with identified failures occurred in all age groups. Of the 86 fences that failed to meet the criteria, construction failures were the most commonly occurring problem. Maintenance failures, wear and tear, only explain a minor part of the failures. To improve the quality of fencing, as well as the quality and longevity of the subsidies programme, there is a need for improved communication between authorities, and improved communication and support from the authorities to livestock producers before and during construction of fences, as well as more rigorous inspection when the fences are built.

  15. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Millett, J.; Foot, G.W.; Svensson, B.M.

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  16. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millett, J., E-mail: j.millett@lboro.ac.uk [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Foot, G.W. [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Svensson, B.M. [Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 D, SE-752 36 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  17. Widespread paleopolyploidy, gene tree conflict, and recalcitrant relationships among the carnivorous Caryophyllales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Joseph F; Yang, Ya; Moore, Michael J; Mikenas, Jessica; Timoneda, Alfonso; Brockington, Samuel F; Smith, Stephen A

    2017-06-01

    The carnivorous members of the large, hyperdiverse Caryophyllales (e.g., Venus flytrap, sundews, and Nepenthes pitcher plants) represent perhaps the oldest and most diverse lineage of carnivorous plants. However, despite numerous studies seeking to elucidate their evolutionary relationships, the early-diverging relationships remain unresolved. To explore the utility of phylogenomic data sets for resolving relationships among the carnivorous Caryophyllales, we sequenced 10 transcriptomes, including all the carnivorous genera except those in the rare West African liana family Dioncophyllaceae. We used a variety of methods to infer the species tree, examine gene tree conflict, and infer paleopolyploidy events. Phylogenomic analyses supported the monophyly of the carnivorous Caryophyllales, with a crown age of 68-83 million years. In contrast to previous analyses, we recovered the remaining noncore Caryophyllales as nonmonophyletic, although the node supporting this relationship contained a significant amount of gene tree discordance. We present evidence that the clade contains at least seven independent paleopolyploidy events, previously unresolved nodes from the literature have high levels of gene tree conflict, and taxon sampling influences topology even in a phylogenomic data set, regardless of the use of coalescent or supermatrix methods. Our data demonstrate the importance of carefully considering gene tree conflict and taxon sampling in phylogenomic analyses. Moreover, they provide a remarkable example of the propensity for paleopolyploidy in angiosperms, with at least seven such events in a clade of less than 2500 species. © 2017 Walker et al. Published by the Botanical Society of America. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).

  18. Evolution of genome size and genomic GC content in carnivorous holokinetics (Droseraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veleba, Adam; Šmarda, Petr; Zedek, František; Horová, Lucie; Šmerda, Jakub; Bureš, Petr

    2017-02-01

    Studies in the carnivorous family Lentibulariaceae in the last years resulted in the discovery of the smallest plant genomes and an unusual pattern of genomic GC content evolution. However, scarcity of genomic data in other carnivorous clades still prevents a generalization of the observed patterns. Here the aim was to fill this gap by mapping genome evolution in the second largest carnivorous family, Droseraceae, where this evolution may be affected by chromosomal holokinetism in Drosera METHODS: The genome size and genomic GC content of 71 Droseraceae species were measured by flow cytometry. A dated phylogeny was constructed, and the evolution of both genomic parameters and their relationship to species climatic niches were tested using phylogeny-based statistics. The 2C genome size of Droseraceae varied between 488 and 10 927 Mbp, and the GC content ranged between 37·1 and 44·7 %. The genome sizes and genomic GC content of carnivorous and holocentric species did not differ from those of their non-carnivorous and monocentric relatives. The genomic GC content positively correlated with genome size and annual temperature fluctuations. The genome size and chromosome numbers were inversely correlated in the Australian clade of Drosera CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that neither carnivory (nutrient scarcity) nor the holokinetism have a prominent effect on size and DNA base composition of Droseraceae genomes. However, the holokinetic drive seems to affect karyotype evolution in one of the major clades of Drosera Our survey confirmed that the evolution of GC content is tightly connected with the evolution of genome size and also with environmental conditions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Large carnivores, moose, and humans: A changing paradigm of predator management in the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Charles C.; Swenson, J.E.; Miller, Sterling D.

    2003-01-01

    We compare and contrast the evolution of human attitudes toward large carnivores between Europe and North America. In general, persecution of large carnivores began much earlier in Europe than North America. Likewise, conservation programs directed at restoration and recovery appeared in European history well before they did in North America. Together, the pattern suggests there has been an evolution in how humans perceive large predators. Our early ancestors were physically vulnerable to large carnivores and developed corresponding attitudes of respect, avoidance, and acceptance. As civilization evolved and man developed weapons, the balance shifted. Early civilizations, in particular those with pastoral ways, attempted to eliminate large carnivores as threats to life and property. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) were consequently extirpated from much of their range in Europe and in North America south of Canada. Efforts to protect brown bears began in the late 1880s in some European countries and population reintroductions and augmentations are ongoing. They are less controversial than in North America. On the other hand, there are no wolf introductions, as has occurred in North America, and Europeans have a more negative attitude towards wolves. Control of predators to enhance ungulate harvest varies. In Western Europe, landowners own the hunting rights to ungulates. In the formerly communistic Eastern European countries and North America, hunting rights are held in common, although this is changing in some Eastern European countries. Wolf control to increase harvests of moose (Alces alces) occurs in parts of North America and Russia; bear control for similar reasons only occurs in parts of North America. Surprisingly, bears and wolves are not controlled to increase ungulates where private landowners have the hunting rights in Europe, although wolves were originally exterminated from these areas. Both the inability of scientific research to

  20. Resting electrical network activity in traps of the aquatic carnivorous plants of the genera Aldrovanda and Utricularia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Masi, E.; Ciszak, M.; Colzi, I.; Adamec, Lubomír; Mancuso, S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, e24989 (2016), s. 1-11 ISSN 2045-2322 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : electrophysiology * multielectrode array * aquatic carnivorous plants Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  1. Population ecology of the endangered aquatic carnivorous macrophyte Aldrovanda vesiculosa at a naturalised site in North America

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cross, A. T.; Skates, L. M.; Adamec, Lubomír; Hammond, C. M.; Sheridan, P. M.; Dixon, K. W.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 9 (2015), s. 1772-1783 ISSN 0046-5070 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plant * competition * population ecology Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.933, year: 2015

  2. Fear of the dark or dinner by moonlight? Reduced temporal partitioning among Africa’s large carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Cozzi, Gabriele; Broekhuis, Femke; McNutt, John W; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Macdonald, David W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    Africa is home to the last intact guild of large carnivores and thus provides the only opportunity to investigate mechanisms of coexistence among large predator species. Strong asymmetric dominance hierarchies typically characterize guilds of large carnivores; but despite this asymmetry, subdominant species may persist alongside their stronger counterparts through temporal partitioning of habitat and resources. In the African guild, the subdominant African wild dogs and cheetahs are rou...

  3. The evolution of fetal membranes and placentation in carnivores and ungulates (Ferungulata)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Mess, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    in Ferungulata, a clade comprising carnivores, pangolins, and even- and odd-toed ungulates. Their early ontogeny shows several conserved traits such as superficial attachment of the blastocyst, amnion formation by folding, a large allantoic sac and a temporary yolk sac placenta. In contrast, several characters...... of the chorioallantoic placenta are derived, including the diffuse and cotyledonary placental types in ungulates and zonary placenta in carnivores, specializations of the interhaemal barrier, the presence of areolae or haemophagous regions and lack of stromal decidual cells. Ungulates produce large amounts of placental...... proteins including placental lactogens and pregnancy-associated glycoproteins. Evolutionary innovations of the placental system may contribute to the high diversity of lifestyles within Ferungulata and be linked to the evolution of highly precocial offspring in ungulates....

  4. Feed based on vegetable materials changes the muscle proteome of the carnivore rainbow trout

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Flemming; Wulff, Tune; Bach Mikkelsen, J.

    2011-01-01

    Feed production for aquaculture of carnivore fish species relies heavily on protein and lipid from the limited resources of wild fish and other sea living organisms. Thus the development of alternative feeds replacing fish meal and oil with components of vegetable origin is important for a sustai......Feed production for aquaculture of carnivore fish species relies heavily on protein and lipid from the limited resources of wild fish and other sea living organisms. Thus the development of alternative feeds replacing fish meal and oil with components of vegetable origin is important...... trout fed two different diets identical in protein and oil content, but with diet C based on fish meal and oil and diet V based on rapeseed oil and vegetable proteins. In addition to the proteomic investigation the textural properties of the fish were analysed by sensory profiling. Protein expression...

  5. Faster than their prey: new insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Plants move in very different ways and for different reasons, but some active carnivorous plants perform extraordinary motion: Their snap-, catapult- and suction traps perform very fast and spectacular motions to catch their prey after receiving mechanical stimuli. Numerous investigations have led to deeper insights into the physiology and biomechanics of these trapping devices, but they are far from being fully understood. We review concisely how plant movements are classified and how they follow principles that bring together speed, actuation and architecture of the moving organ. In particular, we describe and discuss how carnivorous plants manage to execute fast motion. We address open questions and assess the prospects for future studies investigating potential universal mechanisms that could be the basis of key characteristic features in plant movement such as stimulus transduction, post-stimulatory mechanical answers, and organ formation. © 2013 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs

    OpenAIRE

    Singer, Michael S.; Lichter-Marck, Isaac H.; Farkas, Timothy E.; Aaron, Eric; Whitney, Kenneth D.; Mooney, Kailen A.

    2014-01-01

    Predicting the impact of carnivores on plants has challenged community and food web ecologists for decades. At the same time, the role of predators in the evolution of herbivore dietary specialization has been an unresolved issue in evolutionary ecology. Here, we integrate these perspectives by testing the role of herbivore diet breadth as a predictor of top-down effects of avian predators on herbivores and plants in a forest food web. Using experimental bird exclosures to study a complex co...

  7. Dinitrogen fixation associated with shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants: is it ecologically important?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sirová, D.; Šantrůček, Jiří; Adamec, Lubomír; Bárta, J.; Borovec, Jakub; Pech, J.; Owens, S.M.; Šantrůčková, H.; Schaeufele, R.; Štorchová, Helena; Vrba, Jaroslav

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 114, č. 1 (2014), s. 125-133 ISSN 0305-7364 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/0783 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61389030 Keywords : Aldrovanda vesiculosa * aquatic carnivorous plants * Utricularia vulgaris * nitrogen fixation Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry; EF - Botanics (BU-J); EF - Botanics (UEB-Q) Impact factor: 3.654, year: 2014

  8. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica

    OpenAIRE

    Sugiyama, Nawa; Somerville, Andrew D.; Schoeninger, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

    From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550), one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches ...

  9. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Naves, Javier; Ordiz, Andrés; Quevedo, Mario; Revilla, Eloy; Delibes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  10. PCR detection of Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in brains of wild carnivores

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hůrková, L.; Modrý, David

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 137, 1/2 (2006), s. 150-154 ISSN 0304-4017 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD524/03/H133 Grant - others:MŠk(CZ) FRVŠ 1494/2004 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Neospora * Encephalitozoon * carnivores Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.900, year: 2006

  11. Book review: Large carnivore conservation: Integrating science and policy in the North American West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertsen, A. J.; Cox, M. M.; Ernst, E. E.; Haley, H. J.; Klaver, Robert W.; Loney, D. A.; Mackert, M. M.; McCombs, A. L.; Piatscheck, F.; Pocius, V. M.; Stein, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Dr. Klaver reviewed Large Carnivore Conservation as part of a graduate seminar and seminar participants represented the full range of readers who might be interested in the book: natural resource managers, citizen advocates, researchers, and students. Although we encountered a variety of opinions based on our different backgrounds and orientations, we discovered a surprising amount of consensus both about what the book does well and where it falls short of our expectations.

  12. Locomotion and the Cost of Hunting in Large, Stealthy Marine Carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Terrie M; Fuiman, Lee A; Davis, Randall W

    2015-10-01

    Foraging by large (>25 kg), mammalian carnivores often entails cryptic tactics to surreptitiously locate and overcome highly mobile prey. Many forms of intermittent locomotion from stroke-and-glide maneuvers by marine mammals to sneak-and-pounce behaviors by terrestrial canids, ursids, and felids are involved. While affording proximity to vigilant prey, these tactics are also associated with unique energetic costs and benefits to the predator. We examined the energetic consequences of intermittent locomotion in mammalian carnivores and assessed the role of these behaviors in overall foraging efficiency. Behaviorally-linked, three-axis accelerometers were calibrated to provide instantaneous locomotor behaviors and associated energetic costs for wild adult Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) diving beneath the Antarctic ice. The results were compared with previously published values for other marine and terrestrial carnivores. We found that intermittent locomotion in the form of extended glides, burst-and-glide swimming, and rollercoaster maneuvers while hunting silverfish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) resulted in a marked energetic savings for the diving seals relative to continuously stroking. The cost of a foraging dive by the seals decreased by 9.2-59.6%, depending on the proportion of time gliding. These energetic savings translated into exceptionally low transport costs during hunting (COTHUNT) for diving mammals. COTHUNT for Weddell seals was nearly six times lower than predicted for large terrestrial carnivores, and demonstrates the importance of turning off the propulsive machinery to facilitate cost-efficient foraging in highly active, air-breathing marine predators. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Triggering a false alarm: Wounding mimics prey capture in the carnivorous venus flytrap (dionaea muscipula)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pavlovič, A.; Jakšová, Jana; Novák, Ondřej

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 216, č. 3 (2017), s. 927-938 ISSN 0028-646X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Action potential * Carnivorous plant * Defence * Digestive enzyme * Electrical signal * Jasmonic acid (JA) * Systemic response * Venus flytrap Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 7.330, year: 2016

  14. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Fernández-Gil

    Full Text Available Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  15. Enzymatic activities in traps of four aquatic species of the carnivorous genus Utricularia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sirová, D.; Adamec, Lubomír; Vrba, Jaroslav

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 159, - (2003), s. 669-675 ISSN 0028-646X R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6017202; GA AV ČR KSK6005114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6017912; CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plants * extracellular enzymatic activity * trap fluid pH Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.118, year: 2003

  16. Periodontal disease diagnosis in a group of captive native carnivores at Jaime Duque Zoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana Vásquez C.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A diagnose of periodontal diseases was performed in 12 species of carnivores at Jaime Duque Zoo. 23 animals were sampled under different general anesthesia protocols. A protocol of the oral cavity examination was designed and implemented, making emphasis in the periodontal anomalies. 16 of the 23 individuals presented periodontal disease. A microbiological culture was performed from the oral cavity of 9 individuals, this results indicated mostly normal bacterial flora.

  17. Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Justine A.; Wang, Yiwei; Wilmers, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    The fear induced by predators on their prey is well known to cause behavioural adjustments by prey that can ripple through food webs. Little is known, however, about the analogous impacts of humans as perceived top predators on the foraging behaviour of carnivores. Here, we investigate the influence of human-induced fear on puma foraging behaviour using location and prey consumption data from 30 tagged individuals living along a gradient of human development. We observed strong behavioural re...

  18. The carnivorous feeding behavior of early Homo at HWK EE, Bed II, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pante, Michael C; Njau, Jackson K; Hensley-Marschand, Blaire; Keevil, Trevor L; Martín-Ramos, Carmen; Peters, Renata Franco; de la Torre, Ignacio

    2017-08-07

    The regular consumption of large mammal carcasses, as evidenced by butchery marks on fossils recovered from Early Stone Age archaeological sites, roughly coincides with the appearance of Homo habilis. However, the significance of this niche expansion cannot be appreciated without an understanding of hominin feeding behavior and their ecological interactions with mammalian carnivores. The Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) has recovered a large and well-preserved fossil assemblage from the HWK EE site, which was deposited just prior to the first appearance of Acheulean technology at Olduvai Gorge and likely represents one of the last H. habilis sites at Olduvai. This taphonomic analysis of the larger mammal fossil assemblage excavated from HWK EE shows evidence of multiple occupations over a long period of time, suggesting the site offered resources that were attractive to hominins. There was a water source indicated by the presence of fish, crocodiles, and hippos, and there was possible tree cover in an otherwise open habitat. The site preserves several stratigraphic intervals with large fossil and artifact assemblages within two of these intervals. Feeding traces on bone surfaces suggest hominins at the site obtained substantial amounts of flesh and marrow, particularly from smaller size group 1-2 carcasses, and exploited a wide range of taxa, including megafauna. A strong carnivore signal suggests hominins scavenged much of their animal foods during the two main stratigraphic intervals. In the later interval, lower carnivore tooth mark and hammerstone percussion mark frequencies, in addition to high epiphyseal to shaft fragment ratios, suggest hominins and carnivores did not fully exploit bone marrow and grease, which may have been acquired from nutritionally-stressed animals that died during a dry period at Olduvai. The diversity of fauna that preserve evidence of butchery suggests that the HWK EE hominins were opportunistic in their

  19. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in Carnivores in Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran Using Mitochondrial DNA

    OpenAIRE

    Beiromvand, Molouk; Akhlaghi, Lame; Fattahi Massom, Seyed Hossein; Mobedi, Iraj; Meamar, Ahmad Reza; Oormazdi, Hormozd; Motevalian, Abbas; Razmjou, Elham

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal...

  20. Attract them anyway: benefits of large, showy flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salces-Castellano, A; Paniw, M; Casimiro-Soriguer, R; Ojeda, F

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive biology of carnivorous plants has largely been studied on species that rely on insects as pollinators and prey, creating potential conflicts. Autogamous pollination, although present in some carnivorous species, has received less attention. In angiosperms, autogamous self-fertilization is expected to lead to a reduction in flower size, thereby reducing resource allocation to structures that attract pollinators. A notable exception is the carnivorous pyrophyteDrosophyllum lusitanicum(Drosophyllaceae), which has been described as an autogamous selfing species but produces large, yellow flowers. Using a flower removal and a pollination experiment, we assessed, respectively, whether large flowers in this species may serve as an attracting device to prey insects or whether previously reported high selfing rates for this species in peripheral populations may be lower in more central, less isolated populations. We found no differences between flower-removed plants and intact, flowering plants in numbers of prey insects trapped. We also found no indication of reduced potential for autogamous reproduction, in terms of either seed set or seed size. However, our results showed significant increases in seed set of bagged, hand-pollinated flowers and unbagged flowers exposed to insect visitation compared with bagged, non-manipulated flowers that could only self-pollinate autonomously. Considering that the key life-history strategy of this pyrophytic species is to maintain a viable seed bank, any increase in seed set through insect pollinator activity would increase plant fitness. This in turn would explain the maintenance of large, conspicuous flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  1. High prevalence of Trichinella spp. in sylvatic carnivore mammals of Latvia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deksne, Gunita; Segliņa, Zanda; Jahundoviča, Inese; Esīte, Zanda; Bakasejevs, Eduards; Bagrade, Guna; Keidāne, Dace; Interisano, Marilena; Marucci, Gianluca; Tonanzi, Daniele; Pozio, Edoardo; Kirjušina, Muza

    2016-11-15

    Trichinella spp. are zoonotic parasites transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw or insufficiently cooked meat of different animal species. Carnivore mammals are important reservoir hosts of these nematodes. The aims of this work were to establish the prevalence of Trichinella spp. and infection intensity in sylvatic carnivore mammals of Latvia, to identify the etiological agents at the species level and their circulation in the Latvian regions. From 2010 to 2014, muscle samples were collected from 1286 hunted animals (2 European badgers, 137 pine martens, 24 stone martens, 4 golden jackals, 394 raccoon dogs, 668 red foxes, 23 grey wolves, and 34 Eurasian lynxes). Trichinella spp. larvae were isolated by muscle digestion. Overall, 633 animals (49.2%; 95% CI 46.5%-52.0%) belonging to all the eight investigated species, tested positive for Trichinella spp. larvae. Trichinella britovi was the most common species (94.0%; 95% CI 91.7%-95.7%). Trichinella nativa was detected in 30 animals as single (6, 1.1%; 95% CI 0.4%-2.3%) or mixed infection (24, 4.4%; 95% CI 2.9%-6.4%) with T. britovi. Trichinella spiralis was detected in only three animals as mixed infection with T. britovi. The high prevalence of Trichinella spp. infection in sylvatic carnivore mammals suggests that they are good indicators for the risk assessment of Trichinella spp. in Latvia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Identifying indicators of illegal behaviour: carnivore killing in human-managed landscapes.

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    St John, Freya A V; Keane, Aidan M; Edwards-Jones, Gareth; Jones, Lauren; Yarnell, Richard W; Jones, Julia P G

    2012-02-22

    Managing natural resources often depends on influencing people's behaviour, however effectively targeting interventions to discourage environmentally harmful behaviours is challenging because those involved may be unwilling to identify themselves. Non-sensitive indicators of sensitive behaviours are therefore needed. Previous studies have investigated people's attitudes, assuming attitudes reflect behaviour. There has also been interest in using people's estimates of the proportion of their peers involved in sensitive behaviours to identify those involved, since people tend to assume that others behave like themselves. However, there has been little attempt to test the potential of such indicators. We use the randomized response technique (RRT), designed for investigating sensitive behaviours, to estimate the proportion of farmers in north-eastern South Africa killing carnivores, and use a modified logistic regression model to explore relationships between our best estimates of true behaviour (from RRT) and our proposed non-sensitive indicators (including farmers' attitudes, and estimates of peer-behaviour). Farmers' attitudes towards carnivores, question sensitivity and estimates of peers' behaviour, predict the likelihood of farmers killing carnivores. Attitude and estimates of peer-behaviour are useful indicators of involvement in illicit behaviours and may be used to identify groups of people to engage in interventions aimed at changing behaviour.

  3. Development of new stem cell-based technologies for carnivore reproduction research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travis, A J; Kim, Y; Meyers-Wallen, V

    2009-07-01

    New reproductive technologies based on stem cells offer several potential benefits to carnivore species. For example, development of lines of embryonic stem cells in cats and dogs would allow for the generation of transgenic animal models, which could be used to advance both veterinary and human health. Techniques such as spermatogonial stem cell transplantation (SSCT) and testis xenografting offer new approaches to propagate genetically valuable individual males, even if they should die before producing sperm. These techniques might therefore have application to the conservation of endangered species of carnivores, as well as to biomedical research. Recently, our laboratory has successfully performed SSCT in the dog, with a recipient dog producing sperm of donor genetic origin. Testis xenografting has been used to produce sperm from pre-pubertal testis tissue from both cats and ferrets. These early steps reinforce the need not only for research on stem cell technologies, but also for additional research into complementary technologies of assisted reproduction in carnivores, so that the widest array of research and clinical benefits can be realized.

  4. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T

    1997-01-01

    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently.

  5. Correlates between calcaneal morphology and locomotion in extant and extinct carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panciroli, Elsa; Janis, Christine; Stockdale, Maximilian; Martín-Serra, Alberto

    2017-10-01

    Locomotor mode is an important component of an animal's ecology, relating to both habitat and substrate choice (e.g., arboreal versus terrestrial) and in the case of carnivores, to mode of predation (e.g., ambush versus pursuit). Here, we examine how the morphology of the calcaneum, the 'heel bone' in the tarsus, correlates with locomotion in extant carnivores. Other studies have confirmed the correlation of calcaneal morphology with locomotion behaviour and habitat. The robust nature of the calcaneum means that it is frequently preserved in the fossil record. Here, we employ linear measurements and 2D-geometric morphometrics on a sample of calcanea from eighty-seven extant carnivorans and demonstrate a signal of correlation between calcaneal morphology and locomotor mode that overrides phylogeny. We used this correlation to determine the locomotor mode, and hence aspects of the palaeobiology of, 47 extinct carnivorous mammal taxa, including both Carnivora and Creodonta. We found ursids (bears), clustered together, separate from the other carnivorans. Our results support greater locomotor diversity for nimravids (the extinct 'false sabertooths', usually considered to be more arboreal), than previously expected. However, there are limitations to interpretation of extinct taxa because their robust morphology is not fully captured in the range of modern carnivoran morphology. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Investigating the role of wild carnivores in the epidemiology of bovine neosporosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Peter; Zintl, Annetta; De Waal, Theo; Mulcahy, Grace; Hawkins, Conall; Lawton, Colin

    2013-03-01

    Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite, primarily associated with bovine abortion. The only definitive hosts discovered to date are carnivores. This study aimed to identify the role of mammalian carnivores in the epidemiology of bovine neosporosis. A sample bank of serum, fecal and brain samples was established: American mink (Mustela vison), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), pine martens (Martes martes), badgers (Meles meles), stoats (Mustela erminea), otters (Lutra lutra) and feral ferrets (Mustela putorius). Approximately 1% of mink and 1% of fox samples were positive by IFAT. According to PCR analysis of DNA extracted from brain tissue, 3% of the mink, 4% of the otters and 6% of the foxes examined were infected with N. caninum. All fecal samples tested negative for N. caninum DNA (n = 311), suggesting that the species that tested positive were intermediate not definitive hosts. This is the first time that tissues from mustelids have tested positive for N. caninum. The need to test 2 relatively large (~200 mg) targeted parts of the brain to avoid false negatives was also identified. The relatively low prevalence of N. caninum in Irish carnivores suggests that the local ecology of a species has an important influence on its epidemiological role.

  7. A carnivorous sundew plant prefers protein over chitin as a source of nitrogen from its traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej; Krausko, Miroslav; Adamec, Lubomír

    2016-07-01

    Carnivorous plants have evolved in nutrient-poor wetland habitats. They capture arthropod prey, which is an additional source of plant growth limiting nutrients. One of them is nitrogen, which occurs in the form of chitin and proteins in prey carcasses. In this study, the nutritional value of chitin and protein and their digestion traits in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis L. were estimated using stable nitrogen isotope abundance. Plants fed on chitin derived 49% of the leaf nitrogen from chitin, while those fed on the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) derived 70% of its leaf nitrogen from this. Moreover, leaf nitrogen content doubled in protein-fed in comparison to chitin-fed plants indicating that the proteins were digested more effectively in comparison to chitin and resulted in significantly higher chlorophyll contents. The surplus chlorophyll and absorbed nitrogen from the protein digestion were incorporated into photosynthetic proteins - the light harvesting antennae of photosystem II. The incorporation of insect nitrogen into the plant photosynthetic apparatus may explain the increased rate of photosynthesis and plant growth after feeding. This general response in many genera of carnivorous plants has been reported in many previous studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Effective prey attraction in the rare Drosophyllum lusitanicum, a flypaper-trap carnivorous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertol, Nils; Paniw, Maria; Ojeda, Fernando

    2015-05-01

    Carnivorous plants have unusually modified leaves to trap insects as an adaptation to low-nutrient environments. Disparate mechanisms have been suggested as luring traits to attract prey insects into their deadly leaves, ranging from very elaborate to none at all. Drosophyllum lusitanicum is a rare carnivorous plant with a common flypaper-trap mechanism. Here we tested whether Drosophyllum plants lure prey insects into their leaves or they act just as passive traps. We compared prey capture between live, potted plants and Drosophyllum-shaped artificial mimics coated with odorless glue. Since this species is insect-pollinated, we also explored the possible existence of a pollinator-prey conflict by quantifying the similarity between the pollination and prey guilds in a natural population. All experiments were done in southern Spain. The sticky leaves of Drosophyllum captured significantly more prey than mimics, particularly small dipterans. Prey attraction, likely exerted by scent or visual cues, seems to be unrelated to pollinator attraction by flowers, as inferred from the low similarity between pollinator and prey insect faunas found in this species. Our results illustrate the effectiveness of this carnivorous species at attracting insects to their flypaper-trap leaves. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  9. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora: at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

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    Fabiana Lopes Rocha

    Full Text Available Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that

  10. Direct evidence of megamammal-carnivore interaction decoded from bone marks in historical fossil collections from the Pampean region

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    Karina Vanesa Chichkoyan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Pleistocene South American megafauna has traditionally attracted the interest of scientists and the popular media alike. However, ecological interactions between the species that inhabited these ecosystems, such as predator-prey relationships or interspecific competition, are poorly known. To this regard, carnivore marks imprinted on the fossil bones of megamammal remains are very useful for deciphering biological activity and, hence, potential interspecific relationships among taxa. In this article, we study historical fossil collections housed in different European and Argentinean museums that were excavated during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Pampean region, Argentina, in order to detect carnivore marks on bones of megamammals and provide crucial information on the ecological relationships between South American taxa during the Pleistocene. Our results indicate that the long bones of megafauna from the Pampean region (e.g., the Mylodontidae and Toxodontidae families exhibit carnivore marks. Furthermore, long bones of medium-sized species and indeterminate bones also present punctures, pits, scores and fractures. Members of the large-carnivore guild, such as ursids, canids and even felids, are recognised as the main agents that inflicted the marks. We hypothesize that the analysed carnivore marks represent the last stages of megaherbivore carcass exploitation, suggesting full consumption of these animals by the same or multiple taxa in a hunting and/or scavenging scenario. Moreover, our observations provide novel insights that help further our understanding of the palaeoecological relationships of these unique communities of megamammals.

  11. Direct evidence of megamammal-carnivore interaction decoded from bone marks in historical fossil collections from the Pampean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chichkoyan, Karina Vanesa; Figueirido, Borja; Belinchón, Margarita; Lanata, José Luis; Moigne, Anne-Marie; Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido

    2017-01-01

    Pleistocene South American megafauna has traditionally attracted the interest of scientists and the popular media alike. However, ecological interactions between the species that inhabited these ecosystems, such as predator-prey relationships or interspecific competition, are poorly known. To this regard, carnivore marks imprinted on the fossil bones of megamammal remains are very useful for deciphering biological activity and, hence, potential interspecific relationships among taxa. In this article, we study historical fossil collections housed in different European and Argentinean museums that were excavated during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Pampean region, Argentina, in order to detect carnivore marks on bones of megamammals and provide crucial information on the ecological relationships between South American taxa during the Pleistocene. Our results indicate that the long bones of megafauna from the Pampean region (e.g., the Mylodontidae and Toxodontidae families) exhibit carnivore marks. Furthermore, long bones of medium-sized species and indeterminate bones also present punctures, pits, scores and fractures. Members of the large-carnivore guild, such as ursids, canids and even felids, are recognised as the main agents that inflicted the marks. We hypothesize that the analysed carnivore marks represent the last stages of megaherbivore carcass exploitation, suggesting full consumption of these animals by the same or multiple taxa in a hunting and/or scavenging scenario. Moreover, our observations provide novel insights that help further our understanding of the palaeoecological relationships of these unique communities of megamammals.

  12. Prevalence and diversity of Babesia, Hepatozoon, Ehrlichia, and Bartonella in wild and domestic carnivores from Zambia, Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Brianna M; Berentsen, Are; Shock, Barbara C; Teixiera, Maria; Dunbar, Michael R; Becker, Matthew S; Yabsley, Michael J

    2014-03-01

    A molecular survey was conducted for several hemoparasites of domestic dogs and three species of wild carnivores from two sites in Zambia. Three Babesia spp. were detected including Babesia felis and Babesia leo in lions (Panthera leo) and a Babesia sp. (similar to Babesia lengau) in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) and a single lion. All wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and domestic dogs were negative for Babesia. High prevalences for Hepatozoon were noted in all three wild carnivores (38-61%) and in domestic dogs (13%). Significantly higher prevalences were noted in hyenas and wild dogs compared with domestic dogs and lions. All carnivores were PCR negative for Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia ewingii, and Bartonella spp. Overall, high prevalences and diversity of Babesia and Hepatozoon were noted in wild carnivores from Zambia. This study is the first molecular characterization of Babesia from any hyena species and is the first report of a Babesia sp. closely related to B. lengau, a parasite previously only reported from cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), in lions and hyenas. Although usually benign in wild carnivores, these hemoparasites can be pathogenic under certain circumstances. Importantly, data on vectors for these parasites are lacking, so studies are needed to identify vectors as well as determine transmission routes, infection dynamics, and host specificity of these hemoparasites in wildlife in Africa and also the risk of transmission between domestic animals and wildlife.

  13. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in Carnivores in Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran Using Mitochondrial DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiromvand, Molouk; Akhlaghi, Lame; Fattahi Massom, Seyed Hossein; Mobedi, Iraj; Meamar, Ahmad Reza; Oormazdi, Hormozd; Motevalian, Abbas; Razmjou, Elham

    2011-01-01

    Background Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. Methodology/Principal Findings Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST) and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%). Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8%) dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8%) jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. Conclusions/Significance The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts. PMID:22132245

  14. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

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    Chihiro Takahata

    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.

  15. Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durant, Sarah M; Craft, Meggan E; Foley, Charles; Hampson, Katie; Lobora, Alex L; Msuha, Maurus; Eblate, Ernest; Bukombe, John; McHetto, John; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2010-09-01

    1. This study utilizes a unique data set covering over 19 000 georeferenced records of species presence collected between 1993 and 2008, to explore the distribution and habitat selectivity of an assemblage of 26 carnivore species in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro landscape in northern Tanzania. 2. Two species, the large-spotted genet and the bushy-tailed mongoose, were documented for the first time within this landscape. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) was used to examine habitat selectivity for 18 of the 26 carnivore species for which there is sufficient data. Eleven ecogeographical variables (EGVs), such as altitude and habitat type, were used for these analyses. 3. The ENFA demonstrated that species differed in their habitat selectivity, and supported the limited ecological information already available for these species, such as the golden jackals' preference for grassland and the leopards' preference for river valleys. 4. Two aggregate scores, marginality and tolerance, are generated by the ENFA, and describe each species' habitat selectivity in relation to the suite of EGVs. These scores were used to test the hypothesis that smaller species are expected to be more selective than larger species [Science, 1989, 243, 1145]. Two predictions were tested: Marginality should decrease with body mass; and tolerance should increase with body mass. Our study provided no evidence for either prediction. 5. Our results not only support previous analyses of carnivore diet breadth, but also represent a novel approach to the investigation of habitat selection across species assemblages. Our method provides a powerful tool to explore similar questions in other systems and for other taxa.

  16. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany.

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    Jürgen Krücken

    Full Text Available Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1 and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element in brain and ascarids (ITS-2 in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8, Toxocara cati (4 and Parascaris sp. (1 were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to

  17. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in carnivores in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran using mitochondrial DNA.

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    Molouk Beiromvand

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%. Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8% dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8% jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts.

  18. The Lion King and the Hyaena Queen: large carnivore interactions and coexistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Périquet, Stéphanie; Fritz, Hervé; Revilla, Eloy

    2015-11-01

    Interactions among species, which range from competition to facilitation, have profound effects on ecosystem functioning. Large carnivores are of particular importance in shaping community structure since they are at the top of the food chain, and many efforts are made to conserve such keystone species. Despite this, the mechanisms of carnivore interactions are far from understood, yet they are key to enabling or hindering their coexistence and hence are highly relevant for their conservation. The goal of this review is thus to provide detailed information on the extents of competition and facilitation between large carnivores and their impact in shaping their life histories. Here, we use the example of spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) and lions (Panthera leo) and provide a comprehensive knowledge of their interactions based on meta-analyses from available literature (148 publications). Despite their strong potential for both exploitation and interference competition (range and diet overlap, intraguild predation and kleptoparasitism), we underline some mechanisms facilitating their coexistence (different prey-age selection and scavenging opportunities). We stress the fact that prey abundance is key to their coexistence and that hyaenas forming very large groups in rich ecosystems could have a negative impact on lions. We show that the coexistence of spotted hyaenas and lions is a complex balance between competition and facilitation, and that prey availability within the ecosystem determines which predator is dominant. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge such as the spatio-temporal dynamics of their interactions. As both species' survival becomes increasingly dependent on protected areas, where their densities can be high, it is critical to understand their interactions to inform both reintroduction programs and protected area management. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  19. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millett, J; Foot, G W; Svensson, B M

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant-prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Carnivore distributions across chaparral habitats exposed to wildfire and rural housing in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuette, P.A.; Diffendorfer, J.E.; Deutschman, D.H.; Tremor, S.; Spencer, W.

    2014-01-01

    Chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in southern California support biologically diverse plant and animal communities. However, native plant and animal species within these shrubland systems are increasingly exposed to human-caused wildfires and an expansion of the human–wildland interface. Few data exist to evaluate the effects of fire and anthropogenic pressures on plant and animal communities found in these environments. This is particularly true for carnivore communities. To address this knowledge gap, we collected detection–non-detection data with motion-sensor cameras and track plots to measure carnivore occupancy patterns following a large, human-caused wildfire (1134 km2) in eastern San Diego County, California, USA, in 2003. Our focal species set included coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), bobcat (Lynx rufus) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). We evaluated the influence on species occupancies of the burned environment (burn edge, burn interior and unburned areas), proximity of rural homes, distance to riparian area and elevation. Gray fox occupancies were the highest overall, followed by striped skunk, coyote and bobcat. The three species considered as habitat and foraging generalists (gray fox, coyote, striped skunk) were common in all conditions. Occupancy patterns were consistent through time for all species except coyote, whose occupancies increased through time. In addition, environmental and anthropogenic variables had weak effects on all four species, and these responses were species-specific. Our results helped to describe a carnivore community exposed to frequent fire and rural human residences, and provide baseline data to inform fire management policy and wildlife management strategies in similar fire-prone ecosystems.

  1. Weed seed predation by granivorous carabids as influenced by carnivorous carabids

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    de Mol, Friederike

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Weed seed predation is influenced for both biological and abiotic factors. Knowledge about these factors is necessary to optimize seed predation as a biological weed control measure. Here, we asked whether carnivorous carabid beetles can affect the seed predation. Additionally, the effect of weather on seed predation rate was investigated. For this purpose, 12, 1m² enclosures were installed in a field (block design with four treatments and three replications in northeastern Germany over a period of 23 days. Treatments in the enclosures were 1 without carabids, 2 with a natural density and species composition of carabids, 3 with granivorous carabid beetles (Pseudoophonus rufipes, Harpulus affinis, and 4 as 3 but additionally with carnivorous carabids (Pterostichus melanarius, Poecilus cupreus Seed predation rate was determined daily using seed cards with Poa annua and Stellaria media seeds. Temperature, relative air humidity and daily precipitation were measured as covariables. In the treatment with granivorous carabids seed predation rate was 54.3 (P. annua resp. 14.3 (S. media seeds per enclosure and day. In the treatment with granivorous and carnivorous carabids, seed predation rate was significantly lower for P. annua (46.6 seeds per enclosure and day, paired Wilcoxon-Test, p = 0.04 and equally high for S. media (14.4 seeds per enclosure and day. In enclosures containing non-manipulated carabid densities 9.1 seeds of P. annua and 7.2 seeds of S. media were lost per enclosure and per day, which is significantly higher than from enclosures that were void of carabids. The minimum night temperature was the only weather variable that significantly influenced seed predation rate. This work contributes to a better understanding of the factors influencing seed predation rates in the field.

  2. Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.

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    Bridget L Borg

    Full Text Available The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP and Yellowstone (YNP, on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies.

  3. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahata, Chihiro; Nielsen, Scott Eric; Takii, Akiko; Izumiyama, Shigeyuki

    2014-01-01

    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.

  4. Fear of the dark or dinner by moonlight? Reduced temporal partitioning among Africa's large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cozzi, Gabriele; Broekhuis, Femke; McNutt, John W; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Macdonald, David W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2012-12-01

    Africa is home to the last intact guild of large carnivores and thus provides the only opportunity to investigate mechanisms of coexistence among large predator species. Strong asymmetric dominance hierarchies typically characterize guilds of large carnivores; but despite this asymmetry, subdominant species may persist alongside their stronger counterparts through temporal partitioning of habitat and resources. In the African guild, the subdominant African wild dogs and cheetahs are routinely described as diurnal and crepuscular. These activity patterns have been interpreted to result from the need to avoid encounters with the stronger, nocturnal spotted hyenas and lions. However, the idea that diel activity patterns of carnivore species are strongly shaped by competition and predation has recently been challenged by new observations. In a three-year study in the Okavango Delta, we investigated daily activity patterns and temporal partitioning for wild dogs, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and lions by fitting radio collars that continuously recorded activity bursts, to a total of 25 individuals. Analysis of activity patterns throughout the 24-h cycle revealed an unexpectedly high degree of temporal overlap among the four species. This was mainly due to the extensive and previously undescribed nocturnal activity of wild dogs and cheetahs. Their nocturnal activity fluctuated with the lunar cycle, represented up to 40% of the diel activity budget and was primarily constrained by moonlight availability. In contrast, the nocturnal activity patterns of lions and hyenas were unaffected by moonlight and remained constant over the lunar cycle. Our results suggest that other ecological factors such as optimal hunting conditions have shaped the diel activity patterns of subdominant, large predators. We suggest that they are "starvation driven" and must exploit every opportunity to obtain a meal. The benefits of activity on moonlit nights therefore offset the risks of encountering

  5. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in carnivores in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran using mitochondrial DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beiromvand, Molouk; Akhlaghi, Lame; Fattahi Massom, Seyed Hossein; Mobedi, Iraj; Meamar, Ahmad Reza; Oormazdi, Hormozd; Motevalian, Abbas; Razmjou, Elham

    2011-11-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST) and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%). Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8%) dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8%) jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts.

  6. Dinitrogen fixation associated with shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants: is it ecologically important?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirová, Dagmara; Santrůček, Jiří; Adamec, Lubomír; Bárta, Jiří; Borovec, Jakub; Pech, Jiří; Owens, Sarah M; Santrůčková, Hana; Schäufele, Rudi; Storchová, Helena; Vrba, Jaroslav

    2014-07-01

    Rootless carnivorous plants of the genus Utricularia are important components of many standing waters worldwide, as well as suitable model organisms for studying plant-microbe interactions. In this study, an investigation was made of the importance of microbial dinitrogen (N2) fixation in the N acquisition of four aquatic Utricularia species and another aquatic carnivorous plant, Aldrovanda vesiculosa. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used to assess the presence of micro-organisms with known ability to fix N2. Next-generation sequencing provided information on the expression of N2 fixation-associated genes. N2 fixation rates were measured following (15)N2-labelling and were used to calculate the plant assimilation rate of microbially fixed N2. Utricularia traps were confirmed as primary sites of N2 fixation, with up to 16 % of the plant-associated microbial community consisting of bacteria capable of fixing N2. Of these, rhizobia were the most abundant group. Nitrogen fixation rates increased with increasing shoot age, but never exceeded 1·3 μmol N g(-1) d. mass d(-1). Plant assimilation rates of fixed N2 were detectable and significant, but this fraction formed less than 1 % of daily plant N gain. Although trap fluid provides conditions favourable for microbial N2 fixation, levels of nif gene transcription comprised carnivorous plants under their typical growth conditions; however, on an annual basis the plant-microbe system can supply nitrogen in the order of hundreds of mg m(-2) into the nutrient-limited littoral zone, where it may thus represent an important N source. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Structural and functional characterisation of a class I endochitinase of the carnivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jopcik, Martin; Moravcikova, Jana; Matusikova, Ildiko; Bauer, Miroslav; Rajninec, Miroslav; Libantova, Jana

    2017-02-01

    Chitinase gene from the carnivorous plant, Drosera rotundifolia , was cloned and functionally characterised. Plant chitinases are believed to play an important role in the developmental and physiological processes and in responses to biotic and abiotic stress. In addition, there is growing evidence that carnivorous plants can use them to digest insect prey. In this study, a full-length genomic clone consisting of the 1665-bp chitinase gene (gDrChit) and adjacent promoter region of the 698 bp in length were isolated from Drosera rotundifolia L. using degenerate PCR and a genome-walking approach. The corresponding coding sequence of chitinase gene (DrChit) was obtained following RNA isolation from the leaves of aseptically grown in vitro plants, cDNA synthesis with a gene-specific primer and PCR amplification. The open reading frame of cDNA clone consisted of 978 nucleotides and encoded 325 amino acid residues. Sequence analysis indicated that DrChit belongs to the class I group of plant chitinases. Phylogenetic analysis within the Caryophyllales class I chitinases demonstrated a significant evolutionary relatedness of DrChit with clade Ib, which contains the extracellular orthologues that play a role in carnivory. Comparative expression analysis revealed that the DrChit is expressed predominantly in tentacles and is up-regulated by treatment with inducers that mimick insect prey. Enzymatic activity of rDrChit protein expressed in Escherichia coli was confirmed and purified protein exhibited a long oligomer-specific endochitinase activity on glycol-chitin and FITC-chitin. The isolation and expression profile of a chitinase gene from D. rotundifolia has not been reported so far. The obtained results support the role of specific chitinases in digestive processes in carnivorous plant species.

  8. Capturing Insects and Student Interest: First Graders Learn about Unusual Plants in Their Area in This Multimodal Investigation of Carnivorous Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury, Leslie; Wilson, Rachel; Pepper, Nancy; Ledford, Mitzi

    2016-01-01

    Most plants are able to obtain all of the nutrients that they need from air, water, and soil; however, this is not true of carnivorous plants. Because they tend to live in boggy soils where there are small amounts of nitrogen, carnivorous plants have developed specialized structures that enable them to lure and capture insects and sometimes other…

  9. Extensive production of Neospora caninum tissue cysts in a carnivorous marsupial succumbing to experimental neosporosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    King Jessica S

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Experimental infections of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the fat-tailed dunnart, a carnivorous marsupial widely distributed throughout the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia, show that this species can act as an intermediate host for Neospora caninum. In contrast to existing models that develop relatively few N. caninum tissue cysts, dunnarts offer a new animal model in which active neosporosis is dominated by tissue cyst production. The results provide evidence for a sylvatic life cycle of N. caninum in Australia between marsupials and wild dogs. It establishes the foundation for an investigation of the impact and costs of neosporosis to wildlife.

  10. Frequent cross-species transmission of parvoviruses among diverse carnivore hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Andrew B.; Kohler, Dennis J.; Fox, Karen A.; Brown, Justin D.; Gerhold, Richard W.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Dubovi, Edward J.; Parrish, Colin R.; Holmes, Edward C.

    2013-01-01

    Although parvoviruses are commonly described in domestic carnivores, little is known about their biodiversity in nondomestic species. A phylogenetic analysis of VP2 gene sequences from puma, coyote, gray wolf, bobcat, raccoon, and striped skunk revealed two major groups related to either feline panleukopenia virus (“FPV-like”) or canine parvovirus (“CPV-like”). Cross-species transmission was commonplace, with multiple introductions into each host species but, with the exception of raccoons, relatively little evidence for onward transmission in nondomestic species.

  11. Extensive production of Neospora caninum tissue cysts in a carnivorous marsupial succumbing to experimental neosporosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Experimental infections of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the fat-tailed dunnart, a carnivorous marsupial widely distributed throughout the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia, show that this species can act as an intermediate host for Neospora caninum. In contrast to existing models that develop relatively few N. caninum tissue cysts, dunnarts offer a new animal model in which active neosporosis is dominated by tissue cyst production. The results provide evidence for a sylvatic life cycle of N. caninum in Australia between marsupials and wild dogs. It establishes the foundation for an investigation of the impact and costs of neosporosis to wildlife. PMID:21635733

  12. Extensive production of Neospora caninum tissue cysts in a carnivorous marsupial succumbing to experimental neosporosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jessica S; McAllan, Bronwyn; Spielman, Derek S; Lindsay, Scott A; Hůrková-Hofmannová, Lada; Hartigan, Ashlie; Al-Qassab, Sarwat E; Ellis, John T; Slapeta, Jan

    2011-06-02

    Experimental infections of Sminthopsis crassicaudata, the fat-tailed dunnart, a carnivorous marsupial widely distributed throughout the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia, show that this species can act as an intermediate host for Neospora caninum. In contrast to existing models that develop relatively few N. caninum tissue cysts, dunnarts offer a new animal model in which active neosporosis is dominated by tissue cyst production. The results provide evidence for a sylvatic life cycle of N. caninum in Australia between marsupials and wild dogs. It establishes the foundation for an investigation of the impact and costs of neosporosis to wildlife.

  13. Little Shop of Horrors: Rheology of the Mucilage of Drosera sp., a Carnivorous Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erni, Philipp; Varagnat, Matthieu; McKinley, Gareth H.

    2008-07-01

    Drosera sp. (`sundew') are carnivorous plants; they capture insects using tiny drops of mucilage secreted by stalked glands on their leaf laminae. Prey gets trapped by the sticky viscoelastic liquid, initiating a metabolic cascade on the leaf that eventually results in the insect being digested by the plant. The mucilage droplets typically are in the size range of tens of micrometers; at these extremely small sample sizes, complex fluids are usually not amenable to traditional rheometry. We discuss how microrheometric techniques, in particular capillary breakup extensional rheometry ("μ-caber"), can be used to test the nonlinear rheological properties of nanoliter volumes of such small-volume biopolymer samples.

  14. Mammalian carnivore occupancy is inversely related to presence of domestic dogs in the high Andes of Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Although the Andes have long been occupied by people, habitat loss, fragmentation through deforestation, and other human activities such as introduction of invasive species have increased drastically during the past century. The Ecuadorian Andes are considered a biodiversity hotspot. However, the fauna and threats to the region are poorly studied, and understanding of factors that shape the distribution of species in habitats disturbed by human activities is needed to identify and mitigate region-wide threats to wildlife. We evaluated factors associated with patterns of occurrence of Andean carnivores in landscapes of the northern Ecuadorian Andes, particularly habitat loss, fragmentation, and occupancy of domestic dogs, and determined whether thresholds occurred for these factors beyond which carnivore occurrence declined markedly. Five study areas (each 20 x 20 km) were surveyed with a total effort of 2,800 camera trap nights. Occupancies of four of the eight carnivores known from the region were best predicted by occupancy of domestic dogs rather than measures of habitat loss and fragmentation [Andean fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus), puma (Puma concolor), striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus), and Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus)]. The two largest carnivores, puma and Andean bear, demonstrated significant threshold responses to the presence of domestic dogs at two sites. Four smaller carnivores were recorded too infrequently to model occupancy, and at least two of these species appear to be in decline. The magnitude of domestic dog impacts on native species in tropical areas like the Ecuadorian Andes currently are not recognized. Results of our study indicate that small and large carnivores are in urgent need of conservation and clearly point to dogs as a significant threat to a broad range of native species. PMID:29489855

  15. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Neotropical Wild Carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora): At the Top of the T. cruzi Transmission Chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; de Lima, Juliane Saab; Cheida, Carolina Carvalho; Lemos, Frederico Gemesio; de Azevedo, Fernanda Cavalcanti; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Bilac, Daniele; Herrera, Heitor Miraglia; Mourão, Guilherme; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-01-01

    Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I) and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua) harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU) and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis’ isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores’ literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that can be

  16. Mammalian carnivore occupancy is inversely related to presence of domestic dogs in the high Andes of Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Ríos, Galo; Branch, Lyn C

    2018-01-01

    Although the Andes have long been occupied by people, habitat loss, fragmentation through deforestation, and other human activities such as introduction of invasive species have increased drastically during the past century. The Ecuadorian Andes are considered a biodiversity hotspot. However, the fauna and threats to the region are poorly studied, and understanding of factors that shape the distribution of species in habitats disturbed by human activities is needed to identify and mitigate region-wide threats to wildlife. We evaluated factors associated with patterns of occurrence of Andean carnivores in landscapes of the northern Ecuadorian Andes, particularly habitat loss, fragmentation, and occupancy of domestic dogs, and determined whether thresholds occurred for these factors beyond which carnivore occurrence declined markedly. Five study areas (each 20 x 20 km) were surveyed with a total effort of 2,800 camera trap nights. Occupancies of four of the eight carnivores known from the region were best predicted by occupancy of domestic dogs rather than measures of habitat loss and fragmentation [Andean fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus), puma (Puma concolor), striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus), and Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus)]. The two largest carnivores, puma and Andean bear, demonstrated significant threshold responses to the presence of domestic dogs at two sites. Four smaller carnivores were recorded too infrequently to model occupancy, and at least two of these species appear to be in decline. The magnitude of domestic dog impacts on native species in tropical areas like the Ecuadorian Andes currently are not recognized. Results of our study indicate that small and large carnivores are in urgent need of conservation and clearly point to dogs as a significant threat to a broad range of native species.

  17. Mammalian carnivore occupancy is inversely related to presence of domestic dogs in the high Andes of Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galo Zapata-Ríos

    Full Text Available Although the Andes have long been occupied by people, habitat loss, fragmentation through deforestation, and other human activities such as introduction of invasive species have increased drastically during the past century. The Ecuadorian Andes are considered a biodiversity hotspot. However, the fauna and threats to the region are poorly studied, and understanding of factors that shape the distribution of species in habitats disturbed by human activities is needed to identify and mitigate region-wide threats to wildlife. We evaluated factors associated with patterns of occurrence of Andean carnivores in landscapes of the northern Ecuadorian Andes, particularly habitat loss, fragmentation, and occupancy of domestic dogs, and determined whether thresholds occurred for these factors beyond which carnivore occurrence declined markedly. Five study areas (each 20 x 20 km were surveyed with a total effort of 2,800 camera trap nights. Occupancies of four of the eight carnivores known from the region were best predicted by occupancy of domestic dogs rather than measures of habitat loss and fragmentation [Andean fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus, puma (Puma concolor, striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus, and Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus]. The two largest carnivores, puma and Andean bear, demonstrated significant threshold responses to the presence of domestic dogs at two sites. Four smaller carnivores were recorded too infrequently to model occupancy, and at least two of these species appear to be in decline. The magnitude of domestic dog impacts on native species in tropical areas like the Ecuadorian Andes currently are not recognized. Results of our study indicate that small and large carnivores are in urgent need of conservation and clearly point to dogs as a significant threat to a broad range of native species.

  18. A review of piroplasmid infections in wild carnivores worldwide: importance for domestic animal health and wildlife conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Rybak, Mario; Solano-Gallego, Laia; Millán, Javier

    2016-10-10

    Piroplasmids are tick-borne protozoan parasites that infect blood cells (erythrocytes, lymphocytes or other leukocytes) or endothelial cells of numerous wild and domestic vertebrates worldwide. They cause severe disease in livestock, dogs, cats, wild mammals and, occasionally, in humans. Piroplasmid infections are prevalent in wild carnivores worldwide although there is limited information about their clinical and epidemiological importance. There are currently nine recognized species of Babesia, two of Theileria, two of Cytauxzoon and one of Rangelia infecting captive and wild carnivores, including members of Canidae, Felidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, Ursidae, Viverridae, Hyaenidae and Herpestidae in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa. However, the number of piroplasmid species is likely higher than currently accepted due to the reported existence of DNA sequences that may correspond to new species and the lack of studies on many host species and biogeographical areas. Indeed, many species have been recognized in the last few years with the advancement of molecular analyses. Disease and mortality have been documented in some wild carnivores, whereas other species appear to act as natural, subclinical reservoirs. Various factors (e.g. unnatural hosts, stress due to captivity, habitat degradation, climate fluctuation or immunosuppression) have been associated with disease susceptibility to piroplasmid infections in some species in captivity. We aimed to review the current knowledge on the epidemiology of piroplasmid infections in wild carnivores and associated tick vectors. Emphasis is given to the role of wild carnivores as reservoirs of clinical piroplasmosis for domestic dogs and cats, and to the importance of piroplasmids as disease agents for endangered carnivores.

  19. Large carnivores response to recreational big game hunting along the Yellowstone National Park and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, T.E.; Smith, D.W.; Haroldson, M.A.; Buotte, P.C.; Schwartz, C.C.; Quigley, H.B.; Cherry, S.; Tyres, D.; Frey, K.

    2003-01-01

    The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem contains the rare combination of an intact guild of native large carnivores, their prey, and differing land management policies (National Park versus National Forest; no hunting versus hunting). Concurrent field studies on large carnivores allowed us to investigate activities of humans and carnivores on Yellowstone National Park's (YNP) northern boundary. Prior to and during the backcountry big-game hunting season, we monitored movements of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), wolves (Canis lupus), and cougars (Puma concolor) on the northern boundary of YNP. Daily aerial telemetry locations (September 1999), augmented with weekly telemetry locations (August and October 1999), were obtained for 3 grizzly bears, 7 wolves in 2 groups of 1 pack, and 3 cougars in 1 family group. Grizzly bears were more likely located inside the YNP boundary during the pre-hunt period and north of the boundary once hunting began. The cougar family tended to be found outside YNP during the pre-hunt period and moved inside YNP when hunting began. Wolves did not significantly change their movement patterns during the pre-hunt and hunting periods. Qualitative information on elk (Cervus elaphus) indicated they moved into YNP once hunting started, suggesting that cougars followed living prey or responded to hunting activity, grizzly bears focused on dead prey (e.g., gut piles, crippled elk), and wolves may have taken advantage of both. Measures of association (Jacob's Index) were positive within carnivore species but inconclusive among species. Further collaborative research and the use of new technologies such as Global Positioning System (GPS) telemetry collars will advance our ability to understand these species, the carnivore community and its interactions, and human influences on carnivores.

  20. Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Jedediah; Johnson, Heather; Mitchell, Michael; Zager, Peter; Proffitt, Kelly; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kauffman, Matthew; Johnson, Bruce; Bissonette, John; Bishop, Chad; Gude, Justin; Herbert, Jeff; Hersey, Kent R.; Hurley, Mark; Lukacs, Paul M.; McCorquodale, Scott; McIntire, Eliot; Nowak, Josh; Sawyer, Hall; Smith, Douglas; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Well-informed management of harvested species requires understanding how changing ecological conditions affect demography and population dynamics, information that is lacking for many species. We have limited understanding of the relative influence of carnivores, harvest, weather and forage availability on elk Cervus elaphus demography, despite the ecological and economic importance of this species. We assessed adult female survival, a key vital rate for population dynamics, from 2746 radio-collared elk in 45 populations across western North America that experience wide variation in carnivore assemblage, harvest, weather and habitat conditions. Proportional hazard analysis revealed that 'baseline' (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. Mortality may increase via nutritional stress and heightened vulnerability to predation in snowy winters. Baseline mortality was unrelated to puma Puma concolor presence, forest cover or summer forage productivity. Cause-specific mortality analyses showed that wolves and all carnivore species combined had additive effects on baseline elk mortality, but only reduced survival by <2%. When human factors were included, ‘total’ adult mortality was solely related to harvest; the influence of native carnivores was compensatory. Annual total mortality rates were lowest in populations sympatric with both pumas and wolves because managers reduced female harvest in areas with abundant or diverse carnivores. Mortality from native carnivores peaked in late winter and early spring, while harvest-induced mortality peaked in autumn. The strong peak in harvest-induced mortality during the autumn hunting season decreased as the number of native carnivore species increased. Synthesis and applications. Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as

  1. Impact of Quaternary climatic changes and interspecific competition on the demographic history of a highly mobile generalist carnivore, the coyote.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koblmüller, Stephan; Wayne, Robert K; Leonard, Jennifer A

    2012-08-23

    Recurrent cycles of climatic change during the Quaternary period have dramatically affected the population genetic structure of many species. We reconstruct the recent demographic history of the coyote (Canis latrans) through the use of Bayesian techniques to examine the effects of Late Quaternary climatic perturbations on the genetic structure of a highly mobile generalist species. Our analysis reveals a lack of phylogeographic structure throughout the range but past population size changes correlated with climatic changes. We conclude that even generalist carnivorous species are very susceptible to environmental changes associated with climatic perturbations. This effect may be enhanced in coyotes by interspecific competition with larger carnivores.

  2. An objective approach to determining the weight ranges of prey preferred by and accessible to the five large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayley S Clements

    Full Text Available Broad-scale models describing predator prey preferences serve as useful departure points for understanding predator-prey interactions at finer scales. Previous analyses used a subjective approach to identify prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores, hence their accuracy is questionable. This study uses a segmented model of prey weight versus prey preference to objectively quantify the prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores. Based on simulations of known predator prey preference, for prey species sample sizes above 32 the segmented model approach detects up to four known changes in prey weight preference (represented by model break-points with high rates of detection (75% to 100% of simulations, depending on number of break-points and accuracy (within 1.3±4.0 to 2.7±4.4 of known break-point. When applied to the five large African carnivores, using carnivore diet information from across Africa, the model detected weight ranges of prey that are preferred, killed relative to their abundance, and avoided by each carnivore. Prey in the weight ranges preferred and killed relative to their abundance are together termed "accessible prey". Accessible prey weight ranges were found to be 14-135 kg for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, 1-45 kg for leopard Panthera pardus, 32-632 kg for lion Panthera leo, 15-1600 kg for spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta and 10-289 kg for wild dog Lycaon pictus. An assessment of carnivore diets throughout Africa found these accessible prey weight ranges include 88±2% (cheetah, 82±3% (leopard, 81±2% (lion, 97±2% (spotted hyaena and 96±2% (wild dog of kills. These descriptions of prey weight preferences therefore contribute to our understanding of the diet spectrum of the five large African carnivores. Where datasets meet the minimum sample size requirements, the segmented model approach provides a means of determining, and comparing, the prey weight range preferences of any carnivore

  3. Spatio-temporal changes of photosynthesis in carnivorous plants in response to prey capture, retention and digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej

    2010-11-01

    Carnivorous plants have evolved modified leaves into the traps which assist in nutrient uptake from captured prey. It is known that the traps of carnivorous plants have usually lower photosynthetic rates than assimilation leaves as a result of adaptation to carnivory. However a few recent studies have indicated that photosynthesis and respiration undergo spatio-temporal changes during prey capture and retention, especially in the genera with active trapping mechanisms. This study describes the spatio-temporal changes of effective quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in photosystem II (Ф PSII) in response to ant-derived formic acid during its capture and digestion.

  4. Degradation of a peptide in pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata Blanco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Chung-Il; Takekawa, Shoji; Okazawa, Atsushi; Fukusaki, Ei-Ichiro; Kobayashi, Akio

    2002-07-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire substantial amounts of nitrogen from insects. The tropical carnivorous plant Nepenthes produces trapping organs called pitchers at the tips of tendrils elongated from leaf ends. Acidic fluid is secreted at the bottoms of the pitchers. The pitcher fluid includes several hydrolytic enzymes, and some, such as aspartic proteinase, are thought to be involved in nitrogen acquisition from insect proteins. To understand the nitrogen-acquisition process, it is essential to identify the protein-degradation products in the pitcher fluid. To gain insight into protein degradation in pitcher fluid, we used the oxidized B-chain of bovine insulin as a model substrate, and its degradation by the pitcher fluid of N. alata was investigated using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). LC-MS analysis of the degradation products revealed that the oxidized B-chain of bovine insulin was initially cleaved at aromatic amino acids such as phenylalanine and tyrosine. These cleavage sites are similar to those of aspartic proteinases from other plants and animals. The presence of a series of peptide fragments as degradation products suggests that exopeptidase(s) is also present in the pitcher fluid. Amino acid analysis and peptide fragment analysis of the degradation products demonstrated that three amino acids plus small peptides were released from the oxidized B-chain of bovine insulin, suggesting that insect proteins are readily degraded to small peptides and amino acids in the pitcher fluid of N. alata.

  5. Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Michael S; Lichter-Marck, Isaac H; Farkas, Timothy E; Aaron, Eric; Whitney, Kenneth D; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-07-01

    Predicting the impact of carnivores on plants has challenged community and food web ecologists for decades. At the same time, the role of predators in the evolution of herbivore dietary specialization has been an unresolved issue in evolutionary ecology. Here, we integrate these perspectives by testing the role of herbivore diet breadth as a predictor of top-down effects of avian predators on herbivores and plants in a forest food web. Using experimental bird exclosures to study a complex community of trees, caterpillars, and birds, we found a robust positive association between caterpillar diet breadth (phylodiversity of host plants used) and the strength of bird predation across 41 caterpillar and eight tree species. Dietary specialization was associated with increased enemy-free space for both camouflaged (n = 33) and warningly signaled (n = 8) caterpillar species. Furthermore, dietary specialization was associated with increased crypsis (camouflaged species only) and more stereotyped resting poses (camouflaged and warningly signaled species), but was unrelated to caterpillar body size. These dynamics in turn cascaded down to plants: a metaanalysis (n = 15 tree species) showed the beneficial effect of birds on trees (i.e., reduced leaf damage) decreased with the proportion of dietary specialist taxa composing a tree species' herbivore fauna. We conclude that herbivore diet breadth is a key functional trait underlying the trophic effects of carnivores on both herbivores and plants.

  6. Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloe Inskip

    Full Text Available Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris, is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the 'Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity' concept, to explore villagers' tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers' beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide.

  7. Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskip, Chloe; Carter, Neil; Riley, Shawn; Roberts, Thomas; MacMillan, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris), is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the 'Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity' concept, to explore villagers' tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers' beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide.

  8. Mapping trends of large and medium size carnivores of conservation interest in Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constantin Cazacu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We analysed yearly estimates of population size data during 2001-2012 for five carnivores species of conservation interest (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx, Felis silvestris and Canis aureus. Population size estimations were done by the game management authorities and integrated by the competent authorities on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Trends in data were detected using non-parametric Mann-Kendall test. This test was chosen considering the short length of data series and its usefulness for non-normal distributed data. The trend was tested at three spatial scales: game management units (n=1565, biogeographical region (n=5 and national. Trends depicted for each game management unit were plotted using ArcGIS, resulting species trend distribution maps. For the studied period increasing population trends were observed for Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Canis aureus and Lynx lynx, while for Felis silvestris there was no trend recorded. Such an analysis in especially useful for conservation proposes, game management and reporting obligations under article 17 of the EC Habitat Directive, using population trend as a proxy for population dynamics. We conclude that the status of the five carnivore species is favourable during the study period.

  9. Human Carnivore Coexistence on Communal Land Bordering the Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents’ natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  10. The response of the diets of four carnivorous fishes to variations in the Yellow Sea ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo; Xue, Ying

    2010-06-01

    The stomach contents of Spanish mackerel ( Scomberomorus niphonius), snailfish ( Liparis tanakae), anglerfish ( Lophius litulon), and Pacific cod ( Gadus macrocephalus) from the Yellow Sea during 1985-1987 and 2000-2002 were analyzed. The diets of these four carnivorous species changed over time, showing that the importance of the previous major prey, Japanese anchovy ( Engraulis japonicus), had greatly decreased, owing to its declining abundance, and that intake of Crangon affinis had increased. Spanish mackerel foraged for more food, particularly for other small pelagic species in addition to Japanese anchovy, causing an increase in its niche width in recent years, whereas the other three demersal carnivorous species had mainly targeted the small benthic shrimp C. affinis, and their niche widths had reduced in the later years. This phenomenon may be an adaptive response to changes in the food availability of the ecosystem, indicating a change in the food web and community structure of the Yellow Sea ecosystem. Changes in the composition of the diet of major predators may be an indicator of changes in a marine ecosystem.

  11. Rapid and efficient genetic manipulation of gyrencephalic carnivores using in utero electroporation

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    Kawasaki Hiroshi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Higher mammals such as primates and carnivores have highly developed unique brain structures such as the ocular dominance columns in the visual cortex, and the gyrus and outer subventricular zone of the cerebral cortex. However, our molecular understanding of the formation, function and diseases of these structures is still limited, mainly because genetic manipulations that can be applied to higher mammals are still poorly available. Results Here we developed and validated a rapid and efficient technique that enables genetic manipulations in the brain of gyrencephalic carnivores using in utero electroporation. Transgene-expressing ferret babies were obtained within a few weeks after electroporation. GFP expression was detectable in the embryo and was observed at least 2 months after birth. Our technique was useful for expressing transgenes in both superficial and deep cortical neurons, and for examining the dendritic morphologies and axonal trajectories of GFP-expressing neurons in ferrets. Furthermore, multiple genes were efficiently co-expressed in the same neurons. Conclusion Our method promises to be a powerful tool for investigating the fundamental mechanisms underlying the development, function and pathophysiology of brain structures which are unique to higher mammals.

  12. Assessing the potential threat landscape of a proposed reintroduction site for carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha K Page

    Full Text Available This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local communities were positive about a wild dog reintroduction, data collected from questionnaire surveys revealed that human-wild dog conflict is a potential threat to wild dog survival in the area. Additional potential threats include diseases, snaring, poaching and hunting wild dogs for the use of traditional medicine. A threat index was developed to establish which properties harboured the greatest threats to wild dogs. This index was significantly influenced by the respondent's first language (isiXhosa had more positive indices, education level (poorer education was synonymous with more positive threat indices, land use (wildlife ranching being the most negative and land tenure (community respondents had more positive indices than private landowners. Although threats are present, they can be effectively mitigated through strategies such as carnivore education programs, vaccination campaigns and anti-snare patrols to promote a successful reintroduction of this endangered canid.

  13. Jasmonates trigger prey-induced formation of ‘outer stomach’ in carnivorous sundew plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoko; Reichelt, Michael; Mayer, Veronika E.; Mithöfer, Axel

    2013-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that the growth-related phytohormone auxin is the endogenous signal that initiates bending movements of plant organs. In 1875, Charles Darwin described how the bending movement of leaves in carnivorous sundew species formed an ‘outer stomach’ that allowed the plants to enclose and digest captured insect prey. About 100 years later, auxin was suggested to be the factor responsible for this movement. We report that prey capture induces both leaf bending and the accumulation of defence-related jasmonate phytohormones. In Drosera capensis fed with fruitflies, within 3 h after prey capture and simultaneous with leaf movement, we detected an increase in jasmonic acid and its isoleucine conjugate. This accumulation was spatially restricted to the bending segment of the leaves. The application of jasmonates alone was sufficient to trigger leaf bending. Only living fruitflies or the body fluids of crushed fruitflies induced leaf curvature; neither dead flies nor mechanical treatment had any effect. Our findings strongly suggest that the formation of the ‘outer stomach’ in Drosera is a chemonastic movement that is triggered by accumulation of endogenous jasmonates. These results suggest that in carnivorous sundew plants the jasmonate cascade might have been adapted to facilitate carnivory rather than to defend against herbivores. PMID:23516244

  14. Jasmonates trigger prey-induced formation of 'outer stomach' in carnivorous sundew plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoko; Reichelt, Michael; Mayer, Veronika E; Mithöfer, Axel

    2013-05-22

    It has been widely accepted that the growth-related phytohormone auxin is the endogenous signal that initiates bending movements of plant organs. In 1875, Charles Darwin described how the bending movement of leaves in carnivorous sundew species formed an 'outer stomach' that allowed the plants to enclose and digest captured insect prey. About 100 years later, auxin was suggested to be the factor responsible for this movement. We report that prey capture induces both leaf bending and the accumulation of defence-related jasmonate phytohormones. In Drosera capensis fed with fruitflies, within 3 h after prey capture and simultaneous with leaf movement, we detected an increase in jasmonic acid and its isoleucine conjugate. This accumulation was spatially restricted to the bending segment of the leaves. The application of jasmonates alone was sufficient to trigger leaf bending. Only living fruitflies or the body fluids of crushed fruitflies induced leaf curvature; neither dead flies nor mechanical treatment had any effect. Our findings strongly suggest that the formation of the 'outer stomach' in Drosera is a chemonastic movement that is triggered by accumulation of endogenous jasmonates. These results suggest that in carnivorous sundew plants the jasmonate cascade might have been adapted to facilitate carnivory rather than to defend against herbivores.

  15. The carnivorous Venus flytrap uses prey-derived amino acid carbon to fuel respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasbender, Lukas; Maurer, Daniel; Kreuzwieser, Jürgen; Kreuzer, Ines; Schulze, Waltraud X; Kruse, Jörg; Becker, Dirk; Alfarraj, Saleh; Hedrich, Rainer; Werner, Christiane; Rennenberg, Heinz

    2017-04-01

    The present study was performed to elucidate the fate of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) derived from protein of prey caught by carnivorous Dionaea muscipula. For this, traps were fed 13 C/ 15 N-glutamine (Gln). The release of 13 CO 2 was continuously monitored by isotope ratio infrared spectrometry. After 46 h, the allocation of C and N label into different organs was determined and tissues were subjected to metabolome, proteome and transcriptome analyses. Nitrogen of Gln fed was already separated from its C skeleton in the decomposing fluid secreted by the traps. Most of the Gln-C and Gln-N recovered inside plants were localized in fed traps. Among nonfed organs, traps were a stronger sink for Gln-C compared to Gln-N, and roots were a stronger sink for Gln-N compared to Gln-C. A significant amount of the Gln-C was respired as indicated by 13 C-CO 2 emission, enhanced levels of metabolites of respiratory Gln degradation and increased abundance of proteins of respiratory processes. Transcription analyses revealed constitutive expression of enzymes involved in Gln metabolism in traps. It appears that prey not only provides building blocks of cellular constituents of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula, but also is used for energy generation by respiratory amino acid degradation. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Prey composition in the carnivorous plants Utricularia inflata and U. gibba (Lentibulariaceae) from Paria Peninsula, Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Elizabeth; Pacheco, Sergio

    2007-01-01

    Carnivorous aquatic plants, genus Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae), capture small aquatic organisms, such as rotifers, copepods, and cladocerans, by means of anatomical structures named bladders. The present study aimed to determine prey size and composition in U. gibba and U inflata, which were collected from a small lake and an herbaceous wetland, respectively, located in Paria Peninsula (Sucre State, Venezuela). Water pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and salinity were measured in situ at each sampling location, and water samples were collected to determine N-Kjeldahl, total-P, Na+, K+, Ca++, Mg++, and Cl-. Fifty bladders from each plant species were measured and their contents were analyzed. N-Kjeldahl and total-P values were similar in both sites, and were also similar to values reported for eutrophic ecosystems, although Na+, K+, Ca++, Mg++ concentrations and in situ water parameter values were higher in the herbaceous wetland. Bladder content showed the following zooplankton groups: rotifers, cladocerans, copepods, annelids, rhizopodeans, and insects; and the following phytoplankton divisions: Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta, Cyanophyta, and Euglenophyta. U. inflata presented smaller and fewer bladders, but higher abundance and total algal and animal morphospecies richness than U. gibba. Prey composition similarity at the taxon level between the two carnivorous species was low.

  17. Resolving phylogenetic relationships of the recently radiated carnivorous plant genus Sarracenia using target enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Jessica D; Rogers, Willie L; Heyduk, Karolina; Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer M; Determann, Ron O; Glenn, Travis C; Malmberg, Russell L

    2015-04-01

    The North American carnivorous pitcher plant genus Sarracenia (Sarraceniaceae) is a relatively young clade (carnivorous plants; however, little is known regarding evolutionary relationships within the genus. Previous attempts at resolving the phylogeny have been unsuccessful, most likely due to few parsimony-informative sites compounded by incomplete lineage sorting. Here, we applied a target enrichment approach using multiple accessions to assess the relationships of Sarracenia species. This resulted in 199 nuclear genes from 75 accessions covering the putative 8-11 species and 8 subspecies/varieties. In addition, we recovered 42kb of plastome sequence from each accession to estimate a cpDNA-derived phylogeny. Unsurprisingly, the cpDNA had few parsimony-informative sites (0.5%) and provided little information on species relationships. In contrast, use of the targeted nuclear loci in concatenation and coalescent frameworks elucidated many relationships within Sarracenia even with high heterogeneity among gene trees. Results were largely consistent for both concatenation and coalescent approaches. The only major disagreement was with the placement of the purpurea complex. Moreover, results suggest an Appalachian massif biogeographic origin of the genus. Overall, this study highlights the utility of target enrichment using multiple accessions to resolve relationships in recently radiated taxa. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Functional analyses of carnivorous plant-specific amino acid residues in S-like ribonucleases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Naoki; Nishimura, Emi; Kikuchi, Yo; Ohyama, Takashi

    2015-09-11

    Unlike plants with no carnivory, carnivorous plants seem to use S-like ribonucleases (RNases) as an enzyme for carnivory. Carnivorous plant-specific conserved amino acid residues are present at four positions around the conserved active site (CAS). The roles of these conserved amino acid residues in the enzymatic function were explored in the current study by preparing five recombinant variants of DA-I, the S-like RNase of Drosera adelae. The kcat and kcat/Km values of the enzymes revealed that among the four variants with a single mutation, the serine to glycine mutation at position 111 most negatively influenced the enzymatic activity. The change in the bulkiness of the amino acid residue side-chain seemed to be the major cause of the above effect. Modeling of the three dimensional (3D) structures strongly suggested that the S to G mutation at 111 greatly altered the overall enzyme conformation. The conserved four amino acid residues are likely to function in keeping the two histidine residues, which are essential for the cleavage of RNA strands, and the CAS in the most functional enzymatic conformation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Low total mercury in Caiman yacare (Alligatoridae) as compared to carnivorous, and non-carnivorous fish consumed by Amazonian indigenous communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, S J; Pacheco, L F; Achá, D; Molina, C I; Miranda-Chumacero, G

    2016-11-01

    Mercury contamination in the River Beni basin is an important health risk factor, primarily for indigenous communities that live along the river. Among them are the Tacana, living in their original territory with sustainable use of their natural resources, consuming fish, Caiman yacare, and other riverine resources as their main source of protein. To assess mercury exposure to Tacana people, total mercury (THg) was evaluated in the muscle of seven commercial fish, and Caiman yacare (yacare caiman) during 2007 and 2008. THg was extracted by acid digestion and concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Mean mercury concentrations in C. yacare was 0.21 ± 0.22 μg g -1 Hg w.w. (wet weight), which is lower than expected given its high trophic level, and its long life-span. It is possible that mercury in C. yacare is accumulated in other organs, not included in this study; but it is also possible that physiological mechanisms are involved that help caimans get rid of ingested mercury, or simply that C. yacare's diverse diet reduces THg accumulation. Carnivorous fishes (Pygocentrus nattereri, Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum, Zungaro zungaro, Plagioscion squamosissimus, and Leiarius marmoratus) had the highest total mercury concentrations, ranging from 0.35 to 1.27 μg g -1 Hg w.w. moreover, most were above the limit recommended by WHO (0.5 μg g -1 Hg w.w.); except for Leiarius marmuratus, which presented a mean of 0.353 ± 0.322 μg g -1 Hg w.w. The two non-carnivorous fish species (Prochilodus nigricans, and Piaractus brachypomus) present mean concentrations of 0.099 ± 0.027, and 0.041 ± 0.019 μg g -1 Hg w.w., respectively. Finally, recommendations on the consumption habits of Tacana communities are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Does spatial co-occurrence of carnivores in a Central European agricultural landscape follow the null model?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Červinka, J.; Padyšáková, E.; Kreisinger, Jakub

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 60, č. 1 (2014), s. 99-107 ISSN 1612-4642 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * Co-occurrence * Interspecific competition * Mesopredator release * Agricultural landscape Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.634, year: 2014

  1. Changes in home range sizes and population densities of carnivore species along the natural to urban habitat gradient

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Drahníková, L.; Tkadlec, Emil

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 1 (2015), s. 1-14 ISSN 0305-1838 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * home range size * natural–urban gradient * population density * review Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.116, year: 2015

  2. Firing and Resetting Characteristics of Carnivorous Utricularia reflexa Traps: Physiological or only Physical Regulation of Trap Triggering?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    Roč. 52, č. 2 ( 2012 ), 281-290 ISSN 0079-2047 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/11/0783 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plants * water flow * ether Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.435, year: 2012

  3. Forest-edge utilization by carnivores in relation to local and landscape habitat characteristics in central European farmland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Červinka, J.; Pavluvčík, P.; Poláková, S.; Tkadlec, Emil

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 79, č. 3 (2014), s. 176-182 ISSN 1616-5047 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Carnivores * Farmland * Forest -edge utilization * Landscape characteristics * Local characteristics Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.478, year: 2014

  4. The scientific basis for conserving forest carnivores: American marten, fisher, lynx, and wolverine in the western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard F. Ruggiero; Keith B. Aubry; Steven W. Buskirk; L. Jack Lyon; William J. Zielinski

    1994-01-01

    This cooperative effort by USDA Forest Service Research and the National Forest System assesses the state of knowledge related to the conservation status of four forest carnivores in the western United States: American marten, fisher, lynx, and wolverine. The conservation assessment reviews the biology and ecology of these species. It also discusses management...

  5. Exposure to selected Pathogens in to selected pathogens in Geoffroy's cats and domestic carnivores from central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhart, Marcela M; Rago, M Virginia; Marull, Carolina A; Ferreyra, Hebe del Valle; Pereira, Javier A

    2012-10-01

    Wild carnivores share a high percentage of parasites and viruses with closely related domestic carnivores. Because of increased overlap and potential contact with domestic species, we conducted a retrospective serosurvey for 11 common carnivore pathogens in 40 Geoffroy's cats (Leopardus geoffroyi) sampled between 2000 and 2008 within or near two protected areas in central Argentina (Lihué Calel National Park, La Pampa, and Campos del Tuyú National Park, Buenos Aires), as well as five domestic cats and 11 domestic dogs from catde ranches adjacent to Lihué Calel Park. Geoffroy's cats had detectable antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline coronavirus, feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), Toxoplasma gondii, Leptospira interrogans (serovars Ictero/Icter and Ballum), and Dirofilaria immitis. None of the wild cats had antibodies to feline herpesvirus, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukemia virus, or rabies virus. Domestic dogs had antibodies to CDV, canine adenovirus, canine herpesvirus, and canine parvovirus. Antibodies to FPV, FCV, FIV, and T. gondii were found in domestic cats. We provide the first data on exposure of free-ranging Geoffroy's cats to pathogens at two sites within the core area of the species distribution range, including the first report of antibodies to CDV in this species. We encourage continued monitoring for diseases in wild and domestic carnivores as well as preventive health care for domestic animals, particularly in park buffer zones where overlap is greatest.

  6. Determinants of Persistence and Tolerance of Carnivores on Namibian Ranches: Implications for Conservation on Southern African Private Lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindsey, P.A.; Havemann, C.P.; Lines, R.M.; Palazy, L.; Price, A.E.; Retief, T.A.; Rhebergen, T.; Waal, van der C.

    2013-01-01

    Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large

  7. Patterns of natural and human-caused mortality factors of a rare forest carnivore, the fisher (Pekania pennanti) in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourad W. Gabriel; Leslie W. Woods; Greta M. Wengert; Nicole Stephenson; J. Mark Higley; Craig Thompson; Sean M. Matthews; Rick A. Sweitzer; Kathryn Purcell; Reginald H. Barrett; Stefan M. Keller; Patricia Gaffney; Megan Jones; Robert Poppenga; Janet E. Foley; Richard N. Brown; Deana L. Clifford; Benjamin N. Sacks

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti), a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status...

  8. Field growth analysis of Utricularia stygia and U. intermedia-two aquatic carnivorous plants with dimorphic shoots

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Adamec, Lubomír

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 2 (2010), s. 241-251 ISSN 0079-2047 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : aquatic carnivorous plants * Lentibulariaceae * dystrophic water Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.462, year: 2010

  9. Isolation by distance, resistance and/or clusters? Lessons learned from a forest-dwelling carnivore inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez; Samuel A. Cushman; Maria Jose Madeira; Ettore Randi; Benjamin J. Gomez-Moliner

    2015-01-01

    Landscape genetics provides a valuable framework to understand how landscape features influence gene flow and to disentangle the factors that lead to discrete and/or clinal population structure. Here, we attempt to differentiate between these processes in a forest-dwelling small carnivore [European pine marten (Martes martes)]. Specifically, we used...

  10. Mutualists or parasites? Context-dependent influence of symbiotic fly larvae on carnivorous investment in the Albany pitcher plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lymbery, Samuel J; Didham, Raphael K; Hopper, Stephen D; Simmons, Leigh W

    2016-11-01

    Carnivorous plants allocate more resources to carnivorous structures under nutrient-limited conditions, and relative investment can also be influenced by animals (infauna) that live in association with these plants and feed on their prey. We investigated these effects within a population of the pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis containing varying densities of larvae of the fly Badisis ambulans . For plants with a relatively high proportion of adult pitchers, increasing larval density was associated with lower relative leaf allocation to new pitcher buds. For plants with relatively few adult pitchers, however, there was greater relative leaf allocation to pitcher buds with increasing larval density. In a field experiment, there was no significant effect of experimental larval presence or absence on the change in carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio of plants. Although the direction of the correlation between B. ambulans larvae and relative investment in carnivorous and non-carnivorous structures depends on the relative number of mature structures, whether the larvae enhance or reduce nutrient stress under different conditions remains unclear. The change in C/N was, however, less variable for pitchers that contained larvae, suggesting a stabilizing effect. Eighteen of 52 experimental pitchers were damaged by an unknown species, causing the pitcher fluid to drain. These pitchers were significantly more likely to survive if they contained larvae. These results suggest that the relationship between infauna and host varies with the initial resource status and environmental context of the host plant.

  11. Molecular characterization and evolution of carnivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) class V β-1,3-glucanase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalko, Jaroslav; Renner, Tanya; Mészáros, Patrik; Socha, Peter; Moravčíková, Jana; Blehová, Alžbeta; Libantová, Jana; Polóniová, Zuzana; Matušíková, Ildikó

    2017-01-01

    A gene for β-1,3-glucanase was isolated from carnivorous sundew. It is active in leaves and roots, but not in digestive glands. Analyses in transgenic tobacco suggest its function in germination. Ancestral plant β-1,3-glucanases (EC 3.2.1.39) played a role in cell division and cell wall remodelling, but divergent evolution has extended their roles in plant defense against stresses to decomposition of prey in carnivorous plants. As available gene sequences from carnivorous plants are rare, we isolated a glucanase gene from roundleaf sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) by a genome walking approach. Computational predictions recognized typical gene features and protein motifs described for other plant β-1,3-glucanases. Phylogenetic reconstructions suggest strong support for evolutionary relatedness to class V β-1,3-glucanases, including homologs that are active in the traps of related carnivorous species. The gene is expressed in sundew vegetative tissues but not in flowers and digestive glands, and encodes for a functional enzyme when expressed in transgenic tobacco. Detailed analyses of the supposed promoter both in silico and in transgenic tobacco suggest that this glucanase plays a role in development. Specific spatiotemporal activity was observed during transgenic seed germination. Later during growth, the sundew promoter was active in marginal and sub-marginal areas of apical true leaf meristems of young tobacco plants. These results suggest that the isolated glucanase gene is regulated endogenously, possibly by auxin. This is the first report on a nuclear gene study from sundew.

  12. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    . We argue that these spaces of consumption express nostalgia and longing for authenticity that are simultaneously articulated as progressive and emancipatory. Consequently, these sites represent middle class masculine counter-spaces where archaic, working class modes of doing masculinity (such...... as commodification of female bodies and excessive meat consumption) are appropriated, legitimized and sought transformed through irony, hipness and nostalgia....

  13. Feeding enhances photosynthetic efficiency in the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes talangensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovic, Andrej; Singerová, Lucia; Demko, Viktor; Hudák, Ján

    2009-08-01

    Cost-benefit models predict that carnivory can increase the rate of photosynthesis (A(N)) by leaves of carnivorous plants as a result of increased nitrogen absorption from prey. However, the cost of carnivory includes decreased A(N) and increased respiration rates (R(D)) of trapping organs. The principal aim of the present study was to assess the costs and benefits of carnivory in the pitcher plant Nepenthes talangensis, leaves of which are composed of a lamina and a pitcher trap, in response to feeding with beetle larvae. Pitchers of Nepenthes grown at 200 micromol m(-2) s(-1) photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were fed with insect larvae for 2 months, and the effects on the photosynthetic processes were then assessed by simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence of laminae and pitchers, which were correlated with nitrogen, carbon and total chlorophyll concentrations. A(N) and maximum (F(v)/F(m)) and effective quantum yield of photosystem II (Phi(PSII)) were greater in the fed than unfed laminae but not in the fed compared with unfed pitchers. Respiration rate was not significantly affected in fed compared with unfed plants. The unfed plants had greater non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence. Higher NPQ in unfed lamina did not compensate for their lower Phi(PSII), resulting in lower photochemical quenching (QP) and thus higher excitation pressure on PSII. Biomass and nitrogen and chlorophyll concentration also increased as a result of feeding. The cost of carnivory was shown by lower A(N) and Phi(PSII) in pitchers than in laminae, but R(D) depended on whether it was expressed on a dry weight or a surface area basis. Correlation between nitrogen and A(N) in the pitchers was not found. Cost-benefit analysis showed a large beneficial effect on photosynthesis from feeding as light intensity increased from 200 to 1000 micromol m(-2) s(-1) PAR after which it did not increase further. All fed plants began to

  14. Monitoring carnivore populations at the landscape scale: occupancy modelling of tigers from sign surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, Kota Ullas; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M.; Kumar, Narayanarao Samba; Vaidyanathan, Srinivas; Nichols, James D.; MacKenzie, Darryl I.

    2011-01-01

    1. Assessing spatial distributions of threatened large carnivores at landscape scales poses formidable challenges because of their rarity and elusiveness. As a consequence of logistical constraints, investigators typically rely on sign surveys. Most survey methods, however, do not explicitly address the central problem of imperfect detections of animal signs in the field, leading to underestimates of true habitat occupancy and distribution. 2. We assessed habitat occupancy for a tiger Panthera tigris metapopulation across a c. 38 000-km2 landscape in India, employing a spatially replicated survey to explicitly address imperfect detections. Ecological predictions about tiger presence were confronted with sign detection data generated from occupancy sampling of 205 sites, each of 188 km2. 3. A recent occupancy model that considers Markovian dependency among sign detections on spatial replicates performed better than the standard occupancy model (ΔAIC = 184·9). A formulation of this model that fitted the data best showed that density of ungulate prey and levels of human disturbance were key determinants of local tiger presence. Model averaging resulted in a replicate-level detection probability [inline image] = 0·17 (0·17) for signs and a tiger habitat occupancy estimate of [inline image] = 0·665 (0·0857) or 14 076 (1814) km2 of potential habitat of 21 167 km2. In contrast, a traditional presence-versus-absence approach underestimated occupancy by 47%. Maps of probabilities of local site occupancy clearly identified tiger source populations at higher densities and matched observed tiger density variations, suggesting their potential utility for population assessments at landscape scales. 4. Synthesis and applications. Landscape-scale sign surveys can efficiently assess large carnivore spatial distributions and elucidate the factors governing their local presence, provided ecological and observation processes are both explicitly modelled. Occupancy

  15. Frugivory and spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivorous mammals in anthropogenic landscapes: a multi-scale approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José V López-Bao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Knowledge about how frugivory and seed deposition are spatially distributed is valuable to understand the role of dispersers on the structure and dynamics of plant populations. This may be particularly important within anthropogenic areas, where either the patchy distribution of wild plants or the presence of cultivated fleshy-fruits may influence plant-disperser interactions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated frugivory and spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivorous mammals in anthropogenic landscapes considering two spatial scales: 'landscape' (∼10 km(2 and 'habitat type' (∼1-2 km(2. We sampled carnivore faeces and plant abundance at three contrasting habitats (chestnut woods, mosaics and scrublands, each replicated within three different landscapes. Sixty-five percent of faeces collected (n = 1077 contained seeds, among which wild and cultivated seeds appeared in similar proportions (58% and 53% despite that cultivated fruiting plants were much less abundant. Seed deposition was spatially structured among both spatial scales being different between fruit types. Whereas the most important source of spatial variation in deposition of wild seeds was the landscape scale, it was the habitat scale for cultivated seeds. At the habitat scale, seeds of wild species were mostly deposited within mosaics while seeds of cultivated species were within chestnut woods and scrublands. Spatial concordance between seed deposition and plant abundance was found only for wild species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivores differed between fruit types and seemed to be modulated by the fleshy-fruited plant assemblages and the behaviour of dispersers. Our results suggest that a strong preference for cultivated fruits by carnivores may influence their spatial foraging behaviour and lower their dispersal services to wild species. However, the high amount of seeds removed within and between

  16. Frugivory and Spatial Patterns of Seed Deposition by Carnivorous Mammals in Anthropogenic Landscapes: A Multi-Scale Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Bao, José V.; González-Varo, Juan P.

    2011-01-01

    Background Knowledge about how frugivory and seed deposition are spatially distributed is valuable to understand the role of dispersers on the structure and dynamics of plant populations. This may be particularly important within anthropogenic areas, where either the patchy distribution of wild plants or the presence of cultivated fleshy-fruits may influence plant-disperser interactions. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated frugivory and spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivorous mammals in anthropogenic landscapes considering two spatial scales: ‘landscape’ (∼10 km2) and ‘habitat type’ (∼1–2 km2). We sampled carnivore faeces and plant abundance at three contrasting habitats (chestnut woods, mosaics and scrublands), each replicated within three different landscapes. Sixty-five percent of faeces collected (n = 1077) contained seeds, among which wild and cultivated seeds appeared in similar proportions (58% and 53%) despite that cultivated fruiting plants were much less abundant. Seed deposition was spatially structured among both spatial scales being different between fruit types. Whereas the most important source of spatial variation in deposition of wild seeds was the landscape scale, it was the habitat scale for cultivated seeds. At the habitat scale, seeds of wild species were mostly deposited within mosaics while seeds of cultivated species were within chestnut woods and scrublands. Spatial concordance between seed deposition and plant abundance was found only for wild species. Conclusions/Significance Spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivores differed between fruit types and seemed to be modulated by the fleshy-fruited plant assemblages and the behaviour of dispersers. Our results suggest that a strong preference for cultivated fruits by carnivores may influence their spatial foraging behaviour and lower their dispersal services to wild species. However, the high amount of seeds removed within and between habitats

  17. Proteome analysis of pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatano, Naoya; Hamada, Tatsuro

    2008-02-01

    The genus Nepenthes comprises carnivorous plants that digest insects in pitcher fluid to supplement their nitrogen uptake. In a recent study, two acid proteinases (nepenthesins I and II) were purified from the pitcher fluid. However, no other enzymes involved in prey digestion have been identified, although several enzyme activities have been reported. To identify all the proteins involved, we performed a proteomic analysis of Nepenthes pitcher fluid. The secreted proteins in pitcher fluid were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and several protein bands were detected by silver staining. The proteins were identified by in-gel tryptic digestion, de novo peptide sequencing, and homology searches against public databases. The proteins included homologues of beta-D-xylosidase, beta-1,3-glucanase, chitinase, and thaumatin-like protein, most of which are designated "pathogenesis-related proteins". These proteins presumably inhibit bacterial growth in the pitcher fluid to ensure sufficient nutrients for Nepenthes growth.

  18. Balancing of protein and lipid intake by a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Mustela vison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayntz, David; Nielsen, Vivi Hunnicke; Sørensen, Allan

    2009-01-01

    target) of the two macronutrients. When given only one food of fixed nutrient composition, mink balanced macronutrient intake relative to the intake target, without showing the excessive energy intake on diets with a low percentage of protein and energy deficit on diets with a high percentage of protein......Many herbivores and omnivores can balance their intake of macronutrients when faced with nutritionally variable environments. Carnivores, however, are widely believed to optimize their rates of prey capture and energy intake rather than balancing nutrients. We tested nutrient balancing in captive...... mink and found a pronounced ability to balance and regulate intake of protein and lipid. When faced with one of several different pairings of complementary foods varying in protein to lipid composition, mink apportioned intake between the two foods to defend a near constant ratio and amount (intake...

  19. Social factors mediating human-carnivore coexistence: Understanding thematic strands influencing coexistence in Central Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorresteijn, Ine; Milcu, Andra Ioana; Leventon, Julia; Hanspach, Jan; Fischer, Joern

    2016-05-01

    Facilitating human-carnivore coexistence depends on the biophysical environment but also on social factors. Focusing on Central Romania, we conducted 71 semi-structured interviews to explore human-bear (Ursus arctos) coexistence. Qualitative content and discourse analysis identified three socially mediated thematic strands, which showed different ways in which perceived interactions between people, bears and the environment shape coexistence. The "landscape-bear strand" described perceptions of the way in which the landscape offers resources for the bear, while the "landscape-human strand" related to ways in which humans experience the landscape. The "management strand" related to the way bears was managed. All three strands highlight both threats and opportunities for the peaceful coexistence of people and bears. Management and policy interventions could be improved by systematically considering the possible effects of interventions on each of the three strands shaping coexistence. Future research should explore the relevance of the identified thematic strands in other settings worldwide.

  20. Selection for adaptation to dietary shifts: towards sustainable breeding of carnivorous fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Tyrannosaurus en pointe: allometry minimized rotational inertia of large carnivorous dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Donald M; Snively, Eric

    2004-02-07

    Theropod dinosaurs attained the largest body sizes among terrestrial predators, and were also unique in being exclusively bipedal. With only two limbs for propulsion and balance, theropods would have been greatly constrained in their locomotor performance at large body size. Using three-dimensional restorations of the axial bodies and limbs of 12 theropod dinosaurs, and determining their rotational inertias (RIs) about a vertical axis, we show that these animals expressed a pattern of phyletic size increase that minimized the increase in RI associated with increases in body size. By contrast, the RI of six quadrupedal, carnivorous archosaurs exhibited changes in body proportions that were closer to those predicted by isometry. Correlations of low RI with high agility in lizards suggest that large theropods, with low relative RI, could engage in activities requiring higher agility than would be possible with isometric scaling.

  2. Adaptive radiation with regard to nutrient sequestration strategies in the carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej

    2012-02-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved a great diversity of pitcher morphologies. Selective pressures for maximizing nutrient uptake have driven speciation and diversification of the genus in a process known as adaptive radiation. This leads to the evolution of pitchers adapted to specific and often bizarre source of nutrients, which are not strictly animal-derived. One example is Nepenthes ampullaria with unusual growth pattern and pitcher morphology what enables the plant to capture a leaf litter from the canopy above. We showed that the plant benefits from nitrogen uptake by increased rate of photosynthesis and growth what may provide competitive advantage over others co-habiting plants. A possible impact of such specialization toward hybridization, an important mechanism in speciation, is discussed.

  3. Spontaneous firings of carnivorous aquatic Utricularia traps: temporal patterns and mechanical oscillations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Vincent

    Full Text Available Aquatic species of Utricularia are carnivorous plants living in environments poor in nutrients. Their trapping mechanism has fascinated generations of scientists and is still debated today. It was reported recently that Utricularia traps can fire spontaneously. We show here that these spontaneous firings follow an unexpected diversity of temporal patterns, from "metronomic" traps which fire at fixed time intervals to "random" patterns, displaying more scattered firing times. Some "bursting" traps even combine both aspects, with groups of fast regular firings separated by a variable amount of time. We propose a physical model to understand these very particular behaviors, showing that a trap of Utricularia accomplishes mechanical oscillations, based on continuous pumping and sudden opening of the trap door (buckling. We isolate the key parameters governing these oscillations and discuss the effect of their fluctuations.

  4. Form follows function: morphological diversification and alternative trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Ulrike; Clemente, C J; Renner, T; Federle, W

    2012-01-01

    Carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved a striking diversity of pitcher traps that rely on specialized slippery surfaces for prey capture. With a comparative study of trap morphology, we show that Nepenthes pitcher plants have evolved specific adaptations for the use of either one of two distinct trapping mechanisms: slippery wax crystals on the inner pitcher wall and 'insect aquaplaning' on the wet upper rim (peristome). Species without wax crystals had wider peristomes with a longer inward slope. Ancestral state reconstructions identified wax crystal layers and narrow, symmetrical peristomes as ancestral, indicating that wax crystals have been reduced or lost multiple times independently. Our results complement recent reports of nutrient source specializations in Nepenthes and suggest that these specializations may have driven speciation and rapid diversification in this genus. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  5. The carnivorous syndrome in Nepenthes pitcher plants: current state of knowledge and potential future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Jonathan A; Clarke, Charles M

    2010-06-01

    Nepenthes is the largest genus of pitcher plants, with its centre of diversity in SE Asia. The plants grow in substrates that are deficient in N and offset this deficiency by trapping animal prey, primarily arthropods. Recent research has provided new insights into the function of the pitchers, particularly with regard to prey tapping and retention. Species examined to date use combinations of wettable peristomes, wax layers and viscoelastic fluid to trap and retain prey. In many respects, this has redefined our understanding of the functioning of Nepenthes pitchers. In addition, recent research has shown that several Nepenthes species target specific groups of prey animals, or are even evolving away from a strictly carnivorous mode of operation. Future research into nutrient sequestration strategies and mechanisms of prey attraction would no doubt further enhance our knowledge of the ecology of this remarkable genus.

  6. Accumulation of 137Cs by Carnivorous Aquatic Macrophytes (Utricularia spp.) on the Savannah River Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korotasz, Alexis M; Bryan, Albert L

    2018-01-03

    Plants are an important mode of transfer of contaminants from sediments into food webs. In aquatic ecosystems, contaminant uptake by macrophytes can vary by path of nutrient uptake (roots vs. absorption from water column). Carnivorous plants likely have additional exposure through consumption of small aquatic organisms. This study expanded on previous research suggesting that bladderworts (Genus Utricularia) accumulate radiocesium ( 137 Cs) and examined for (1) a potential association between sediment and plant concentrations and (2) differences in 137 Cs accumulation among rooted and free floating Utricularia species. A strong correlation was found between average 137 Cs concentrations in all Utricularia species (combined) and sediments (r s  = 0.9, p = 0.0374). Among three bladderwort species at common sites, Utricularia floridana, the only rooted species, had higher mean 137 Cs concentrations than Utricularia purpurea, and U. purpurea had a greater mean 137 Cs concentration than Utricularia inflata.

  7. Conservation endocrinology: A noninvasive tool to understand relationships between carnivore colonization and ecological carrying capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, J.; Testa, J.W.; Roffe, T.; Monfort, S.L.

    1999-01-01

    Reproductive technology, especially the diagnosis of pregnancy by radioimmunoassay of fecal steroid metabolites, is an important component of captive propagation, but its role in our understanding of ecological interactions and in situ biological restoration has been more limited. Where large herbivores have been 'released' from predation by the extirpation of carnivores, controversy often exists about possible detrimental effects at the ecosystem level A related concern is that the reestablishment of large carnivores may decrease the availability of prey populations for human subsistence. We suggest that pregnancy assays can be a valuable tool to help distinguish between the roles of predation versus food-imposed limitations on population size and their effects on juvenile recruitment in wild species. We explored this issue through analyses of fecal progestagen concentration (FPC) levels to document pregnancy in moose (Alces alces) in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a site where wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) are recolonizing former habitats after an absence of more than 60 years. Pregnancy was clearly discernible (mean FPC for pregnant and nonpregnant females, respectively: 10.60 vs. 2.57 ??g/g; p Pregnancy rates, however, dropped from 90% in 1966 to about 75% today, rendering them in the lowest fifteenth percentile among moose populations in North America. Our findings suggest that a relatively low frequency of juvenile moose is not the likely result of predation, and they illustrate how endocrinology can be applied to issues involving reproductive events within an ecological context. They also affirm that noninvasive and generally inexpensive endocrinological procedures will be applicable to understanding interactions between recolonizing predators and prey, an issue that will continue to arise because of global restoration efforts, and to the study of rare ungulates in remote systems where data on reproductive events are

  8. Physiological responses to short-term fasting among herbivorous, omnivorous, and carnivorous fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Ryan D; Tibbetts, Ian R; Secor, Stephen M

    2014-05-01

    We explored the integrated role of dietary specialization and feeding periodicity on the response of the gastrointestinal tract of teleosts fishes to short-term (7-10 days) fasting and refeeding. Fasted and fed herbivorous grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), omnivorous channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), and carnivorous largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were compared for digestive organ masses, intestinal morphology, gastrointestinal pH, and the specific activities and total intestinal capacities of the intestinal hydrolases aminopeptidase (APN) and maltase and intestinal nutrient transporters. All three species experience intestinal hypertrophy with feeding as noted by significant increases in enterocyte dimensions. Of the three, only I. punctatus experienced a postprandial increase in intestinal length, and only C. idella experienced significant modulation of intestinal microvillus length. Feeding resulted in acidification of the stomachs of I. punctatus and M. salmoides. Predicted to exhibit a relatively modest set of postprandial responses because of their more frequent feeding habits, C. idella only experienced increases in APN and maltase activity with feeding and no significant regulation of nutrient uptake. Significant regulation of hydrolase activities and nutrient uptake were exhibited by I. punctatus and M. salmoides, with I. punctatus experiencing the most comprehensive set of responses. As predicted by food habits, there was an interspecific gradient in intestinal length and glucose uptake extending from longer intestines and greater glucose uptake for the herbivorous C. idella, intermediate lengths and glucose uptake for the omnivorous I. punctatus, and shorter intestines and reduced glucose uptake for the carnivorous M. salmoides. Among teleosts fishes, short episodes of fasting lead to significant alterations in intestinal form and function that are rapidly restored with feeding.

  9. Echinococcosis in wild carnivorous species: epidemiology, genotypic diversity, and implications for veterinary public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmena, David; Cardona, Guillermo A

    2014-05-28

    Echinococcosis is a zoonosis caused by helminths of the genus Echinococcus. The infection, one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases listed by the World Health Organization, has a cosmopolitan distribution and can be transmitted through a variety of domestic, synanthropic, and sylvatic cycles. Wildlife has been increasingly regarded as a relevant source of infection to humans, as demonstrated by the fact that a significant proportion of human emerging infectious diseases have a wildlife origin. Based on available epidemiological and molecular evidence, of the nine Echinococcus species currently recognized as valid taxa, E. canadensis G8-G10, E. felidis, E. multilocularis, E. oligarthrus, E. shiquicus, and E. vogeli are primarily transmitted in the wild. E. canadensis G6-G7, E. equinus, E. granulosus s.s., and E. ortleppi are considered to be transmitted mainly through domestic cycles. We summarize here current knowledge on the global epidemiology, geographical distribution and genotype frequency of Echinococcus spp. in wild carnivorous species. Topics addressed include the significance of the wildlife/livestock/human interface, the sympatric occurrence of different Echinococcus species in a given epidemiological scenario, and the role of wildlife as natural reservoir of disease to human and domestic animal populations. We have also discussed the impact that human activity and intervention may cause in the transmission dynamics of echinococcosis, including the human population expansion an encroachment on shrinking natural habitats, the increasing urbanization of wildlife carnivorous species and the related establishment of synanthropic cycles of Echinococcus spp., the land use (e.g. deforestation and agricultural practices), and the unsupervised international trade and translocation of wildlife animals. Following the 'One Health' approach, we have also emphasized that successful veterinary public health interventions in the field of echinococcosis requires an

  10. A retrospective evaluation of the global decline of carnivores and ungulates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Marco, M; Boitani, L; Mallon, D; Hoffmann, M; Iacucci, A; Meijaard, E; Visconti, P; Schipper, J; Rondinini, C

    2014-08-01

    Assessing temporal changes in species extinction risk is necessary for measuring conservation success or failure and for directing conservation resources toward species or regions that would benefit most. Yet, there is no long-term picture of genuine change that allows one to associate species extinction risk trends with drivers of change or conservation actions. Through a review of 40 years of IUCN-related literature sources on species conservation status (e.g., action plans, red-data books), we assigned retrospective red-list categories to the world's carnivores and ungulates (2 groups with relatively long generation times) to examine how their extinction risk has changed since the 1970s. We then aggregated species' categories to calculate a global trend in their extinction risk over time. A decline in the conservation status of carnivores and ungulates was underway 40 years ago and has since accelerated. One quarter of all species (n = 498) moved one or more categories closer to extinction globally, while almost half of the species moved closer to extinction in Southeast Asia. The conservation status of some species improved (toward less threatened categories), but for each species that improved in status 8 deteriorated. The status of large-bodied species, particularly those above 100 kg (including many iconic taxa), deteriorated significantly more than small-bodied species (below 10 kg). The trends we found are likely related to geopolitical events (such as the collapse of Soviet Union), international regulations (such as CITES), shifting cultural values, and natural resource exploitation (e.g., in Southeast Asia). Retrospective assessments of global species extinction risk reduce the risk of a shifting baseline syndrome, which can affect decisions on the desirable conservation status of species. Such assessments can help conservationists identify which conservation policies and strategies are or are not helping safeguard biodiversity and thus can improve

  11. Carnivores from the Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation (13-12 Ma, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pickford, M.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The late Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation has yielded several interesting carnivore fossils. Among these are a huge creodont, Megistotherium osteothlastes, at 12 Ma, possibly the youngest record of the species, an amphicyonid, two species of mustelids (an otter and a honey badger, two kinds of viverrids (one about the size of a civet, one the size of a genet and an extremely small herpestid the size of a dwarf mongoose. It has also yielded remains of a moderate sized percrocutid. Perhaps the most interesting carnivore is a new genus and species of bundont viverrid that is intermediate in size and morphology between Early Miocene Orangictis on the one hand and Plio-Pleistocene Pseudocivetta on the other. This lineage of bundont viverrids appears to have been restricted to Africa.La Formación Mioceno medio final de Ngorora (Kenia ha suministrado carnívoros muy interesantes. Entre los que se encuentran un enorme creodonto, Megistotherium osteothlastes, de 12 Ma, que posiblemente es el registro más moderno de la especie, un amphicyonido, dos especies de mustélidos (una nutria y un melivorino, dos diferentes tipos de vivérridos (uno de la talla de una civeta y el otro de la de una jineta y un herpéstido diminuto de la talla de una mangosta enana. También hay fósiles de un percrocútido de talla moderada. Tal vez el carnívoro más interesante es un nuevo género y especie de vivérrido bunodonto que presenta una talla y morfología intermedia entre Oragictis del Mioceno inferior y Pseudocivetta del Plio-Pleistoceno. Esta línea de vivérridos bunodontos parece estar restringida a Africa.

  12. Nutrient-specific compensatory feeding in a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Neovison vison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Kim; Simpson, Stephen J; Nielsen, Vivi H; Hunt, John; Raubenheimer, David; Mayntz, David

    2014-10-14

    Balancing of macronutrient intake has only recently been demonstrated in predators. In particular, the ability to regulate carbohydrate intake is little studied in obligate carnivores, as carbohydrate is present at very low concentrations in prey animal tissue. In the present study, we determined whether American mink (Neovison vison) would compensate for dietary nutritional imbalances by foraging for complementary macronutrients (protein, lipid and carbohydrate) when subsequently given a dietary choice. We used three food pairings, within which two macronutrients differed relative to each other (high v. low concentration), while the third was kept at a constant level. The mink were first restricted to a single nutritionally imbalanced food for 7 d and then given a free choice to feed from the same food or a nutritionally complementary food for three consecutive days. When restricted to nutritionally imbalanced foods, the mink were willing to overingest protein only to a certain level ('ceiling'). When subsequently given a choice, the mink compensated for the period of nutritional imbalance by selecting the nutritionally complementary food in the food choice pairing. Notably, this rebalancing occurred for all the three macronutrients, including carbohydrate, which is particularly interesting as carbohydrate is not a major macronutrient for obligate carnivores in nature. However, there was also a ceiling to carbohydrate intake, as has been demonstrated previously in domestic cats. The results of the present study show that mink regulate their intake of all the three macronutrients within limits imposed by ceilings on protein and carbohydrate intake and that they will compensate for a period of nutritional imbalance by subsequently selecting nutritionally complementary foods.

  13. The first sequenced carnivore genome shows complex host-endogenous retrovirus relationships.

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    Álvaro Martínez Barrio

    Full Text Available Host-retrovirus interactions influence the genomic landscape and have contributed substantially to mammalian genome evolution. To gain further insights, we analyzed a female boxer (Canis familiaris genome for complexity and integration pattern of canine endogenous retroviruses (CfERV. Intriguingly, the first such in-depth analysis of a carnivore species identified 407 CfERV proviruses that represent only 0.15% of the dog genome. In comparison, the same detection criteria identified about six times more HERV proviruses in the human genome that has been estimated to contain a total of 8% retroviral DNA including solitary LTRs. These observed differences in man and dog are likely due to different mechanisms to purge, restrict and protect their genomes against retroviruses. A novel group of gammaretrovirus-like CfERV with high similarity to HERV-Fc1 was found to have potential for active retrotransposition and possibly lateral transmissions between dog and human as a result of close interactions during at least 10.000 years. The CfERV integration landscape showed a non-uniform intra- and inter-chromosomal distribution. Like in other species, different densities of ERVs were observed. Some chromosomal regions were essentially devoid of CfERVs whereas other regions had large numbers of integrations in agreement with distinct selective pressures at different loci. Most CfERVs were integrated in antisense orientation within 100 kb from annotated protein-coding genes. This integration pattern provides evidence for selection against CfERVs in sense orientation relative to chromosomal genes. In conclusion, this ERV analysis of the first carnivorous species supports the notion that different mammals interact distinctively with endogenous retroviruses and suggests that retroviral lateral transmissions between dog and human may have occurred.

  14. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States.

  15. Predatory behaviour of carnivorous dinosaurs: Ecological interpretations based on tooth marked dinosaur bones and wear patterns of theropod teeth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    Predation marks on bones are a source on information on the feeding behaviour of the carnivores involved. Although predator damaged bone is common in the fossil record, published reports of such marks on dinosaur bones are rare. Patterns of bone modification by mammalian carnivores overlap patterns...... left by theropod dinosaurs.Differences in tooth morphology can also be correlated with characteristics of the marks left by the teeth. In a study of tooth marks on dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, it was possible to identify the feeding theropods to family, generic...... different taxa and different skeletal elements produced some interesting results. The frequency of tooth marked dinosaur bones is higher than expected. Up to 14 % of the observed hadrosaur bones were predator damaged. The lower incidence of damage in ceratopsian bones can be explained by the fact...

  16. Serologic survey for canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus in free-ranging wild carnivores from Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno; Almendra, Cláudia; Tavares, Luís

    2009-01-01

    A serologic survey for Canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) was performed on serum and lung extract from an opportunistic sample of 120 free-ranging wild carnivores (13 species) from Portugal, collected from 1995 to 2006. Antibodies to CDV were detected in wolf (Canis lupus; 3/27) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes; 2/22). Antibodies to CPV were detected in wolf (9/28), red fox (2/14), wildcat (Felis silvestris;1/8), genet (Genetta genetta; 17/18), and stone marten (Martes foina; 3/17). Antibodies to CPV were detected throughout the study, whereas for CDV antibodies were detected in 3 of 10 yr and only during winter. The extremely high CPV antibody prevalence in genets is unprecedented. Although based on a limited sample, these data suggest widespread exposure of free-ranging Iberian carnivores to CDV and CPV.

  17. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foot, G; Rice, S P; Millett, J

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

  18. Recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus and variation in its receptor, the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule, in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohishi, Kazue; Suzuki, Rintaro; Maeda, Taro; Tsuda, Miwako; Abe, Erika; Yoshida, Takao; Endo, Yasuyuki; Okamura, Maki; Nagamine, Takashi; Yamamoto, Hanae; Ueda, Miya; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2014-07-01

    The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) is a receptor for morbilliviruses. To understand the recent host range expansion of canine distemper virus (CDV) in carnivores, we determined the nucleotide sequences of SLAMs of various carnivores and generated three-dimensional homology SLAM models. Thirty-four amino acid residues were found for the candidates binding to CDV on the interface of the carnivore SLAMs. SLAM of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) were similar to those of other members of the suborder Caniformia, indicating that the animals in this group have similar sensitivity to dog CDV. However, they were different at nine positions from those of felids. Among the nine residues, four of domestic cat (Felis catus) SLAM (72, 76, 82, and 129) and three of lion (Panthera leo persica) SLAM (72, 82, and 129) were associated with charge alterations, suggesting that the felid interfaces have lower affinities to dog CDV. Only the residue at 76 was different between domestic cat and lion SLAM interfaces. The domestic cat SLAM had threonine at 76, whereas the lion SLAM had arginine, a positively charged residue like that of the dog SLAM. The cat SLAM with threonine is likely to have lower affinity to CDV-H and to confer higher resistance against dog CDV. Thus, the four residues (72, 76, 82, and 129) on carnivore SLAMs are important for the determination of affinity and sensitivity with CDV. Additionally, the CDV-H protein of felid strains had a substitution of histidine for tyrosine at 549 of dog CDV-H and may have higher affinity to lion SLAM. Three-dimensional model construction is a new risk assessment method of morbillivirus infectivity. Because the method is applicable to animals that have no information about virus infection, it is especially useful for morbillivirus risk assessment and wildlife conservation.

  19. The role of electrical and jasmonate signalling in the recognition of captured prey in the carnivorous sundew plant Drosera capensis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krausko, M.; Perůtka, M.; Šebela, M.; Šamajová, O.; Šamaj, J.; Novák, Ondřej; Pavlovič, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 213, č. 4 (2017), s. 1818-1835 ISSN 0028-646X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : action potential * carnivorous plant * Drosera * electrical signal * enzyme s * jasmonates * long-distance signalling * sundew Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 7.330, year: 2016

  20. The use of Emeraid Exotic Carnivore Diet improves postsurgical recovery and survival of long-tailed ducks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Glenn H.; Ford, Scott; Perry, Matthew C.; Wells-Berlin, Alicia M.

    2010-01-01

    Gavage feeding is a commonly used technique in wildlife rehabilitation. While implanting satellite transmitters in long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis), a need for extra postsurgical nutritional support was identified. A new product, Emeraid Exotic Carnivore Diet, has proven effective in maintaining and even increasing the birds' body weights while in captivity. This has resulted in a 54-g increase in weight at release and better survival postrelease. Tips for mixing and using the new diet are included.

  1. Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Jedediah; Johnson, Heather; Mitchell, Michael; Zager, Peter; Proffitt, Kelly; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kauffman, Matthew; Johnson, Bruce; Bissonette, John; Bishop, Chad; Gude, Justin; Herbert, Jeff; Hersey, Kent R.; Hurley, Mark; Lukacs, Paul M.; McCorquodale, Scott; McIntire, Eliot; Nowak, Josh; Sawyer, Hall; Smith, Douglas; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Well-informed management of harvested species requires understanding how changing ecological conditions affect demography and population dynamics, information that is lacking for many species. We have limited understanding of the relative influence of carnivores, harvest, weather and forage availability on elk Cervus elaphus demography, despite the ecological and economic importance of this species. We assessed adult female survival, a key vital rate for population dynamics, from 2746 radio-collared elk in 45 populations across western North America that experience wide variation in carnivore assemblage, harvest, weather and habitat conditions. Proportional hazard analysis revealed that 'baseline' (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. Mortality may increase via nutritional stress and heightened vulnerability to predation in snowy winters. Baseline mortality was unrelated to puma Puma concolor presence, forest cover or summer forage productivity. Cause-specific mortality analyses showed that wolves and all carnivore species combined had additive effects on baseline elk mortality, but only reduced survival by baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as winters across the western US become drier and wolves recolonize portions of the region. In the absence of human harvest, wolves had additive, although limited, effects on mortality. However, human harvest, and its apparent use by managers to offset predation, primarily controls overall variation in adult female mortality. Altering harvest quotas is thus a strong tool for offsetting impacts of carnivore recolonization and shifting weather patterns on elk across western North America.

  2. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Viera, Leandro; Perera, Erick; Martos-Sitcha, Juan Antonio; Perdomo-Morales, Rolando; Casuso, Antonio; Montero-Alejo, Vivian; García-Galano, Tsai; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Mancera, Juan Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype) in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase.

  3. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Rodríguez-Viera

    Full Text Available Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase.

  4. A Hypothetico-Deductive Approach to Assessing the Social Function of Chemical Signalling in a Non-Territorial Solitary Carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapham, Melanie; Nevin, Owen T.; Ramsey, Andrew D.; Rosell, Frank

    2012-01-01

    The function of chemical signalling in non-territorial solitary carnivores is still relatively unclear. Studies on territorial solitary and social carnivores have highlighted odour capability and utility, however the social function of chemical signalling in wild carnivore populations operating dominance hierarchy social systems has received little attention. We monitored scent marking and investigatory behaviour of wild brown bears Ursus arctos, to test multiple hypotheses relating to the social function of chemical signalling. Camera traps were stationed facing bear ‘marking trees’ to document behaviour by different age sex classes in different seasons. We found evidence to support the hypothesis that adult males utilise chemical signalling to communicate dominance to other males throughout the non-denning period. Adult females did not appear to utilise marking trees to advertise oestrous state during the breeding season. The function of marking by subadult bears is somewhat unclear, but may be related to the behaviour of adult males. Subadults investigated trees more often than they scent marked during the breeding season, which could be a result of an increased risk from adult males. Females with young showed an increase in marking and investigation of trees outside of the breeding season. We propose the hypothesis that females engage their dependent young with marking trees from a young age, at a relatively ‘safe’ time of year. Memory, experience, and learning at a young age, may all contribute towards odour capabilities in adult bears. PMID:22530018

  5. The competitor release effect applied to carnivore species: how red foxes can increase in numbers when persecuted

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lozano, J.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of our study was to numerically simulate the population dynamics of a hypothetical community of three species of small to medium–sized carnivores subjected to non–selective control within the context of the competitor release effect (CRE. We applied the CRE to three carnivore species, linking interspecific competition with predator control efforts. We predicted the population response of European badger, the red fox and the pine marten to this wildlife management tool by means of numerical simulations. The theoretical responses differed depending on the intrinsic rate of growth (r, although modulated by the competition coefficients. The red fox, showing the highest r value, can increase its populations despite predator control efforts if control intensity is moderate. Populations of the other two species, however, decreased with control efforts, even reaching extinction. Three additional theoretical predictions were obtained. The conclusions from the simulations were: 1 predator control can play a role in altering the carnivore communities; 2 red fox numbers can increase due to control; and 3 predator control programs should evaluate the potential of unintended effects on ecosystems.

  6. A hypothetico-deductive approach to assessing the social function of chemical signalling in a non-territorial solitary carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapham, Melanie; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D; Rosell, Frank

    2012-01-01

    The function of chemical signalling in non-territorial solitary carnivores is still relatively unclear. Studies on territorial solitary and social carnivores have highlighted odour capability and utility, however the social function of chemical signalling in wild carnivore populations operating dominance hierarchy social systems has received little attention. We monitored scent marking and investigatory behaviour of wild brown bears Ursus arctos, to test multiple hypotheses relating to the social function of chemical signalling. Camera traps were stationed facing bear 'marking trees' to document behaviour by different age sex classes in different seasons. We found evidence to support the hypothesis that adult males utilise chemical signalling to communicate dominance to other males throughout the non-denning period. Adult females did not appear to utilise marking trees to advertise oestrous state during the breeding season. The function of marking by subadult bears is somewhat unclear, but may be related to the behaviour of adult males. Subadults investigated trees more often than they scent marked during the breeding season, which could be a result of an increased risk from adult males. Females with young showed an increase in marking and investigation of trees outside of the breeding season. We propose the hypothesis that females engage their dependent young with marking trees from a young age, at a relatively 'safe' time of year. Memory, experience, and learning at a young age, may all contribute towards odour capabilities in adult bears.

  7. A hypothetico-deductive approach to assessing the social function of chemical signalling in a non-territorial solitary carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Clapham

    Full Text Available The function of chemical signalling in non-territorial solitary carnivores is still relatively unclear. Studies on territorial solitary and social carnivores have highlighted odour capability and utility, however the social function of chemical signalling in wild carnivore populations operating dominance hierarchy social systems has received little attention. We monitored scent marking and investigatory behaviour of wild brown bears Ursus arctos, to test multiple hypotheses relating to the social function of chemical signalling. Camera traps were stationed facing bear 'marking trees' to document behaviour by different age sex classes in different seasons. We found evidence to support the hypothesis that adult males utilise chemical signalling to communicate dominance to other males throughout the non-denning period. Adult females did not appear to utilise marking trees to advertise oestrous state during the breeding season. The function of marking by subadult bears is somewhat unclear, but may be related to the behaviour of adult males. Subadults investigated trees more often than they scent marked during the breeding season, which could be a result of an increased risk from adult males. Females with young showed an increase in marking and investigation of trees outside of the breeding season. We propose the hypothesis that females engage their dependent young with marking trees from a young age, at a relatively 'safe' time of year. Memory, experience, and learning at a young age, may all contribute towards odour capabilities in adult bears.

  8. An insect-feeding guild of carnivorous plants and spiders: does optimal foraging lead to competition or facilitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Philip H; Hopper, Kevin R; Krupa, James J

    2013-12-01

    Carnivorous plants and spiders, along with their prey, are main players in an insect-feeding guild found on acidic, poorly drained soils in disturbed habitat. Darwin's notion that these plants must actively attract the insects they capture raises the possibility that spiders could benefit from proximity to prey hotspots created by the plants. Alternatively, carnivorous plants and spiders may deplete prey locally or (through insect redistribution) more widely, reducing each other's gain rates from predation. Here, we formulate and analyze a model of this guild, parameterized for carnivorous sundews and lycosid spiders, under assumptions of random movement by insects and optimal foraging by predators. Optimal foraging here involves gain maximization via trap investment (optimal web sizes and sundew trichome densities) and an ideal free distribution of spiders between areas with and without sundews. We find no facilitation: spiders and sundews engage in intense exploitation competition. Insect attraction by plants modestly increases sundew gain rates but slightly decreases spider gain rates. In the absence of population size structure, optimal spider redistribution between areas with and without sundews yields web sizes that are identical for all spiders, regardless of proximity to sundews. Web-building spiders have higher gain rates than wandering spiders in this system at high insect densities, but wandering spiders have the advantage at low insect densities. Results are complex, indicating that predictions to be tested empirically must be based on careful quantitative assessment.

  9. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Rivadavia, Fernando; Gonella, Paulo M; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Mengual, Ximo; Rojo, Santos

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided.

  10. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Fleischmann

    Full Text Available A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1 the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2 a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3 the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided.

  11. Proteomic analysis of secreted protein induced by a component of prey in pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatano, Naoya; Hamada, Tatsuro

    2012-08-03

    The Nepenthes species are carnivorous plants that have evolved a specialized leaf organ, the 'pitcher', to attract, capture, and digest insects. The digested insects provide nutrients for growth, allowing these plants to grow even in poor soil. Several proteins have been identified in the pitcher fluid, including aspartic proteases (nepenthesin I and II) and pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins (β-1,3-glucanase, class IV chitinase, and thaumatin-like protein). In this study, we collected and concentrated pitcher fluid to identify minor proteins. In addition, we tried to identify the protein secreted in response to trapping the insect. To make a similar situation in which the insect falls into the pitcher, chitin which was a major component of the insect exoskeleton was added to the fluid in the pitcher. Three PR proteins, class III peroxidase (Prx), β-1,3-glucanase, and class III chitinase, were newly identified. Prx was induced after the addition of chitin to the pitcher fluid. Proteins in the pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata probably have two roles in nutrient supply: digestion of prey and the antibacterial effect. These results suggest that the system for digesting prey has evolved from the defense system against pathogens in the carnivorous plant Nepenthes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Aspartic proteinases are expressed in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata Blanco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Chung-Il; Fukusaki, Ei-ichiro; Kobayashi, Akio

    2002-03-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire significant amounts of nitrogen from insects. The tropical carnivorous plant Nepenthes accumulates acidic fluid containing aspartic proteinase (AP) in its trapping organs (pitchers), suggesting that the plant utilizes insect protein as a nitrogen source. Aspartic proteinases have been purified and characterized from sterile pitcher fluid of several species of Nepenthes; however, there is, as of yet, no information about sequence and expression of Nepenthes AP genes. To identify the pitcher AP, we cloned plant AP homologs from N. alata and examined their expressions. Five AP homologs ( NaAP1-NaAP5) were obtained by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers designed for the conserved sequences of plant APs. Alignment of deduced amino acid sequences with other plant APs demonstrated that NaAP1-NaAP4 contained a plant-specific insert (PSI), a unique sequence of plant AP. However, NaAP5 did not possess the insert, and had a shorter sequence (by >100 amino acids) than the other APs. Northern analysis using a part of the coding region of NaAP1 as a probe showed that bands of approx. 1.8 kb corresponding to the sizes of NaAP1-NaAP4 mRNA were present in roots, stems, leaves, tendrils, and lower part of the pitchers, but a band of approx. 1.3 kb corresponding to the size of NaAP5 mRNA was not observed in any organs. In pitchers, highest expressions of NaAP1-NaAP4 were seen in the lower part of open pitchers containing natural prey, suggesting that the expressions of NaAP1-NaAP4 are coupled with prey capture. Transcripts of NaAP2 and NaAP4 were detected in the digestive glands, where AP secretion may occur. This result suggests that NaAP2 and NaAP4 are the possible APs secreted into the pitcher of N. alata.

  13. Persistence of canine distemper virus in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's carnivore community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, E.S.; Cross, P.C.; Smith, D.W.

    2010-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) is an acute, highly immunizing pathogen that should require high densities and large populations of hosts for long-term persistence, yet CDV persists among terrestrial carnivores with small, patchily distributed groups. We used CDV in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem's (GYE) wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) as a case study for exploring how metapopulation structure, host demographics, and multi-host transmission affect the critical community size and spatial scale required for CDV persistence. We illustrate how host spatial connectivity and demographic turnover interact to affect both local epidemic dynamics, such as the length and variation in inter-epidemic periods, and pathogen persistence using stochastic, spatially explicit susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered simulation models. Given the apparent absence of other known persistence mechanisms (e.g., a carrier or environmental state, densely populated host, chronic infection, or a vector), we suggest that CDV requires either large spatial scales or multi-host transmission for persistence. Current GYE wolf populations are probably too small to support endemic CDV. Coyotes are a plausible reservoir host, but CDV would still require 50 000-100 000 individuals for moderate persistence (>50% over 10 years), which would equate to an area of 1-3 times the size of the GYE (60000-200000 km2). Coyotes, and carnivores in general, are not uniformly distributed; therefore, this is probably a gross underestimate of the spatial scale of CDV persistence. However, the presence of a second competent host species can greatly increase the probability of long-term CDV persistence at much smaller spatial scales. Although no management of CDV is currently recommended for the GYE, wolf managers in the region should expect periodic but unpredictable CDV-related population declines as often as every 2-5 years. Awareness and monitoring of such outbreaks will allow corresponding

  14. Feeding on prey increases photosynthetic efficiency in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej; Krausko, Miroslav; Libiaková, Michaela; Adamec, Lubomír

    2014-01-01

    BACKROUND AND AIMS: It has been suggested that the rate of net photosynthesis (AN) of carnivorous plants increases in response to prey capture and nutrient uptake; however, data confirming the benefit from carnivory in terms of increased AN are scarce and unclear. The principal aim of our study was to investigate the photosynthetic benefit from prey capture in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis. Prey attraction experiments were performed, with measurements and visualization of enzyme activities, elemental analysis and pigment quantification together with simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence in D. capensis in response to feeding with fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Red coloration of tentacles did not act as a signal to attract fruit flies onto the traps. Phosphatase, phophodiesterase and protease activities were induced 24 h after prey capture. These activities are consistent with the depletion of phosphorus and nitrogen from digested prey and a significant increase in their content in leaf tissue after 10 weeks. Mechanical stimulation of tentacle glands alone was not sufficient to induce proteolytic activity. Activities of β-D-glucosidases and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidases in the tentacle mucilage were not detected. The uptake of phosphorus from prey was more efficient than that of nitrogen and caused the foliar N:P ratio to decrease; the contents of other elements (K, Ca, Mg) decreased slightly in fed plants. Increased foliar N and P contents resulted in a significant increase in the aboveground plant biomass, the number of leaves and chlorophyll content as well as AN, maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and effective photochemical quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦPSII). According to the stoichiometric relationships among different nutrients, the growth of unfed D. capensis plants was P-limited. This P-limitation was markedly alleviated by feeding on fruit flies and resulted in improved plant nutrient status and

  15. Cytokinin, auxin and physiological polarity in the aquatic carnivorous plants Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia australis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šimura, Jan; Spíchal, Lukáš; Adamec, Lubomír; Pěnčík, Aleš; Rolčík, Jakub; Novák, Ondřej; Strnad, Miroslav

    2016-05-01

    The typical rootless linear shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants exhibit clear, steep polarity associated with very rapid apical shoot growth. The aim of this study was to determine how auxin and cytokinin contents are related to polarity and shoot growth in such plants. The main auxin and cytokinin metabolites in separated shoot segments and turions of two carnivorous plants, Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia australis, were analysed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quad mass spectrometry. In both species, only isoprenoid cytokinins were identified. Zeatin cytokinins predominated in the apical parts, with their concentrations decreasing basipetally, and the trans isomer predominated in A. vesiculosa whereas the cis form was more abundant in U australis. Isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins, in contrast, increased basipetally. Conjugated cytokinin metabolites, the O-glucosides, were present at high concentrations in A. vesiculosa but only in minute amounts in U. australis. N(9)-glucoside forms were detected only in U. australis, with isopentenyladenine-9-glucoside (iP9G) being most abundant. In addition to free indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-acetamide (IAM), IAA-aspartate (IAAsp), IAA-glutamate (IAGlu) and IAA-glycine (IAGly) conjugates were identified. Both species show common trends in auxin and cytokinin levels, the apical localization of the cytokinin biosynthesis and basipetal change in the ratio of active cytokinins to auxin, in favour of auxin. However, our detailed study of cytokinin metabolic profiles also revealed that both species developed different regulatory mechanisms of active cytokinin content; on the level of their degradation, in U. australis, or in the biosynthesis itself, in the case of A. vesiculosa Results indicate that the rapid turnover of these signalling molecules along the shoots is essential for maintaining the dynamic balance between the rapid polar growth and development of the apical

  16. Experimental determinations of carcass processing by Plio-Pleistocene hominids and carnivores at FLK 22 (Zinjanthropus). Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capaldo, S D

    1997-11-01

    Published and unpublished skeletal and surface mark data from the large, well-preserved, bovid dominated FLK 22 (Zinjanthropus) archaeofauna are analyzed using data derived from four different experimental control samples. The control samples are realistic because they are based on natural history and paleoecological data collected from FLK 22, and other Olduvai Gorge assemblages; they are precise because independent experimental studies following the same methods have generated the same results; and they restore generality to the study of site formation because each one models a different hominid and/or carnivore scenario of site formation. Comparability between FLK 22 and the control samples is established by excluding specimens from the former which do not meet identification and reporting standards derived from the latter. As in two previous studies, a comprehensive analysis of tooth marks and tool marks on long bone specimens from FLK 22 indicates that they were processed in three stages. In stage one, carnivores defleshed long bones, as inferred from the high percentage of tooth marks on midshaft fragments. In stage two, hominids processed intact long bones for marrow, as inferred from percussion mark percentages. Cut marks suggest that long bones retained flesh, but the amount, as yet, cannot be determined using cut mark percentages. In stage three, carnivores processed long bone epiphyses for grease, as inferred from the under-representation of long bone epiphyses and the high percentage of tooth marks on near-epiphyses and surviving epiphyses. The lack of comprehensive skeletal and surface mark data on cranial, axial, compact, and other specimens currently limits the application of experimental results. However, the available data suggest that the condition and representation of these items in the FLK 22 assemblage are also consistent with a carnivore to hominid to carnivore sequence of site formation. The variety of elements present, and their extensive

  17. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  18. Rodents as shared indicators for zoonotic parasites of carnivores in urban environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reperant, L A; Hegglin, D; Tanner, I; Fischer, C; Deplazes, P

    2009-03-01

    Rodents are shared intermediate or paratenic hosts for Echinococcus multilocularis, Toxocara spp. and Toxoplasma gondii, and may serve as valuable indicators for assessing the occurrence and the level of environmental contamination and infection pressure with free-living stages of these zoonotic parasites. We investigated 658 non-commensal rodents for parasite infections in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland. The prevalence of infection with E. multilocularis was highest in Arvicola terrestris captured in the north-western area (16.5%, CI: 10.1%-24.8%), possibly reflecting a higher red fox density due to the low incidence of sarcoptic mange in this part of the canton. The exposure rate to Toxocara spp. was highest in the urban area (13.2%, CI: 7.9%-20.3%), and may account for higher densities of domestic carnivore and red fox definitive hosts within the city. Exposure to T. gondii was widespread (5.0%, CI: 3.2-7.4%), indicating a ubiquitous distribution of infected cat definitive hosts. Interestingly, a widespread distribution of Taenia taeniaeformis, a parasite mainly transmitted by cats, was similarly evidenced in A. terrestris. Distinct spatial patterns for the different zoonotic parasites likely reflected differences in distribution, abundance, and habitat use of the respective definitive hosts. These results highlight the potential value of rodents as shared indicators for these pathogens.

  19. Slippery surfaces of carnivorous plants: composition of epicuticular wax crystals in Nepenthes alata Blanco pitchers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, Michael; Eichner, Anna; Jetter, Reinhard

    2003-11-01

    Plants in the genus Nepenthes obtain a substantial nutrient supply by trapping insects in highly modified leaves. A broad zone of the inner surface of these pitchers is densely covered with wax crystals on which most insects lose their footing. This slippery wax surface, capturing prey and preventing its escape from the trap, plays a pivotal role in the carnivorous syndrome. To understand the mechanism of slipperiness, the present investigation aimed at an ultrastructural and physico-chemical characterization of the wax crystals in pitchers of N. alata Blanco. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that entire platelets protruded perpendicularly from the surface. Methods were developed that allowed the mechanical removal of wax crystals from the pitcher surface. It could be shown that the sampling was selective for the epicuticular wax, relevant for plant-insect interactions. The crystals consisted of a mixture of aliphatic compounds dominated by very-long-chain aldehydes. Triacontanal, at 43% the most abundant constituent, was largely responsible for crystal formation. Solubility data indicate that the Nepenthes crystals contained polymeric forms of this aldehyde. The resulting mechanical properties of the polymer crystals and the mechanism of slipperiness are discussed.

  20. Two new naphthalene glucosides and other bioactive compounds from the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanh, Nguyen Van; Thao, Nguyen Phuong; Dat, Le Duc; Huong, Phan Thi Thanh; Lee, Sang Hyun; Jang, Hae Dong; Cuong, Nguyen Xuan; Nam, Nguyen Hoai; Kiem, Phan Van; Minh, Chau Van; Kim, Young Ho

    2015-10-01

    Two new naphthalene diglucosides named nepenthosides A (1) and B (2), together with eleven known compounds (3-13), were isolated from the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis. The structures of these compounds were elucidated based on extensive spectroscopic analysis, including 1D- and 2D-NMR, and MS. The antioxidant activities of compounds 1-13 were evaluated in terms of their peroxyl radical-scavenging (trolox equivalent, TE) and reducing capacities. All isolates showed peroxyl radical-scavenging and reducing activities at concentrations of 1.0 and 10.0 μM. Anti-osteoporotic activities were investigated using murine osteoclastic RAW 264.7 cells. Compounds 1-7 and 9-12 significantly suppressed tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity down to 91.13 ± 1.18 to 42.39 ± 1.11%, relative to the control (100%) in nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANκL)-induced osteoclastic RAW 264.7 macrophage cells.

  1. Isolation and characterization of chitinase genes from pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes khasiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilenberg, Haviva; Pnini-Cohen, Smadar; Schuster, Silvia; Movtchan, Anna; Zilberstein, Aviah

    2006-01-01

    The genus Nepenthes represents carnivorous plants with pitcher traps capable of efficient prey capture and digestion. The possible involvement of plant chitinases in this process was studied in Nepenthes khasiana. Two different types of endochitinases were identified in the liquid of closed traps exhibiting substrate specificity for either long chitin polymers or N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligomers. Injection of chitin into such closed sterile pitchers induced the appearance of additional endochitinase isoenzymes, with substrate specificity only for long chitin polymers. No significant exochitinase (N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase) or chitobiosidase activity could be detected in the non-induced or induced trap liquid. Four genes representing two subgroups of basic chitinases, denoted as Nkchit1b and Nkchit2b, were isolated from the secretory region of N. khasiana pitchers. The main differences between the two subgroups are the presence of a proline-rich hinge region only in NkCHIT1b and a C-terminal putative vacuole targeting extension only in NkCHIT2b, indicating different compartmentalization of the two enzymes. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) evaluation of mRNA levels showed that the Nkchit2b genes are constitutively expressed in the secretory cells while transcription of Nkchit1b genes is induced by chitin injection. These results show for the first time the involvement of genes encoding chitinases in prey-trap interaction and their differential expression and activity during prey trapping.

  2. Emerging Ecosystems Change the Spatial Distribution of Top Carnivores Even in Poorly Populated Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbar, Facundo; Werenkraut, Victoria; Morales, Juan Manuel; Lambertucci, Sergio Agustín

    2015-01-01

    Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities). This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues. PMID:25799547

  3. Would carnosine or a carnivorous diet help suppress aging and associated pathologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hipkiss, Alan R

    2006-05-01

    Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is found exclusively in animal tissues. Carnosine has the potential to suppress many of the biochemical changes (e.g., protein oxidation, glycation, AGE formation, and cross-linking) that accompany aging and associated pathologies. Glycation, generation of advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs), and formation of protein carbonyl groups play important roles in aging, diabetes, its secondary complications, and neurodegenerative conditions. Due to carnosine's antiglycating activity, reactivity toward deleterious carbonyls, zinc- and copper-chelating activity and low toxicity, carnosine and related structures could be effective against age-related protein carbonyl stress. It is suggested that carnivorous diets could be beneficial because of their carnosine content, as the dipeptide has been shown to suppress some diabetic complications in mice. It is also suggested that carnosine's therapeutic potential should be explored with respect to neurodegeneration. Olfactory tissue is normally enriched in carnosine, but olfactory dysfunction is frequently associated with neurodegeneration. Olfactory administration of carnosine could provide a direct route to compromised tissue, avoiding serum carnosinases.

  4. Induced production of antifungal naphthoquinones in the pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes khasiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilenberg, Haviva; Pnini-Cohen, Smadar; Rahamim, Yocheved; Sionov, Edward; Segal, Esther; Carmeli, Shmuel; Zilberstein, Aviah

    2010-03-01

    Nepenthes spp. are carnivorous plants that have developed insect capturing traps, evolved by specific modification of the leaf tips, and are able to utilize insect degradation products as nutritional precursors. A chitin-induced antifungal ability, based on the production and secretion to the trap liquid of droserone and 5-O-methyldroserone, is described here. Such specific secretion uniquely occurred when chitin injection was used as the eliciting agent and probably reflects a certain kind of defence mechanism that has been evolved for protecting the carnivory-based provision of nutritional precursors. The pitcher liquid containing droserone and 5-O-methyldroserone at 3:1 or 4:1 molar ratio, as well as the purified naphthoquinones, exerted an antifungal effect on a wide range of plant and human fungal pathogens. When tested against Candida and Aspergillus spp., the concentrations required for achieving inhibitory and fungicidal effects were significantly lower than those causing cytotoxicity in cells of the human embryonic kidney cell line, 293T. These naturally secreted 1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives, that are assumed to act via semiquinone enhancement of free radical production, may offer a new lead to develop alternative antifungal drugs with reduced selectable pressure for potentially evolved resistance.

  5. Coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in carnivores and small mammals at Dhaka zoo, Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M.R.U. Raja

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A study on the coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites using 94 faecal samples from different carnivores (n=32 and small mammals (n=15 was undertaken from January to May 2012 at Dhaka Zoo. The overall prevalence of parasitic infection was 78.72%, with a prevalence of 51.06% for helminths and 27.66% for protozoa. The identified parasites included—Toxascaris leonina (9.57%, Balantidium coli (25.53% Spirometra sp. (10.64%, Toxocara cati (12.76%, Hook worm (4.26%, unidentified strongyles (3.19%, Trichuris sp. (7.45%, Coccidia sp. (2.12%, Capillaria sp. (1.06%, Trichostrongylus sp. (1.06%, and Physaloptera sp. (1.06%. Mixed infection was observed in Indian Lion (Toxascaris leonina and Spirometra sp., Royal Bengal Tiger (Balantidium coli and Toxocara cati, Spotted Hyena (Balantidium coli and hook worm, Leopard (Balantidium coli and Spirometra/I> sp., Rhesus Macaque (Trichuris sp. and Coccidia sp., Pig-tailed Macaque (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Hamadryas Baboon (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Golden Mangabey (Trichuris sp., Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Large Indian Civet (Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Torior Dog (Balantidium coli and Physaloptera, Rabbit (Balantidium coli and Hook worm, Hanuman Langur (Balantidium coli and Capillaria sp.. Due to the high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites, the present study suggests to apply control measures against these parasites in order to safeguard the health of housed wild animals, especially in case of threatened species.

  6. The Metagenome of Utricularia gibba's Traps: Into the Microbial Input to a Carnivorous Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz, Luis David; Martínez-Sánchez, Shamayim; Torres, Ignacio; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2016-01-01

    The genome and transcriptome sequences of the aquatic, rootless, and carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae), were recently determined. Traps are necessary for U. gibba because they help the plant to survive in nutrient-deprived environments. The U. gibba's traps (Ugt) are specialized structures that have been proposed to selectively filter microbial inhabitants. To determine whether the traps indeed have a microbiome that differs, in composition or abundance, from the microbiome in the surrounding environment, we used whole-genome shotgun (WGS) metagenomics to describe both the taxonomic and functional diversity of the Ugt microbiome. We collected U. gibba plants from their natural habitat and directly sequenced the metagenome of the Ugt microbiome and its surrounding water. The total predicted number of species in the Ugt was more than 1,100. Using pan-genome fragment recruitment analysis, we were able to identify to the species level of some key Ugt players, such as Pseudomonas monteilii. Functional analysis of the Ugt metagenome suggests that the trap microbiome plays an important role in nutrient scavenging and assimilation while complementing the hydrolytic functions of the plant. PMID:26859489

  7. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and a sympatric widespread carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Ana; Oliveira, Lucia; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís; Fonseca, Carlos; Torres, Rita Tinoco

    2016-08-01

    Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes), in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina), and a protozoa (Balantidium coli) were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  8. Linking the development and functioning of a carnivorous pitcher plant's microbial digestive community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, David W

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystem development theory predicts that successional turnover in community composition can influence ecosystem functioning. However, tests of this theory in natural systems are made difficult by a lack of replicable and tractable model systems. Using the microbial digestive associates of a carnivorous pitcher plant, I tested hypotheses linking host age-driven microbial community development to host functioning. Monitoring the yearlong development of independent microbial digestive communities in two pitcher plant populations revealed a number of trends in community succession matching theoretical predictions. These included mid-successional peaks in bacterial diversity and metabolic substrate use, predictable and parallel successional trajectories among microbial communities, and convergence giving way to divergence in community composition and carbon substrate use. Bacterial composition, biomass, and diversity positively influenced the rate of prey decomposition, which was in turn positively associated with a host leaf's nitrogen uptake efficiency. Overall digestive performance was greatest during late summer. These results highlight links between community succession and ecosystem functioning and extend succession theory to host-associated microbial communities.

  9. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and a sympatric widespread carnivore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Figueiredo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes, in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina, and a protozoa (Balantidium coli were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  10. Carnivorous dinocephalian from the Middle Permian of Brazil and tetrapod dispersal in Pangaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneros, Juan Carlos; Abdala, Fernando; Atayman-Güven, Saniye; Rubidge, Bruce S.; Şengör, A. M. Celâl; Schultz, Cesar L.

    2012-01-01

    The medial Permian (∼270–260 Ma: Guadalupian) was a time of important tetrapod faunal changes, in particular reflecting a turnover from pelycosaurian- to therapsid-grade synapsids. Until now, most knowledge on tetrapod distribution during the medial Permian has come from fossils found in the South African Karoo and the Russian Platform, whereas other areas of Pangaea are still poorly known. We present evidence for the presence of a terrestrial carnivorous vertebrate from the Middle Permian of South America based on a complete skull. Pampaphoneus biccai gen. et sp. nov. was a dinocephalian “mammal-like reptile” member of the Anteosauridae, an early therapsid predator clade known only from the Middle Permian of Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and South Africa. The genus is characterized, among other features, by postorbital bosses, short, bulbous postcanines, and strongly recurved canines. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Brazilian dinocephalian occupies a middle position within the Anteosauridae, reinforcing the model of a global distribution for therapsids as early as the Guadalupian. The close phylogenetic relationship of the Brazilian species to dinocephalians from South Africa and the Russian Platform suggests a closer faunistic relationship between South America and eastern Europe than previously thought, lending support to a Pangaea B-type continental reconstruction. PMID:22307615

  11. Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus in cats and other carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiry, E; Zicola, A; Addie, D; Egberink, H; Hartmann, K; Lutz, H; Poulet, H; Horzinek, M C

    2007-05-16

    The Asian lineage highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus is a known pathogen of birds. Only recently, the virus has been reported to cause sporadic fatal disease in carnivores, and its zoonotic potential has been dominating the popular media. Attention to felids was drawn by two outbreaks with high mortality in tigers, leopards and other exotic felids in Thailand. Subsequently, domestic cats were found naturally infected and experimentally susceptible to H5N1 virus. A high susceptibility of the dog to H3N8 equine influenza A virus had been reported earlier, and recently also HPAI H5N1 virus has been identified as a canine pathogen. The ferret, hamster and mouse are suitable as experimental animals; importantly, these species are also kept as pets. Experimental intratracheal and oral infection of cats with an HPAI H5N1 virus isolate from a human case resulted in lethal disease; furthermore, cats have been infected by the feeding of infected chickens. Spread of the infection from experimentally infected to in-contact cats has been reported. The epidemiological role of the cat and other pet animal species in transmitting HPAI H5N1 virus to humans needs continuous consideration and attention.

  12. Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Justine A; Wang, Yiwei; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-03-07

    The fear induced by predators on their prey is well known to cause behavioural adjustments by prey that can ripple through food webs. Little is known, however, about the analogous impacts of humans as perceived top predators on the foraging behaviour of carnivores. Here, we investigate the influence of human-induced fear on puma foraging behaviour using location and prey consumption data from 30 tagged individuals living along a gradient of human development. We observed strong behavioural responses by female pumas to human development, whereby their fidelity to kill sites and overall consumption time of prey declined with increasing housing density by 36 and 42%, respectively. Females responded to this decline in prey consumption time by increasing the number of deer they killed in high housing density areas by 36% over what they killed in areas with little residential development. The loss of food from declines in prey consumption time paired with increases in energetic costs associated with killing more prey may have consequences for puma populations, particularly with regard to reproductive success. In addition, greater carcass availability is likely to alter community dynamics by augmenting food resources for scavengers. In light of the extensive and growing impact of habitat modification, our study emphasizes that knowledge of the indirect effects of human activity on animal behaviour is a necessary component in understanding anthropogenic impacts on community dynamics and food web function. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Urban landscapes can change virus gene flow and evolution in a fragmentation-sensitive carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain-Jones, Nicholas M.; Craft, Meggan E.; Funk, W. Chris; Kozakiewicz, Chris; Trumbo, Daryl; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Lee, Justin S.; VandeWoude, Sue; Carver, Scott

    2017-01-01

    Urban expansion has widespread impacts on wildlife species globally, including the transmission and emergence of infectious diseases. However, there is almost no information about how urban landscapes shape transmission dynamics in wildlife. Using an innovative phylodynamic approach combining host and pathogen molecular data with landscape characteristics and host traits, we untangle the complex factors that drive transmission networks of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in bobcats (Lynx rufus). We found that the urban landscape played a significant role in shaping FIV transmission. Even though bobcats were often trapped within the urban matrix, FIV transmission events were more likely to occur in areas with more natural habitat elements. Urban fragmentation also resulted in lower rates of pathogen evolution, possibly owing to a narrower range of host genotypes in the fragmented area. Combined, our findings show that urban landscapes can have impacts on a pathogen and its evolution in a carnivore living in one of the most fragmented and urban systems in North America. The analytical approach used here can be broadly applied to other host-pathogen systems, including humans.

  14. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P; Sawaya, Michael A; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ(15)N and δ(34)S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ(13)C values. Because elevated δ(15)N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ(34)S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ(13)C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide.

  15. Emerging ecosystems change the spatial distribution of top carnivores even in poorly populated areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Facundo Barbar

    Full Text Available Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities. This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues.

  16. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Buch

    Full Text Available Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep. Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory.

  17. Comparative Genome Analysis Reveals Divergent Genome Size Evolution in a Carnivorous Plant Genus

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    Giang T. H. Vu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The C-value paradox remains incompletely resolved after >40 yr and is exemplified by 2,350-fold variation in genome sizes of flowering plants. The carnivorous Lentibulariaceae genus , displaying a 25-fold range of genome sizes, is a promising subject to study mechanisms and consequences of evolutionary genome size variation. Applying genomic, phylogenetic, and cytogenetic approaches, we uncovered bidirectional genome size evolution within the genus . The Steyerm. genome (86 Mbp has probably shrunk by retroelement silencing and deletion-biased double-strand break (DSB repair, from an ancestral size of 400 to 800 Mbp to become one of the smallest among flowering plants. The Stapf genome has expanded by whole-genome duplication (WGD and retrotransposition to 1550 Mbp. became allotetraploid after the split from the clade ∼29 Ma. A. St.-Hil. (179 Mbp, a close relative of , proved to be a recent (autotetraploid. Our analyses suggest a common ancestor of the genus a with an intermediate 1C value (400–800 Mbp and subsequent rapid genome size evolution in opposite directions. Many abundant repeats of the larger genome are absent in the smaller, casting doubt on their functionality for the organism, while recurrent WGD seems to safeguard against the loss of essential elements in the face of genome shrinkage. We cannot identify any consistent differences in habitat or life strategy that correlate with genome size changes, raising the possibility that these changes may be selectively neutral.

  18. The Metagenome of Utricularia gibba's Traps: Into the Microbial Input to a Carnivorous Plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis David Alcaraz

    Full Text Available The genome and transcriptome sequences of the aquatic, rootless, and carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae, were recently determined. Traps are necessary for U. gibba because they help the plant to survive in nutrient-deprived environments. The U. gibba's traps (Ugt are specialized structures that have been proposed to selectively filter microbial inhabitants. To determine whether the traps indeed have a microbiome that differs, in composition or abundance, from the microbiome in the surrounding environment, we used whole-genome shotgun (WGS metagenomics to describe both the taxonomic and functional diversity of the Ugt microbiome. We collected U. gibba plants from their natural habitat and directly sequenced the metagenome of the Ugt microbiome and its surrounding water. The total predicted number of species in the Ugt was more than 1,100. Using pan-genome fragment recruitment analysis, we were able to identify to the species level of some key Ugt players, such as Pseudomonas monteilii. Functional analysis of the Ugt metagenome suggests that the trap microbiome plays an important role in nutrient scavenging and assimilation while complementing the hydrolytic functions of the plant.

  19. Slippery or sticky? Functional diversity in the trapping strategy of Nepenthes carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonhomme, Vincent; Pelloux-Prayer, Hervé; Jousselin, Emmanuelle; Forterre, Yoël; Labat, Jean-Jacques; Gaume, Laurence

    2011-07-01

    The pitcher-shaped leaves of Nepenthes carnivorous plants have been considered as pitfall traps that essentially rely on slippery surfaces to capture insects. But a recent study of Nepenthes rafflesiana has shown that the viscoelasticity of the digestive fluid inside the pitchers plays a key role. Here, we investigated whether Nepenthes species exhibit diverse trapping strategies. We measured the amount of slippery wax on the pitcher walls of 23 taxa and the viscoelasticity of their digestive liquid and compared their retention efficiency on ants and flies. The amount of wax was shown to vary greatly between species. Most mountain species exhibited viscoelastic digestive fluids while water-like fluids were predominant in lowland species. Both characteristics contributed to insect trapping but wax was more efficient at trapping ants while viscoelasticity was key in trapping insects and was even more efficient than wax on flies. Trap waxiness and fluid viscoelasticity were inversely related, suggesting the possibility of an investment trade-off for the plants. Therefore Nepenthes pitcher plants do not solely employ slippery devices to trap insects but often employ a viscoelastic strategy. The entomofauna specific to the plant's habitat may exert selective pressures, favouring one trapping strategy at the expense of the other. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Novel proteases from the genome of the carnivorous plant Drosera capensis: Structural prediction and comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butts, Carter T; Bierma, Jan C; Martin, Rachel W

    2016-10-01

    In his 1875 monograph on insectivorous plants, Darwin described the feeding reactions of Drosera flypaper traps and predicted that their secretions contained a "ferment" similar to mammalian pepsin, an aspartic protease. Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence for the cape sundew, Drosera capensis, the first genome of a carnivorous plant from order Caryophyllales, which also includes the Venus flytrap (Dionaea) and the tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes). This species was selected in part for its hardiness and ease of cultivation, making it an excellent model organism for further investigations of plant carnivory. Analysis of predicted protein sequences yields genes encoding proteases homologous to those found in other plants, some of which display sequence and structural features that suggest novel functionalities. Because the sequence similarity to proteins of known structure is in most cases too low for traditional homology modeling, 3D structures of representative proteases are predicted using comparative modeling with all-atom refinement. Although the overall folds and active residues for these proteins are conserved, we find structural and sequence differences consistent with a diversity of substrate recognition patterns. Finally, we predict differences in substrate specificities using in silico experiments, providing targets for structure/function studies of novel enzymes with biological and technological significance. Proteins 2016; 84:1517-1533. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Carnivorous Nutrition in Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes spp.) via an Unusual Complement of Endogenous Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Linda; Zhang, Ye; Ozar, Brittany; Sensen, Christoph W; Schriemer, David C

    2016-09-02

    Plants belonging to the genus Nepenthes are carnivorous, using specialized pitfall traps called "pitchers" that attract, capture, and digest insects as a primary source of nutrients. We have used RNA sequencing to generate a cDNA library from the Nepenthes pitchers and applied it to mass spectrometry-based identification of the enzymes secreted into the pitcher fluid using a nonspecific digestion strategy superior to trypsin in this application. This first complete catalog of the pitcher fluid subproteome includes enzymes across a variety of functional classes. The most abundant proteins present in the secreted fluid are proteases, nucleases, peroxidases, chitinases, a phosphatase, and a glucanase. Nitrogen recovery involves a particularly rich complement of proteases. In addition to the two expected aspartic proteases, we discovered three novel nepenthensins, two prolyl endopeptidases that we name neprosins, and a putative serine carboxypeptidase. Additional proteins identified are relevant to pathogen-defense and secretion mechanisms. The full complement of acid-stable enzymes discovered in this study suggests that carnivory in the genus Nepenthes can be sustained by plant-based mechanisms alone and does not absolutely require bacterial symbiosis.

  2. Phenolic metabolites in carnivorous plants: Inter-specific comparison and physiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kováčik, Jozef; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Repčáková, Klára

    2012-03-01

    Despite intensive phytochemical research, data related to the accumulation of phenols in carnivorous plants include mainly qualitative reports. We have quantified phenolic metabolites in three species: Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula and Nepenthes anamensis in the "leaf" (assimilatory part) and the "trap" (digestive part). For comparison, commercial green tea was analysed. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activities in Dionaea and Nepenthes were higher in the trap than in the leaf while the opposite was found in Drosera. Soluble phenols and majority of phenolic acids were mainly accumulated in the trap among species. Flavonoids were abundant in Drosera and Dionaea traps but not in Nepenthes. Phenolic acids were preferentially accumulated in a glycosidically-bound form and gallic acid was the main metabolite. Green tea contained more soluble phenols and phenolic acids but less quercetin. In vitro experiments with Drosera spathulata revealed that nitrogen deficiency enhances PAL activity, accumulation of phenols and sugars while PAL inhibitor (2-aminoindane-2-phosphonic acid) depleted phenols and some amino acids (but free phenylalanine and sugars were elevated). Possible explanations in physiological, biochemical and ecological context are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Centromere and telomere sequence alterations reflect the rapid genome evolution within the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Trung D; Cao, Hieu X; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Neumann, Pavel; Novák, Petr; Fojtová, Miloslava; Vu, Giang T H; Macas, Jiří; Fajkus, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-12-01

    Linear chromosomes of eukaryotic organisms invariably possess centromeres and telomeres to ensure proper chromosome segregation during nuclear divisions and to protect the chromosome ends from deterioration and fusion, respectively. While centromeric sequences may differ between species, with arrays of tandemly repeated sequences and retrotransposons being the most abundant sequence types in plant centromeres, telomeric sequences are usually highly conserved among plants and other organisms. The genome size of the carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is highly variable. Here we study evolutionary sequence plasticity of these chromosomal domains at an intrageneric level. We show that Genlisea nigrocaulis (1C = 86 Mbp; 2n = 40) and G. hispidula (1C = 1550 Mbp; 2n = 40) differ as to their DNA composition at centromeres and telomeres. G. nigrocaulis and its close relative G. pygmaea revealed mainly 161 bp tandem repeats, while G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra displayed a combination of four retroelements at centromeric positions. G. nigrocaulis and G. pygmaea chromosome ends are characterized by the Arabidopsis-type telomeric repeats (TTTAGGG); G. hispidula and G. subglabra instead revealed two intermingled sequence variants (TTCAGG and TTTCAGG). These differences in centromeric and, surprisingly, also in telomeric DNA sequences, uncovered between groups with on average a > 9-fold genome size difference, emphasize the fast genome evolution within this genus. Such intrageneric evolutionary alteration of telomeric repeats with cytosine in the guanine-rich strand, not yet known for plants, might impact the epigenetic telomere chromatin modification. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Franziska; Kaman, Wendy E; Bikker, Floris J; Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Mithöfer, Axel

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep). Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer)-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster) prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory.

  5. Hierarchical Structure and Multifunctional Surface Properties of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Nepenthes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chiao-Peng; Lin, Yu-Min; Chen, Po-Yu

    2015-04-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved specialized leaves fulfilling the multi-functions of attracting, capturing, retaining and digesting the prey, mostly arthropods. Different capturing mechanisms have been proposed and discussed in previous works. The most important capture mechanism is the unique super-hydrophilic surface properties of the peristome. The combination of a hierarchical surface structure and nectar secretions results in an exceptional water-lubricated trapping system. Anisotropic and unidirectional wettability is attributed to the ridge-like surface and epidermal folding. The three-dimensional plate-like wax crystals in the hydrophobic waxy zone can further prevent the prey from escaping. The captured prey are then digested in the hydrophilic digestive zone. The hybrid species Nepenthes × Miranda was investigated in this study. The surface morphology and hierarchical microstructure were characterized by scanning electron microscope. Contact angle measurement and wetting efficiency tests were performed to determine the wettability of the peristome under fresh, nectar-free and sucrose-coated conditions with controlled temperature and humidity. The results showed that sucrose-coated peristome surfaces possess the best wetting efficiency. The structure-property-function relationship and the capturing mechanism of Nepenthes were elucidated, which could further lead to the design and synthesis of novel bio-inspired surfaces and potential applications.

  6. Elastic models of the fast traps of carnivorous Dionaea and Aldrovanda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyeux, Marc

    2013-09-01

    The carnivorous aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Sol. ex J. Ellis) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Although Aldrovanda is usually considered a miniature aquatic Dionaea, the shutting mechanisms of the two plants differ quite markedly. The fast shutting of Aldrovanda is indeed based on a simple swelling or shrinking mechanism, while the movement of Dionaea's traps is accelerated by the snap-buckling of the lobes. The purpose of this Brief Report is to describe several key improvements to the elastic models that have recently been introduced to elucidate these movements [Poppinga and Joyeux, Phys. Rev. EPLEEE81063-651X10.1103/PhysRevE.84.041928 84, 041928 (2011)]. In particular, a precise mechanism for the action of the motor cells of Aldrovanda is proposed, the facts that the opening of the leaves of Dionaea is an irreversible mechanism based on growth and that the strain field is anisotropic and much smaller on the inner than on the outer surface of the leaves during shutting are taken properly into account, and a more accurate formula for calculating mean curvatures is used. The improvements brought to the model are described in detail and the physical consequences of these improvements are discussed.

  7. Isolation of viable multicellular glands from tissue of the carnivorous plant, Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottloff, Sandy; Mithöfer, Axel; Müller, Ute; Kilper, Roland

    2013-12-22

    Many plants possess specialized structures that are involved in the production and secretion of specific low molecular weight compounds and proteins. These structures are almost always localized on plant surfaces. Among them are nectaries or glandular trichomes. The secreted compounds are often employed in interactions with the biotic environment, for example as attractants for pollinators or deterrents against herbivores. Glands that are unique in several aspects can be found in carnivorous plants. In so-called pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, bifunctional glands inside the pitfall-trap on the one hand secrete the digestive fluid, including all enzymes necessary for prey digestion, and on the other hand take-up the released nutrients. Thus, these glands represent an ideal, specialized tissue predestinated to study the underlying molecular, biochemical, and physiological mechanisms of protein secretion and nutrient uptake in plants. Moreover, generally the biosynthesis of secondary compounds produced by many plants equipped with glandular structures could be investigated directly in glands. In order to work on such specialized structures, they need to be isolated efficiently, fast, metabolically active, and without contamination with other tissues. Therefore, a mechanical micropreparation technique was developed and applied for studies on Nepenthes digestion fluid. Here, a protocol is presented that was used to successfully prepare single bifunctional glands from Nepenthes traps, based on a mechanized microsampling platform. The glands could be isolated and directly used further for gene expression analysis by PCR techniques after preparation of RNA.

  8. Potential for chromium (VI) bioremediation by the aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustynowicz, Joanna; Łukowicz, Krzysztof; Tokarz, Krzysztof; Płachno, Bartosz Jan

    2015-07-01

    The aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba has one of the smallest known genomes among flowering plants, and therefore, it is an excellent model organism for physiological and developmental studies. The main aim of our work was to check whether the ubiquitous U. gibba might be useful for the phytoremediation of the highly toxic and mobile hexavalent chromium in waters. Plants were incubated for 1 week in a 50 μM (2.6 mg dm(-3)) Cr(VI) solution in laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that the plant exhibits a very high accumulation capacity for Cr. The accumulation level was higher than 780 mg kg(-1) and a bioconcentration factor >300. On the other hand, the plants showed a low tolerance to the elevated Cr concentration, which was expressed in a significant decrease of the photosystem II activity. However, the most pronounced negative influence of chromate was found on the morphology and activity of the traps. Due to its high accumulation capacity, we suggest that U. gibba may be efficient in the removal of chromate over a short time scale. It can also provide a new molecular resource for studying the mechanisms of Cr(VI) detoxification.

  9. Risk assessment of metals and organic pollutants for herbivorous and carnivorous small mammal food chains in a polluted floodplain (Biesbosch, The Netherlands)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamers, Timo; Berg, Johannes H.J. van den; Gestel, Cornelis A.M. van; Schooten, Frederik-Jan van; Murk, Albertinka J.

    2006-01-01

    A risk assessment was made for a carnivorous and a herbivorous food chain in a heavily polluted natural estuary (Biesbosch), by determining the most critical pollutants and the food chain most at risk. Exposure of food chains to metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was assessed by analyzing dietary concentrations, internal concentrations, and biomarkers of exposure. Common shrew (Sorex araneus) and bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) were selected as representative small mammal species for the carnivorous and herbivorous food chain, respectively, and earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) and snails (Cepaea nemoralis) as representative prey species for the carnivorous food chain. Metals contributed most to the total risk for small mammals and earthworms. PCBs, but not PAHs, contributed to the overall risk for S. araneus at regularly flooded locations. The carnivorous food chain appeared most at risk given the higher exposure levels and bioaccumulating potency found for contaminants in S. araneus. - In polluted floodplain areas, dietary exposure to metals poses a larger risk for small mammals in a carnivorous than in a herbivorous food chain

  10. Physicochemical properties of functional surfaces in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata Blanco (Nepenthaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorb, E V; Gorb, S N

    2006-11-01

    Pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata are highly specialized organs adapted to attract, capture, and digest animals, mostly insects. They consist of several well distinguishable zones, differing in macro-morphology, surface microstructure, and functions. Since physicochemical properties of these surfaces may influence insect adhesion, we measured contact angles of non-polar (diiodomethane) and polar liquids (water and ethylene glycol) and estimated the free surface energy of 1) the lid, 2) the peristome, 3) the waxy surface of the slippery zone, and 4) the glandular surface of the digestive zone in N. alata pitchers. As a control, the external surface of the pitcher, as well as abaxial and adaxial surfaces of the leaf blade, was measured. Both leaf surfaces, both lid surfaces, and the external pitcher surface showed similar contact angles and had rather high values of surface free energy with relatively high dispersion component. These surfaces are considered to support strong adhesion forces based on the capillary interaction, and by this, to promote successful attachment of insects. The waxy surface is almost unwettable, has extremely low surface energy, and therefore, must essentially decrease insect adhesion. Both the peristome and glandular surfaces are wetted readily with both non-polar and polar liquids and have very high surface energy with a predominating polar component. These properties result in the preclusion of insect adhesion due to the hydrophilic lubricating film covering the surfaces. The obtained results support field observations and laboratory experiments of previous authors that demonstrated the possible role of different pitcher surfaces in insect trapping and retention.

  11. Transporters for ammonium, amino acids and peptides are expressed in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, W; Frommer, W B; Ward, J M

    1999-03-01

    Insect capture and digestion contribute substantially to the nitrogen budget of carnivorous plants. In Nepenthes, insect-derived nitrogenous compounds are imported from the pitcher fluid and transported throughout the plant via the vascular tissue to support growth. Import and distribution of nutrients may require transmembrane nitrogen transporters. Representatives of three classes of genes encoding transporters for the nitrogenous compounds ammonium, amino acids and peptides were identified in Nepenthes pitchers. The expression at the cellular level of an ammonium transporter gene, three amino acid transporter genes, and one peptide transporter gene were investigated in the insect trapping organs of Nepenthes. Expression of the ammonium transporter gene NaAMT1 was detected in the head cells of digestive glands in the lower part of the pitcher where NaAMT1 may function in ammonium uptake from the pitcher fluid. One amino acid transporter gene, NaAAP1, was expressed in bundle sheath cells surrounding the vascular tissue. To understand the locations where transmembrane transport could be required within the pitcher, symplasmic and apoplasmic continuity was probed using fluorescent dyes. Symplasmic connections were not found between cortical cells and vascular bundles. Therefore, the amino acid transporter encoded by NaAAP1 may be involved in transport of amino acids into the vascular tissue. In contrast, expression of the peptide transporter gene NaNTR1 was detected in phloem cells of the vascular tissue within pitchers. NaNTR1 may function in the export of nitrogen from the pitcher by loading peptides into the phloem.

  12. Toxoplasma gondii in sympatric wild herbivores and carnivores: epidemiology of infection in the Western Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferroglio, Ezio; Bosio, Fabio; Trisciuoglio, Anna; Zanet, Stefania

    2014-04-24

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite that is able to infect almost all warm blooded animals. In Europe, the domestic cat is the main definitive host. Worldwide, 6 billion people are infected with this parasite. The goal of our research is to evaluate the prevalence of T. gondii infection in wild animals from a previously unsampled area in Northern Italy where 0.1% of women seroconvert during pregnancy each year. We sampled and tested skeletal muscle and central nervous system tissue of 355 wild animals by PCR (n = 121 roe deer Capreolus capreolus, n = 105 wild boar Sus scrofa, n = 94 red fox Vulpes vulpes, n = 22 alpine chamois Rupicapra rupicapra, n = 13 red deer Cervus elaphus). The overall prevalence of infection with T. gondii was 10.99% (confidence interval (CI) 95% 8.14%-14.67%). A higher rate of infection was recorded in carnivores and omnivores (red fox 20.21%, CI 95% 13.34%-29.43%; wild boar 16.19%, CI 95% 10.36%-24.41%) compared to ruminants (2.48%, CI 95% 0.85%-7.04% in roe deer; 0.00%, CI 95% 0.00%-22.81% in red deer, and 0.00% alpine chamois (CI 95% 0.00%-14.87%) confirming the importance of tissue cysts in transmitting infection. The relatively high prevalence of T. gondii DNA in highly consumed game species (wild boar and roe deer) gives valuable insights into T. gondii epidemiology and may contribute to improve prevention and control of foodborne toxoplasmosis in humans.

  13. How does dietary particle size affect carnivore gastrointestinal transit: A dog model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Cuyper, A; Hesta, M; Tibosch, S; Wanke, C; Clauss, M; Janssens, G P J

    2018-04-01

    The effect of dietary particle size on gastrointestinal transit in carnivores has not been studied and might offer more insight into their digestive physiology. This study evaluated the effect of two dietary particle sizes (fine = 7.8 mm vs. coarse = 13 mm) of chunked day-old chicks on transit parameters in dogs. Six beagle dogs were fed both dietary treatments in a crossover design of 7 days with transit testing on the fifth day. Transit parameters were assessed using two markers, that is a wireless motility capsule (IntelliCap ® ) and titanium oxide (TiO 2 ). Dietary particle size did not affect gastric emptying time (GRT), small bowel transit time (SBTT), colonic transit time (CTT) and total transit time (aTTT) of the capsule (p > .05). There was no effect of dietary particle size on TiO 2 mean retention time (MRT) (p > .05). The time of last TiO 2 excretion (MaxRT) differed (p = .013) between diets, being later for the coarse diet. Both MRT (R = 0.617, p = .032) and MaxRT (R = 0.814; p = .001) were positively correlated to aTTT. The ratio MRT/aTTT tended towards a difference between diets (p = .059) with the coarse diet exceeding fine diet values. Results show that the difference between capsule measurements and TiO 2 is larger for the fine than the coarse diet suggesting that the capsule becomes more accurate when dietary particle size approaches marker size. Dietary particle size might have affected transit parameters but differences are too small to claim major physiological consequences. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  14. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basto, Mafalda P; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Simões, Luciana; Grilo, Clara; Cardoso, Luís; Cortes, Helder; Bruford, Michael W; Fernandes, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS), a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA). Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive partitioning

  15. Comparative neuronal morphology of the cerebellar cortex in afrotherians, carnivores, cetartiodactyls, and primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Bob; Johnson, Nicholas L; Wahl, Devin; Schall, Matthew; Maseko, Busisiwe C; Lewandowski, Albert; Raghanti, Mary A; Wicinski, Bridget; Butti, Camilla; Hopkins, William D; Bertelsen, Mads F; Walsh, Timothy; Roberts, John R; Reep, Roger L; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Manger, Paul R

    2014-01-01

    Although the basic morphological characteristics of neurons in the cerebellar cortex have been documented in several species, virtually nothing is known about the quantitative morphological characteristics of these neurons across different taxa. To that end, the present study investigated cerebellar neuronal morphology among eight different, large-brained mammalian species comprising a broad phylogenetic range: afrotherians (African elephant, Florida manatee), carnivores (Siberian tiger, clouded leopard), cetartiodactyls (humpback whale, giraffe) and primates (human, common chimpanzee). Specifically, several neuron types (e.g., stellate, basket, Lugaro, Golgi, and granule neurons; N = 317) of the cerebellar cortex were stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique and quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. There was a 64-fold variation in brain mass across species in our sample (from clouded leopard to the elephant) and a 103-fold variation in cerebellar volume. Most dendritic measures tended to increase with cerebellar volume. The cerebellar cortex in these species exhibited the trilaminate pattern common to all mammals. Morphologically, neuron types in the cerebellar cortex were generally consistent with those described in primates (Fox et al., 1967) and rodents (Palay and Chan-Palay, 1974), although there was substantial quantitative variation across species. In particular, Lugaro neurons in the elephant appeared to be disproportionately larger than those in other species. To explore potential quantitative differences in dendritic measures across species, MARSplines analyses were used to evaluate whether species could be differentiated from each other based on dendritic characteristics alone. Results of these analyses indicated that there were significant differences among all species in dendritic measures.

  16. Impact of climate change in the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in domestic carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beugnet, F; Chalvet-Monfray, K

    2013-12-01

    Vector-borne diseases are medically important in humans and animals but were long considered tropical and known to first affect production animals. This is no longer true and we can see today that they are common in domestic animals and that they are also present in temperate countries, especially in Europe. In recent years, an increase in the diagnosis of vector borne diseases among humans and animals has been observed, which may partly due to the development of diagnostic tools. Their study requires exchanges and collaborations between the many actors involved, especially since the epidemiology seems to be constantly evolving. The veterinary practitioner is the first one to notice the emergence of cases and to implement prevention measures. He also acts as a sentinel to alert epidemiologists. Many factors can explain the epidemiological changes, i.e. all human factors, such as the increase in commercial transportation, but also owners traveling with their pet during the holidays, the development of "outdoor" activities, the increase of individual housings with gardens; to these human factors must be added the ignorance of the risks, linked to animals in general and to wildlife in particular; then the environmental changes: forest fragmentation, establishment of parks; the increase of wild mammal populations (deer, carnivores, rodents, etc.); finally, climate changes. Climate change is a reality which may explain the increase of density of arthropod vectors, but also of their hosts, changes in periods of activity and variations in geographical distribution. The authors show the proof of the climate modifications and then explain how it has an impact in Europe on ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and even fleas. They conclude on the practical consequences for veterinary practitioners, especially with the diagnosis of parasitic diseases or diseases in areas where they usually do not occur. However, not any epidemiological modification should be linked to climate change

  17. Comparative neuronal morphology of the cerebellar cortex in afrotherians, carnivores, cetartiodactyls, and primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bob eJacobs

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the basic morphological characteristics of neurons in the cerebellar cortex have been documented in several species, virtually nothing is known about the quantitative morphological characteristics of these neurons across different taxa. To that end, the present study investigated cerebellar neuronal morphology among eight different, large-brained mammalian species comprising a broad phylogenetic range: afrotherians (African elephant, Florida manatee, carnivores (Siberian tiger, clouded leopard, cetartiodactyls (humpback whale, giraffe and primates (human, common chimpanzee. Specifically, several neuron types (e.g., stellate, basket, Lugaro, Golgi, and granule neurons; N = 317 of the cerebellar cortex were stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique and quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. There was a 64-fold variation in brain mass across species in our sample (from clouded leopard to the elephant and a 103-fold variation in cerebellar volume. Most dendritic measures tended to increase with cerebellar volume. The cerebellar cortex in these species exhibited the trilaminate pattern common to all mammals. Morphologically, neuron types in the cerebellar cortex were generally consistent with those described in primates (Fox et al., 1967 and rodents (Palay and Chan-Palay, 1974, although there was substantial quantitative variation across species. In particular, Lugaro neurons in the elephant appeared to be disproportionately larger than those in other species. To explore potential quantitative differences in dendritic measures across species, MARSplines analyses were used to evaluate whether species could be differentiated from each other based on dendritic characteristics alone. Results of these analyses indicated that there were significant differences among all species in dendritic measures.

  18. Slow food: insect prey and chitin induce phytohormone accumulation and gene expression in carnivorous Nepenthes plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Reichelt, Michael; Mithöfer, Axel

    2016-08-01

    Carnivorous Nepenthes plants use modified leaves forming pitfall traps to capture and digest prey, mainly insects, for additional nutrient supply. These traps, so called pitchers, contain a plant-derived fluid composed of many hydrolytic enzymes and defence-related proteins. In this study, the prey-induced induction of corresponding genes of those proteins and a role for phytohormones in this process was analysed. Tissue from insect prey-fed, chitin- and phytohormone-challenged pitchers was harvested and analysed for selected gene expressions by a quantitative PCR technique. Phytohormone levels were determined by LC-MS/MS. Nepenthesin proteolytic activities were measured in the digestive fluid using a fluorescence substrate. Insect prey in the pitchers induced the accumulation of phytohormones such as jasmonates as well as the transcription of studied genes encoding a chitinase 3 and a protease (nepenthesin I), whereas a defence-related protein (PR-1) gene was not induced. Treatment with chitin as a component of the insects' exoskeleton triggered the accumulation of jasmonates, the expression of nepenthesin I and chitinase 3 genes similar to jasmonic acid treatment, and induced protease activity in the fluid. All detectable responses were slowly induced. The results suggest that upon insect prey catch a sequence of signals is initiated: (1) insect-derived chitin, (2) jasmonate as endogenous phytohormone signal, (3) the induction of digestive gene expression and (4) protein expression. This resembles a similar hierarchy of events as described from plant pathogen/herbivore interactions, supporting the idea that carnivory evolved from plant defences. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Chromatin organization and cytological features of carnivorous Genlisea species with large genome size differences

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    Trung D. Tran

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The monophyletic carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae is characterized by a bi-directional genome size evolution resulting in a 25-fold difference in nuclear DNA content. This is one of the largest ranges found within a genus so far and makes Genlisea an interesting subject to study mechanisms of genome and karyotype evolution.G. nigrocaulis, with 86 Mbp one of the smallest plant genomes, and the 18-fold larger genome of G. hispidula (1550 Mbp possess identical chromosome numbers (2n=40 but differ considerably in chromatin organization, nuclear and cell size. Interphase nuclei of G. nigrocaulis and of related species with small genomes, G. aurea (133 Mbp, 2n=104 and G. pygmaea (179 Mbp, 2n=80, are hallmarked by intensely DAPI-stained chromocenters, carrying typical heterochromatin-associated methylation marks (5-methylcytosine, H3K9me2, while in G. hispidula and surprisingly also in the small genome of G. margaretae (184 Mbp, 2=38 the heterochromatin marks are more evenly distributed. Probes of tandem repetitive sequences together with rDNA allow the unequivocal discrimination of 13 out of 20 chromosome pairs of G. hispidula. One of the repetitive sequences labeled half of the chromosome set almost homogenously supporting an allopolyploid status of G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra (1622 Mbp, 2n=40. In G. nigrocaulis eleven chromosome pairs could be individualized using a combination of rDNA and unique genomic probes. The presented data provide a basis for future studies of karyotype evolution within the genus Genlisea.

  20. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazile, Vincent; Moran, Jonathan A; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition) and carnivory (invertebrate predation). The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15)N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15)N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants). According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection of assimilatory

  1. Floral micromorphology of the Australian carnivorous bladderwort Utricularia dunlopii, a putative pseudocopulatory species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Płachno, Bartosz J; Stpiczyńska, Małgorzata; Świątek, Piotr; Davies, Kevin L

    2016-11-01

    Flowers of sexually deceptive taxa generally possess a set of morphological and physiological characters that mimic their insect pollinators. These characters often include a specific insect-like floral configuration, together with scent glands (osmophores) that produce fragrances which chemically resemble insect sex pheromones. Furthermore, these flowers tend not to produce pollinator food rewards. According to some authors, flowers of the Australian bladderwort Utricularia dunlopii (and species of the Utricularia capilliflora complex) resemble insects, and pollination perhaps occurs by pseudocopulation. The aims of this paper are to compare the structure and distribution of floral glandular trichomes in the Australian carnivorous plant U. dunlopii with those of closely related species assigned to the same section and to discuss their putative function. Floral tissues of U. dunlopii P. Taylor, Utricularia paulinae Lowrie, Utricularia dichotoma Labill. and Utricularia uniflora R.Br. (section Pleiochasia) were investigated using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and histochemistry. In U. dunlopii, two long, erect, filiform appendages arising from the upper lip of the corolla, together with three arising from the lower lip, bear numerous glandular trichomes that may function as osmophores. In other species, such as U. uniflora and U. paulinae, glandular papillae on the corolla palate may also function as osmophores. The floral anatomical and morphological organisation of U. dunlopii differs from that of the other investigated species, indicating that its insect pollinators are also likely to differ. Morphological and ultrastructural observations, while generally contributing to our understanding of the flower of U. dunlopii, do not refute the possibility that pollination here may occur by pseudocopulation. Further field-based investigations, however, are now necessary to test this hypothesis.

  2. Secreted pitfall-trap fluid of carnivorous Nepenthes plants is unsuitable for microbial growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Franziska; Rott, Matthias; Rottloff, Sandy; Paetz, Christian; Hilke, Ines; Raessler, Michael; Mithöfer, Axel

    2013-03-01

    Carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes possess modified leaves that form pitfall traps in order to capture prey, mainly arthropods, to make additional nutrients available for the plant. These pitchers contain a digestive fluid due to the presence of hydrolytic enzymes. In this study, the composition of the digestive fluid was further analysed with regard to mineral nutrients and low molecular-weight compounds. A potential contribution of microbes to the composition of pitcher fluid was investigated. Fluids from closed pitchers were harvested and analysed for mineral nutrients using analytical techniques based on ion-chromatography and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. Secondary metabolites were identified by a combination of LC-MS and NMR. The presence of bacteria in the pitcher fluid was investigated by PCR of 16S-rRNA genes. Growth analyses of bacteria and yeast were performed in vitro with harvested pitcher fluid and in vivo within pitchers with injected microbes. The pitcher fluid from closed pitchers was found to be primarily an approx. 25-mm KCl solution, which is free of bacteria and unsuitable for microbial growth probably due to the lack of essential mineral nutrients such as phosphate and inorganic nitrogen. The fluid also contained antimicrobial naphthoquinones, plumbagin and 7-methyl-juglone, and defensive proteins such as the thaumatin-like protein. Challenging with bacteria or yeast caused bactericide as well as fungistatic properties in the fluid. Our results reveal that Nepenthes pitcher fluids represent a dynamic system that is able to react to the presence of microbes. The secreted liquid of closed and freshly opened Nepenthes pitchers is exclusively plant-derived. It is unsuitable to serve as an environment for microbial growth. Thus, Nepenthes plants can avoid and control, at least to some extent, the microbial colonization of their pitfall traps and, thereby, reduce the need to vie with microbes for the prey

  3. Traps of carnivorous pitcher plants as a habitat: composition of the fluid, biodiversity and mutualistic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Peroutka, Marianne; Lendl, Thomas

    2011-02-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants (CPPs) use cone-shaped leaves to trap animals for nutrient supply but are not able to kill all intruders of their traps. Numerous species, ranging from bacteria to vertrebrates, survive and propagate in the otherwise deadly traps. This paper reviews the literature on phytotelmata of CPPs. Fluid as a Habitat The volumes of pitchers range from 0·2 mL to 1·5 L. In Nepenthes and Cephalotus, the fluid is secreted by the trap; the other genera collect rain water. The fluid is usually acidic, rich in O(2) and contains digestive enzymes. In some taxa, toxins or detergents are found, or the fluid is extremely viscous. In Heliamphora or Sarracenia, the fluid differs little from pure water. Diversity Pitcher inquilines comprise bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, rotifers, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and amphibia. The dominant groups are protists and Dipteran larvae. The various species of CPPs host different sets of inquilines. Sarracenia purpurea hosts up to 165 species of inquilines, followed by Nepenthes ampullaria with 59 species, compared with only three species from Brocchinia reducta. Reasons for these differences include size, the life span of the pitcher as well as its fluid. MUTUALISTIC: Activities Inquilines closely interact with their host. Some live as parasites, but the vast majority are mutualists. Beneficial activities include secretion of enzymes, feeding on the plant's prey and successive excretion of inorganic nutrients, mechanical break up of the prey, removal of excessive prey and assimilation of atmospheric N(2). There is strong evidence that CPPs influence their phytotelm. Two strategies can be distinguished: (1) Nepenthes and Cephalotus produce acidic, toxic or digestive fluids and host a limited diversity of inquilines. (2) Genera without efficient enzymes such as Sarracenia or Heliamphora host diverse organisms and depend to a large extent on their symbionts for prey utilization.

  4. Genome-wide analysis of adaptive molecular evolution in the carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Librado, Pablo; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Rozas, Julio; Albert, Victor A

    2015-01-09

    The genome of the bladderwort Utricularia gibba provides an unparalleled opportunity to uncover the adaptive landscape of an aquatic carnivorous plant with unique phenotypic features such as absence of roots, development of water-filled suction bladders, and a highly ramified branching pattern. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates approximately as many genes as other plant genomes. To examine the relationship between the compactness of its genome and gene turnover, we compared the U. gibba genome with that of four other eudicot species, defining a total of 17,324 gene families (orthogroups). These families were further classified as either 1) lineage-specific expanded/contracted or 2) stable in size. The U. gibba-expanded families are generically related to three main phenotypic features: 1) trap physiology, 2) key plant morphogenetic/developmental pathways, and 3) response to environmental stimuli, including adaptations to life in aquatic environments. Further scans for signatures of protein functional specialization permitted identification of seven candidate genes with amino acid changes putatively fixed by positive Darwinian selection in the U. gibba lineage. The Arabidopsis orthologs of these genes (AXR, UMAMIT41, IGS, TAR2, SOL1, DEG9, and DEG10) are involved in diverse plant biological functions potentially relevant for U. gibba phenotypic diversification, including 1) auxin metabolism and signal transduction, 2) flowering induction and floral meristem transition, 3) root development, and 4) peptidases. Taken together, our results suggest numerous candidate genes and gene families as interesting targets for further experimental confirmation of their functional and adaptive roles in the U. gibba's unique lifestyle and highly specialized body plan. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Bazile

    Full Text Available Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition and carnivory (invertebrate predation. The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants. According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection

  6. Assessing Genetic Structure in Common but Ecologically Distinct Carnivores: The Stone Marten and Red Fox.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mafalda P Basto

    Full Text Available The identification of populations and spatial genetic patterns is important for ecological and conservation research, and spatially explicit individual-based methods have been recognised as powerful tools in this context. Mammalian carnivores are intrinsically vulnerable to habitat fragmentation but not much is known about the genetic consequences of fragmentation in common species. Stone martens (Martes foina and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes share a widespread Palearctic distribution and are considered habitat generalists, but in the Iberian Peninsula stone martens tend to occur in higher quality habitats. We compared their genetic structure in Portugal to see if they are consistent with their differences in ecological plasticity, and also to illustrate an approach to explicitly delineate the spatial boundaries of consistently identified genetic units. We analysed microsatellite data using spatial Bayesian clustering methods (implemented in the software BAPS, GENELAND and TESS, a progressive partitioning approach and a multivariate technique (Spatial Principal Components Analysis-sPCA. Three consensus Bayesian clusters were identified for the stone marten. No consensus was achieved for the red fox, but one cluster was the most probable clustering solution. Progressive partitioning and sPCA suggested additional clusters in the stone marten but they were not consistent among methods and were geographically incoherent. The contrasting results between the two species are consistent with the literature reporting stricter ecological requirements of the stone marten in the Iberian Peninsula. The observed genetic structure in the stone marten may have been influenced by landscape features, particularly rivers, and fragmentation. We suggest that an approach based on a consensus clustering solution of multiple different algorithms may provide an objective and effective means to delineate potential boundaries of inferred subpopulations. sPCA and progressive

  7. Attractants in plant protein-based diets for the carnivorous largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliveira Ana Maria Barretto de Menezes Sampaio de

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Adding attractants can improve acceptability of artificial diets by carnivorous fish fry and fingerlings, increasing intake of unpalatable feeds and improving growth rate, while reducing feeding time and feeding wastes. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of levels of inclusion of different attractants in plant protein-based diets on the performance of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides. Nine hundred juvenile largemouth bass (26.54 ± 1.53 g conditioned to accept dry, artificial feed were stocked in 60, 90-L polyethylene tanks (15 fish per group in a completely randomized design trial (n=3. Fish were fed two daily meals ad libitum at 7h00 and 17h00, for 13 days, with a diet (100% plant protein source containing either soluble fish protein - SFP (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0%; FisharonTM - FA (0.02, 0.04, 0.06, 0.08, 0.10, 0.12%; fish silage - FS (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0%; a positive control diet - pCD (10% fish meal and a negative control diet - nCD (basal diet without attractants. DL-methionine (98% and L-lysine (80% were added automatically by the formulation software to adjust available amino-acid profile of diets. Recorded performance data were: final weight, feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Fish fed diet FA0.02 presented the best growth rate, best weight gain and best feed conversion ratio. Fish fed diets containing FS as attractant presented the poorest performance.

  8. Divergent Sapovirus Strains and Infection Prevalence in Wild Carnivores in the Serengeti Ecosystem: A Long-Term Study.

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    Ximena A Olarte-Castillo

    Full Text Available The genus Sapovirus, in the family Caliciviridae, includes enteric viruses of humans and domestic animals. Information on sapovirus infection of wildlife is limited and is currently lacking for any free-ranging wildlife species in Africa. By screening a large number of predominantly fecal samples (n = 631 obtained from five carnivore species in the Serengeti ecosystem, East Africa, sapovirus RNA was detected in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta, family Hyaenidae, African lion (Panthera leo, family Felidae, and bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis, family Canidae, but not in golden or silver-backed jackals (Canis aureus and C. mesomelas, respectively, family Canidae. A phylogenetic analysis based on partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp gene sequences placed the sapovirus strains from African carnivores in a monophyletic group. Within this monophyletic group, sapovirus strains from spotted hyenas formed one independent sub-group, and those from bat-eared fox and African lion a second sub-group. The percentage nucleotide similarity between sapoviruses from African carnivores and those from other species was low (< 70.4%. Long-term monitoring of sapovirus in a population of individually known spotted hyenas from 2001 to 2012 revealed: i a relatively high overall infection prevalence (34.8%; ii the circulation of several genetically diverse variants; iii large fluctuations in infection prevalence across years, indicative of outbreaks; iv no significant difference in the likelihood of infection between animals in different age categories. The likelihood of sapovirus infection decreased with increasing hyena group size, suggesting an encounter reduction effect, but was independent of socially mediated ano-genital contact, or the extent of the area over which an individual roamed.

  9. Deficiencies in Natura 2000 for protecting recovering large carnivores: A spotlight on the wolf Canis lupus in Poland.

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    Tom A Diserens

    Full Text Available If protected areas are to remain relevant in our dynamic world they must be adapted to changes in species ranges. In the EU one of the most notable such changes is the recent recovery of large carnivores, which are protected by Natura 2000 at the national and population levels. However, the Natura 2000 network was designed prior to their recent recovery, which raises the question whether the network is sufficient to protect the contemporary ranges of large carnivores. To investigate this question we evaluated Natura 2000 coverage of the three wolf Canis lupus populations in Poland. Wolf tracking data showed that wolves have recolonised almost all suitable habitat in Poland (as determined by a recent habitat suitability model, so we calculated the overlap between the Natura 2000 network and all wolf habitat in Poland. On the basis of published Natura 2000 criteria, we used 20% as the minimum required coverage. At the national level, wolves are sufficiently protected (22% coverage, but at the population level, the Baltic and Carpathian populations are far better protected (28 and 47%, respectively than the endangered Central European Lowland population (12%. As Natura 2000 insufficiently protects the most endangered wolf population in Poland, we recommend expansion of Natura 2000 to protect at least an additional 8% of wolf habitat in western Poland, and discuss which specific forests are most in need of additional coverage. Implementation of these actions will have positive conservation implications and help Poland to fulfil its Habitats Directive obligations. As it is likely that similar gaps in Natura 2000 are arising in other EU member states experiencing large carnivore recoveries, particularly in Central Europe, we make the case for a flexible approach to Natura 2000 and suggest that such coverage evaluations may be beneficial elsewhere.

  10. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

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    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA, which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately.

  11. Mark-recapture and mark-resight methods for estimating abundance with remote cameras: a carnivore case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Robert S; McClintock, Brett T; Lyren, Lisa M; Boydston, Erin E; Crooks, Kevin R

    2015-01-01

    Abundance estimation of carnivore populations is difficult and has prompted the use of non-invasive detection methods, such as remotely-triggered cameras, to collect data. To analyze photo data, studies focusing on carnivores with unique pelage patterns have utilized a mark-recapture framework and studies of carnivores without unique pelage patterns have used a mark-resight framework. We compared mark-resight and mark-recapture estimation methods to estimate bobcat (Lynx rufus) population sizes, which motivated the development of a new "hybrid" mark-resight model as an alternative to traditional methods. We deployed a sampling grid of 30 cameras throughout the urban southern California study area. Additionally, we physically captured and marked a subset of the bobcat population with GPS telemetry collars. Since we could identify individual bobcats with photos of unique pelage patterns and a subset of the population was physically marked, we were able to use traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight methods, as well as the new "hybrid" mark-resight model we developed to estimate bobcat abundance. We recorded 109 bobcat photos during 4,669 camera nights and physically marked 27 bobcats with GPS telemetry collars. Abundance estimates produced by the traditional mark-recapture, traditional mark-resight, and "hybrid" mark-resight methods were similar, however precision differed depending on the models used. Traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight estimates were relatively imprecise with percent confidence interval lengths exceeding 100% of point estimates. Hybrid mark-resight models produced better precision with percent confidence intervals not exceeding 57%. The increased precision of the hybrid mark-resight method stems from utilizing the complete encounter histories of physically marked individuals (including those never detected by a camera trap) and the encounter histories of naturally marked individuals detected at camera traps. This new estimator may be

  12. Urban domestic dog populations as a source of canine distemper virus for wild carnivores in the Coquimbo region of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-Jamett, G; Chalmers, W S K; Cunningham, A A; Cleaveland, S; Handel, I G; Bronsvoort, B M deC

    2011-09-28

    Urban areas can support dog populations dense enough to maintain canine distemper virus (CDV) and can be a source of infection for rural dogs and free-ranging carnivores. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between urban and rural domestic dog and wild carnivore populations and their effects on the epidemiology of CDV to explain retrospectively a CD outbreak in wild foxes in 2003. From 2005 to 2007 a cross-sectional household questionnaire survey was conducted in Coquimbo and Ovalle cities, in three towns and in rural sites along two transects from these cities to the Fray Jorge National Park (FJNP) in the Coquimbo region, Chile. Blood samples were collected from unvaccinated dogs at surveyed households and from free-ranging foxes in rural areas along the transects. The seroprevalence of CDV in domestic dogs was higher in urban than in rural areas and in the later was highest in dogs born before 2001-2002. The seroprevalence of CDV in foxes was higher in areas closer to human settlements. A high seroprevalence in dogs born before 2001-2002 further supports a link between CDV patterns in rural dog and fox populations. In our study area, urban dogs are proposed to be the source of CDV infection to wild carnivores. The large dog population size and density detected in Coquimbo and Ovalle provides optimal conditions for maintaining a large and dense susceptible population of dogs, which can act as a reservoir for highly infectious diseases and could have been the source of infection in the CD outbreak in wild foxes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Disproportional plastome-wide increase of substitution rates and relaxed purifying selection in genes of carnivorous Lentibulariaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicke, Susann; Schäferhoff, Bastian; dePamphilis, Claude W; Müller, Kai F

    2014-03-01

    Carnivorous Lentibulariaceae exhibit the most sophisticated implementation of the carnivorous syndrome in plants. Their unusual lifestyle coincides with distinct genomic peculiarities such as the smallest angiosperm nuclear genomes and extremely high nucleotide substitution rates across all genomic compartments. Here, we report the complete plastid genomes from each of the three genera Pinguicula, Utricularia, and Genlisea, and investigate plastome-wide changes in their molecular evolution as the carnivorous syndrome unfolds. We observe a size reduction by up to 9% mostly due to the independent loss of genes for the plastid NAD(P)H dehydrogenase and altered proportions of plastid repeat DNA, as well as a significant plastome-wide increase of substitution rates and microstructural changes. Protein-coding genes across all gene classes show a disproportional elevation of nonsynonymous substitutions, particularly in Utricularia and Genlisea. Significant relaxation of purifying selection relative to noncarnivores occurs in the plastid-encoded fraction of the photosynthesis ATP synthase complex, the photosystem I, and in several other photosynthesis and metabolic genes. Shifts in selective regimes also affect housekeeping genes including the plastid-encoded polymerase, for which evidence for relaxed purifying selection was found once during the transition to carnivory, and a second time during the diversification of the family. Lentibulariaceae significantly exhibit enhanced rates of nucleotide substitution in most of the 130 noncoding regions. Various factors may underlie the observed patterns of relaxation of purifying selection and substitution rate increases, such as reduced net photosynthesis rates, alternative paths of nutrient uptake (including organic carbon), and impaired DNA repair mechanisms.

  14. Landscape-scale accessibility of livestock to tigers: implications of spatial grain for modeling predation risk to mitigate human–carnivore conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Jena, Jyotirmay; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-01-01

    Innovative conservation tools are greatly needed to reduce livelihood losses and wildlife declines resulting from human–carnivore conflict. Spatial risk modeling is an emerging method for assessing the spatial patterns of predator–prey interactions, with applications for mitigating carnivore attacks on livestock. Large carnivores that ambush prey attack and kill over small areas, requiring models at fine spatial grains to predict livestock depredation hot spots. To detect the best resolution for predicting where carnivores access livestock, we examined the spatial attributes associated with livestock killed by tigers in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, using risk models generated at 20, 100, and 200-m spatial grains. We analyzed land-use, human presence, and vegetation structure variables at 138 kill sites and 439 random sites to identify key landscape attributes where livestock were vulnerable to tigers. Land-use and human presence variables contributed strongly to predation risk models, with most variables showing high relative importance (≥0.85) at all spatial grains. The risk of a tiger killing livestock increased near dense forests and near the boundary of the park core zone where human presence is restricted. Risk was nonlinearly related to human infrastructure and open vegetation, with the greatest risk occurring 1.2 km from roads, 1.1 km from villages, and 8.0 km from scrubland. Kill sites were characterized by denser, patchier, and more complex vegetation with lower visibility than random sites. Risk maps revealed high-risk hot spots inside of the core zone boundary and in several patches in the human-dominated buffer zone. Validation against known kills revealed predictive accuracy for only the 20 m model, the resolution best representing the kill stage of hunting for large carnivores that ambush prey, like the tiger. Results demonstrate that risk models developed at fine spatial grains can offer accurate guidance on landscape attributes livestock

  15. Single Mutations in the VP2 300 Loop Region of the Three-Fold Spike of the Carnivore Parvovirus Capsid Can Determine Host Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organtini, Lindsey J.; Zhang, Sheng; Hafenstein, Susan L.; Holmes, Edward C.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Sylvatic carnivores, such as raccoons, have recently been recognized as important hosts in the evolution of canine parvovirus (CPV), a pandemic pathogen of domestic dogs. Although viruses from raccoons do not efficiently bind the dog transferrin receptor (TfR) or infect dog cells, a single mutation changing an aspartic acid to a glycine at capsid (VP2) position 300 in the prototype raccoon CPV allows dog cell infection. Because VP2 position 300 exhibits extensive amino acid variation among the carnivore parvoviruses, we further investigated its role in determining host range by analyzing its diversity and evolution in nature and by creating a comprehensive set of VP2 position 300 mutants in infectious clones. Notably, some position 300 residues rendered CPV noninfectious for dog, but not cat or fox, cells. Changes of adjacent residues (residues 299 and 301) were also observed often after cell culture passage in different hosts, and some of the mutations mimicked changes seen in viruses recovered from natural infections of alternative hosts, suggesting that compensatory mutations were selected to accommodate the new residue at position 300. Analysis of the TfRs of carnivore hosts used in the experimental evolution studies demonstrated that their glycosylation patterns varied, including a glycan present only on the domestic dog TfR that dictates susceptibility to parvoviruses. Overall, there were significant differences in the abilities of viruses with alternative position 300 residues to bind TfRs and infect different carnivore hosts, demonstrating that the process of infection is highly host dependent and that VP2 position 300 is a key determinant of host range. IMPORTANCE Although the emergence and pandemic spread of canine parvovirus (CPV) are well documented, the carnivore hosts and evolutionary pathways involved in its emergence remain enigmatic. We recently demonstrated that a region in the capsid structure of CPV, centered around VP2 position 300

  16. Genome of the Tasmanian tiger provides insights into the evolution and demography of an extinct marsupial carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigin, Charles Y; Newton, Axel H; Doronina, Liliya; Schmitz, Jürgen; Hipsley, Christy A; Mitchell, Kieren J; Gower, Graham; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Heider, Thomas N; Menzies, Brandon R; Cooper, Alan; O'Neill, Rachel J; Pask, Andrew J

    2018-01-01

    The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest carnivorous Australian marsupial to survive into the modern era. Despite last sharing a common ancestor with the eutherian canids ~160 million years ago, their phenotypic resemblance is considered the most striking example of convergent evolution in mammals. The last known thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and many aspects of the evolutionary history of this unique marsupial apex predator remain unknown. Here we have sequenced the genome of a preserved thylacine pouch young specimen to clarify the phylogenetic position of the thylacine within the carnivorous marsupials, reconstruct its historical demography and examine the genetic basis of its convergence with canids. Retroposon insertion patterns placed the thylacine as the basal lineage in Dasyuromorphia and suggest incomplete lineage sorting in early dasyuromorphs. Demographic analysis indicated a long-term decline in genetic diversity starting well before the arrival of humans in Australia. In spite of their extraordinary phenotypic convergence, comparative genomic analyses demonstrated that amino acid homoplasies between the thylacine and canids are largely consistent with neutral evolution. Furthermore, the genes and pathways targeted by positive selection differ markedly between these species. Together, these findings support models of adaptive convergence driven primarily by cis-regulatory evolution.

  17. Peculiarities of one-carbon metabolism in the strict carnivorous cat and the role in feline hepatic lipidosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbrugghe, Adronie; Bakovic, Marica

    2013-07-19

    Research in various species has indicated that diets deficient in labile methyl groups (methionine, choline, betaine, folate) produce fatty liver and links to steatosis and metabolic syndrome, but also provides evidence of the importance of labile methyl group balance to maintain normal liver function. Cats, being obligate carnivores, rely on nutrients in animal tissues and have, due to evolutionary pressure, developed several physiological and metabolic adaptations, including a number of peculiarities in protein and fat metabolism. This has led to specific and unique nutritional requirements. Adult cats require more dietary protein than omnivorous species, maintain a consistently high rate of protein oxidation and gluconeogenesis and are unable to adapt to reduced protein intake. Furthermore, cats have a higher requirement for essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hastened use coupled with an inability to conserve certain amino acids, including methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine, necessitates a higher dietary intake for cats compared to most other species. Cats also seemingly require higher amounts of several B-vitamins compared to other species and are predisposed to depletion during prolonged inappetance. This carnivorous uniqueness makes cats more susceptible to hepatic lipidosis.

  18. Roads influence movement and home ranges of a fragmentation-sensitive carnivore, the bobcat, in an urban landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poessel, Sharon A; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Alonso, Robert S.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Roads in urbanized areas can impact carnivore populations by constraining their movements and increasing mortality. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are felids capable of living in urban environments, but are sensitive to habitat fragmentation and, thus, useful indicators of landscape connectivity; in particular, bobcat habitat selection, movement, and mortality may be affected by roads. We analyzed movement patterns of 52 bobcats in southern California in three study sites and investigated: (1) how bobcats responded to two types of roads within their home ranges; (2) how they placed their home ranges with respect to roads within the study area; and (3) whether male and female bobcats differed in their behavioral responses to roads. Within home ranges, primary and secondary roads did not influence movements, but bobcats more frequently crossed secondary roads when road densities were higher within their home ranges, thus increasing mortality risk. However, road densities within each study site were several times higher than road densities within home ranges, suggesting bobcats selected against roaded areas in home-range placement. Male home ranges bordering roads were smaller than home ranges for other males, but male home ranges containing roads were larger than those without roads. Male bobcats also were more likely to cross roads than females, potentially reflecting larger male home range sizes. Our results suggest roads have important impacts on urban bobcats, with stronger effects on males than females, and continued efforts to mitigate the effects of roads on carnivores and other fragmentation-sensitive species would help promote connectivity conservation in urban systems.

  19. Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marica Bakovic

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Research in various species has indicated that diets deficient in labile methyl groups (methionine, choline, betaine, folate produce fatty liver and links to steatosis and metabolic syndrome, but also provides evidence of the importance of labile methyl group balance to maintain normal liver function. Cats, being obligate carnivores, rely on nutrients in animal tissues and have, due to evolutionary pressure, developed several physiological and metabolic adaptations, including a number of peculiarities in protein and fat metabolism. This has led to specific and unique nutritional requirements. Adult cats require more dietary protein than omnivorous species, maintain a consistently high rate of protein oxidation and gluconeogenesis and are unable to adapt to reduced protein intake. Furthermore, cats have a higher requirement for essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hastened use coupled with an inability to conserve certain amino acids, including methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine, necessitates a higher dietary intake for cats compared to most other species. Cats also seemingly require higher amounts of several B-vitamins compared to other species and are predisposed to depletion during prolonged inappetance. This carnivorous uniqueness makes cats more susceptible to hepatic lipidosis.

  20. Environmental Impact and Relative Invasiveness of Free-Roaming Domestic Carnivores-a North American Survey of Governmental Agencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepe, Ana; Kaplan, Valerie; Arreaza, Alirio; Szpanderfer, Robert; Bristol, David; Sinclair, M Scott

    2017-10-14

    A survey of the United States and Canadian governmental agencies investigated the environmental impact and relative invasiveness of free-roaming domestic non-native carnivores-dogs, cats, and ferrets. Agencies represented wildlife, fish, game, natural or environmental resources, parks and recreation, veterinary and human health, animal control, and agriculture. Respondents were asked to document the number and frequency of sightings of unconfined animals, evidence for environmental harm, and the resulting "degree of concern" in their respective jurisdictions. Results confirmed the existence of feral (breeding) cats and dogs, documenting high levels of concern regarding the impact of these animals on both continental and surrounding insular habitats. Except for occasional strays, no free-roaming or feral ferrets were reported; nor were there reports of ferrets impacting native wildlife, including ground-nesting birds, or sensitive species. This is the first study to report the relative impact of free-roaming domestic carnivores. Dogs and cats meet the current definition of "invasive" species, whereas ferrets do not. Differences in how each species impacts the North American environment highlights the complex interaction between non-native species and their environment. Public attitudes and perceptions regarding these species may be a factor in their control and agency management priorities.

  1. The role of electrical and jasmonate signalling in the recognition of captured prey in the carnivorous sundew plant Drosera capensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krausko, Miroslav; Perutka, Zdeněk; Šebela, Marek; Šamajová, Olga; Šamaj, Jozef; Novák, Ondřej; Pavlovič, Andrej

    2017-03-01

    The carnivorous sundew plant (Drosera capensis) captures prey using sticky tentacles. We investigated the tentacle and trap reactions in response to the electrical and jasmonate signalling evoked by different stimuli to reveal how carnivorous sundews recognize digestible captured prey in their traps. We measured the electrical signals, phytohormone concentration, enzyme activities and Chla fluorescence in response to mechanical stimulation, wounding or insect feeding in local and systemic traps. Seven new proteins in the digestive fluid were identified using mass spectrometry. Mechanical stimuli and live prey induced a fast, localized tentacle-bending reaction and enzyme secretion at the place of application. By contrast, repeated wounding induced a nonlocalized convulsive tentacle movement and enzyme secretion in local but also in distant systemic traps. These differences can be explained in terms of the electrical signal propagation and jasmonate accumulation, which also had a significant impact on the photosynthesis in the traps. The electrical signals generated in response to wounding could partially mimic a mechanical stimulation of struggling prey and might trigger a false alarm, confirming that the botanical carnivory and plant defence mechanisms are related. To trigger the full enzyme activity, the traps must detect chemical stimuli from the captured prey. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. In vitro anti-inflammatory components isolated from the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis (Lour.) Rafarin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thao, Nguyen Phuong; Luyen, Bui Thi Thuy; Koo, Jung Eun; Kim, Sohyun; Koh, Young Sang; Thanh, Nguyen Van; Cuong, Nguyen Xuan; Kiem, Phan Van; Minh, Chau Van; Kim, Young Ho

    2016-01-01

    Nepenthes mirabilis (Lour.) Rafarin (Nepenthaceae) is a carnivorous plant used as a folk medicine in the treatment of jaundice, hepatitis, gastric ulcers, ureteral stones, diarrhea, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Neither the phytochemical content nor biological activities of N. mirabilis have been reported. The anti-inflammatory activity from the N. mirabilis methanolic extract led to the isolation of compounds (1-26). Chromatographic methods were used to isolate compounds from the methanol extract of N. mirabilis branches and leaves. The anti-inflammatory activity of these isolated compounds was investigated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) using ELISA. Primary BMDCs were used to examine the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-12 p40, IL-6, and TNF-α, at concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, and 1.0 μM) as compared with a positive control, SB203580 (1.0 μM). MTT assays showed that isolated compounds (1-26) did not exhibit significant cytotoxicity at concentrations up to 20.0 μM. Compound 9 showed potent inhibition of IL-12 p40, IL-6, and TNF-α production (IC50 = 0.17 ± 0.02, 0.46 ± 0.01, and 8.28 ± 0.21 μM, respectively). Compound 4 showed potent inhibition of IL-12 p40 and IL-6 production (IC50 = 1.17 ± 0.01 and 2.15 ± 0.04 μM). In addition, IL-12 p40 inhibition by naphthalene derivatives (1-7, 9, and 10), phenolic compounds (11-15), lupeone (18), and flavonoids (22, 25, and 26) was more potent than with the positive control. The isolated compounds exhibited little and/or no inhibitory effects on TNF-α production in LPS-stimulated BMDCs. Taken together, these data suggest that the isolated components have significant inhibitory effects on pro-inflammatory cytokine production and warrant further study concerning their potential medicinal use.

  3. Tracking cats: problems with placing feline carnivores on δO, δD isoscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Pietsch

    Full Text Available Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δD(h, δ(18O(h can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δD(h and δ(18O(h requires confirmation from animal tissues of known origin and a detailed understanding of the isotopic routing of dietary nutrients into felid hair.We used coupled δD(h and δ(18O(h measurements from the North American bobcat (Lynx rufus and puma (Puma concolor with precipitation-based assignment isoscapes to test the feasibility of isotopic geo-location of felidae. Hairs of felid and rabbit museum specimens from 75 sites across the United States and Canada were analyzed. Bobcat and puma lacked a significant correlation between H/O isotopes in hair and local waters, and also exhibited an isotopic decoupling of δ(18O(h and δD(h. Conversely, strong δD and δ(18O coupling was found for key prey, eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus; hair and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; collagen, bone phosphate.Puma and bobcat hairs do not adhere to expected pattern of H and O isotopic variation predicted by precipitation isoscapes for North America. Thus, using bulk hair, felids cannot be placed on δ(18O and δD isoscapes for use in forensic investigations. The effective application of isotopes to trace the provenance of feline carnivores is likely compromised by major controls of their diet, physiology and metabolism on hair δ(18O and δD related to body water budgets. Controlled feeding experiments, combined with single amino acid isotope analysis of diets and hair, are needed to reveal mechanisms and physiological traits explaining why felid hair does not follow isotopic patterns

  4. Tracking Cats: Problems with Placing Feline Carnivores on δ18O, δD Isoscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietsch, Stephanie J.; Hobson, Keith A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I.; Tütken, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δDh, δ18Oh) can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δDh and δ18Oh requires confirmation from animal tissues of known origin and a detailed understanding of the isotopic routing of dietary nutrients into felid hair. Methodology/Findings We used coupled δDh and δ18Oh measurements from the North American bobcat (Lynx rufus) and puma (Puma concolor) with precipitation-based assignment isoscapes to test the feasibility of isotopic geo-location of felidae. Hairs of felid and rabbit museum specimens from 75 sites across the United States and Canada were analyzed. Bobcat and puma lacked a significant correlation between H/O isotopes in hair and local waters, and also exhibited an isotopic decoupling of δ18Oh and δDh. Conversely, strong δD and δ18O coupling was found for key prey, eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus; hair) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; collagen, bone phosphate). Conclusions/Significance Puma and bobcat hairs do not adhere to expected pattern of H and O isotopic variation predicted by precipitation isoscapes for North America. Thus, using bulk hair, felids cannot be placed on δ18O and δD isoscapes for use in forensic investigations. The effective application of isotopes to trace the provenance of feline carnivores is likely compromised by major controls of their diet, physiology and metabolism on hair δ18O and δD related to body water budgets. Controlled feeding experiments, combined with single amino acid isotope analysis of diets and hair, are needed to reveal mechanisms and physiological traits explaining why felid hair does

  5. Oligotyping reveals differences between gut microbiomes of free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivores (Acinonyx jubatus, Canis mesomelas) on a bacterial species-like level

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Menke, S.; Wasimuddin, Wasimuddin; Meier, M.; Melzheimer, J.; Mfune, J. K. E.; Heinrich, S.; Thalwitzer, S.; Wachter, B.; Sommer, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 526 (2014), s. 526 ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA MŠk EE2.3.20.0303 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : gut microbiome * bacteria * oligotyping * carnivores * cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) * black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) * Namibia Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.989, year: 2014

  6. Risk assessment of metals and organic pollutants for herbivorous and carnivorous small mammal food chains in a polluted floodplain (Biesbosch, The Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamers, T.H.M.; Berg, van den J.H.J.; Gestel, van C.A.M.; Schooten, van F.J.; Murk, A.J.

    2006-01-01

    A risk assessment was made for a carnivorous and a herbivorous food chain in a heavily polluted natural estuary (Biesbosch), by determining the most critical pollutants and the food chain most at risk. Exposure of food chains to metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated

  7. The effects of local and landscape-scale habitat characteristics and prey availability on corridor use by carnivores: A comparison of two contrasting farmlands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Červinka, J.; Šálek, Martin; Padyšáková, E.; Šmilauer, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 2 (2013), s. 105-113 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Agricultural landscape * Carnivores * Corridors * Czech Republic * Habitat characteristics * Prey availability Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.833, year: 2013

  8. Glucan-rich diet is digested and taken up by the carnivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.): implication for a novel role of plant β-1,3-glucanases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalko, Jaroslav; Socha, Peter; Mészáros, Patrik; Blehová, Alžbeta; Libantová, Jana; Moravčíková, Jana; Matušíková, Ildikó

    2013-10-01

    Carnivory in plants evolved as an adaptation strategy to nutrient-poor environments. Thanks to specialized traps, carnivorous plants can gain nutrients from various heterotrophic sources such as small insects. Digestion in traps requires a coordinated action of several hydrolytic enzymes that break down complex substances into simple absorbable nutrients. Among these, several pathogenesis-related proteins including β-1,3-glucanases have previously been identified in digestive fluid of some carnivorous species. Here we show that a single acidic endo-β-1,3-glucanase of ~50 kDa is present in the digestive fluid of the flypaper-trapped sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.). The enzyme is inducible with a complex plant β-glucan laminarin from which it releases simple saccharides when supplied to leaves as a substrate. Moreover, thin-layer chromatography of digestive exudates showed that the simplest degradation products (especially glucose) are taken up by the leaves. These results for the first time point on involvement of β-1,3-glucanases in digestion of carnivorous plants and demonstrate the uptake of saccharide-based compounds by traps. Such a strategy could enable the plant to utilize other types of nutritional sources e.g., pollen grains, fungal spores or detritus from environment. Possible multiple roles of β-1,3-glucanases in the digestive fluid of carnivorous sundew are also discussed.

  9. Rates and modes of body size evolution in early carnivores and herbivores: a case study from Captorhinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Brocklehurst

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Body size is an extremely important characteristic, impacting on a variety of ecological and life-history traits. It is therefore important to understand the factors which may affect its evolution, and diet has attracted much interest in this context. A recent study which examined the evolution of the earliest terrestrial herbivores in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian concluded that in the four herbivorous clades examined there was a trend towards increased body size, and that this increase was more substantial than that observed in closely related carnivorous clades. However, this hypothesis was not based on quantitative examination, and phylogenetic comparative methods provide a more robust means of testing such hypotheses. Here, the evolution of body size within different dietary regimes is examined in Captorhinidae, the most diverse and longest lived of these earliest high fibre herbivores. Evolutionary models were fit to their phylogeny to test for variation in rate and mode of evolution between the carnivorous and herbivorous members of this clade, and an analysis of rate variation throughout the tree was carried out. Estimates of ancestral body sizes were calculated in order to compare the rates and direction of evolution of lineages with different dietary regimes. Support for the idea that the high fibre herbivores within captorhinids are being drawn to a higher adaptive peak in body size than the carnivorous members of this clade is weak. A shift in rates of body size evolution is identified, but this does not coincide with the evolution of high-fibre herbivory, instead occurring earlier in time and at a more basal node. Herbivorous lineages which show an increase in size are not found to evolve at a faster rate than those which show a decrease; in fact, it is those which experience a size decrease which evolve at higher rates. It is possible the shift in rates of evolution is related to the improved food processing ability of

  10. Piroplasmosis in wildlife: Babesia and Theileria affecting free-ranging ungulates and carnivores in the Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Piroplasmosis are among the most relevant diseases of domestic animals. Babesia is emerging as cause of tick-borne zoonosis worldwide and free-living animals are reservoir hosts of several zoonotic Babesia species. We investigated the epidemiology of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in wild ungulates and carnivores from Northern Italy to determine which of these apicomplexan species circulate in wildlife and their prevalence of infection. Methods PCR amplification of the V4 hyper-variable region of the 18S rDNA of Babesia sp./Theileria sp was carried out on spleen samples of 1036 wild animals: Roe deer Capreolus capreolus (n = 462), Red deer Cervus elaphus (n = 52), Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra (n = 36), Fallow deer Dama dama (n = 17), Wild boar Sus scrofa (n = 257), Red fox Vulpes vulpes (n = 205) and Wolf Canis lupus (n = 7). Selected positive samples were sequenced to determine the species of amplified Babesia/Theileria DNA. Results Babesia/Theileria DNA was found with a mean prevalence of 9.94% (IC95% 8.27-11.91). The only piroplasms found in carnivores was Theileria annae, which was detected in two foxes (0.98%; IC95% 0.27-3.49). Red deer showed the highest prevalence of infection (44.23%; IC95% 31.6-57.66), followed by Alpine chamois (22.22%; IC95% 11.71-38.08), Roe deer (12.55%; IC95% 9.84-15.89), and Wild boar (4.67%; IC95% 2.69-7.98). Genetic analysis identified Babesia capreoli as the most prevalent piroplasmid found in Alpine chamois, Roe deer and Red deer, followed by Babesia bigemina (found in Roe deer, Red deer and Wild boar), and the zoonotic Babesia venatorum (formerly Babesia sp. EU1) isolated from 2 Roe deer. Piroplasmids of the genus Theileria were identified in Wild boar and Red deer. Conclusions The present study offers novel insights into the role of wildlife in Babesia/Theileria epidemiology, as well as relevant information on genetic variability of piroplasmids infecting wild ungulates and

  11. Rates and modes of body size evolution in early carnivores and herbivores: a case study from Captorhinidae

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Body size is an extremely important characteristic, impacting on a variety of ecological and life-history traits. It is therefore important to understand the factors which may affect its evolution, and diet has attracted much interest in this context. A recent study which examined the evolution of the earliest terrestrial herbivores in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian concluded that in the four herbivorous clades examined there was a trend towards increased body size, and that this increase was more substantial than that observed in closely related carnivorous clades. However, this hypothesis was not based on quantitative examination, and phylogenetic comparative methods provide a more robust means of testing such hypotheses. Here, the evolution of body size within different dietary regimes is examined in Captorhinidae, the most diverse and longest lived of these earliest high fibre herbivores. Evolutionary models were fit to their phylogeny to test for variation in rate and mode of evolution between the carnivorous and herbivorous members of this clade, and an analysis of rate variation throughout the tree was carried out. Estimates of ancestral body sizes were calculated in order to compare the rates and direction of evolution of lineages with different dietary regimes. Support for the idea that the high fibre herbivores within captorhinids are being drawn to a higher adaptive peak in body size than the carnivorous members of this clade is weak. A shift in rates of body size evolution is identified, but this does not coincide with the evolution of high-fibre herbivory, instead occurring earlier in time and at a more basal node. Herbivorous lineages which show an increase in size are not found to evolve at a faster rate than those which show a decrease; in fact, it is those which experience a size decrease which evolve at higher rates. It is possible the shift in rates of evolution is related to the improved food processing ability of the more derived

  12. Piroplasmosis in wildlife: Babesia and Theileria affecting free-ranging ungulates and carnivores in the Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanet, Stefania; Trisciuoglio, Anna; Bottero, Elisa; de Mera, Isabel Garcia Fernández; Gortazar, Christian; Carpignano, Maria Grazia; Ferroglio, Ezio

    2014-02-17

    Piroplasmosis are among the most relevant diseases of domestic animals. Babesia is emerging as cause of tick-borne zoonosis worldwide and free-living animals are reservoir hosts of several zoonotic Babesia species. We investigated the epidemiology of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in wild ungulates and carnivores from Northern Italy to determine which of these apicomplexan species circulate in wildlife and their prevalence of infection. PCR amplification of the V4 hyper-variable region of the 18S rDNA of Babesia sp./Theileria sp was carried out on spleen samples of 1036 wild animals: Roe deer Capreolus capreolus (n = 462), Red deer Cervus elaphus (n = 52), Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra (n = 36), Fallow deer Dama dama (n = 17), Wild boar Sus scrofa (n = 257), Red fox Vulpes vulpes (n = 205) and Wolf Canis lupus (n = 7). Selected positive samples were sequenced to determine the species of amplified Babesia/Theileria DNA. Babesia/Theileria DNA was found with a mean prevalence of 9.94% (IC95% 8.27-11.91). The only piroplasms found in carnivores was Theileria annae, which was detected in two foxes (0.98%; IC95% 0.27-3.49). Red deer showed the highest prevalence of infection (44.23%; IC95% 31.6-57.66), followed by Alpine chamois (22.22%; IC95% 11.71-38.08), Roe deer (12.55%; IC95% 9.84-15.89), and Wild boar (4.67%; IC95% 2.69-7.98). Genetic analysis identified Babesia capreoli as the most prevalent piroplasmid found in Alpine chamois, Roe deer and Red deer, followed by Babesia bigemina (found in Roe deer, Red deer and Wild boar), and the zoonotic Babesia venatorum (formerly Babesia sp. EU1) isolated from 2 Roe deer. Piroplasmids of the genus Theileria were identified in Wild boar and Red deer. The present study offers novel insights into the role of wildlife in Babesia/Theileria epidemiology, as well as relevant information on genetic variability of piroplasmids infecting wild ungulates and carnivores.

  13. The bamboo-eating giant panda harbors a carnivore-like gut microbiota, with excessive seasonal variations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhengsheng; Zhang, Wenping; Wang, Linghua; Hou, Rong; Zhang, Menghui; Fei, Lisong; Zhang, Xiaojun; Huang, He; Bridgewater, Laura C; Jiang, Yi; Jiang, Chenglin; Zhao, Liping; Pang, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Zhihe

    2015-05-19

    The giant panda evolved from omnivorous bears. It lives on a bamboo-dominated diet at present, but it still retains a typical carnivorous digestive system and is genetically deficient in cellulose-digesting enzymes. To find out whether this endangered mammalian species, like other herbivores, has successfully developed a gut microbiota adapted to its fiber-rich diet, we conducted a 16S rRNA gene-based large-scale structural profiling of the giant panda fecal microbiota. Forty-five captive individuals were sampled in spring, summer, and late autumn within 1 year. Significant intraindividual variations in the diversity and structure of gut microbiota across seasons were observed in this population, which were even greater than the variations between individuals. Compared with published data sets involving 124 gut microbiota profiles from 54 mammalian species, these giant pandas, together with 9 captive and 7 wild individuals investigated previously, showed extremely low gut microbiota diversity and an overall structure that diverged from those of nonpanda herbivores but converged with those of carnivorous and omnivorous bears. The giant panda did not harbor putative cellulose-degrading phylotypes such as Ruminococcaceae and Bacteroides bacteria that are typically enriched in other herbivores, but instead, its microbiota was dominated by Escherichia/Shigella and Streptococcus bacteria. Members of the class Clostridia were common and abundant in the giant panda gut microbiota, but most of the members present were absent in other herbivores and were not phylogenetically related with known cellulolytic lineages. Therefore, the giant panda appears not to have evolved a gut microbiota compatible with its newly adopted diet, which may adversely influence the coevolutionary fitness of this herbivore. The giant panda, an endangered mammalian species endemic to western China, is well known for its unique bamboo diet. Unlike other herbivores that have successfully evolved

  14. Resource availability and competition intensity in the carnivore guild of the Early Pleistocene site of Venta Micena (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Palmqvist, Paul; Ros-Montoya, Sergio; Espigares, M. Patrocinio; Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido

    2017-05-01

    With an age of ∼1.6-1.5 Ma, the Early Pleistocene site of Venta Micena (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain) has provided the large mammals assemblage of Late Villafranchian age with higher preservational completeness in Western Europe and offers a unique opportunity to analyze the food webs of the mammalian paleocommunity before the first human arrival in this continent. Taphonomic analysis of the fossil assemblage has shown evidence of carnivore involvement, particularly hyenas, in the bone accumulating process. In this study we use a mathematical approach based on Leslie matrices to quantify the biomass of ungulates available to the members of the carnivore guild as well as the pattern of resource partitioning and competition intensity among them. The results obtained show that although the biomass of primary consumers available to the secondary consumers was lower than the value expected under optimal conditions, more than half the individuals and biomass of carnivores expected would be reached, which allowed a viable ecosystem in Venta Micena. In fact, the biomass available for the members of the carnivore guild is 25-30% greater than the estimates obtained for two nearby sites, Barranco León-D and Fuente Nueva-3, which are somewhat younger (∼1.4 Ma) and preserve the oldest evidence on human presence in this region. Given that the competition intensity estimated in the carnivore guild of Venta Micena was lower than in the latter sites, this suggests that the timing of the first human dispersal in Western Europe was probably not a matter of ecological opportunity.

  15. Canine distemper outbreak in raccoons suggests pathogen interspecies transmission amongst alien and native carnivores in urban areas from Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rentería-Solís, Zaida; Förster, Christine; Aue, Angelika; Wittstatt, Ulrich; Wibbelt, Gudrun; König, Matthias

    2014-11-07

    From December 2012 to May 2013, an outbreak occurred among urban wild carnivores from Berlin. We collected 97 free-ranging raccoons from the city area. PCR assays, histopathology and immunohistochemistry confirmed canine distemper virus (CDV) infection in 74 raccoons. Phylogenetic analysis of haemagglutinin gene fragments (1767 nucleotides) of CDV isolated from four raccoons showed close relation to CDV isolates from foxes from Germany and a domestic dog from Hungary; all belonging to the "Europe" lineage of CDV. These study results suggest an inter-species transmission of CDV as the origin for the outbreak among the raccoon population. Implications for domestic pets and suggested interspecies transmission between urban wildlife and raccoons are discussed. This is the first major outbreak of CDV amongst free-ranging raccoons in Europe. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Intérêt de la supplémentation en antioxydants dans l'alimentation des carnivores domestiques

    OpenAIRE

    Pastre, Justine

    2005-01-01

    Pour renforcer les défenses antioxydantes de l'organisme et prévenir l'apparition de lésions dues à l'oxydation, les chercheurs se sont interrogés sur l'utilité de différentes molécules antioxydantes en supplémentation dans l'alimentation, telles les vitamines E et C, les caroténoïdes, la taurine et quelques minéraux et oligo-éléments (sélenium, magnésium, zinc, manganèse). L'étude bibliographique des travaux réalisés chez l'homme et chez les carnivores domestiques a montré que l'emploi de ce...

  17. Characterization and heterologous expression of a PR-1 protein from traps of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Franziska; Pauchet, Yannick; Rott, Matthias; Mithöfer, Axel

    2014-04-01

    Carnivorous plants capture and digest prey to obtain additional nutrients. Therefore, different trapping mechanisms were developed in different species. Plants of the genus Nepenthes possess pitfall-traps filled with a digestive fluid, which is secreted by the plants themselves. This pitcher fluid is composed of various enzymes to digest the captured prey. Besides hydrolytic enzymes, defense-related proteins have been identified in the fluid. The present study describes the identification and heterologous expression of a pathogenesis-related protein, NmPR-1, from pitchers of Nepenthes mirabilis with features that are unusual for PR-1 proteins. In particular, it was proven to be highly glycosylated and, furthermore, it exhibited antibacterial instead of antifungal activities. These properties are probably due to the specific environment of the pitcher fluid. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. A rapid and efficient method for isolating high quality DNA from leaves of carnivorous plants from the Drosera genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biteau, Flore; Nisse, Estelle; Hehn, Alain; Miguel, Sissi; Hannewald, Paul; Bourgaud, Frédéric

    2012-07-01

    Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera capensis, and Drosera regia are carnivorous plants of the sundew family, characterized by the presence of stalked and sticky glands on the upper leaf surface, to attract, trap, and digest insects. These plants contain exceptionally high amounts of polysaccharides, polyphenols, and other secondary metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and subsequent enzymatic reactions such as PCR amplification. We present here a protocol for quick isolation of Drosera DNA with high yield and a high level of purity, by combining a borate extraction buffer with a commercial DNA extraction kit, and a proteinase K treatment during extraction. The yield of genomic DNA is from 13.36 μg/g of fresh weight to 35.29 μg/g depending of the species of Drosera, with a A₂₆₀/A₂₈₀ ratio of 1.43-1.92. Moreover, the procedure is quick and can be completed in 2.5 h.

  19. Genetic Predictions of Prion Disease Susceptibility in Carnivore Species Based on Variability of the Prion Gene Coding Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Paula; Campbell, Lauren; Skogtvedt, Susan; Griffin, Karen A.; Arnemo, Jon M.; Tryland, Morten; Girling, Simon; Miller, Michael W.; Tranulis, Michael A.; Goldmann, Wilfred

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE) during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD) remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrPC) largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrPC protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo) and pine marten (Martes martes) were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus) and mountain lion (Puma concolor) from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter. PMID:23236380

  20. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Stewart

    Full Text Available Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo and pine marten (Martes martes were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus and mountain lion (Puma concolor from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

  1. A rabies virus vampire bat variant shows increased neuroinvasiveness in mice when compared to a carnivore variant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesquita, Leonardo Pereira; Gamon, Thais Helena Martins; Cuevas, Silvia Elena Campusano; Asano, Karen Miyuki; Fahl, Willian de Oliveira; Iamamoto, Keila; Scheffer, Karin Correa; Achkar, Samira Maria; Zanatto, Dennis Albert; Mori, Cláudia Madalena Cabrera; Maiorka, Paulo César; Mori, Enio

    2017-12-01

    Rabies is one of the most important zoonotic diseases and is caused by several rabies virus (RABV) variants. These variants can exhibit differences in neurovirulence, and few studies have attempted to evaluate the neuroinvasiveness of variants derived from vampire bats and wild carnivores. The aim of this study was to evaluate the neuropathogenesis of infection with two Brazilian RABV street variants (variant 3 and crab-eating fox) in mice. BALB/c mice were inoculated with RABV through the footpad, with the 50% mouse lethal dose (LD 50 ) determined by intracranial inoculation. The morbidity of rabies in mice infected with variant 3 and the crab-eating fox strain was 100% and 50%, respectively, with an incubation period of 7 and 6 days post-inoculation (dpi), respectively. The clinical disease in mice was similar with both strains, and it was characterized initially by weight loss, ruffled fur, hunched posture, and hind limb paralysis progressing to quadriplegia and recumbency at 9 to 12 dpi. Histological lesions within the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by nonsuppurative encephalomyelitis with neuronal degeneration and necrosis were observed in mice infected with variant 3 and those infected with the crab-eating fox variant. However, lesions and the presence of RABV antigen, were more widespread within the CNS of variant-3-infected mice, whereas in crab-eating fox-variant-infected mice, RABV antigens were more restricted to caudal areas of the CNS, such as the spinal cord and brainstem. In conclusion, the results shown here demonstrate that the RABV vampire bat strain (variant 3) has a higher potential for neuroinvasiveness than the carnivore variant.

  2. Using molecular epidemiology to track Toxoplasma gondii from terrestrial carnivores to marine hosts: implications for public health and conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth VanWormer

    Full Text Available Environmental transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is shed only by felids, poses risks to human and animal health in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Atypical T. gondii genotypes have been linked to severe disease in people and the threatened population of California sea otters. To investigate land-to-sea parasite transmission, we screened 373 carnivores (feral domestic cats, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes for T. gondii infection and examined the distribution of genotypes in 85 infected animals sampled near the sea otter range.Nested PCR-RFLP analyses and direct DNA sequencing at six independent polymorphic genetic loci (B1, SAG1, SAG3, GRA6, L358, and Apico were used to characterize T. gondii strains in infected animals. Strains consistent with Type X, a novel genotype previously identified in over 70% of infected sea otters and four terrestrial wild carnivores along the California coast, were detected in all sampled species, including domestic cats. However, odds of Type X infection were 14 times higher (95% CI: 1.3-148.6 for wild felids than feral domestic cats. Type X infection was also linked to undeveloped lands (OR = 22, 95% CI: 2.3-250.7. A spatial cluster of terrestrial Type II infection (P = 0.04 was identified in developed lands bordering an area of increased risk for sea otter Type II infection. Two spatial clusters of animals infected with strains consistent with Type X (P ≤ 0.01 were detected in less developed landscapes.Differences in T. gondii genotype prevalence among domestic and wild felids, as well as the spatial distribution of genotypes, suggest co-existing domestic and wild T. gondii transmission cycles that likely overlap at the interface of developed and undeveloped lands. Anthropogenic development driving contact between these cycles may increase atypical T. gondii genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans

  3. Snapshot of Viral Infections in Wild Carnivores Reveals Ubiquity of Parvovirus and Susceptibility of Egyptian Mongoose to Feline Panleukopenia Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Margarida D.; Henriques, Ana Margarida; Barros, Sílvia Carla; Fagulha, Teresa; Mendonça, Paula; Carvalho, Paulo; Monteiro, Madalena; Fevereiro, Miguel; Basto, Mafalda P.; Rosalino, Luís Miguel; Barros, Tânia; Bandeira, Victor; Fonseca, Carlos; Cunha, Mónica V.

    2013-01-01

    The exposure of wild carnivores to viral pathogens, with emphasis on parvovirus (CPV/FPLV), was assessed based on the molecular screening of tissue samples from 128 hunted or accidentally road-killed animals collected in Portugal from 2008 to 2011, including Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 99), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, n = 19), stone marten (Martes foina, n = 3), common genet (Genetta genetta, n = 3) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles, n = 4). A high prevalence of parvovirus DNA (63%) was detected among all surveyed species, particularly in mongooses (58%) and red foxes (79%), along with the presence of CPV/FPLV circulating antibodies that were identified in 90% of a subset of parvovirus-DNA positive samples. Most specimens were extensively autolysed, restricting macro and microscopic investigations for lesion evaluation. Whenever possible to examine, signs of active disease were not present, supporting the hypothesis that the parvovirus vp2 gene fragments detected by real-time PCR possibly correspond to viral DNA reminiscent from previous infections. The molecular characterization of viruses, based on the analysis of the complete or partial sequence of the vp2 gene, allowed typifying three viral strains of mongoose and four red fox’s as feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV) and one stone marten’s as newCPV-2b type. The genetic similarity found between the FPLV viruses from free-ranging and captive wild species originated in Portugal and publicly available comparable sequences, suggests a closer genetic relatedness among FPLV circulating in Portugal. Although the clinical and epidemiological significance of infection could not be established, this study evidences that exposure of sympatric wild carnivores to parvovirus is common and geographically widespread, potentially carrying a risk to susceptible populations at the wildlife-domestic interface and to threatened species, such as the wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the critically

  4. Behavioral responses to mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component in four species of large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Nilsson

    Full Text Available Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal to evoke a typical "metallic, blood-like" odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus, South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus, and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a "character impact compound" of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental

  5. Behavioral responses to mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component in four species of large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Sara; Sjöberg, Johanna; Amundin, Mats; Hartmann, Constanze; Buettner, Andrea; Laska, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal to evoke a typical "metallic, blood-like" odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate) and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate) as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a "character impact compound" of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental enrichment

  6. The Bamboo-Eating Giant Panda Harbors a Carnivore-Like Gut Microbiota, with Excessive Seasonal Variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhengsheng; Zhang, Wenping; Wang, Linghua; Hou, Rong; Zhang, Menghui; Fei, Lisong; Zhang, Xiaojun; Huang, He; Bridgewater, Laura C.; Jiang, Yi; Jiang, Chenglin; Zhao, Liping

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The giant panda evolved from omnivorous bears. It lives on a bamboo-dominated diet at present, but it still retains a typical carnivorous digestive system and is genetically deficient in cellulose-digesting enzymes. To find out whether this endangered mammalian species, like other herbivores, has successfully developed a gut microbiota adapted to its fiber-rich diet, we conducted a 16S rRNA gene-based large-scale structural profiling of the giant panda fecal microbiota. Forty-five captive individuals were sampled in spring, summer, and late autumn within 1 year. Significant intraindividual variations in the diversity and structure of gut microbiota across seasons were observed in this population, which were even greater than the variations between individuals. Compared with published data sets involving 124 gut microbiota profiles from 54 mammalian species, these giant pandas, together with 9 captive and 7 wild individuals investigated previously, showed extremely low gut microbiota diversity and an overall structure that diverged from those of nonpanda herbivores but converged with those of carnivorous and omnivorous bears. The giant panda did not harbor putative cellulose-degrading phylotypes such as Ruminococcaceae and Bacteroides bacteria that are typically enriched in other herbivores, but instead, its microbiota was dominated by Escherichia/Shigella and Streptococcus bacteria. Members of the class Clostridia were common and abundant in the giant panda gut microbiota, but most of the members present were absent in other herbivores and were not phylogenetically related with known cellulolytic lineages. Therefore, the giant panda appears not to have evolved a gut microbiota compatible with its newly adopted diet, which may adversely influence the coevolutionary fitness of this herbivore. PMID:25991678

  7. High Gene Family Turnover Rates and Gene Space Adaptation in the Compact Genome of the Carnivorous Plant Utricularia gibba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Librado, Pablo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Rozas, Julio; Albert, Victor A

    2015-05-01

    Utricularia gibba is an aquatic carnivorous plant with highly specialized morphology, featuring fibrous floating networks of branches and leaf-like organs, no recognizable roots, and bladder traps that capture and digest prey. We recently described the compressed genome of U. gibba as sufficient to control the development and reproduction of a complex organism. We hypothesized intense deletion pressure as a mechanism whereby most noncoding DNA was deleted, despite evidence for three independent whole-genome duplications (WGDs). Here, we explore the impact of intense genome fractionation in the evolutionary dynamics of U. gibba's functional gene space. We analyze U. gibba gene family turnover by modeling gene gain/death rates under a maximum-likelihood statistical framework. In accord with our deletion pressure hypothesis, we show that the U. gibba gene death rate is significantly higher than those of four other eudicot species. Interestingly, the gene gain rate is also significantly higher, likely reflecting the occurrence of multiple WGDs and possibly also small-scale genome duplications. Gene ontology enrichment analyses of U. gibba-specific two-gene orthogroups, multigene orthogroups, and singletons highlight functions that may represent adaptations in an aquatic carnivorous plant. We further discuss two homeodomain transcription factor gene families (WOX and HDG/HDZIP-IV) showing conspicuous differential expansions and contractions in U. gibba. Our results 1) reconcile the compactness of the U. gibba genome with its accommodation of a typical number of genes for a plant genome, and 2) highlight the role of high gene family turnover in the evolutionary diversification of U. gibba's functional gene space and adaptations to its unique lifestyle and highly specialized body plan. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Growth data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  9. Fish culture data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  10. Chemical composition of fish and diets - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  11. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia), a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort) is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon distribution), and highly enhanced molecular evolutionary rates in chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal sequences. Despite great interest in the genus, no genomic resources exist for Utricularia, and the substitution rate increase has received limited study. Results Here we describe the sequencing and analysis of the Utricularia gibba transcriptome. Three different organs were surveyed, the traps, the vegetative shoot bodies, and the inflorescence stems. We also examined the bladderwort transcriptome under diverse stress conditions. We detail aspects of functional classification, tissue similarity, nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, respiration, DNA repair, and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Long contigs of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, as well as sequences for 100 individual nuclear genes, were compared with those of other plants to better establish information on molecular evolutionary rates. Conclusion The Utricularia transcriptome provides a detailed genomic window into processes occurring in a carnivorous plant. It contains a deep representation of the complex metabolic pathways that characterize a putative minimal plant genome, permitting its use as a source of genomic information to explore the structural, functional, and evolutionary diversity of the genus. Vegetative shoots and traps are the most similar organs by functional classification of their transcriptome, the traps expressing hydrolytic enzymes for prey digestion that were previously

  12. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia, a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-Estrella Alfredo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon distribution, and highly enhanced molecular evolutionary rates in chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal sequences. Despite great interest in the genus, no genomic resources exist for Utricularia, and the substitution rate increase has received limited study. Results Here we describe the sequencing and analysis of the Utricularia gibba transcriptome. Three different organs were surveyed, the traps, the vegetative shoot bodies, and the inflorescence stems. We also examined the bladderwort transcriptome under diverse stress conditions. We detail aspects of functional classification, tissue similarity, nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, respiration, DNA repair, and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Long contigs of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, as well as sequences for 100 individual nuclear genes, were compared with those of other plants to better establish information on molecular evolutionary rates. Conclusion The Utricularia transcriptome provides a detailed genomic window into processes occurring in a carnivorous plant. It contains a deep representation of the complex metabolic pathways that characterize a putative minimal plant genome, permitting its use as a source of genomic information to explore the structural, functional, and evolutionary diversity of the genus. Vegetative shoots and traps are the most similar organs by functional classification of their transcriptome, the traps expressing hydrolytic enzymes for prey

  13. Indole-3-Acetic Acid-Producing Yeasts in the Phyllosphere of the Carnivorous Plant Drosera indica L

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Li-Ying; Wei, Jyuan-Yu; Fu, Shih-Feng; Chou, Jui-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture. PMID:25464336

  14. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O'Brian, Stephen J; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 3-4].

  15. Description of Pristina armata n. sp. (Clitellata: Naididae: Pristininae) from a carnivorous plant (Nepenthes sp.) in Borneo, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenková, Jana; Čermák, Václav

    2013-01-01

    A new clitellate species of Pristininae (Naididae), Pristina armata n. sp., found in the pitcher of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes sp., is reported from East Kalimantan, Indonesia. P. armata n. sp. is a very small clitellate, less than 1 mm long in fixed state, and without proboscis on the prostomium. Signs of reproduction by paratomy were observed, but the generic placement remains preliminary because sexually mature individuals were not found. P. armata n. sp. is characterized by giant hook-like dorsal chaetae at IV. The description of P. armata n. sp. was based on six fixed specimens of different size and stage of development. Noteworthy is the habitat of P. armata n. sp. in Nepenthes pitchers, this being the first clitellate species described from such a habitat. P. armata n. sp. may be a member of the nepenthebionts' community, realizing its life cycle inside the digestive fluid of the Nepenthes pitcher, or it belongs to nepenthephiles, species that commonly occur in this habitat but do not specialize on it.

  16. Plasma-membrane H+-ATPases are expressed in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata Blanco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, C I; Fukusaki, E; Kobayashi, A

    2001-03-01

    Nepenthes is a unique genus of carnivorous plants that can capture insects in trapping organs called pitchers and digest them in pitcher fluid. The pitcher fluid includes digestive enzymes and is strongly acidic. We found that the fluid pH decreased when prey accumulates in the pitcher fluid of Nepenthes alata. The pH decrease may be important for prey digestion and the absorption of prey-derived nutrients. To identify the proton pump involved in the acidification of pitcher fluid, plant proton-pump homologs were cloned and their expressions were examined. In the lower part of pitchers with natural prey, expression of one putative plasma-membrane (PM) H+-ATPase gene, NaPHA3, was considerably higher than that of the putative vacuolar H+-ATPase (subunit A) gene, NaVHA1, or the putative vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase gene, NaV-HP1. Expression of one PM H+-ATPase gene, Na-PHA1, was detected in the head cells of digestive glands in the lower part of pitchers, where proton extrusion may occur. Involvement of the PM H+-ATPase in the acidification of pitcher fluid was also supported by experiments with proton-pump modulators; vanadate inhibited proton extrusion from the inner surface of pitchers, whereas bafilomycin A1 did not, and fusicoccin induced proton extrusion. These results strongly suggest that the PM H+-ATPase is responsible for acidification of the pitcher fluid of Nepenthes.

  17. Bobcats ( Lynx rufus) as a Model Organism to Investigate the Effects of Roads on Wide-Ranging Carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvaitis, John A.; Reed, Gregory C.; Carroll, Rory P.; Litvaitis, Marian K.; Tash, Jeffrey; Mahard, Tyler; Broman, Derek J. A.; Callahan, Catherine; Ellingwood, Mark

    2015-06-01

    We are using bobcats ( Lynx rufus) as a model organism to examine how roads affect the abundance, distribution, and genetic structure of a wide-ranging carnivore. First, we compared the distribution of bobcat-vehicle collisions to road density and then estimated collision probabilities for specific landscapes using a moving window with road-specific traffic volume. Next, we obtained incidental observations of bobcats from the public, camera-trap detections, and locations of bobcats equipped with GPS collars to examine habitat selection. These data were used to generate a cost-surface map to investigate potential barrier effects of roads. Finally, we have begun an examination of genetic structure of bobcat populations in relation to major road networks. Distribution of vehicle-killed bobcats was correlated with road density, especially state and interstate highways. Collision models suggested that some regions may function as demographic sinks. Simulated movements in the context of the cost-surface map indicated that some major roads may be barriers. These patterns were supported by the genetic structure of bobcats. The sharpest divisions among genetically distinct demes occurred along natural barriers (mountains and large lakes) and in road-dense regions. In conclusion, our study has demonstrated the utility of using bobcats as a model organism to understand the variety of threats that roads pose to a wide-ranging species. Bobcats may also be useful as one of a group of focal species while developing approaches to maintain existing connectivity or mitigate the negative effects of roads.

  18. Sustainably Harvesting a Large Carnivore? Development of Eurasian Lynx Populations in Norway During 160 Years of Shifting Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnell, John D. C.; Broseth, Henrik; Odden, John; Nilsen, Erlend Birkeland

    2010-05-01

    The management of large carnivores in multiuse landscapes is always controversial, and managers need to balance a wide range of competing interests. Hunter harvest is often used to limit population size and distribution but is proving to be both controversialand technically challenging. Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx) are currently managed as a game species in Norway. We describe an adaptive management approach where quota setting is based on an annual census and chart the population development through the period 1996-2008, as management has become significantly more sophisticated and better informed by the increased availability of scientific data. During this period the population has been through a period of high quotas and population decline caused by fragmented management authority and overoptimistic estimates of lynx reproduction, followed by a period of recovery due to quota reductions. The modern management regime is placed in the context of shifting policy during the last 160 years, during which management goals have moved from extermination stimulated by bounties, through a short phase of protection, and now to quota-regulated harvest. Much management authority has also been delegated from central to local levels. We conclude that adaptive management has the potential to keep the population within some bounded limits, although there will inevitably be fluctuation.

  19. Diet-dependent heat emission reveals costs of post-diapause recovery from different nutritional sources in a carnivorous beetle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toft, Søren; Nielsen, Søren Achim

    2017-08-01

    Restoration of fat stores is metabolic first priority for many insects that emerge from hibernation with depleted fat bodies. To some extent, the animals must be flexible and use whatever foods available irrespective of their nutrient composition. Previously, the carabid beetles Anchomenus dorsalis have been found to refill their fat stores to the same extent over 9 days irrespective of the nutrient composition of their food. However, a higher cost of fat deposition when the food was rich in sugar or protein rather than lipid was indicated by higher total energy consumption. Here, we test the hypothesis of increased metabolic costs of building fat stores from sugar- or protein-rich food than from lipid-rich food by microcalorimetry. We measured the heat emitted from beetles that had fed on sugar-, protein-, or lipid-rich food for 0 (common control), 2, 5, or 10 days. As predicted, heat emission was increased in beetles getting sugar- and protein-rich food compared with those getting lipid-rich food. However, we did not confirm the beetles' ability to rebuild fat stores from protein-rich food; instead, they increased in lean mass. Overall, sugar-rich food seems to be optimal for post-winter recovery, because it is better than lipid-rich food that allows concurrent rebuilding of fat stores and lean mass, which may benefit preparation for spring migration and reproduction. We propose that overwintered fruits may be highly preferred post-diapause food for these otherwise mostly carnivorous beetles.

  20. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Feng Sun

    Full Text Available Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  1. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Pei-Feng; Fang, Wei-Ta; Shin, Li-Ying; Wei, Jyuan-Yu; Fu, Shih-Feng; Chou, Jui-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  2. Resting electrical network activity in traps of the aquatic carnivorous plants of the genera Aldrovanda and Utricularia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masi, Elisa; Ciszak, Marzena; Colzi, Ilaria; Adamec, Lubomir; Mancuso, Stefano

    2016-04-27

    In this study the MEA (multielectrode array) system was used to record electrical responses of intact and halved traps, and other trap-free tissues of two aquatic carnivorous plants, Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia reflexa. They exhibit rapid trap movements and their traps contain numerous glands. Spontaneous generation of spikes with quite uniform shape, propagating across the recording area, has been observed for all types of sample. In the analysis of the electrical network, higher richer synchronous activity was observed relative to other plant species and organs previously described in the literature: indeed, the time intervals between the synchronized clusters (the inter-spike intervals) create organized patterns and the propagation times vary non-linearly with the distance due to this synchronization. Interestingly, more complex electrical activity was found in traps than in trap-free organs, supporting the hypothesis that the nature of the electrical activity may reflect the anatomical and functional complexity of different organs. Finally, the electrical activity of functionally different traps of Aldrovanda (snapping traps) and Utricularia (suction traps) was compared and some differences in the features of signal propagation were found. According to these results, a possible use of the MEA system for the study of different trap closure mechanisms is proposed.

  3. Ecological Traits of the Algae-Bearing Tetrahymena utriculariae (Ciliophora) from Traps of the Aquatic Carnivorous Plant Utricularia reflexa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šimek, Karel; Pitsch, Gianna; Salcher, Michaela M; Sirová, Dagmara; Shabarova, Tanja; Adamec, Lubomír; Posch, Thomas

    2017-05-01

    Trap fluid of aquatic carnivorous plants of the genus Utricularia hosts specific microbiomes consisting of commensal pro- and eukaryotes of largely unknown ecology. We examined the characteristics and dynamics of bacteria and the three dominant eukaryotes, i.e. the algae-bearing ciliate Tetrahymena utriculariae (Ciliophora), a green flagellate Euglena agilis (Euglenophyta), and the alga Scenedesmus alternans (Chlorophyta), associated with the traps of Utricularia reflexa. Our study focused on ecological traits and life strategies of the highly abundant ciliate whose biomass by far exceeds that of other eukaryotes and bacteria independent of the trap age. The ciliate was the only bacterivore in the traps, driving rapid turnover of bacterial standing stock. However, given the large size of the ciliate and the cell-specific uptake rates of bacteria we estimated that bacterivory alone would likely be insufficient to support its apparent rapid growth in traps. We suggest that mixotrophy based on algal symbionts contributes significantly to the diet and survival strategy of the ciliate in the extreme (anaerobic, low pH) trap-fluid environment. We propose a revised concept of major microbial interactions in the trap fluid where ciliate bacterivory plays a central role in regeneration of nutrients bound in rapidly growing bacterial biomass. © 2016 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2016 International Society of Protistologists.

  4. Population history of the two carnivorous plants Drosera peltata var. nipponica and Drosera rotundifolia (Droseraceae) in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Mi Yoon; López-Pujol, Jordi; Chung, Myong Gi

    2013-11-01

    Drosera peltata var. nipponica, an element of the East Asia warm-temperate vegetation, and D. rotundifolia, a widely distributed boreal species, reach one of their northernmost and southernmost limits, respectively, on the Korean Peninsula. Because the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)-Holocene dynamics of warm-temperate and boreal paleovegetation differed considerably on the Peninsula, the population history of these two sundews is expected to be different, leaving differential imprints in their genetic structure. We investigated population genetic structure of D. peltata var. nipponica and D. rotundifolia in South Korea (10 populations of each for 20 allozyme loci) to infer their population history in this region. In addition, we compared the genetic variation harbored in the two sundews to those reported for other carnivorous and wetland plants. Drosera peltata var. nipponica showed no genetic diversity, whereas D. rotundifolia exhibited extremely low within-population variation (He = 0.005) and considerable among-population divergence (FST = 0.817). Our results suggest that extant populations of D. peltata var. nipponica likely originated from a single ancestral population from southern Japan or southern China through postglacial dispersal. On the contrary, D. rotundifolia probably survived the LGM in situ, with extant populations derived from either one or several small source populations. We argue that separate conservation strategies should be employed, given that the two taxa have different ecological and demographic traits and harbor different levels of genetic diversity.

  5. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Joyeux, Marc

    2011-10-01

    The carnivorous aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Sol. ex J. Ellis) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Traditionally, Aldrovanda is considered as a miniature, aquatic Dionaea, an assumption which was already established by Charles Darwin. However, videos of snapping traps from both species suggest completely different closure mechanisms. Indeed, the well-described snapping mechanism in Dionaea comprises abrupt curvature inversion of the two trap lobes, while the closing movement in Aldrovanda involves deformation of the trap midrib but not of the lobes, which do not change curvature. In this paper, we present detailed mechanical models for these plants, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes and explain this difference by showing that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deformation of the midrib, while that of Dionaea unambiguously relies on the buckling instability that affects the two lobes.

  6. How to catch more prey with less effective traps: explaining the evolution of temporarily inactive traps in carnivorous pitcher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Ulrike; Federle, Walter; Seidel, Hannes; Grafe, T Ulmar; Ioannou, Christos C

    2015-02-22

    Carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants capture arthropods with specialized slippery surfaces. The key trapping surface, the pitcher rim (peristome), is highly slippery when wetted by rain, nectar or condensation, but not when dry. As natural selection should favour adaptations that maximize prey intake, the evolution of temporarily inactive traps seems paradoxical. Here, we show that intermittent trap deactivation promotes 'batch captures' of ants. Prey surveys revealed that N. rafflesiana pitchers sporadically capture large numbers of ants from the same species. Continuous experimental wetting of the peristome increased the number of non-recruiting prey, but decreased the number of captured ants and shifted their trapping mode from batch to individual capture events. Ant recruitment was also lower to continuously wetted pitchers. Our experimental data fit a simple model that predicts that intermittent, wetness-based trap activation should allow safe access for 'scout' ants under dry conditions, thereby promoting recruitment and ultimately higher prey numbers. The peristome trapping mechanism may therefore represent an adaptation for capturing ants. The relatively rare batch capture events may particularly benefit larger plants with many pitchers. This explains why young plants of many Nepenthes species additionally employ wetness-independent, waxy trapping surfaces.

  7. Contribution of pitcher fragrance and fluid viscosity to high prey diversity in a Nepenthes carnivorous plant from Borneo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusto, Bruno Di; Grosbois, Vladimir; Fargeas, Elodie; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2008-03-01

    Mechanisms that improve prey richness in carnivorous plants may involve three crucial phases of trapping:attraction, capture and retention. Nepenthes rafflesiana var. typica is an insectivorous pitcher plant that is widespread in northern Borneo. It exhibits ontogenetic pitcher dimorphism with the upper pitchers trapping more flying prey than the lower pitchers. While this difference in prey composition has been ascribed to differences in attraction,the contribution of capture and retention has been overlooked. This study focused on distinguishing between the prey trapping mechanisms, and assessing their relative contribution to prey diversity. Arthropod richness and diversity of both visitors and prey in the two types of pitchers were analysed to quantify the relative contribution of attraction to prey trapping. Rate of insect visits to the different pitcher parts and the presence or absence of a sweet fragrance was recorded to clarify the origin and mechanism of attraction. The mechanism of retention was studied by insect bioassays and measurements of fluid viscosity. Nepenthes rafflesiana was found to trap a broader prey spectrum than that previously described for any Nepenthes species,with the upper pitchers attracting and trapping a greater quantity and diversity of prey items than the lower pitchers. Capture efficiency was low compared with attraction or retention efficiency. Fragrance of the peristome,or nectar rim,accounted mainly for the observed non-specific, better prey attraction by the upper pitchers, while the retentive properties of the viscous fluid in these upper pitchers arguably explains the species richness of their flying prey. The pitchers of N. rafflesiana are therefore more than simple pitfall traps and the digestive fluid plays an important yet unsuspected role in the ecological success of the species.

  8. Functional characterization of a class III acid endochitinase from the traps of the carnivorous pitcher plant genus, Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottloff, Sandy; Stieber, Regina; Maischak, Heiko; Turini, Florian G; Heubl, Günther; Mithöfer, Axel

    2011-08-01

    Carnivory in plants is an adaptation strategy to nutrient-poor environments and soils. Carnivorous plants obtain some additional mineral nutrients by trapping and digesting prey; the genus Nepenthes is helped by its specialized pitcher traps. To make the nutrients available, the caught prey needs to be digested, a process that requires the concerted activity of several hydrolytic enzymes. To identify and investigate the various enzymes involved in this process, fluid from Nepenthes traps has been analysed in detail. In this study, a novel type of Nepenthes endochitinase was identified in the digestion fluid of closed pitchers. The encoding endochitinase genes have been cloned from eight different Nepenthes species. Among these, the deduced amino acid sequence similarity was at least 94.9%. The corresponding cDNA from N. rafflesiana was heterologously expressed, and the purified protein, NrChit1, was biochemically characterized. The enzyme, classified as a class III acid endochitinase belonging to family 18 of the glycoside hydrolases, is secreted into the pitcher fluid very probably due to the presence of an N-terminal signal peptide. Transcriptome analyses using real-time PCR indicated that the presence of prey in the pitcher up-regulates the endochitinase gene not only in the glands, which are responsible for enzyme secretion, but at an even higher level, in the glands' surrounding tissue. These results suggest that in the pitchers' tissues, the endochitinase as well as other proteins from the pitcher fluid might fulfil a different, primary function as pathogenesis-related proteins. © 2011 The Author(s).

  9. Effects of trophy hunting leftovers on the ranging behaviour of large carnivores: a case study on spotted hyenas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Cozzi

    Full Text Available Human-related food resources such as garbage dumps and feeding sites have been shown to significantly influence space use, breeding success and population dynamics in a variety of animal species. In contrast, relatively little is known on the effects of unpredictable sources of food, such as carcasses discarded by hunters, on carnivore species. We evaluated the effect of elephant carcasses, mainly deriving from trophy hunting, on the ranging and feeding behavior of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using data from hyenas monitored before and during carcass availability via GPS radio-collars and camera traps, we investigated changes in ranging and feeding behavior over time. Carcass availability influenced hyenas' ranging behavior for an average of 10-12 days, after which their movements returned to patterns observed before carcass availability. In particular, we observed an increased spatial clustering of locations and reduced speeds (up to 15% less between successive locations with carcass availability. Consistent feeding at carcasses during the first two weeks was typical, and some individuals fed from elephant carcasses for as long as 50 days. The impact and conservation value of hunting are often assessed based solely on the effects on the hunted species. Our results show that hunting remains can influence other species and suggest that such extra food could have important effects on critical life history processes and ultimately population dynamics. We recommend conservationists and wildlife managers evaluate management strategies and hunting practices regarding carcass disposal in order to incorporate the potential collateral impacts of hunting on non-hunted species in the same community.

  10. Effects of trophy hunting leftovers on the ranging behaviour of large carnivores: a case study on spotted hyenas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cozzi, Gabriele; Börger, Luca; Hutter, Pascale; Abegg, Daniela; Beran, Céline; McNutt, J Weldon; Ozgul, Arpat

    2015-01-01

    Human-related food resources such as garbage dumps and feeding sites have been shown to significantly influence space use, breeding success and population dynamics in a variety of animal species. In contrast, relatively little is known on the effects of unpredictable sources of food, such as carcasses discarded by hunters, on carnivore species. We evaluated the effect of elephant carcasses, mainly deriving from trophy hunting, on the ranging and feeding behavior of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Using data from hyenas monitored before and during carcass availability via GPS radio-collars and camera traps, we investigated changes in ranging and feeding behavior over time. Carcass availability influenced hyenas' ranging behavior for an average of 10-12 days, after which their movements returned to patterns observed before carcass availability. In particular, we observed an increased spatial clustering of locations and reduced speeds (up to 15% less) between successive locations with carcass availability. Consistent feeding at carcasses during the first two weeks was typical, and some individuals fed from elephant carcasses for as long as 50 days. The impact and conservation value of hunting are often assessed based solely on the effects on the hunted species. Our results show that hunting remains can influence other species and suggest that such extra food could have important effects on critical life history processes and ultimately population dynamics. We recommend conservationists and wildlife managers evaluate management strategies and hunting practices regarding carcass disposal in order to incorporate the potential collateral impacts of hunting on non-hunted species in the same community.

  11. Improved methods of carnivore faecal sample preservation, DNA extraction and quantification for accurate genotyping of wild tigers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Patlolla Anuradha; Bhavanishankar, Maradani; Bhagavatula, Jyotsna; Harika, Katakam; Mahla, Ranjeet Singh; Shivaji, Sisinthy

    2012-01-01

    Non-invasively collected samples allow a variety of genetic studies on endangered and elusive species. However due to low amplification success and high genotyping error rates fewer samples can be identified up to the individual level. Number of PCRs needed to obtain reliable genotypes also noticeably increase. We developed a quantitative PCR assay to measure and grade amplifiable nuclear DNA in feline faecal extracts. We determined DNA degradation in experimentally aged faecal samples and tested a suite of pre-PCR protocols to considerably improve DNA retrieval. Average DNA concentrations of Grade I, II and III extracts were 982pg/µl, 9.5pg/µl and 0.4pg/µl respectively. Nearly 10% of extracts had no amplifiable DNA. Microsatellite PCR success and allelic dropout rates were 92% and 1.5% in Grade I, 79% and 5% in Grade II, and 54% and 16% in Grade III respectively. Our results on experimentally aged faecal samples showed that ageing has a significant effect on quantity and quality of amplifiable DNA (p0.05). DNA concentrations of fresh tiger and leopard faecal extracts without addition of carrier RNA were 816.5pg/µl (±115.5) and 690.1pg/µl (±207.1), while concentrations with addition of carrier RNA were 49414.5pg/µl (±9370.6) and 20982.7pg/µl (±6835.8) respectively. Our results indicate that carnivore faecal samples should be collected as freshly as possible, are better preserved by two-step method and should be extracted with addition of carrier RNA. We recommend quantification of template DNA as this facilitates several downstream protocols.

  12. Isolation by distance, resistance and/or clusters? Lessons learned from a forest-dwelling carnivore inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Gonzalez, Aritz; Cushman, Samuel A; Madeira, María José; Randi, Ettore; Gómez-Moliner, Benjamín J

    2015-10-01

    Landscape genetics provides a valuable framework to understand how landscape features influence gene flow and to disentangle the factors that lead to discrete and/or clinal population structure. Here, we attempt to differentiate between these processes in a forest-dwelling small carnivore [European pine marten (Martes martes)]. Specifically, we used complementary analytical approaches to quantify the spatially explicit genetic structure and diversity and analyse patterns of gene flow for 140 individuals genotyped at 15 microsatellite loci. We first used spatially explicit and nonspatial Bayesian clustering algorithms to partition the sample into discrete clusters and evaluate hypotheses of 'isolation by barriers' (IBB). We further characterized the relationships between genetic distance and geographical ('isolation by distance', IBD) and ecological distances ('isolation by resistance', IBR) obtained from optimized landscape models. Using a reciprocal causal modelling approach, we competed the IBD, IBR and IBB hypotheses with each other to unravel factors driving population genetic structure. Additionally, we further assessed spatially explicit indices of genetic diversity using sGD across potentially overlapping genetic neighbourhoods that matched the inferred population structure. Our results revealed a complex spatial genetic cline that appears to be driven jointly by IBD and partial barriers to gene flow (IBB) associated with poor habitat and interspecific competition. Habitat loss and fragmentation, in synergy with past overharvesting and possible interspecific competition with sympatric stone marten (Martes foina), are likely the main factors responsible for the spatial genetic structure we observed. These results emphasize the need for a more thorough evaluation of discrete and clinal hypotheses governing gene flow in landscape genetic studies, and the potential influence of different limiting factors affecting genetic structure at different spatial scales.

  13. Improved Methods of Carnivore Faecal Sample Preservation, DNA Extraction and Quantification for Accurate Genotyping of Wild Tigers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harika, Katakam; Mahla, Ranjeet Singh; Shivaji, Sisinthy

    2012-01-01

    Background Non-invasively collected samples allow a variety of genetic studies on endangered and elusive species. However due to low amplification success and high genotyping error rates fewer samples can be identified up to the individual level. Number of PCRs needed to obtain reliable genotypes also noticeably increase. Methods We developed a quantitative PCR assay to measure and grade amplifiable nuclear DNA in feline faecal extracts. We determined DNA degradation in experimentally aged faecal samples and tested a suite of pre-PCR protocols to considerably improve DNA retrieval. Results Average DNA concentrations of Grade I, II and III extracts were 982pg/µl, 9.5pg/µl and 0.4pg/µl respectively. Nearly 10% of extracts had no amplifiable DNA. Microsatellite PCR success and allelic dropout rates were 92% and 1.5% in Grade I, 79% and 5% in Grade II, and 54% and 16% in Grade III respectively. Our results on experimentally aged faecal samples showed that ageing has a significant effect on quantity and quality of amplifiable DNA (pDNA degradation occurs within 3 days of exposure to direct sunlight. DNA concentrations of Day 1 samples stored by ethanol and silica methods for a month varied significantly from fresh Day 1 extracts (p0.05). DNA concentrations of fresh tiger and leopard faecal extracts without addition of carrier RNA were 816.5pg/µl (±115.5) and 690.1pg/µl (±207.1), while concentrations with addition of carrier RNA were 49414.5pg/µl (±9370.6) and 20982.7pg/µl (±6835.8) respectively. Conclusions Our results indicate that carnivore faecal samples should be collected as freshly as possible, are better preserved by two-step method and should be extracted with addition of carrier RNA. We recommend quantification of template DNA as this facilitates several downstream protocols. PMID:23071624

  14. Taste preferences and taste thresholds to classical taste substances in the carnivorous fish, kutum Rutilus frisii kutum (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goli, Sheyda; Jafari, Valiollah; Ghorbani, Rassol; Kasumyan, Alexander

    2015-03-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the taste preferences in the closely related sympatric fish species with different feeding patterns. For this purpose, palatability for four classical taste substances was evaluated for carnivorous kutum Rutilus frisii kutum and the results were compared with the taste preferences of the omnivorous roach Rutilus rutilus which had been studied earlier. In addition, the threshold concentration and the dose-response relationship of the most palatable tastants were evaluated and the ability of kutum to differentiate food with tastants in different concentrations was estimated. It was found that citric acid significantly increases the agar gel pellet consumption within the range of concentrations from 0.01M to 0.52M; the pellets with a concentration of 0.026M were the most palatable. The pellet consumption is significantly different if the concentration of citric acid in the pellets differs more than two times. The absolute threshold concentration is 0.01M, or 2.74μg of citric acid per pellet. Sucrose and NaCl have deterrent taste at the highest concentrations tested (0.29 and 1.73M, respectively). Both substances are palatable at 10 times lower concentrations and become indifferent after further gradual decrease in their concentration. CaCl2 decreases the pellets consumption at 0.9M but is an indifferent tastant at lower concentrations (0.45, 0.09 and 0.045M). The number of rejections and repeated grasps of a food pellet is fewness and is not related to the pellet's palatability, while the retention time of pellet in the oral cavity positively and highly correlates with the pellet's palatability. Kutum have opposite taste preferences for most substances tested in comparison with the roach. It indicates that the taste preferences mediated by the oral taste receptors are different in closely related sympatric fish displayed diet divergences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparative fate of organohalogen contaminants in two top carnivores in Greenland: captive sledge dogs and wild polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verreault, Jonathan; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Gebbink, Wouter A; Shahmiri, Soheila; Letcher, Robert J

    2008-04-01

    The limited knowledge and/or the inability to control physiological condition parameters that influence the fate of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) has been the foremost confounding aspect in monitoring programs and health risk assessments of wild top predators in the Arctic such as the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). In the present comparative study, we used a potential surrogate Canoidea species for the East Greenland polar bear, the captive sledge dog (Canis familiaris), to investigate some factors that may influence the bioaccumulation and biotransformation of major chlorinated and brominated OHCs in adipose tissue and blood (plasma) of control (fed commercial pork fat) and exposed (fed West Greenland minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber) adult female sledge dogs. Furthermore, we compared the patterns and concentrations of OHCs and their known or suggested hydroxylated (OH) metabolites (e.g., OH-PCBs) in sledge dogs with those in adipose tissue and blood (plasma) of East Greenland adult female polar bears, and blubber of their main prey species, the ringed seal (Pusa hispida). The two-year feeding regime conducted with sledge dogs led to marked differences in overall adipose tissue (and plasma) OHC residue accumulation between the control and exposed groups. Characteristic prey-to-predator OHC bioaccumulation dynamics for major PCB and PBDE congeners (patterns and concentrations) and biotransformation capacity with respect to PCB metabolite formation and OH-PCB retention distinguished, to some extent, captive sledge dogs and wild polar bears. Based on the present findings, we conclude that the use of surrogate species in toxicological investigations for species in the Canoidea family should be done with great caution, although they remain essential in the context of contaminants research with sensitive arctic top carnivore species such as the polar bear.

  16. New insights into the nutritional regulation of gluconeogenesis in carnivorous rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): a gene duplication trail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marandel, Lucie; Seiliez, Iban; Véron, Vincent; Skiba-Cassy, Sandrine; Panserat, Stéphane

    2015-07-01

    The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is considered to be a strictly carnivorous fish species that is metabolically adapted for high catabolism of proteins and low utilization of dietary carbohydrates. This species consequently has a "glucose-intolerant" phenotype manifested by persistent hyperglycemia when fed a high-carbohydrate diet. Gluconeogenesis in adult fish is also poorly, if ever, regulated by carbohydrates, suggesting that this metabolic pathway is involved in this specific phenotype. In this study, we hypothesized that the fate of duplicated genes after the salmonid-specific 4th whole genome duplication (Ss4R) may have led to adaptive innovation and that their study might provide new elements to enhance our understanding of gluconeogenesis and poor dietary carbohydrate use in this species. Our evolutionary analysis of gluconeogenic genes revealed that pck1, pck2, fbp1a, and g6pca were retained as singletons after Ss4r, while g6pcb1, g6pcb2, and fbp1b ohnolog pairs were maintained. For all genes, duplication may have led to sub- or neofunctionalization. Expression profiles suggest that the gluconeogenesis pathway remained active in trout fed a no-carbohydrate diet. When trout were fed a high-carbohydrate diet (30%), most of the gluconeogenic genes were non- or downregulated, except for g6pbc2 ohnologs, whose RNA levels were surprisingly increased. This study demonstrates that Ss4R in trout involved adaptive innovation via gene duplication and via the outcome of the resulting ohnologs. Indeed, maintenance of ohnologous g6pcb2 pair may contribute in a significant way to the glucose-intolerant phenotype of trout and may partially explain its poor use of dietary carbohydrates. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  17. The mitochondrial genome of the terrestrial carnivorous plant Utricularia reniformis (Lentibulariaceae): Structure, comparative analysis and evolutionary landmarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Saura R; Alvarenga, Danillo O; Aranguren, Yani; Penha, Helen A; Fernandes, Camila C; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Oliveira, Marcos T; Michael, Todd P; Miranda, Vitor F O; Varani, Alessandro M

    2017-01-01

    The carnivorous plants of the family Lentibulariaceae have attained recent attention not only because of their interesting lifestyle, but also because of their dynamic nuclear genome size. Lentibulariaceae genomes span an order of magnitude and include species with the smallest genomes in angiosperms, making them a powerful system to study the mechanisms of genome expansion and contraction. However, little is known about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of this family, and the evolutionary forces that shape this organellar genome. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the complete mtDNA from the endemic terrestrial Brazilian species Utricularia reniformis. The 857,234bp master circle mitochondrial genome encodes 70 transcriptionaly active genes (42 protein-coding, 25 tRNAs and 3 rRNAs), covering up to 7% of the mtDNA. A ltrA-like protein related to splicing and mobility and a LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease have been identified in intronic regions, suggesting particular mechanisms of genome maintenance. RNA-seq analysis identified properties with putative diverse and important roles in genome regulation and evolution: 1) 672kbp (78%) of the mtDNA is covered by full-length reads; 2) most of the 243kbp intergenic regions exhibit transcripts; and 3) at least 69 novel RNA editing sites in the protein-coding genes. Additional genomic features are hypothetical ORFs (48%), chloroplast insertions, including truncated plastid genes that have been lost from the chloroplast DNA (5%), repeats (5%), relics of transposable elements mostly related to LTR retrotransposons (5%), and truncated mitovirus sequences (0.4%). Phylogenetic analysis based on 32 different Lamiales mitochondrial genomes corroborate that Lentibulariaceae is a monophyletic group. In summary, the U. reniformis mtDNA represents the eighth largest plant mtDNA described to date, shedding light on the genomic trends and evolutionary characteristics and phylogenetic history of the family Lentibulariaceae.

  18. The mitochondrial genome of the terrestrial carnivorous plant Utricularia reniformis (Lentibulariaceae: Structure, comparative analysis and evolutionary landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saura R Silva

    Full Text Available The carnivorous plants of the family Lentibulariaceae have attained recent attention not only because of their interesting lifestyle, but also because of their dynamic nuclear genome size. Lentibulariaceae genomes span an order of magnitude and include species with the smallest genomes in angiosperms, making them a powerful system to study the mechanisms of genome expansion and contraction. However, little is known about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA sequences of this family, and the evolutionary forces that shape this organellar genome. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the complete mtDNA from the endemic terrestrial Brazilian species Utricularia reniformis. The 857,234bp master circle mitochondrial genome encodes 70 transcriptionaly active genes (42 protein-coding, 25 tRNAs and 3 rRNAs, covering up to 7% of the mtDNA. A ltrA-like protein related to splicing and mobility and a LAGLIDADG homing endonuclease have been identified in intronic regions, suggesting particular mechanisms of genome maintenance. RNA-seq analysis identified properties with putative diverse and important roles in genome regulation and evolution: 1 672kbp (78% of the mtDNA is covered by full-length reads; 2 most of the 243kbp intergenic regions exhibit transcripts; and 3 at least 69 novel RNA editing sites in the protein-coding genes. Additional genomic features are hypothetical ORFs (48%, chloroplast insertions, including truncated plastid genes that have been lost from the chloroplast DNA (5%, repeats (5%, relics of transposable elements mostly related to LTR retrotransposons (5%, and truncated mitovirus sequences (0.4%. Phylogenetic analysis based on 32 different Lamiales mitochondrial genomes corroborate that Lentibulariaceae is a monophyletic group. In summary, the U. reniformis mtDNA represents the eighth largest plant mtDNA described to date, shedding light on the genomic trends and evolutionary characteristics and phylogenetic history of the family

  19. Wound and insect-induced jasmonate accumulation in carnivorous Drosera capensis: two sides of the same coin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mithöfer, A; Reichelt, M; Nakamura, Y

    2014-09-01

    Carnivorous sundew plants catch and digest insect prey for their own nutrition. The sundew species Drosera capensis shows a pronounced leaf bending reaction upon prey capture in order to form an 'outer stomach'. This formation is triggered by jasmonates, phytohormones typically involved in defence reactions against herbivory and wounding. Whether jasmonates still have this function in D. capensis in addition to mediating the leaf bending reaction was investigated here. Wounded, insect prey-fed and insect-derived oral secretion-treated leaves of D. capensis were analysed for jasmonates (jasmonic acid, JA; jasmonic acid-isoleucine conjugate, JA-Ile) using LC-MS/MS. Prey-induced jasmonate accumulation in D. capensis leaves was persistent, and showed high levels of JA and JA-Ile (575 and 55.7 pmol · g · FW(-1) , respectively), whereas wounding induced a transient increase of JA (maximum 500 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) and only low (3.1 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) accumulation of JA-Ile. Herbivory, mimicked with a combined treatment of wounding plus oral secretion (W+OS) obtained from Spodoptera littoralis larvae induced both JA (4000 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) and JA-Ile (25 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) accumulation, with kinetics similar to prey treatment. Only prey and W+OS, but not wounding alone or OS, induced leaf bending. The results indicate that both mechanical and chemical stimuli trigger JA and JA-Ile synthesis. Differences in kinetics and induced jasmonate levels suggest different sensing and signalling events upon injury and insect-dependent challenge. Thus, in Drosera, jasmonates are still part of the response to wounding. Jasmonates are also employed in insect-induced reactions, including responses to herbivory and carnivory. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  20. Crocodylian and mammalian carnivore feeding traces on hominid fossils from FLK 22 and FLK NN 3, Plio-Pleistocene, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njau, Jackson K; Blumenschine, Robert J

    2012-08-01

    Taphonomic analysis of the Olduvai Hominid (OH) 8 left foot from FLK NN Level 3 and the OH 35 left leg from FLK Level 22 (Zinjanthropus level) in Middle Bed I, Olduvai Gorge, indicates that both were fed upon by crocodiles. Both bear extensive tooth marking, including bisected tooth marks diagnostic of crocodylian feeding. The location of the bisected tooth marks on the distal tibia and the talus indicates disarticulation of the foot by crocodiles. The broken proximal ends of the tibia and fibula are more typical of feeding by a leopard-like carnivore, as is damage to the OH 7 mandible and parietals that are associated with and may derive from the same individual as OH 8. Previous work showing a close articulation of the foot and the leg has been used to suggest that the two specimens belong to the same individual despite deriving from sites separated by 200 m and slightly different stratigraphic levels according to previous work. The location and agent of tooth marking and the nature of gross damage do not refute this hypothesis, but the punctures on the talus and distal tibia differ in size and sharpness. Recent work shows that the stratigraphic discrepancy between OH 8 and OH 35 is greater than previously thought, refuting the single-individual hypothesis. Although seemingly unlikely, this denotes that two hominids represented by rarely found leg and foot elements both lost their left foot to crocodiles at nearby sites within a 6,000 year interval. We cannot determine if the hominids were preyed upon by crocodiles or mammalian carnivores. However, the carnivore damage to them and associated faunal remains suggests that high predation risk constrained hominid activities involving discard of the stone artifacts found at these sites. This finding is inconsistent with the interpretation of the sites as home bases or living floors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Saura R; Diaz, Yani C A; Penha, Helen Alves; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Fernandes, Camila C; Miranda, Vitor F O; Michael, Todd P; Varani, Alessandro M

    2016-01-01

    Lentibulariaceae is the richest family of carnivorous plants spanning three genera including Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Utricularia is globally distributed, and, unlike Pinguicula and Genlisea, has both aquatic and terrestrial forms. In this study we present the analysis of the chloroplast (cp) genome of the terrestrial Utricularia reniformis. U. reniformis has a standard cp genome of 139,725bp, encoding a gene repertoire similar to essentially all photosynthetic organisms. However, an exclusive combination of losses and pseudogenization of the plastid NAD(P)H-dehydrogenase (ndh) gene complex were observed. Comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial forms of Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia indicate that, whereas the aquatic forms retained functional copies of the eleven ndh genes, these have been lost or truncated in terrestrial forms, suggesting that the ndh function may be dispensable in terrestrial Lentibulariaceae. Phylogenetic scenarios of the ndh gene loss and recovery among Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia to the ancestral Lentibulariaceae cladeare proposed. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis evidenced that U. reniformis cp genes are transcribed, including the truncated ndh genes, suggesting that these are not completely inactivated. In addition, potential novel RNA-editing sites were identified in at least six U. reniformis cp genes, while none were identified in the truncated ndh genes. Moreover, phylogenomic analyses support that Lentibulariaceae is monophyletic, belonging to the higher core Lamiales clade, corroborating the hypothesis that the first Utricularia lineage emerged in terrestrial habitats and then evolved to epiphytic and aquatic forms. Furthermore, several truncated cp genes were found interspersed with U. reniformis mitochondrial and nuclear genome scaffolds, indicating that as observed in other smaller plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, and the related and carnivorous Genlisea nigrocaulis and G. hispidula, the

  2. The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saura R Silva

    Full Text Available Lentibulariaceae is the richest family of carnivorous plants spanning three genera including Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Utricularia is globally distributed, and, unlike Pinguicula and Genlisea, has both aquatic and terrestrial forms. In this study we present the analysis of the chloroplast (cp genome of the terrestrial Utricularia reniformis. U. reniformis has a standard cp genome of 139,725bp, encoding a gene repertoire similar to essentially all photosynthetic organisms. However, an exclusive combination of losses and pseudogenization of the plastid NAD(PH-dehydrogenase (ndh gene complex were observed. Comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial forms of Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia indicate that, whereas the aquatic forms retained functional copies of the eleven ndh genes, these have been lost or truncated in terrestrial forms, suggesting that the ndh function may be dispensable in terrestrial Lentibulariaceae. Phylogenetic scenarios of the ndh gene loss and recovery among Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia to the ancestral Lentibulariaceae cladeare proposed. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis evidenced that U. reniformis cp genes are transcribed, including the truncated ndh genes, suggesting that these are not completely inactivated. In addition, potential novel RNA-editing sites were identified in at least six U. reniformis cp genes, while none were identified in the truncated ndh genes. Moreover, phylogenomic analyses support that Lentibulariaceae is monophyletic, belonging to the higher core Lamiales clade, corroborating the hypothesis that the first Utricularia lineage emerged in terrestrial habitats and then evolved to epiphytic and aquatic forms. Furthermore, several truncated cp genes were found interspersed with U. reniformis mitochondrial and nuclear genome scaffolds, indicating that as observed in other smaller plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, and the related and carnivorous Genlisea nigrocaulis and G

  3. Hyperparathyroïdie secondaire d'origine nutritionnelle et ostéogénèse imparfaite chez les carnivores domestiques

    OpenAIRE

    Léger, Emilie

    2006-01-01

    L'Hyperparathyroïdie secondaire nutritionnelle et l'ostéogénèse imparfaite sont deux maladies bien différentes par leur étiologie, mais très similaires sur les plans épidémiologique, clinique et radiographique. Elles concernent les carnivores domestiques en croissance et provoquent une ostéopénie sévère résultant en de multiples fractures pathologiques. L'hyperparathyroïdie nutritionnelle a pour origine un régime déséquilibré en Calcium et Phosphore suite à une alimentation uniquement à base ...

  4. Lessons from Białowieża Forest on the history of protection and the world's first reintroduction of a large carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samojlik, Tomasz; Selva, Nuria; Daszkiewicz, Piotr; Fedotova, Anastasia; Wajrak, Adam; Kuijper, Dries Pieter Jan

    2018-02-01

    Understanding how the relationships between large carnivores and humans have evolved and have been managed through centuries can provide relevant insights for wildlife conservation. The management history of many large carnivores has followed a similar pattern, from game reserved for nobility, to persecuted pests, to conservation targets. We reconstructed the history of brown bear (Ursus arctos) management in Białowieża Forest (Poland and Belarus) based on a detailed survey of historical literature and Russian archives. From the end of the Middle Ages to the end of 18th century, the brown bear was considered "animalia superiora" (i.e., game exclusively reserved for nobility and protected by law). Bears, also a source of public entertainment, were not regarded as a threat. Effective measures to prevent damages to traditional forest beekeeping were already in practice. In the beginning of 19th century, new game-management approaches allowed most forest officials to hunt bears, which became the primary target of hunters due to their valuable pelt. This, together with an effective anticarnivore policy enhanced by bounties, led to bear extirpation in 1879. Different approaches to scientific game management appeared (planned extermination of predators and hunting levels that would maintain stable populations), as did the first initiatives to protect bears from cruel treatment in captivity. Bear reintroduction in Białowieża Forest began in 1937 and represented the world's first reintroduction of a large carnivore motivated by conservation goals. The outbreak of World War II spoiled what might have been a successful project; reproduction in the wild was documented for 8 years and bear presence for 13. Soft release of cubs born in captivity inside the forest but freely roaming with minimal human contact proved successful. Release of captive human-habituated bears, feeding of these bears, and a lack of involvement of local communities were weaknesses of the project

  5. Survival of a native mammalian carnivore, the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis Kerr, 1792 (Carnivora: Felidae, in an agricultural landscape on an oceanic Philippine island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R.P. Lorica

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Concerns about vulnerability of mammalian carnivores to extinction, especially on small islands, appear to conflict with prior reports of endemic populations of leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792 surviving in agricultural landscapes on oceanic islands. We investigated the persistence of the Visayan leopard cat (P. b. rabori in the sugarcane fields on Negros, an oceanic island in central Philippines. A population remained throughout the year at our study site on a sugarcane farm, and reproduction was noted. Non-native rodents form the bulk of the cat diet, followed by reptiles, birds, amphibians, and insects. Prey species identified from the samples commonly occur in agricultural areas in the Philippines. Prey composition did not vary significantly with respect to wet and dry season, or sugarcane harvest cycle. This study provides evidence that an intensively managed agricultural landscape on this oceanic island supports a native obligate carnivore that subsists primarily on exotic rats. This study supports a prior prediction that leopard cats will show flexibility in prey selection on islands with few or no native small mammal prey species, but in this case they do so not by switching to other vertebrates and invertebrates, but rather to exotic pest species of rodents.

  6. SEROPREVALENCE OF NINE LEPTOSPIRA INTERROGANS SEROVARS IN WILD CARNIVORES, UNGULATES, AND PRIMATES FROM A ZOO POPULATION IN A METROPOLITAN REGION OF CHILE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Beas, Eduardo; Abalos, Pedro; Hidalgo-Hermoso, Ezequiel

    2015-12-01

    Serum samples from 130 individuals representing 42 species of carnivores, ungulates, and primates from a population of captive mammals in Metropolitan Region in Chile were tested for antibodies against nine serovars of Leptospira interrogans using the microscopic agglutination test. Ten percent of the animals were seropositive to one or more serovars. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in ungulates (20.4%) compared to carnivores (3.8%) and primates (3.4%). There were no significant differences in seroprevalence among sex and age ranges. The most frequent serovar detected was Autumnalis, present in 53.4% of antibody-positive animals. Most positive animals had titers of ≤1 : 200, except for a maned wolf ( Chrysocyon brachyurus ) with titers of 1 : 400 against serovar Hardjo. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Leptospira exposure detected in native endangered pudu ( Pudu puda ) and the first confirmation of exposure to L. interrogans in captive wild mammals in Chile. Leptospirosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis in future disease presentation for hepatitis or abortions in captive mammals in Chile.

  7. Functional uniqueness of a small carnivore as seed dispersal agents: a case study of the common palm civets in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakashima, Yoshihiro; Inoue, Eiji; Inoue-Murayama, Miho; Abd Sukor, Jum Rafiah

    2010-11-01

    Many carnivorous mammals consume fruits and disperse the intact seeds to specific sites. Few studies have attempted to quantify this seed dispersal or evaluate its effectiveness, despite its potential importance and functional uniqueness. In the study reported here, we found that a frugivorous carnivore, the common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), generated seed shadows that are distinct from those of the sympatric frugivore, the pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), and played a unique and important role in the regeneration of Leea aculeata (Leeaceae). We found that macaques dispersed the seeds randomly, while civets dispersed them non-randomly to sites such as the banks of small rivers, rain-flow paths, abandoned trails, and treefall gaps, which are characterized by low stem density and canopy cover. Seeds of L. aculeata that were dispersed by civets to the banks of rivers and gaps had significantly higher survival and growth rates than those dispersed to rain-flow paths or abandoned trails. Seeds dispersed by macaques or to random locations also had low survival. Although the effects of the civets on seed fate were not straightforward, compared with macaques and random dispersal, civets significantly enhanced the survival and growth of L. aculeata seeds after 1 year. These results indicate that non-random dispersal by civets is important for the persistence of L. aculeata. Civets may disperse other plant species and thus could have profound effects on forest dynamics.

  8. Control of reproduction and sex related behaviour in exotic wild carnivores with the GnRH analogue deslorelin: preliminary observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertschinger, H J; Asa, C S; Calle, P P; Long, J A; Bauman, K; DeMatteo, K; Jöchle, W; Trigg, T E; Human, A

    2001-01-01

    The GnRH analogue deslorelin, in long-acting implants, was used in an attempt to temporarily control reproduction or aggression in wild carnivores in southern Africa and the USA. In the southern African study, 6 mg deslorelin was administered to cheetahs (eight females, four males), one female leopard and wild dogs (six females, one male) housed in groups, and 12 mg deslorelin was administered to two lionesses. None of the animals became pregnant after deslorelin administration apart from one wild dog that was mated at the initial treatment-induced oestrus. Two wild dogs and one lioness came into oestrus 12 and 18 months after deslorelin administration, respectively, thus demonstrating that the anti-fertility effects of deslorelin are reversible. Two lionesses and four cheetahs underwent oestrus without allowing mating 2-14 days after treatment. Simultaneous administration of progestins to three bitches and one lioness did not suppress oestrus. Male cheetahs had no spermatozoa on day 82 after treatment and did not impregnate two untreated females. Of three untreated female wild dogs housed with treated males, only the first female to enter oestrus (21 days after deslorelin administration) became pregnant. One month after treatment, plasma testosterone concentrations of male dogs were at basal values. In the USA study, three male sea otters that had been treated with 6 mg deslorelin ceased antagonistic behaviour and blood testosterone concentrations and size of the testes were still sharply reduced 24 months after treatment. Male red (n = 7) and grey (n = 5) wolves received 6 mg deslorelin in December 1998 but no effects on seasonal spermatogenesis and behaviour were observed. In a black-footed cat, sperm production, libido and aggressiveness decreased in response to treatment with 3 mg deslorelin and penile spines were not observed within 3 months after treatment, but were observed again 4-6 months later. Treatment of female red (n = 5) and grey (n = 5) wolves with

  9. Empathy for Carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-23

    this section. It helps to identify and remove cognitive biases and unseen assumptions. THEORETICAL TIES TO EMPATHY We had been hopelessly labouring ...attempts to gauge the satisfaction of future circumstances and their sustainability in light of the anticipated future system as a whole. In simulating his

  10. thesis that carnivorous fish

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Anchovy Engraulis capensis is a major pelagic resource in South Africa. The southern stock is found and harvested on the West Coast (southern. Benguela) and adults spawn over the Agulhas Bank. The distribution and movements of anchovy at various life stages have been well established (Crawford 1980,. 1981, Shelton ...

  11. Carnivorous plants in Micronesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Ziemer

    1988-01-01

    Micronesia encompasses about 2,100 islands scattered over some 12 million sq km of the central Pacific between Hawaii and the Philippines. Only about 125 of these small islands are inhabited. The total land area of Micronesia is less than 3,200 sq km, about the size of the state of Rhode Island. The largest island is Guam, with an area of about 540 sq km. There are...

  12. Determination of the variability of both hydrophilic and lipophilic toxins in endemic wild bivalves and carnivorous gastropods from the southern part of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamorano, Ruben; Marín, Michelle; Cabrera, Fabiola; Figueroa, Diego; Contreras, Cristóbal; Barriga, Andrés; Lagos, Néstor; García, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse and determine the composition of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins and lipophilic toxins in the Region of Aysén, Chile, in wild endemic mussels (Mytilus chilensis, Venus antiqua, Aulacomya ater, Choromytilus chorus, Tagelus dombeii and Gari solida) and in two endemic carnivorous molluscs species (Concholepas concholepas and Argobuccinum ranelliforme). PSP-toxin contents were determined by using HPLC with fluorescence detection, while lipophilic toxins were determined by using LC-MS/MS. Mean concentrations for the total of PSP toxins were in the range 55-2505 μg saxitoxin-equivalent/100 g. The two most contaminated samples for PSP toxicity were bivalve Gari solida and carnivorous Argobuccinum ranelliforme with 2505 ± 101 and 1850 ± 137 μg saxitoxin-equivalent/100 g, respectively (p < 0.05). The lipophilic toxins identified were okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin-1 (DTX-1), azaspiracid-1 (AZA-1), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) and yessotoxins (YTX). All analysed molluscs contained lipophilic toxins at levels ranging from 56 ± 4.8 to 156.1 ± 8.2 μg of okadaic acid-equivalent/kg shellfish together with YTX at levels ranging from 1.0 ± 0.1 to 18 ± 0.9 μg of YTX-equivalent/kg shellfish and AZA at levels ranging from 3.6 ± 0.2 to 31 ± 2.1 μg of AZA-equivalent/kg shellfish. Furthermore, different bivalves and gastropods differ in their capacity of retention of lipophilic toxins, as shown by the determination of their respective lipophilic toxins levels. In all the evaluated species, the presence of lipophilic toxins associated with biotransformation in molluscs and carnivorous gastropods was not identified, in contrast to the identification of PSP toxins, where the profiles identified in the different species are directly related to biotransformation processes. Thus, this study provides evidence that the concentration of toxins in the food intake of the evaluated species (Bivalvia and Gastropoda class) determines the degree of

  13. Isolation and characterization of novel lipases from a metagenomic library of the microbial community in the pitcher fluid of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes hybrida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morohoshi, Tomohiro; Oikawa, Manabu; Sato, Shoko; Kikuchi, Noriko; Kato, Norihiro; Ikeda, Tsukasa

    2011-10-01

    Members of the genus Nepenthes are carnivorous plants that use the pitfall method of insect capture as a supplementary nutritional source. We extracted metagenomic DNA from the microbial community found in the pitcher fluid of Nepenthes and constructed a plasmid-based metagenomic library. An activity-based screening method enabled the isolation of two lipase genes, lip1 and lip2. Both Lip1 and Lip2 belong to a novel family or subfamily of lipases and show lipase activities in acidic conditions, such as those found in pitcher fluid. This study was conducted under the assumption that the secreted Lip1 and Lip2 were capable of enzymatic activity in the acidic pitcher fluid. Copyright © 2011 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Autumn-winter diet of three carnivores, European mink (Mustela lutreola, Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra and small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta, in northern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palazón, S.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the autumn-winter diet of three carnivores (Mustela lutreola, Lutra lutra and Genetta genetta in northern Spain. Diet composition was analysed from 85 European mink, 156 otter and 564 spotted genet fecal samples The European mink diet was based on small mammals (relative frequency of occurrences 38.1%, fish (30.9% and birds (16.7%. Spotted genet consumed mainly small mammals, birds and fruits, whilst otter predated practically only fish (95%. Using Levins’ index, trophic-niche widths in European mink, small-spotted genet and Eurasian otter were 3.76, 3.77 and 1.10, respectively. The trophic niche overlap by Pianka index for autumn-winter was 0.77 for European mink vs. Small-spotted genet, and 0.60 for European mink vs. otter. The average size of brown trout taken by otter was larger than those consumed by European mink.

  15. Migrating birds and carnivores introduce ticks and tick borne pathogens to Denmark – but are they also a public health risk?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Rene; Vrbová, Erika; Højgaard, Jesper

    Since the end of the ice age, spring migrating birds from Africa and Europe and autumn migrating birds from Northern Scandinavia have entered Denmark, and recently a small wave of long migrating carnivores have started arriving in Denmark from Central Europe. Theoretically, migrating birds could ...... pathogens. We show that the risk is not just theoretical and we suggest that these introductions may have a practical public health impact....... in Danish forest and nature areas can be expected to be of little practical importance. However, some of the infected ticks, introduced by migrating birds, may be deposited in private gardens and public parks that are otherwise not able to sustain a viable tick population. Migrating birds may therefore...

  16. Improvements on GPS Location Cluster Analysis for the Prediction of Large Carnivore Feeding Activities: Ground-Truth Detection Probability and Inclusion of Activity Sensor Measures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin A Blecha

    Full Text Available Animal space use studies using GPS collar technology are increasingly incorporating behavior based analysis of spatio-temporal data in order to expand inferences of resource use. GPS location cluster analysis is one such technique applied to large carnivores to identify the timing and location of feeding events. For logistical and financial reasons, researchers often implement predictive models for identifying these events. We present two separate improvements for predictive models that future practitioners can implement. Thus far, feeding prediction models have incorporated a small range of covariates, usually limited to spatio-temporal characteristics of the GPS data. Using GPS collared cougar (Puma concolor we include activity sensor data as an additional covariate to increase prediction performance of feeding presence/absence. Integral to the predictive modeling of feeding events is a ground-truthing component, in which GPS location clusters are visited by human observers to confirm the presence or absence of feeding remains. Failing to account for sources of ground-truthing false-absences can bias the number of predicted feeding events to be low. Thus we account for some ground-truthing error sources directly in the model with covariates and when applying model predictions. Accounting for these errors resulted in a 10% increase in the number of clusters predicted to be feeding events. Using a double-observer design, we show that the ground-truthing false-absence rate is relatively low (4% using a search delay of 2-60 days. Overall, we provide two separate improvements to the GPS cluster analysis techniques that can be expanded upon and implemented in future studies interested in identifying feeding behaviors of large carnivores.

  17. Clouded leopards, the secretive top-carnivore of South-East Asian rainforests: their distribution, status and conservation needs in Sabah, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilting, Andreas; Fischer, Frauke; Abu Bakar, Soffian; Linsenmair, K Eduard

    2006-01-01

    Background The continued depletion of tropical rainforests and fragmentation of natural habitats has led to significant ecological changes which place most top carnivores under heavy pressure. Various methods have been used to determine the status of top carnivore populations in rainforest habitats, most of which are costly in terms of equipment and time. In this study we utilized, for the first time, a rigorous track classification method to estimate population size and density of clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) in Tabin Wildlife Reserve in north-eastern Borneo (Sabah). Additionally, we extrapolated our local-scale results to the regional landscape level to estimate clouded leopard population size and density in all of Sabah's reserves, taking into account the reserves' conservation status (totally protected or commercial forest reserves), their size and presence or absence of clouded leopards. Results The population size in the 56 km2 research area was estimated to be five individuals, based on a capture-recapture analysis of four confirmed animals differentiated by their tracks. Extrapolation of these results led to density estimates of nine per 100 km2 in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The true density most likely lies between our approximately 95 % confidence interval of eight to 17 individuals per 100 km2. Conclusion We demonstrate that previous density estimates of 25 animals/100 km2 most likely overestimated the true density. Applying the 95% confidence interval we calculated in total a very rough number of 1500–3200 clouded leopards to be present in Sabah. However, only 275–585 of these animals inhabit the four totally protected reserves that are large enough to hold a long-term viable population of > 50 individuals. PMID:17092347

  18. Effects of environmental enrichment and stereotypic behavior on maternal behavior and infant viability in a model carnivore, the American mink (Neovison vison).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díez-León, María; Mason, Georgia

    2016-01-01

    In several species, stress compromises maternal behaviors that are important for infant viability (e.g. licking and grooming). Understanding how stress in captivity affects maternal behavior could therefore be beneficial, especially for carnivores in zoos and breeding centers where infant mortality is often high. We used a model carnivore--American mink--to test two hypotheses, namely that maternal investment and/or behavior is i. improved by environmental enrichment; and ii. compromised by stereotypic behavior. We observed 22 females raised in an indoor facility, 9 enriched, 13 non-enriched. At birth, and at post-natal day 20 when altricial infants were still fully dependent on their mothers, the following offspring variables were recorded: litter size, infant mortality, litter sex ratio (post-natal day 1), and weight. Maternal behavior was assessed by recording nest shape (post-natal day 1), and the frequency of licking and grooming (post-natal days 1-7). Non-enriched females stereotyped more, had female-skewed litters at birth, and tended to make poorer, flatter nests. Maternal licking and grooming showed large, stable individual differences, but appeared unaffected by enrichment. High levels of maternal stereotypic behavior predicted slower offspring growth, replicating previous findings for farmed mink. Nevertheless, enrichment did not significantly increase infant growth rates nor decrease infant mortality. Due to small sample sizes, our study now needs replicating, particularly to explore the potential benefits of enrichment on nest building, sex ratio effects, and the implications of maternal licking and grooming for offspring stress reactivity. Findings could then apply to endangered mustelids like the European mink. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept in captivity at the zoo from Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Márcia Marques de Campos Andrade

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Control of oral lesions contributes directly to the health, survival and welfare of captive animals. In order to investigate the occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept at the zoo at the Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá, we evaluated 31 oral cavities from three families of carnivores (Felidae, Canidae and Procyonidae between July 2012 and June 2013. Twelve coatis (Nasua nasua, three raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus, two maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus, six crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous, one hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus, three ocelots (Leopardus pardalis, one cougar (Puma concolor and three wild cats (Puma yagouaroundi, Leopardus wiedii and Leopardus colocolo were reviewed. The most frequent lesions were dental absences 21/31 (67.7%, dental fractures 20/31 (64.5% and tooth wear 19/31 (61.3%, which were suggestive of trauma caused from stress. Of lesser importance, we also observed occurrence of dental calculus grade I in 18/31 (58%, caries 1/31 (3.2%, foreign bodies 2/31 (6.4%, orofacial fistulas 1/31 (3.2%, hyperplasia in the oral mucosa 1/31 (3.2%, dental dimming 3/31 (9.7% and chafing of the soft tissue 5/31 (16.1%. Therefore, it was concluded that environmental enrichment strategies and oral routine evaluation must be implemented to ensure the welfare of these animals, reducing local and systemic adverse effects of oral lesions. The diet has been successful in preventing periodontal disease, suggesting that this diet for the captive animals in the institution should be maintained.

  20. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G; Grafe, T Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15)N/(14)N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15)N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15)N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15)N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  1. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Scharmann

    Full Text Available Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15N/(14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15N when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna. Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  2. A Novel Type of Nutritional Ant–Plant Interaction: Ant Partners of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Prevent Nutrient Export by Dipteran Pitcher Infauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharmann, Mathias; Thornham, Daniel G.; Grafe, T. Ulmar; Federle, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect–plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant–plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated 15N/14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ15N) when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants’ nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants) and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a 15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy) but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers’ trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna). Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants’ prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant. PMID:23717446

  3. A critical re-evaluation of bone surface modification models for inferring fossil hominin and carnivore interactions through a multivariate approach: Application to the FLK Zinj archaeofaunal assemblage (Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania)

    OpenAIRE

    Domínguez Rodrigo, Manuel; Bunn T., Henry; Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros, José

    2014-01-01

    Over the past three decades, controversial interpretations of the behavioral meaning of bone Surface modifications at FLK Zinj regarding primary or secondary access to carcasses by hominins have stemmed from the independent use of mark types (cut, percussion, and tooth marks) to evaluate opposing models. Such controversy has also been based on an over-reliance on tooth mark frequencies (mostly generated by non-hominin carnivores), which have been documented to be high when hyenids are primary...

  4. Domestic carnivore interactions with wildlife in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile: husbandry and perceptions of impact from a community perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüttler, Elke; Saavedra-Aracena, Lorena; Jiménez, Jaime E

    2018-01-01

    Hundreds of millions of domestic carnivores worldwide have diverse positive affiliations with humans, but can provoke serious socio-ecological impacts when free-roaming. Unconfined dogs ( Canis familiaris ) and cats ( Felis catus ) interact with wildlife as predators, competitors, and disease-transmitters; their access to wildlife depends on husbandry, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of pet owners and non-owners. To better understand husbandry and perceptions of impacts by unconfined, domestic carnivores, we administered questionnaires ( n  = 244) to pet owners and non-owners living in one of the last wilderness areas of the world, the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, located in southern Chile. We used descriptive statistics to provide demographic pet and husbandry information, quantify free-roaming dogs and cats, map their sightings in nature, and report experiences and perceptions of the impact of free-roaming dogs and cats on wildlife. We corroborated our results with an analysis of prey remains in dog feces ( n  = 53). With generalized linear models, we examined which factors (i.e., food provisioning, reproductive state, rural/village households, sex, and size) predicted that owned dogs and cats bring wildlife prey home. Thirty-one percent of village dogs ( n  = 121) and 60% of dogs in rural areas ( n  = 47) roamed freely day and/or night. Free-roaming dog packs were frequently observed (64% of participants) in the wild, including a feral dog population on Navarino Island. Dogs (31 of 168) brought home invasive muskrats ( Ondatra zibethicus ) and avian prey, and over half of all cats (27 of 51) brought home mainly avian prey. Birds were also the most harassed wildlife category, affected by one third of all dogs and cats. Nevertheless, dog-wildlife conflicts were hardly recognized (<9% of observed conflicts and suspected problems), and only 34% of the participants thought that cats might impact birds. Diet analysis revealed that dogs consumed livestock

  5. Domestic carnivore interactions with wildlife in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile: husbandry and perceptions of impact from a community perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saavedra-Aracena, Lorena; Jiménez, Jaime E.

    2018-01-01

    Background Hundreds of millions of domestic carnivores worldwide have diverse positive affiliations with humans, but can provoke serious socio-ecological impacts when free-roaming. Unconfined dogs (Canis familiaris) and cats (Felis catus) interact with wildlife as predators, competitors, and disease-transmitters; their access to wildlife depends on husbandry, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of pet owners and non-owners. Methods To better understand husbandry and perceptions of impacts by unconfined, domestic carnivores, we administered questionnaires (n = 244) to pet owners and non-owners living in one of the last wilderness areas of the world, the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, located in southern Chile. We used descriptive statistics to provide demographic pet and husbandry information, quantify free-roaming dogs and cats, map their sightings in nature, and report experiences and perceptions of the impact of free-roaming dogs and cats on wildlife. We corroborated our results with an analysis of prey remains in dog feces (n = 53). With generalized linear models, we examined which factors (i.e., food provisioning, reproductive state, rural/village households, sex, and size) predicted that owned dogs and cats bring wildlife prey home. Results Thirty-one percent of village dogs (n = 121) and 60% of dogs in rural areas (n = 47) roamed freely day and/or night. Free-roaming dog packs were frequently observed (64% of participants) in the wild, including a feral dog population on Navarino Island. Dogs (31 of 168) brought home invasive muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) and avian prey, and over half of all cats (27 of 51) brought home mainly avian prey. Birds were also the most harassed wildlife category, affected by one third of all dogs and cats. Nevertheless, dog-wildlife conflicts were hardly recognized (cats might impact birds. Diet analysis revealed that dogs consumed livestock (64% of 59 prey occurrences), beavers (Castor canadensis, 14%), and birds (10

  6. Domestic carnivore interactions with wildlife in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile: husbandry and perceptions of impact from a community perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elke Schüttler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Hundreds of millions of domestic carnivores worldwide have diverse positive affiliations with humans, but can provoke serious socio-ecological impacts when free-roaming. Unconfined dogs (Canis familiaris and cats (Felis catus interact with wildlife as predators, competitors, and disease-transmitters; their access to wildlife depends on husbandry, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of pet owners and non-owners. Methods To better understand husbandry and perceptions of impacts by unconfined, domestic carnivores, we administered questionnaires (n = 244 to pet owners and non-owners living in one of the last wilderness areas of the world, the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, located in southern Chile. We used descriptive statistics to provide demographic pet and husbandry information, quantify free-roaming dogs and cats, map their sightings in nature, and report experiences and perceptions of the impact of free-roaming dogs and cats on wildlife. We corroborated our results with an analysis of prey remains in dog feces (n = 53. With generalized linear models, we examined which factors (i.e., food provisioning, reproductive state, rural/village households, sex, and size predicted that owned dogs and cats bring wildlife prey home. Results Thirty-one percent of village dogs (n = 121 and 60% of dogs in rural areas (n = 47 roamed freely day and/or night. Free-roaming dog packs were frequently observed (64% of participants in the wild, including a feral dog population on Navarino Island. Dogs (31 of 168 brought home invasive muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus and avian prey, and over half of all cats (27 of 51 brought home mainly avian prey. Birds were also the most harassed wildlife category, affected by one third of all dogs and cats. Nevertheless, dog-wildlife conflicts were hardly recognized (<9% of observed conflicts and suspected problems, and only 34% of the participants thought that cats might impact birds. Diet analysis revealed that

  7. Nepenthes insignis uses a C2-portion of the carbon skeleton of L-alanine acquired via its carnivorous organs, to build up the allelochemical plumbagin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rischer, Heiko; Hamm, Andreas; Bringmann, Gerhard

    2002-03-01

    Tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes) catch animals in their specialized cup-shaped leaves, digest the prey by secreting enzymes, and actively take up the resulting compounds. The benefit of this behaviour is the ability to grow and compete in nutrient-poor habitats. Our present in vitro study shows that not only the nitrogen of alanine fed to the carnivorous organs is used by the plant but that in addition intact C2-units derived from C-2 and C-3 of stable isotope labelled L-alanine serve as building blocks, here exemplarily for the synthesis of the secondary metabolite plumbagin, a potent allelochemical. This result adds a new facet to the benefit of carnivory for plants. The availability of plumbagin by a de novo synthesis probably enhances the plants' fitness in their defence against phytophagous and pathogenic organisms. A missing specific uptake or CoA activation mechanism might be the reason that acetate fed to the pitchers was not incorporated into the naphthoquinone plumbagin. The dihydronaphthoquinone glucosides rossoliside and plumbaside A, here isolated for the first time from Nepenthes, by contrast, showed no incorporation after feeding of any of the two precursors, suggesting these compounds to be storage forms with probably very low turnover rates.

  8. Western rock lobsters ( Panulirus cygnus) in Western Australian deep coastal ecosystems (35-60 m) are more carnivorous than those in shallow coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddington, Kris I.; Bellchambers, Lynda M.; Vanderklift, Mathew A.; Walker, Diana I.

    2008-08-01

    The western rock lobster ( Panurilus cygnus George.) is a conspicuous consumer in the coastal ecosystems of temperate Western Australia. We used stable isotope analysis and gut content analysis to determine the diet and trophic position of western rock lobsters from mid-shelf coastal ecosystems (35-60 m depth) at three locations. Lobsters were primarily carnivorous, and no consistent differences in diet were detected with varying lobster size, sex or among locations. The main components of the diet were bait (from the fishery) and small crustaceans - crabs and amphipods/isopods. Foliose red algae, bivalves/gastropods and sponges were minor contributors to diet. The diet of lobsters in deep coastal ecosystems differed from the results of previous studies of diets of lobsters from shallow coastal ecosystems. In particular, coralline algae and molluscs - important prey in studies of lobsters from shallow coastal ecosystems - were minor components of the diet. These differences are likely to reflect differences in food availability between these systems and potentially, differences in choice of prey by lobsters that inhabit deeper water. Given the high contribution of bait to lobster diet, bait is likely to be subsidizing lobster production in deep coastal ecosystems during the fishing season.

  9. Emergence of canine distemper virus strains with modified molecular signature and enhanced neuronal tropism leading to high mortality in wild carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Origgi, F C; Plattet, P; Sattler, U; Robert, N; Casaubon, J; Mavrot, F; Pewsner, M; Wu, N; Giovannini, S; Oevermann, A; Stoffel, M H; Gaschen, V; Segner, H; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P

    2012-11-01

    An ongoing canine distemper epidemic was first detected in Switzerland in the spring of 2009. Compared to previous local canine distemper outbreaks, it was characterized by unusually high morbidity and mortality, rapid spread over the country, and susceptibility of several wild carnivore species. Here, the authors describe the associated pathologic changes and phylogenetic and biological features of a multiple highly virulent canine distemper virus (CDV) strain detected in and/or isolated from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), stone (Martes foina) and pine (Martes martes) martens, from a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a domestic dog. The main lesions included interstitial to bronchointerstitial pneumonia and meningopolioencephalitis, whereas demyelination--the classic presentation of CDV infection--was observed in few cases only. In the brain lesions, viral inclusions were mainly in the nuclei of the neurons. Some significant differences in brain and lung lesions were observed between foxes and mustelids. Swiss CDV isolates shared together with a Hungarian CDV strain detected in 2004. In vitro analysis of the hemagglutinin protein from one of the Swiss CDV strains revealed functional and structural differences from that of the reference strain A75/17, with the Swiss strain showing increased surface expression and binding efficiency to the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM). These features might be part of a novel molecular signature, which might have contributed to an increase in virus pathogenicity, partially explaining the high morbidity and mortality, the rapid spread, and the large host spectrum observed in this outbreak.

  10. Serosurvey for selected viral infections in free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca) and domestic carnivores in Brazilian Cerrado, Pantanal, and Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Mariana Malzoni; de Ramos Filho, José Domingues; Scheffer, Karin Corrêa; Coelho, Claudio José; Cruz, Paula Sônia; Ikuta, Cassia Yumi; Jácomo, Anah Tereza de Almeida; Porfírio, Grasiela Edith de Oliveira; Silveira, Leandro; Sollmann, Rahel; Tôrres, Natália Mundim; Ferreira Neto, José Soares

    2013-07-01

    We investigated the exposure of jaguar (Panthera onca) populations and domestic carnivores to selected viral infections in the Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal biomes of Brazil. Between February 2000 and January 2010, we collected serum samples from 31 jaguars, 174 dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), and 35 domestic cats (Felis catus). Serologic analyses for antibodies to rabies virus, canine distemper virus (CDV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen were conducted. The jaguars from Cerrado and Pantantal were exposed to rabies virus, while the jaguars from the Pantanal and the dogs from all three areas were exposed to CDV. Two cats from the Amazonian site were antigen-positive for FeLV, but no jaguars had FeLV antigen or FIV antibody. Canine distemper and rabies viruses should be carefully monitored and considered potential threats to these jaguar populations. Currently FIV and FeLV do not appear to represent a health threat for jaguar populations in this area. Domestic dogs and cats in these areas should be vaccinated, and the movement of domestic animals around protected areas should be restricted.

  11. Fastest predators in the plant kingdom: functional morphology and biomechanics of suction traps found in the largest genus of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Weisskopf, Carmen; Westermeier, Anna Sophia; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2015-11-24

    Understanding the physics of plant movements, which describe the interplay between plant architecture, movement speed and actuation principles, is essential for the comprehension of important processes like plant morphogenesis. Recent investigations especially on rapid plant movements at the interface of biology, physics and engineering sciences highlight how such fast motions can be achieved without the presence of muscles, nerves and technical hinge analogies. The suction traps (bladders) of carnivorous bladderworts (Utricularia spp., Lentibulariaceae, Lamiales) are considered as some of the most elaborate moving structures in the plant kingdom. A complex interplay of morphological and physiological adaptations allows the traps to pump water out of their body and to store elastic energy in the deformed bladder walls. Mechanical stimulation by prey entails opening of the otherwise watertight trapdoor, followed by trap wall relaxation, sucking in of water and prey, and consecutive trapdoor closure. Suction can also occur spontaneously in non-stimulated traps. We review the current state of knowledge about the suction trap mechanism with a focus on architectonically homogeneous traps of aquatic bladderwort species from section Utricularia (the so-called 'Utricularia vulgaris trap type'). The functional morphology and biomechanics of the traps are described in detail. We discuss open questions and propose promising aspects for future studies on these sophisticated ultra-fast trapping devices. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  12. The Green Tetrahymena utriculariae n. sp. (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea) with Its Endosymbiotic Algae (Micractinium sp.), Living in Traps of a Carnivorous Aquatic Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitsch, Gianna; Adamec, Lubomír; Dirren, Sebastian; Nitsche, Frank; Šimek, Karel; Sirová, Dagmara; Posch, Thomas

    2017-05-01

    The genus Tetrahymena (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea) probably represents the best studied ciliate genus. At present, more than forty species have been described. All are colorless, i.e. they do not harbor symbiotic algae, and as aerobes they need at least microaerobic habitats. Here, we present the morphological and molecular description of the first green representative, Tetrahymena utriculariae n. sp., living in symbiosis with endosymbiotic algae identified as Micractinium sp. (Chlorophyta). The full life cycle of the ciliate species is documented, including trophonts and theronts, conjugating cells, resting cysts and dividers. This species has been discovered in an exotic habitat, namely in traps of the carnivorous aquatic plant Utricularia reflexa (originating from Okavango Delta, Botswana). Green ciliates live as commensals of the plant in this anoxic habitat. Ciliates are bacterivorous, however, symbiosis with algae is needed to satisfy cell metabolism but also to gain oxygen from symbionts. When ciliates are cultivated outside their natural habitat under aerobic conditions and fed with saturating bacterial food, they gradually become aposymbiotic. Based on phylogenetic analyses of 18S rRNA and mitochondrial cox1 genes T. utriculariae forms a sister group to Tetrahymena thermophila. © 2016 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2016 International Society of Protistologists.

  13. Composite structure of the crystalline epicuticular wax layer of the slippery zone in the pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes alata and its effect on insect attachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorb, E; Haas, K; Henrich, A; Enders, S; Barbakadze, N; Gorb, S

    2005-12-01

    The slippery zone situated below the peristome inside pitchers of most carnivorous plants from the genus Nepenthes is covered with a thick layer of epicuticular wax. This slippery zone is reported to play a crucial role in animal trapping and prey retention. In N. alata, the wax coverage consists of two clearly distinguished layers. These layers differ in their structure, chemical composition and mechanical properties, and they reduce the insect attachment in different ways. The lower layer resembles foam, composed of interconnected membraneous platelets protruding from the surface at acute angles. The upper layer consists of densely placed separate irregular platelets, located perpendicular to the subjacent layer. Crystals of the upper layer bear small stalks, directed downwards and providing connections to the lower layer. These morphological distinctions correlate with differences in the chemical composition of waxes. The compound classes of alkanes, aldehydes, primary alcohols, free fatty acids, esters and triterpenoids occurred in extracts from both wax layers, but in different proportions. Chain length distributions in aliphatics were different in extracts from the lower and the upper wax layers. Waxes of the upper and lower layers exhibited different mechanical properties: wax of the lower layer is harder and stiffer than that of the upper layer. Moreover, crystals of the upper layer are brittle and may be easily exfoliated or broken to tiny pieces. Laboratory experiments using tethered insects showed that both wax layers reduce the attachment force of insects. It is assumed that a decrease in insect attachment on the two distinct wax layers is provided by the two different mechanisms: (1) crystals of the upper wax layer contaminate insects' adhesive pads; (2) the lower wax layer leads to a reduction of the real contact area of insects' feet with the plant surface.

  14. The Ancestral Carnivore Karyotype As Substantiated by Comparative Chromosome Painting of Three Pinnipeds, the Walrus, the Steller Sea Lion and the Baikal Seal (Pinnipedia, Carnivora).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beklemisheva, Violetta R; Perelman, Polina L; Lemskaya, Natalya A; Kulemzina, Anastasia I; Proskuryakova, Anastasia A; Burkanov, Vladimir N; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2016-01-01

    Karyotype evolution in Carnivora is thoroughly studied by classical and molecular cytogenetics and supplemented by reconstructions of Ancestral Carnivora Karyotype (ACK). However chromosome painting information from two pinniped families (Odobenidae and Otariidae) is noticeably missing. We report on the construction of the comparative chromosome map for species from each of the three pinniped families: the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus, Odobenidae-monotypic family), near threatened Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus, Otariidae) and the endemic Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica, Phocidae) using combination of human, domestic dog and stone marten whole-chromosome painting probes. The earliest karyological studies of Pinnipedia showed that pinnipeds were characterized by a pro