WorldWideScience

Sample records for ecological communities

  1. Community Ecology

    CERN Document Server

    1988-01-01

    This book presents the proceedings of a workshop on community ecology organized at Davis, in April, 1986, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. There have been several recent symposia on community ecology (Strong et. al., 1984, Diamond and Case, 1987) which have covered a wide range of topics. The goal of the workshop at Davis was more narrow: to explore the role of scale in developing a theoretical approach to understanding communities. There are a number of aspects of scale that enter into attempts to understand ecological communities. One of the most basic is organizational scale. Should community ecology proceed by building up from population biology? This question and its ramifications are stressed throughout the book and explored in the first chapter by Simon Levin. Notions of scale have long been important in understanding physical systems. Thus, in understanding the interactions of organisms with their physical environment, questions of scale become paramount. These more physical questions illustrate the...

  2. What is microbial community ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-11-01

    The activities of complex communities of microbes affect biogeochemical transformations in natural, managed and engineered ecosystems. Meaningfully defining what constitutes a community of interacting microbial populations is not trivial, but is important for rigorous progress in the field. Important elements of research in microbial community ecology include the analysis of functional pathways for nutrient resource and energy flows, mechanistic understanding of interactions between microbial populations and their environment, and the emergent properties of the complex community. Some emergent properties mirror those analyzed by community ecologists who study plants and animals: biological diversity, functional redundancy and system stability. However, because microbes possess mechanisms for the horizontal transfer of genetic information, the metagenome may also be considered as a community property.

  3. Adaptive evolution in ecological communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Turcotte

    Full Text Available Understanding how natural selection drives evolution is a key challenge in evolutionary biology. Most studies of adaptation focus on how a single environmental factor, such as increased temperature, affects evolution within a single species. The biological relevance of these experiments is limited because nature is infinitely more complex. Most species are embedded within communities containing many species that interact with one another and the physical environment. To understand the evolutionary significance of such ecological complexity, experiments must test the evolutionary impact of interactions among multiple species during adaptation. Here we highlight an experiment that manipulates species composition and tracks evolutionary responses within each species, while testing for the mechanisms by which species interact and adapt to their environment. We also discuss limitations of previous studies of adaptive evolution and emphasize how an experimental evolution approach can circumvent such shortcomings. Understanding how community composition acts as a selective force will improve our ability to predict how species adapt to natural and human-induced environmental change.

  4. The community ecology of pathogens: coinfection, coexistence and community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Gross, Kevin; Kendig, Amy E; Lacroix, Christelle; Mitchell, Charles E; Mordecai, Erin A; Power, Alison G

    2015-04-01

    Disease and community ecology share conceptual and theoretical lineages, and there has been a resurgence of interest in strengthening links between these fields. Building on recent syntheses focused on the effects of host community composition on single pathogen systems, we examine pathogen (microparasite) communities using a stochastic metacommunity model as a starting point to bridge community and disease ecology perspectives. Such models incorporate the effects of core community processes, such as ecological drift, selection and dispersal, but have not been extended to incorporate host-pathogen interactions, such as immunosuppression or synergistic mortality, that are central to disease ecology. We use a two-pathogen susceptible-infected (SI) model to fill these gaps in the metacommunity approach; however, SI models can be intractable for examining species-diverse, spatially structured systems. By placing disease into a framework developed for community ecology, our synthesis highlights areas ripe for progress, including a theoretical framework that incorporates host dynamics, spatial structuring and evolutionary processes, as well as the data needed to test the predictions of such a model. Our synthesis points the way for this framework and demonstrates that a deeper understanding of pathogen community dynamics will emerge from approaches working at the interface of disease and community ecology. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Diversity spurs diversification in ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Vincent; Jarne, Philippe; Loreau, Michel; Mouquet, Nicolas; David, Patrice

    2017-06-09

    Diversity is a fundamental, yet threatened, property of ecological systems. The idea that diversity can itself favour diversification, in an autocatalytic process, is very appealing but remains controversial. Here, we study a generalized model of ecological communities and investigate how the level of initial diversity influences the possibility of evolutionary diversification. We show that even simple models of intra- and inter-specific ecological interactions can predict a positive effect of diversity on diversification: adaptive radiations may require a threshold number of species before kicking-off. We call this phenomenon DDAR (diversity-dependent adaptive radiations) and identify mathematically two distinct pathways connecting diversity to diversification, involving character displacement and the positive diversity-productivity relationship. Our results may explain observed delays in adaptive radiations at the macroscale and diversification patterns reported in experimental microbial communities, and shed new light on the dynamics of ecological diversity, the diversity-dependence of diversification rates, and the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  6. Diversity spurs diversification in ecological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Vincent; Jarne, Philippe; Loreau, Michel; Mouquet, Nicolas; David, Patrice

    2017-06-01

    Diversity is a fundamental, yet threatened, property of ecological systems. The idea that diversity can itself favour diversification, in an autocatalytic process, is very appealing but remains controversial. Here, we study a generalized model of ecological communities and investigate how the level of initial diversity influences the possibility of evolutionary diversification. We show that even simple models of intra- and inter-specific ecological interactions can predict a positive effect of diversity on diversification: adaptive radiations may require a threshold number of species before kicking-off. We call this phenomenon DDAR (diversity-dependent adaptive radiations) and identify mathematically two distinct pathways connecting diversity to diversification, involving character displacement and the positive diversity-productivity relationship. Our results may explain observed delays in adaptive radiations at the macroscale and diversification patterns reported in experimental microbial communities, and shed new light on the dynamics of ecological diversity, the diversity-dependence of diversification rates, and the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  7. Offshore Fish Community: Ecological Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    The offshore (>80 m) fish community of Lake Superior is made up of predominately native species. The most prominent species are deepwater sculpin, kiyi, cisco, siscowet lake trout, burbot, and the exotic sea lamprey. Bloater and shortjaw cisco are also found in the offshore zone...

  8. Ecological communities with Lotka-Volterra dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunin, Guy

    2017-04-01

    Ecological communities in heterogeneous environments assemble through the combined effect of species interaction and migration. Understanding the effect of these processes on the community properties is central to ecology. Here we study these processes for a single community subject to migration from a pool of species, with population dynamics described by the generalized Lotka-Volterra equations. We derive exact results for the phase diagram describing the dynamical behaviors, and for the diversity and species abundance distributions. A phase transition is found from a phase where a unique globally attractive fixed point exists to a phase where multiple dynamical attractors exist, leading to history-dependent community properties. The model is shown to possess a symmetry that also establishes a connection with other well-known models.

  9. Mapping the ecological networks of microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yandong; Angulo, Marco Tulio; Friedman, Jonathan; Waldor, Matthew K; Weiss, Scott T; Liu, Yang-Yu

    2017-12-11

    Mapping the ecological networks of microbial communities is a necessary step toward understanding their assembly rules and predicting their temporal behavior. However, existing methods require assuming a particular population dynamics model, which is not known a priori. Moreover, those methods require fitting longitudinal abundance data, which are often not informative enough for reliable inference. To overcome these limitations, here we develop a new method based on steady-state abundance data. Our method can infer the network topology and inter-taxa interaction types without assuming any particular population dynamics model. Additionally, when the population dynamics is assumed to follow the classic Generalized Lotka-Volterra model, our method can infer the inter-taxa interaction strengths and intrinsic growth rates. We systematically validate our method using simulated data, and then apply it to four experimental data sets. Our method represents a key step towards reliable modeling of complex, real-world microbial communities, such as the human gut microbiota.

  10. Towards a concept of community artifact ecology in HCI?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saad-Sulonen, Joanna; Korsgaard, Henrik

    or workplaces do. This has implications on understanding how to research and design HCI for communities but also on refining the ecological perspective in HCI. We look in particular at examples from preliminary research on a local self-organised urban community and discuss what existing concepts in the ecology......In this paper we introduce the concept of community artifact ecology. We argue that taking a community perspective on the concept of artifact ecologies is relevant in HCI because communities are also dealing with multitudes of artifacts, in ways di↵erent that individuals, organizations...

  11. Is a community still a community? Reviewing definitions of key terms in community ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Stroud, James T.; Bush, Michael R.; Ladd, Mark C.; Nowicki, Robert J.; Shantz, Andrew A.; Sweatman, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Community ecology is an inherently complicated field, confounded by the conflicting use of fundamental terms. Nearly two decades ago, Fauth et?al. (1996) demonstrated that imprecise language led to the virtual synonymy of important terms and so attempted to clearly define four keywords in community ecology; ?community,? ?assemblage,? ?guild,? and ?ensemble?. We revisit Fauth et?al.'s conclusion and discuss how the use of these terms has changed over time since their review. An update...

  12. Is a community still a community? Reviewing definitions of key terms in community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, James T; Bush, Michael R; Ladd, Mark C; Nowicki, Robert J; Shantz, Andrew A; Sweatman, Jennifer

    2015-11-01

    Community ecology is an inherently complicated field, confounded by the conflicting use of fundamental terms. Nearly two decades ago, Fauth et al. (1996) demonstrated that imprecise language led to the virtual synonymy of important terms and so attempted to clearly define four keywords in community ecology; "community," "assemblage," "guild," and "ensemble". We revisit Fauth et al.'s conclusion and discuss how the use of these terms has changed over time since their review. An updated analysis of term definition from a selection of popular ecological textbooks suggests that definitions have drifted away from those encountered pre-1996, and slightly disagreed with results from a survey of 100 ecology professionals (comprising of academic professors, nonacademic PhDs, graduate and undergraduate biology students). Results suggest that confusion about these terms is still widespread in ecology. We conclude with clear suggestions for definitions of each term to be adopted hereafter to provide greater cohesion among research groups.

  13. Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Stephen T; Blois, Jessica L

    2015-04-21

    Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a "missing middle": Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit.

  14. Community ecology in 3D: Tensor decomposition reveals spatio-temporal dynamics of large ecological communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frelat, Romain; Lindegren, Martin; Dencker, Tim Spaanheden

    2017-01-01

    it to multiple dimensions. This extension allows for the synchronized study of multiple ecological variables measured repeatedly in time and space. We applied this comprehensive approach to explore the spatio-temporal dynamics of 65 demersal fish species in the North Sea, a marine ecosystem strongly altered...... by human activities and climate change. Our case study demonstrates how tensor decomposition can successfully (i) characterize the main spatio-temporal patterns and trends in species abundances, (ii) identify sub-communities of species that share similar spatial distribution and temporal dynamics, and (iii...

  15. An analytically tractable model for community ecology with many species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickens, Benjamin; Fisher, Charles; Mehta, Pankaj; Pankaj Mehta Biophysics Theory Group Team

    A fundamental problem in community ecology is to understand how ecological processes such as selection, drift, and immigration yield observed patterns in species composition and diversity. Here, we present an analytically tractable, presence-absence (PA) model for community assembly and use it to ask how ecological traits such as the strength of competition, diversity in competition, and stochasticity affect species composition in a community. In our PA model, we treat species as stochastic binary variables that can either be present or absent in a community: species can immigrate into the community from a regional species pool and can go extinct due to competition and stochasticity. Despite its simplicity, the PA model reproduces the qualitative features of more complicated models of community assembly. In agreement with recent work on large, competitive Lotka-Volterra systems, the PA model exhibits distinct ecological behaviors organized around a special (``critical'') point corresponding to Hubbell's neutral theory of biodiversity. Our results suggest that the concepts of ``phases'' and phase diagrams can provide a powerful framework for thinking about community ecology and that the PA model captures the essential ecological dynamics of community assembly. Pm was supported by a Simons Investigator in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems and a Sloan Research Fellowship.

  16. Ecological and evolutionary effects of stickleback on community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

    Full Text Available Species' ecology and evolution can have strong effects on communities. Both may change concurrently when species colonize a new ecosystem. We know little, however, about the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary change on community structure. We simultaneously examined the effects of top-predator ecology and evolution on freshwater community parameters using recently evolved generalist and specialist ecotypes of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. We used a mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of ecological (fish presence and density and evolutionary (phenotypic diversity and specialization factors on community structure at lower trophic levels. We evaluated zooplankton biomass and composition, periphyton and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentration, and net primary production among treatments containing different densities and diversities of stickleback. Our results showed that both ecological and evolutionary differences in the top-predator affect different aspects of community structure and composition. Community structure, specifically the abundance of organisms at each trophic level, was affected by stickleback presence and density, whereas composition of zooplankton was influenced by stickleback diversity and specialization. Primary productivity, in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and net primary production was affected by ecological but not evolutionary factors. Our results stress the importance of concurrently evaluating both changes in density and phenotypic diversity on the structure and composition of communities.

  17. Implications of ecological and social characteristics to community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Implications of ecological and social characteristics to community livelihoods in the coastal ... African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology ... This will further address conflicts over resource uses that may arise due to livelihood ...

  18. Community Based Ecological Monitoring of Non Timber Forest ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Community Based Ecological Monitoring of Non Timber Forest Products in the Nilgiri ... This project will allow Keystone Foundation to design, implement and test a ... traders, forest department officials and other stakeholders in the process.

  19. Ecology of Malaria Vectors in a Rainforest Suburban Community of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    2011-04-19

    Apr 19, 2011 ... Key words: Malaria, Mosquito, Vectors, Ecology, Suburban, Community. ... including host bloodmeal preferences, time and place of biting and resting .... Five species of mosquitoes namely Aedes albopictus, Culex tigripes,.

  20. HOW ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES ARE STRUCTURED: A REVIEW ON ECOLOGICAL ASSEMBLY RULES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Jaime Colorado Zuluaga

    Full Text Available Whether biological communities are deterministic or stochastic assemblages of species has long been a central topic of ecology. The widely demonstrated presence of structural patterns in nature may imply the existence of rules that regulate the organization of ecological communities. In this review, I present a compilation of major assembly rules that fundament, in a great proportion, the community assembly theory. Initially, I present a general overview of key concepts associated to the assembly of communities, in particular the origin of assembly rules, definition, the problem of scale and underlying mechanisms in the structure of ecological communities. Subsequently, two major approaches or paradigms (i.e. species-based and trait-based for the assembly of communities are discussed. Finally, major tested assembly rules are explored and discussed under the light of available published literature.

  1. Stochastic Community Assembly: Does It Matter in Microbial Ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jizhong; Ning, Daliang

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms controlling community diversity, functions, succession, and biogeography is a central, but poorly understood, topic in ecology, particularly in microbial ecology. Although stochastic processes are believed to play nonnegligible roles in shaping community structure, their importance relative to deterministic processes is hotly debated. The importance of ecological stochasticity in shaping microbial community structure is far less appreciated. Some of the main reasons for such heavy debates are the difficulty in defining stochasticity and the diverse methods used for delineating stochasticity. Here, we provide a critical review and synthesis of data from the most recent studies on stochastic community assembly in microbial ecology. We then describe both stochastic and deterministic components embedded in various ecological processes, including selection, dispersal, diversification, and drift. We also describe different approaches for inferring stochasticity from observational diversity patterns and highlight experimental approaches for delineating ecological stochasticity in microbial communities. In addition, we highlight research challenges, gaps, and future directions for microbial community assembly research. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  2. Embracing community ecology in plant microbiome research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, F.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2018-01-01

    Community assembly is mediated by selection, dispersal, drift, and speciation. Environmental selection is mostly used to date to explain patterns in plant microbiome assembly, whereas the influence of the other processes remains largely elusive. Recent studies highlight that adopting community

  3. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, James C; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K; Konopka, Allan E

    2015-01-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  4. Estimating and Mapping Ecological Processes Influencing Microbial Community Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Stegen

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  5. ECOLOGICAL ETHICS. VALUES AND NORMS IN LOCAL RURAL COMMUNITIES

    OpenAIRE

    Włodzimierz Kaczocha; Jan Sikora

    2016-01-01

    An important role in sustainable rural development, involving economy, local communities and nature, should be played by ethics. This paper presents a theoretical and empirical characterization of basic problems of ecological ethics. First and foremost, the study characterizes the philosophical fundamentals of this ethics, with emphasis on ontological and anthropological views of selected thinkers. A universal concept of ecological ethics was proposed, containing values and moral norms that p...

  6. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-04-29

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0-30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0-20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30-60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0-20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings.

  7. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0-30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0-20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30-60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0-20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings.

  8. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  9. Fragmentation alters stream fish community structure in dendritic ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B

    2012-12-01

    Effects of fragmentation on the ecology of organisms occupying dendritic ecological networks (DENs) have recently been described through both conceptual and mathematical models, but few hypotheses have been tested in complex, real-world ecosystems. Stream fishes provide a model system for assessing effects of fragmentation on the structure of communities occurring within DENs, including how fragmentation alters metacommunity dynamics and biodiversity. A recently developed habitat-availability measure, the "dendritic connectivity index" (DCI), allows for assigning quantitative measures of connectivity in DENs regardless of network extent or complexity, and might be used to predict fish community response to fragmentation. We characterized stream fish community structure in 12 DENs in the Great Plains, USA, during periods of dynamic (summer) and muted (fall) discharge regimes to test the DCI as a predictive model of fish community response to fragmentation imposed by road crossings. Results indicated that fish communities in stream segments isolated by road crossings had reduced species richness (alpha diversity) relative to communities that maintained connectivity with the surrounding DEN during summer and fall. Furthermore, isolated communities had greater dissimilarity (beta diversity) to downstream sites notisolated by road crossings during summer and fall. Finally, dissimilarity among communities within DENs decreased as a function of increased habitat connectivity (measured using the DCI) for summer and fall, suggesting that communities within highly connected DENs tend to be more homogeneous. Our results indicate that the DCI is sensitive to community effects of fragmentation in riverscapes and might be used by managers to predict ecological responses to changes in habitat connectivity. Moreover, our findings illustrate that relating structural connectivity of riverscapes to functional connectivity among communities might aid in maintaining metacommunity

  10. Measuring temporal turnover in ecological communities

    OpenAIRE

    Shimadzu, Hideyasu; Dornelas, Maria; Magurran, Anne

    2015-01-01

    The authors acknowledge support from the European Research Council (project BioTIME 250189) and the Royal Society. MD acknowledges funding from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS). MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions. 1.Range migrations in response to climate change, invasive species and the emergence of novel ecosystems highlight the importance of temporal turnover in community composition as a...

  11. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  12. Community ecology of tropical forest snails: 30 years after Solem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, M.

    2011-01-01

    Since Solem’s provocative claim in the early 1980s that land snails in tropical forests are neither abundant nor diverse, at least 30 quantitative-ecological papers on tropical land snail communities have appeared. Jointly, these papers have shown that site diversity is, in fact, high in tropical

  13. Offshore Fish Community: Ecological Interactions | Science ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The offshore (>80 m) fish community of Lake Superior is made up of predominately native species. The most prominent species are deepwater sculpin, kiyi, cisco, siscowet lake trout, burbot, and the exotic sea lamprey. Bloater and shortjaw cisco are also found in the offshore zone. Bloater is abundant in the offshore zone but appears restricted to depths shallower than 150 m (Selgeby and Hoff 1996; Stockwell et al. 2010), although it occuppied greater depths several decades ago (Dryer 1966; Peck 1977). Shortjaw is relatively rare in the offshore zone (Hoff and Todd 2004; Gorman and Hoff 2009; Gorman and Todd 2007). Lake whitefish is also known to frequent bathymetric depths >100 m (Yule et al. 2008b). In this chapter, we develop a conceptual model of the offshore food web based on data collected during 2001-2005 and on inferences from species interactions known for the nearshore fish community. We then develop a framework for examination of energy and nutrient movements within the pelagic and benthic habitats of the offshore zone and across the offshore and nearshore zones. To document research results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. ECOLOGICAL INTELLIGENCE OF COASTAL COMMUNITY ON BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION (Case Study of Bajau Coastal Communities, Gorontalo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramli Utina

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Human behavior is a part of the ecological system, therefore overcoming the ecological crisis and living resources need to explore human traditions, way of life and human behavior toward natural resources. Understanding and translation of human harmonious relationship with all elements along with other living beings is a form of human ecological intelligence. The objective of this study was to describe the traditions and coastal communities behavior that contains the value of ecological intelligence in coastal biodiversity conservation. The study was based on observation, focus group discussion and identification of Bajau coastal community tradition in their lives and livelihoods on fishing, as well as the behavior toward biological resources. Bajau coastal communities settled in three villages in Pohuwato regency, Gorontalo. There are two themes that contains the value of ecological intelligence of  Bajau communities in the conservation of biodiversity, namely; mamia kadialo in tradition of fishing, and fishing behavior. The prohibition in the tradition of mamia kadialo contains the value of conservation of biodiversity. Usage of simple equipment on fishing activities provide a positive ecological consequences for the conservation of coastal biodiversity.

  16. Ananke: temporal clustering reveals ecological dynamics of microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W. Hall

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Taxonomic markers such as the 16S ribosomal RNA gene are widely used in microbial community analysis. A common first step in marker-gene analysis is grouping genes into clusters to reduce data sets to a more manageable size and potentially mitigate the effects of sequencing error. Instead of clustering based on sequence identity, marker-gene data sets collected over time can be clustered based on temporal correlation to reveal ecologically meaningful associations. We present Ananke, a free and open-source algorithm and software package that complements existing sequence-identity-based clustering approaches by clustering marker-gene data based on time-series profiles and provides interactive visualization of clusters, including highlighting of internal OTU inconsistencies. Ananke is able to cluster distinct temporal patterns from simulations of multiple ecological patterns, such as periodic seasonal dynamics and organism appearances/disappearances. We apply our algorithm to two longitudinal marker gene data sets: faecal communities from the human gut of an individual sampled over one year, and communities from a freshwater lake sampled over eleven years. Within the gut, the segregation of the bacterial community around a food-poisoning event was immediately clear. In the freshwater lake, we found that high sequence identity between marker genes does not guarantee similar temporal dynamics, and Ananke time-series clusters revealed patterns obscured by clustering based on sequence identity or taxonomy. Ananke is free and open-source software available at https://github.com/beiko-lab/ananke.

  17. Connectivity and Nestedness in Bipartite Networks from Community Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corso, Gilberto; De Araujo, A I Levartoski; De Almeida, Adriana M

    2011-01-01

    Bipartite networks and the nestedness concept appear in two different contexts in theoretical ecology: community ecology and islands biogeography. From a mathematical perspective nestedness is a pattern in a bipartite network. There are several nestedness indices in the market, we used the index ν. The index ν is found using the relation ν = 1 - τ where τ is the temperature of the adjacency matrix of the bipartite network. By its turn τ is defined with help of the Manhattan distance of the occupied elements of the adjacency matrix of the bipartite network. We prove that the nestedness index ν is a function of the connectivities of the bipartite network. In addition we find a concise way to find ν which avoid cumbersome algorithm manupulation of the adjacency matrix.

  18. Connectivity and Nestedness in Bipartite Networks from Community Ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corso, Gilberto [Departamento de Biofisica e Farmacologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); De Araujo, A I Levartoski [Instituto Federal de Educacao, Ciencia e Tecnologia do Ceara Av. Treze de Maio, 2081 - Benfica CEP 60040-531 - Fortaleza, CE (Brazil); De Almeida, Adriana M, E-mail: corso@cb.ufrn.br [Departamento de Botanica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil)

    2011-03-01

    Bipartite networks and the nestedness concept appear in two different contexts in theoretical ecology: community ecology and islands biogeography. From a mathematical perspective nestedness is a pattern in a bipartite network. There are several nestedness indices in the market, we used the index {nu}. The index {nu} is found using the relation {nu} = 1 - {tau} where {tau} is the temperature of the adjacency matrix of the bipartite network. By its turn {tau} is defined with help of the Manhattan distance of the occupied elements of the adjacency matrix of the bipartite network. We prove that the nestedness index {nu} is a function of the connectivities of the bipartite network. In addition we find a concise way to find {nu} which avoid cumbersome algorithm manupulation of the adjacency matrix.

  19. Building translational ecology communities of practice: insights from the field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Dawn M.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Yung, Laurie; Enquist, Carolyn A. F.

    2017-01-01

    Translational ecology (TE) prioritizes the understanding of social systems and decision contexts in order to address complex natural resource management issues. Although many practitioners in applied fields employ translational tactics, the body of literature addressing such approaches is limited. We present several case studies illustrating the principles of TE and the diversity of its applications. We anticipate that these examples will help others develop scientific products that decision makers can use “off the shelf” when solving critical ecological and social challenges. Our collective experience suggests that research of such immediate utility is rare. Long‐term commitment to working directly with partners to develop and reach shared goals is central to successful translation. The examples discussed here highlight the benefits of translational processes, including actionable scientific results, more informed policy making, increased investment in science‐driven solutions, and inspiration for partnerships. We aim to facilitate future TE‐based projects and build momentum for growing this community of practice.

  20. Population and community ecology of the rare plant amsinckia grandiflora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

    Research was conducted between the fall of 1992 and the spring on the population and community ecology of the rare annual plant, Amsinckia glandiflora (Gray) Kleeb. ex Greene (Boraginaceae). The research goal was to investigate the causes of the species rarity, data useful to restorative efforts. The work focused on the examination of competitive suppression by exotic annual grasses; comparisons with common, weedy congener; and the role of litter cover and seed germination and seedling establishment. Annual exotic grasses reduced A. grandiflora reproductive output to a greater extent than did the native perennial bunch grass.

  1. COMPLEXITY OF ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS (THE CASE OF MARINE CILIATE COMMUNITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.V. Burkovsky

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyzes the seasonal and long-term dynamics of marine interstitial ciliates communities as a result of the processes of system self-organization (of increasing complexity in constantly fluctuating environment. The traits of simple structure of ciliate community include substantial variability in the composition (even in case of stable environment and the lack of sustainable combinations of species. The mechanism of the current state maintenance is the lack of energy supply in certain periods or in specific loci of space, as well as large amplitude and unpredictable fluctuations of environmental factors. An indication of the community’s complexity is availability of stable combinations of species in time and space. The mechanisms of formation of stable species combinations are a constant flow of external energy, optimal values and stability of environmental factors (including repeatability of seasonal cycles and the use of space resources by species according the principle of complementarity of ecological niches.

  2. Trophic ecology drives contaminant concentrations within a tropical seabird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastiano, Manrico; Bustamante, Paco; Eulaers, Igor; Malarvannan, Govindan; Mendez-Fernandez, Paula; Churlaud, Carine; Blévin, Pierre; Hauselmann, Antoine; Covaci, Adrian; Eens, Marcel; Costantini, David; Chastel, Olivier

    2017-08-01

    To support environmental management programs, there is an urgent need to know about the presence and understand the dynamics of major contaminants in seabird communities of key marine ecosystems. In this study, we investigated the concentrations and trophodynamics of trace elements in six seabird species and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in three seabird species breeding on Grand Connétable Island (French Guiana), an area where the increase in human population and mining activities has raised concerns in recent years. Red blood cell Hg concentrations in adults were the highest in Magnificent frigatebirds Fregata magnificens (median: 5.6 μg g -1 dw; range: 3.8-7.8 μg g -1 dw) and lowest in Sooty terns Onychoprion fuscatus (median: 0.9 μg g -1 dw; range: 0.6-1.1 μg g -1 dw). Among POPs, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) was the most abundant compound in plasma of Cayenne terns Thalasseus sandvicensis (median: 1100 pg g -1 ww; range: 160 ± 5100 pg g -1 ww), while polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the most abundant compound class in plasma of Magnificent frigatebirds (median: 640 pg g -1 ww; range 330 ± 2700 pg g -1 ww). While low intensity of POP exposure does not appear to pose a health threat to this seabird community, Hg concentration in several adults Laughing gulls Leucophaeus atricilla and Royal terns Thalasseus maximus, and in all Magnificent frigatebirds was similar or higher than that of high contaminated seabird populations. Furthermore, nestling red blood cells also contained Hg concentrations of concern, and further studies should investigate its potential health impact in this seabird community. Differences in adult trophic ecology of the six species explained interspecific variation in exposure to trace element and POPs, while nestling trophic ecology provides indications about the diverse feeding strategies adopted by the six species, with the consequent variation in exposure to contaminants. Copyright

  3. Promoting Community Socio-Ecological Sustainability through Technology: A Case Study from Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguayo, Claudio; Eames, Chris

    2017-01-01

    The importance of community learning in effecting social change towards ecological sustainability has been recognised for some time. More recently, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to promote socio-ecological sustainability has been shown to have potential in community education for sustainable development (ESD). The…

  4. Physiological community ecology: variation in metabolic activity of ecologically important rocky intertidal invertebrates along environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlhoff, Elizabeth P; Stillman, Jonathon H; Menge, Bruce A

    2002-08-01

    Rocky intertidal invertebrates live in heterogeneous habitats characterized by steep gradients in wave activity, tidal flux, temperature, food quality and food availability. These environmental factors impact metabolic activity via changes in energy input and stress-induced alteration of energetic demands. For keystone species, small environmentally induced shifts in metabolic activity may lead to disproportionately large impacts on community structure via changes in growth or survival of these key species. Here we use biochemical indicators to assess how natural differences in wave exposure, temperature and food availability may affect metabolic activity of mussels, barnacles, whelks and sea stars living at rocky intertidal sites with different physical and oceanographic characteristics. We show that oxygen consumption rate is correlated with the activity of key metabolic enzymes (e.g., citrate synthase and malate dehydrogenase) for some intertidal species, and concentrations of these enzymes in certain tissues are lower for starved individuals than for those that are well fed. We also show that the ratio of RNA to DNA (an index of protein synthetic capacity) is highly variable in nature and correlates with short-term changes in food availability. We also observed striking patterns in enzyme activity and RNA/DNA in nature, which are related to differences in rocky intertidal community structure. Differences among species and habitats are most pronounced in summer and are linked to high nearshore productivity at sites favored by suspension feeders and to exposure to stressful low-tide air temperatures in areas of low wave splash. These studies illustrate the great promise of using biochemical indicators to test ecological models, which predict changes in community structure along environmental gradients. Our results also suggest that biochemical indices must be carefully validated with laboratory studies, so that the indicator selected is likely to respond to the

  5. Determining patterns of variability in ecological communities: time lag analysis revisited

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kampichler, C.; Van der Jeugd, H.P.

    2013-01-01

    All ecological communities experience change over time. One method to quantify temporal variation in the patterns of relative abundance of communities is time lag analysis (TLA). It uses a distance-based approach to study temporal community dynamics by regressing community dissimilarity over

  6. Volcano ecology: Disturbance characteristics and assembly of biological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volcanic eruptions are powerful expressions of Earth’s geophysical forces which have shaped and influenced ecological systems since the earliest days of life. The study of the interactions of volcanoes and ecosystems, termed volcano ecology, focuses on the ecological responses of organisms and biolo...

  7. Extinction and ecological retreat in a community of primates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowley, B. E.; Godfrey, L. R.; Guilderson, T. P.; Zermeno, P.; Koch, P. L.; Dominy, N. J.

    2012-05-23

    The lemurs of Madagascar represent a prodigious adaptive radiation. At least 17 species ranging from 11 to 160 kg have become extinct during the past 2000 years. The effect of this loss on contemporary lemurs is unknown. The concept of competitive release favours the expansion of living species into vacant niches. Alternatively, factors that triggered the extinction of some species could have also reduced community-wide niche breadth. Here, we use radiocarbon and stable isotope data to examine temporal shifts in the niches of extant lemur species following the extinction of eight large-bodied species. We focus on southwestern Madagascar and report profound isotopic shifts, both from the time when now-extinct lemurs abounded and from the time immediately following their decline to the present. Unexpectedly, the past environments exploited by lemurs were drier than the protected (albeit often degraded) riparian habitats assumed to be ideal for lemurs today. Neither competitive release nor niche contraction can explain these observed trends. We develop an alternative hypothesis: ecological retreat, which suggests that factors surrounding extinction may force surviving species into marginal or previously unfilled niches.

  8. Acoustic environments matter: Synergistic benefits to humans and ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Clinton D; Newman, Peter; Taff, B Derrick; White, Crow; Monz, Christopher A; Levenhagen, Mitchell; Petrelli, Alissa R; Abbott, Lauren C; Newton, Jennifer; Burson, Shan; Cooper, Caren B; Fristrup, Kurt M; McClure, Christopher J W; Mennitt, Daniel; Giamellaro, Michael; Barber, Jesse R

    2017-12-01

    Protected areas are critical locations worldwide for biodiversity preservation and offer important opportunities for increasingly urbanized humans to experience nature. However, biodiversity preservation and visitor access are often at odds and creative solutions are needed to safeguard protected area natural resources in the face of high visitor use. Managing human impacts to natural soundscapes could serve as a powerful tool for resolving these conflicting objectives. Here, we review emerging research that demonstrates that the acoustic environment is critical to wildlife and that sounds shape the quality of nature-based experiences for humans. Human-made noise is known to affect animal behavior, distributions and reproductive success, and the organization of ecological communities. Additionally, new research suggests that interactions with nature, including natural sounds, confer benefits to human welfare termed psychological ecosystem services. In areas influenced by noise, elevated human-made noise not only limits the variety and abundance of organisms accessible to outdoor recreationists, but also impairs their capacity to perceive the wildlife that remains. Thus soundscape changes can degrade, and potentially limit the benefits derived from experiences with nature via indirect and direct mechanisms. We discuss the effects of noise on wildlife and visitors through the concept of listening area and demonstrate how the perceptual worlds of both birds and humans are reduced by noise. Finally, we discuss how management of soundscapes in protected areas may be an innovative solution to safeguarding both and recommend several key questions and research directions to stimulate new research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Multiplex social ecological network analysis reveals how social changes affect community robustness more than resource depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggio, Jacopo A; BurnSilver, Shauna B; Arenas, Alex; Magdanz, James S; Kofinas, Gary P; De Domenico, Manlio

    2016-11-29

    Network analysis provides a powerful tool to analyze complex influences of social and ecological structures on community and household dynamics. Most network studies of social-ecological systems use simple, undirected, unweighted networks. We analyze multiplex, directed, and weighted networks of subsistence food flows collected in three small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska potentially facing substantial economic and ecological changes. Our analysis of plausible future scenarios suggests that changes to social relations and key households have greater effects on community robustness than changes to specific wild food resources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-02

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Elias

    2008-12-01

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

  12. Ecological Networks and Community Attachment and Support Among Recently Resettled Refugees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soller, Brian; Goodkind, Jessica R; Greene, R Neil; Browning, Christopher R; Shantzek, Cece

    2018-03-25

    Interventions aimed at enhancing mental health are increasingly centered around promoting community attachment and support. However, few have examined and tested the specific ecological factors that give rise to these key community processes. Drawing from insights from the ecological network perspective, we tested whether spatial and social overlap in routine activity settings (e.g., work, school, childcare) with fellow ethnic community members is associated with individuals' attachment to their ethnic communities and access to social resources embedded in their communities. Data on routine activity locations drawn from the Refugee Well-Being Project (based in a city in the Southwestern United States) were used to reconstruct the ecological networks of recently resettled refugee communities, which were two-mode networks that comprise individuals and their routine activity locations. Results indicated that respondents' community attachment and support increased with their ecological network extensity-which taps the extent to which respondents share routine activity locations with other community members. Our study highlights a key ecological process that potentially enhances individuals' ethnic community attachment that extends beyond residential neighborhoods. © Society for Community Research and Action 2018.

  13. Population genetics meets ecological genomics and community ecology in Cornus Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding evolutionary/ecological consequences of alien pests on native forests is important to conservation. Cornus florida L. subsp. florida is an ecologically important understory tree in forests of the eastern United States but faces heavy mortality from dogwood anthracnose. Understanding ge...

  14. Ecological periodic tables for nekton and benthic macrofaunal community usage of estuarine habitats Slides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological periodic tables for nekton and benthic macrofaunal community usage of estuarine habitats Steven P. Ferraro, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Newport, OR Background/Questions/Methods The chemical periodic table, the Linnaean system of classification, and the Her...

  15. Psycho-Ecological Systems Model: A Systems Approach to Planning and Gauging the Community Impact of Community-Engaged Scholarship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeb, Roger N.; Snow-Hill, Nyssa L.; Folger, Susan F.; Steel, Anne L.; Stayton, Laura; Hunt, Charles A.; O'Koon, Bernadette; Glendening, Zachary

    2017-01-01

    This article presents the Psycho-Ecological Systems Model (PESM)--an integrative conceptual model rooted in General Systems Theory (GST). PESM was developed to inform and guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of transdisciplinary (and multilevel) community-engaged scholarship (e.g., a participatory community action research project…

  16. Unifying relationships between complexity and stability in mutualistic ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wenfeng; Bailey, Richard M

    2018-02-14

    Conserving ecosystem function and associated services requires deep understanding of the underlying basis of system stability. While the study of ecological dynamics is a mature and diverse field, the lack of a general model that predicts a broad range of theoretical and empirical observations has allowed unresolved contradictions to persist. Here we provide a general model of mutualistic ecological interactions between two groups and show for the first time how the conditions for bi-stability, the nature of critical transitions, and identifiable leading indicators in time-series can be derived from the basic parameters describing the underlying ecological interactions. Strong mutualism and nonlinearity in handling-time are found to be necessary conditions for the occurrence of critical transitions. We use the model to resolve open questions concerning the effects of heterogeneity in inter-species interactions on both resilience and abundance, and discuss these in terms of potential trade-offs in real systems. This framework provides a basis for rich investigations of ecological system dynamics, and may be generalizable across many ecological contexts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Promoting community socio-ecological sustainability through technology: A case study from Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguayo, Claudio; Eames, Chris

    2017-12-01

    The importance of community learning in effecting social change towards ecological sustainability has been recognised for some time. More recently, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to promote socio-ecological sustainability has been shown to have potential in community education for sustainable development (ESD). The effective design and use of technology for community learning implies an understanding of a range of cross-dimensional factors including: socio-cultural characteristics and needs of the target audience; considerations of available and culturally responsive types of technology; and non-formal pedagogical ESD strategies for community empowerment. In addition, both technology itself and social communities are dynamically evolving and complex entities. This article presents a case study which evaluated the potential of ICT for promoting ecological literacy and action competence amongst community members in southern Chile. The case study addressed the ecological deterioration of a lake, which is having deep social, economic, recreational and cultural implications locally. The authors' research involved developing a theoretical framework for the design, implementation and use of ICT for community learning for sustainability. The framework was based on key ideas from ESD, ICT and community education, and was underpinned by a systems thinking approach to account for the dynamism and complexity of such settings. Activity theory provided a frame to address overarching socio-cultural elements when using technology as a mediating tool for community learning. The authors' findings suggest that the use of an ICT tool, such as a website, can enhance ecological literacy in relation to a local socio-ecological issue.

  18. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador Hierro, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial co...

  19. Diagnosing Disaster Resilience of Communities as Multi-scale Complex Socio-ecological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Mochizuki, Junko; Keating, Adriana; Mechler, Reinhard; Williges, Keith; Hochrainer, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Global environmental change, growing anthropogenic influence, and increasing globalisation of society have made it clear that disaster vulnerability and resilience of communities cannot be understood without knowledge on the broader social-ecological system in which they are embedded. We propose a framework for diagnosing community resilience to disasters, as a form of disturbance to social-ecological systems, with feedbacks from the local to the global scale. Inspired by iterative multi-scale analysis employed by Resilience Alliance, the related socio-ecological systems framework of Ostrom, and the sustainable livelihood framework, we developed a multi-tier framework for thinking of communities as multi-scale social-ecological systems and analyzing communities' disaster resilience and also general resilience. We highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on communities that exist from lower (e.g., household) to higher (e.g., regional, national) scales. The conceptual framework is then applied to a real-world resilience assessment situation, to illustrate how key components of socio-ecological systems, including natural hazards, natural and man-made environment, and community capacities can be delineated and analyzed.

  20. Challenges in using fish communities for assessing the ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2009-10-02

    Oct 2, 2009 ... context of a Reserve determination process, in order to comply ... natural conditions and a Category F represents a critically- ... Define ecological categories and recommend one ... that the Seekoei River experiences surface flow for approxi- ... To apply the FRAI model to the acquired fish data, the 8 steps.

  1. Indirect effects in community ecology: Their definition, study and importance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, S Y

    1991-07-01

    The diversity of indirect interactions that can occur within communities is large. Recent research on indirect interactions is scattered in the literature under numerous labels. The definition of indirect effects is an important aspect of their study, and clarifies some of the subtle differences among indirect effects found in natural communities. Choosing which species to study, how to manipulate species and for what duration, which attributes to measure and, finally, which analytical techniques to use are all problems facing the community ecologist. Ultimately, we are striving for the best means of determining the relative importance of direct and indirect effects in structuring communities. Copyright © 1991. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. ECOLOGICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL REPRESENTATION OF KABHANTI PERFORMED BY MUNA COMMUNITY IN MUNA REGENCY, SOUTH EAST SULAWESI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadirman -

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Kabhanti is one of the oral traditions performed by Muna community. It is performed as part of the traditional ceremony adhered to by Muna community as an amusement and a means of presenting ideas and ideologies, and bequeathing the values which are useful to human life. Specifically, this present study was intended to describe the forms of ecological representation of Kabhanti performed by Muna community, to reveal the ideology it contains, and to interpret the ecological meanings it contains. The theory of ecolingistics, the theory of ideology, and the theory of semiotics were eclectically used in the present study. Qualitative method was used and the data were descriptively and interpretatively analyzed.  The present study was conducted at Watumela Village and Latugho Village, Lawa District, Muna Regency. The data were collected through participatory observation, in-depth interview, the informants’ personal experience, and documentary study. The results of the study showed that ecologically the kabhanti performed by Muna community represented natural environment and human environment. All the ecological lexical items and the human ecological lexical items in such a performance reflected the existence of Muna people in their lives. It contained environmental, educational, social and developmental ideologies. The meanings of ecological representation in this present study included the meaning of environment, the meaning of cultural endurance, the meaning of identity, and the meaning of solidarity.

  3. Cultivating Bakhtin in the garden: Children's ecological narratives on becoming community gardeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grugel, Annie H.

    2009-12-01

    This dissertation illustrates how a children's community garden, designed specifically to promote intergenerational, multi-sociocultural relationships, is an "ideological environment" linking individuals and their community and connecting people with nature, in order to promote feelings of belonging, social connection, and encourage a sense of stewardship and identification with the environment (Bakhtin, 1978). By spending time in a community garden, responding to the natural ecosystems which exist on this land, and reflecting, through image and story about our childhood experience, the participants and I engaged in the dialogic process of what Thomashow (1996) refers to as "doing ecological identity work." Throughout this study I question how our past experiences with nature in ideological environments shape our ecological epistemologies, and how the dialogic process of becoming a gardener within the context of a community garden shapes a person's ecological identity. To frame this exploration of ecological identity work as a dialogic process and its role in the development of an ecological identity, I draw from sociocultural theory (Holland, et al., 1998), Bakhtin's theory of dialogism, and ecological identity studies (Clayton and Opotow, 2003; Cobb, 1993; Orr, 1994, 2006; Sobel, 1996, 2008; Thomashow, 1996). A large body of scholarly writing done by environmental researchers is devoted to examining and describing how adults, who self-identify as environmentalists, developed an ecological worldview. However, only a fraction of research is devoted to theorizing how children develop an environmental epistemology. In this study, I focus on how community gardens are dialogic spaces that provide a place for elementary-aged children to "experience" the discourse of gardening. Here, I describe the discourses that shape the garden and describe how gardeners, as a result of their collaborative experiences between human and non-human actors, take up social and dialogical

  4. Revitalizing traditional ecological knowledge: a study in an Alpine rural community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  5. Revitalizing Traditional Ecological Knowledge: A Study in an Alpine Rural Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Ciolli, Marco

    2015-07-01

    This study aims to contribute to the debate on the value and the role of ecological knowledge in modern conservation strategies, with reference to the results of a case study conducted in the community of Montagne, located within a World Heritage site in the Italian Alps. This community is a paradigmatic example of the multiple transformations experienced by cultural landscapes in Alpine areas under the influence of global change. This study seeks to understand whether ecological knowledge is still in place in the community, and what the relationship is between the knowledge transmission and land use and social changes that have occurred in recent decades. To that end, the community is described by identifying the key variables (social, institutional, and ecological) that have historically shaped the landscape and the future priorities of the residents. Forest expansion, the most significant change in land use in the last 60 years, is analyzed using aerial photos; changes in biodiversity-related knowledge in the community are quantified by analyzing the inter-generational differences in plant species recognition. Results are discussed in the context of the current situation of the Montagne community, and the recommendation is made that policies and actions to promote traditional ecological knowledge protection or recovery in Europe be viewed as an important part of the recovery of community sovereignty and vitality. Lastly, concrete actions that can be implemented in our case study are proposed.

  6. Natural Length Scales of Ecological Systems: Applications at Community and Ecosystem Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig R. Johnson

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The characteristic, or natural, length scales of a spatially dynamic ecological landscape are the spatial scales at which the deterministic trends in the dynamic are most sharply in focus. Given recent development of techniques to determine the characteristic length scales (CLSs of real ecological systems, I explore the potential for using CLSs to address three important and vexing issues in applied ecology, viz. (i determining the optimum scales to monitor ecological systems, (ii interpreting change in ecological communities, and (iii ascertaining connectivity between species in complex ecologies. In summarizing the concept of characteristic length scales as system-level scaling thresholds, I emphasize that the primary CLS is, by definition, the optimum scale at which to monitor a system if the objective is to observe its deterministic dynamics at a system level. Using several different spatially explicit individual-based models, I then explore predictions of the underlying theory of CLSs in the context of interpreting change and ascertaining connectivity among species in ecological systems. Analysis of these models support predictions that systems with strongly fluctuating community structure, but an otherwise stable long-term dynamic defined by a stationary attractor, indicate an invariant length scale irrespective of community structure at the time of analysis, and irrespective of the species analyzed. In contrast, if changes in the underlying dynamic are forcibly induced, the shift in dynamics is reflected by a change in the primary length scale. Thus, consideration of the magnitude of the CLS through time enables distinguishing between circumstances where there are temporal changes in community structure but not in the long-term dynamic, from that where changes in community structure reflect some kind of fundamental shift in dynamics. In this context, CLSs emerge as a diagnostic tool to identify phase shifts to alternative stable states

  7. Plant community analysis and ecology of afromontane and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plant communities of the forests of southwestern Ethiopia were described based on floristic analysis of the data collected between February 1995 and May 1996. Floristic analysis is based on the cover-abundance values of both woody and herbaceous species. Plant community-environment relationship was assessed ...

  8. Identifying Social-ecological Linkages to Develop a Community Fire Plan in Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A.S Sheridan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Community forestry in rural Mexico presents a unique opportunity to study the linkages and feedback within coupled social-ecological systems due to the fact that agrarian or indigenous communities control approximately half of the national territory of Mexico. We used social and ecological diagnostic tools to develop a fire management strategy for a communal forest containing an endemic piñón pine species, Pinus cembroides subs. orizabensis, in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. The ecological diagnostic was done through fuel inventory, forest structure sampling, and fire behaviour modelling. The social assessment was conducted through household interviews, community workshops, and direct participant observation. The ecological fire hazard was quantified and coupled with the social assessment to develop a fire management plan. Vertical fuel continuity and flashy surface fuels created a high fire hazard. Modelled fire behaviour showed a rapid rate of spread and high flame lengths under multiple scenarios. Relative impunity for starting forest fires, poor community and inter-agency organisation, and lack of project continuity across organisational sectors appear to be the most significant social limiting factors for wildfire management. Combining both social and ecological diagnostic tools provides a comprehensive understanding of the actual risks to forests, and identifies realistic community-supported options for conservation on cooperatively managed lands.

  9. CASE STUDY: Community Based Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation (CBEMR) in Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Ben; Fadillah, Ratna; Nurdin, Yusran; Soulsby, Iona; Ahmad, Rio

    2014-01-01

    While successful examples of large-scale (5 000-10 000 ha) ecological wetland/mangrove rehabilitation projects exist worldwide, mangrove rehabilitation efforts in Indonesia, both large and small, have mainly failed. The majority of projects (both government programs and non-government initiatives) have oversimplified the technical processes of mangrove rehabilitation, favouring the direct planting of a restricted subset of mangrove species (from the family Rhizophoracea), commonly in the lowe...

  10. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte; Sternberg, Claus; Jelsbak, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology.

  11. Evolution in a Community Context: On Integrating Ecological Interactions and Macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Marjorie G; Wagner, Catherine E; Best, Rebecca J; Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake

    2017-04-01

    Despite a conceptual understanding that evolution and species interactions are inextricably linked, it remains challenging to study ecological and evolutionary dynamics together over long temporal scales. In this review, we argue that, despite inherent challenges associated with reconstructing historical processes, the interplay of ecology and evolution is central to our understanding of macroevolution and community coexistence, and cannot be safely ignored in community and comparative phylogenetic studies. We highlight new research avenues that foster greater consideration of both ecological and evolutionary dynamics as processes that occur along branches of phylogenetic trees. By promoting new ways forward using this perspective, we hope to inspire further integration that creatively co-utilizes phylogenies and ecological data to study eco-evolutionary dynamics over time and space. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The contribution of community wisdom to conservation ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Predavec, Martin; Lunney, Daniel; Hope, Ben; Stalenberg, Eleanor; Shannon, Ian; Crowther, Mathew S; Miller, Indrie

    2016-06-01

    Scientists have traditionally collected data on whether a population is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same, but such studies are often limited by geographic scale and time frame. This means that for many species, understanding of trends comes from only part of their ranges at particular periods. Working with citizen scientists has the potential to overcome these limits. Citizen science has the added benefit of exposing citizens to the scientific process and engaging them in management outcomes. We examined a different way of using citizen scientists (instead of data collection). We asked community members to answer a question directly and thus examined whether community wisdom can inform conservation. We reviewed the results of 3 mail-in surveys that asked community members to say whether they thought koala populations were increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. We then compared the survey results with population trends derived from more traditional research. Population trends identified through community wisdom were similar to the trends identified by traditional research. The community wisdom surveys, however, allowed the question to be addressed at much broader geographical scales and time frames. Studies that apply community wisdom have the benefit of engaging a broad section of the community in conservation research and education and therefore in the political process of conserving species. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Chemosynthetic Communities in the Deep Sea: Ecological Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Van

    1989-01-01

    .... Patterns in the distributions of species among vents along ridge segments are used to identify the spatial scales over which biological and physical processes operate to control community composition...

  14. The Ecological Dynamics of Natural Selection: Traits and the Coevolution of Community Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPeek, Mark A

    2017-05-01

    Natural selection has both genetic and ecological dynamics. The fitnesses of individuals change with their ecological context, and so the form and strength of selective agents change with abiotic factors and the phenotypes and abundances of interacting species. I use standard models of consumer-resource interactions to explore the ecological dynamics of natural selection and how various trait types influence these dynamics and the resulting structure of a community of coevolving species. Evolutionary optima favored by natural selection depend critically on the abundances of interacting species, and the traits of species can undergo dynamic cycling in limited areas of parameter space. The ecological dynamics of natural selection can also drive shifts from one adaptive peak to another, and these ecologically driven adaptive peak shifts are fundamental to the dynamics of niche differentiation. Moreover, this ecological differentiation is fostered in more productive and more benign environments where species interactions are stronger and where the selection gradients generated by species interactions are stronger. Finally, community structure resulting from coevolution depends fundamentally on the types of traits that underlie species interactions. The ecological dynamics of the process cannot be simplified, neglected, or ignored if we are to build a predictive theory of natural selection.

  15. Rural Mental Health Ecology: A Framework for Engaging with Mental Health Social Capital in Rural Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Rhonda L; Wilson, G Glenn; Usher, Kim

    2015-09-01

    The mental health of people in rural communities is influenced by the robustness of the mental health ecosystem within each community. Theoretical approaches such as social ecology and social capital are useful when applied to the practical context of promoting environmental conditions which maximise mental health helping capital to enhance resilience and reduce vulnerably as a buffer for mental illness. This paper explores the ecological conditions that affect the mental health and illness of people in rural communities. It proposes a new mental health social ecology framework that makes full use of the locally available unique social capital that is sufficiently flexible to facilitate mental health helping capital best suited to mental health service delivery for rural people in an Australian context.

  16. Influence of microbial community diversity and function on pollutant removal in ecological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yaohui; Huo, Yang; Liao, Kailingli; Qu, Jiuhui

    2017-10-01

    Traditional wastewater treatments based on activated sludge often encounter the problems of bulking and foaming, as well as malodor. To solve these problems, new treatment technologies have emerged in recent decades, including the ecological wastewater treatment process, which introduces selected local plants into the treatment system. With a focus on the underlying mechanisms of the ecological treatment process, we explored the microbial community biomass, composition, and function in the treatment system to understand the microbial growth in this system and its role in pollutant removal. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that ecological treatment significantly decreased influent bacterial quantity, with around 80% removal. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the ecological treatment also altered the bacterial community structure of the wastewater, leading to a significant change in Comamonadaceae in the effluent. In the internal ecological system, because most of microbes aggregate in the plant rhizosphere and the sludge under plant roots, we selected two plant species (Nerium oleander and Arundo donax) to study the characteristics of rhizosphere and sludge microbes. Metagenomic results showed that the microbial community composition and function differed between the two species, and the microbial communities of A. donax were more sensitive to seasonal effects. Combined with their greater biomass and abundance of metabolic genes, microbes associated with N. oleander showed a greater contribution to pollutant removal. Further, the biodegradation pathways of some micropollutants, e.g., atrazine, were estimated.

  17. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

    Ecology is a science that studies the mutual interactions between organisms and their environment. The fundamental subject of interest in ecology is the individual. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution and number of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems. Today, ecology is a multidisciplinary science. This is particularly true when the subject of interest is the ecosystem or biosphere, which requires the knowledge and input of biologists, chemists, physicists, geologists, geographists, climatologists, hydrologists and many other experts. Ecology is applied in a science of restoration, repairing disturbed sites through human intervention, in natural resource management, and in environmental impact assessments.

  18. Temperate Snake Community in South America: Is Diet Determined by Phylogeny or Ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etchepare, Eduardo G.

    2015-01-01

    Communities are complex and dynamic systems that change with time. The first attempts to explain how they were structured involve contemporary phenomena like ecological interactions between species (e.g., competition and predation) and led to the competition-predation hypothesis. Recently, the deep history hypothesis has emerged, which suggests that profound differences in the evolutionary history of organisms resulted in a number of ecological features that remain largely on species that are part of existing communities. Nevertheless, both phylogenetic structure and ecological interactions can act together to determine the structure of a community. Because diet is one of the main niche axes, in this study we evaluated, for the first time, the impact of ecological and phylogenetic factors on the diet of Neotropical snakes from the subtropical-temperate region of South America. Additionally, we studied their relationship with morphological and environmental aspects to understand the natural history and ecology of this community. A canonical phylogenetical ordination analysis showed that phylogeny explained most of the variation in diet, whereas ecological characters explained very little of this variation. Furthermore, some snakes that shared the habitat showed some degree of diet convergence, in accordance with the competition-predation hypothesis, although phylogeny remained the major determinant in structuring this community. The clade with the greatest variability was the subfamily Dipsadinae, whose members had a very different type of diet, based on soft-bodied invertebrates. Our results are consistent with the deep history hypothesis, and we suggest that the community under study has a deep phylogenetic effect that explains most of the variation in the diet. PMID:25945501

  19. Temperate snake community in South America: is diet determined by phylogeny or ecology?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisela P Bellini

    Full Text Available Communities are complex and dynamic systems that change with time. The first attempts to explain how they were structured involve contemporary phenomena like ecological interactions between species (e.g., competition and predation and led to the competition-predation hypothesis. Recently, the deep history hypothesis has emerged, which suggests that profound differences in the evolutionary history of organisms resulted in a number of ecological features that remain largely on species that are part of existing communities. Nevertheless, both phylogenetic structure and ecological interactions can act together to determine the structure of a community. Because diet is one of the main niche axes, in this study we evaluated, for the first time, the impact of ecological and phylogenetic factors on the diet of Neotropical snakes from the subtropical-temperate region of South America. Additionally, we studied their relationship with morphological and environmental aspects to understand the natural history and ecology of this community. A canonical phylogenetical ordination analysis showed that phylogeny explained most of the variation in diet, whereas ecological characters explained very little of this variation. Furthermore, some snakes that shared the habitat showed some degree of diet convergence, in accordance with the competition-predation hypothesis, although phylogeny remained the major determinant in structuring this community. The clade with the greatest variability was the subfamily Dipsadinae, whose members had a very different type of diet, based on soft-bodied invertebrates. Our results are consistent with the deep history hypothesis, and we suggest that the community under study has a deep phylogenetic effect that explains most of the variation in the diet.

  20. The ecology of hydric hammocks: a community profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vince, Susan W.; Humphrey, Stephen R.; Simons, Robert W.

    1989-01-01

    This community profile is one in a series of Fish and Wildlife Service publications compiled to provide a state-of-knowledge synthesis of scientific information and literature on various coastal habitats. The subject of this profile is the hydric hammock, a distinctive type of forested wetland occurring at low elevations along the gulf coast of Florida from Aripeka to St. Marks and at various inland sites in Florida. Relatively little research has been conducted in hydric hammocks, and no thorough effort has been made previously to define this community. Consequently, no consensus has existed about the extent and nature of this community; some published works and active researchers have differed in their judgments about it; and the entity sometimes is ignored and often is lumped with other types of mixed hardwood forests. The purpose of this profile is to establish or clarify an identification and understanding of the hydric-hammock community. Information for the profile was gathered from published and unpublished literature, from persona 1 communication with many technical experts, and from our own fie 1 d experience. The profile includes some new data gathered in the field for the purpose of defining this community. It is hoped that the content and format of the profile will be useful to a broad spectrum of users, including other scientists, students, resource managers and planners, teachers, and interested citizens. The profile includes structural and functional aspects of the community: its physical setting, plant and animal composition and dynamics, interactions of its flora and fauna, and its relationships with other communities.

  1. The Ecology of Microbial Communities Associated with Macrocystis pyrifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelou, Vanessa K; Caporaso, J Gregory; Knight, Rob; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2013-01-01

    Kelp forests are characterized by high biodiversity and productivity, and the cycling of kelp-produced carbon is a vital process in this ecosystem. Although bacteria are assumed to play a major role in kelp forest carbon cycling, knowledge of the composition and diversity of these bacterial communities is lacking. Bacterial communities on the surface of Macrocystis pyrifera and adjacent seawater were sampled at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay, CA, and further studied using 454-tag pyrosequencing of 16S RNA genes. Our results suggest that M. pyrifera-dominated kelp forests harbor distinct microbial communities that vary temporally. The distribution of sequence tags assigned to Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes differed between the surface of the kelp and the surrounding water. Several abundant Rhodobacteraceae, uncultivated Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes-associated tags displayed considerable temporal variation, often with similar trends in the seawater and the surface of the kelp. Bacterial community structure and membership correlated with the kelp surface serving as host, and varied over time. Several kelp-specific taxa were highly similar to other bacteria known to either prevent the colonization of eukaryotic larvae or exhibit antibacterial activities. Some of these kelp-specific bacterial associations might play an important role for M. pyrifera. This study provides the first assessment of the diversity and phylogenetic profile of the bacterial communities associated with M. pyrifera.

  2. [Rank distributions in community ecology from the statistical viewpoint].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksimov, V N

    2004-01-01

    Traditional statistical methods for definition of empirical functions of abundance distribution (population, biomass, production, etc.) of species in a community are applicable for processing of multivariate data contained in the above quantitative indices of the communities. In particular, evaluation of moments of distribution suffices for convolution of the data contained in a list of species and their abundance. At the same time, the species should be ranked in the list in ascending rather than descending population and the distribution models should be analyzed on the basis of the data on abundant species only.

  3. Relationships between vital rates and ecological traits in an avian community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellier, Edwige; Kéry, Marc; Schaub, Michael

    2018-03-30

    Comparative studies about the relationships between vital rates and ecological traits at the community level are conspicuously lacking for most taxa because estimating vital rates requires detailed demographic data. Identifying relationships between vital rates and ecological traits could help to better understand ecological and evolutionary demographic mechanisms that lead to interspecific differences in vital rates. We use novel dynamic N-mixture models for counts to achieve this for a whole avian community comprising 53 passerine species, while simultaneously accounting for density dependence and environmental stochasticity in recruitment and survival and, importantly, correcting our inferences for imperfect detection. Demographic stochasticity is taken into account in the form of the binomial and Poisson distributions describing survival events and number of recruits. We then explore relationships between estimated demographic parameters (i.e., vital rates) and ecological traits related to migration patterns, diet, habitat and nesting location of each species. The relative importance of recruitment and adult survival as contributors to population growth varied greatly among species, and interspecific differences in vital rates partly reflected differences in ecological traits. Migratory mode was associated with interspecific differences in population growth and density dependence. Resident species had higher population growth rates than long- and short-distance migrants. We found no relationships between diet and population growth rate. Habitat differences were associated with different growth rates: alpine, wetland and farmland species had lower population growth rates than forest species. Differences in population growth rates among nesting locations showed that breeding habitat is essential for population dynamics. Our study reveals relationships between ecological traits and contributions of vital rates to population growth and suggests ways in which

  4. Competition for space and the structure of ecological communities

    CERN Document Server

    Yodzis, Peter

    1978-01-01

    This volume is an investigation of interspecific competition for space, particularly among sessile organisms, both plant and animal, and its consequences for community structure. While my own contribu­ tion ----and the bulk of this volume --- lies in mathematical analysis of the phenomenon, I have also tried to summarize the most important natural historical aspects of these communities, and have devoted much effort to relating the mathematical results to observations of the natural world. Thus, the volume has both a synthetic and an analytic aspect. On the one hand, I have been struck by certain similarities among many communities, from forests to mussel beds, in which spatial com­ petition is important. On the other hand, I have analyzed this pheno­ menon by means of reaction-dispersal models. Finally, the mathematical analysis has suggested a conceptual framework for these communities which, I believe, further unifies and illuminates the field data. A focal perception of this work is that, just as niche...

  5. Community ecology of the metazoan parasites of snoek Thyrsites ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The stability and randomness in parasite acquisition, as indicated by the lack of nestedness of the parasite assemblage, can be ascribed to the opportunistic feeding behaviour and nomadic movement of T. atun in the southern Benguela. The homogeneity of the community structure of long-lived endoparasites suggests that ...

  6. Butterfly Community Conservation Through Ecological Landscape Design in Urban Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orsolya Borsai

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Due urbanization and extension of agricultural areas most of the ecosystems are strongly affected. As a result, preservation of biodiversity becomes more and more important aiming to reestablish the lost habitats of different species (mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, etc.. Our research focuses on butterflies which constitute an extremely important group of ‘model’ organisms. We have identified 12 diurnal ‘flying beauties’ specific to Cluj area (threatened and unthreathened species and investigated their ecological requirements that have to be provided for in any landscapes. Furthermore, based on the data colleted we have illustrated the utility of our approach by applying it to a hypothetical urban landscape (private garden following the traditional environmental guidelines in our landscape design.

  7. Making big communities small: using network science to understand the ecological and behavioral requirements for community social capital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, Zachary

    2015-06-01

    The concept of social capital is becoming increasingly common in community psychology and elsewhere. However, the multiple conceptual and operational definitions of social capital challenge its utility as a theoretical tool. The goals of this paper are to clarify two forms of social capital (bridging and bonding), explicitly link them to the structural characteristics of small world networks, and explore the behavioral and ecological prerequisites of its formation. First, I use the tools of network science and specifically the concept of small-world networks to clarify what patterns of social relationships are likely to facilitate social capital formation. Second, I use an agent-based model to explore how different ecological characteristics (diversity and segregation) and behavioral tendencies (homophily and proximity) impact communities' potential for developing social capital. The results suggest diverse communities have the greatest potential to develop community social capital, and that segregation moderates the effects that the behavioral tendencies of homophily and proximity have on community social capital. The discussion highlights how these findings provide community-based researchers with both a deeper understanding of the contextual constraints with which they must contend, and a useful tool for targeting their efforts in communities with the greatest need or greatest potential.

  8. Root-associated fungal communities along a primary succession on a mine spoil: Distinct ecological guilds assemble differently

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolaříková, Zuzana; Kohout, Petr; Krüger, Claudia; Janoušková, Martina; Mrnka, Libor; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 113, OCT 2017 (2017), s. 143-152 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-10377S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community composition * ecological guilds * primary succession Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  9. Hierarchical modeling and inference in ecology: The analysis of data from populations, metapopulations and communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royle, J. Andrew; Dorazio, Robert M.

    2008-01-01

    A guide to data collection, modeling and inference strategies for biological survey data using Bayesian and classical statistical methods. This book describes a general and flexible framework for modeling and inference in ecological systems based on hierarchical models, with a strict focus on the use of probability models and parametric inference. Hierarchical models represent a paradigm shift in the application of statistics to ecological inference problems because they combine explicit models of ecological system structure or dynamics with models of how ecological systems are observed. The principles of hierarchical modeling are developed and applied to problems in population, metapopulation, community, and metacommunity systems. The book provides the first synthetic treatment of many recent methodological advances in ecological modeling and unifies disparate methods and procedures. The authors apply principles of hierarchical modeling to ecological problems, including * occurrence or occupancy models for estimating species distribution * abundance models based on many sampling protocols, including distance sampling * capture-recapture models with individual effects * spatial capture-recapture models based on camera trapping and related methods * population and metapopulation dynamic models * models of biodiversity, community structure and dynamics.

  10. Rural Community-Based Tourism and its Impact on Ecological Consciousness, Environmental Stewardship and Social Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raftopoulos, Malayna

    2018-01-01

    Since rural community-based tourism (RCBT) emerged, it has been widely considered to be an effective means of promoting development and conserving natural resources. Through a political ecology approach, this article explores the potential of RCBT to foster long-term stewardship and transformations...

  11. Stability of Ecological Communities and the Architecture of Mutualistic and Trophic Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thebault, E.M.C.; Fontaine, C.

    2010-01-01

    Research on the relationship between the architecture of ecological networks and community stability has mainly focused on one type of interaction at a time, making difficult any comparison between different network types. We used a theoretical approach to show that the network architecture favoring

  12. A guideline to study the feasibility domain of multi-trophic and changing ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Chuliang; Rohr, Rudolf P; Saavedra, Serguei

    2018-04-24

    The feasibility domain of an ecological community can be described by the set of environmental abiotic and biotic conditions under which all co-occurring and interacting species in a given site and time can have positive abundances. Mathematically, the feasibility domain corresponds to the parameter space compatible with positive (feasible) solutions at equilibrium for all the state variables in a system under a given model of population dynamics. Under specific dynamics, the existence of a feasible equilibrium is a necessary condition for species persistence regardless of whether the feasible equilibrium is dynamically stable or not. Thus, the size of the feasibility domain can also be used as an indicator of the tolerance of a community to random environmental variations. This has motivated a rich research agenda to estimate the feasibility domain of ecological communities. However, these methodologies typically assume that species interactions are static, or that input and output energy flows on each trophic level are unconstrained. Yet, this is different to how communities behave in nature. Here, we present a step-by-step quantitative guideline providing illustrative examples, computational code, and mathematical proofs to study systematically the feasibility domain of ecological communities under changes of interspecific interactions and subject to different constraints on the trophic energy flows. This guideline covers multi-trophic communities that can be formed by any type of interspecific interactions. Importantly, we show that the relative size of the feasibility domain can significantly change as a function of the biological information taken into consideration. We believe that the availability of these methods can allow us to increase our understanding about the limits at which ecological communities may no longer tolerate further environmental perturbations, and can facilitate a stronger integration of theoretical and empirical research. Copyright

  13. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T J; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R

    2009-06-12

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  14. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T.J.; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  15. Termite hindguts and the ecology of microbial communities in the sequencing age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, Vera; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-01-01

    Advances in high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing have improved our understanding of microbial communities in a number of ways. Deeper sequence coverage provides the means to assess diversity at the resolution necessary to recover ecological and biogeographic patterns, and at the same time single-cell genomics provides detailed information about the interactions between members of a microbial community. Given the vastness and complexity of microbial ecosystems, such analyses remain challenging for most environments, so greater insight can also be drawn from analysing less dynamic ecosystems. Here, we outline the advantages of one such environment, the wood-digesting hindgut communities of termites and cockroaches, and how it is a model to examine and compare both protist and bacterial communities. Beyond the analysis of diversity, our understanding of protist community ecology will depend on using statistically sound sampling regimes at biologically relevant scales, transitioning from discovery-based to experimental ecology, incorporating single-cell microbiology and other data sources, and continued development of analytical tools. © 2013 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2013 International Society of Protistologists.

  16. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L

    2013-08-01

    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Plant selenium hyperaccumulation- Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R Jason B; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2018-04-25

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation occurs in ~50 plant taxa native to seleniferous soils in Western USA. Hyperaccumulator tissue Se levels, 1000-15,000 mg/kg dry weight, are typically 100 times higher than surrounding vegetation. Relative to other species, hyperaccumulators also transform Se more into organic forms. We review abiotic and biotic factors influencing soil Se distribution and bioavailability, soil being the source of the Se in hyperaccumulators. Next, we summarize the fate of Se in plants, particularly hyperaccumulators. We then extensively review the impact of plant Se accumulation on ecological interactions. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Se hyperaccumulators on local community composition and Se cycling. Selenium (hyper)accumulation offers ecological advantages: protection from herbivores and pathogens and competitive advantage over other plants. The extreme Se levels in and around hyperaccumulators create a toxic environment for Se-sensitive ecological partners, while offering a niche for Se-resistant partners. Through these dual effects, hyperaccumulators may influence species composition in their local environment, as well as Se cycling. The implied effects of Se hyperaccumulation on community assembly and local Se cycling warrant further investigations into the contribution of hyperaccumulators and general terrestrial vegetation to global Se cycling and may serve as a case study for how trace elements influence ecological processes. Furthermore, understanding ecological implications of plant Se accumulation are vital for safe implementation of biofortification and phytoremediation, technologies increasingly implemented to battle Se deficiency and toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Statistical physics of community ecology: a cavity solution to MacArthur’s consumer resource model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advani, Madhu; Bunin, Guy; Mehta, Pankaj

    2018-03-01

    A central question in ecology is to understand the ecological processes that shape community structure. Niche-based theories have emphasized the important role played by competition for maintaining species diversity. Many of these insights have been derived using MacArthur’s consumer resource model (MCRM) or its generalizations. Most theoretical work on the MCRM has focused on small ecosystems with a few species and resources. However theoretical insights derived from small ecosystems many not scale up to large ecosystems with many resources and species because large systems with many interacting components often display new emergent behaviors that cannot be understood or deduced from analyzing smaller systems. To address these shortcomings, we develop a statistical physics inspired cavity method to analyze MCRM when both the number of species and the number of resources is large. Unlike previous work in this limit, our theory addresses resource dynamics and resource depletion and demonstrates that species generically and consistently perturb their environments and significantly modify available ecological niches. We show how our cavity approach naturally generalizes niche theory to large ecosystems by accounting for the effect of collective phenomena on species invasion and ecological stability. Our theory suggests that such phenomena are a generic feature of large, natural ecosystems and must be taken into account when analyzing and interpreting community structure. It also highlights the important role that statistical-physics inspired approaches can play in furthering our understanding of ecology.

  19. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) as a model system in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David; Belnap, Jayne; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea; Escolar, Cristina; Soliveres, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Model systems have had a profound influence on the development of ecological theory and general principles. Compared to alternatives, the most effective models share some combination of the following characteristics: simpler, smaller, faster, general, idiosyncratic or manipulable. We argue that biological soil crusts (biocrusts) have unique combinations of these features that should be more widely exploited in community, landscape and ecosystem ecology. In community ecology, biocrusts are elucidating the importance of biodiversity and spatial pattern for maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality due to their manipulability in experiments. Due to idiosyncrasies in their modes of facilitation and competition, biocrusts have led to new models on the interplay between environmental stress and biotic interactions and on the maintenance of biodiversity by competitive processes. Biocrusts are perhaps one of the best examples of micro-landscapes—real landscapes that are small in size. Although they exhibit varying patch heterogeneity, aggregation, connectivity and fragmentation, like macro-landscapes, they are also compatible with well-replicated experiments (unlike macro-landscapes). In ecosystem ecology, a number of studies are imposing small-scale, low cost manipulations of global change or state factors in biocrust micro-landscapes. The versatility of biocrusts to inform such disparate lines of inquiry suggests that they are an especially useful model system that can enable researchers to see ecological principles more clearly and quickly.

  20. Carbon dioxide and submersed macrophytes in lakes: linking functional ecology to community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titus, John E; Pagano, Angela M

    2017-12-01

    Evaluating plant community response to atmospheric CO 2 rise is critical to predicting ecosystem level change. Freshwater lakes offer a model system for examining CO 2 effects as submersed macrophyte species differ greatly in their growth responses to CO 2 enrichment, and free CO 2 concentrations among these habitats show a wide range of natural, spatial variation. We determined free CO 2 concentrations in the water column and sediment porewater in littoral zones with pH macrophyte communities coupled with greenhouse-derived growth responses to CO 2 enrichment of constituent species to test two hypotheses: (1) CCRI, which is higher for communities dominated by species with greater growth responses to CO 2 enrichment, is positively correlated to free [CO 2 ] in the water column, and (2) in natural communities, the percent of sediment CO 2 -using species, which are relatively unresponsive to CO 2 enrichment, is negatively correlated to free [CO 2 ]. A significant positive correlation (P = 0.003) between our physiologically based CCRI and the concentration of free CO 2 in the water column supported our primary hypothesis that sites with higher levels of free CO 2 are dominated by species with greater growth responses to CO 2 enrichment. Our CCRI is also highly significantly correlated (P macrophyte community composition. Further, we demonstrate the utility of a physiologically-based index of community composition, our CCRI, as an ecologically valid measure of community response to CO 2 . © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

    The book turns to the freshment, the teacher, for preparation of ecological topics for lessons, but also to pupils of the secondary stage II, and the main course ecology. The book was knowingly held simple with the restriction to: the ecosystem and its abiotic basic functions, simple articles on population biology, bioceonotic balance ith the questions of niche formation and the life form types coherent with it, of the substance and energy household, the production biology and space-wise and time-wise differentations within an ecological system form the main points. A central role in the volume is given to the illustrations. Their variety is to show and deepen the coherences shown. (orig./HP) [de

  2. Ecological monitoring: Outreach to educators in the community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnston, J.A.; Haarmann, T.K.; Foxx, T.S.

    1997-04-01

    Reporting Environmental Data was a one-week institute for elementary and middle school teachers and principals. Participants gained insight into Los Alamos National Laboratory`s environmental monitoring programs through performing monitoring in the field. A teacher educator collaborated with a plant ecologist, an entomologist, and two master teachers to provide this institute. During the institute, there were field experiences with forest and insect sampling followed by research and summarizing results. The goals for the institute were all met. These included the following: have scientists lead field experiences with forest and insect sampling which mirror their actual laboratory practices; create understanding of the scope of the environmental monitoring program at Los Alamos National Laboratory; establish links between the professional standards for science and mathematics education and institute activities, use computer technology as both a research tool and to produce a technical summary; create educational environments. Los Alamos National Laboratory is very interested in continually improving communication with the surrounding community, especially when that communication deals with environmental surveillance. The summer institute was an effective way to involve teachers in hands-on experiences with environmental monitoring. This, in turn, taught those educators about the extent of environmental monitoring. Now those teachers are using their experiences to develop curriculum for students.

  3. Ecological drivers of community assembly across taxonomic groups and trophic levels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Özkan, Korhan

    assembly is a complex phenomenon driven by the interplay between environmental species sorting, ecological interactions between species and dispersal, linking local communities with the surrounding communities as well as with their regional populations. Although the research on community assembly....... Local bird abundance was strongly linked with occupancy across the metacommunity (the bird communities in the Istranca landscape) as well as the species’ regional population and range size across the western Palearctic. Null model analyses showed that bird occupancy was non-randomly related to species...... environmental niche. Furthermore, species abundance and occupancy across both the metacommunity and the whole western Palearctic were significantly related to an independent species specialization index calculated for the French birds. Together these results indicated that forest bird community assembly...

  4. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant's microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcom, Ian N; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm.

  5. Academic inequality through the lens of community ecology: a meta-analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira S. Mori

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecological assemblages are generally characterized by a few dominant species and numerous others. Such unequal distributions of dominance also emerge in human society, including in scientific communities. Here, based on formal community ecological analyses, we show the temporal trends in the number of scientific publication in the discipline of “ecology.” Based on this, we infer possible factors causing the imbalance of reputation and dominance among countries. We relied on 454 ecological meta-analysis papers published from 1998 to 2014, which sourced over 29,000 original publications. Formal meta-analyses are essential for synthesizing findings from individual studies and are critical for assessing issues and informing policy. We found that, despite the rapid expansion of outlets for ecology papers (analogous to an increase in carrying capacity, in ecological systems, country diversity as determined from first author affiliations (analogous to species diversity did not increase. Furthermore, a country identity was more powerful than the popularity of the scientific topic and affected the chance of publication in high-profile journals, independent of the potential novelty of findings and arguments of the papers, suggesting possible academic injustice. Consequently, a rank order and hierarchy has been gradually formed among countries. Notably, this country-dominance rank is not only specific to this scientific domain but also universal across different societal situations including sports and economics, further emphasizing that inequality and hierarchical structure exist even in modern human society. Our study demonstrates a need for having robust frameworks to facilitate equality and diversity in the scientific domain in order to better inform society and policy.

  6. Phylogenetic and Functional Structure of Wintering Waterbird Communities Associated with Ecological Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Xianli; Zhang, Min; Zhao, Yanyan; Zhang, Qiang; Quan, Qing; Møller, Anders; Zou, Fasheng

    2018-01-19

    Ecological differences may be related to community component divisions between Oriental (west) and Sino-Japanese (east) realms, and such differences may result in weak geographical breaks in migratory species that are highly mobile. Here, we conducted comparative phylogenetic and functional structure analyses of wintering waterbird communities in southern China across two realms and subsequently examined possible climate drivers of the observed patterns. An analysis based on such highly migratory species is particularly telling because migration is bound to reduce or completely eliminate any divergence between communities. Phylogenetic and functional structure of eastern communities showed over-dispersion while western communities were clustered. Basal phylogenetic and functional turnover of western communities was significant lower than that of eastern communities. The break between eastern and western communities was masked by these two realms. Geographic patterns were related to mean temperature changes and temperature fluctuations, suggesting that temperature may filter waterbird lineages and traits, thus underlying geographical community divisions. These results suggest phylogenetic and functional divisions in southern China, coinciding with biogeography. This study shows that temperature fluctuations constitute an essential mechanism shaping geographical divisions that have largely gone undetected previously, even under climate change.

  7. Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional assessment—Volume I. Ecological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reese, Gordon C.; Burris, Lucy; Carr, Natasha B.; Leinwand, Ian I.F.; Melcher, Cynthia P.

    2017-10-19

    The Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment was conducted in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The overall goal of the Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (REAs) is to compile and synthesize regional datasets to facilitate evaluation of the cumulative effects of change agents on priority ecological communities and species. In particular, the REAs identify and map the distribution of communities and wildlife habitats at broad spatial extents and provide assessments of ecological conditions. The REAs also identify where and to what degree ecological resources are currently at risk from change agents, such as development, fire, invasive species, and climate change. The REAs can help managers identify and prioritize potential areas for conservation or restoration, assess cumulative effects as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and inform landscape-level planning and management decisions for multiple uses of public lands.Management questions form the basis for the REA framework and were developed in conjunction with the BLM and other stakeholders. Conservation elements are communities and species that are of regional management concern. Core management questions relate to the key ecological attributes and change agents associated with each conservation element. Integrated management questions synthesize the results of the primary core management questions into overall landscape-level ranks for each conservation element.The ecological communities evaluated as conservation elements are shortgrass, mixed-grass, and sand prairies; all grasslands; riparian and nonplaya wetlands; playa wetlands and saline lakes; and prairie streams and rivers. Species and species assemblages evaluated are the freshwater mussel assemblage, Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi), ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis), lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), snowy plover (Charadrius

  8. Ecological drift and local exposures drive enteric bacterial community differences within species of Galápagos iguanas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lankau, Emily W; Hong, Pei-Ying; Mackie, Roderick I

    2012-04-01

    Diet strongly influences the intestinal microbial communities through species sorting. Alternatively, these communicates may differ because of chance variation in local microbial exposures or species losses among allopatric host populations (i.e. ecological drift). We investigated how these forces shape enteric communities of Galápagos marine and land iguanas. Geographically proximate populations shared more similar communities within a host ecotype, suggesting a role for ecological drift during host colonization of the islands. Additionally, evidence of taxa sharing between proximate heterospecific host populations suggests that contemporary local exposures also influence the gut community assembly. While selective forces such as host-bacterial interactions or dietary differences are dominant drivers of intestinal community differences among hosts, historical and contemporary processes of ecological drift may lead to differences in bacterial composition within a host species. Whether such differences in community structure translate into geographic variation in benefits derived from these intimate microbial communities remains to be explored. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Integrating human and natural systems in community psychology: an ecological model of stewardship behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskell, Christine; Allred, Shorna Broussard

    2013-03-01

    Community psychology (CP) research on the natural environment lacks a theoretical framework for analyzing the complex relationship between human systems and the natural world. We introduce other academic fields concerned with the interactions between humans and the natural environment, including environmental sociology and coupled human and natural systems. To demonstrate how the natural environment can be included within CP's ecological framework, we propose an ecological model of urban forest stewardship action. Although ecological models of behavior in CP have previously modeled health behaviors, we argue that these frameworks are also applicable to actions that positively influence the natural environment. We chose the environmental action of urban forest stewardship because cities across the United States are planting millions of trees and increased citizen participation in urban tree planting and stewardship will be needed to sustain the benefits provided by urban trees. We used the framework of an ecological model of behavior to illustrate multiple levels of factors that may promote or hinder involvement in urban forest stewardship actions. The implications of our model for the development of multi-level ecological interventions to foster stewardship actions are discussed, as well as directions for future research to further test and refine the model.

  10. Ecological assembly rules in plant communities-approaches, patterns and prospects

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Götzenberger, L.; de Bello, Francesco; Brathen, K. A.; Davison, J.; Dubuis, A.; Guisan, A.; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, R.; Moora, M.; Partel, M.; Pellissier, L.; Pottier, J.; Vittoz, P.; Zobel, K.; Zobel, M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 1 (2012), s. 111-127 ISSN 1464-7931 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1471 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516; CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : community assembly * competition * meta - analysis Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 10.256, year: 2012

  11. Challenges in microbial ecology: Building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widder, Stefanie; Allen, Rosalind J.; Pfeiffer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly...... complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building predictive models that link MC composition to function is a key emerging challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we argue that addressing this challenge requires close coordination of experimental data collection and method development...... is needed to achieve significant progress in our understanding of MC dynamics and function, and we make specific practical suggestions as to how this could be achieved....

  12. Ecological succession reveals potential signatures of marine-terrestrial transition in salt marsh fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Pylro, Victor Satler; Baldrian, Petr; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2016-08-01

    Marine-to-terrestrial transition represents one of the most fundamental shifts in microbial life. Understanding the distribution and drivers of soil microbial communities across coastal ecosystems is critical given the roles of microbes in soil biogeochemistry and their multifaceted influence on landscape succession. Here, we studied the fungal community dynamics in a well-established salt marsh chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development. We focussed on providing high-resolution assessments of community composition, diversity and ecophysiological shifts that yielded patterns of ecological succession through soil formation. Notably, despite containing 10- to 100-fold lower fungal internal transcribed spacer abundances, early-successional sites revealed fungal richnesses comparable to those of more mature soils. These newly formed sites also exhibited significant temporal variations in β-diversity that may be attributed to the highly dynamic nature of the system imposed by the tidal regime. The fungal community compositions and ecophysiological assignments changed substantially along the successional gradient, revealing a clear signature of ecological replacement and gradually transforming the environment from a marine into a terrestrial system. Moreover, distance-based linear modelling revealed soil physical structure and organic matter to be the best predictors of the shifts in fungal β-diversity along the chronosequence. Taken together, our study lays the basis for a better understanding of the spatiotemporally determined fungal community dynamics in salt marshes and highlights their ecophysiological traits and adaptation in an evolving ecosystem.

  13. Prediction of community mental health service utilization by individual and ecological level socio-economic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donisi, Valeria; Tedeschi, Federico; Percudani, Mauro; Fiorillo, Andrea; Confalonieri, Linda; De Rosa, Corrado; Salazzari, Damiano; Tansella, Michele; Thornicroft, Graham; Amaddeo, Francesco

    2013-10-30

    Individuals with a more deprived socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to have higher rates of psychiatric morbidity and use of psychiatric services. Such service use is also influenced by socioeconomic factors at the ecological level. The aim of this article is to investigate the influence of these variables on service utilization. All patients in contact with three Italian community psychiatric services (CPS) were included. Community and hospital contacts over 6 months were investigated. Socio-economic characteristics were described using a SES Index and two new Resources Accessibility Indexes. Low SES was found to be associated with more community service contacts. When other individual and ecological variables were controlled for, SES was negatively associated only with the number of home visits, which was about half the rate in deprived areas. An association between service utilization and the resources of the catchment area was also detected. The economic crisis in Europe is increasing inequality of access, so paying attention to SES characteristics at both the individual and the ecological levels is likely to become increasingly important in understanding patterns of psychiatric service utilization and planning care accordingly. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M

    2009-01-01

    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  15. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  16. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eChristian

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration. The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  17. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K.; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant–fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research. PMID:26441846

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  19. The movement ecology and dynamics of plant communities in fragmented landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschen, Ellen I; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Levey, Douglas J; Orrock, John L; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2008-12-09

    A conceptual model of movement ecology has recently been advanced to explain all movement by considering the interaction of four elements: internal state, motion capacity, navigation capacities, and external factors. We modified this framework to generate predictions for species richness dynamics of fragmented plant communities and tested them in experimental landscapes across a 7-year time series. We found that two external factors, dispersal vectors and habitat features, affected species colonization and recolonization in habitat fragments and their effects varied and depended on motion capacity. Bird-dispersed species richness showed connectivity effects that reached an asymptote over time, but no edge effects, whereas wind-dispersed species richness showed steadily accumulating edge and connectivity effects, with no indication of an asymptote. Unassisted species also showed increasing differences caused by connectivity over time, whereas edges had no effect. Our limited use of proxies for movement ecology (e.g., dispersal mode as a proxy for motion capacity) resulted in moderate predictive power for communities and, in some cases, highlighted the importance of a more complete understanding of movement ecology for predicting how landscape conservation actions affect plant community dynamics.

  20. Root-associated fungal communities along a primary succession on a mine spoil: Distinct ecological guilds assemble differently

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolaříková, Z.; Kohout, Petr; Krüger, C.; Janoušková, M.; Mrnka, L.; Rydlová, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 113, OCT (2017), s. 143-0152 ISSN 0038-0717 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Community composition * Ecological guilds * Primary succession Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  1. Some ecological implications of a neem (azadirachtin) insecticide disturbance to zooplankton communities in forest pond enclosures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreutzweiser, David P; Sutton, Trent M; Back, Richard C; Pangle, Kevin L; Thompson, Dean G

    2004-04-28

    A neem-based insecticide, Neemix 4.5, was applied to forest pond enclosures at concentrations of 10, 17, and 28 microg l(-1) azadirachtin (the active ingredient). At these test concentrations, significant, concentration-dependent reductions in numbers of adult copepods were observed, but immature copepod and cladoceran populations were unaffected. There was no evidence of recovery of adult copepods within the sampling season (May to October). The ecological significance of this disturbance to the zooplankton community was examined by determining biomass as a measure of food availability for higher predators, plankton community respiration, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, and conductivity as functional indicators of ecosystem stress, and zooplankton food web stability as a measure of effects on trophic structure. The selective removal or reduction of adult copepods was sufficient to measurably reduce total zooplankton biomass for several weeks mid-season. During the period of maximal impact (about 4-9 weeks after the applications), total plankton community respiration was significantly reduced, and this appeared to contribute to significant, concentration-dependent increases in dissolved oxygen and decreases in conductivity among treated enclosures. The reductions in adult copepods resulted in negative effects on zooplankton food web stability through eliminations of a trophic link and reduced interactions and connectance. Comparing the results here to those from a previous study with tebufenozide, which was selectively toxic to cladocerans and had little effect on food web stability, indicates that differential sensitivity among taxa can influence the ecological significance of pesticide effects on zooplankton communities.

  2. Fish community-based measures of estuarine ecological quality and pressure-impact relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Vanessa F.; Vasconcelos, Rita P.; Gamito, Rita; Pasquaud, Stéphanie; Gonçalves, Catarina I.; Costa, José L.; Costa, Maria J.; Cabral, Henrique N.

    2013-12-01

    Community-based responses of fish fauna to anthropogenic pressures have been extensively used to assess the ecological quality of estuarine ecosystems. Several methodologies have been developed recently combining metrics reflecting community structure and function. A fish community facing significant environmental disturbances will be characterized by a simplified structure, with lower diversity and complexity. However, estuaries are naturally dynamic ecosystems exposed to numerous human pressures, making it difficult to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic-induced changes to the biological community. In the present work, the variability of several fish metrics was assessed in relation to different pressures in estuarine sites. The response of a multimetric index (Estuarine Fish Assessment Index) was also analysed. Overall, fish metrics and the multimetric index signalled anthropogenic stress, particularly environmental chemical pollution. The fish assemblage associated with this type of pressure was characterized by lower species diversity, lower number of functional guilds, lower abundance of marine migrants and of piscivorous individuals, and higher abundance of estuarine resident species. A decreased ecological quality status, based on the EFAI, was also determined for sites associated with this pressure group. Ultimately, the definition of each pressure groups favoured a stressor-specific analysis, evidencing pressure patterns and accounting for multiple factors in a highly dynamic environment.

  3. Does geography or ecology best explain 'cultural' variation among chimpanzee communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamilar, Jason M; Marshack, Joshua L

    2012-02-01

    Much attention has been paid to geographic variation in chimpanzee behavior, but few studies have applied quantitative techniques to explain this variation. Here, we apply methods typically utilized in macroecology to explain variation in the putative cultural traits of chimpanzees. We analyzed published data containing 39 behavioral traits from nine chimpanzee communities. We used a canonical correspondence analysis to examine the relative importance of environmental characteristics and geography, which may be a proxy for inter-community gene flow and/or social transmission, for explaining geographic variation in chimpanzee behavior. We found that geography, and longitude in particular, was the best predictor of behavioral variation. Chimpanzee communities in close longitudinal proximity to each other exhibit similar behavioral repertoires, independent of local ecological factors. No ecological variables were significantly related to behavioral variation. These results support the idea that inter-community dispersal patterns have played a major role in structuring behavioral variation. We cannot be certain whether behavioral variation has a genetic basis, is the result of innovation and diffusion, or a combination of the two. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Predicting community structure in snakes on Eastern Nearctic islands using ecological neutral theory and phylogenetic methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbrink, Frank T; McKelvy, Alexander D; Pyron, R Alexander; Myers, Edward A

    2015-11-22

    Predicting species presence and richness on islands is important for understanding the origins of communities and how likely it is that species will disperse and resist extinction. The equilibrium theory of island biogeography (ETIB) and, as a simple model of sampling abundances, the unified neutral theory of biodiversity (UNTB), predict that in situations where mainland to island migration is high, species-abundance relationships explain the presence of taxa on islands. Thus, more abundant mainland species should have a higher probability of occurring on adjacent islands. In contrast to UNTB, if certain groups have traits that permit them to disperse to islands better than other taxa, then phylogeny may be more predictive of which taxa will occur on islands. Taking surveys of 54 island snake communities in the Eastern Nearctic along with mainland communities that have abundance data for each species, we use phylogenetic assembly methods and UNTB estimates to predict island communities. Species richness is predicted by island area, whereas turnover from the mainland to island communities is random with respect to phylogeny. Community structure appears to be ecologically neutral and abundance on the mainland is the best predictor of presence on islands. With regard to young and proximate islands, where allopatric or cladogenetic speciation is not a factor, we find that simple neutral models following UNTB and ETIB predict the structure of island communities. © 2015 The Author(s).

  5. Negotiating Competing Goals in the Development of an Urban Ecology Practitioner Inquiry Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Peter; McNeill, Katherine L.

    2013-11-01

    Teacher learning communities are hailed by many as vehicles for reforming and elevating the professional status of teaching. While much research explores teacher community as a venue for measurable gains, our research examines the orientation of practitioner inquiry toward critical debate about effective instruction. Specifically, our study focuses on a group of middle and high school teachers who worked with a nonprofit organization to engage students in urban environmental field investigations. Teachers met regularly as a community with the common goal of teaching urban ecology in an outdoor setting. We collected interview data from members of the teacher community, and we observed teacher interaction during a meeting of the practitioner inquiry group. Interview results indicated that while the nonprofit aimed to support collaborative dialogue and self-critique, participants saw the community mainly as a venue for pursuing short-term goals, such as receiving new resources or socializing with colleagues. Observation data, however, suggested that the community was taking early steps toward building an environment oriented toward critical discussion. Juxtaposing results from our interviews and observations, we discuss the challenges communities face when they seek to develop shared beliefs and deal openly with conflict. Ultimately, we suggest that organizers of collaborative learning environments should work to actively develop structures for building the organizational trust necessary to support civil critique.

  6. [Succession pattern of artificial vegetation community and its ecological mechanism in an arid desert region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Cailin; Li, Zizhen

    2003-09-01

    Focusing on the artificial vegetation protection system of the Shapotou section of Baotou-Lanzhou railway in the arid desert region of China, this paper examined the dynamics of dominant plant species and the succession pattern of artificial plant community in the process of establishing and developing regional artificial vegetation. It also studied the driving force and the ecologically intrinsic mechanism of the community succession. The results demonstrated that the species composition of the artificial vegetation dramatically changed after 40 years of succession, from original artificial plant community of shrub and semi-shrub to artificial-natural desert plant community with annual herb dominated. During the process of succession, the importance values of artificial shrubs, such as Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparius, decreased and gradually retreated from the artificial plant community, while the naturally multiplied annual herb, such as Eragrostis poaeoides, Bassia dasyphylla, Salsola ruthenica, Chloris virgata and etc., were presented one after another and gradually became dominant. Besides, Artemisia ordosica always played a key role in the community due to its ability of naturally sowing and self-replacement. This type of succession pattern was closely related to the shortage of precipitation resource in this region and the formation of soil crust which inhibited the reproduction of shrub and perennial herb with deep root systems. This study provided a theoretical ground for realizing persistent development of artificial plant community.

  7. Measures of precision for dissimilarity-based multivariate analysis of ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Marti J; Santana-Garcon, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Ecological studies require key decisions regarding the appropriate size and number of sampling units. No methods currently exist to measure precision for multivariate assemblage data when dissimilarity-based analyses are intended to follow. Here, we propose a pseudo multivariate dissimilarity-based standard error (MultSE) as a useful quantity for assessing sample-size adequacy in studies of ecological communities. Based on sums of squared dissimilarities, MultSE measures variability in the position of the centroid in the space of a chosen dissimilarity measure under repeated sampling for a given sample size. We describe a novel double resampling method to quantify uncertainty in MultSE values with increasing sample size. For more complex designs, values of MultSE can be calculated from the pseudo residual mean square of a permanova model, with the double resampling done within appropriate cells in the design. R code functions for implementing these techniques, along with ecological examples, are provided. © 2014 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  8. Microbial ecology-based methods to characterize the bacterial communities of non-model insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosdocimi, Erica M; Mapelli, Francesca; Gonella, Elena; Borin, Sara; Crotti, Elena

    2015-12-01

    Among the animals of the Kingdom Animalia, insects are unparalleled for their widespread diffusion, diversity and number of occupied ecological niches. In recent years they have raised researcher interest not only because of their importance as human and agricultural pests, disease vectors and as useful breeding species (e.g. honeybee and silkworm), but also because of their suitability as animal models. It is now fully recognized that microorganisms form symbiotic relationships with insects, influencing their survival, fitness, development, mating habits and the immune system and other aspects of the biology and ecology of the insect host. Thus, any research aimed at deepening the knowledge of any given insect species (perhaps species of applied interest or species emerging as novel pests or vectors) must consider the characterization of the associated microbiome. The present review critically examines the microbiology and molecular ecology techniques that can be applied to the taxonomical and functional analysis of the microbiome of non-model insects. Our goal is to provide an overview of current approaches and methods addressing the ecology and functions of microorganisms and microbiomes associated with insects. Our focus is on operational details, aiming to provide a concise guide to currently available advanced techniques, in an effort to extend insect microbiome research beyond simple descriptions of microbial communities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Community variability and ecological functioning: 40 years of change in the North Sea benthos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, D S; Robinson, L A; Frid, C L J

    2015-06-01

    Using established associations between species traits (life history, morphological and behavioural characteristics) and key ecological functions, we applied biological traits analysis (BTA) to investigate the consequences of 40 years of change in two North Sea benthic communities. Ecological functioning (trait composition) was found to be statistically indistinguishable across periods that differed significantly in taxonomic composition. A temporary alteration to functioning was, however, inferred at both sampling stations; coinciding with the North Sea regime shift of the 1980s. Trait composition recovered after 1 year at the station located inside the grounds of a trawl fishery, whereas the station located outside the main area of fishing activity underwent a six-year period of significantly altered, and temporally unstable, trait composition. A further alteration to functioning was inferred at the fished station, when the population of a newly established species rapidly increased in numbers. The results suggest that density compensation by characteristically similar (redundant) taxa acts to buffer changes to ecological functioning over time, but that functional stability is subject to aperiodic disruption due to substitutions of dissimilar taxa or uncompensated population fluctuations. The rate at which ecological functioning stabilises and recovers appears to be dependent on environmental context; e.g. disturbance regime. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Applying ecological models to communities of genetic elements: the case of neutral theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linquist, Stefan; Cottenie, Karl; Elliott, Tyler A; Saylor, Brent; Kremer, Stefan C; Gregory, T Ryan

    2015-07-01

    A promising recent development in molecular biology involves viewing the genome as a mini-ecosystem, where genetic elements are compared to organisms and the surrounding cellular and genomic structures are regarded as the local environment. Here, we critically evaluate the prospects of ecological neutral theory (ENT), a popular model in ecology, as it applies at the genomic level. This assessment requires an overview of the controversy surrounding neutral models in community ecology. In particular, we discuss the limitations of using ENT both as an explanation of community dynamics and as a null hypothesis. We then analyse a case study in which ENT has been applied to genomic data. Our central finding is that genetic elements do not conform to the requirements of ENT once its assumptions and limitations are made explicit. We further compare this genome-level application of ENT to two other, more familiar approaches in genomics that rely on neutral mechanisms: Kimura's molecular neutral theory and Lynch's mutational-hazard model. Interestingly, this comparison reveals that there are two distinct concepts of neutrality associated with these models, which we dub 'fitness neutrality' and 'competitive neutrality'. This distinction helps to clarify the various roles for neutral models in genomics, for example in explaining the evolution of genome size. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörsdorf, Martin A; Ravolainen, Virve T; Støvern, Leif Einar; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2015-01-01

    In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is based on well-articulated objectives and proper methodology. Both approaches are applied to tundra plant communities in mesic and snowbed habitats. For the formal approach, sampling units were first defined for each habitat in concave terrain of suitable slope using GIS. In the field, these units were only accepted as the targeted habitats if additional criteria for vegetation cover were fulfilled. For the subjective approach, sampling units were defined visually in the field, based on typical plant communities of mesic and snowbed habitats. For each approach, we collected information about plant community characteristics within a total of 11 mesic and seven snowbed units distributed between two herding districts of contrasting reindeer density. Results from the two approaches differed significantly in several plant community characteristics in both mesic and snowbed habitats. Furthermore, differences between the two approaches were not consistent because their magnitude and direction differed both between the two habitats and the two reindeer herding districts. Consequently, we could draw different conclusions on how plant diversity and relative abundance of functional groups are differentiated between the two habitats depending on the approach used. We therefore challenge ecologists to formalize the expert knowledge applied to define sampling units through a set of well-articulated rules, rather than applying it subjectively. We see this as instrumental for progress in ecology as only rules

  12. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Mörsdorf

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is based on well-articulated objectives and proper methodology. Both approaches are applied to tundra plant communities in mesic and snowbed habitats. For the formal approach, sampling units were first defined for each habitat in concave terrain of suitable slope using GIS. In the field, these units were only accepted as the targeted habitats if additional criteria for vegetation cover were fulfilled. For the subjective approach, sampling units were defined visually in the field, based on typical plant communities of mesic and snowbed habitats. For each approach, we collected information about plant community characteristics within a total of 11 mesic and seven snowbed units distributed between two herding districts of contrasting reindeer density. Results from the two approaches differed significantly in several plant community characteristics in both mesic and snowbed habitats. Furthermore, differences between the two approaches were not consistent because their magnitude and direction differed both between the two habitats and the two reindeer herding districts. Consequently, we could draw different conclusions on how plant diversity and relative abundance of functional groups are differentiated between the two habitats depending on the approach used. We therefore challenge ecologists to formalize the expert knowledge applied to define sampling units through a set of well-articulated rules, rather than applying it subjectively. We see this as instrumental for progress in

  13. Ethical considerations for conducting health disparities research in community health centers: a social-ecological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutin-Foster, Carla; Scott, Ebony; Melendez, Jennifer; Rodriguez, Anna; Ramos, Rosio; Kanna, Balavenkatesh; Michelen, Walid

    2013-12-01

    Community health centers (CHCs) provide optimal research settings. They serve a high-risk, medically underserved population in the greatest need of intervention. Low socioeconomic status renders this population particularly vulnerable to research misconduct. Traditional principles of research ethics are often applied to participants only. The social-ecological model offers a comprehensive framework for applying these principles across multiple levels (participants, providers, organizations, communities, and policy). Our experience with the Trial Using Motivational Interviewing, Positive Affect and Self-Affirmation in African-Americans with Hypertension, a randomized trial conducted in CHCs, led us to propose a new platform for discussing research ethics; examine the social, community, and political factors surrounding research conducted in CHCs; and recommend how future research should be conducted in such settings.

  14. Effects of simulated acid rain on soil fauna community composition and their ecological niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hui; Liu, Wen; Zhang, Jiaen; Qin, Zhong

    2017-01-01

    Acid rain is one of the severest environmental issues globally. Relative to other global changes (e.g., warming, elevated atmospheric [CO 2 ], and nitrogen deposition), however, acid rain has received less attention than its due. Soil fauna play important roles in multiple ecological processes, but how soil fauna community responds to acid rain remains less studied. This microcosm experiment was conducted using latosol with simulated acid rain (SAR) manipulations to observe potential changes in soil fauna community under acid rain stress. Four pH levels, i.e., pH 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5, and a neutral control of pH 7.0 were set according to the current pH condition and acidification trend of precipitation in southern China. As expected, we observed that the SAR treatments induced changes in soil fauna community composition and their ecological niches in the tested soil; the treatment effects tended to increase as acidity increased. This could be attributable to the environmental stresses (such as acidity, porosity and oxygen supply) induced by the SAR treatments. In addition to direct acidity effect, we propose that potential changes in permeability and movability of water and oxygen in soils induced by acid rain could also give rise to the observed shifts in soil fauna community composition. These are most likely indirect pathways of acid rain to affect belowground community. Moreover, we found that nematodes, the dominating soil fauna group in this study, moved downwards to mitigate the stress of acid rain. This is probably detrimental to soil fauna in the long term, due to the relatively severer soil conditions in the deep than surface soil layer. Our results suggest that acid rain could change soil fauna community and the vertical distribution of soil fauna groups, consequently changing the underground ecosystem functions such as organic matter decomposition and greenhouse gas emissions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Worldviews Network: Innovative Strategies for Increasing Climate and Ecological Literacy in Your Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, R.; Yu, K.; McConville, D.; Sickler, J.; "Irving, Lindsay", L. S.; Gardiner, N.; Hamilton, H.

    2011-12-01

    Informal science Institutions (ISI) are in the unique position to convene and support community dialogues surrounding local ecological impacts of global change. The Worldviews Network-a collaboration between museums, scientists, and community-based organizations-is developing and testing innovative approaches for promoting and encouraging ecological literacy with the American public. In this session, we will share strategies for sparking and sustaining dialogue and action in local communities through high-impact visual presentations and real-world examples of successful projects that are increasing the healthy functioning of regional and global ecosystems. Educating the public about interconnected global change issues can be a daunting task. ISIs can help communities by facilitating dialogues about realistic and regionally relevant approaches for systemically addressing global challenges. Managing the complexity of these challenges requires going far beyond the standard prescriptions for behavior change; it requires inspiring participants with positive examples of system-wide solutions as well as actively involving the audience in scientifically informed design processes. This session will demonstrate how you can implement and sustain these community dialogues, using real-world examples from our partners' national events. We present visualization story templates and a model for facilitating dialogues that can be adapted at your institution. Based on video and written assessment feedback from visitors of our first Worldviews events, we will present initial evaluation findings about the impact that these strategies are having on our audiences and ISI partners. These findings show that engaging the public and NGO partners in sustainability and design dialogues is a powerful way to maintain the relevance of ISIs within their communities.

  16. Ecology of some mire and bog plant communities in the Western Italian Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio BUFFA

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available During a mire vegetation study, conducted mainly in the subalpine-alpine sector of the Western Italian Alps, the ecology of several plant communities and numerous moss species of this kind of vegetation was evaluated. The study area covered the Piedmontese sector of the Graian Alps, the eastern sector of the Aosta Valley as well as certain localities of the Pennine Alps, the Canavese district and the Maritime Alps. They have a rocky substratum representative of the various regional lithologies and include the main sectors characterised by the highest precipitation. Three hundred and twenty two relevées were made using the phytosociological method and the pH and the conductivity of the water table and its depth were measured directly. Cluster Analysis allowed a classification of the samples and the identification of various groups of plant communities. Ordination performed by DCA and CCA allowed us to identify the ecological features of the various plant communities by using the values of the main environmental parameters, measured directly in the field, and certain climatic parameters (altitude and mean annual precipitation available. The use of climatic parameters is an important result for identifying communities which show greater oceanicity, something that is underlined also by the presence of indicator species such as Sphagnum papillosum and S. subnitens. Furthermore the communities are arranged in a "poor-rich" gradient, and are also profoundly influenced by depth to water table which is inversely correlated to the pH. Therefore we find certain kinds of communities all with a very low water table and which are little affected by its chemistry. Other groups share the fact that the water table is outcropping or near the surface and are distinguishable for their pH values and conductivity. We discuss the different response of the bryophytes and vascular plants of these communities to the environmental parameters considered, in light of their

  17. A general framework for predicting delayed responses of ecological communities to habitat loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youhua; Shen, Tsung-Jen

    2017-04-20

    Although biodiversity crisis at different spatial scales has been well recognised, the phenomena of extinction debt and immigration credit at a crossing-scale context are, at best, unclear. Based on two community patterns, regional species abundance distribution (SAD) and spatial abundance distribution (SAAD), Kitzes and Harte (2015) presented a macroecological framework for predicting post-disturbance delayed extinction patterns in the entire ecological community. In this study, we further expand this basic framework to predict diverse time-lagged effects of habitat destruction on local communities. Specifically, our generalisation of KH's model could address the questions that could not be answered previously: (1) How many species are subjected to delayed extinction in a local community when habitat is destructed in other areas? (2) How do rare or endemic species contribute to extinction debt or immigration credit of the local community? (3) How will species differ between two local areas? From the demonstrations using two SAD models (single-parameter lognormal and logseries), the predicted patterns of the debt, credit, and change in the fraction of unique species can vary, but with consistencies and depending on several factors. The general framework deepens the understanding of the theoretical effects of habitat loss on community dynamic patterns in local samples.

  18. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Grace, James B.

    2010-01-01

    Downscaling from the predictions of general climate models is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of how variation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951–2007/2009) in a complex montane landscape (the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 °C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500–1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500–2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herb-community changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different and more modest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide community-level validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  19. The influence of ecology on chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) cultural behavior: a case study of five Ugandan chimpanzee communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Thibaud; Potts, Kevin B; Krupenye, Christopher; Byrne, Maisie-Rose; Mackworth-Young, Constance; McGrew, William C; Reynolds, Vernon; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2012-11-01

    The influence of ecology on the development of behavioral traditions in animals is controversial, particularly for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), for which it is difficult to rule out environmental influences as a cause of widely observed community-specific behavioral differences. Here, we investigated 3 potential scenarios that could explain the natural variation in a key extractive tool behavior, "fluid-dip," among several communities of chimpanzees of the Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii subspecies in Uganda. We compared data from previous behavioral ecological studies, field experiments, and long-term records of chimpanzee tool-using behavior. We focused on the quality of the available food, dietary preferences, and tool sets of 5 different communities, and carried out a standardized field experiment to test systematically for the presence of fluid-dip in 4 of these communities. Our results revealed major differences in habitat, available diet, and tool use behavior between geographically close communities. However, these differences in ecology and feeding behavior failed to explain the differences in tool use across communities. We conclude that ecological variables may lead both to innovation and loss of behavioral traditions, while contributing little to their transmission within the community. Instead, as soon as a behavioral tradition is established, sociocognitive factors likely play a key maintenance role as long as the ecological conditions do not change sufficiently for the tradition to be abandoned.

  20. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ryan S.; Denef, Vincent J.; Kalnejais, Linda H.; Suttle, K. Blake; Thomas, Brian C.; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Shah, Menesh B.; VerBekmoes, Nathan C.; Hettich, Robert L.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ.

  1. Linking macroecology and community ecology: refining predictions of species distributions using biotic interaction networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staniczenko, Phillip P A; Sivasubramaniam, Prabu; Suttle, K Blake; Pearson, Richard G

    2017-06-01

    Macroecological models for predicting species distributions usually only include abiotic environmental conditions as explanatory variables, despite knowledge from community ecology that all species are linked to other species through biotic interactions. This disconnect is largely due to the different spatial scales considered by the two sub-disciplines: macroecologists study patterns at large extents and coarse resolutions, while community ecologists focus on small extents and fine resolutions. A general framework for including biotic interactions in macroecological models would help bridge this divide, as it would allow for rigorous testing of the role that biotic interactions play in determining species ranges. Here, we present an approach that combines species distribution models with Bayesian networks, which enables the direct and indirect effects of biotic interactions to be modelled as propagating conditional dependencies among species' presences. We show that including biotic interactions in distribution models for species from a California grassland community results in better range predictions across the western USA. This new approach will be important for improving estimates of species distributions and their dynamics under environmental change. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Resilience in community: a social ecological development model for young adult sexual minority women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Lindsey; Darnell, Doyanne A; Rhew, Isaac C; Lee, Christine M; Kaysen, Debra

    2015-03-01

    Family support and rejection are associated with health outcomes among sexual minority women (SMW). We examined a social ecological development model among young adult SMW, testing whether identity risk factors or outness to family interacted with family rejection to predict community connectedness and collective self-esteem. Lesbian and bisexual women (N = 843; 57% bisexual) between the ages of 18-25 (M = 21.4; SD = 2.1) completed baseline and 12-month online surveys. The sample identified as White (54.2%), multiple racial backgrounds (16.6%), African American (9.6%) and Asian/Asian American (3.1%); 10.2% endorsed a Hispanic/Latina ethnicity. Rejection ranged from 18 to 41% across family relationships. Longitudinal regression indicated that when outness to family increased, SMW in highly rejecting families demonstrated resilience by finding connections and esteem in sexual minority communities to a greater extent than did non-rejected peers. But, when stigma concerns, concealment motivation, and other identity risk factors increased over the year, high family rejection did not impact community connectedness and SMW reported lower collective self-esteem. Racial minority SMW reported lower community connectedness, but not lower collective self-esteem. Families likely buffer or exacerbate societal risks for ill health. Findings highlight the protective role of LGBTQ communities and normative resilience among SMW and their families.

  3. Ecology Art Education On-Line: A World Community of Old Trees, A Story of the Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julian, June

    1997-01-01

    "A World Community of Old Trees," http://www.nyu.edu/projects/julian/, is the Internet research component of the doctoral dissertation, "Ecology Art Education On-Line: A World Community of Old Trees." It is the first study in the discipline of Art Education to use the World Wide Web to transmit and receive data for doctoral…

  4. 'A Farmer, a Place and at least 20 Members': The Development of Artifact Ecologies in Volunteer-based Communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Susanne; Korsgaard, Henrik; Saad-Sulonen, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    on what the members bring to the table, as well as on particular situations of use. The community artifact ecology concept is important for CSCW as it enables framing of the relationship between communities and technologies beyond the single artifact and beyond a static view of a dedicated technology....

  5. A synthesis of ecological and fish-community changes in Lake Ontario, 1970-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, E.L.; Casselman, J.M.; Dermott, R.; Fitzsimons, J.D.; Gal, G.; Holeck, K. T.; Hoyle, J.A.; Johannsson, O.E.; Lantry, B.F.; Makarewicz, J.C.; Millard, E.S.; Munawar, I.F.; Munawar, M.; O'Gorman, R.; Owens, R.W.; Rudstam, L. G.; Schaner, T.; Stewart, T.J.

    2005-01-01

    We assessed stressors associated with ecological and fishcommunity changes in Lake Ontario since 1970, when the first symposium on Salmonid Communities in Oligotrophic Lakes (SCOL I) was held (J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 29: 613-616). Phosphorus controls implemented in the early 1970s were undeniably successful; lower food-web studies showed declines in algal abundance and epilimnetic zooplankton production and a shift in pelagic primary productivity toward smaller organisms. Stressors on the fish community prior to 1970 such as exploitation, sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) predation, and effects of nuisance populations of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) were largely ameliorated by the 1990s. The alewife became a pivotal species supporting a multi-million-dollar salmonid sport fishery, but alewife-induced thiamine deficiency continued to hamper restoration and sustainability of native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Expanding salmonine populations dependent on alewife raised concerns about predator demand and prey supply, leading to reductions in salmonine stocking in the early 1990s. Relaxation of the predation impact by alewives and their shift to deeper water allowed recovery of native fishes such as threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides). The return of the Lake Ontario ecosystem to historical conditions has been impeded by unplanned introductions. Establishment of Dreissena spp. led to increased water clarity and increased vectoring of lower trophic-level production to benthic habitats and contributed to the collapse of Diporeia spp. populations, behavioral modifications of key fish species, and the decline of native lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). Despite reduced productivity, exotic-species introductions, and changes in the fish community, offshore Mysis relicta populations remained relatively stable. The effects of climate and climate change on the population abundance and dynamics of Lake Ontario

  6. Bacterial Communities of Diverse Drosophila Species: Ecological Context of a Host–Microbe Model System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Srijak; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Kopp, Artyom

    2011-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is emerging as an important model of non-pathogenic host–microbe interactions. The genetic and experimental tractability of Drosophila has led to significant gains in our understanding of animal–microbial symbiosis. However, the full implications of these results cannot be appreciated without the knowledge of the microbial communities associated with natural Drosophila populations. In particular, it is not clear whether laboratory cultures can serve as an accurate model of host–microbe interactions that occur in the wild, or those that have occurred over evolutionary time. To fill this gap, we characterized natural bacterial communities associated with 14 species of Drosophila and related genera collected from distant geographic locations. To represent the ecological diversity of Drosophilids, examined species included fruit-, flower-, mushroom-, and cactus-feeders. In parallel, wild host populations were compared to laboratory strains, and controlled experiments were performed to assess the importance of host species and diet in shaping bacterial microbiome composition. We find that Drosophilid flies have taxonomically restricted bacterial communities, with 85% of the natural bacterial microbiome composed of only four bacterial families. The dominant bacterial taxa are widespread and found in many different host species despite the taxonomic, ecological, and geographic diversity of their hosts. Both natural surveys and laboratory experiments indicate that host diet plays a major role in shaping the Drosophila bacterial microbiome. Despite this, the internal bacterial microbiome represents only a highly reduced subset of the external bacterial communities, suggesting that the host exercises some level of control over the bacteria that inhabit its digestive tract. Finally, we show that laboratory strains provide only a limited model of natural host–microbe interactions. Bacterial taxa used in experimental studies are rare or absent in

  7. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community- and ecosystem level, oxygen depletions threaten marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean). We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (behaviour, and predator-prey interactions and relationships shifted. This nuanced scale of resolution is a useful tool to interpret present benthic community status (behaviour) and past mortalities (community composition, e.g. survival of tolerant species). This information on the sensitivity (onset of stress response), tolerance (mortality, survival), and characteristics (i.e. life habit, functional role) of key species also helps predict

  8. Ecological assembly rules in plant communities--approaches, patterns and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Davison, John; Dubuis, Anne; Guisan, Antoine; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, Regina; Moora, Mari; Pärtel, Meelis; Pellissier, Loic; Pottier, Julien; Vittoz, Pascal; Zobel, Kristjan; Zobel, Martin

    2012-02-01

    Understanding how communities of living organisms assemble has been a central question in ecology since the early days of the discipline. Disentangling the different processes involved in community assembly is not only interesting in itself but also crucial for an understanding of how communities will behave under future environmental scenarios. The traditional concept of assembly rules reflects the notion that species do not co-occur randomly but are restricted in their co-occurrence by interspecific competition. This concept can be redefined in a more general framework where the co-occurrence of species is a product of chance, historical patterns of speciation and migration, dispersal, abiotic environmental factors, and biotic interactions, with none of these processes being mutually exclusive. Here we present a survey and meta-analyses of 59 papers that compare observed patterns in plant communities with null models simulating random patterns of species assembly. According to the type of data under study and the different methods that are applied to detect community assembly, we distinguish four main types of approach in the published literature: species co-occurrence, niche limitation, guild proportionality and limiting similarity. Results from our meta-analyses suggest that non-random co-occurrence of plant species is not a widespread phenomenon. However, whether this finding reflects the individualistic nature of plant communities or is caused by methodological shortcomings associated with the studies considered cannot be discerned from the available metadata. We advocate that more thorough surveys be conducted using a set of standardized methods to test for the existence of assembly rules in data sets spanning larger biological and geographical scales than have been considered until now. We underpin this general advice with guidelines that should be considered in future assembly rules research. This will enable us to draw more accurate and general

  9. Ecological theory in practice: illustrations from a community-based intervention to promote the health of recent mothers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawe, Penelope; Riley, Therese

    2005-09-01

    We present a qualitative case study where we used four principles of ecological theory from community psychology as a template to assess the dynamics about how a preventive community intervention was transacted in eight communities in Victoria, Australia. The principles were cycling of resources, interdependence, adaptation, and succession. Ecological thinking focuses on key resources in communities. That is, the people, events, and settings that are the foundations of thinking about communities as systems. The data set consists of field diaries kept by and serial interviews with nine community development workers over a 2-year period. We found that the analysis highlighted a process-oriented way of representing the intervention, one that sees beyond the intervention's technical components (or packaged elements) to the complexities of the cultural and political change processes occurring beneath. The value of this is the attention focussed on likely project sustainability.

  10. Motivating conservation: Learning to care for other species in a local ecological community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laflamme, Michael

    Large-scale, sustainable biodiversity conservation must motivate action by local communities. I united theories and practices in biology and psychology to study the process by which people are motivated to care for other species, and to what extent caring results in helping. Participants (N = 1200), age 8--22, interacted with native fish and aquatic insects in their habitats during 21 field experiences through Lake County, Montana educational institutions. Native fish were chosen because they are familiar to local people, yet different from people in their morphology, biomechanics, and habitat. In Phase I, two activity models for conservation emerged: the Habitat approach linked concepts in ecology, reciprocation, and a moral orientation toward justice, while the Behavior approach linked concepts in behavior, kin selection, and a moral orientation toward caring. These two approaches were compared in Phase II through seven sets of experiences that varied only in point of view: toward the habitat or toward behavior. I found that through sustained contact between people and local fish in their habitats, in the field and in cold-water aquaria, people empathized with fish more than with habitats. They perceived fish states by interpreting their behavior, and created meaning by focusing on fish social interactions with their habitat, with other fish, and with people. They used the information gained from empathy to identify ongoing conservation needs and to design conservation plans. Attention to behavior increased perception of human impacts on fish; perception of relatedness with fish; similarity with the physiology, behavior, minds and lives of fish; desire for non-material benefits in return for helping fish; and cohesion within participant groups. These perceptions varied with age and gender. For example, women and children emphasized values of non-material returns for time invested. This study recommends a behavioral-ecology approach for motivating conservation and

  11. Ecological wisdom of Hindu-Javanese community settlement in Cetho Hamlet, Lawu Mountains, Central Java, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikhsan, Fauzan Ali; Setioko, Bambang; Suprapti, Atiek

    2017-12-01

    Dwelling culture of Java community has a long history. In Javanese community point of view, Javanese culture is not a homogeneous entity. There is a diversity characteristic of a regional nature of Javanese culture, which is caused by differences in the natural environment on the island of Java. Dwelling Culture settled in the mountains is a variant form of Javanese culture that has its own uniqueness. This study aimed to describe the local values of the rural settlement structure of in Lawu mountains with Hindu-Javanese culture background. This study used a qualitative approach with case study strategy. The locus of research is in the Cetho hamlet on the slopes of Mount Lawu Karanganyar, Central Java. The results showed that local values in the neighborhoods of Cetho hamlet is based on the Memayu Hayuning Bawana philosophy. These concepts are abstracted into various aspects of settlements in Cetho hamlet such as aspects of dwelling house setting, water management, and ritual activities related to environmental management. Memayu Hayuning Bawana philosophy becomes a cultural space coloring the ecological action of the population of Cetho hamlet. The comprehensive motivation of ecological action ultimately leads to one final goal, namely the desire to maintain a harmonic atmosphere with the surroundings.

  12. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Usin...

  13. Fish community response to the longitudinal environmental gradient in Czech deep-valley reservoirs: Implications for ecological monitoring and management.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vašek, Mojmír; Prchalová, Marie; Říha, Milan; Blabolil, Petr; Čech, Martin; Draštík, Vladislav; Frouzová, Jaroslava; Jůza, Tomáš; Kratochvíl, Michal; Muška, Milan; Peterka, Jiří; Sajdlová, Zuzana; Šmejkal, Marek; Tušer, Michal; Vejřík, Lukáš; Znachor, Petr; Mrkvička, Tomáš; Seďa, Jaromír; Kubečka, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 63, April (2016), s. 219-230 ISSN 1470-160X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0204; GA ČR(CZ) GA15-01625S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ecological quality * eutrophication * fish community * gradients * water management Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.898, year: 2016

  14. Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge and Conventional Science: a Study of Seven Community-Based Forestry Organizations in the USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi L. Ballard

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural resource management decisions can be based on incomplete knowledge when they lack scientific research, monitoring, and assessment and/or simultaneously fail to draw on local ecological knowledge. Many community-based forestry organizations in the United States attempt to address these knowledge gaps with an integrated ecological stewardship approach that balances ecological, social, and economic goals. This paper examines the use and integration of local knowledge and conventional science in ecological stewardship and monitoring by seven community-based forestry demonstration projects. Through document reviews and interviews with both participants and partners of all of these community-based organizations, we found that all the community-based forestry groups incorporated local ecological knowledge into many aspects of their management or monitoring activities, such as collaboratively designing monitoring programs with local ranchers, forest workers, and residents; involving local people in collecting data and interpreting results; and documenting the local ecological knowledge of private forest landowners, long-time residents, and harvesters of nontimber forest products. We found that all the groups also used conventional science to design or conduct ecological assessments, monitoring, or research. We also found evidence, in the form of changes in attitudes on the part of local people and conventional scientists and jointly produced reports, that the two types of knowledge were integrated by all groups. These findings imply that community-based forestry groups are redistributing the power of conventional science through the use of diverse knowledge sources. Still, several obstacles prevented some local, traditionally under-represented groups from being significantly involved in monitoring and management decisions, and their knowledge has not yet been consistently incorporated.

  15. Social Ecology of Child Soldiers: Child, Family, and Community Determinants of Mental Health, Psychosocial Wellbeing, and Reintegration in Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohrt, Brandon A.; Jordans, Mark J.D.; Tol, Wietse A.; Perera, Em; Karki, Rohit; Koirala, Suraj; Upadhaya, Nawaraj

    2013-01-01

    This study employs social ecology to evaluate psychosocial wellbeing in a cross-sectional sample of 142 former child soldiers in Nepal. Outcome measures included the Depression Self Rating Scale (DSRS), Child Posttraumatic Stress Scale (CPSS), and locally developed measures of function impairment and reintegration. At the child level, traumatic exposures, especially torture, predicted poor outcomes, while education improved outcomes. At the family level, conflict-related death of a relative, physical abuse in the household, and loss of wealth during the conflict predicted poor outcomes. At the community level, living in high caste Hindu communities predicted fewer reintegration supports. Ultimately, social ecology is well-suited to identify intervention foci across ecological levels, based on community differences in vulnerability and protective factors. PMID:21088102

  16. Toward a community ecology of landscapes: predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Miller, Jennifer R B; Trainor, Anne M; Abrahms, Briana

    2017-09-01

    Community ecology was traditionally an integrative science devoted to studying interactions between species and their abiotic environments in order to predict species' geographic distributions and abundances. Yet for philosophical and methodological reasons, it has become divided into two enterprises: one devoted to local experimentation on species interactions to predict community dynamics; the other devoted to statistical analyses of abiotic and biotic information to describe geographic distribution. Our goal here is to instigate thinking about ways to reconnect the two enterprises and thereby return to a tradition to do integrative science. We focus specifically on the community ecology of predators and prey, which is ripe for integration. This is because there is active, simultaneous interest in experimentally resolving the nature and strength of predator-prey interactions as well as explaining patterns across landscapes and seascapes. We begin by describing a conceptual theory rooted in classical analyses of non-spatial food web modules used to predict species interactions. We show how such modules can be extended to consideration of spatial context using the concept of habitat domain. Habitat domain describes the spatial extent of habitat space that predators and prey use while foraging, which differs from home range, the spatial extent used by an animal to meet all of its daily needs. This conceptual theory can be used to predict how different spatial relations of predators and prey could lead to different emergent multiple predator-prey interactions such as whether predator consumptive or non-consumptive effects should dominate, and whether intraguild predation, predator interference or predator complementarity are expected. We then review the literature on studies of large predator-prey interactions that make conclusions about the nature of multiple predator-prey interactions. This analysis reveals that while many studies provide sufficient information

  17. Integrating an ecological approach into an Aboriginal community-based chronic disease prevention program: a longitudinal process evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maypilama Elaine

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Public health promotes an ecological approach to chronic disease prevention, however, little research has been conducted to assess the integration of an ecological approach in community-based prevention programs. This study sought to contribute to the evidence base by assessing the extent to which an ecological approach was integrated into an Aboriginal community-based cardiovascular disease (CVD and type 2 diabetes prevention program, across three-intervention years. Methods Activity implementation forms were completed by interview with implementers and participant observation across three intervention years. A standardised ecological coding procedure was applied to assess participant recruitment settings, intervention targets, intervention strategy types, extent of ecologicalness and organisational partnering. Inter-rater reliability for two coders was assessed at Kappa = 0.76 (p Results 215 activities were implemented across three intervention years by the health program (HP with some activities implemented in multiple years. Participants were recruited most frequently through organisational settings in years 1 and 2, and organisational and community settings in year 3. The most commonly utilised intervention targets were the individual (IND as a direct target, and interpersonal (INT and organisational (ORG environments as indirect targets; policy (POL, and community (COM were targeted least. Direct (HP→ IND and indirect intervention strategies (i.e., HP→ INT→ IND, HP→ POL → IND were used most often; networking strategies, which link at least two targets (i.e., HP→[ORG-ORG]→IND, were used the least. The program did not become more ecological over time. Conclusions The quantity of activities with IND, INT and ORG targets and the proportion of participants recruited through informal cultural networking demonstrate community commitment to prevention. Integration of an ecological approach would have been

  18. Biogeochemistry and community ecology in a spring-fed urban river following a major earthquake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wells, Naomi S.; Clough, Tim J.; Condron, Leo M.; Baisden, W. Troy; Harding, Jon S.; Dong, Y.; Lewis, G.D.; Lear, Gavin

    2013-01-01

    In February 2011 a M W 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand inundated urban waterways with sediment from liquefaction and triggered sewage spills. The impacts of, and recovery from, this natural disaster on the stream biogeochemistry and biology were assessed over six months along a longitudinal impact gradient in an urban river. The impact of liquefaction was masked by earthquake triggered sewage spills (∼20,000 m 3 day −1 entering the river for one month). Within 10 days of the earthquake dissolved oxygen in the lowest reaches was −1 , in-stream denitrification accelerated (attenuating 40–80% of sewage nitrogen), microbial biofilm communities changed, and several benthic invertebrate taxa disappeared. Following sewage system repairs, the river recovered in a reverse cascade, and within six months there were no differences in water chemistry, nutrient cycling, or benthic communities between severely and minimally impacted reaches. This study highlights the importance of assessing environmental impact following urban natural disasters. -- Highlights: •Earthquakes triggered sewage spills and liquefaction into an urban river. •Combined chemical, isotopic, and biological measurements to quantify stream recovery. •Sustained sewage discharge into the river drove eutrophication in lower reaches. •River function recovered in a reverse cascade, from chemical to macroinvertebrate. -- Linking stream community ecology with biogeochemical function, we provide an in-depth quantification of urban stream recovery following a catastrophic earthquake

  19. Community cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis: the CAMERA resource.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shulei; Chen, Jing; Li, Weizhong; Altintas, Ilkay; Lin, Abel; Peltier, Steve; Stocks, Karen; Allen, Eric E; Ellisman, Mark; Grethe, Jeffrey; Wooley, John

    2011-01-01

    The Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA, http://camera.calit2.net/) is a database and associated computational infrastructure that provides a single system for depositing, locating, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data about microbial biology through an advanced web-based analysis portal. CAMERA collects and links metadata relevant to environmental metagenome data sets with annotation in a semantically-aware environment allowing users to write expressive semantic queries against the database. To meet the needs of the research community, users are able to query metadata categories such as habitat, sample type, time, location and other environmental physicochemical parameters. CAMERA is compliant with the standards promulgated by the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC), and sustains a role within the GSC in extending standards for content and format of the metagenomic data and metadata and its submission to the CAMERA repository. To ensure wide, ready access to data and annotation, CAMERA also provides data submission tools to allow researchers to share and forward data to other metagenomics sites and community data archives such as GenBank. It has multiple interfaces for easy submission of large or complex data sets, and supports pre-registration of samples for sequencing. CAMERA integrates a growing list of tools and viewers for querying, analyzing, annotating and comparing metagenome and genome data.

  20. Gametogenesis, Embryogenesis, and Fertilization Ecology of Platygyra acuta in Marginal Nonreefal Coral Communities in Hong Kong

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apple Pui Yi Chui

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the reproductive biology of dominant coral species in subtropical nonreefal coral communities is critical in providing important information on the processes underlying the distribution limits of coral species and communities. This is the first study that investigates the reproduction cycle, gametogenesis, and fertilization ecology of Platygyra acuta. Results indicated that P. acuta is hermaphroditic and exhibits a single annual gametogenic cycle. Oogenic and spermatogenic cycle occurs for 6-7 months and for 2 months, respectively, prior to annual mass spawning event in May to June in Hong Kong. It took 18 hours for P. acuta to complete embryonic development, develop cilia, and start to rotate. High (>70% fertilization success can be achieved under a broad range of sperm concentrations from 104 to 107 sperms mL−1. Fertilization success remained consistently high 6 h after spawning, indicating a prolonged viability of its gametes that is much longer than that recorded for other coral species. Significantly higher percentage of fertilization success was recorded in the first of the two consecutive nights of spawning, suggesting differences in the quality of the eggs and/or sperms between days of spawning. These results serve as important baseline information for better understanding of corals in marginal communities.

  1. Risk factors for mobility limitation in community-dwelling older adults: a social ecological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeom, Hye A; Fleury, Julie; Keller, Colleen

    2008-01-01

    Although a variety of risk factors for mobility limitation in older adults have been examined, a collective review of relevant literature has not been reported. The purposes of this review are to report the intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and organizational risk factors related to mobility limitation using a social ecological perspective and to discuss the direction of future clinical practice consistent with current literature on mobility limitation of community-dwelling older adults. Intrapersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include advanced age, female gender, low socioeconomic status, comorbidity, lack of motivation (i.e., dependent personality, decreased self-efficacy), lifestyle factors (i.e., sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity), and physiological factors (i.e., vitamin D deficiency, inflammation, poor nutritional status). Interpersonal risk factors related to mobility limitation include weak social networks and limited social activities. Geriatric clients may also experience a decline in mobility when they encounter environmental challenges such as an inconvenient home environment and lack of availability of services in their community, as well as lack of organizational resources stemming from social policy. Potential intervention strategies focused on modifiable risk factors may include lifestyle modifications, social networking programs, and enhancing awareness of environmental and organizational resources in the community for older adults at risk for mobility limitation.

  2. A guide to phylogenetic metrics for conservation, community ecology and macroecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadotte, Marc W.; Carvalho, Silvia B.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Ferrier, Simon; Fritz, Susanne A.; Grenyer, Rich; Helmus, Matthew R.; Jin, Lanna S.; Mooers, Arne O.; Pavoine, Sandrine; Purschke, Oliver; Redding, David W.; Rosauer, Dan F.; Winter, Marten; Mazel, Florent

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The use of phylogenies in ecology is increasingly common and has broadened our understanding of biological diversity. Ecological sub‐disciplines, particularly conservation, community ecology and macroecology, all recognize the value of evolutionary relationships but the resulting development of phylogenetic approaches has led to a proliferation of phylogenetic diversity metrics. The use of many metrics across the sub‐disciplines hampers potential meta‐analyses, syntheses, and generalizations of existing results. Further, there is no guide for selecting the appropriate metric for a given question, and different metrics are frequently used to address similar questions. To improve the choice, application, and interpretation of phylo‐diversity metrics, we organize existing metrics by expanding on a unifying framework for phylogenetic information. Generally, questions about phylogenetic relationships within or between assemblages tend to ask three types of question: how much; how different; or how regular? We show that these questions reflect three dimensions of a phylogenetic tree: richness, divergence, and regularity. We classify 70 existing phylo‐diversity metrics based on their mathematical form within these three dimensions and identify ‘anchor’ representatives: for α‐diversity metrics these are PD (Faith's phylogenetic diversity), MPD (mean pairwise distance), and VPD (variation of pairwise distances). By analysing mathematical formulae and using simulations, we use this framework to identify metrics that mix dimensions, and we provide a guide to choosing and using the most appropriate metrics. We show that metric choice requires connecting the research question with the correct dimension of the framework and that there are logical approaches to selecting and interpreting metrics. The guide outlined herein will help researchers navigate the current jungle of indices. PMID:26785932

  3. An ecological survey of the invertebrate community at the epigean/hypogean interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Mammola

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the ecological continuum between caves and the associated network of fissures – Milieu Souterrain Superficiel (MSS – in an hypogean site in the Graian Alps, Italy. Over one year, we surveyed the faunal assemblages by means of pitfall traps placed in the caves and specific subterranean sampling devices (SSD buried in the MSS. We used generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs and generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs to compare the spatial and temporal dynamics of the subterranean invertebrates inhabiting the two environments. As expected, arthropod communities occurring near the surface were characterized by minor level of subterranean adaptations, and conversely, subterranean species were more abundant and diversified at higher depths, both in the caves and in the MSS. Diversity and abundance of external elements in the superficial layers were found to be highly seasonal dependent, with minor values in winter compared to the other seasons. We provided information about the faunal assemblages dwelling in the two hypogean compartments, and we characterized the microclimatic conditions therein. We discussed the existence of an ecological gradient of specialization extending from the surface to the deep hypogean layers, which can be interpreted in light of the microclimatic changes occurring at increasing depths and the parallel decrease in available organic matter.

  4. Population genetics of ecological communities with DNA barcodes: An example from New Guinea Lepidoptera

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Craft, K. J.; Pauls, S. U.; Darrow, K.; Miller, S. E.; Hebert, P. D. N.; Helgen, L. E.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Weiblen, G. D.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 107, č. 11 (2010), s. 5041-5046 ISSN 0027-8424 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0115; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA AV ČR IAA600960712; GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others: National Science Foundation(US) DEB 9628840; National Science Foundation(US) DEB 9707928; National Science Foundation(US) DEB 0211591; National Science Foundation(US) DEB 0515678; German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina(DE) BMBF-LPD 9901/8-169 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : community ecology * DNA barcoding * phylogeography Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 9.771, year: 2010

  5. Ecological and geographical characteristics of algal communities on gastropod shells of the river Uzh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Korniichuk

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Freshwater molluscs serve as test objects in the ecological monitoring of the environment, because they are able to extract in indicator quantity from the environment and accumulate in their bodies radionuclides, various macro- and micronutrients, toxic substances of inorganic and organic origin, and so on. The gastropods are a taxonomically diverse, ecologically plastic and rather widespread group of aquatic organisms, whose role in the life of freshwater ecosystems is very important. Molluscs often have various interactions in biogeocenoses that determines their trophic net. As a rule, these interactions occur in the form of ectocommensalism, endocommensalism, supercrescence, predation or parasitism. The latter type of interaction is the subject of many studies, but the epibionts of gastropods and bivalves have practically not been studied and this research is an effort towards filling this gap. Species composition of algal epibionts identifies specific sensitivity to the effects of certain environmental factors and reflects the processes occurring in their ecosystem water bodies. This determines their efficient use for analyzing changes of water bodies as aquatic habitat, particularly in terms of complex anthropogenic pressure on aquatic ecosystems. The aim of the research was to determine the ecological characteristics of algal communities on gastropod shells: Lymnaea stagnalis, L. auricularia and Viviparus viviparus (the Uzh river, Korosten district, Zhytomyr region. Identified microalgae communities were grouped and studied according to such indices as: confinedness to the habitat (substrate, temperature, fluidity and water oxygenating, saprobiological characteristics according to the Pantle-Buck system in the modification of Sladecek and Watanabe, salinity according to Kolbe’s system, pH at Hustedt scale in the interpretation of M. M. Davydova and geographical limitations of the objects of study. Algal fouling on the shells L. stagnalis

  6. The influence of e-waste recycling on the molecular ecological network of soil microbial communities in Pakistan and China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Longfei; Cheng, Zhineng; Zhang, Dayi; Song, Mengke; Wang, Yujie; Luo, Chunling; Yin, Hua; Li, Jun; Zhang, Gan

    2017-12-01

    Primitive electronic waste (e-waste) recycling releases large amounts of organic pollutants and heavy metals into the environment. As crucial moderators of geochemical cycling processes and pollutant remediation, soil microbes may be affected by these contaminants. We collected soil samples heavily contaminated by e-waste recycling in China and Pakistan, and analyzed the indigenous microbial communities. The results of this work revealed that the microbial community composition and diversity, at both whole and core community levels, were affected significantly by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and heavy metals (e.g., Cu, Zn, and Pb). The geographical distance showed limited impacts on microbial communities compared with geochemical factors. The constructed ecological network of soil microbial communities illustrated microbial co-occurrence, competition and antagonism across soils, revealing the response of microbes to soil properties and pollutants. Two of the three main modules constructed with core operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were sensitive to nutrition (total organic carbon and total nitrogen) and pollutants. Five key OTUs assigned to Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Nitrospirae in ecological network were identified. This is the first study to report the effects of e-waste pollutants on soil microbial network, providing a deeper understanding of the ecological influence of crude e-waste recycling activities on soil ecological functions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Biochemistry and Ecology of Novel Cytochromes Catalyzing Fe(II) Oxidation by an Acidophilic Microbial Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, S. W.; Jeans, C. J.; Thelen, M. P.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Hettich, R. C.; Chan, C. S.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    An acidophilic microbial community found in the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, CA forms abundant biofilms in extremely acidic (pHindicated that several variants of Cyt579 were present in Leptospirillum strains. Intact protein MS analysis identified the dominant variants in each biofilm and documented multiple N-terminal cleavage sites for Cyt579. By combining biochemical, geochemical and microbiological data, we established that the sequence variation and N-terminal processing of Cyt579 are selected by ecological conditions. In addition to the soluble Cyt579, the second cytochrome appears as a much larger protein complex of ~210 kDa predominant in the biofilm membrane fraction, and has an alpha-band absorption at 572 nm. The 60 kDa cytochrome subunit, Cyt572, resides in the outer membrane of LeptoII, and readily oxidizes Fe(II) at low pH (0.95 - 3.0). Several genes encoding Cyt572 were localized within a recombination hotspot between two strains of LeptoII, causing a large range of variation in the sequences. Genomic sequencing and MS proteomic studies established that the variants were also selected by ecological conditions. A general mechanistic model for Fe(II) oxidation has been developed from these studies. Initial Fe(II) oxidation by Cyt572 occurs at the outer membrane. Cyt572 then transfers electrons to Cyt579, perhaps representing an initial step in energy flow to the biofilm community. Amino acid variations and post-translational modifications of these unique cytochromes may represent fine-tuning of function in response to local environmental conditions.

  8. Opposing assembly mechanisms in a neotropical dry forest: implications for phylogenetic and functional community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Nathan G; Enquist, Brian J

    2009-08-01

    Species diversity is promoted and maintained by ecological and evolutionary processes operating on species attributes through space and time. The degree to which variability in species function regulates distribution and promotes coexistence of species has been debated. Previous work has attempted to quantify the relative importance of species function by using phylogenetic relatedness as a proxy for functional similarity. The key assumption of this approach is that function is phylogenetically conserved. If this assumption is supported, then the phylogenetic dispersion in a community should mirror the functional dispersion. Here we quantify functional trait dispersion along several key axes of tree life-history variation and on multiple spatial scales in a Neotropical dry-forest community. We next compare these results to previously reported patterns of phylogenetic dispersion in this same forest. We find that, at small spatial scales, coexisting species are typically more functionally clustered than expected, but traits related to adult and regeneration niches are overdispersed. This outcome was repeated when the analyses were stratified by size class. Some of the trait dispersion results stand in contrast to the previously reported phylogenetic dispersion results. In order to address this inconsistency we examined the strength of phylogenetic signal in traits at different depths in the phylogeny. We argue that: (1) while phylogenetic relatedness may be a good general multivariate proxy for ecological similarity, it may have a reduced capacity to depict the functional mechanisms behind species coexistence when coexisting species simultaneously converge and diverge in function; and (2) the previously used metric of phylogenetic signal provided erroneous inferences about trait dispersion when married with patterns of phylogenetic dispersion.

  9. Urban Ecological Stewardship: Understanding the Structure, Function and Network of Community-based Urban Land Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay K. Campbell

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban environmental stewardship activities are on the rise in cities throughout the Northeast. Groups participating in stewardship activities range in age, size, and geography and represent an increasingly complex and dynamic arrangement of civil society, government and business sectors. To better understand the structure, function and network of these community-based urban land managers, an assessment was conducted in 2004 by the research subcommittee of the Urban Ecology Collaborative. The goal of the assessment was to better understand the role of stewardship organizations engaged in urban ecology initiatives in selected major cities in the Northeastern U.S.: Boston, New Haven, New York City, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. A total of 135 active organizations participated in this assessment. Findings include the discovery of a dynamic social network operating within cities, and a reserve of social capital and expertise that could be better utilized. Although often not the primary land owner, stewardship groups take an increasingly significant responsibility for a wide range of land use types including street and riparian corridors, vacant lots, public parks and gardens, green roofs, etc. Responsibilities include the delivery of public programs as well as daily maintenance and fundraising support. While most of the environmental stewardship organizations operate on staffs of zero or fewer than ten, with small cohorts of community volunteers, there is a significant difference in the total amount of program funding. Nearly all respondents agree that committed resources are scarce and insufficient with stewards relying upon and potentially competing for individual donations, local foundations, and municipal support. This makes it a challenge for the groups to grow beyond their current capacity and to develop long-term programs critical to resource management and education. It also fragments groups, making it difficult for planners and

  10. Integral stormwater management master plan and design in an ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Wu; Zhao, Yang; Yang, Zheng; Li, Junqi; Shi, Man

    2014-09-01

    Urban stormwater runoff nearly discharges directly into bodies of water through gray infrastructure in China, such as sewers, impermeable ditches, and pump stations. As urban flooding, water shortage, and other environment problems become serious, integrated water environment management is becoming increasingly complex and challenging. At more than 200ha, the Oriental Sun City community is a large retirement community located in the eastern side of Beijing. During the beginning of its construction, the project faced a series of serious water environment crises such as eutrophication, flood risk, water shortage, and high maintenance costs. To address these issues, an integral stormwater management master plan was developed based on the concept of low impact development (LID). A large number of LID and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) approaches were designed and applied in the community to replace traditional stormwater drainage systems completely. These approaches mainly included bioretention (which captured nearly 85th percentile volume of the annual runoff in the site, nearly 5.4×10(5)m(3) annually), swales (which functioned as a substitute for traditional stormwater pipes), waterscapes, and stormwater wetlands. Finally, a stormwater system plan was proposed by integrating with the gray water system, landscape planning, an architectural master plan, and related consultations that supported the entire construction period. After more than 10 years of planning, designing, construction, and operation, Oriental Sun City has become one of the earliest modern large-scale LID communities in China. Moreover, the project not only addressed the crisis efficiently and effectively, but also yielded economic and ecological benefits. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Environmental Controls Over Actinobacteria Communities in Ecological Sensitive Yanshan Mountains Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hui; Shi, Xunxun; Wang, Xiaofei; Hao, Huanhuan; Zhang, Xiu-Min; Zhang, Li-Ping

    2016-01-01

    The Yanshan Mountains are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. They are located in an ecologically sensitive zone in northern China near the Hu Huanyong Line. In this metagenomic study, we investigated the diversity of Actinobacteria in soils at 10 sites (YS1–YS10) on the Yanshan Mountains. First, we assessed the effect of different soil prtreatment on Actinobacteria recovery. With the soil pretreatment method: air drying of the soil sample, followed by exposure to 120°C for 1 h, we observed the higher Actinobacteria diversity in a relatively small number of clone libraries. No significant differences were observed in the Actinobacterial diversity of soils from sites YS2, YS3, YS4, YS6, YS8, YS9, or YS10 (P > 0.1). However, there were differences (P < 0.05) from the YS7 site and other sites, especially in response to environmental change. And we observed highly significant differences (P < 0.001) in Actinobacterial diversity of the soil from YS7 and that from YS4 and YS8 sites. The climatic characteristics of mean active accumulated temperature, annual mean precipitation, and annual mean temperature, and biogeochemical data of total phosphorus contributed to the diversity of Actinobacterial communities in soils at YS1, YS3, YS4, and YS5 sites. Compared to the climatic factors, the biogeochemical factors mostly contributed in shaping the Actinobacterial community. This work provides evidence that the diversity of Actinobacterial communities in soils from the Yashan Mountains show regional biogeographic patterns and that community membership change along the north-south distribution of the Hu Huanyong Line. PMID:27047461

  12. Aquatic urban ecology at the scale of a capital: community structure and interactions in street gutters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Vincent; Leroy, Boris; Da Silva Pires, Albert; Lopez, Pascal Jean

    2018-01-01

    In most cities, streets are designed for collecting and transporting dirt, litter, debris, storm water and other wastes as a municipal sanitation system. Microbial mats can develop on street surfaces and form microbial communities that have never been described. Here, we performed the first molecular inventory of the street gutter-associated eukaryotes across the entire French capital of Paris and the non-potable waters sources. We found that the 5782 OTUs (operational taxonomic units) present in the street gutters which are dominated by diatoms (photoautotrophs), fungi (heterotrophs), Alveolata and Rhizaria, includes parasites, consumers of phototrophs and epibionts that may regulate the dynamics of gutter mat microbial communities. Network analyses demonstrated that street microbiome present many species restricted to gutters, and an overlapping composition between the water sources used for street cleaning (for example, intra-urban aquatic networks and the associated rivers) and the gutters. We propose that street gutters, which can cover a significant surface area of cities worldwide, potentially have important ecological roles in the remediation of pollutants or downstream wastewater treatments, might also be a niche for growth and dissemination of putative parasite and pathogens.

  13. Formation of higher plant component microbial community in closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirranen, L. S.

    2001-07-01

    Closed ecological systems (CES) place at the disposal of a researcher unique possibilities to study the role of microbial communities in individual components and of the entire system. The microbial community of the higher plant component has been found to form depending on specific conditions of the closed ecosystem: length of time the solution is reused, introduction of intrasystem waste water into the nutrient medium, effect of other component of the system, and system closure in terms of gas exchange. The higher plant component formed its own microbial complex different from that formed prior to closure. The microbial complex of vegetable polyculture is more diverse and stable than the monoculture of wheat. The composition of the components' microflora changed, species diversity decreased, individual species of bacteria and fungi whose numbers were not so great before the closure prevailed. Special attention should be paid to phytopathogenic and conditionally pathogenic species of microorganisms potentially hazardous to man or plants and the least controlled in CES. This situation can endanger creation of CES and make conjectural existence of preplanned components, man, specifically, and consequently, of CES as it is.

  14. Identifying mechanisms that structure ecological communities by snapping model parameters to empirically observed tradeoffs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas Clark, Adam; Lehman, Clarence; Tilman, David

    2018-04-01

    Theory predicts that interspecific tradeoffs are primary determinants of coexistence and community composition. Using information from empirically observed tradeoffs to augment the parametrisation of mechanism-based models should therefore improve model predictions, provided that tradeoffs and mechanisms are chosen correctly. We developed and tested such a model for 35 grassland plant species using monoculture measurements of three species characteristics related to nitrogen uptake and retention, which previous experiments indicate as important at our site. Matching classical theoretical expectations, these characteristics defined a distinct tradeoff surface, and models parameterised with these characteristics closely matched observations from experimental multi-species mixtures. Importantly, predictions improved significantly when we incorporated information from tradeoffs by 'snapping' characteristics to the nearest location on the tradeoff surface, suggesting that the tradeoffs and mechanisms we identify are important determinants of local community structure. This 'snapping' method could therefore constitute a broadly applicable test for identifying influential tradeoffs and mechanisms. © 2018 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Catastrophic regime shifts in model ecological communities are true phase transitions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capitán, J A; Cuesta, J A

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystems often undergo abrupt regime shifts in response to gradual external changes. These shifts are theoretically understood as a regime switch between alternative stable states of the ecosystem dynamical response to smooth changes in external conditions. Usual models introduce nonlinearities in the macroscopic dynamics of the ecosystem that lead to different stable attractors among which the shift takes place. Here we propose an alternative explanation of catastrophic regime shifts based on a recent model that pictures ecological communities as systems in continuous fluctuation, according to certain transition probabilities, between different micro-states in the phase space of viable communities. We introduce a spontaneous extinction rate that accounts for gradual changes in external conditions, and upon variations on this control parameter the system undergoes a regime shift with similar features to those previously reported. Under our microscopic viewpoint we recover the main results obtained in previous theoretical and empirical work (anomalous variance, hysteresis cycles, trophic cascades). The model predicts a gradual loss of species in trophic levels from bottom to top near the transition. But more importantly, the spectral analysis of the transition probability matrix allows us to rigorously establish that we are observing the fingerprints, in a finite size system, of a true phase transition driven by background extinctions

  16. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. The need for standardisation: Exemplified by a description of the diversity, community structure and ecological indices of soil nematodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.S.; de Groot, G. Arjen; Laros, I.; Stone, D.; Geisen, S.

    2018-01-01

    Molecular approaches are offering a supplement to, or even the possibility of replacing morphological identification of soil fauna, because of advantages for throughput, coverage and objectivity. We determined ecological indices of nematode community data from four sets of duplicate soil cores,

  18. Phanerozoic changes in hardpart availability and utilization in benthic communities: evolutionary ecology or evolutionary stratigraphy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kidwell, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Published experiments on modern communities and quantitative data from Miocene assemblages indicate that the accumulation of dead hardparts can drive specific changes in the composition of benthic communities (taphonomic feedback). Both opportunities and pathways of taphonomic feedback have changed over the Phanerozoic, however, owing to the evolution and environmental expansion of hardpart producers, utilizers, and destroyers. These changes were tracked using semi-quantitative estimates of hardpart availability based on familial diversity of the most abundant taxa, scored according to preservation potential at or near the seafloor. The data suggest a dramatic increase in hardpart availability from the Cambrian into the later Paleozoic, with a decline through the Mesozoic and Cenozoic related to the loss or dramatic reduction in calcitic epifauna, recliners on soft substrata, and large shelled nekton/plankton. The reduction in opportunities for taphonomic feedback among epifauna was accompanied by an increase in levels of infaunal interactions in the Cenozoic, which is characterized by fully three-dimensional shell gravels. In addition to evolutionary change in body sizes of hardpart producers and biotically-driven declines in certain benthic life habits, the change in pathways of taphonomic feedback was also a consequence of the large-scale shift from predominantly carbonate sedimentation in the Paleozoic to predominantly terrigenous sedimentation in the Cenozoic. For example, the waning of epifauna-dominated communities is closely associated with the restriction of level-bottom carbonate environments through the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The global evolution of sedimentary environments and their relative representation is important not only in its consequences for sampling but as a driving mechanism of evolutionary ecology of marine benthos.

  19. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  20. Integrating a DNA barcoding project with an ecological survey: a case study on temperate intertidal polychaete communities in Qingdao, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Hong; Zhang, Zhinan; Chen, Haiyan; Sun, Renhua; Wang, Hui; Guo, Lei; Pan, Haijian

    2010-07-01

    In this study, we integrated a DNA barcoding project with an ecological survey on intertidal polychaete communities and investigated the utility of CO1 gene sequence as a DNA barcode for the classification of the intertidal polychaetes. Using 16S rDNA as a complementary marker and combining morphological and ecological characterization, some of dominant and common polychaete species from Chinese coasts were assessed for their taxonomic status. We obtained 22 haplotype gene sequences of 13 taxa, including 10 CO1 sequences and 12 16S rDNA sequences. Based on intra- and inter-specific distances, we built phylogenetic trees using the neighbor-joining method. Our study suggested that the mitochondrial CO1 gene was a valid DNA barcoding marker for species identification in polychaetes, but other genes, such as 16S rDNA, could be used as a complementary genetic marker. For more accurate species identification and effective testing of species hypothesis, DNA barcoding should be incorporated with morphological, ecological, biogeographical, and phylogenetic information. The application of DNA barcoding and molecular identification in the ecological survey on the intertidal polychaete communities demonstrated the feasibility of integrating DNA taxonomy and ecology.

  1. Using stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon to study seabird ecology: applications in the Mediterranean seabird community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela G. Forero

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available The application of the stable isotope technique to ecological studies is becoming increasingly widespread. In the case of seabirds, stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon have been mainly used as dietary tracers. This approach relieson the fact that food web isotopic signatures are reflected in the tissues of the consumer. In addition to the study of trophic ecology, stable isotopes have been used to track the movement of seabirds across isotopic gradients, as individuals moving between isotopically distinct foodwebs can carry with them information on the location of previous feeding areas. Studies applying the stable isotope methodology to the study of seabird ecology show a clear evolution from broad and descriptive approaches to detailed and individual-based analyses. The purpose of this article is to show the different fields of application of stable isotopes to the study of the seabird ecology. Finally, we illustrate the utility of this technique by considering the particularities of the Mediterranean seabird community, suggesting different ecological questions and conservation problems that could be addressed by using the stable isotope approach in this community.

  2. Local perceptions on social-ecological dynamics in Latin America in three community-based natural resource management systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria del Mar Delgado-Serrano

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Several examples of community-based natural resource management in Latin American social-ecological systems exist in which communities control the management of common-pool resources. Understanding community perceptions of the performance of these systems is essential to involve communities in sustainable management strategies. In this analysis of three areas in Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina, we analyzed the local perceptions of the social and environmental challenges faced by these social-ecological systems and how these challenges and drivers affect their resilience. To do this, we combined prospective structural analysis to unravel stakeholders' perceptions of each system's functioning along with network analysis to assess resilience. We identified external variables as the most influential variables in the Colombian and Argentine cases. In the Mexican case, larger influence is exerted by internal variables, particularly those linked to the governance system. The case study analysis revealed that the community-based natural resource management approach needs external support and recognition to work effectively. In the Argentine and Colombian cases, megaprojects were perceived as controllers with medium or strong influence but low dependence. The use of ancestral knowledge (Colombia, the history of land use (Mexico, and the history of the artisanal fishery (Argentina were all perceived as common challenges to community-based natural resource management. In terms of social-ecological resilience, framed within the three-dimensional model of the adaptive cycle, all three social-ecological systems were considered to be highly connected and resilient but with different degrees of capacity or cumulative potential.

  3. Habitat Re-Creation (Ecological Restoration) as a Strategy for Conserving Insect Communities in Highly Fragmented Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuey, John A

    2013-12-05

    Because of their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, insects defy comprehensive conservation planning. Thus, almost all insect conservation efforts target individual species. However, serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the faunal level and conservation success requires strategies that conserve intact communities. This task is complicated in agricultural landscapes by high levels of habitat fragmentation and isolation. In many regions, once widespread insect communities are now functionally trapped on islands of ecosystem remnants and subject to a variety of stressors associated with isolation, small population sizes and artificial population fragmentation. In fragmented landscapes ecological restoration can be an effective strategy for reducing localized insect extinction rates, but insects are seldom included in restoration design criteria. It is possible to incorporate a few simple conservation criteria into restoration designs that enhance impacts to entire insect communities. Restoration can be used as a strategy to address fragmentation threats to isolated insect communities if insect communities are incorporated at the onset of restoration planning. Fully incorporating insect communities into restoration designs may increase the cost of restoration two- to three-fold, but the benefits to biodiversity conservation and the ecological services provided by intact insect communities justify the cost.

  4. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl Codron

    Full Text Available Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record, in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora. Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods, in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey

  5. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Clauss, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S) distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record), in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora). Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods), in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey exists in mammals

  6. Can partnerships and community-based conservation reverse the decline of coral reef social-ecological systems?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Barclay Frey

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The marine aquarium trade has played an important role in shaping the ecological state of coral reefs in Indonesia and much of the Asia-Pacific. The use of cyanide by ornamental fishers in Buleleng District, Bali, in the 1980s and 1990s has resulted in a precipitous decline in the ecological health of reefs. Cyanide-free harvesting techniques were introduced after 2000, along with reef restoration measures. This paper examines social and ecological processes in the fishing village of Les, Bali, in ending the use of cyanide and the resulting ecological restoration. An emphasis on conservation-development (with livelihood objectives was important in securing interest and cooperation across stakeholder groups. Adaptive approaches to governance and knowledge co-production were also important. The strategy used at Les is now being exported to other communities across Indonesia, and provides a promising example of a marine resources-based conservation-development initiative that may be implemented at other, similar communities.

  7. A guide to statistical analysis in microbial ecology: a community-focused, living review of multivariate data analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; Ramette, Alban

    2014-12-01

    The application of multivariate statistical analyses has become a consistent feature in microbial ecology. However, many microbial ecologists are still in the process of developing a deep understanding of these methods and appreciating their limitations. As a consequence, staying abreast of progress and debate in this arena poses an additional challenge to many microbial ecologists. To address these issues, we present the GUide to STatistical Analysis in Microbial Ecology (GUSTA ME): a dynamic, web-based resource providing accessible descriptions of numerous multivariate techniques relevant to microbial ecologists. A combination of interactive elements allows users to discover and navigate between methods relevant to their needs and examine how they have been used by others in the field. We have designed GUSTA ME to become a community-led and -curated service, which we hope will provide a common reference and forum to discuss and disseminate analytical techniques relevant to the microbial ecology community. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  8. Time is honey: circadian clocks of bees and flowers and how their interactions may influence ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Guy; Bar-Shai, Noam; Cytter, Yotam; Green, Rachel

    2017-11-19

    The interactions between flowering plants and insect pollinators shape ecological communities and provide one of the best examples of coevolution. Although these interactions have received much attention in both ecology and evolution, their temporal aspects are little explored. Here we review studies on the circadian organization of pollination-related traits in bees and flowers. Research, mostly with the honeybee, Apis mellifera , has implicated the circadian clock in key aspects of their foraging for flower rewards. These include anticipation, timing of visits to flowers at specified locations and time-compensated sun-compass orientation. Floral rhythms in traits such as petal opening, scent release and reward availability also show robust daily rhythms. However, in only few studies was it possible to adequately determine whether these oscillations are driven by external time givers such as light and temperature cycles, or endogenous circadian clocks. The interplay between the timing of flower and pollinator rhythms may be ecologically significant. Circadian regulation of pollination-related traits in only few species may influence the entire pollination network and thus affect community structure and local biodiversity. We speculate that these intricate chronobiological interactions may be vulnerable to anthropogenic effects such as the introduction of alien invasive species, pesticides or environmental pollutants.This article is part of the themed issue 'Wild clocks: integrating chronobiology and ecology to understand timekeeping in free-living animals'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Soil ecology of a rock outcrop ecosystem: Abiotic stresses, soil respiration, and microbial community profiles in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Advised by Dzantor, E. Kudjo

    2015-01-01

    Limestone cedar glades are a type of rock outcrop ecosystem characterized by shallow soil and extreme hydrologic conditions—seasonally ranging from xeric to saturated—that support a number of plant species of conservation concern. Although a rich botanical literature exists on cedar glades, soil biochemical processes and the ecology of soil microbial communities in limestone cedar glades have largely been ignored. This investigation documents the abiotic stress regime of this ecosystem (shallow soil, extreme hydrologic fluctuations and seasonally high soil surface temperatures) as well as soil physical and chemical characteristics, and relates both types of information to ecological structures and functions including vegetation, soil respiration, and soil microbial community metabolic profiles and diversity. Methods used in this investigation include field observations and measurements of soil physical and chemical properties and processes, laboratory analyses, and microbiological assays of soil samples.

  10. Defining social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: an ecological model of social networks and community participation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simplican, Stacy Clifford; Leader, Geraldine; Kosciulek, John; Leahy, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Social inclusion is an important goal for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families, service providers, and policymakers; however, the concept of social inclusion remains unclear, largely due to multiple and conflicting definitions in research and policy. We define social inclusion as the interaction between two major life domains: interpersonal relationships and community participation. We then propose an ecological model of social inclusion that includes individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and socio-political factors. We identify four areas of research that our ecological model of social inclusion can move forward: (1) organizational implementation of social inclusion; (2) social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living with their families, (3) social inclusion of people along a broader spectrum of disability, and (4) the potential role of self-advocacy organizations in promoting social inclusion. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  12. What Is "Known" in Community Music in Higher Education? Engagement, Emotional Learning and an Ecology of Ideas from the Student Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellor, Liz

    2011-01-01

    This article aims to make explicit the evolving ecology of ideas in the field of community music and higher education that are particular to a context yet transferable across respective fields of enquiry--music education, community music, music therapy and community music therapy. This is contextualized in two ways: (1) through a consideration of…

  13. Significance of Microbial Communities and Interactions in Safeguarding Reactive Mine Tailings by Ecological Engineering▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    N̆ancucheo, Ivan; Johnson, D. Barrie

    2011-01-01

    Pyritic mine tailings (mineral waste generated by metal mining) pose significant risk to the environment as point sources of acidic, metal-rich effluents (acid mine drainage [AMD]). While the accelerated oxidative dissolution of pyrite and other sulfide minerals in tailings by acidophilic chemolithotrophic prokaryotes has been widely reported, other acidophiles (heterotrophic bacteria that catalyze the dissimilatory reduction of iron and sulfur) can reverse the reactions involved in AMD genesis, and these have been implicated in the “natural attenuation” of mine waters. We have investigated whether by manipulating microbial communities in tailings (inoculating with iron- and sulfur-reducing acidophilic bacteria and phototrophic acidophilic microalgae) it is possible to mitigate the impact of the acid-generating and metal-mobilizing chemolithotrophic prokaryotes that are indigenous to tailing deposits. Sixty tailings mesocosms were set up, using five different microbial inoculation variants, and analyzed at regular intervals for changes in physicochemical and microbiological parameters for up to 1 year. Differences between treatment protocols were most apparent between tailings that had been inoculated with acidophilic algae in addition to aerobic and anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria and those that had been inoculated with only pyrite-oxidizing chemolithotrophs; these differences included higher pH values, lower redox potentials, and smaller concentrations of soluble copper and zinc. The results suggest that empirical ecological engineering of tailing lagoons to promote the growth and activities of iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria could minimize their risk of AMD production and that the heterotrophic populations could be sustained by facilitating the growth of microalgae to provide continuous inputs of organic carbon. PMID:21965397

  14. EpiCollect: linking smartphones to web applications for epidemiology, ecology and community data collection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Aanensen

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiologists and ecologists often collect data in the field and, on returning to their laboratory, enter their data into a database for further analysis. The recent introduction of mobile phones that utilise the open source Android operating system, and which include (among other features both GPS and Google Maps, provide new opportunities for developing mobile phone applications, which in conjunction with web applications, allow two-way communication between field workers and their project databases.Here we describe a generic framework, consisting of mobile phone software, EpiCollect, and a web application located within www.spatialepidemiology.net. Data collected by multiple field workers can be submitted by phone, together with GPS data, to a common web database and can be displayed and analysed, along with previously collected data, using Google Maps (or Google Earth. Similarly, data from the web database can be requested and displayed on the mobile phone, again using Google Maps. Data filtering options allow the display of data submitted by the individual field workers or, for example, those data within certain values of a measured variable or a time period.Data collection frameworks utilising mobile phones with data submission to and from central databases are widely applicable and can give a field worker similar display and analysis tools on their mobile phone that they would have if viewing the data in their laboratory via the web. We demonstrate their utility for epidemiological data collection and display, and briefly discuss their application in ecological and community data collection. Furthermore, such frameworks offer great potential for recruiting 'citizen scientists' to contribute data easily to central databases through their mobile phone.

  15. EpiCollect: linking smartphones to web applications for epidemiology, ecology and community data collection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aanensen, David M; Huntley, Derek M; Feil, Edward J; al-Own, Fada'a; Spratt, Brian G

    2009-09-16

    Epidemiologists and ecologists often collect data in the field and, on returning to their laboratory, enter their data into a database for further analysis. The recent introduction of mobile phones that utilise the open source Android operating system, and which include (among other features) both GPS and Google Maps, provide new opportunities for developing mobile phone applications, which in conjunction with web applications, allow two-way communication between field workers and their project databases. Here we describe a generic framework, consisting of mobile phone software, EpiCollect, and a web application located within www.spatialepidemiology.net. Data collected by multiple field workers can be submitted by phone, together with GPS data, to a common web database and can be displayed and analysed, along with previously collected data, using Google Maps (or Google Earth). Similarly, data from the web database can be requested and displayed on the mobile phone, again using Google Maps. Data filtering options allow the display of data submitted by the individual field workers or, for example, those data within certain values of a measured variable or a time period. Data collection frameworks utilising mobile phones with data submission to and from central databases are widely applicable and can give a field worker similar display and analysis tools on their mobile phone that they would have if viewing the data in their laboratory via the web. We demonstrate their utility for epidemiological data collection and display, and briefly discuss their application in ecological and community data collection. Furthermore, such frameworks offer great potential for recruiting 'citizen scientists' to contribute data easily to central databases through their mobile phone.

  16. Ecology of megabenthic bivalve communities from sandy beaches on the south coast of Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta M. Rufino

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecological aspects of 75 megabenthic bivalve species found on the south coast of Portugal (from Vila Real to Sagres were studied based on the information provided by seasonal bivalve surveys from 2000 to 2007 (8600 hauls, simultaneously using a razor shell dredge and a clam dredge. Of the 75 species identified, 36 occurred less than 30 times, and thus were considered rare in the area. The remaining 39 bivalves were analysed according to their occurrence, bathymetric distribution, geographic preferences, seasonal preferences, burying-depth, beach exposure and river mouth proximity. All species belonging to the Pharidae and Solenidae families (razor shells and most Tellinidae were significantly more frequent in the razor shell dredge (indicating deeper burying in the sediment, whilst the families Cardiidae and Donacidae were significantly more frequent in the clam dredge (indicating that these species are probably closer to the sediment surface. As for the season, most bivalve species occurred similarly in both seasons (19 sp; 49%, but a large proportion were more abundant during the autumn surveys (17 sp., 44%, whereas only three species were commoner during the spring surveys. Most species belonging to the families Cardiidae and Mactridae were commoner in the autumn surveys. The spatial distribution differed between species and cluster analysis identified four communities with greater geographic affinity. Species belonging to the family Cardiidae were preferably found in the western part (WB and the eastern part (S of the study area, whereas the families Donacidae, Mactridae and Tellinidae occurred mainly in the central area (EB and the eastern (S coastal sectors. Overall, shallower species (modal depth at 3-6 m showed greater occurrences and abundances than the deeper ones, and the depth pattern observed did not change between seasons. Donacidae and Mactridae (except Mactra glauca were represented essentially by shallow species, whereas

  17. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Geomorphic and ecological effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on coastal Louisiana marsh communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Sarai C.; Steyer, Gregory D.; Cretini, Kari F.; Sasser, Charles E.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Holm, Guerry O.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Evers, D. Elaine; Meriwether, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in 2005, subjecting the coastal marsh communities of Louisiana to various degrees of exposure. We collected data after the storms at 30 sites within fresh (12), brackish/intermediate (12), and saline (6) marshes to document the effects of saltwater storm surge and sedimentation on marsh community dynamics. The 30 sites were comprised of 15 pairs. Most pairs contained one site where data collection occurred historically (that is, prestorms) and one Coastwide Reference Monitoring System site. Data were collected from spring 2006 to fall 2007 on vegetative species composition, percentage of vegetation cover, aboveground and belowground biomass, and canopy reflectance, along with discrete porewater salinity, hourly surface-water salinity, and water level. Where available, historical data acquired before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were used to compare conditions and changes in ecological trajectories before and after the hurricanes. Sites experiencing direct and indirect hurricane influences (referred to in this report as levels of influence) were also identified, and the effects of hurricane influence were tested on vegetation and porewater data. Within fresh marshes, porewater salinity was greater in directly impacted areas, and this heightened salinity was reflected in decreased aboveground and belowground biomass and increased cover of disturbance species in the directly impacted sites. At the brackish/intermediate marsh sites, vegetation variables and porewater salinity were similar in directly and indirectly impacted areas, but porewater salinity was higher than expected throughout the study. Interestingly, directly impacted saline marsh sites had lower porewater salinity than indirectly impacted sites, but aboveground biomass was greater at the directly impacted sites. Because of the variable and site-specific nature of hurricane influences, we present case studies to help define postdisturbance baseline conditions in

  19. The long-term ecological research community metada standardisation project: a progress report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inigo San Gil; Karen Baker; John Campbell; Ellen G. Denny; Kristin Vanderbilt; Brian Riordan; Rebecca Koskela; Jason Downing; Sabine Grabner; Eda Melendez; Jonathan M. Walsh; Masib Kortz; James Conners; Lynn Yarmey; Nicole Kaplan; Emery R. Boose; Linda Powell; Corinna Gries; Robin Schroeder; Todd Ackerman; Ken Ramsey; Barbara Benson; Jonathan Chipman; James Laundre; Hap Garritt; Don Henshaw; Barrie Collins; Christopher Gardner; Sven Bohm; Margaret O' Brien; Jincheng Gao; Wade Sheldon; Stephanie Lyon; Dan Bahauddin; Mark Servilla; Duane Costa; James Brunt

    2009-01-01

    We describe the process by which the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network standardized their metadata through the adoption of the Ecological Metadata Language (EML). We describe the strategies developed to improve motivation and to complement the information technology resources available at the LTER sites. EML implementation is presented as a mapping process...

  20. Building Ecological and Community Resilience and Measuring Success of the Department of Interior Hurricane Sandy Resilience Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, S. M.; Worman, S. L.; Bennett, R.; Bassow, A.

    2017-12-01

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to administer an external funding competition to support coastal resilience projects in the region affected by Hurricane Sandy. The projects complement the DOI Bureau-led projects, but are led by state and local governments, universities, non-profits, community groups, tribes, and other non-Federal entities. In total, the Hurricane Sandy Resilience Program invested over $750 million in approximately 180 projects to repair damage and improve the resilience of habitats, communities and infrastructure to future storms and sea level rise. Project activities include waterway connection and opening, living shoreline, marsh restoration, community resilience planning, data/mapping/modeling, and beach and dune restoration. DOI and NFWF initiated a resilience assessment in 2015 to evaluate the impact of this investment. The assessment began by clarifying the program's resilience goals and the development of ecological and socio-economic metrics across the project activities. Using these metrics, the evaluation is assessing the ecological and community outcomes, cost effectiveness of activities, improved scientific understanding, and temporal and spatial scaling of benefits across resilience activities. Recognizing the unique opportunity afforded by the scale and distribution of projects, NFWF and DOI have invested in monitoring through 2024 to better understand how these projects perform over time. This presentation will describe the evaluation questions, approach, long-term monitoring, online metrics portal, and findings to date.

  1. Identification of ecological thresholds from variations in phytoplankton communities among lakes: contribution to the definition of environmental standards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roubeix, Vincent; Danis, Pierre-Alain; Feret, Thibaut; Baudoin, Jean-Marc

    2016-04-01

    In aquatic ecosystems, the identification of ecological thresholds may be useful for managers as it can help to diagnose ecosystem health and to identify key levers to enable the success of preservation and restoration measures. A recent statistical method, gradient forest, based on random forests, was used to detect thresholds of phytoplankton community change in lakes along different environmental gradients. It performs exploratory analyses of multivariate biological and environmental data to estimate the location and importance of community thresholds along gradients. The method was applied to a data set of 224 French lakes which were characterized by 29 environmental variables and the mean abundances of 196 phytoplankton species. Results showed the high importance of geographic variables for the prediction of species abundances at the scale of the study. A second analysis was performed on a subset of lakes defined by geographic thresholds and presenting a higher biological homogeneity. Community thresholds were identified for the most important physico-chemical variables including water transparency, total phosphorus, ammonia, nitrates, and dissolved organic carbon. Gradient forest appeared as a powerful method at a first exploratory step, to detect ecological thresholds at large spatial scale. The thresholds that were identified here must be reinforced by the separate analysis of other aquatic communities and may be used then to set protective environmental standards after consideration of natural variability among lakes.

  2. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  3. Sustainable Communities: A Lens for Envisioning and Achieving a Community-Based Culture of Social and Ecological Peace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhagen, Frans C.

    2014-01-01

    One of the obstacles to dealing with the social and ecological crises that obstruct the achievement of a culture of peace is silo thinking in global governance. A unidimensional mode of planning, silo thinking leads to decisions based on the area of expertise of a particular agency or intergovernmental organization and fails to recognize linkages…

  4. Exploring the nature of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish community: morphology, diet and foraging microhabitat use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Robbins, William D; Bellwood, David R

    2015-09-22

    Patterns of ecological specialization offer invaluable information about ecosystems. Yet, specialization is rarely quantified across several ecological niche axes and variables beyond the link between morphological and dietary specialization have received little attention. Here, we provide a quantitative evaluation of ecological specialization in a coral reef fish assemblage (f. Acanthuridae) along one fundamental and two realized niche axes. Specifically, we examined ecological specialization in 10 surgeonfish species with regards to morphology and two realized niche axes associated with diet and foraging microhabitat utilization using a recently developed multidimensional framework. We then investigated the potential relationships between morphological and behavioural specialization. These relationships differed markedly from the traditional ecomorphological paradigm. While morphological specialization showed no relationship with dietary specialization, it exhibited a strong relationship with foraging microhabitat specialization. However, this relationship was inverted: species with specialized morphologies were microhabitat generalists, whereas generalized morphotypes were microhabitat specialists. Interestingly, this mirrors relationships found in plant-pollinator communities and may also be applicable to other ecosystems, highlighting the potential importance of including niche axes beyond dietary specialization into ecomorphological frameworks. On coral reefs, it appears that morphotypes commonly perceived as most generalized may, in fact, be specialized in exploiting flat and easily accessible microhabitats. © 2015 The Author(s).

  5. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities

    OpenAIRE

    M?rsdorf, Martin A.; Ravolainen, Virve T.; St?vern, Leif Einar; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; J?nsd?ttir, Ingibj?rg Svala; Br?then, Kari Anne

    2015-01-01

    In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is ...

  6. SPECIAL SECTION: Perspectives of the Scientific Community on the Status of Ecological Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power; Adams

    1997-11-01

    / Views from a wide variety of practicing environmental professionals on the current status of ecological risk assessment (ERA) indicate consensus and divergence of opinion on the utility and practice of risk assessment. Central to the debate were the issues of whether ERA appropriately incorporates ecological and scientific principle into its conceptual paradigm. Advocates argue that ERA effectively does both, noting that much of the fault detractors find with the process has more to do with its practice than its purpose. Critics argue that failure to validate ERA predictions and the tendency to over-simplify ecological principles compromise the integrity of ERA and may lead to misleading advice on the appropriate responses to environmental problems. All authors felt that many improvements could be made, including validation, better definition of the ecological questions and boundaries of ERA, improved harmonization of selected methods, and improvements in the knowledge base. Despite identified deficiencies, most authors felt that ERA was a useful process undergoing evolutionary changes that will inevitably determine the range of environmental problems to which it can be appropriately applied. The views expressed give ERA a cautious vote of approval and highlight many of the critical strengths and weaknesses in one of our most important environmental assessment tools.KEY WORDS: Ecological risk assessment; Ecology; Probability

  7. Community based ecological restoration of peatland in Central Mongolia for climate change mitigation and adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minayeva, Tatiana; Chultem, Dugarjav; Grootjans, Ab; Yamkhin, Jambaljav; Sirin, Andrey; Suvorov, Gennady; Batdorj, Oyunbileg; Tsamba, Batdorj

    2017-04-01

    understanding of functional particularities of peatland ecosystem and restoration efforts are not effective. Following the baseline study the concept for ecosystem restoration project had been developed. The approach was to merge community based solution with scientific approaches. Restoration in subhumid conditions should avoid creation of open water surfaces, like channels or reservoirs, and deal with integrative ecosystem management. The restoration concept involved fencing of springs, preventing erosion and enhancing water accumulation in soil by cascades of small dams and other small scale ecological solutions. At the same time to meet the needs of local herders, it was decided to repair the dam, constructed by herders, even if it has little value for peatland restoration. The engineering design is now ready and will be implemented next months. The last part of the pilot is monitoring. The parameters determined in the baseline study are included in monitoring program to help to evaluate: carbon sequestration rate, GHG emission reduction, water retention, soil humidity, pasture productivity, social integrity and impact on livelihoods.

  8. A community responds to collective trauma: an ecological analysis of the James Byrd murder in Jasper, Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicke, Thomas; Silver, Roxane Cohen

    2009-12-01

    The brutal murder of James Byrd Jr. in June 1998 unleashed a storm of media, interest groups, high profile individuals and criticism on the Southeast Texas community of Jasper. The crime and subsequent response-from within the community as well as across the world-engulfed the entire town in a collective trauma. Using natural disaster literature/theory and employing an ecological approach, Jasper, Texas was investigated via an interrupted time series analysis to identify how the community changed as compared to a control community (Center, Texas) on crime, economic, health, educational, and social capital measures collected at multiple pre- and post-crime time points between 1995 and 2003. Differences-in-differences (DD) analysis revealed significant post-event changes in Jasper, as well as a surprising degree of resilience and lack of negative consequences. Interviews with residents conducted between March 2005 and 2007 identified how the community responded to the crisis and augmented quantitative findings with qualitative, field-informed interpretation. Interviews suggest the intervention of external organizations exacerbated the severity of the events. However, using strengths of specific local social institutions-including faith based, law enforcement, media, business sector and civic government organizations-the community effectively responded to the initial threat and to the potential negative ramifications of external entities.

  9. Average niche breadths of species in lake macrophyte communities respond to ecological gradients variably in four regions on two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alahuhta, Janne; Virtala, Antti; Hjort, Jan; Ecke, Frauke; Johnson, Lucinda B; Sass, Laura; Heino, Jani

    2017-05-01

    Different species' niche breadths in relation to ecological gradients are infrequently examined within the same study and, moreover, species niche breadths have rarely been averaged to account for variation in entire ecological communities. We investigated how average environmental niche breadths (climate, water quality and climate-water quality niches) in aquatic macrophyte communities are related to ecological gradients (latitude, longitude, altitude, species richness and lake area) among four distinct regions (Finland, Sweden and US states of Minnesota and Wisconsin) on two continents. We found that correlations between the three different measures of average niche breadths and ecological gradients varied considerably among the study regions, with average climate and average water quality niche breadth models often showing opposite trends. However, consistent patterns were also found, such as widening of average climate niche breadths and narrowing of average water quality niche breadths of aquatic macrophytes along increasing latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. This result suggests that macrophyte species are generalists in relation to temperature variations at higher latitudes and altitudes, whereas species in southern, lowland lakes are more specialised. In contrast, aquatic macrophytes growing in more southern nutrient-rich lakes were generalists in relation to water quality, while specialist species are adapted to low-productivity conditions and are found in highland lakes. Our results emphasise that species niche breadths should not be studied using only coarse-scale data of species distributions and corresponding environmental conditions, but that investigations on different kinds of niche breadths (e.g., climate vs. local niches) also require finer resolution data at broad spatial extents.

  10. Dung beetle community and functions along a habitat-disturbance gradient in the Amazon: a rapid assessment of ecological functions associated to biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo F Braga

    Full Text Available Although there is increasing interest in the effects of habitat disturbance on community attributes and the potential consequences for ecosystem functioning, objective approaches linking biodiversity loss to functional loss are uncommon. The objectives of this study were to implement simultaneous assessment of community attributes (richness, abundance and biomass, each calculated for total-beetle assemblages as well as small- and large-beetle assemblages and three ecological functions of dung beetles (dung removal, soil perturbation and secondary seed dispersal, to compare the effects of habitat disturbance on both sets of response variables, and their relations. We studied dung beetle community attributes and functions in five land-use systems representing a disturbance gradient in the Brazilian Amazon: primary forest, secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture. All response variables were affected negatively by the intensification of habitat disturbance regimes, but community attributes and ecological functions did not follow the same pattern of decline. A hierarchical partitioning analysis showed that, although all community attributes had a significant effect on the three ecological functions (except the abundance of small beetles on all three ecological functions and the biomass of small beetles on secondary dispersal of large seed mimics, species richness and abundance of large beetles were the community attributes with the highest explanatory value. Our results show the importance of measuring ecological function empirically instead of deducing it from community metrics.

  11. Ecological changes and local knowledge in a giant honey bee (Apis dorsata F.) hunting community in Palawan, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Denise Margaret S; Borgemeister, Christian; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2018-02-24

    One of the traditional livelihood practices of indigenous Tagbanuas in Palawan, Philippines is wild honey hunting and gathering from the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata F.). In order to analyze the linkages of the social and ecological systems involved in this indigenous practice, we conducted spatial, quantitative, and qualitative analyses on field data gathered through mapping of global positioning system coordinates, community surveys, and key informant interviews. We found that only 24% of the 251 local community members surveyed could correctly identify the giant honey bee. Inferential statistics showed that a lower level of formal education strongly correlates with correct identification of the giant honey bee. Spatial analysis revealed that mean NDVI of sampled nesting tree areas has dropped from 0.61 in the year 1988 to 0.41 in 2015. However, those who correctly identified the giant honey bee lived in areas with high vegetation cover. Decreasing vegetation cover limits the presence of wild honey bees and this may also be limiting direct experience of the community with wild honey bees. However, with causality yet to be established, we recommend conducting further studies to concretely model feedbacks between ecological changes and local knowledge.

  12. Analysis of community-level mesocosm data based on ecologically meaningful dissimilarity measures and data transformation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tebby, Cleo; Joachim, Sandrine; Brink, Van den Paul J.; Porcher, Jean Marc; Beaudouin, Rémy

    2017-01-01

    The principal response curve (PRC) method is a constrained ordination method developed specifically for the analysis of community data collected in mesocosm experiments, which provides easily understood summaries and graphical representations of community response to stress. It is a redundancy

  13. Implementation of a Socio-Ecological System Navigation Approach to Human Development in Sub-Saharan African Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilioli, Gianni; Caroli, Anna Maria; Tikubet, Getachew; Herren, Hans R.; Baumgärtner, Johann

    2014-01-01

    all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management. Significance for public health Recently, there is a growing interest in studying the link between human, animal and environmental health. The connection between these different dimensions is particularly important for developing countries in which people face the challenge of escaping vicious cycle of high diseases prevalence, food insecurity driven by absolute poverty and population growth, and natural capital as a poverty trap. The design and implementation of such efforts, aiming at human health improvement and poverty alleviation, should be framed into adaptive social-ecological system management perspectives. In this paper, we present few case studies dealing with human health improvement through anopheline malaria vectors control in Kenya, cattle health improvement through tsetse vectored nagana control, antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Ethiopia and with the development of rural sustainable communities in Ethiopia. Some recommendations are given to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability. PMID:25170511

  14. Implementation of a socio-ecological system navigation approach to human development in sub-saharan african communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilioli, Gianni; Caroli, Anna Maria; Tikubet, Getachew; Herren, Hans R; Baumgärtner, Johann

    2014-03-26

    all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management. Significance for public healthRecently, there is a growing interest in studying the link between human, animal and environmental health. The connection between these different dimensions is particularly important for developing countries in which people face the challenge of escaping vicious cycle of high diseases prevalence, food insecurity driven by absolute poverty and population growth, and natural capital as a poverty trap. The design and implementation of such efforts, aiming at human health improvement and poverty alleviation, should be framed into adaptive social-ecological system management perspectives. In this paper, we present few case studies dealing with human health improvement through anopheline malaria vectors control in Kenya, cattle health improvement through tsetse vectored nagana control, antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Ethiopia and with the development of rural sustainable communities in Ethiopia. Some recommendations are given to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Oxygen-depleted bodies of water are becoming increasingly common in marine ecosystems. Solutions to reverse this trend are needed and under development, for example, by the Baltic deep-water OXygenation (BOX) project. In the framework of this project, the Swedish Byfjord was chosen for a pilot...... in the lower water column and the benthic zone up to 110 mumol l(-1).We used molecular ecologic methods to study changes in bacterial community structure in response to the oxygenation in the Byfjord. Water column samples from before, during and after the oxygenation as well as from two nearby control fjords...

  16. The Use of Social Ecological Hotspots Mapping: Co-Developing Adaptation Strategies for Resource Management by Communities and Policy Makers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alessa, L.

    2014-12-01

    Ultimately, adaptation is based on a set of trade-offs rather than optimal conditions, something that is rarely seen in messy social ecological systems (SES). In this talk, we discuss the role of spatial hot-spot mapping using social and biophysical data to understand the feedbacks in SES. We review the types of data needed, their means of acquisition and the analytic methods involved. In addition, we outline the challenges faced in co-developing this type of inquiry based on lessons learned from several long-term programs. Finally, we present the utility of SES hotspots in developing adaptation strategies on the ground by communities and policy makers.

  17. Thermal ecology and activity patterns of the lizard community of the Restinga of Jurubatiba, Macaé, RJ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatano, F H; Vrcibradic, D; Galdino, C A; Cunha-Barros, M; Rocha, C F; Van Sluys, M

    2001-05-01

    We analyzed the thermal ecology and activity patterns of the lizard community from the Restinga of Jurubatiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The broadest activity was that of Tropidurus torquatus, a sit-and-wait forager, while the active foraging teiid Cnemidophorus littoralis had the shortest activity. The nocturnal gekkonid Hemidactylus mabouia was found active during the day only during early morning and late afternoon, when environmental temperatures are low. Body temperature was highest for Cnemidophorus littoralis and lowest for the two Mabuya species. The patterns found here are discussed and compared to those of congeneric species in other habitats in Brazil.

  18. Putting the community back in community ecology and education: the role of field schools and private reserves in the ethical training of primatologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garber, P A; Molina, A; Molina, R L

    2010-09-01

    In 1993 and 1999, with the assistance of a Nicaraguan family, we founded La Suerte Biological Research Station in northeastern Costa Rica and Ometepe Biological Research Station in southern Nicaragua as a privately owned conservation-oriented business. Our goal was to develop a program of sustainable community ecology focused on education, research, and the conservation of primates and tropical forests. In order to accomplish this we developed field courses in which undergraduate and graduate students conduct scientific research, experience local cultures, and learn about conservation. Over 120 of these students have received doctoral degrees or are currently in graduate programs. Four doctoral dissertations, several MA theses, and some 20 scientific articles have been published based on research conducted at our field stations. In order to achieve our long-term goals of preserving the environment, we also needed to engage directly with local communities to address their needs and concerns. To this end, we developed a series of community-based initiatives related to health care, bilingual education, and conservation education using traditional and on-line teaching tools. In this article, we describe our efforts in Costa Rica and Nicaragua teaching conservation-oriented field courses and working with the local human communities. Building upon these experiences, we outline a set of ethical considerations and responsibilities for private reserves, conservation-oriented businesses, NGOs, and conservancies that help integrate members of the local community as stakeholders in conservation. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Effects of shelter and enrichment on the ecology and nutrient cycling of microbial communities of subtidal carbonate sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forehead, Hugh I; Kendrick, Gary A; Thompson, Peter A

    2012-04-01

    The interactions between physical disturbances and biogeochemical cycling are fundamental to ecology. The benthic microbial community controls the major pathway of nutrient recycling in most shallow-water ecosystems. This community is strongly influenced by physical forcing and nutrient inputs. Our study tests the hypotheses that benthic microbial communities respond to shelter and enrichment with (1) increased biomass, (2) change in community composition and (3) increased uptake of inorganic nutrients from the water column. Replicate in situ plots were sheltered from physical disturbance and enriched with inorganic nutrients or left without additional nutrients. At t(0) and after 10 days, sediment-water fluxes of nutrients, O(2) and N(2) , were measured, the community was characterized with biomarkers. Autochthonous benthic microalgal (BMA) biomass increased 30% with shelter and a natural fivefold increase in nutrient concentration; biomass did not increase with greater enrichment. Diatoms remained the dominant taxon of BMA, suggesting that the sediments were not N or Si limited. Bacteria and other heterotrophic organisms increased with enrichment and shelter. Daily exchanges of inorganic nutrients between sediments and the water column did not change in response to shelter or nutrient enrichment. In these sediments, physical disturbance, perhaps in conjunction with nutrient enrichment, was the primary determinant of microbial biomass. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M R; Jonckheere, W; Knegt, B; Lemos, F; Liu, J; Schimmel, B C J; Villarroel, C A; Ataide, L M S; Dermauw, W; Glas, J J; Egas, M; Janssen, A; Van Leeuwen, T; Schuurink, R C; Sabelis, M W; Alba, J M

    2015-06-01

    exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities "inhabiting" a plant. Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant's resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M. R.; Jonckheere, W.; Knegt, B.; Lemos, F.; Liu, J.; Schimmel, B. C. J.; Villarroel, C. A.; Ataide, L. M. S.; Dermauw, W.; Glas, J. J.; Egas, M.; Janssen, A.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Schuurink, R. C.; Sabelis, M. W.; Alba, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    give rise to exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities “inhabiting” a plant. Conclusions Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant’s resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. PMID:26019168

  2. Bioacustical and etho-ecological features in amphibian communities of Southern Cordoba province (Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salas, Nancy E.

    1998-01-01

    standardized monitoring practices. In the present work, the most important etho-ecological differences (reproduction habitat, call site, daily and seasonal activity of species that constitute the communities of southern Cordoba Province are indicated, and a classification of advertisement calls is provided. The anuran fauna of the plain area of the southern-central Córdoba Province is represented by 9 species of leptodactylids belonging to 5 genera (Leptodactylus gracilis, L. mystacinus, L. latinasus latinasus, L. ocellatus, Pleurodema tucumanum, Physalaemus biligonigerus, Odontophlynus americanus, Ceratophrys cranwelli and C. ornata, 2 species of bufonids (Bufo arenarum and B. fernandezae and one hylid (Hyla pulchella pulchella. The acoustic records obtained in the field during the reproductive period were analyzed through a program of sound digital analysis comparing the following parameters: dominant frequency, call duration and interval between calls; descriptions regarding type of call and modulation were also made. Three types of basic calls were recognized based on duration; this category was sub-divided depending on the shape of the oscillographic image. Results of this analysis revea] marked differences between advertisement calls, mainly at the level of dominant frequency ranges and call duration. This partition of sound space represents a mechanism of mating isolation that minimizes the interaction between sympatric species that breed at the same time.

  3. Ecological community traits and traditional knowledge shape palm ecosystem services in northwestern South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cámara-Leret, Rodrigo; Paniagua-Zambrana, Narel; Balslev, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    Tropical rainforest ecosystems support the maximum expression of biocultural diversity on Earth and preserving them requires understanding and working with the needs of their inhabitants. Here, we com- bine traditional knowledge with ecological data to quantify cross-scale variation in the ecosys...

  4. Non-linear effects of drought under shade: reconciling physiological and ecological models in plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holmgren, M.; Gomez-Aparicio, L.; Quero, J.L.; Valladares, F.

    2012-01-01

    The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical

  5. Intertidal benthic community ecology of sand-dwelling macroinvertebrates of Goa beaches

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Harkantra, S.N.; Parulekar, A.H.

    Studies on the intertidal ecology of two sandy beaches of Goa along the western coast of India revealed the presence of 47 species of macroinvertebrates belonging to 32 families. The open beach at Candolim, characterized by coarse sand-grain size...

  6. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  7. Community ecology, climate change and ecohydrology in desert grassland and shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew Daniel Petrie

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation explores the climate, ecology and hydrology of Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems in the context of global climate change. In coming decades, the southwestern United States is projected to experience greater temperature-driven aridity, possible small decreases in annual precipitation, and a later onset of summer monsoon rainfall. These changes may have...

  8. Macroalgae fouling community as quality element for the evaluation of the ecological status in Vela Luka Bay, Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorana Jelic Mrcelic

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available One year qualitative and quantitative study of communities of three major taxonomic groups has been carried out at test panles placed in the upper infarlittoral zone of coastal area of Vela Luka Bay, Croatia. A list of 44 taxa was recorded. Chaetomorpha sp., Ulva sp., Fosliella farinosa, Sphacelaria cirrosa, Polysiphonia scopulorum were the most frequent dominant taxa. Among 27 algal taxa with noticeable presence only three were classified as ESG (Ecological State Groups I. Low diversity and species richness together with massive presence of the green algae (as Ulva sp. and negligible presence of ESG I taxa, may lead to erroneous conclusion that Vela Luka Bay is eutrophicated area. Low values of biomass and R/P (Rhodophyceae by Phaeophyceae ratio Index together with dominance of Phaeophyta also support conclusion that there is no negative impact of nutrient enrichment on macrophyta fouling community in Vela Luka Bay.

  9. Community Participation in Ethnic Minority Cultural Heritage Management in China: A Case Study of Xianrendong Ethnic Cultural and Ecological Village

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judy Xu

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Heritage protection in China has long been considered as the responsibility of the government. However, over the last 20 years, a number of heritage projects, mainly in ethnic minority regions, have attempted to engage with local communities. These seem to be an attractive alternative to top-down approaches. This paper explores the implications of a bottom-up approach for Chinese ethnic minority heritage management through an examination of the Ethnic Cultural and Ecological Village project in Xianrendong in Yunnan province. It is a result of my fascination with the project’s concept and my desire to understand its key characteristics, application and potential for future development in China. After a discussion of cultural performance, modernisation and inside/outside encounters, I conclude by suggesting that well-planned and well-informed community participation, with realistic control, contributes to reconciling tourism and cultural heritage conservation.

  10. The South Florida Ecosystem Portfolio Model - A Map-Based Multicriteria Ecological, Economic, and Community Land-Use Planning Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labiosa, William B.; Bernknopf, Richard; Hearn, Paul; Hogan, Dianna; Strong, David; Pearlstine, Leonard; Mathie, Amy M.; Wein, Anne M.; Gillen, Kevin; Wachter, Susan

    2009-01-01

    issues of regional ecological sustainability can be explored with the EPM (for example, changes in biodiversity potential and regional habitat fragmentation), it does not attempt to define or evaluate long-term ecological sustainability as such. Instead, the EPM is intended to provide transparent first-order indications of the direction of ecological, economic, and community change, not to make detailed predictions of ecological, economic, and social outcomes. In short, the EPM is an attempt to widen the perspectives of its users by integrating natural and social scientific information in a framework that recognizes the diversity of values at stake in South Florida land-use planning. For terrestrial ecosystems, land-cover change is one of the most important direct drivers of changes in ecosystem services (Hassan and others, 2005). More specifically, the fragmentation of habitat from expanding low-density development across landscapes appears to be a major driver of terrestrial species decline and the impairment of terrestrial ecosystem integrity, in some cases causing irreversible impairment from a land-use planning perspective (Brody, 2008; Peck, 1998). Many resource managers and land-use planners have come to realize that evaluating land-use conversions on a parcel-by-parcel basis leads to a fragmented and narrow view of the regional effects of natural land-cover loss to development (Marsh and Lallas, 1995). The EPM is an attempt to integrate important aspects of the coupled natural-system/human-system view from a regional planning perspective. The EPM evaluates proposed land-use changes, both conversion and intensification, in terms of relevant ecological, economic, and social criteria that combine information about probable land-use outcomes, based on ecological and environmental models, as well as value judgments, as expressed in user-modifiable preference models. Based on on-going meetings and interviews with stakeholders and potential tool users we foc

  11. Ecological attributes of the benthic community and indices of water quality in urban, rural and preserved environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Eiko Yoshida

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Reference streams are pristine streams, untouched or unaltered by man, it being possible to use their environmental characteristics as quality threshold values. Besides the organic impacts measured via water quality biological monitoring programs, it has become necessary to evaluate the relationship between alterations in the landscape of streams and surrounding areas and changes in the structure of the macroinvertebrate community; AIM: The objective of the present study was to correlate the changes in the landscape with the ecological attributes of the community and indices of water quality, and to recommend reference condition values for the integrity of streams in the region of Jundiai (SP; METHODS: The benthic fauna were sampled in three urban streams, three rural streams and three preserved streams during July 2010, using a Surber-type sampler. The characteristics of the landscape were evaluated by means of Diversity of Habitat; the community, analyzed for several biodiversity indices, and; the water quality assessed using the indices River-BCI, BMWP-CETEC (CETEC - Science and Technology Center, ASPT and SOMI (SOMI - Serra dos Órgãos Multimetric Index (Serra dos Órgãos is a mountain range national park in the state of Rio de Janeiro; RESULTS: The structure and the composition of the communities varied according to the stream and this was reflected in the values of the biological and environmental quality indices. The best conditions were found in preserved streams, intermediate streams and rural streams while the worst conditions were found in the urban streams. The significant Pearson correlations (r > 0.73 and P < 0.05 between the diversity of habitat index and the ecological and water quality index attributes in the streams of Jundiai demonstrated that diversity of habitat may be a good predictor of the environmental characteristics evaluated.

  12. Ancient ecology of 15-million-year-old browsing mammals within C3 plant communities from Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFadden, Bruce J; Higgins, Pennilyn

    2004-06-01

    Middle Miocene mammals are known from approximately 15 million-year-old sediments exposed along the Panama Canal of Central America, a region that otherwise has an exceedingly poor terrestrial fossil record. These land mammals, which represent a part of the ancient terrestrial herbivore community, include an oreodont Merycochoerus matthewi, small camel-like protoceratid artiodactyl Paratoceras wardi, two horses Anchitherium clarencei and Archaeohippus sp., and two rhinos Menoceras barbouri and Floridaceras whitei. Bulk and serial carbon and oxygen isotope analyses of the tooth enamel carbonate allow reconstruction of the ancient climate and ecology of these fossil mammals. Ancient Panama had an equable climate with seasonal temperature and rainfall fluctuations less than those seen today. The middle Miocene terrestrial community consisted predominantly, or exclusively, of C3 plants, i.e., there is no evidence for C4 grasses. Statistically different mean carbon isotope values for the mammalian herbivores indicate niche partitioning of the C3 plant food resources. The range of individual carbon isotope analyses, i.e., delta13C from -15.9 to -10.1 per thousand, indicates herbivores feeding on diverse plants from different habitats with extrapolated delta13C values of -29.9 to -24.2 per thousand, possibly ranging from dense forest to more open country woodland. The ecological niches of individual mammalian herbivore species were differentiated either by diet or body size.

  13. New Approaches to Ecologically Based, Designed Urban Plant Communities in Britain: Do These Have Any Relevance in the United States?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Hitchmough

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the reasoning behind the development of a new approach to designed urban planting with grasses, forbs and geophytes that has been undertaken at the University of Sheffield over the past 15 years. The resulting plant communities are the result of applying contemporary ecological science to planting design, to maximize their sustainability while at the same time meeting the aesthetic and functional needs of the users of urban public landscapes. The geographical origin of the plants used in these communities varies according to the physical, ecological, and cultural context in which they are to be used. In some cases species are entirely native, in others entirely non-native. In many cases, a mixture of both is used. In discussing the rationale for the development of this approach in the United Kingdom context, the paper raises important issues about increasing the capacity of urban landscapes to support a greater diversity of native animals and to engage ordinary citizens in these activities at a time of dramatic climatic and social change. The approach we outline addresses some of these issues in the United Kingdom context, but it is uncertain whether there is merit in these approaches in the context of American towns and cities.

  14. Natural products mediating ecological interactions in Antarctic benthic communities: a mini-review of the known molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez-Pons, L; Avila, C

    2015-07-01

    Out of the many bioactive compounds described from the oceans, only a small fraction have been studied for their ecological significance. Similarly, most chemically mediated interactions are not well understood, because the molecules involved remain unrevealed. In Antarctica, this gap in knowledge is even more acute in comparison to tropical or temperate regions, even though polar organisms are also prolific producers of chemical defenses, and pharmacologically relevant products are being reported from the Southern Ocean. The extreme and unique marine environments surrounding Antarctica along with the numerous unusual interactions taking place in benthic communities are expected to select for novel functional secondary metabolites. There is an urgent need to comprehend the evolutionary role of marine derived substances in general, and particularly at the Poles, since molecules of keystone significance are vital in species survival, and therefore, in structuring the communities. Here we provide a mini-review on the identified marine natural products proven to have an ecological function in Antarctic ecosystems. This report recapitulates some of the bibliography from original Antarctic reviews, and updates the new literature in the field from 2009 to the present.

  15. Negotiating Competing Goals in the Development of an Urban Ecology Practitioner Inquiry Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Peter; McNeill, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

    Teacher learning communities are hailed by many as vehicles for reforming and elevating the professional status of teaching. While much research explores teacher community as a venue for measurable gains, our research examines the orientation of practitioner inquiry toward critical debate about effective instruction. Specifically, our study…

  16. Ecological assessments of effluent impacts on communities of indigenous aquatic organisms (symposium), 1979

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bates, J.M.; Weber, C.I.

    1981-01-01

    This conference proceedings contains 17 papers, of which 4 are indexed separately. All papers deal with the effects of chemical, radioactive, and thermal effluents on aquatic organisms. The emphasis is on the methods of evaluating the effects of effluents on the standing crop, community structure, and community function

  17. Assessment of the ecological potential of mine-water treatment wetlands using a baseline survey of macroinvertebrate communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batty, L.C.; Atkin, L.; Manning, D.A.C.

    2005-01-01

    A baseline survey of macroinvertebrate populations in two mine-water treatment wetlands, one treating a net acidic spoil heap discharge and one a net alkaline ferruginous pumped mine water, was undertaken to assess the potential of these systems to provide habitats for faunal communities. Both wetlands were found to be impoverished in comparison to natural wetlands but did sustain a macroinvertebrate community that could support higher organisms. Wetland size and water quality in terms of pH, conductivity and metal concentrations were found to be important factors in determining the quality of the populations supported. Direct toxicity to organisms was unlikely to be the main cause of lower diversity, but the smothering of organisms via the precipitation of iron hydroxides particularly in the early parts of the treatment systems affected macroinvertebrate communities. The presence of areas of open water within the planted systems was found to be important for providing habitats for macroinvertebrates and this should be both a future design and maintenance consideration for environmental managers. - Mine-water treatment wetlands can be engineered to provide habitats for ecological communities

  18. Local ecological knowledge related with marine ecosystems in two coastal communities: El Valle and Sapzurro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Correa, Sandra Liliana; Turbay, Sandra; Velez, Madelene

    2012-01-01

    The inhabitants of the Colombian coastal populations of El Valle, in the Pacific, and Sapzurro, in the Caribbean Darien, have ecological knowledge about coastal ecosystems that is a result of their constant relation with the sea, through fishing and navigation. The sea is a source of food and economical resources, but it is also the sphere where the male personality is forged. The accurate knowledge about mangrove, coral, coral reef, beaches and fishing grounds has been enriched through the dialog between local inhabitants and researchers in the conservation biology field. However, the tensions with researchers and environmental authorities still exist. The paper suggests that local ecological knowledge studies could be a starting point for maintaining a more horizontal dialogue between environmentalist and the populations with livelihoods derived of fishing.

  19. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N; McKenzie, Valerie J; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C E; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation) explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae) was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae) was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium (Rhizobiaceae

  20. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly; Harris, Reid N.; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana C. E.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Vences, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation) explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae) was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae) was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium (Rhizobiaceae

  1. Host Ecology Rather Than Host Phylogeny Drives Amphibian Skin Microbial Community Structure in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly C. Bletz

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Host-associated microbiotas of vertebrates are diverse and complex communities that contribute to host health. In particular, for amphibians, cutaneous microbial communities likely play a significant role in pathogen defense; however, our ecological understanding of these communities is still in its infancy. Here, we take advantage of the fully endemic and locally species-rich amphibian fauna of Madagascar to investigate the factors structuring amphibian skin microbiota on a large scale. Using amplicon-based sequencing, we evaluate how multiple host species traits and site factors affect host bacterial diversity and community structure. Madagascar is home to over 400 native frog species, all of which are endemic to the island; more than 100 different species are known to occur in sympatry within multiple rainforest sites. We intensively sampled frog skin bacterial communities, from over 800 amphibians from 89 species across 30 sites in Madagascar during three field visits, and found that skin bacterial communities differed strongly from those of the surrounding environment. Richness of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs and phylogenetic diversity differed among host ecomorphs, with arboreal frogs exhibiting lower richness and diversity than terrestrial and aquatic frogs. Host ecomorphology was the strongest factor influencing microbial community structure, with host phylogeny and site parameters (latitude and elevation explaining less but significant portions of the observed variation. Correlation analysis and topological congruency analyses revealed little to no phylosymbiosis for amphibian skin microbiota. Despite the observed geographic variation and low phylosymbiosis, we found particular OTUs that were differentially abundant between particular ecomorphs. For example, the genus Pigmentiphaga (Alcaligenaceae was significantly enriched on arboreal frogs, Methylotenera (Methylophilaceae was enriched on aquatic frogs, and Agrobacterium

  2. An assessment of the ecological potential of Central and Western European reservoirs based on fish communities.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Blabolil, Petr; Logez, M.; Ricard, Daniel; Prchalová, Marie; Říha, Milan; Sagouis, A.; Peterka, Jiří; Kubečka, Jan; Argillier, C.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 173, January (2016), s. 80-87 ISSN 0165-7836 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0204 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : eutrophication * heavily modified water body * hindcasting * multimetric index * Water Framework Directive Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.185, year: 2016

  3. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinoth Wigneswaran

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology.

  4. Interpreting ecological diversity indices applied to terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism data: insights from simulated microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwood, Christopher B; Hudleston, Deborah; Zak, Donald R; Buyer, Jeffrey S

    2007-08-01

    Ecological diversity indices are frequently applied to molecular profiling methods, such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), in order to compare diversity among microbial communities. We performed simulations to determine whether diversity indices calculated from T-RFLP profiles could reflect the true diversity of the underlying communities despite potential analytical artifacts. These include multiple taxa generating the same terminal restriction fragment (TRF) and rare TRFs being excluded by a relative abundance (fluorescence) threshold. True community diversity was simulated using the lognormal species abundance distribution. Simulated T-RFLP profiles were generated by assigning each species a TRF size based on an empirical or modeled TRF size distribution. With a typical threshold (1%), the only consistently useful relationship was between Smith and Wilson evenness applied to T-RFLP data (TRF-E(var)) and true Shannon diversity (H'), with correlations between 0.71 and 0.81. TRF-H' and true H' were well correlated in the simulations using the lowest number of species, but this correlation declined substantially in simulations using greater numbers of species, to the point where TRF-H' cannot be considered a useful statistic. The relationships between TRF diversity indices and true indices were sensitive to the relative abundance threshold, with greatly improved correlations observed using a 0.1% threshold, which was investigated for comparative purposes but is not possible to consistently achieve with current technology. In general, the use of diversity indices on T-RFLP data provides inaccurate estimates of true diversity in microbial communities (with the possible exception of TRF-E(var)). We suggest that, where significant differences in T-RFLP diversity indices were found in previous work, these should be reinterpreted as a reflection of differences in community composition rather than a true difference in community diversity.

  5. Structural changes of marine communities over the Permian-Triassic transition: Ecologically assessing the end-Permian mass extinction and its aftermath

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Tong, Jinnan; Liao, Zhuo-Ting; Chen, Jing

    2010-08-01

    The Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) transition is ecologically assessed based on examining 23 shelly communities from five shallow platform, ramp and shelf basin facies Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) sections in South China. The shelly communities have undergone two major collapses coinciding with the two episodes of the end-Permian mass extinction. The first P/Tr extinction event devastated shelly communities in all types of settings to some extent. The basin communities have been more severely impacted than both platform and ramp communities. The survival faunas have rebounded more rapidly in shallow niches than in relatively deep habitats. The second P/Tr crisis destroyed the survival communities in shallow setting and had little impact on the basin communities in terms of community structures. The early Griesbachian communities are overall low-diversity and high-dominance. The governorship switch from brachiopods to bivalves in marine communities has been facilitated by two pulses of the end-Permian mass extinction and the whole takeover process took about 200 ka across the P/Tr boundary. Bivalve ecologic takeover initially occurred immediately after the first P/Tr extinction in shallow water habitats and was eventually completed in all niches after the second P/Tr event. Some post-extinction communities have the irregular rarefaction curves due to the unusual community structures rather than sampling intensities.

  6. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; et al, et al

    2014-01-23

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils lol(which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together. and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility

  7. Community structure and ecological function of deep-water sponge grounds in the Traenadypet MPA—Northern Norwegian continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutti, Tina; Bannister, Raymond John; Fosså, Jan Helge

    2013-10-01

    Sponges within the 300 km2 Trænadypet coral MPA (Marine Protected Area) were mapped using photographic techniques. Three types of sponge communities were identified. The eastern side of the central circular depression was dominated by fan-shaped Phakellia ventilabrum sponges and further characterized by Mycale lingua and Oceanapia spp. sponges. Phakellia ventilabrum abundance (0.34 ind m-2) was positively correlated with the number of drop stones found. The western side of the depression was dominated by Geodia barretti, G. macandrewii and G. atlantica with an estimated average abundance of 0.40 ind m-2 and a biomass of 2.4 kg WW m-2. A third type of sponge community was found on both sides of the depression (in between the small scattered cold-water coral reefs constituting the MPA), which was characterized by Mycale lingua (0.20 ind m-2) and Oceanapia spp. (0.10 ind m-2), and which supported a high average Geodiidea biomass (1.6 kg WW m-2). The two last communities were both of the boreal ostur type and seemed to form continuous belts along the 2 km transects surveyed only interrupted by a few 15-30 m long empty patches. Within the MPA the average overall biomass of Geodiidea sponges was 1.8 kg WW m-2 and the overall sponge abundance was 1 ind m-2. Water pumping rates and respiration of Geodia barretti were measured, equating to 3000 l kg-1 DW day-1 and 1.5 μmol O2 g-1 DW h-1, respectively. Up-scaling this to the MPA as a whole suggests that the population of G. barretti alone could filter approximately 250 million m3 of water and consume 60 t of carbon daily. This demonstrates the important ecological function of sponges as nutrient vectors and points out the MPA as an ecologically significant area that should be carefully managed and monitored.

  8. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Collins, Cathy D.; Hahn, Philip G.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Veldman, Joseph W.; Walker, Joan L.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  9. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars A Brudvig

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities, and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes. Our study demonstrates

  10. Ecology of ascidians in the macrofouling community of New Mangalore Port

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Venkat, K.; Anil, A.C.; Khandeparker, D.C.; Mokashe, S.S.

    Ascidians constitute a major component of macrofouling community at the New Mangalore Port during the premonsoon season (February-May). The presence of ascidians in these waters is being reported for the first time. Ascidian recruitment...

  11. A bacterial community-based index to assess the ecological status of estuarine and coastal environments

    KAUST Repository

    Aylagas, Eva; Borja, Á ngel; Tangherlini, Michael; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Michell, Craig; Irigoien, Xabier; Danovaro, Roberto; Rodrí guez-Ezpeleta, Naiara

    2016-01-01

    Biotic indices for monitoring marine ecosystems are mostly based on the analysis of benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Due to their high sensitivity to pollution and fast response to environmental changes, bacterial assemblages could complement

  12. Species co-occurrence networks: Can they reveal trophic and non-trophic interactions in ecological communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freilich, Mara A; Wieters, Evie; Broitman, Bernardo R; Marquet, Pablo A; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2018-03-01

    Co-occurrence methods are increasingly utilized in ecology to infer networks of species interactions where detailed knowledge based on empirical studies is difficult to obtain. Their use is particularly common, but not restricted to, microbial networks constructed from metagenomic analyses. In this study, we test the efficacy of this procedure by comparing an inferred network constructed using spatially intensive co-occurrence data from the rocky intertidal zone in central Chile to a well-resolved, empirically based, species interaction network from the same region. We evaluated the overlap in the information provided by each network and the extent to which there is a bias for co-occurrence data to better detect known trophic or non-trophic, positive or negative interactions. We found a poor correspondence between the co-occurrence network and the known species interactions with overall sensitivity (probability of true link detection) equal to 0.469, and specificity (true non-interaction) equal to 0.527. The ability to detect interactions varied with interaction type. Positive non-trophic interactions such as commensalism and facilitation were detected at the highest rates. These results demonstrate that co-occurrence networks do not represent classical ecological networks in which interactions are defined by direct observations or experimental manipulations. Co-occurrence networks provide information about the joint spatial effects of environmental conditions, recruitment, and, to some extent, biotic interactions, and among the latter, they tend to better detect niche-expanding positive non-trophic interactions. Detection of links (sensitivity or specificity) was not higher for well-known intertidal keystone species than for the rest of consumers in the community. Thus, as observed in previous empirical and theoretical studies, patterns of interactions in co-occurrence networks must be interpreted with caution, especially when extending interaction

  13. Physiological ecology of SRS Carolina bay phytoplankton communities: Effects of nutrient changes and CO2 sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, J.B.

    1992-11-01

    Impacts of land-use activities on wetland ecosystems are important issues for environmental planners, conservation groups, and government agencies. The progress report of this project at DOE's Savannah River Site focused on two specific objectives: determination of the effects of nutrient enrichment (fertilizing during wetlands restoration) on phytoplankton communities and comparison of phytoplankton community dynamics during the current extended hydroperiod for Carolina Bays with patterns in previous drier years

  14. Distribution and ecology of seagrass communities in the Western Indian Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleem, A. A.

    1. Nine seagrasses were identified and their distributions on coral reef islands and the African coastline studied. 2. Transects were worked to show the vertical zonation of the seagrasses. The more important communities encountered in order from low water spring tide level to the infralittoral were a Halodule uninervis community, a halodule - Thalassi or Thalassia - Cymodocea serrulata community, a Thalassia - Syringodium community, a Thalassia hemprichii community, and finally a Cymodocea ciliata community. 3. Halodule was the main pioneer species. 4. Thalassia and Cymodocea ciliata formed beds which in thelatter seagrass grew at depths of up to 40m. 5. Cymodecea ciliata grew on exposed or semi-exposed shores and formed mats 30-40cm thick. 6. The main environmental factors influencing the zonation of these seagrasses are substrate type, water depth, exposure to waves and current, and tidal range. They grow where water temperatures ranges between 26-30°C, but in littoral pools they may have to withstand temperatures as high as 38°C for short periods. 7. The substrates in which these seagrasses grow range from fine sand and silt to coarse sand mixed with coral debris. Thalassia was the only species which tolerated anoxic sediments and its roots can ramify through black sediments smelling of hydrogen sulphide. Halodule and Syringodium tolerates some lowering of sediment oxygen content. 8. Average standing stock of the main communities expressed as g Fresh Weight per square metre were ss follows: Halodule uninervis, 2430; Halophila ovalis, 465; Thalassia-Halodule, 4250; Thalassia-Cymodecea serrulata, 2907; Thalassia hemprichii, 4125; Cymodocea ciliata, 6050. There was evidence that seagrass biomass increased from LWS down into the infralittoral. The same communities were also analysed for the standing crops of assocated algae and macrofauna.

  15. Subtidal soft-bottom macroinvertebrate communities of the Canary Islands. An ecological approach

    OpenAIRE

    Monterroso,Oscar; Riera,Rodrigo; Núñez,Jorge

    2012-01-01

    The Canarian archipelago is characterized by a mosaic of soft-bottoms such as Cymodocea nodosa meadows, Caulerpa spp. meadows, mäerl bottoms, sabellid fields and bare sandy seabeds, including various macroinfaunal communities. Vegetated habitats (e.g. Cymodocea and Caulerpa) maintain more diverse communities than the non-vegetated seabeds. The results indicated that Caulerpa meadows and, to a lesser extent, Cymodocea nodosa and sabellid fields are the richest and most diverse ecosystems in th...

  16. Bringing ecology blogging into the scientific fold: measuring reach and impact of science community blogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Manu E; Duffy, Meghan A; Heard, Stephen B; Kosmala, Margaret; Leather, Simon R; McGlynn, Terrence P; Ollerton, Jeff; Parachnowitsch, Amy L

    2017-10-01

    The popularity of science blogging has increased in recent years, but the number of academic scientists who maintain regular blogs is limited. The role and impact of science communication blogs aimed at general audiences is often discussed, but the value of science community blogs aimed at the academic community has largely been overlooked. Here, we focus on our own experiences as bloggers to argue that science community blogs are valuable to the academic community. We use data from our own blogs ( n  = 7) to illustrate some of the factors influencing reach and impact of science community blogs. We then discuss the value of blogs as a standalone medium, where rapid communication of scholarly ideas, opinions and short observational notes can enhance scientific discourse, and discussion of personal experiences can provide indirect mentorship for junior researchers and scientists from underrepresented groups. Finally, we argue that science community blogs can be treated as a primary source and provide some key points to consider when citing blogs in peer-reviewed literature.

  17. Deep sequencing and ecological characterization of gut microbial communities of diverse bumble bee species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haw Chuan Lim

    Full Text Available Gut bacterial communities of bumble bees are correlated with defense against pathogens. Further understanding this host-microbe association is vitally important as bumble bees are currently experiencing global population declines, potentially due in part to emergent diseases. In this study, we used pyrosequencing and community fingerprinting (ARISA to characterize the gut microbial communities of nine bumble species from across the Bombus phylogeny. Overall, we delimited 74 bacterial taxa (operational taxonomic units or OTUs belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Actinobacteria, Flavobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. Each bacterial community was taxonomically simple, containing an average of 1.9 common (relative abundance per sample > 5% bacterial OTUs. The most abundant and prevalent (occurring in 92% of the samples bacterial OTU, based on 16S rRNA sequences, closely matched that of the previously described Betaproteobacteria species Snodgrassella alvi. Bacteria that were first described in bee-related external environments dominated a number of gut bacterial communities, suggesting that they are not strictly dependent on the internal gut environment. The ARISA data showed a correlation between bacterial community structures and the geographic locations where the bees were sampled, suggesting that at least a subset of the bacterial species may be transmitted environmentally. Using light and fluorescent microscopy, we demonstrated that the gut bacteria form a biofilm on the internal epithelial surface of the ileum, corroborating results obtained from Apis mellifera.

  18. Social ecology of child soldiers: child, family, and community determinants of mental health, psychosocial well-being, and reintegration in Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohrt, Brandon A; Jordans, Mark J D; Tol, Wietse A; Perera, Em; Karki, Rohit; Koirala, Suraj; Upadhaya, Nawaraj

    2010-11-01

    This study employed a social ecology framework to evaluate psychosocial well-being in a cross-sectional sample of 142 former child soldiers in Nepal. Outcome measures included the Depression Self Rating Scale (DSRS), Child Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale (CPSS), and locally developed measures of functional impairment and reintegration. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the contribution of factors at multiple levels. At the child level, traumatic exposures, especially torture, predicted poor outcomes, while education improved outcomes. At the family level, conflict-related death of a relative, physical abuse in the household, and loss of wealth during the conflict predicted poor outcomes. At the community level, living in high caste Hindu communities predicted lack of reintegration supports. Ultimately, social ecology is well suited to identify intervention foci across ecological levels based on community differences in vulnerability and protective factors.

  19. Ecological context of the evolution of self-pollination in Clarkia xantiana: population size, plant communities, and reproductive assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, David A; Geber, Monica A

    2005-04-01

    The repeated evolutionary transition from outcrossing to self-pollination in flowering plants has been suggested to occur because selfing provides reproductive assurance. Reports from biogeographical and ecological surveys indicate that selfing taxa are often associated with stressful and ephemeral environments, situations in which plant abundance is low (e.g., Baker's law) and with novel plant communities, however experimental tests of ecological hypotheses are few. In this study, we examined the ecological context of selection on mating system traits (herkogamy and protandry) in a California annual, Clarkia xantiana, where natural selfing populations differ from outcrossing populations in that they are often of small size or low density and occur mainly outside the range of pollinator-sharing congeners. We constructed artificial populations of plants with broad genetic variation in floral traits and manipulated two ecological factors, plant population size, and the presence versus absence of pollinator-sharing congeners, in the center of the geographic range of outcrossing populations. We found evidence for context-dependent selection on herkogamy and protandry via female fitness in which reduced traits, which promote autonomous selfing, were favored in small populations isolated from congeners whereas selection was comparatively weak in large populations or when congeners were present. In small, isolated populations, the fertility of plants with low herkogamy or protandry was elevated by 66% and 58%, respectively, compared to those with high herkogamy or protandry. The presence of pollinator-sharing congeners augmented bee visitation rates to C. xantiana flowers by 47% for all bees and by 93% for pollen specialists. By facilitating pollinator visitation, congeners mitigated selection on mating system traits in small populations, where outcross mating success is often low (the Allee effect). We also found support for the hypothesis that pollinator availability

  20. Assessing triclosan-induced ecological and trans-generational effects in natural phytoplankton communities: a trait-based field method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomati, Francesco; Nizzetto, Luca

    2013-07-01

    We exposed replicated phytoplankton communities confined in semi-permeable membrane-based mesocosms to 0, 0.1, 1 and 10 μg L(-1) triclosan (TCS) and placed them back in their original environment to investigate the occurrence of trans-generational responses at individual, population and community levels. TCS diffused out of mesocosms with a half-life of less than 8 h, so that only the parental generation was directly stressed. At the beginning of the experiment and after 7 days (approximately 2 generations) we analysed responses in the phytoplankton using scanning flow-cytometry. We acquired information on several individually expressed phenotypic traits, such as size, biovolume, pigment fluorescence and packaging, for thousands of individuals per replicated population and derived population and community aggregated traits. We found significant changes in community functioning (increased productivity in terms of biovolume and total fluorescence), with maximal effects at 1 μg L(-1) TCS. We detected significant and dose-dependent responses on population traits, such as changes in abundance for several populations, increased average size and fluorescence of cells, and strong changes in within-population trait mean and variance (suggesting micro-evolutionary effects). We applied the Price equation approach to partition community effects (changes in biovolume or fluorescence) in their physiological and ecological components, and quantified the residual component (including also evolutionary responses). Our results suggested that evolutionary or inheritable phenotypic plasticity responses may represent a significant component of the total observed change following exposure and over relatively small temporal scales.

  1. Socio-ecological costs of Amazon nut and timber production at community household forests in the Bolivian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Marlene; Mohren, Frits; Ascarrunz, Nataly; Dressler, Wolfram; Peña-Claros, Marielos

    2017-01-01

    The Bolivian Amazon holds a complex configuration of people and forested landscapes in which communities hold secure tenure rights over a rich ecosystem offering a range of livelihood income opportunities. A large share of this income is derived from Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa). Many communities also have long-standing experience with community timber management plans. However, livelihood needs and desires for better living conditions may continue to place these resources under considerable stress as income needs and opportunities intensify and diversify. We aim to identify the socioeconomic and biophysical factors determining the income from forests, husbandry, off-farm and two keystone forest products (i.e., Amazon nut and timber) in the Bolivian Amazon region. We used structural equation modelling tools to account for the complex inter-relationships between socioeconomic and biophysical factors in predicting each source of income. The potential exists to increase incomes from existing livelihood activities in ways that reduce dependency upon forest resources. For example, changes in off-farm income sources can act to increase or decrease forest incomes. Market accessibility, social, financial, and natural and physical assets determined the amount of income community households could derive from Amazon nut and timber. Factors related to community households' local ecological knowledge, such as the number of non-timber forest products harvested and the number of management practices applied to enhance Amazon nut production, defined the amount of income these households could derive from Amazon nut and timber, respectively. The (inter) relationships found among socioeconomic and biophysical factors over income shed light on ways to improve forest-dependent livelihoods in the Bolivian Amazon. We believe that our analysis could be applicable to other contexts throughout the tropics as well.

  2. Ecological effects of combined pollution associated with e-waste recycling on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun; He, Xiao-Xin; Lin, Xue-Rui; Chen, Wen-Ce; Zhou, Qi-Xing; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Huang, Li-Nan

    2015-06-02

    The crude processing of electronic waste (e-waste) has led to serious contamination in soils. While microorganisms may play a key role in remediation of the contaminated soils, the ecological effects of combined pollution (heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) on the composition and diversity of microbial communities remain unknown. In this study, a suite of e-waste contaminated soils were collected from Guiyu, China, and the indigenous microbial assemblages were profiled by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and clone library analysis. Our data revealed significant differences in microbial taxonomic composition between the contaminated and the reference soils, with Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes dominating the e-waste-affected communities. Genera previously identified as organic pollutants-degrading bacteria, such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Alcanivorax, were frequently detected. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that approximately 70% of the observed variation in microbial assemblages in the contaminated soils was explained by eight environmental variables (including soil physiochemical parameters and organic pollutants) together, among which moisture content, decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209), and copper were the major factors. These results provide the first detailed phylogenetic look at the microbial communities in e-waste contaminated soils, demonstrating that the complex combined pollution resulting from improper e-waste recycling may significantly alter soil microbiota.

  3. Ecological implications of floods on the parasite communities of two freshwater catfishes in a Neotropical floodplain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Priscilla de Oliveira Fadel; Yamada, Fabio Hideki; da Silva, Reinaldo José; Anjos, Luciano Alves Dos

    2017-06-01

    The parasite communities of two freshwater catfishes (Auchenipterus osteomystax and Trachelyopterus galeatus) were analyzed during the dry and rainy seasons in a Neotropical floodplain. The nature of river-floodplain systems places specific demands on parasite community structure, due to changes in the host environment. It was therefore hypothesized that flood conditions lead to an increase in the richness and abundance of fish parasites in the rainy season at the mouth of Aguapeí River floodplain. The Auchenipterus osteomystax parasite community was richer (11 vs. eight) in species than T. galeatus, although the latter exhibited a greater parasite burden (F1,108 = 126.99, PFlood conditions during the rainy season caused a change in the composition and structure of the parasitic communities. The results corroborate the hypothesis that floods are one of the most significant influences on shaping the parasite communities of fish in floodplains. Our greatest concern is the reduction these dynamics and effects bring about on local biota and, consequently, in host-parasite interaction. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to warn environmental agencies and hydroelectric companies about the importance of the conservation of the diversity of this location.

  4. Diversity and community ecology of forest epiphyte testate amoebae from European Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Richard J; Belyakova, Olga; Mazei, Yuri

    2015-10-01

    Testate amoebae are an abundant group of microorganisms which make a significant contribution to the diversity of protist life. Most of the world's potential habitats for testate amoebae have been barely studied and when such places are investigated they frequently reveal novel communities and species. Here we consider the testate amoeba communities associated with boreal forest epiphytes (mosses and lichens); an environment which we argue has been under-researched. We present a dataset of 165 samples from four regions of western Russia and analyse these data in relation to micro-habitat position and selected environmental data. The testate amoebae of epiphytes are abundant but dominated by ubiquitous species. We show that there are trends toward a lower species richness and test concentration with greater elevation on the trunk and in lichens compared to mosses. There are considerable differences in community composition between sampling regions. Of all measured environmental variables only moisture content showed a significant relationship with testate amoeba community structure. Our data highlight how little is known about testate amoeba communities of this habitat and call for greater research efforts, particularly in less-studied regions and biomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. Metabarcoding of benthic eukaryote communities predicts the ecological condition of estuaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chariton, Anthony A.; Stephenson, Sarah; Morgan, Matthew J.; Steven, Andrew D.L.; Colloff, Matthew J.; Court, Leon N.; Hardy, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    DNA-derived measurements of biological composition have the potential to produce data covering all of life, and provide a tantalizing proposition for researchers and managers. We used metabarcoding to compare benthic eukaryote composition from five estuaries of varying condition. In contrast to traditional studies, we found biotic richness was greatest in the most disturbed estuary, with this being due to the large volume of extraneous material (i.e. run-off from aquaculture, agriculture and other catchment activities) being deposited in the system. In addition, we found strong correlations between composition and a number of environmental variables, including nutrients, pH and turbidity. A wide range of taxa responded to these environmental gradients, providing new insights into their sensitivities to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Metabarcoding has the capacity to bolster current monitoring techniques, enabling the decisions regarding ecological condition to be based on a more holistic view of biodiversity. - Highlights: • We used metabarcoding to examine the benthic eukaryote composition of five estuaries. • Biotic richness (based on MOTUs) was greater in the most impacted estuary. • Similarities among estuaries reflected their environmental condition. • Composition was strongly correlated with nutrients, turbidity and pH. • Metabarcoding can provide fast, comprehensive and ecologically informative data. - Using metabarcoding we were able discriminate benthos from five estuaries, and identify those taxa which responded negatively and positivity to the key environmental stressors

  6. Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuwirth, Nele; Reichert, Peter

    2013-02-01

    For the first time, we combine concepts of theoretical food web modeling, the metabolic theory of ecology, and ecological stoichiometry with the use of functional trait databases to predict the coexistence of invertebrate taxa in streams. We developed a mechanistic model that describes growth, death, and respiration of different taxa dependent on various environmental influence factors to estimate survival or extinction. Parameter and input uncertainty is propagated to model results. Such a model is needed to test our current quantitative understanding of ecosystem structure and function and to predict effects of anthropogenic impacts and restoration efforts. The model was tested using macroinvertebrate monitoring data from a catchment of the Swiss Plateau. Even without fitting model parameters, the model is able to represent key patterns of the coexistence structure of invertebrates at sites varying in external conditions (litter input, shading, water quality). This confirms the suitability of the model concept. More comprehensive testing and resulting model adaptations will further increase the predictive accuracy of the model.

  7. Ecological and evolutionary variation in community nitrogen use traits during tropical dry forest secondary succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaskar, Radika; Porder, Stephen; Balvanera, Patricia; Edwards, Erika J

    2016-05-01

    We assessed the role of ecological and evolutionary processes in driving variation in leaf and litter traits related to nitrogen (N) use among tropical dry forest trees in old-growth and secondary stands in western Mexico. Our expectation was that legumes (Fabaceae), a dominant component of the regional flora, would have consistently high leaf N and therefore structure phylogenetic variation in N-related traits. We also expected ecological selection during succession for differences in nitrogen use strategies, and corresponding shifts in legume abundance. We used phylogenetic analyses to test for trait conservatism in foliar and litter N, C:N, and N resorption. We also evaluated differences in N-related traits between old-growth and secondary forests. We found a weak phylogenetic signal for all traits, partly explained by wide variation within legumes. Across taxa we observed a positive relationship between leaf and litter N, but no shift in resorption strategies along the successional gradient. Despite species turnover, N-resorption, and N-related traits showed little change across succession, suggesting that, at least for these traits, secondary forests rapidly recover ecosystem function. Collectively, our results also suggest that legumes should not be considered a single functional group from a biogeochemical perspective.

  8. New perspectives on the ecology of tree structure and tree communities through terrestrial laser scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Jackson, Tobias; Patrick Bentley, Lisa; Lau, Alvaro; Shenkin, Alexander; Herold, Martin; Calders, Kim; Bartholomeus, Harm; Disney, Mathias I

    2018-04-06

    Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) opens up the possibility of describing the three-dimensional structures of trees in natural environments with unprecedented detail and accuracy. It is already being extensively applied to describe how ecosystem biomass and structure vary between sites, but can also facilitate major advances in developing and testing mechanistic theories of tree form and forest structure, thereby enabling us to understand why trees and forests have the biomass and three-dimensional structure they do. Here we focus on the ecological challenges and benefits of understanding tree form, and highlight some advances related to capturing and describing tree shape that are becoming possible with the advent of TLS. We present examples of ongoing work that applies, or could potentially apply, new TLS measurements to better understand the constraints on optimization of tree form. Theories of resource distribution networks, such as metabolic scaling theory, can be tested and further refined. TLS can also provide new approaches to the scaling of woody surface area and crown area, and thereby better quantify the metabolism of trees. Finally, we demonstrate how we can develop a more mechanistic understanding of the effects of avoidance of wind risk on tree form and maximum size. Over the next few years, TLS promises to deliver both major empirical and conceptual advances in the quantitative understanding of trees and tree-dominated ecosystems, leading to advances in understanding the ecology of why trees and ecosystems look and grow the way they do.

  9. Evolutionary and ecological forces that shape the bacterial communities of the human gut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messer, Jeannette S.; Liechty, Emma R; Vogel, Olivia A.; Chang, Eugene B.

    2017-01-01

    Since microbes were first described in the mid-1600's, we have come to appreciate that they live all around and within us with both beneficial and detrimental effects on nearly every aspect of our lives. The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by a dynamic community of trillions of bacteria that constantly interact with each other and their human host. The acquisition of these bacteria is not stochastic, but determined by circumstance (environment), host rules (genetics, immune state, mucus, etc), and dynamic self-selection among microbes to form stable, resilient communities that are in balance with the host. In this review, we will discuss how these factors lead to formation of the gut bacterial community and influence its interactions with the host. We will also address how gut bacteria contribute to disease and how they could potentially be targeted to prevent and treat a variety of human ailments. PMID:28145439

  10. Ecological and genetic interactions between cyanobacteria and viruses in a low-oxygen mat community inferred through metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voorhies, Alexander A; Eisenlord, Sarah D; Marcus, Daniel N; Duhaime, Melissa B; Biddanda, Bopaiah A; Cavalcoli, James D; Dick, Gregory J

    2016-02-01

    Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing was conducted on cyanobacterial mats of the Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS), Lake Huron. Metagenomic data from 14 samples collected over 5 years were used to reconstruct genomes of two genotypes of a novel virus, designated PhV1 type A and PhV1 type B. Both viral genotypes encode and express nblA, a gene involved in degrading phycobilisomes, which are complexes of pigmented proteins that harvest light for photosynthesis. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the viral-encoded nblA is derived from the host cyanobacterium, Phormidium MIS-PhA. The cyanobacterial host also has two complete CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) systems that serve as defence mechanisms for bacteria and archaea against viruses and plasmids. One 45 bp CRISPR spacer from Phormidium had 100% nucleotide identity to PhV1 type B, but this region was absent from PhV1 type A. Transcripts from PhV1 and the Phormidium CRISPR loci were detected in all six metatranscriptomic data sets (three during the day and three at night), indicating that both are transcriptionally active in the environment. These results reveal ecological and genetic interactions between viruses and cyanobacteria at MIS, highlighting the value of parallel analysis of viruses and hosts in understanding ecological interactions in natural communities. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Urban ecological stewardship: understanding the structure, function and network of community-based urban land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika s. Svendsen; Lindsay K. Campbell

    2008-01-01

    Urban environmental stewardship activities are on the rise in cities throughout the Northeast. Groups participating in stewardship activities range in age, size, and geography and represent an increasingly complex and dynamic arrangement of civil society, government and business sectors. To better understand the structure, function and network of these community-based...

  12. Diversity, ecology and community structure of the freshwater littoral diatom flora from Petuniabukta (Spitsbergen)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pinseel, E.; Van de Vijver, B.; Kavan, J.; Verleyen, E.; Kopalová, Kateřina

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 40, č. 3 (2017), s. 533-551 ISSN 0722-4060 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Arctic region * Community analysis * Diatoms Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 1.949, year: 2016

  13. Evaluation of community-wide interventions: The ecologic case-referent study design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.A. Wiegersma (Auke); A. Hofman (Albert); G.A. Zielhuis (Gerhard )

    2001-01-01

    textabstractIn a setting of long-standing, community-wide and generally accepted prevention activities like youth health care services in The Netherlands, evaluative research in the form of experimental studies is hardly possible. Furthermore, as most interventions will bear fruit only after several

  14. Evaluation of community-wide interventions : the ecologic case-referent study design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiegersma, PA; Hofman, A; Zielhuis, GA

    2001-01-01

    In a setting of long-standing, community-wide and generally accepted prevention activities like youth health care services in The Netherlands, evaluative research in the form of experimental studies is hardly possible. Furthermore, as most interventions will bear fruit only after several years and

  15. Community ecology of hot spring cyanobacterial mats: predominant populations and their functional potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klatt, C. G.; Wood, J. M.; Rusch, D. B.

    2011-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mat communities from 60¿°C and 65¿°C regions in the effluent channels of Mushroom and Octopus Springs (Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA) were investigated by shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Analyses of assembled metagenomic sequences resolved six dominant chlorophototrophic...

  16. Fatty-acid ecology of plankton communities. Progress report, May 1, 1979-February 28, 1982

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeffries, H. P.

    1981-12-01

    Distributions of organic constituents in marine communities should yield a worldwide classification scheme within which any localized phenomena would be immediately apparent. This idea was tested on the zooplankton along an environmental gradient extending from Rhode Island Sound, through Narragansett Bay and into its polluted tributary, the Providence River. On the basis of fatty acid composition, both the macro- and microzooplankton could be precisely classified to the habitat of origin. Biochemically the microzooplankton changed uniformly with respect to linear distance though the riverine, estuarine and offshore habitats. In macrozooplankton, the relation between biochemical change and linear distance from the river seaward was a power curve: sharply changing at first, becoming more nearly constant offshore. Particulate pollution in the river merely reinforced natural fatty acid sources in the zooplankton's food - part of a pattern in which environmentally induced effects were expressed inshore, genetic influences offshore. In each habitat species diversity was inversely related to the community's stability of fatty acid composition. These estimates revealed greatest dynamical robustness in the prolific yet simple riverine zooplankton, suggesting that the stable domain of parameter space was likewise greater here than offshore. Despite its diversity, microzooplankton was more dynamically fragile than the macrozooplankton, in agreement with current theory on the stability of communities. We conclude that monomeric composition offers a basic rationale for characterizing the sensitivities of natural communities to environmental change.

  17. Ecological succession reveals potential signatures of marine-terrestrial transition in salt marsh fungal communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Pylro, Victor Satler; Baldrian, Petr; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    Marine-to-terrestrial transition represents one of the most fundamental shifts in microbial life. Understanding the distribution and drivers of soil microbial communities across coastal ecosystems is critical given the roles of microbes in soil biogeochemistry and their multifaceted influence on

  18. Integrating evolution into geographical ecology: a phylogenetic perspective on palm distributions and community composition across scales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Kissling, W. Daniel

    in 430 transects in the Western Amazon, b) a set of range maps for all American palms (550 spp.), and c) global country-level presence/ absence data of all (>2400) palm species. These data were analysed with novel phylogenetic community structure and turnover methods. Globally, the phylogenetic structure...

  19. Mobilifilum chasei: morphology and ecology of a spirochete from an intertidal stratified microbial mat community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, L.; Hinkle, G.; Stolz, J.; Craft, F.; Esteve, I.; Guerrero, R.

    1990-01-01

    Spirochetes were found in the lower anoxiphototrophic layer of a stratified microbial mat (North Pond, Laguna Figueroa, Baja California, Mexico). Ultra-structural analysis of thin sections of field samples revealed spirochetes approximately 0.25 micrometer in diameter with 10 or more periplasmic flagella, leading to the interpretation that these spirochetes bear 10 flagellar insertions on each end. Morphometric study showed these free-living spirochetes greatly resemble certain symbiotic ones, i.e., Borrelia and certain termite spirochetes, the transverse sections of which are presented here. The ultrastructure of this spirochete also resembles Hollandina and Diplocalyx (spirochetes symbiotic in arthropods) more than it does Spirochaeta, the well known genus of mud-dwelling spirochetes. The new spirochete was detected in mat material collected both in 1985 and in 1987. Unique morphology (i.e., conspicuous outer coat of inner membrane, large number of periplasmic flagella) and ecology prompt us to name a new free-living spirochete.

  20. Non-linear effects of drought under shade: reconciling physiological and ecological models in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, Milena; Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Quero, José Luis; Valladares, Fernando

    2012-06-01

    The combined effects of shade and drought on plant performance and the implications for species interactions are highly debated in plant ecology. Empirical evidence for positive and negative effects of shade on the performance of plants under dry conditions supports two contrasting theoretical models about the role of shade under dry conditions: the trade-off and the facilitation hypotheses. We performed a meta-analysis of field and greenhouse studies evaluating the effects of drought at two or more irradiance levels on nine response variables describing plant physiological condition, growth, and survival. We explored differences in plant response across plant functional types, ecosystem types and methodological approaches. The data were best fit using quadratic models indicating a humped-back shape response to drought along an irradiance gradient for survival, whole plant biomass, maximum photosynthetic capacity, stomatal conductance and maximal photochemical efficiency. Drought effects were ameliorated at intermediate irradiance, becoming more severe at higher or lower light levels. This general pattern was maintained when controlling for potential variations in the strength of the drought treatment among light levels. Our quantitative meta-analysis indicates that dense shade ameliorates drought especially among drought-intolerant and shade-tolerant species. Wet tropical species showed larger negative effects of drought with increasing irradiance than semiarid and cold temperate species. Non-linear responses to irradiance were stronger under field conditions than under controlled greenhouse conditions. Non-linear responses to drought along the irradiance gradient reconciliate opposing views in plant ecology, indicating that facilitation is more likely within certain range of environmental conditions, fading under deep shade, especially for drought-tolerant species.

  1. Forest Fire Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  2. Patterns of Intergroup Contact in Public Spaces: Micro-Ecology of Segregation in Australian Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Priest

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of public spaces can promote social cohesion and facilitate interpersonal interactions within the community. However, the ways racial and ethnic groups interact in public spaces can also reflect and influence informal segregation in the wider community. The present study aimed to examine patterns of intergroup contact within public spaces in Victoria, Australia through short-term observation in four localities. Data were collected on within-group, intergroup and absence of contact for people from minority and majority groups. A total of 974 contacts were observed. Findings indicate that in the observed public spaces, people from visible minority groups tended to have no contact with others or to interact with people from other ethnic/racial groups. In contrast, those from the majority group tended to interact predominately with other majority group members. This suggests that majority group members are more likely to ‘self-segregate’ in public spaces than those from minority groups.

  3. A bacterial community-based index to assess the ecological status of estuarine and coastal environments

    KAUST Repository

    Aylagas, Eva

    2016-10-23

    Biotic indices for monitoring marine ecosystems are mostly based on the analysis of benthic macroinvertebrate communities. Due to their high sensitivity to pollution and fast response to environmental changes, bacterial assemblages could complement the information provided by benthic metazoan communities as indicators of human-induced impacts, but so far, this biological component has not been well explored for this purpose. Here we performed 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to analyze the bacterial assemblage composition of 51 estuarine and coastal stations characterized by different environmental conditions and human-derived pressures. Using the relative abundance of putative indicator bacterial taxa, we developed a biotic index that is significantly correlated with a sediment quality index calculated on the basis of organic and inorganic compound concentrations. This new index based on bacterial assemblage composition can be a sensitive tool for providing a fast environmental assessment and allow a more comprehensive integrative ecosystem approach for environmental management. © 2016.

  4. The ecology of intertidal oyster reefs of the South Atlantic Coast: A community profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Leonard M.; Lanier, William P.

    1981-01-01

    The functional role of the intertidal oyster reef community in the southeastern Atlantic coastal zone is described. This description is based on a compilation of published data, as well as some unpublished information presented as hypotheses. The profile is organized in a hierarchical manner, such that relevant details of reef oyster biology (autecology) are presented, followed by a description of the reef community level of organization. Then the reef community is described as a subsystem of the coastal marsh-ecosystem (synecoloqy). This information is also synthesized in a series of nested conceptual models of oyster reefs at the regional level, the drainage basin level, and the individual reef level. The final chapter includes a summary overview and a section on management implications and guidelines. Intertidal oyster reefs are relatively persistent features of the salt marsh estuarine ecosystem in the southeastern Atlantic coastal zone. The average areal extent of the oyster reef subsystem in this larger ecosystem is relatively small (about 0.05%). This proportion does not reflect, however, the functional importance of the reef subsystem in stablizing the marsh, providing food for estuarine consumers, mineralizing organic matter, and providing firm substrates in this otherwise soft environment.

  5. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of benthic community stasis in the very deep sea (>1500 m)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzas, Martin A.; Hayek, Lee-Ann C.; Culver, Stephen J.; Hayward, Bruce W.; Osterman, Lisa E.

    2014-01-01

    An enigma of deep-sea biodiversity research is that the abyss with its low productivity and densities appears to have a biodiversity similar to that of shallower depths. This conceptualization of similarity is based mainly on per-sample estimates (point diversity, within-habitat, or α-diversity). Here, we use a measure of between-sample within-community diversity (β1H) to examine benthic foraminiferal diversity between 333 stations within 49 communties from New Zealand, the South Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Norwegian Sea, and the Arctic. The communities are grouped into two depth categories: 200–1500 m and >1500 m. β1H diversity exhibits no evidence of regional differences. Instead, higher values at shallower depths are observed worldwide. At depths of >1500 m the average β1H is zero, indicating stasis or no biodiversity gradient. The difference in β1H-diversity explains why, despite species richness often being greater per sample at deeper depths, the total number of species is greater at shallower depths. The greater number of communities and higher rate of evolution resulting in shorter species durations at shallower depths is also consistent with higher β1H values.

  6. The evolution of the ecological policy and the environmental law of the European community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dietinger, A.

    1998-08-01

    This thesis is structured chronologically starting with the origins of a European environment policy. These origins can be found in the foundation treaty of the European Community but are not explicitly codified. The thesis shows that the emphasis on economics in the European Community turned from acceptance of an environment policy as a marginal phenomenon to valuation of environmental policies as a principle of its own. The focus is on the contents of the EC Trial. The normative structure on which the environmental policy is built on aims of making clear that not only political declarations without any codification are made, but that the environment is a field of community activity to be taken seriously. Special attention is given the aim of economic growth and its incompatibles environmental policies. Convergence can only be reached if EC Member States use their potential of cooperation and are ready to make their contribution. A special chapter deals with the competence of member states concerning environmental policies. As contracting partners to GATT, member states of the European Union represent a very large portion of world trade, we have to make sure environmental policy is given the right place it deserves in free world trade. A summary and final reflections are included in the last part of the thesis. (author)

  7. Culicidae community composition and temporal dynamics in Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve, Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeronimo Alencar

    Full Text Available A temporal observational study was conducted of the Culicidae fauna in a remnant area of Atlantic Forest within a private reserve (Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve-REGUA presenting typical vegetation cover of dense rain forest, with some patches recovering a floristic composition similar to that of the original community. Research was carried out to analyze the influence of climatic factors (mean monthly temperature, rainfall, and air relative humidity on the temporal dynamics of the mosquito communities that occur in the reserve. The completeness of the mosquito inventory was assessed with individual-based rarefaction-extrapolation curves. Differences in species composition between sites and months were tested with PERMANOVA. True diversities of orders 0, 1, and 2 (effective numbers were estimated and compared between sites, months, and years. Multiple stepwise regressions were used to assess relationships between climatic variables, measures of diversity, and abundances of the most common species. There were significant interactive effects between year and site on measures of diversity. However, diversity estimates showed little variation among months, and these were weakly correlated with climatic variables. Abundances of the most common species were significantly related to temperature or relative humidity, but not rainfall. The presence of mosquito species known to be vectors of human diseases combined with an intermittent flow of visitors to the study area suggests there is a risk of disease transmission that warrants further monitoring.

  8. Culicidae Community Composition and Temporal Dynamics in Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve, Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alencar, Jeronimo; de Mello, Cecilia Ferreira; Guimarães, Anthony Érico; Gil-Santana, Hélcio R.; Silva, Júlia dos Santos; Santos- Mallet, Jacenir R.; Gleiser, Raquel M.

    2015-01-01

    A temporal observational study was conducted of the Culicidae fauna in a remnant area of Atlantic Forest within a private reserve (Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve-REGUA) presenting typical vegetation cover of dense rain forest, with some patches recovering a floristic composition similar to that of the original community. Research was carried out to analyze the influence of climatic factors (mean monthly temperature, rainfall, and air relative humidity) on the temporal dynamics of the mosquito communities that occur in the reserve. The completeness of the mosquito inventory was assessed with individual-based rarefaction-extrapolation curves. Differences in species composition between sites and months were tested with PERMANOVA. True diversities of orders 0, 1, and 2 (effective numbers) were estimated and compared between sites, months, and years. Multiple stepwise regressions were used to assess relationships between climatic variables, measures of diversity, and abundances of the most common species. There were significant interactive effects between year and site on measures of diversity. However, diversity estimates showed little variation among months, and these were weakly correlated with climatic variables. Abundances of the most common species were significantly related to temperature or relative humidity, but not rainfall. The presence of mosquito species known to be vectors of human diseases combined with an intermittent flow of visitors to the study area suggests there is a risk of disease transmission that warrants further monitoring. PMID:25815724

  9. iVirus: facilitating new insights in viral ecology with software and community data sets imbedded in a cyberinfrastructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolduc, Benjamin; Youens-Clark, Ken; Roux, Simon; Hurwitz, Bonnie L; Sullivan, Matthew B

    2017-01-01

    Microbes affect nutrient and energy transformations throughout the world's ecosystems, yet they do so under viral constraints. In complex communities, viral metagenome (virome) sequencing is transforming our ability to quantify viral diversity and impacts. Although some bottlenecks, for example, few reference genomes and nonquantitative viromics, have been overcome, the void of centralized data sets and specialized tools now prevents viromics from being broadly applied to answer fundamental ecological questions. Here we present iVirus, a community resource that leverages the CyVerse cyberinfrastructure to provide access to viromic tools and data sets. The iVirus Data Commons contains both raw and processed data from 1866 samples and 73 projects derived from global ocean expeditions, as well as existing and legacy public repositories. Through the CyVerse Discovery Environment, users can interrogate these data sets using existing analytical tools (software applications known as 'Apps') for assembly, open reading frame prediction and annotation, as well as several new Apps specifically developed for analyzing viromes. Because Apps are web based and powered by CyVerse supercomputing resources, they enable scalable analyses for a broad user base. Finally, a use-case scenario documents how to apply these advances toward new data. This growing iVirus resource should help researchers utilize viromics as yet another tool to elucidate viral roles in nature.

  10. Community Planning In The Ecological Reservation Area Of Shenzhen%深圳市生态控制线内社区规划研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林浩韬; 徐逸伦; 杨林川; 魏宗财

    2017-01-01

    Since the establishment of ecological reservation area in Shenzhen,balance between ecological protection and community development,and management of community affairs have become key issues.This paper concludes the evolution of communities inside ecological reservation line in Shenzhen,analyzes dilemmas of community planning,and establishes a framework from content,orientation,compilation,and implementation,to optimize ecological and socio-economic values.%自深圳市划定生态控制线以来,如何平衡生态保护与社区发展,妥善处理生态控制线内已建社区的生产生活问题成为相关政策关注的焦点.本文深入分析了深圳市生态控制线内社区的发展过程,总结了现阶段该类社区规划存在的困境,并参照国外社区规划的相关理论,从内容、定位、编制和实施四方面构建了生态控制线内社区规划的框架体系,以期实现线内生态价值与社会经济价值的综合优化,为其他城市的生态管控提供参考.

  11. The potential of, and threat to, the transfer of ecological knowledge in urban areas: the case of community-based woodland management in Tokyo, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuaki Tsuchiya

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Urban dwellers often have little knowledge of local ecosystems, but community groups that actively manage local ecosystems can acquire a rich ecological knowledge. Understanding the knowledge transfer process within community groups contributes to the continuous improvement of urban ecosystem management. In this paper, we address three main questions: (1 How is ecological knowledge acquisition linked to boundary and intra-group interactions? (2 Does holding knowledge mean the involvement in actual management activities? (3 Does the aging of community group members threaten the continuity of activities? We selected satoyama woodlands (seminatural woodlands in peri-urban Tokyo, Japan as a study site. We used a mixed method approach that combined a qualitative interview with a quantitative questionnaire. We found that boundary interactions were particularly important at the start of an urban ecological management process, to obtain basic knowledge relating to management activities. Intra-group interaction contributed to knowledge transfer after the starting period. We found that participants possessing considerable ecological knowledge do not necessarily participate in management activities. Findings also indicated that the aging of group members in groups established for more than 10 years was an area of concern for the continuity of group activities. New members did not necessarily solve this aging issue. We conclude that further measures and actions are needed to ensure long-term knowledge transfer among the participants of community groups in urban ecosystem management.

  12. Ciliates and the rare biosphere-community ecology and population dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisse, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Application of deep sequencing technologies to environmental samples and some detailed morphological studies suggest that there is a vast, yet unexplored rare ciliate biosphere, tentatively defined in terms of operational taxonomic units. However, very few studies complemented molecular and phylogenetic data with morphological and ecological descriptions of the species inventory. This is mainly because the sampling effort increases strongly with decreasing species abundance. In spite of this limited knowledge, it is clear that species that are rare under certain environmental conditions (temporal rare biosphere) may become abundant when the physical, chemical, and biological variables of their habitat change. Furthermore, some species may always be present in low numbers if their dispersal rates are exceedingly high (accidental rare biosphere). An intriguing question is whether there are some species that are always rare, i.e., in every suitable environment. This permanent rare biosphere is conceptually different from the temporal rare biosphere. This review characterizes typical aquatic habitats of the rare ciliate biosphere, portrays different scenarios under which some or even many species may be permanently rare (background fauna), and identifies some fundamental questions that need to be addressed to achieve a better understanding of the population dynamics of the rare ciliate biosphere. © 2014 The Authors The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society of Protistologists.

  13. Zooplankton community response to experimental acidification in boreal shield lakes with different ecological histories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Derry, A.M.; Arnott, S.E. [Queen' s Univ., Kingston, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    2007-06-15

    This study investigated the adaptive response of crustacean zooplankton to widespread regional acidification at the Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario. Mesocosm experiments were conducted in 2 circumneutral lakes with different acidification histories. A reciprocal transplant field enclosure experiment was conducted to assess whether the zooplankton community within the acid-recovering boreal shield lake showed evidence of increased acid tolerance to historical acidification following a 6 year period in which the lake's pH was 6.0. The enclosures were filled with epilimnetic water from the lake. Zooplankton from other lakes in the area were used. Zooplankton and water samples were collected from the enclosures once a week. Shannon-Wiener indices, species richness, and total abundance of the zooplankton were calculated for each sample day. Repeated measures analyses of variance (RM-ANOVAs) were used to test for the effects of the incubation lake, the zooplankton source, and the pH. Species abundance data were log{sub 10} transformed to improve homogeneity of variances and normality. Principle components analysis was conducted on species abundances to infer the influence of treatments on zooplankton community composition. Zooplankton were also transferred from 1 lake to the other in order to determine if subtle differences in local water chemistry and food conditions were limiting the recovery of species in acid-recovering lakes. The study showed that 2 key species, H. gibberum and L. minutus, contributed to community-level differences to acid tolerance of zooplankton with different acidification histories. It was concluded that zooplankton with adaptable acid tolerances may monopolize resources in acidified and acid-recovering lakes, and may contribute to the delayed recolonization of other taxa. 62 refs., 3 tabs., 6 figs.

  14. Effects of mammalian competitors on the ecology and evolution of communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.H.

    1978-01-01

    Competitive interactions with other species influence the abundance, distribution, and evolution of small mammal populations. In some cases, closely related species exclude each other from local habitats by direct, aggressive interference; in others, they coexist by differentially exploiting limiting resources and avoiding interspecific aggression. Selection to reduce competition has resulted in the evolution of differences in resource utilization among coexisting species. Regular patterns of character displacement are particularly evident in communities of closely related granivores, frugivores, and carnivores. Recent evidence suggests that small mammals compete significantly with distantly related taxa of vertebrates and invertebrates. Such interactions may have important consequences for the structure and function of natural ecosystems

  15. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  16. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  17. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  18. Community wildlife sites in Oxfordshire: an exploration of ecological and social meanings for green spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Lawrence

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper explores the experiences and meanings that participants attribute to community wildlife sites, a new kind of space created through the initiative and commitment of local residents, often without any wider organisational involvement. The study focuses on six case studies in Oxfordshire, England. It is exploratory and discusses the findings as points of departure for further research. In all the sites, community was an important part of the motivation for starting the work, social relations a rewarding aspect of engaging in it, and personal connection with the site and its experiences of nature, a widely and emotionally expressed outcome. The sites offer spaces for the active enactment of participation in nature. While access is essential, property rights appear to be less important than the sense of ownership generated through interaction with the site. Likewise, formal organisation and governance is less important to the participants, than the social interactions of the group, and new friendships. The primary purpose in each case, is to give people more access to ‘the countryside’ or ‘nature’ or ‘orchids’. In doing so, however, the participants have given themselves experiences that are personally meaningful. There is potential for contribution to resilient landscapes through networks of habitats, and to wider social objectives of government policy, but these will have to be balanced carefully with the important of local initiative in contributing to the sites’ meanings.

  19. Diversity and ecological aspects of aquatic insect communities from montane streams in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruna Marmitt Braun

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available AIMS: In this study, the diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Coleoptera communities was surveyed in the Toropi River basin, a watershed localized in a slope region, in southernmost Brazil. The influence of some local abiotic factors on the most common genera was also analyzed. METHODS: Samplings were conducted at 40 sites in 1st-4th order streams, along a short elevation gradient (70-500 m, with a Surber sampler. Water physico-chemical factors, as well as substrate type, were obtained at each site. RESULTS: At all, 5,320 specimens were collected, belonging to 18 families and 52 genera. The caddisflies Austrotinodes and Celaenotrichia, and an undescribed Elmidae, Genus M, are new records for the region. The caddisfly Smicridea was the most frequent genus in the study area. The mayflies Camelobaetidius, Paracloeodes and Americabaetis were influenced by stream order. Smicridea was related to air temperature, while the mayfly Thraulodes was influenced by high levels of electrical conductivity. CONCLUSIONS: The high diversity found in the study area, compared to other Brazilian regions, reflects the environmental heterogeneity in the region. These data show that hydrographic basins in slope areas from extreme Southern Brazil sustain high levels of diversity of aquatic insect communities.

  20. Background colour matching by a crab spider in the field: a community sensory ecology perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defrize, Jérémy; Théry, Marc; Casas, Jérôme

    2010-05-01

    The question of whether a species matches the colour of its natural background in the perspective of the correct receiver is complex to address for several reasons; however, the answer to this question may provide invaluable support for functional interpretations of colour. In most cases, little is known about the identity and visual sensory abilities of the correct receiver and the precise location at which interactions take place in the field, in particular for mimetic systems. In this study, we focused on Misumena vatia, a crab spider meeting the criteria for assessing crypsis better than many other models, and claimed to use colour changes for both aggressive and protective crypsis. We carried out a systematic field survey to quantitatively assess the exactness of background colour matching in M. vatia with respect to the visual system of many of its receivers within the community. We applied physiological models of bird, bee and blowfly colour vision, using flower and spider spectral reflectances measured with a spectroradiometer. We observed that crypsis at long distance is systematically achieved, exclusively through achromatic contrast, in both bee and bird visions. At short distance, M. vatia is mostly chromatically detectable, whatever the substrate, for bees and birds. However, spiders can be either poorly discriminable or quite visible depending on the substrate for bees. Spiders are always chromatically undetectable for blowflies. We discuss the biological relevance of these results in both defensive and aggressive contexts of crypsis within a community sensory perspective.

  1. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 2: Fish community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Barnthouse, L.W.; Efroymson, R.A.; Jager, H.

    1999-01-01

    This paper summarizes the assessment of risks to fishes in the Clinch River Operable Unit due to contaminants released by the US Department of Energy's activities on its Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee. This paper focuses on the most contaminated area, the Poplar Creek (PC) embayment. The assessment is of interest because of its use of five distinct lines of evidence: fish community surveys, fish body burdens, toxicity tests of ambient waters, suborganismal bioindicators, and single chemical toxicity tests. None of these lines of evidence provided unambiguous evidence of a significant risk, but the surveys indicated that the fish community in PC was depauperate, polychlorinated biphenyl body burdens may have been at toxic levels in catfish, one of the three tests of ambient water showed clear toxicity, some of the indicators were indicative of toxic effects, and concentrations that have been toxic in the laboratory were detected periodically. Interpretation was further complicated by upstream contamination of both the Clinch River and PC. The risk characterization was performed by evaluating each line of evidence separately and then weighing the evidence using an ecoepidemiological approach

  2. Between Design and Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørn, Mona Chor

    such vegetation, based on concepts and theories in plant community ecology. If these communities are based on local forbs there is a continuum in anthropogenic intervention from designed and intensively maintained to semi-natural herbaceous vegetation. Results from a large field experiment show that, after three...... colonised by grasses and eventually woody species. This thesis adds useful basic knowledge in plant community ecology and species-specific growth, which are relevant to research and planning in landscape architecture and ecology....

  3. Predaceous water beetles (Coleoptera, Hydradephaga) of the Lake St Lucia system, South Africa: biodiversity, community ecology and conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perissinotto, Renzo; Bird, Matthew S; Bilton, David T

    2016-01-01

    Water beetles are one of the dominant macroinvertebrate groups in inland waters and are excellent ecological indicators, reflecting both the diversity and composition of the wider aquatic community. The predaceous water beetles (Hydradephaga) make up around one-third of known aquatic Coleoptera and, as predators, are a key group in the functioning of many aquatic habitats. Despite being relatively well-known taxonomically, ecological studies of these insects in tropical and subtropical systems remain rare. A dedicated survey of the hydradephagan beetles of the Lake St Lucia wetlands (South Africa) was undertaken between 2013 and 2015, providing the first biodiversity census for this important aquatic group in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Maputaland biodiversity hotspot. A total of 32 sites covering the entire spectrum of waterbody types were sampled over the course of three collecting trips. The Lake St Lucia wetlands support at least 68 species of Hydradephaga, a very high level of diversity comparing favourably with other hotspots on the African continent and elsewhere in the world and a number of taxa are reported for South Africa for the first time. This beetle assemblage is dominated by relatively widespread Afrotropical taxa, with few locally endemic species, supporting earlier observations that hotspots of species richness and centres of endemism are not always coincident. Although there was no significant difference in the number of species supported by the various waterbody types sampled, sites with the highest species richness were mostly temporary depression wetlands. This contrasts markedly with the distribution of other taxa in the same system, such as molluscs and dragonflies, which are most diverse in permanent waters. Our study is the first to highlight the importance of temporary depression wetlands and emphasises the need to maintain a variety of wetland habitats for aquatic conservation in this biodiverse

  4. Determinants of plant community assembly in a mosaic of landscape units in central Amazonia: ecological and phylogenetic perspectives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Natalia Umaña

    Full Text Available The Amazon harbours one of the richest ecosystems on Earth. Such diversity is likely to be promoted by plant specialization, associated with the occurrence of a mosaic of landscape units. Here, we integrate ecological and phylogenetic data at different spatial scales to assess the importance of habitat specialization in driving compositional and phylogenetic variation across the Amazonian forest. To do so, we evaluated patterns of floristic dissimilarity and phylogenetic turnover, habitat association and phylogenetic structure in three different landscape units occurring in terra firme (Hilly and Terrace and flooded forests (Igapó. We established two 1-ha tree plots in each of these landscape units at the Caparú Biological Station, SW Colombia, and measured edaphic, topographic and light variables. At large spatial scales, terra firme forests exhibited higher levels of species diversity and phylodiversity than flooded forests. These two types of forests showed conspicuous differences in species and phylogenetic composition, suggesting that environmental sorting due to flood is important, and can go beyond the species level. At a local level, landscape units showed floristic divergence, driven both by geographical distance and by edaphic specialization. In terms of phylogenetic structure, Igapó forests showed phylogenetic clustering, whereas Hilly and Terrace forests showed phylogenetic evenness. Within plots, however, local communities did not show any particular trend. Overall, our findings suggest that flooded forests, characterized by stressful environments, impose limits to species occurrence, whereas terra firme forests, more environmentally heterogeneous, are likely to provide a wider range of ecological conditions and therefore to bear higher diversity. Thus, Amazonia should be considered as a mosaic of landscape units, where the strength of habitat association depends upon their environmental properties.

  5. Determinants of Plant Community Assembly in a Mosaic of Landscape Units in Central Amazonia: Ecological and Phylogenetic Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umaña, María Natalia; Norden, Natalia; Cano, Ángela; Stevenson, Pablo R.

    2012-01-01

    The Amazon harbours one of the richest ecosystems on Earth. Such diversity is likely to be promoted by plant specialization, associated with the occurrence of a mosaic of landscape units. Here, we integrate ecological and phylogenetic data at different spatial scales to assess the importance of habitat specialization in driving compositional and phylogenetic variation across the Amazonian forest. To do so, we evaluated patterns of floristic dissimilarity and phylogenetic turnover, habitat association and phylogenetic structure in three different landscape units occurring in terra firme (Hilly and Terrace) and flooded forests (Igapó). We established two 1-ha tree plots in each of these landscape units at the Caparú Biological Station, SW Colombia, and measured edaphic, topographic and light variables. At large spatial scales, terra firme forests exhibited higher levels of species diversity and phylodiversity than flooded forests. These two types of forests showed conspicuous differences in species and phylogenetic composition, suggesting that environmental sorting due to flood is important, and can go beyond the species level. At a local level, landscape units showed floristic divergence, driven both by geographical distance and by edaphic specialization. In terms of phylogenetic structure, Igapó forests showed phylogenetic clustering, whereas Hilly and Terrace forests showed phylogenetic evenness. Within plots, however, local communities did not show any particular trend. Overall, our findings suggest that flooded forests, characterized by stressful environments, impose limits to species occurrence, whereas terra firme forests, more environmentally heterogeneous, are likely to provide a wider range of ecological conditions and therefore to bear higher diversity. Thus, Amazonia should be considered as a mosaic of landscape units, where the strength of habitat association depends upon their environmental properties. PMID:23028844

  6. Ecological patterns, diversity and core taxa of microbial communities in groundwater-fed rapid gravity filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Musovic, Sanin; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2016-01-01

    Here, we document microbial communities in rapid gravity filtration units, specifically serial rapid sand filters (RSFs), termed prefilters (PFs) and after- filters (AFs), fed with anoxic groundwaters low in organic carbon to prepare potable waters. A comprehensive 16S rRNA-based amplicon...... sequencing survey revealed a core RSF microbiome comprising few bacterial taxa (29–30 genera) dominated by Nitrospirae, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria, with a strikingly high abundance (75–87±18%) across five examined waterworks in Denmark. Lineages within the Nitrospira genus consistently comprised...... the second most and most abundant fraction in PFs (27±23%) and AFs (45.2±23%), respectively, and were far more abundant than typical proteobacterial ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting a physiology beyond nitrite oxidation for Nitrospira. Within the core taxa, sequences closely related to types...

  7. Ecological patterns, diversity and core taxa of microbial communities in groundwater-fed rapid gravity filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Musovic, Sanin; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2016-01-01

    the second most and most abundant fraction in PFs (27±23%) and AFs (45.2±23%), respectively, and were far more abundant than typical proteobacterial ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting a physiology beyond nitrite oxidation for Nitrospira. Within the core taxa, sequences closely related to types...... with ability to oxidize ammonium, nitrite, iron, manganese and methane as primary growth substrate were identified and dominated in both PFs (73.6±6%) and AFs (61.4±21%), suggesting their functional importance. Surprisingly, operational taxonomic unit richness correlated strongly and positively with sampling...... location in the drinking water treatment plant (from PFs to AFs), and a weaker negative correlation held for evenness. Significant spatial heterogeneity in microbial community composition was detected in both PFs and AFs, and was higher in the AFs. This is the first comprehensive documentation of microbial...

  8. Methylmercury exposure in a subsistence fishing community in Lake Chapala, Mexico: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abercrombie Mary I

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Elevated concentrations of mercury have been documented in fish in Lake Chapala in central Mexico, an area that is home to a large subsistence fishing community. However, neither the extent of human mercury exposure nor its sources and routes have been elucidated. Methods Total mercury concentrations were measured in samples of fish from Lake Chapala; in sections of sediment cores from the delta of Rio Lerma, the major tributary to the lake; and in a series of suspended-particle samples collected at sites from the mouth of the Lerma to mid-Lake. A cross-sectional survey of 92 women ranging in age from 18-45 years was conducted in three communities along the Lake to investigate the relationship between fish consumption and hair mercury concentrations among women of child-bearing age. Results Highest concentrations of mercury in fish samples were found in carp (mean 0.87 ppm. Sediment data suggest a pattern of moderate ongoing contamination. Analyses of particles filtered from the water column showed highest concentrations of mercury near the mouth of the Lerma. In the human study, 27.2% of women had >1 ppm hair mercury. On multivariable analysis, carp consumption and consumption of fish purchased or captured from Lake Chapala were both associated with significantly higher mean hair mercury concentrations. Conclusions Our preliminary data indicate that, despite a moderate level of contamination in recent sediments and suspended particulate matter, carp in Lake Chapala contain mercury concentrations of concern for local fish consumers. Consumption of carp appears to contribute significantly to body burden in this population. Further studies of the consequences of prenatal exposure for child neurodevelopment are being initiated.

  9. Subtidal soft-bottom macroinvertebrate communities of the Canary Islands. An ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Monterroso

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The Canarian archipelago is characterized by a mosaic of soft-bottoms such as Cymodocea nodosa meadows, Caulerpa spp. meadows, mäerl bottoms, sabellid fields and bare sandy seabeds, including various macroinfaunal communities. Vegetated habitats (e.g. Cymodocea and Caulerpa maintain more diverse communities than the non-vegetated seabeds. The results indicated that Caulerpa meadows and, to a lesser extent, Cymodocea nodosa and sabellid fields are the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the study area. Moreover, biodiversity differences among islands could be detected with maximum values on the eastern islands (Lanzarote and Gran Canaria and lowest values on the western ones (La Palma.O arquipélago das Canárias é caracterizado por um mosaico de fundos inconsolidados contendo bancos de Cymodocea nodosa, Caulerpa spp., fundos calcários, bancos de sabelídeos e sedimento não biogênico, que abrigam diferentes comunidades da macrofauna. Ambientes vegetados (Cymodocea e Caulerpa possuem comunidades mais diversificadas quando comparados aos ambientes de fundos não vegetados. Os resultados do presente estudo indicaram que os bancos de Caulerpa, primeiramente, e em seguida os bancos de Cymodocea nodosa e de sabelídeos, formam os sistemas mais ricos e diversificados da área. Além disso, puderam também ser detectadas diferenças de biodiversidade entre as ilhas do arquipélago, sendo os valores mais altos localizados nas ilhas ao leste (Lanzarote e Gran Canaria e os menores nas ilhas à oeste (La Palma.

  10. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

    by a more theoretical debate and increased interaction between the heterodox schools of ecological economics and post-Keynesian economics. In addition, both the degrowth community and the research community organized around sustainable transitions of socio-technical systems have contributed to discussions...... on how to reconcile environmental and social concerns. Based on this broad variety of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a new ecological macroeconomics is emerging, but the contours are still vague. This chapter seeks to outline some of this topography and to add a few pieces of its own by highlighting the need...... to shift resources from consumption to investment and describing the role of consumer-citizens in such a change. The chapter starts by identifying the problems and challenges for an ecological macroeconomics. The next section outlines some of the shortcomings of traditional macroeconomics...

  11. The case of a city where 1 in 6 residents is a refugee: ecological factors and host community adaptation in successful resettlement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R Scott

    2008-12-01

    The notable success of an upstate New York community in resettling refugees raises the question of whether multiple waves of resettlement over a 15-year period have resulted in greater accommodation to refugees. Structured interviews based on transactional models of acculturation were used along with archival data to explore ecological factors supporting a host community's behavioral flexibility and perseverance in response to the influx of refugees. Evidence suggests that socioeconomic climate, historical background/social norms, and the organizational structure of agencies involved in resettlement moderate successful inclusion of refugees into a host community in a bidirectional process.

  12. A Philosophical Analysis of David Orr's Theory of Ecological Literacy: Biophilia, Ecojustice and Moral Education in School Learning Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Debra B.; Mueller, Michael P.

    2011-01-01

    In his writings, David Orr claims that the US is in an "ecological crisis" and that this stems from a crisis of education. He outlines a theory of ecological literacy, a mode by which we better learn the ecology of the Earth and live in a sustainable manner. While emphasizing a shock doctrine, the diagnosis of "crisis" may be…

  13. Ecological limit functions relating fish community response to hydrologic departures of the ecological flow regime in the Tennessee River basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Rodney R.; Murphy, Jennifer C.; Wolfe, William J.; Saylor, Charles F.; Wales, Amy K.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological limit functions relating streamflow and aquatic ecosystems remain elusive despite decades of research. We investigated functional relationships between species richness and changes in streamflow characteristics at 662 fish sampling sites in the Tennessee River basin. Our approach included the following: (1) a brief summary of relevant literature on functional relations between fish and streamflow, (2) the development of ecological limit functions that describe the strongest discernible relationships between fish species richness and streamflow characteristics, (3) the evaluation of proposed definitions of hydrologic reference conditions, and (4) an investigation of the internal structures of wedge-shaped distributions underlying ecological limit functions.Twenty-one ecological limit functions were developed across three ecoregions that relate the species richness of 11 fish groups and departures from hydrologic reference conditions using multivariate and quantile regression methods. Each negatively sloped function is described using up to four streamflow characteristics expressed in terms of cumulative departure from hydrologic reference conditions. Negative slopes indicate increased departure results in decreased species richness.Sites with the highest measured fish species richness generally had near-reference hydrologic conditions for a given ecoregion. Hydrology did not generally differ between sites with the highest and lowest fish species richness, indicating that other environmental factors likely limit species richness at sites with reference hydrology.Use of ecological limit functions to make decisions regarding proposed hydrologic regime changes, although commonly presented as a management tool, is not as straightforward or informative as often assumed. We contend that statistical evaluation of the internal wedge structure below limit functions may provide a probabilistic understanding of how aquatic ecology is influenced by altered hydrology

  14. Functional ecology of soil microbial communities along a glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Martínez, Miguel A; Pointing, Stephen B; Pérez-Ortega, Sergio; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Green, T G Allan; Rozzi, Ricardo; Sancho, Leopoldo G; de Los Ríos, Asunción

    2016-09-01

    A previously established chronosequence from Pia Glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile) containing soils of different ages (from bare soils to forest ones) is analyzed. We used this chronosequence as framework to postulate that microbial successional development would be accompanied by changes in functionality. To test this, the GeoChip functional microarray was used to identify diversity of genes involved in microbial carbon and nitrogen metabolism, as well as other genes related to microbial stress response and biotic interactions. Changes in putative functionality generally reflected succession-related taxonomic composition of soil microbiota. Major shifts in carbon fixation and catabolism were observed, as well as major changes in nitrogen metabolism. At initial microbial dominated succession stages, microorganisms could be mainly involved in pathways that help to increase nutrient availability, while more complex microbial transformations such as denitrification and methanogenesis, and later degradation of complex organic substrates, could be more prevalent at vegetated successional states. Shifts in virus populations broadly reflected changes in microbial diversity. Conversely, stress response pathways appeared relatively well conserved for communities along the entire chronosequence. We conclude that nutrient utilization is likely the major driver of microbial succession in these soils. [Int Microbiol 19(3):161-173 (2016)]. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  15. Hydrological, ecological, land use, economic, and sociocultural evidence for resilience of traditional irrigation communities in New Mexico, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernald, A.; Guldan, S.; Boykin, K.; Cibils, A.; Gonzales, M.; Hurd, B. H.; Lopez, S.; Ochoa, C. G.; Ortiz, M.; Rivera, J.; Rodriguez, S.; Steele, C. M.

    2014-02-01

    Southwestern US irrigated landscapes are facing upheaval due to climate change-induced water scarcity and economic change-induced land use conversion. Clues to community longevity are found in the traditionally irrigated valleys of northern New Mexico. Human systems have interacted with hydrologic processes over the last 400 yr in river fed irrigated valleys to create linked systems. In this study, we asked if concurrent data from multiple disciplines show that human adapted hydrologic and socioeconomic systems have created conditions for resilience. We identify and describe several areas of resilience: hydrological, ecological, land use, economic, and sociocultural. We found that there are multiple hydrologic benefits of the water seepage from the traditional irrigation systems; it recharges groundwater that recharges rivers, supports threatened biodiversity by maintaining riparian vegetation, and ameliorates impacts of climate change by prolonging streamflow hydrographs. In terms of land use and economics, place-based adaptability manifests itself in transformations of irrigation infrastructure and specific animal and crop systems; as grazing has diminished over time on public land watersheds, it has increased on irrigated valley pastures while outside income allows irrigators to retain their land. Sociocultural evidence shows that traditional local knowledge about the hydrosocial cycle of acequia operations is a key factor in acequia resilience. When irrigators are confronted with unexpected disturbances or changing climate that affect water supply, they adapt specific practices while maintaining community cohesion. Our ongoing work will quantify the multiple disciplinary components of these systems, translate them into a common language of causal loop diagrams, and model future scenarios to identify thresholds and tipping points of sustainability. Early indications are that these systems are not immune to upheaval, but have astonishing resilience.

  16. Burden of Influenza in 4 Ecologically Distinct Regions of Peru: Household Active Surveillance of a Community Cohort, 2009-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinoco, Yeny O; Azziz-Baumgartner, Eduardo; Uyeki, Timothy M; Rázuri, Hugo R; Kasper, Matthew R; Romero, Candice; Silva, Maria E; Simons, Mark P; Soto, Giselle M; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; Gilman, Robert H; Bausch, Daniel G; Montgomery, Joel M

    2017-10-16

    There are limited data on the burden of disease posed by influenza in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, most estimates of influenza disease burden worldwide rely on passive sentinel surveillance at health clinics and hospitals that lack accurate population denominators. We documented influenza incidence, seasonality, health-system utilization with influenza illness, and vaccination coverage through active community-based surveillance in 4 ecologically distinct regions of Peru over 6 years. Approximately 7200 people in 1500 randomly selected households were visited 3 times per week. Naso- and oropharyngeal swabs were collected from persons with influenza-like illness and tested for influenza virus by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. We followed participants for 35353 person-years (PY). The overall incidence of influenza was 100 per 1000 PY (95% confidence interval [CI], 97-104) and was highest in children aged 2-4 years (256/1000 PY [95% CI, 236-277]). Seasonal incidence trends were similar across sites, with 61% of annual influenza cases occurring during the austral winter (May-September). Of all participants, 44 per 1000 PY (95% CI, 42-46) sought medical care, 0.7 per 1000 PY (95% CI, 0.4-1.0) were hospitalized, and 1 person died (2.8/100000 PY). Influenza vaccine coverage was 27% among children aged 6-23 months and 26% among persons aged ≥65 years. Our results indicate that 1 in 10 persons develops influenza each year in Peru, with the highest incidence in young children. Active community-based surveillance allows for a better understanding of the true burden and seasonality of disease that is essential to plan the optimal target groups, timing, and cost of national influenza vaccination programs. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  17. Optimized R functions for analysis of ecological community data using the R virtual laboratory (RvLab).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varsos, Constantinos; Patkos, Theodore; Oulas, Anastasis; Pavloudi, Christina; Gougousis, Alexandros; Ijaz, Umer Zeeshan; Filiopoulou, Irene; Pattakos, Nikolaos; Vanden Berghe, Edward; Fernández-Guerra, Antonio; Faulwetter, Sarah; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Pafilis, Evangelos; Bekiari, Chryssoula; Doerr, Martin; Arvanitidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Parallel data manipulation using R has previously been addressed by members of the R community, however most of these studies produce ad hoc solutions that are not readily available to the average R user. Our targeted users, ranging from the expert ecologist/microbiologists to computational biologists, often experience difficulties in finding optimal ways to exploit the full capacity of their computational resources. In addition, improving performance of commonly used R scripts becomes increasingly difficult especially with large datasets. Furthermore, the implementations described here can be of significant interest to expert bioinformaticians or R developers. Therefore, our goals can be summarized as: (i) description of a complete methodology for the analysis of large datasets by combining capabilities of diverse R packages, (ii) presentation of their application through a virtual R laboratory (RvLab) that makes execution of complex functions and visualization of results easy and readily available to the end-user. In this paper, the novelty stems from implementations of parallel methodologies which rely on the processing of data on different levels of abstraction and the availability of these processes through an integrated portal. Parallel implementation R packages, such as the pbdMPI (Programming with Big Data - Interface to MPI) package, are used to implement Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) parallelization on primitive mathematical operations, allowing for interplay with functions of the vegan package. The dplyr and RPostgreSQL R packages are further integrated offering connections to dataframe like objects (databases) as secondary storage solutions whenever memory demands exceed available RAM resources. The RvLab is running on a PC cluster, using version 3.1.2 (2014-10-31) on a x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit) platform, and offers an intuitive virtual environmet interface enabling users to perform analysis of ecological and microbial communities based on

  18. Educating toward Direct Democracy and Ecological Sustainability: Theory of Social Ecology as a Framework for Critical, Democratic, and Community-Based Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holohan, Kevin J.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this dissertation project was to explore and extrapolate the work of the left-libertarian social theorist, Murray Bookchin (1921-2006), paying particular attention to his theory of social ecology and to examine its implications for and use as a comprehensive philosophical/theoretical framework for alternative secondary education that…

  19. Linking social, ecological, and physical science to advance natural and nature-based protection for coastal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkema, Katie K; Griffin, Robert; Maldonado, Sergio; Silver, Jessica; Suckale, Jenny; Guerry, Anne D

    2017-07-01

    Interest in the role that ecosystems play in reducing the impacts of coastal hazards has grown dramatically. Yet the magnitude and nature of their effects are highly context dependent, making it difficult to know under what conditions coastal habitats, such as saltmarshes, reefs, and forests, are likely to be effective for saving lives and protecting property. We operationalize the concept of natural and nature-based solutions for coastal protection by adopting an ecosystem services framework that propagates the outcome of a management action through ecosystems to societal benefits. We review the literature on the basis of the steps in this framework, considering not only the supply of coastal protection provided by ecosystems but also the demand for protective services from beneficiaries. We recommend further attention to (1) biophysical processes beyond wave attenuation, (2) the combined effects of multiple habitat types (e.g., reefs, vegetation), (3) marginal values and expected damage functions, and, in particular, (4) community dependence on ecosystems for coastal protection and co-benefits. We apply our approach to two case studies to illustrate how estimates of multiple benefits and losses can inform restoration and development decisions. Finally, we discuss frontiers for linking social, ecological, and physical science to advance natural and nature-based solutions to coastal protection. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  20. Termite Communities in Sugarcane Plantations in Southeastern Brazil: an Ecological Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Termites are key components of soil fauna, playing an essential role in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. However, they can cause significant economic losses in commercial plantations, such as sugar cane. Therefore, the correct identification of termite species is critical for pest control. Here, we evaluated the species richness, abundance and functional groups of termites in sugarcane plantations in 53 cities throughout the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. We also analyzed the influence of macroclimatic variables on termite species distribution and functional groups. We found 22 taxa of two families, of which the most frequent species were Termitidae (96.51%. Within this family, Apicotermitinae had the highest frequency of occurrence (37.12%, followed by Termitinae (30.57%, Syntermitinae (27.95%, and Nasutitermitinae (0.8 %. The other family, Rhinotermitidae, had the lowest frequency (3.5%, being represented only by Heterotermes sulcatus Mathews. We classified Neocapritermes opacus Hagen (29.26%, Apicotermitinae sp.2 (24.89%, Cornitermes cumulans Kollar (13.10%, and Apicotermitinae sp.1 (6.99% as common taxa. The remaining 18 species were classified as rare. The most common functional group was humus-feeders (37%, followed by wood-feeders (34%, grass-litter feeders (25%, and intermediate feeders (4%. Climate influenced the distribution of common species, humus-feeders and grass-litter feeders. Regarding the pest status of termites in sugar cane plantations, we suggest that the exasperated use of pesticide in the last decades has reduced the abundance of species considered pests (e.g. Heterotermes and reinforce the importance of ecological approaches for determining the best pest control methods. Comunidades de Cupins em Cultivos de Cana-de-Açúcar no Estado de São Paulo: Uma Abordagem Ecológica Resumo. Os cupins são importantes componentes da fauna de solo, atuando na decomposição da mat

  1. Ecology of selected marine communities in Glacier Bay: Zooplankton, forage fish, seabirds and marine mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robards, Martin D.; Drew, Gary S.; Piatt, John F.; Anson, Jennifer Marie; Abookire, Alisa A.; Bodkin, James L.; Hooge, Philip N.; Speckman, Suzann G.

    2003-01-01

    We studied oceanography (including primary production), secondary production, small schooling fish (SSF), and marine bird and mammal predators in Glacier Bay during 1999 and 2000. Results from these field efforts were combined with a review of current literature relating to the Glacier Bay environment. Since the conceptual model developed by Hale and Wright (1979) ‘changes and cycles’ continue to be the underlying theme of the Glacier Bay ecosystem. We found marked seasonality in many of the parameters that we investigated over the two years of research, and here we provide a comprehensive description of the distribution and relative abundance of a wide array of marine biota. Glacier Bay is a tidally mixed estuary that leads into basins, which stratify in summer, with the upper arms behaving as traditional estuaries. The Bay is characterized by renewal and mixing events throughout the year, and markedly higher primary production than in many neighboring southeast Alaska fjords (Hooge and Hooge, 2002). Zooplankton diversity and abundance within the upper 50 meters of the water column in Glacier Bay is similar to communities seen throughout the Gulf of Alaska. Zooplankton in the lower regions of Glacier Bay peak in abundance in late May or early June, as observed at Auke Bay and in the Gulf of Alaska. The key distinction between the lower Bay and other estuaries in the Gulf of Alaska is that a second smaller peak in densities occurs in August. The upper Bay behaved uniformly in temporal trends, peaking in July. Densities had begun to decline in August, but were still more than twice those observed in that region in May. The highest density of zooplankton observed was 17,870 organisms/m3 in Tarr Inlet during July. Trends in zooplankton community abundance and diversity within the lower Bay were distinct from upper-Glacier Bay trends. Whereas the lower Bay is strongly influenced by Gulf of Alaska processes, local processes are the strongest influence in the upper

  2. Intra and inter-annual structure of zooplankton communities in floodplain lakes: a long-term ecological research study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadson R. Simões

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Water flow management has significantly changed the natural dynamic of floods, which are responsible for the structure and dynamic of aquatic communities in river-floodplain systems. With the aim to elaborate a conceptual framework that describes the main ecological factors associated with zooplankton community structure in the Upper Paraná River, we investigated the mechanisms that regulate the communities structure and their response to inter-annual and hydro-sedimentological variations in the floodplain and the biological factors associated with species abundance in those communities. For this we conducted samplings every six months (potamophase in March and limnophase in September to characterize intra and inter-annual variations in community structure between 2000 and 2008. The intra-annual differences on the species richness, abundance, Shannon diversity index, and evenness, were conducted using Bayesian procedures to show probabilistic predictions of the data fit to main variation sources. Non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (NMDS, multi-response permutation procedure (MRPP, and indicator species analysis (IndVal were run to assess and characterize the seasonality of the community structure. During high water (potamophase, hydrologic connectivity favoured exchange and dispersal of species in some lakes, increasing local diversity; during low water (limnophase, higher local productivity favoured opportunistic taxa, increasing species dominance and decreasing local diversity. Food resources and density of small-size fish were biological factors associated with the seasonal dynamic of the zooplankton community; these factors were dependent on hydrosedimentological phase (potamophase or limnophase. Water levels and limnological modifications related to water flow management have promoted replacement and impoverishment of aquatic biota in affected lakes and have indicated the ecological importance of a natural dynamic flood, which displays

  3. Assessing community-based conservation projects: A systematic review and multilevel analysis of attitudinal, behavioral, ecological, and economic outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooks Jeremy

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Community-based conservation (CBC promotes the idea that long-term conservation success requires engaging with, and providing benefits for local communities. Though widespread, CBC projects are not always successful or free of controversy. With criticisms on all sides of the conservation debates, it is critical to have a better understanding of (1 whether CBC is an effective conservation tool, and (2 of the factors associated with the success or failure of CBC projects, and the scale at which these factors operate. Recent CBC reviews have typically examined only a single resource domain, have limited geographic scope, consider only one outcome, or ignore the nested nature of socioecological systems. To remedy these issues, we use a newly coded global comparative database of CBC projects identified by systematic review to evaluate success in four outcome domains (attitudes, behaviors, ecological, economic and explore synergies and tradeoffs among these outcomes. We test hypotheses about how features of the national context (H-NC, project design (H-PD, and local community characteristics (H-CC affect these four measures of success. Methods To add to a sample of 62 projects that we used from previous systematic reviews, we systematically searched the conservation literature using six terms in four online databases. To increase the number of projects for each country in order to conduct a multilevel analysis, we also conducted a secondary search using the Advancing Conservation in a Social Context online library. We coded projects for 65 pieces of information. We conducted bivariate analyses using two-dimensional contingency tables and proportional odds logistic regression and conducted multivariate analyses by fitting reduced form proportional odds logistic regression models that were selected using a forward stepwise AIC approach. Results The primary and secondary searches produced 74 new projects to go along with the 62

  4. The world's richest tadpole communities show functional redundancy and low functional diversity: ecological data on Madagascar's stream-dwelling amphibian larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randrianiaina Roger-Daniel

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Functional diversity illustrates the range of ecological functions in a community. It allows revealing the appearance of functional redundancy in communities and processes of community assembly. Functional redundancy illustrates the overlap in ecological functions of community members which may be an indicator of community resilience. We evaluated patterns of species richness, functional diversity and functional redundancy on tadpole communities in rainforest streams in Madagascar. This habitat harbours the world's most species-rich stream tadpole communities which are due to their occurrence in primary habitat of particular interest for functional diversity studies. Results Species richness of tadpole communities is largely determined by characteristics of the larval habitat (stream structure, not by adult habitat (forest structure. Species richness is positively correlated with a size-velocity gradient of the streams, i.e. communities follow a classical species-area relationship. While widely observed for other taxa, this is an unusual pattern for anuran larvae which usually is expected to be hump-shaped. Along the species richness gradient, we quantified functional diversity of all communities considering the similarity and dissimilarity of species in 18 traits related to habitat use and foraging. Especially species-rich communities were characterised by an overlap of species function, i.e. by functional redundancy. By comparing the functional diversity of the observed communities with functional diversity of random assemblages, we found no differences at low species richness level, whereas observed species-rich communities have lower functional diversity than respective random assemblages. Conclusions We found functional redundancy being a feature of communities also in primary habitat, what has not been shown before using such a continuous measure. The observed species richness dependent pattern of low functional

  5. Resilience and adaptability of rice terrace social-ecological systems: a case study of a local community's perception in Banaue, Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C. Castonguay

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The social-ecological systems of rice terraces across Southeast Asia are the result of centuries of long-term interactions between human communities and their surrounding ecosystems. Processes and structures in these systems have evolved to provide a diversity of ecosystem services and benefits to human societies. However, as Southeast Asian countries experience rapid economic growth and related land-use changes, the remaining extensive rice cultivation systems are increasingly under pressure. We investigated the long-term development of ecosystem services and the adaptive capacity of the social-ecological system of rice terrace landscapes using a case study of Banaue (Ifugao Province, Northern-Luzon, Philippines. A set of indicators was used to describe and assess changes in the social-ecological state of the study system. The resilience of the rice terraces and the human communities that maintain them was examined by comparing the current state of the system with results from the literature. Our findings indicate that, although the social-ecological system has not yet shifted to an alternative state, pressures are increasing and some cultural ecosystem services have already been lost.

  6. Richness, geographic distribution and ecological aspects of the fern community within the Murici Ecological Station in the state of Alagoas, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Flora de Novaes Pereira

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a floristic survey of ferns within the Murici Ecological Station (remnant of the northeastern Atlantic Forest, located near the municipalities of Messias and Murici, in the state of Alagoas, Brazil. To increase knowledge of the ferns of Alagoas, we evaluated the species occurring in the study area in terms of richness, composition, geographic distribution, similarities with species in other Brazilian biomes, regional conservation status and ecological aspects. Data were obtained from field work conducted between March 2009 and September 2010. We identified 107 species of ferns, of which 19 represent new records for Alagoas. The richest families were Pteridaceae (29 species and Polypodiaceae (22 species. The richest genera were Adiantum (15 species and Thelypteris (9 species. Most of the species sampled are widely distributed throughout Brazil and the Americas. Within the context of the northeastern Atlantic Forest, 12 species were considered endangered. Concerning the ecological aspects, 88.8% of the species identified were herbaceous, 57.9% were terrestrial and 70.0% occurred in the forest interior.

  7. Ecological, economical and social impact of uranium mining activity on local communities in the area of Banat-Oravita branch of National Uranium Company

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cocar, D.; Grigorita, L.

    2000-01-01

    In this work, the ecological, economical and social effects of uranium mining activity on environment and local communities in Caras Severin county are considered. 4412 radiochemical analyses and about 6730 radiometric measurements were made. The waters of local rivers were found to be contaminated with natural uranium and 226 radium, but the biological risk is not significant. Their concentrations and effective doses are presented in 8 tables referring to the rivers Lisava, Jitin, Caras. Also, samples of water from springs and wells in the Banat mining area were analysed for natural uranium and 226 Ra, their concentrations being found under the maximum permissible level. The air quality was not affected by accidental radon emissions. In order to limit the ecological impact on the environment, remedial action measures are proposed. The economic and social impact on the local communities are due mainly to the decline of activity, the most important effect being the unemployment

  8. Fish communities and trophic metrics as measures of ecological degradation: a case study in the tributaries of the river Ganga basin, India

    OpenAIRE

    Kumar Dubey, Vineet; Kumar Sarkar, Uttam; Pandey, Ajay; Singh Lakra, Wazir

    2013-01-01

    In India, freshwater aquatic resources are suffering from increasing human population, urbanization and shortage of all kind of natural resources like water. To mitigate this, all the major rivers have been planned for a river-interlinking through an interlinking canal system under a huge scheme; yet, the baseline information on ecological conditions of those tropical rivers and their fish communities is lacking at present. In view of that, the present study was undertaken to assess the ecolo...

  9. Changes of communities of phytobenthos of Drevnica River - ecological condition assessment in space and time; Zmeny spolecenstev fytobentosu reky Drevnice - hodnoceni ekologickeho stavu v prostoru a case

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Safarova, M.; Uher, B.; Chattova, B. [Masarykova univerzita, Ustav botaniky a zoologie, 62100 Brno-Reckovice (Czech Republic)

    2013-04-16

    The study deals with a biological evaluation of water quality of the Drevnice River (Eastern Moravia) by a community of cyanobacteria and algae which are tied to the bottom substrate (e.g. mud, sand, stones). Phytobenthos, as this file of benthic autotrophic organisms is called, has a significant position among bioindicators of water quality for the ability to reflect environmental changes in a short time. The work consisted in monitoring changes in diversity of phytobenthos community and measurement of physicochemical parameters within one year. The aim was to find relations between the organisms and parameters and to determinate the current ecological status of the river. (authors)

  10. An assessment of the hypervariable domains of the 16S rRNA genes for their value in determining microbial community diversity: the paradox of traditional ecological indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, DeEtta K; Entry, James A; Voss, Joshua D; Gillevet, Patrick M; Mathee, Kalai

    2006-09-01

    Amplicon length heterogeneity PCR (LH-PCR) was investigated for its ability to distinguish between microbial community patterns from the same soil type under different land management practices. Natural sagebrush and irrigated mouldboard-ploughed soils from Idaho were queried as to which hypervariable domains, or combinations of 16S rRNA gene domains, were the best molecular markers. Using standard ecological indices to measure richness, diversity and evenness, the combination of three domains, V1, V3 and V1+V2, or the combined V1 and V3 domains were the markers that could best distinguish the undisturbed natural sagebrush communities from the mouldboard-ploughed microbial communities. Bray-Curtis similarity and multidimensional scaling were found to be better metrics to ordinate and cluster the LH-PCR community profiling data. The use/misuse of traditional ecological indices such as diversity and evenness to study microbial community profiles will remain a major point to consider when performing metagenomic studies.

  11. Using ecological theory to evaluate the effectiveness of an indigenous community intervention: A study of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Rebecca; Patterson, Debra; Fehler-Cabral, Giannina

    2010-12-01

    In recent years, there has been renewed interest among community psychologists in indigenous interventions, which are programs created by local practitioners (rather than researchers) already rooted in their communities. Indigenous interventions have strong ecological validity, but their effectiveness is often unknown because so few are rigorously evaluated. The goal of this project was to use Kelly and Trickett's ecological theory as a conceptual framework for evaluating an indigenous intervention and its mediating mechanisms of effectiveness. The focal intervention was a midwestern Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, which provides post-assault medical care, crisis intervention, and medical forensic exams for sexual assault survivors. Prior studies of SANE programs have suggested that these interventions may help increase sexual assault prosecution rates. In this case example, we used a mixed methods design to determine if this program contributed to increased prosecution rates, and if so, why. Based on qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, we found substantial evidence for the Principle of Interdependence such that the SANE program strengthened the interconnections between the legal and medical systems, which contributed to increased prosecution. The intervention was effective in these outcomes because it promoted Cycling of Resources throughout the systems and fostered Adaptation of new roles for legal and medical personnel. Moving beyond this specific case example, this paper also examines cross-cutting advantages and struggles of using an ecological approach in the evaluation of indigenous community interventions.

  12. Preliminary results on the control of Aedes spp. in a remote Guatemalan community vulnerable to dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus: community participation and use of low-cost ecological ovillantas for mosquito control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulibarri, Gerard; Betanzos, Angel; Betanzos, Mireya; Rojas, Juan Jacobo

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To study the effectiveness of an integrated intervention of health worker training, a low-cost ecological mosquito ovitrap, and community engagement on Aedes spp. mosquito control over 10 months in 2015 in an urban remote community in Guatemala at risk of dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus transmission. Methods: We implemented a three-component integrated intervention consisting of: web-based training of local health personnel in vector control, cluster-randomized assignment of an ecological modified ovitrap (ovillantas: ovi=egg, llanta=tire) or standard ovitraps to capture Aedes spp. mosquito eggs (no efforts have been taken to determine the exact Aedes species at this moment), and community engagement to promote participation of community members and health personnel in the understanding and maintenance of ovitraps for mosquito control. The intervention was implemented in local collaboration with Guatemala’s  Ministry of Health’s Vector Control Programme, and in international collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. Findings: Eighty percent of the 25 local health personnel enrolled in the training programme received accreditation of their improved knowledge of vector control. When ovillantas were used in a cluster of ovitraps (several in proximity), significantly more eggs were trapped by  ecological ovillantas than standard ovitraps over the 10 month (42 week) study period (t=5.2577; precycling of the attractant solution (or water) kept the ovillanta clean, free from algae growth. Among both community members and health workers, the levels of knowledge, interest, and participation in community mosquito control and trapping increased. Recommendations for enhancing and sustaining community mosquito control were identified. Conclusion: Our three-component integrated intervention proved beneficial to this remote community at risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. The combination of

  13. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lars A. Brudvig; John L. Orrock; Ellen I. Damschen; Cathy D. Collins; Philip G. Hahn; W. Brett Mattingly; Joseph W. Veldman; Joan L. Walker

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions...

  14. Evaluation of the Environmental Education Agro ecology Subprogram in La Cabaña community, Pinar del Río (Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa González Henriquez

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of the Environmental Education Agro ecological Program, in the rural community La Cabaña in Pinar del Río city, in the period (2003-2013; provided the inclusion of the environmental dimension in the agrarian processes that are carried out in that community, under the principles of the environmental education; promoting the use of agro ecological technologies in soil management, on the base of a sustainable agriculture. After diagnosis different indicators were found, it was proven that didn't exist evaluations of the environmental impact of the economic-productive activities that are carried out in La Cabaña. It was also verified, the importance that the actors linked to the processes of administration of the program attribute to the execution of an evaluation of this kind. For it, with this study it is pursued to evaluate the environmental impact of the Environmental Education Agro ecological Program, implemented by the Botanical Garden in the rural community La Cabana, starting from approaches and indicators. As investigative techniques they were applied, the participant observation, the interview in depth and the questionnaire to internal agents, local leaders and residents of the community, implied in the activities of the program. In the investigation it is opted by an ex-post evaluation, because the implementation of the first phase of the program arrived to their end. For the design one kept in mind a non experimental model. Among the reached results, it may be found: the assimilation of knowledge on the part of the community inhabitants on thematic environmental as, the biofertility use, the alternative circulation of the products and the importance conferred to the proposals of the agroecology, in the concerning thing to the sustainable land management.

  15. The New Transgenic cry1Ab/vip3H Rice Poses No Unexpected Ecological Risks to Arthropod Communities in Rice Agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zengbin; Dang, Cong; Han, Naishun; Shen, Zhicheng; Peng, Yufa; Stanley, David; Ye, Gongyin

    2016-04-01

    The ecological risks to nontarget organisms should be rigorously assessed before Bt crops are released. Here, the impacts of a new Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice line on arthropod communities in rice agroecosystems were evaluated across 3 yr. Arthropods collected via vacuum were sorted into five guilds. The abundance and proportion of each guild as well as community-level parameters were determined in Cry1Ab/Vip3H and control rice fields. Changes in arthropod species assemblage over sampling dates were investigated by principal response curves (PRCs). Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice did not exert significant impacts on the seasonal density and proportion of each guild, except parasitoids. Detritivore seasonal density, but not its relative abundance, was significantly affected by Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice. Four community indices (species richness S, Shannon-Wiener index H', Simpson index D, and evenness index J') were similar between rice types. PRCs revealed a slight community difference between rice types in the past two tested years, with rice types accounting for 1.0-3.5% of the variance among arthropod communities. However, sampling dates explain 32.1-67.6% for these community differences. Of the 46 taxa with higher species weights, 26.1% of the taxa were significantly different, including seven taxa with higher abundance and five with lower density in Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice fields. These differences may be attributed to change in abundance of prey or hosts but not to direct effects of Bt proteins. We infer that this new Cry1Ab/Vip3H rice line poses no unintended ecological risks to the arthropod community. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Responses of soil microbial biomass and bacterial community structure to closed-off management (an ecological natural restoration measures): A case study of Dongting Lake wetland, middle China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Juan; Wu, Haipeng; Zhang, Chang; Zeng, Guangming; Liang, Jie; Guo, Shenglian; Li, Xiaodong; Huang, Lu; Lu, Lunhui; Yuan, Yujie

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial biomass (SMB) and bacterial community structure, which are critical to global ecosystem and fundamental ecological processes, are sensitive to anthropogenic activities and environmental conditions. In this study, we examined the possible effects of closed-off management (an ecological natural restoration measures, ban on anthropogenic activity, widely employed for many important wetlands) on SMB, soil bacterial community structure and functional marker genes of nitrogen cycling in Dongting Lake wetland. Soil samples were collected from management area (MA) and contrast area (CA: human activities, such as hunting, fishing and draining, are permitted) in November 2013 and April 2014. Soil properties, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and bacterial community structure were investigated. Comparison of the values of MA and CA showed that SMB and bacterial community diversity of the MA had a significant increase after 7 years closed-off management. The mean value of Shannon-Weiner diversity index of MA and CA respectively were 2.85 and 2.07. The gene copy numbers of 16S rRNA and nosZ of MA were significant higher than those of CA. the gene copy numbers of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and nirK of MA were significant lower than those of CA. However, there was no significant change in the gene copy numbers of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and nirS. Copyright © 2016 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The bacterial community structure of hydrocarbon-polluted marine environments as the basis for the definition of an ecological index of hydrocarbon exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozada, Mariana; Marcos, Magalí S; Commendatore, Marta G; Gil, Mónica N; Dionisi, Hebe M

    2014-09-17

    The aim of this study was to design a molecular biological tool, using information provided by amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, that could be suitable for environmental assessment and bioremediation in marine ecosystems. We selected 63 bacterial genera that were previously linked to hydrocarbon biodegradation, representing a minimum sample of the bacterial guild associated with this process. We defined an ecological indicator (ecological index of hydrocarbon exposure, EIHE) using the relative abundance values of these genera obtained by pyrotag analysis. This index reflects the proportion of the bacterial community that is potentially capable of biodegrading hydrocarbons. When the bacterial community structures of intertidal sediments from two sites with different pollution histories were analyzed, 16 of the selected genera (25%) were significantly overrepresented with respect to the pristine site, in at least one of the samples from the polluted site. Although the relative abundances of individual genera associated with hydrocarbon biodegradation were generally low in samples from the polluted site, EIHE values were 4 times higher than those in the pristine sample, with at least 5% of the bacterial community in the sediments being represented by the selected genera. EIHE values were also calculated in other oil-exposed marine sediments as well as in seawater using public datasets from experimental systems and field studies. In all cases, the EIHE was significantly higher in oiled than in unpolluted samples, suggesting that this tool could be used as an estimator of the hydrocarbon-degrading potential of microbial communities.

  18. Four types of interference competition and their impacts on the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations and communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai; Andersen, Ken Haste; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2015-01-01

    We investigate how four types of interference competition - which alternatively affect foraging, metabolism, survival, and reproduction - impact the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations. Even though all four types of interference competition reduce population biomass, interference...

  19. Fish communities and trophic metrics as measures of ecological degradation: a case study in the tributaries of the river Ganga basin, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Vineet Kumar; Sarkar, Uttam Kumar; Pandey, Ajay; Lakra, Wazir Singh

    2013-09-01

    In India, freshwater aquatic resources are suffering from increasing human population, urbanization and shortage of all kind of natural resources like water. To mitigate this, all the major rivers have been planned for a river-interlinking through an interlinking canal system under a huge scheme; yet, the baseline information on ecological conditions of those tropical rivers and their fish communities is lacking at present. In view of that, the present study was undertaken to assess the ecological condition by comparing the trophic metrics of the fish community, conservation status and water chemistry of the two tropical rivers of the Ganga basin, from October 2007 to November 2009. The analysis of trophic niches of the available fish species indicated dominancy of carnivorous (19 species) in river Ken and omnivorous (23 species) in Betwa. The trophic level score of carnivorous species was recorded similar (33.33%) in both rivers, whereas omnivorous species were mostly found in Betwa (36.51%) than Ken (28.07%). Relatively undisturbed sites of Betwa (B1, B2 and B3) and Ken (K2, K3 and K5) were characterized by diverse fish fauna and high richness of threatened species. The higher mean trophic level scores were recorded at B4 of Betwa and K4 of Ken. The Bray-Curtis index for trophic level identified the carnivorous species (> 0.32) as an indicator species for pollution. Anthropogenic exposure, reflected in water quality as well as in fish community structure, was found higher especially in the lower stretches of both rivers. Our results suggest the importance of trophic metrics on fish community, for ecological conditions evaluation, which enables predictions on the effect of future morphodynamic changes (in the post-interlinking phases), and provide a framework and reference condition to support restoration efforts of relatively altered fish habitats in tropical rivers of India.

  20. Fish communities and trophic metrics as measures of ecological degradation: a case study in the tributaries of the river Ganga basin, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vineet Kumar Dubey

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In India, freshwater aquatic resources are suffering from increasing human population, urbanization and shortage of all kind of natural resources like water. To mitigate this, all the major rivers have been planned for a river-interlinking through an interlinking canal system under a huge scheme; yet, the baseline information on ecological conditions of those tropical rivers and their fish communities is lacking at present. In view of that, the present study was undertaken to assess the ecological condition by comparing the trophic metrics of the fish community, conservation status and water chemistry of the two tropical rivers of the Ganga basin, from October 2007 to November 2009. The analysis of trophic niches of the available fish species indicated dominancy of carnivorous (19 species in river Ken and omnivorous (23 species in Betwa. The trophic level score of carnivorous species was recorded similar (33.33% in both rivers, whereas omnivorous species were mostly found in Betwa (36.51% than Ken (28.07%. Relatively undisturbed sites of Betwa (B1, B2 and B3 and Ken (K2, K3 and K5 were characterized by diverse fish fauna and high richness of threatened species. The higher mean trophic level scores were recorded at B4 of Betwa and K4 of Ken. The Bray-Curtis index for trophic level identified the carnivorous species (>0.32 as an indicator species for pollution. Anthropogenic exposure, reflected in water quality as well as in fish community structure, was found higher especially in the lower stretches of both rivers. Our results suggest the importance of trophic metrics on fish community, for ecological conditions evaluation, which enables predictions on the effect of future morphodynamic changes (in the post-interlinking phases, and provide a framework and reference condition to support restoration efforts of relatively altered fish habitats in tropical rivers of India.

  1. Ecological effects of invasive alien species on native communities, with particular emphasis on the interactions between aphids and ladybirds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindlmann, Pavel; Ameixa, Olga; Dixon, Anthony F. G.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 56, č. 4 (2011), s. 469-476 ISSN 1386-6141 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : invasive alien species * predators * insect pest s * ecological effects * intraguild predation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.927, year: 2011

  2. A guide to statistical analysis in microbial ecology: a community-focused, living review of multivariate data analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; Ramette, Alban Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    The application of multivariate statistical analyses has become a consistent feature in microbial ecology. However, many microbial ecologists are still in the process of developing a deep understanding of these methods and appreciating their limitations. As a consequence, staying abreast of progress and debate in this arena poses an additional challenge to many microbial ecologists. To address these issues, we present the GUide to STatistical Analysis in Microbial Ecology (GUSTA ME): a dynami...

  3. Towards an agro-ecological village at the Flora Community : reducing greenhouse gas emissions through organic based farming and energy self reliance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samson, R.; Mulkins, L. [Resource Efficient Agricultural Production-Canada, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, PQ (Canada); Amongo, L.; Yap, E. [MASIPAG, Los Banos, Laguna (Philippines); Mendoza, T. [Univ. of the Philippines Los Banos, Laguna (Philippines). Dept of Agronomy

    2000-07-01

    A former haciendero owned sugarcane plantation in Negros Occidental, Philippines was transformed into a diversified, self-reliant, agro-ecological village, and its transition is documented in this paper. In 1995, through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the Philippine Government awarded 87 hectares of land to 76 hacienda workers. Community organizing, farm planning, training in organic farming, and loan support from a number of social welfare agencies were all areas where the community received assistance. The sugarcane production has been reduced at Flora since the land transition, and the community diversified into the growing of organic rice, corn and vegetables. Through its transition into an agro-ecological village, the Flora community has become more self-reliant in the areas of food and energy. Most individual farms and communally farmed areas have adopted organic based farming practices. The main products sold off the farm are sugarcane and high value vegetables. The MASIPAG rice farming system is being adhered to in the production of rice, the community's staple food. Nitrogen fixed during straw decomposition and the use of azolla, a nitrogen-fixing plant, represent some of the sources of nitrogen for the rice production. Other nutrient sources used are the mudpress from sugarcane processing and rice hull ash. To encourage nitrogen fixation and soil carbon accumulation from cane litter, a system of continuous trash farming was implemented for the production of sugarcane. In excess of 140 water buffaloes (carabaos) are employed for tillage and on-farm hauling, which minimizes the requirements for fossil fuels. Liquid propane gas (LPG), kerosene and wood fuel use in home cooking are being minimized by the efficient rice hull cookers. The local environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions are minimized, and the Flora community largely meets its requirements in terms of food security, on-farm energy and income. refs., 1 tab., 12 figs.

  4. Proliferation of the biocontrol agent Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. strigae and its impact on indigenous rhizosphere fungal communities in maize under different agro-ecologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Judith; Musyoki, Mary K; Cadisch, Georg; Rasche, Frank

    2016-06-01

    Our objectives were to (1) monitor the proliferation of the biocontrol agent (BCA) Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. strigae strain "Foxy-2", an effective soil-borne BCA against the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica , in the rhizosphere of maize under different agro-ecologies, and (2) investigate its impact on indigenous rhizosphere fungal community abundance and composition. Field experiments were conducted in Busia and Homa Bay districts in western Kenya during two cropping seasons to account for effects of soil type, climate, growth stage and seasonality. Maize seeds were coated with or without "Foxy-2" and soils were artificially infested with S. hermonthica seeds. One treatment with nitrogen rich organic residues ( Tithonia diversifolia ) was established to compensate hypothesized resource competition between "Foxy-2" and the indigenous fungal community. Rhizosphere soil samples collected at three growth stages (i.e., EC30, EC60, EC90) of maize were subjected to abundance measurement of "Foxy-2" and total indigenous fungi using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis was used to assess potential alterations in the fungal community composition in response to "Foxy-2" presence. "Foxy-2" proliferated stronger in the soils with a sandy clay texture (Busia) than in those with a loamy sand texture (Homa Bay) and revealed slightly higher abundance in the second season. "Foxy-2" had, however, only a transient suppressive effect on total indigenous fungal abundance which ceased in the second season and was further markedly compensated after addition of T. diversifolia residues. Likewise, community structure of the indigenous fungal community was mainly altered by maize growth stages, but not by "Foxy-2". In conclusion, no adverse effects of "Foxy-2" inoculation on indigenous fungal rhizosphere communities were observed corroborating the safety of this BCA under the given agro-ecologies.

  5. ECOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF ORIBATID MITE COMMUNITIES IN ACER PLATANOIDES L. STAND ON THE REMEDIATED SITE OF PAVLOGRADSKAYA MINE (PAVLOGRAD, THE DNIPROPETROVSK REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. L. Kulbachko

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Species composition and features of ecological structure of oribatid mite communities were studied on various options of bulk artificial-mixed soil in Acer platanoides L. stand growing on the remediated site of Pavlogradskaya mine (Pavlograd, Dnipropetrovsk Region. The ecological structure of oribatid population generally was damaged and this is typical for the man-modified ecosystems. Oribatid mite density in maple litter was higher than in the top layer of bulk soil (loess loam and chernozem by 4.1–7.4 times. Species abundance of oribatid mite was almost equal in maple litter and bulk soil. Punctoribates liber Pavlitshenko, 1991 prevailed generally as eudominant species in oribatid mite structure in Acer platanoides stand. The representatives of unspecialized life-forms were dominated among the oribatid life-forms in the remediated site with chernozem bulk. Key words: oribatid mites, forest remediation, mine dumps.

  6. Social-ecological resilience of communities displaced by hydroelectric dams in the Amazon: the case of Nova Mutum Paraná, Rondônia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berenice Perpetua Simão

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an interdisciplinary study of processes of adaptation and cultural resilience in situations of displacement and forced relocation of social groups for hydroelectric dams in the Amazon. We present results of participatory research carried out among the Nova Mutum Paraná community in Rondônia, after forced displacement and resettlement due to the construction of the Jirau hydroelectric plant. The theoretical approach integrates concepts from theories of complex social-ecological systems with approaches from anthropology of development. Methods included participant observation, participatory workshops and focus groups, conducted for nearly three years immediately after community relocation. We analyzed social re-organization and strategies of negotiation between the community and the construction company, related to access to two spaces of cultural importance for leisure: natural bathing area and soccer field. Results suggest that the social capital existing in the community in the early stages of planning and decision making for the construction of hydroelectric projects is a critical factor for negotiating mitigation actions. The involvement and support of municipal representatives was also an important element for strengthening community social organization. Despite the obstacles and difficulties, the community persists in reconstructing their social and common living spaces, seeking to maintain their historical roots through the habits and customs practiced in the pre-displacement riverine site.

  7. The redoubtable ecological periodic table

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological periodic tables are repositories of reliable information on quantitative, predictably recurring (periodic) habitat–community patterns and their uncertainty, scaling and transferability. Their reliability derives from their grounding in sound ecological principle...

  8. Plant species and communities assessment in interaction with edaphic and topographic factors; an ecological study of the mount Eelum District Swat, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murad Khan

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The current analyses of vegetation were aimed to study the different effects of environmental variables and plant species and communities interaction to these variables, identified threats to local vegetation and suggestion for remedial measures in the Mount Eelum, Swat, Pakistan. For assessment of environmental variability quantitative ecological techniques were used through quadrats having sizes of 2 × 2, 5 × 5 and 10 × 10 m2 for herbs, shrubs and trees respectively. Result of the present study revealed 124 plant species in the study area. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA was used to analyze the ecological gradient of vegetation. The environmental data and species abundance were used in CANOCO software version 4.5. The presence absence data of plant species were elaborated with Cluster and Two Way Cluster Analysis techniques using PC-ORD version 5 to show different species composition that resulted in five plant communities. Findings indicate that elevation, aspect and soil texture are the strongest variables that have significant effect on species composition and distribution of various communities shown with P value 0.0500. It is recommended to protect and use sensibly whole of the Flora normally and rare species particularly in the region.

  9. Soil-covered strategy for ecological restoration alters the bacterial community structure and predictive energy metabolic functions in mine tailings profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2017-03-01

    Native soil amendment has been widely used to stabilize mine tailings and speed up the development of soil biogeochemical functions before revegetation; however, it remains poorly understood about the response of microbial communities to ecological restoration of mine tailings with soil-covered strategy. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in mine tailings during ecological restoration of two revegetation strategies (directly revegetation and native soil covered) with different plant species. The mine tailings were covered by native soils as thick as 40 cm for more than 10 years, and the total nitrogen, total organic carbon, water content, and heavy metal (Fe, Cu, and Zn) contents in the 0-40 cm intervals of profiles were changed. In addition, increased microbial diversity and changed microbial community structure were also found in the 10-40 cm intervals of profiles in soil-covered area. Soil-covered strategy rather than plant species and soil depth was the main factor influencing the bacterial community, which explained the largest portion (29.96%) of the observed variation. Compared directly to revegetation, soil-covered strategy exhibited the higher relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria and the lower relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. PICRUSt analysis further demonstrated that soil-covered caused energy metabolic functional changes in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur metabolism. Given all these, the soil-covered strategy may be used to fast-track the establishment of native microbial communities and is conducive to the rehabilitation of biogeochemical processes for establishing native plant species.

  10. Ecological and morphological patterns in communities of land snails of the genus Mandarina from the Bonin Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiba, Satoshi

    2004-01-01

    The land snail genus Mandarina has undergone extensive radiation within the Bonin Islands in the west Pacific. The preferred above-ground vegetation heights of sympatric species were clearly different. They separated into arboreal, semi-arboreal, exposed ground and sheltered ground ecotypes. Shells of species with different ecotypes differ markedly, but shells of species with the same ecotype are very similar to each other. Shell morphologies of some phylogenetically distantly related species with the same ecotype were indistinguishable. Character evolution estimated parsimoniously using a phylogenetic tree suggests that the speciation among sympatric species is accompanied by ecological and morphological diversification. In addition, species coexistence of Mandarina is related to niche differentiation. The above findings suggest that ecological interactions among species contribute to the ecological and morphological diversification and radiation of these land snails in this depauperate environment.

  11. Using a cultural-ecological framework to explore dietary beliefs and practices during pregnancy and lactation among women in Adivasi communities in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Hope C; Jeyanthi, R; Pelto, Gretel; Willford, Andrew C; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J

    2018-01-01

    This article explores maternal dietary beliefs and practices gathered through interviews with mothers of infants and young children in Adivasi communities in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, India. Guided by focused ethnographic study methods, interviews were conducted with 33 key informants. We used a cultural-ecological framework to analyze and interpret the texts that were elicited from women about dietary beliefs and eating patterns during pregnancy and lactation. We identify differences between what women were advised to eat, felt they should eat, and reported consuming. The findings offer guidance for interventions to improve maternal diets in this vulnerable population.

  12. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  13. [Ecological memory and its potential applications in ecology: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhong-yu; Ren, Hai

    2011-03-01

    Ecological memory (EM) is defined as the capability of the past states or experiences of a community to influence the present or future ecological responses of the community. As a relatively new concept, EM has received considerable attention in the study of ecosystem structure and function, such as community succession, ecological restoration, biological invasion, and natural resource management. This review summarized the definition, components, and categories of EM, and discussed the possible mechanisms and affecting factors of EM. Also, the potential applications of EM were proposed, in order to further understand the mechanisms of community succession and to guide ecological restoration.

  14. Putting Flow–Ecology Relationships into Practice: A Decision-Support System to Assess Fish Community Response to Water-Management Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Cartwright

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a conceptual framework to operationalize flow–ecology relationships into decision-support systems of practical use to water-resource managers, who are commonly tasked with balancing multiple competing socioeconomic and environmental priorities. We illustrate this framework with a case study, whereby fish community responses to various water-management scenarios were predicted in a partially regulated river system at a local watershed scale. This case study simulates management scenarios based on interactive effects of dam operation protocols, withdrawals for municipal water supply, effluent discharges from wastewater treatment, and inter-basin water transfers. Modeled streamflow was integrated with flow–ecology relationships relating hydrologic departure from reference conditions to fish species richness, stratified by trophic, reproductive, and habitat characteristics. Adding a hypothetical new water-withdrawal site was predicted to increase the frequency of low-flow conditions with adverse effects for several fish groups. Imposition of new reservoir release requirements was predicted to enhance flow and fish species richness immediately downstream of the reservoir, but these effects were dissipated further downstream. The framework presented here can be used to translate flow–ecology relationships into evidence-based management by developing decision-support systems for conservation of riverine biodiversity while optimizing water availability for human use.

  15. Putting flow-ecology relationships into practice: A decision-support system to assess fish community response to water-management scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Caldwell, Casey; Nebiker, Steven; Knight, Rodney

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a conceptual framework to operationalize flow–ecology relationships into decision-support systems of practical use to water-resource managers, who are commonly tasked with balancing multiple competing socioeconomic and environmental priorities. We illustrate this framework with a case study, whereby fish community responses to various water-management scenarios were predicted in a partially regulated river system at a local watershed scale. This case study simulates management scenarios based on interactive effects of dam operation protocols, withdrawals for municipal water supply, effluent discharges from wastewater treatment, and inter-basin water transfers. Modeled streamflow was integrated with flow–ecology relationships relating hydrologic departure from reference conditions to fish species richness, stratified by trophic, reproductive, and habitat characteristics. Adding a hypothetical new water-withdrawal site was predicted to increase the frequency of low-flow conditions with adverse effects for several fish groups. Imposition of new reservoir release requirements was predicted to enhance flow and fish species richness immediately downstream of the reservoir, but these effects were dissipated further downstream. The framework presented here can be used to translate flow–ecology relationships into evidence-based management by developing decision-support systems for conservation of riverine biodiversity while optimizing water availability for human use.

  16. Implementation of a socio-ecological system navigation approach to human development in Sub-Saharan African communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianni Gilioli

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a framework for the development of socio-eco- logical systems towards enhanced sustainability. Emphasis is given to the dynamic properties of complex, adaptive social-ecological systems, their structure and to the fundamental role of agriculture. The tangible components that meet the needs of specific projects executed in Kenya and Ethiopia encompass project objectives, innovation, facilitation, continuous recording and analyses of monitoring data, that allow adaptive management and system navigation. Two case studies deal with system navigation through the mitigation of key constraints; they aim to improve human health thanks to anopheline malaria vectors control in Nyabondo (Kenya, and to improve cattle health through tsetse control and antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Luke (Ethiopia. The second case deals with a socio-ecological navigation system to enhance sustainability, establishing a periurban diversified enterprise in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia and developing a rural sustainable social-ecological system in Luke (Ethiopia. The project procedures are briefly described here and their outcomes are analysed in relation to the stated objectives. The methodology for human and cattle disease vector control were easier to implement than the navigation of social-ecological systems towards sustainability enhancement. The achievements considerably differed between key constraints removal and sustainability enhancement projects. Some recommendations are made to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability: i technology system implementation should be carried out through an innovation system; ii transparent monitoring information should be continuously acquired and evaluated for assessing the state of the system in relation to stated objectives for (a improving the insight into the systems behaviour and (b rationalizing decision support; iii the

  17. Predicting who will major in a science discipline: Expectancy-value theory as part of an ecological model for studying academic communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullins, Ellen S.; Hernandez, Delia; Fuller, Carol; Shiro Tashiro, Jay

    Research on factors that shape recruitment and retention in undergraduate science majors currently is highly fragmented and in need of an integrative research framework. Such a framework should incorporate analyses of the various levels of organization that characterize academic communities (i.e., the broad institutional level, the departmental level, and the student level), and should also provide ways to study the interactions occurring within and between these structural levels. We propose that academic communities are analogous to ecosystems, and that the research paradigms of modern community ecology can provide the necessary framework, as well as new and innovative approaches to a very complex area. This article also presents the results of a pilot study that demonstrates the promise of this approach at the student level. We administered a questionnaire based on expectancy-value theory to undergraduates enrolled in introductory biology courses. Itself an integrative approach, expectancy-value theory views achievement-related behavior as a joint function of the person's expectancy of success in the behavior and the subjective value placed on such success. Our results indicated: (a) significant gender differences in the underlying factor structures of expectations and values related to the discipline of biology, (b) expectancy-value factors significantly distinguished biology majors from nonmajors, and (c) expectancy-value factors significantly predicted students' intent to enroll in future biology courses. We explore the expectancy-value framework as an operationally integrative framework in our ecological model for studying academic communities, especially in the context of assessing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences. Future research directions as well as practical implications are also discussed.

  18. Copepod community growth rates in relation to body size, temperature, and food availability in the East China Sea: a test of metabolic theory of ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Y. Lin

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Zooplankton play an essential role in marine food webs, and understanding how community-level growth rates of zooplankton vary in the field is critical for predicting how marine ecosystem function may vary in the face of environmental changes. Here, we used the artificial cohort method to examine the effects of temperature, body size, and chlorophyll concentration (a proxy for food on weight-specific growth rates for copepod communities in the East China Sea. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that copepod community growth rates can be described by the metabolic theory of ecology (MTE, linking spatio-temporal variation of copepod growth rate with temperature and their body size. Our results generally agree with predictions made by the MTE and demonstrate that weight-specific growth rates of copepod communities in our study area are positively related with temperature and negatively related to body size. However, the regression coefficients of body size do not approach the theoretical predictions. Furthermore, we find that the deviation from the MTE predictions may be partly attributed to the effect of food availability (which is not explicitly accounted for by the MTE. In addition, significant difference in the coefficients of temperature and body size exists among taxonomic groups. Our results suggest that considering the effects of food limitation and taxonomy is necessary to better understand copepod growth rates under in situ conditions, and such effects on the MTE-based predictions need further investigation.

  19. Social Ecology of Child Soldiers: Child, Family, and Community Determinants of Mental Health, Psychosocial Wellbeing, and Reintegration in Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Kohrt, Brandon A.; Jordans, Mark J.D.; Tol, Wietse A.; Perera, Em; Karki, Rohit; Koirala, Suraj; Upadhaya, Nawaraj

    2010-01-01

    This study employs social ecology to evaluate psychosocial wellbeing in a cross-sectional sample of 142 former child soldiers in Nepal. Outcome measures included the Depression Self Rating Scale (DSRS), Child Posttraumatic Stress Scale (CPSS), and locally developed measures of function impairment and reintegration. At the child level, traumatic exposures, especially torture, predicted poor outcomes, while education improved outcomes. At the family level, conflict-related death of a relative, ...

  20. The importance of neighborhood ecological assets in community dwelling old people aging outcomes: A study in Northern Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice M. Bastos

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human development is a bidirectional, person-context relational process, but scarce evidence is available about the relation between the individual variability across the life-span and the neighborhood ecological assets. Therefore, it is important that research focus not only on personal characteristics but on ecological assets as well. This way this study aims to analyze the association between neighborhood ecological assets categorized into 4 dimensions: human, physical or institutional, social or collective activity, accessibility, and the individual functioning. A 3% sample of residents aged 65 years and older in 2 downtown and 3 uptown parishes stratified by age and sex was interviewed at home using a protocol that included the Portuguese version of the Barthel Index in basic activities of daily living (BADL, the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (IADL, the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 items (GDS for evaluating functionality, cognitive performance and depression. The 162 participants were aged on average 75y (sd=7.0, 54% were women and 90% had less than 7 years of education. The majority of participants were independent in BADL (M=90; sd=17.7 and moderately dependent in IADL (M=13, sd=6.0, 20% showed cognitive impairment and a mean score of 8 (sd=2.1 in GDS-15. After controlling for the effect of socio-demographic characteristics, functionality and cognitive performance decreases in persons with worst outdoor mobility. On the other hand depressive symptoms are less common as the number of recreation opportunities, namely associative groups (cultural, educative, professional, increases. These results suggest that aging policies and practices must be ecologically embedded.

  1. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant?s microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals

    OpenAIRE

    Balcom, Ian N.; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have ...

  2. Targeting Unknowns Just Underfoot: Microbial Ecology and Community Genomics of C Cycling in Soil Informed and Enabled with DNA-SIP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepe-Ranney, C. P.; Campbell, A.; Buckley, D. H.

    2015-12-01

    Microorganisms drive biogeochemical cycles and because soil is a large global carbon (C) reservoir (soil contains more C than plants and the atmosphere combined), soil microorganisms are important players in the global C-cycle. Frustratingly, however, many soil microorganisms resist cultivation and soil communities are astoundingly complex. This makes soil microbiology difficult to study and without a solid understanding of soil microbial ecology, models of soil C feedbacks to climate change are under-informed. Stable isotope probing (SIP) is a useful approach for establishing identity-function connections in microbial communities but has been challenging to employ in soil due to the inadequate resolution of microbial community fingerprinting techniques. High throughput DNA sequencing improves SIP resolving power transforming it into a powerful tool for studying the soil C cycle. We conducted a DNA-SIP experiment to track flow of xylose-C, a labile component of plant biomass, and cellulose-C, the most abundant global biopolymer, through a soil microbial community. We could track 13C into microbial DNA even when added 13C amounted to less than 5% of native C and found Spartobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Planctomycetes taxa were among those that assimilated 13C cellulose. These lineages are cosmopolitan in soil but little is known of their ecophysiology. By profiling SSU rRNA genes across entire DNA-SIP density gradients, we assessed relative DNA atom % 13C per taxon in 13C treatments and found cellulose degraders exhibited signal consistent with a specialist lifestyle with respect to C preference. Further, DNA-SIP enriches DNA of targeted microorganisms (Verrucomicrobia cellulose degraders were enriched by nearly two orders of magnitude) and this enriched DNA can serve as template for community genomics. We produced draft genomes from soil cellulose degraders including microorganisms belonging to Verrucomicrobia, Chloroflexi, and Planctomycetes from SIP enriched DNA

  3. Climatic and ecological drivers of euphausiid community structure vary spatially in the Barents Sea: relationships from a long time series (1952-2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Lvovna Orlova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Euphausiids play an important role in transferring energy from ephemeral primary producers to fish, seabirds, and marine mammals in the Barents Sea ecosystem. Climatic impacts have been suggested to occur at all levels of the Barents Sea food-web, but adequate exploration of these phenomena on ecologically relevant spatial scales has not been integrated sufficiently. We used a time-series of euphausiid abundance data spanning 58 years, one of the longest biological time-series in the Arctic, to explore qualitative and quantitative relationships among climate, euphausiids, and their predators, and how these parameters vary spatially in the Barents Sea. We detected four main hydrographic regions, each with distinct patterns of interannual variability in euphausiid abundance and community structure. Assemblages varied primarily in the relative abundance of Thysanoessa inermis versus T. raschii, or T. inermis versus T. longicaudata and Meganyctiphanes norvegica. Climate proxies and the abundance of capelin or cod explained 30-60% of the variability in euphausiid abundance in each region. Climate also influenced patterns of variability in euphausiid community structure, but correlations were generally weaker. Advection of boreal euphausiid taxa from the Norwegian Sea is clearly more prominent in warmer years than in colder years, and interacts with seasonal fish migrations to help explain spatial differences in primary drivers of euphausiid community structure. Non-linear effects of predators were common, and must be considered more carefully if a mechanistic understanding of the ecosystem is to be achieved. Quantitative relationships among euphausiid abundance, climate proxies, and predator stock-sizes derived from these time series are valuable for ecological models being used to predict impacts of climate change on the Barents Sea ecosystem, and how the system should be managed.

  4. Characterization and Ecology of Carboxymethylcellulase-Producing Anaerobic Bacterial Communities Associated with the Intestinal Tract of the Pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides

    OpenAIRE

    Stellwag, E. J.; Smith, T. D.; Luczkovich, J. J.

    1995-01-01

    Carboxymethylcellulase (CMCase)-producing obligate anaerobes were isolated from the intestinal tract contents but not the feeding habitat of seagrass-consuming pinfish. Taxonomic characterization of these CMCase-producing strains revealed four taxonomic clusters; three were clostridial and one was of unknown taxonomic affinity. Our results demonstrated that the CMCase-producing obligate anaerobe community from pinfish differed from functionally similar microbial communities in terrestrial her...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Muñoz

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Xavier; Felicísimo, Ángel M.

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Molecular ecological network analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Ye; Jiang, Yi-Huei; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Luo, Feng; Zhou, Jizhong

    2012-05-30

    Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs) through Random Matrix Theory (RMT)-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological Network Analysis Pipeline (MENAP), which is open

  8. Citizen Science for Post-disaster Sustainable Community Development in Ecologically Fragiel Regions - A Case from China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Ming, Meng; Lu, Ye; Jin, Wei

    2016-04-01

    The world's mountains host some of the most complex, dynamic, and diverse ecosystems and are also hotspots for natural disasters, such as earthquake, landslide and flood. One factor that limits the mountain communities to recover from disasters and pursue sustainable development is the lack of locally relevant scientific knowledge, which is hard to gain from global and regional scale observations and models. The rapid advances in ICT, computing, communication technologies and the emergence of citizen science is changing the situation. Here we report a case from Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary World Natural Heritage in China on the application of citizen science in a community reconstruction project. Dahe, a mountainous community (ca. 8000 ha in size) is located covering part of the World Heritage's core and buffer zones, with an elevation range of 1000-3000 meters. The community suffered from two major earthquakes of 7.9 and 6.9 Mw in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Landslides and flooding threat the community and significantly limit their livelihood options. We integrated participatory disaster risk mapping (e.g., community vulnerability and capacity assessment) and mobile assisted natural hazards and natural resources mapping (e.g., using free APP GeoODK) into more conventional community reconstruction and livelihood building activities. We showed that better decisions are made based on results from these activities and local residents have a high level of buy-in in these new knowledge. We suggest that initiatives like this, if successfully scale-up, can also help generate much needed data and knowledge in similar less-developed and data deficient regions of the world.

  9. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  10. Bacterial community composition and predicted functional ecology of sponges, sediment and seawater from the thousand islands reef complex, West Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Voogd, Nicole J; Cleary, Daniel F R; Polónia, Ana R M; Gomes, Newton C M

    2015-04-01

    In the present study, we assessed the composition of Bacteria in four biotopes namely sediment, seawater and two sponge species (Stylissa massa and Xestospongia testudinaria) at four different reef sites in a coral reef ecosystem in West Java, Indonesia. In addition to this, we used a predictive metagenomic approach to estimate to what extent nitrogen metabolic pathways differed among bacterial communities from different biotopes. We observed marked differences in bacterial composition of the most abundant bacterial phyla, classes and orders among sponge species, water and sediment. Proteobacteria were by far the most abundant phylum in terms of both sequences and Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). Predicted counts for genes associated with the nitrogen metabolism suggested that several genes involved in the nitrogen cycle were enriched in sponge samples, including nosZ, nifD, nirK, norB and nrfA genes. Our data show that a combined barcoded pyrosequencing and predictive metagenomic approach can provide novel insights into the potential ecological functions of the microbial communities. Not only is this approach useful for our understanding of the vast microbial diversity found in sponges but also to understand the potential response of microbial communities to environmental change. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Bomb-cratered coral reefs in Puerto Rico, the untold story about a novel habitat: from reef destruction to community-based ecological rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Ecological impacts of military bombing activities in Puerto Rico have often been described as minimal, with recurrent allegations of confounding effects by hurricanes, coral diseases and local anthropogenic stressors. Reef craters, though isolated, are associated with major colony fragmentation and framework pulverization, with a net permanent loss of reef bio-construction. In contrast, adjacent non-bombarded reef sections have significantly higher benthic spatial relief and biodiversity. We compared benthic communities on 35-50 year-old bomb-cratered coral reefs at Culebra and Vieques Islands, with adjacent non-impacted sites; 2 coral recruit density and fish community structure within and outside craters; and 3 early effects of a rehabilitation effort using low-tech Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis farming. Reef craters ranged in size from approximately 50 to 400m² and were largely dominated by heavily fragmented, flattened benthos, with coral cover usually below 2% and dominance by non-reef building taxa (i.e., filamentous algal turfs, macroalgae. Benthic spatial heterogeneity was lower within craters which also resulted in a lowered functional value as fish nursery ground. Fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and coral recruit density were lower within craters. Low-tech, community-based approaches to culture, harvest and transplant A. cervicornis into formerly bombarded grounds have proved successful in increasing percent coral cover, benthic spatial heterogeneity, and helping rehabilitate nursery ground functions.

  12. Automated experimentation in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lurgi, Miguel; Robertson, David

    2011-05-09

    In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems.

  13. Retrospective qualitative analysis of ecological networks under environmental perturbation: a copper-polluted intertidal community as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Garay-Narváez, Leslie; Medina, Matías H

    2012-01-01

    The coast of Chañaral Bay in northern Chile has been affected by copper mine wastes for decades. This sustained perturbation has disrupted the intertidal community in several ways, but the mechanisms behind the observed shifts in local biodiversity remain poorly understood. Our main goal was to identify the species (lumped into trophic groups) belonging to the Chañaral intertidal community that, being directly affected by copper pollution, contributed primarily to the generation of the observed changes in community structure. These groups of species were called initiators. We applied a qualitative modelling approach based only on the sign and direction of effects among species, and present a formula for predicting changes in equilibrium abundances considering stress on multiple variables simultaneously. We then applied this technique retrospectively to identify the most likely set of initiators. Our analyses allowed identification of a unique set of four initiators in the studied intertidal system (a group of algae, sessile invertebrates, a group of herbivores and starfish), which were hypothesized to be the primary drivers of the observed changes in community structure. In addition, a hypothesis was derived about how the perturbation affected these initiators. The hypothesis is that pollution affected negatively the population growth rate of both algae and sessile invertebrates and suppressed the interaction between herbivores and starfish. Our analytic approach, focused on identifying initiators, constitutes an advance towards understanding the mechanisms underlying human-driven ecosystem disruption and permits identifying species that may serve as a focal point for community management and restoration.

  14. Ecology and biotechnological potential of bacterial community from three marine sponges of the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FÁBIO V. DE ARAÚJO

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Marine sponges has been a large reservoir of microbial diversity, with the presence of many species specific populations as well as producing biologically active compounds, which has attracted great biotechnological interest. In order to verify the influence of the environment in the composition of the bacterial community present in marine sponges and biotechnological potential of bacteria isolated from these organisms, three species of sponges and the waters surrounding them were collected in different beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The profile of the bacterial community present in sponges and water was obtained by PCR-DGGE technique and the biotechnological potential of the strains isolated by producing amylase, cellulase, protease and biosurfactants. The results showed that despite the influence of the environment in the composition of the microbial community, studied marine sponges shown to have specific bacterial populations, with some, showing potential in the production of substances of biotechnological applications.

  15. Social-ecological innovation in remote mountain areas: Adaptive responses of forest-dependent communities to the challenges of a changing world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melnykovych, Mariana; Nijnik, Maria; Soloviy, Ihor; Nijnik, Albert; Sarkki, Simo; Bihun, Yurij

    2018-02-01

    To better understand how constantly changing human-environment interactions could be better organized to respond to current challenges, we examined the Ukrainian Carpathians as an example case of complex forest social-ecological systems (FSES). We did it by interviewing diverse and relevant local stakeholder (N=450). In particular, we strived to: i) outline how people and nature are linked and interact in coupled FSES; ii) examine the preferences of stakeholders on the forests and associated ecosystem services (ES); iii) map key drivers threatening well-being of FSES and iv) identify potential responses to address the challenges at a local scale. To answer these questions we followed a mixed method route by integrating qualitative (participatory) and quantitative data collection and analyses, with further application of a Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework in combination with the ES approach in order to assess benefits, threats to these benefits, and responses regarding the studied FSES. We found that the key benefit from FSES is timber and non-wood forest products (like berries and mushrooms), but also various regulating services were ranked highly by respondents. To explore social-ecological innovation, with potential responses of forest-dependent communities to challenges they face, we employed a commonly used assumption that governance must fit to the particular characteristics of FSES in order to enable sustainability. For the particular case of the Ukrainian Carpathians, we identified and discussed the following five nonconformities or "misfits" threatening sustainability: 1) Spatial misfit in legislation; 2) Poor contextualization; 3) Trap of the single ES; 4) Participatory misfit; and 5) Robbing the commons. By conceptualizing those key threats, we proposed responses for sustainability. The findings contributed to an advanced understanding of complex FSES, their key challenges and potential solutions in order to secure well

  16. Assessment of soil erosion vulnerability in the heavily populated and ecologically fragile communities in Motozintla de Mendoza, Chiapas, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Morales, Selene B.; Mayer, Alex; Ramírez-Marcial, Neptalí

    2018-06-01

    Variability in physical rates and local knowledge of soil erosion was assessed across six rural communities in the Sierra Madre del Sur, Chiapas, Mexico. The average erosion rate estimated using the RUSLE model is 274 t ha-1 yr-1, with the estimated erosion rates ranging from 28 to 717 t ha-1 yr-1. These very high erosion rates are associated with high rainfall erosivity (17 000 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 yr-1) and steep slopes (mean slope = 67 %). Many of the highest soil erosion rates are found in communities that are dominated by forestland, but where most of the tree cover has been removed. Conversely, lower erosion rates are often found where corn is cultivated for most of the year. According to the results of the soil erosion KAP (knowledge, attitude and practices) survey, awareness of the concept of soil erosion was reasonably high in all of the communities, but awareness of the causes of erosion was considerably lower. More than half of respondents believed that reforestation is a viable option for reducing soil erosion, but only a third of respondents were currently implementing reforestation practices. Another third of the respondents indicated that they were not following any soil conservation practices. Respondents indicated that adoption of government reforestation efforts have been hindered by the need to clear their land to sell forest products or cultivate corn. Respondents also mentioned the difficulties involved with obtaining favorable tree stocks for reforestation. The KAP results were used to assess the overall level of motivation to solve soil erosion problems by compiling negative responses. The relationship between the magnitude of the soil erosion problem and the capacity to reduce soil erosion is inconsistent across the communities. One community, Barrio Vicente Guerrero, had the highest average negative response rate and the second highest soil erosion rate, indicating that this community is particularly vulnerable.

  17. Ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae from the region of Cape Emine (central Bulgarian Black sea coast. Part II. Ecological parameters and community structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teodora Teofilova

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available For the first time an ecological study of the carabid fauna of the area of Cape Emine (Bulgarian Black sea coast was conducted. Over the period 2010 – 2011 adult carabid beetles were collected. The investigation was carried out at 7 sampling sites and pitfall traps were used. During the study altogether 6245 specimens were captured. The greatest number of both species and specimens was found in the steppe-like habitat, least – in the pine (Pinus nigra J. F. Arnold plantation. Indices for α- and β-diversity were calculated. The dominant structure of the whole carabid complex showed the presence of two eudominant, three dominant, two subdominant, eleven recedent and 85 subrecedent species. The analysis of the sex structure showed the total prevalence of males over females. Cluster analysis indicated a low percentage of taxonomic similarity between the communities, which reflected the diversity of the landscape.

  18. An Ecological Approach to a University Course that Develops Partnerships Impacting Health and Wellness in K-12 Schools and Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Sharon L.; Gilchrist, Leigh Z.; Nixon, Carol T.; Holland, Barbara A.; Thompson, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several decades, there has been an increased focus on health promotion as opposed to individual health determinants and disease prevention. Given the association between health and academic success, health promotion is a vastly overlooked lever for establishing effective K-12 schools. Student, organizational, and community well-being…

  19. Ecological effects of transgene persistence on plant communities in the presence and absence of drift levels of glyphosate herbicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2005, plant communities were constructed in outdoor sunlit chambers that contained 3 round tubs having a surface area of 1.2 m2 and a depth of 0.6 m. Six plant types were planted in triplicate using the same spatial arrangement in each tub. Three of the six plant types were se...

  20. Facilitating energy transition through energy commons : An application of socio-ecological systems framework for integrated community energy systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acosta, Cristina; Ortega, Mariana; Bunsen, Till; Koirala, B.P.; Ghorbani, A.

    2018-01-01

    Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICES) are an emerging local energy system focusing on the collective use of distributed energy resources (DER). These socio-technical systems (STSs) have a high potential to advance the transition towards socially inclusive, environmentally-friendly energy

  1. Facilitating energy transition through energy commons : An application of socio-ecological systems framework for integrated community energy systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Acosta, Cristina; Ortega, Mariana; Bunsen, Till; Koirala, Binod Prasad; Ghorbani, Amineh

    2018-01-01

    Integrated Community Energy Systems (ICES) are an emerging local energy system focusing on the collective use of distributed energy resources (DER). These socio-technical systems (STSs) have a high potential to advance the transition towards socially inclusive, environmentally-friendly energy

  2. Integrated metagenomics and molecular ecological network analysis of bacterial community composition during the phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated soils by bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhaojin; Zheng, Yuan; Ding, Chuanyu; Ren, Xuemin; Yuan, Jian; Sun, Feng; Li, Yuying

    2017-11-01

    Two energy crops (maize and soybean) were used in the remediation of cadmium-contaminated soils. These crops were used because they are fast growing, have a large biomass and are good sources for bioenergy production. The total accumulation of cadmium in maize and soybean plants was 393.01 and 263.24μg pot -1 , respectively. The rhizosphere bacterial community composition was studied by MiSeq sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using 16S rRNA gene sequences. The rhizosphere bacteria were divided into 33 major phylogenetic groups according to phyla. The dominant phylogenetic groups included Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, and Bacteroidetes. Based on principal component analysis (PCA) and unweighted pair group with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) analysis, we found that the bacterial community was influenced by cadmium addition and bioenergy cropping. Three molecular ecological networks were constructed for the unplanted, soybean- and maize-planted bacterial communities grown in 50mgkg -1 cadmium-contaminated soils. The results indicated that bioenergy cropping increased the complexity of the bacterial community network as evidenced by a higher total number of nodes, the average geodesic distance (GD), the modularity and a shorter geodesic distance. Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were the keystone bacteria connecting different co-expressed operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The results showed that bioenergy cropping altered the topological roles of individual OTUs and keystone populations. This is the first study to reveal the effects of bioenergy cropping on microbial interactions in the phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated soils by network reconstruction. This method can greatly enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of plant-microbe-metal interactions in metal-polluted ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Community Social Capital, Built Environment, and Income-Based Inequality in Depressive Symptoms Among Older People in Japan: An Ecological Study From the JAGES Project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maho Haseda

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although reducing socioeconomic inequalities in depression is necessary, their associated factors have rarely been studied. This study aimed to screen the potential contextual factors associated with income-based inequality in older adults’ depression. Methods: Using data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES of 2013, we conducted an ecological study covering 77 communities in Japan. Our measures of socioeconomic inequalities in depression were the slope index of inequalities (SII and the relative index of inequalities (RII of the prevalence of depressive symptoms across three income levels. We categorized available community-level factors, including socio-demographic factors, social participation, social relationships, subjective changes in the residential area, and the built environment. These indicators were aggregated from individual responses of 51,962 and 52,958 physically independent men and women, respectively, aged 65 years or more. We performed multiple linear regression analyses to explore factors with statistical significance of a two-tailed P-value less than 0.05. Results: Factors associated with shallower gradients in depression for men included higher participation in local activities and reception or provision of social support, which did not show significant association among women. Perceived increases in unemployment and economic inequalities were positively associated with larger inequalities in both genders (P < 0.05. The built environment did not indicate any significant association. Conclusions: A community environment fostering social activities and relationships might be associated with smaller income-based inequalities in depression. There is a need for more deterministic studies for planning of effective community interventions to address socioeconomic inequalities in depression.

  4. The Genetics Underlying Natural Variation in the Biotic Interactions of Arabidopsis thaliana: The Challenges of Linking Evolutionary Genetics and Community Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, F; Bergelson, J

    2016-01-01

    In the context of global change, predicting the responses of plant communities in an ever-changing biotic environment calls for a multipronged approach at the interface of evolutionary genetics and community ecology. However, our understanding of the genetic basis of natural variation involved in mediating biotic interactions, and associated adaptive dynamics of focal plants in their natural communities, is still in its infancy. Here, we review the genetic and molecular bases of natural variation in the response to biotic interactions (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, herbivores, and plants) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as the adaptive value of these bases. Among the 60 identified genes are a number that encode nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR)-type proteins, consistent with early examples of plant defense genes. However, recent studies have revealed an extensive diversity in the molecular mechanisms of defense. Many types of genetic variants associate with phenotypic variation in biotic interactions, even among the genes of large effect that tend to be identified. In general, we found that (i) balancing selection rather than directional selection explains the observed patterns of genetic diversity within A. thaliana and (ii) the cost/benefit tradeoffs of adaptive alleles can be strongly dependent on both genomic and environmental contexts. Finally, because A. thaliana rarely interacts with only one biotic partner in nature, we highlight the benefit of exploring diffuse biotic interactions rather than tightly associated host-enemy pairs. This challenge would help to improve our understanding of coevolutionary quantitative genetics within the context of realistic community complexity. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Beyond traditional scientific training: The importance of community and empowerment for women in ecology and evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Claire Horner-Devine

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available While the biological sciences have achieved gender parity in the undergraduate and graduate career stages, this is not the case at the faculty level. The WEBS (Women Evolving the Biological Sciences symposia go beyond traditional scientific training and professional development to address factors critical to women’s persistence in faculty careers: community and empowerment. Through a series of panel discussions, personal reflections and skills workshops, WEBS creates a community-based professional development experience and a space for participants to grapple with central issues affecting their scientific careers. Longitudinal qualitative survey data suggest that WEBS bolsters the participants’ confidence and empowerment, in addition to providing concrete skills for addressing a range of issues necessary to navigating scientific careers, leading to increased career satisfaction and career self-efficacy (i.e., the belief in one’s capacity to pursue their chosen career. These results highlight the importance and need for programs and opportunities for women in STEM that go beyond training in scientific skills and traditional professional development to include those that create a sense of community and empowerment.

  6. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  7. Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    stability Science & Innovation Collaboration Careers Community Environment Science & Innovation Recruitment Events Community Commitment Giving Campaigns, Drives Economic Development Employee Funded neighbor pledge: contribute to quality of life in Northern New Mexico through economic development

  8. Origin and ecological selection of core and food-specific bacterial communities associated with meat and seafood spoilage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaillou, Stéphane; Chaulot-Talmon, Aurélie; Caekebeke, Hélène; Cardinal, Mireille; Christieans, Souad; Denis, Catherine; Desmonts, Marie Hélène; Dousset, Xavier; Feurer, Carole; Hamon, Erwann; Joffraud, Jean-Jacques; La Carbona, Stéphanie; Leroi, Françoise; Leroy, Sabine; Lorre, Sylvie; Macé, Sabrina; Pilet, Marie-France; Prévost, Hervé; Rivollier, Marina; Roux, Dephine; Talon, Régine; Zagorec, Monique; Champomier-Vergès, Marie-Christine

    2015-05-01

    The microbial spoilage of meat and seafood products with short shelf lives is responsible for a significant amount of food waste. Food spoilage is a very heterogeneous process, involving the growth of various, poorly characterized bacterial communities. In this study, we conducted 16S ribosomal RNA gene pyrosequencing on 160 samples of fresh and spoiled foods to comparatively explore the bacterial communities associated with four meat products and four seafood products that are among the most consumed food items in Europe. We show that fresh products are contaminated in part by a microbiota similar to that found on the skin and in the gut of animals. However, this animal-derived microbiota was less prevalent and less abundant than a core microbiota, psychrotrophic in nature, mainly originated from the environment (water reservoirs). We clearly show that this core community found on meat and seafood products is the main reservoir of spoilage bacteria. We also show that storage conditions exert strong selective pressure on the initial microbiota: alpha diversity in fresh samples was 189±58 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) but dropped to 27±12 OTUs in spoiled samples. The OTU assemblage associated with spoilage was shaped by low storage temperatures, packaging and the nutritional value of the food matrix itself. These factors presumably act in tandem without any hierarchical pattern. Most notably, we were also able to identify putative new clades of dominant, previously undescribed bacteria occurring on spoiled seafood, a finding that emphasizes the importance of using culture-independent methods when studying food microbiota.

  9. Origin and ecological selection of core and food-specific bacterial communities associated with meat and seafood spoilage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaillou, Stéphane; Chaulot-Talmon, Aurélie; Caekebeke, Hélène; Cardinal, Mireille; Christieans, Souad; Denis, Catherine; Hélène Desmonts, Marie; Dousset, Xavier; Feurer, Carole; Hamon, Erwann; Joffraud, Jean-Jacques; La Carbona, Stéphanie; Leroi, Françoise; Leroy, Sabine; Lorre, Sylvie; Macé, Sabrina; Pilet, Marie-France; Prévost, Hervé; Rivollier, Marina; Roux, Dephine; Talon, Régine; Zagorec, Monique; Champomier-Vergès, Marie-Christine

    2015-01-01

    The microbial spoilage of meat and seafood products with short shelf lives is responsible for a significant amount of food waste. Food spoilage is a very heterogeneous process, involving the growth of various, poorly characterized bacterial communities. In this study, we conducted 16S ribosomal RNA gene pyrosequencing on 160 samples of fresh and spoiled foods to comparatively explore the bacterial communities associated with four meat products and four seafood products that are among the most consumed food items in Europe. We show that fresh products are contaminated in part by a microbiota similar to that found on the skin and in the gut of animals. However, this animal-derived microbiota was less prevalent and less abundant than a core microbiota, psychrotrophic in nature, mainly originated from the environment (water reservoirs). We clearly show that this core community found on meat and seafood products is the main reservoir of spoilage bacteria. We also show that storage conditions exert strong selective pressure on the initial microbiota: alpha diversity in fresh samples was 189±58 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) but dropped to 27±12 OTUs in spoiled samples. The OTU assemblage associated with spoilage was shaped by low storage temperatures, packaging and the nutritional value of the food matrix itself. These factors presumably act in tandem without any hierarchical pattern. Most notably, we were also able to identify putative new clades of dominant, previously undescribed bacteria occurring on spoiled seafood, a finding that emphasizes the importance of using culture-independent methods when studying food microbiota. PMID:25333463

  10. Local perceptions on social-ecological dynamics in Latin America in three community-based natural resource management systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delgado-Serrano, Maria del Mar; Rozas, Elisa Oteros; Vanwildemeersch, Pieter

    2015-01-01

    by internal variables, particularly those linked to the governance system. The case study analysis revealed that the community-based natural resource management approach needs external support and recognition to work effectively. In the Argentine and Colombian cases, megaprojects were perceived as controllers...... prospective structural analysis to unravel stakeholders’ perceptions of each system’s functioning along with network analysis to assess resilience. We identified external variables as the most influential variables in the Colombian and Argentine cases. In the Mexican case, larger influence is exerted...

  11. Microbial ecology in a future climate: effects of temperature and moisture on microbial communities of two boreal fens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltoniemi, Krista; Laiho, Raija; Juottonen, Heli; Kiikkilä, Oili; Mäkiranta, Päivi; Minkkinen, Kari; Pennanen, Taina; Penttilä, Timo; Sarjala, Tytti; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Tuomivirta, Tero; Fritze, Hannu

    2015-07-01

    Impacts of warming with open-top chambers on microbial communities in wet conditions and in conditions resulting from moderate water-level drawdown (WLD) were studied across 0-50 cm depth in northern and southern boreal sedge fens. Warming alone decreased microbial biomass especially in the northern fen. Impact of warming on microbial PLFA and fungal ITS composition was more obvious in the northern fen and linked to moisture regime and sample depth. Fungal-specific PLFA increased in the surface peat in the drier regime and decreased in layers below 10 cm in the wet regime after warming. OTUs representing Tomentella and Lactarius were observed in drier regime and Mortierella in wet regime after warming in the northern fen. The ectomycorrhizal fungi responded only to WLD. Interestingly, warming together with WLD decreased archaeal 16S rRNA copy numbers in general, and fungal ITS copy numbers in the northern fen. Expectedly, many results indicated that microbial response on warming may be linked to the moisture regime. Results indicated that microbial community in the northern fen representing Arctic soils would be more sensitive to environmental changes. The response to future climate change clearly may vary even within a habitat type, exemplified here by boreal sedge fen. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Community Litter Arthropods Associated cerrado and gallery forest, in the Ecological Station Sierra Das Araras - Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Cristina Zardo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The litter arthropod fauna distinguishes itself by its importance in nutrient cycling and organic matter degradation. This invertebrate fauna has been emphasized as crucial for the processes that structure ecosystems. This study aims to evaluate and compare the arthropod fauna composition, richness and abundance in litter of two environments: the savanna and the gallery forest at Serra das Araras Ecological Station , Mato Grosso. To collect the arthropods a 120m transects for each habitat was delimited, divided into six points in each environment. For all the litter collection points, we marked a plot measuring 1.0 x 1.0 m, totalizing 6m2 for an environment, where the arthropods found were identified by order level, and the individuals were grouped into morphospecies. The total arthropods richness found in the savanna and in the gallery forest areas was 38 morphospecies, 28 morphospecies were found in the savanna and 20 in the gallery forest, with total abundance of 381 individuals, being 226 individuals collected in the savanna and 155 individuals in the gallery forest. The more abundant morphospecies in the savanna and gallery forest belonged to Hymenoptera and Isoptera orders, with 10 and 4 morphospecies and abundance of 263 and 78 individuals respectively. The greatest organism richness and abundance occurred in the savanna, because it is a tropical environment with the greatest biodiversity, especially regarding its insect fauna, and this diversity is primarily concerned with the variety of habitats that the environment provides , which gives the species shelter, food and reproduction sites.

  13. The effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on plant communities within a complex urban landscape: an ecological surprise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beals, Stower C; Hartley, Laurel M; Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2014-05-01

    Historically, prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been considered essential keystone species of western United States grassland ecosystems because they provide unique services and increase vegetation community richness, evenness, and diversity. However, the effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on lands adjacent to or surrounded by urban areas may not result in the same ecosystem benefits historically associated with their presence. An urban landscape presents prairie dogs with movement challenges unparalleled in natural landscapes, as well as suites of nonnative plant species that are more common in disturbed areas. This study examined a complex ecosystem where vegetation communities are being influenced by directional environmental change, and quantified the synergistic effects resulting from the protective management of a native keystone species. The data set for this analysis was comprised of 71 paired (occupied by prairie dogs vs. unoccupied) vegetation surveys and 156 additional unpaired surveys collected from around the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA for 14 yr. Linear mixed models were used to compare data from transects occupied and unoccupied by prairie dogs, as well as to evaluate the effect of prairie dog occupation duration. In the absence of prairie dogs, vegetation in this region exhibited declines in native grasses, no changes in introduced grasses, and increases in native and nonnative forbs and bare soil over the study interval. In the presence of prairie dogs, these observed directional changes were nearly all amplified at rates four to 10 times greater than when prairie dogs were absent. Areas in Boulder occupied by prairie dogs also had significantly lower richness, evenness, and diversity of plant species, compared to unoccupied areas. Analysis of plant functional groups revealed the significant reduction of perennial native grasses, as well as a significantly higher cover of introduced forbs in occupied areas. Prairie dogs

  14. Decay extent evaluation of wood degraded by a fungal community using NIRS: application for ecological engineering structures used for natural hazard mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptiste Barré, Jean; Bourrier, Franck; Bertrand, David; Rey, Freddy

    2015-04-01

    Ecological engineering corresponds to the design of efficient solutions for protection against natural hazards such as shallow landslides and soil erosion. In particular, bioengineering structures can be composed of a living part, made of plants, cuttings or seeds, and an inert part, a timber logs structure. As wood is not treated by preservatives, fungal degradation can occur from the start of the construction. It results in wood strength loss, which practitioners try to evaluate with non-destructive tools (NDT). Classical NDT are mainly based on density measurements. However, the fungal activity reduces the mechanical properties (modulus of elasticity - MOE) well before well before a density change could be measured. In this context, it would be useful to provide a tool for assessing the residual mechanical strength at different decay stages due to a fungal community. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used for that purpose, as it can allow evaluating wood mechanical properties as well as wood chemical changes due to brown and white rots. We monitored 160 silver fir samples (30x30x6000mm) from green state to different levels of decay. The degradation process took place in a greenhouse and samples were inoculated with silver fir decayed debris in order to accelerate the process. For each sample, we calculated the normalized bending modulus of elasticity loss (Dw moe) and defined it as decay extent. Near infrared spectra collected from both green and decayed ground samples were corrected by the subtraction of baseline offset. Spectra of green samples were averaged into one mean spectrum and decayed spectra were subtracted from the mean spectrum to calculate the absorption loss. Partial least square regression (PLSR) has been performed between the normalized MOE loss Dw moe (0 wood decay extent in the context of ecological engineering structures used for natural hazard mitigation.

  15. Oral estrogen retains potency as an aversion agent in eggs: implications to studies of community ecology and wildlife management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaus, L K; Crowe, M; Lundquist, R

    1992-06-01

    The first of two experiments with laboratory rats demonstrated that oral estrogen (17 alpha-ethinylestradiol) can remain in the albumen of eggs at room temperature for up to 8 days with undiminished capacity to produce conditioned taste aversion. The second experiment showed that estrogen remains potent in the yolk of eggs for at least 4 days. There is now greater assurance that egg prey placed into the field will induce reliable CTA among mammalian predators. Community ecologists interested in such processes as competitive release and the responses of prey populations to reduced predation upon their eggs can selectively factor predation out of field experiments without the need for physically excluding predators. Wildlife biologists interested in reducing predation upon the eggs of endangered species now have greater assurance that estrogen-treated egg baits will suppress predation in a more cost-effective manner and with less likelihood of discrimination between treated eggs and those of endangered species.

  16. Seasonal biodiversity and ecological studies on the epiphytic microalgae communities in polluted and unpolluted aquatic ecosystem at Assiut, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Mahmoud S.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A qualitative and quantitative study on epiphytic microalgae was carried out seasonally from November 2015 to August 2016 to follow up their community structures on aquatic macrophytes related to some physico-chemical properties of two polluted and unpolluted water bodies at Assiut, Egypt. A total of 169 species related to 64 genera of epiphytic microalgae were recorded. The most dominant algal group was Bacillariophyceae (43.2%, followed by Chlorophyceae (34.91%, Cyanophyceae (20.71% and Euglenophyceae (1.18%. The total number of epiphytic algae fluctuated between 11.1 × 104 ind.g-1 plant dry wt. on Phragmites australis in summer at Nazlet Abdellah (polluted site and 10.02 × 107 ind.g-1 plant dry wt. on Myriophyllum spicatum in winter at El-Wasta (unpolluted site. Some epiphytic microalgae were dominant as Pseudanabaena limnetica, Calothrix braunii, Scenedesmus acutus, and Ulnaria ulna. Others were specific on certain macrophytes as Aphanocapsa thermalis and Ulothrix sp., which grow on Phragmites australis, while Synechocystis minuscula attached itself on Myriophyllum spicatum. Analysis of PERMANOVA showed that the most important factors that induced the variation in epiphytic microalgae were the temporal variation and host plant. Water temperature, pH, nitrate, chloride, phosphate and total dissolved salts were the highest abiotic factors correlated with the variation in composition of epiphytic microalgae.

  17. The use of ecological theory and autecological datasets in studies of endangered plant and animal species and communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hodgson, John G.

    1991-12-01

    Full Text Available Few, if any, European habitats have been unaffected by modern land-use and the problems of conserving the diversity of the European flora and fauna are both urgent and immense. This paper describes a simple method for analyzing floristic change that is hoped will prove useful for assessing the nature and severity of these threats. The method involves the use of ecological theory and the collection of simple autecological data. Examples are given to illustrate how this approach can be used both to identify reasons for floristic change and to provide functional analyses of phytosociological data. Also, as a result of analyses of reasons for commonness and rarity in butterflies and birds, it is argued that similar functional interpretations of zoological datasets may soon be possible.

    [es] Considerando que prácticamente todos los hábitats de Europa han sido afectados por los usos de la tierra modernos, la conservación de la diversidad de su flora y fauna se presenta como un problema muy grave y urgente. En este artículo se describe un método simple para analizar cambios florísticos, contemplando el uso de la teoría ecológica y la colección de datos autoecológicos sencillos. Dicho método constituye una herramienta para evaluar la naturaleza y severidad de procesos de pérdida de la diversidad biológica. Se dan ejemplos ilustrando el uso de este enfoque en la identificación de las causas de cambios florísticos y en el análisis funcional de datos fitosociológicos. Se presentan, además, las razones que explican la presencia de especies raras o muy comunes de mariposas y aves. A partir de estos últimos resultados, se concluye que en breve será posible realizar una interpretación funcional similar de datos zoológicos.
    [de] Nur wenige, wenn überhaupt, der Lebensrame in Europa sind unberührt von moderner Landnutzung und die Probleme der Erhaltung der Vielfalt in der Flora und Fauna sind sowohl dringend als auch immens

  18. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardelean, Ioana Violeta; Keller, Christine; Scheidegger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

  19. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioana Violeta Ardelean

    Full Text Available Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

  20. Soil microbial community as a proxy for the ecological service condition in karst soils of SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Sophie M.; Dungait, Jennifer A. J.; Zhang, Xinyu; Hawkes, Simon; Donovan, Neil; Barrows, Tim; Buss, Heather; Liu, Taoze; Evershed, Richard; Wen, Xuefa; Hartley, Iain; Song, Zhaoliang; Liu, Hongyan; Tu, Chenglong; Johnes, Penny J.; Meersmans, Jeroen; Guo, Dali; Quine, Tim

    2017-04-01

    Karst is a key landscape covering extensive areas of Southwest China that has undergone rapid intensive land use change and degradation over the last 50 years. Clear evidence of environmental degradation and its damaging consequences for the reduction of intrinsic value of the land for local human populations has led to an increasing focus on landscape rehabilitation. This has included unmanaged abandonment and attempts to re-vegetate denuded surfaces. However, this has achieved limited success and there is a clear need to develop restoration strategies underpinned by robust quantitative and mechanistic understanding of critical zone (CZ) functioning. Thus, a karst Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) was established in June 2016 in Chenqi, Guizhou Province, along a gradient through three levels of human perturbed landscapes: sloping farmland; recovery phase 1 (recently abandoned, within 5 years); and, recovery phase 2 (secondary forest, abandoned > 5 years). We hypothesise that there is a tipping point along the degradation gradient beyond which key biological controls over CZ function are lost, resulting in declining nutrient cycling and rock weathering rates, and increased soil erosion rates. This paper will present preliminary data from the application of the CZ approach using space-for-time substitution. We characterised soil microbial community dynamics along the degradation gradient using geochemical biomarkers and soil properties measured in soil profiles (soil microbes, and pools of soil carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), with estimations of soil erosion rates using radionuclide 137Cs/Pb210, within the karst ecosystem to evaluate the status of key ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil stabilisation).

  1. Community structure and trophic ecology of megabenthic fauna from the deep basins in the Interior Sea of Chiloé, Chile (41-43° S)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata-Hernández, Germán; Sellanes, Javier; Thiel, Martin; Henríquez, Camila; Hernández, Sebastián; Fernández, Julio C. C.; Hajdu, Eduardo

    2016-11-01

    Estuarine environments are complex ecological systems, which depend on multiple inputs of organic sources that could support their benthic communities. The deep-water megabenthic communities of the Interior Sea of Chiloé (ISCh, northern part of the fjord region of Chile) were studied to characterize their taxonomic composition and to trace the energy pathways supporting them by using stable isotope analysis (SIA). Megabenthic and demersal organisms as well as sunken macroalgal debris and terrestrial organic matter (TOM: wood, leaves, branches) were obtained by bottom trawling along an estuarine gradient covering 100-460 m water depth. Additionally, particulate organic matter (POM) and the sedimentary organic matter (SOM) were sampled and carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios were determined for all these organisms and potential food sources. A total of 140 taxa were obtained, including invertebrates (e.g. polychaetes, mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms) bony fishes, rays and sharks. Based on the stable isotope values it was possible to infer a strong dependence on primary production derived from phytoplankton which is exported to the benthos. A potentially important contribution from sunken macroalgae to megabenthic consumers was established only for some invertebrates, such as the irregular echinoid Tripylaster philippii and the decapod Eurypodius latreillii. The trophic structure metrics suggest a similar isotopic niche width, trophic diversity and species packaging in the food webs among the major basins in the ISCh. It is thus concluded that the benthic food webs are supported principally by surface primary production, but macroalgal subsidies could be exploited by selected invertebrate taxa (e.g. detritivores) and terrestrial carbon pathways are important for certain specialized taxa (e.g. Xylophaga dorsalis).

  2. Ecological Study of Periphytic Algal Community of Doodh Ganga and Khansha-Mansha Streams of Yusmarg Forests: A Health Resort of Kashmir Valley, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafia Rashid

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study on Doodh Ganga and Khansha-Mansha streams of Yusmarg forests deals with the general ecological studies on periphytic algal community in terms of species composition and density. During the present investigation the periphytic algal community of Doodh Ganga and Khansha-Mansha streams were represented by 30 taxa which belonged to 4 major classes namely Bacillariophyceae (14, Chlorophyceae (11, Cyanophyceae (4 and Euglenophyceae (1. The most common periphytic species encountered across all the sites included Closterium sp., Zygnema sp., Amphora sp., Cymbella sp., Epithemia sp., Fragilaria sp., Navicula sp., Synedra sp., Tabellaria sp., Lyngbya sp. and Phormidium sp. Among the two streams, Doodh Ganga showed large number of taxa (45 and Khansha-Mansha was having 37 taxa of periphyton. Bacillariophyceae was the dominant group both in diversity and density and included 14 taxa contributing 57% of total periphytic algal population. Cyanophyceae forming the second dominant class was represented by 4 genera comprising 22% of the total periphytic algae .Chlorophyceae ranked third in its dominance pattern with 11 genera forming 20% of all the periphytic algae. Euglenophyceae was represented by only one species of Euglena sp. forming 1% of all the periphytic algae and found only at site 2 (Doodh Ganga downstream.Amongst the study sites the highest (5.69 value of Shannon Weiner Index was found at Doodh Ganga upstream while as lowest (4.38 at Khansha-Mansha downstream. The primary conclusion is that the streams, having crystal clear water, and are free from pollution as Chlorophyceae are better represented in both the streams. Further, as a result of less anthropogenic pressures the quality of water is fairly good.

  3. Evaluating the ecological association of casino industry economic development on community health status: a natural experiment in the Mississippi delta region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honoré, Peggy A; Simoes, Eduardo J; Moonesinghe, Ramal; Wang, Xueyuan; Brown, Lovetta

    2007-01-01

    Objectives of this study were to examine for associations of casino industry economic development on improving community health status and funding for public health services in two counties in the Mississippi Delta Region of the United States. An ecological approach was used to evaluate whether two counties with casino gaming had improved health status and public health funding in comparison with two noncasino counties in the same region with similar social, racial, and ethic backgrounds. Variables readily available from state health department records were used to develop a logic model for guiding analytical work. A linear regression model was built using a stepwise approach and hierarchical regression principles with many dependent variables and a set of fixed and nonfixed independent variables. County-level data for 23 variables over an 11-year period were used. Overall, this study found a lack of association between the presence of a casino and desirable health outcomes or funding for public health services. Changes in the environment were made to promote health by utilizing gaming revenues to build state-of-the-art community health and wellness centers and sports facilities. However, significant increases in funding for local public health services were not found in either of the counties with casinos. These findings are relevant for policy makers when debating economic development strategies. Analysis similar to this should be combined with other routine public health assessments after implementation of development strategies to increase knowledge of health outcome trends and shifts in socioeconomic position that may be expected to accrue from economic development projects.

  4. Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grauer, Kit, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    Art in context of community is the theme of this newsletter. The theme is introduced in an editorial "Community-Enlarging the Definition" (Kit Grauer). Related articles include: (1) "The Children's Bridge is not Destroyed: Heart in the Middle of the World" (Emil Robert Tanay); (2) "Making Bridges: The Sock Doll…

  5. Using community-based methods and a social ecological framework to explore workplace health and safety of bloqueros on the Olympic Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campe, Joseph; Hoare, Lesley; Hagopian, Amy; Keifer, Matthew

    2011-06-01

    Occupational health and safety issues among Latino immigrants are increasingly important as increased immigration has led to a burgeoning workforce with limited English language skills or lack of documentation status. Foreign-born Latino immigrants are consistently the ethnic group with the highest occupational mortality rates in the United States. We aimed to understand and document the occupational safety and health hazards faced by a particularly at-risk Latino immigrant workforce--cedar block cutters, or bloqueros--on the Olympic Peninsula. Key informant interviews were conducted using community-based participatory methods. Qualitative analysis was guided by grounded theory and a social ecological framework. Thirteen interviews were conducted lasting 1-2 hr each. Three prominent findings arose: (1) bloqueros face occupational risks similar to those found in other forestry occupations, (2) bloqueros face unexpected risks that are likely unique to block cutting, and (3) bloqueros face four overlapping marginalization forces (societal, economical, political, and occupational) that undermine workplace health and safety. Bloqueros work low-paying, high-risk jobs with little health and safety regulation, documentation, or coverage. Workers' precarious socio-economic position and various structural factors compound workplace risks and contribute to a lack of ability to advocate for safer and healthier working conditions. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Molecular ecology of aquatic microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    Abstracts of reports are presented from a meeting on Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes. Topics included: opportunities offered to aquatic ecology by molecular biology; the role of aquatic microbes in biogeochemical cycles; characterization of the microbial community; the effect of the environment on aquatic microbes; and the targeting of specific biological processes.

  7. Ecology in Urban Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Letitia K.; Ryan, Michael

    In this course guide to the teaching of urban ecology, six learning activities on the following topics are outlined: (1) city location and growth; (2) an in-depth study of New Orleans; (3) city shape and structure; (4) size and spacing of cities; (5) cities with special functions; (6) local community study. Educational objectives for each activity…

  8. Ekologi Trofik Komunitas Ikan di Perairan Segara Menyan, Subang, Jawa Barat (Trophic Ecology of the Fish Community in Segara Menyan Coastal Lagoon, Subang, West Java

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Zahid

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Pengetahuan mengenai ekologi trofik merupakan dasar dalam memahami ekosistem secara keseluruhan yang dapat dijelaskan melalui pola hubungan trofik interspesies ataupun interserikat. Penelitian bertujuan untuk menjelaskan ekologi trofik meliputi indeks trofik dan jenis makanan dominan, serikat dan tingkat trofik, dan variasi spasial dan temporal komunitas ikan di estuari Segara Menyan. Pengambilan ikan contoh dilakukan setiap bulan pada zona berbeda. Ikan contoh dipisahkan berdasarkan waktu dan lokasi pengamatan, dianalisis isi saluran pencernaannya. Analisa data meliputi indeks vakuitas, jumlah total organisme makanan, jenis makanan dominan, luas relung makanan, dan tingkat trofik.  Pada pengamatan 106 spesies ikan, sebanyak 1-380 saluran pencernaan ikan diamati. Sebanyak lima dari 106 spesies memiliki nilai indeks vakuitas “0” dan jumlah makanan yang dikonsumsi bervariasi mulai dari empat hingga 27 jenis makanan. Secara umum, luas relung ikan adalah rendah berkisar 0,20-0,78 dan kebanyakan berada pada kisaran 0,20-0,48. Zooplankton merupakan jenis makanan paling dominan dikonsumsi oleh ikan. Komunitas ikan dikelompokkan dalam tujuh serikat trofik, yaitu detritivora, fitoplanktivora, zooplanktivora, zoobentivora, moluskivora, krustasivora, dan pisivora. Tingkat trofik komunitas ikan berkisar 2,05-4,73. Faktor perubahan ontogenetik, persediaan makanan, karakteristik habitat, dan ruaya beberapa spesies ikan memengaruhi variasi spasio-temporal jejaring makanan di Segara Menyan. Kata kunci: interaksi trofik, laguna, ikan, variasi spasio-temporal, serikat trofik Knowledge of trophic ecology is one way to understanding the whole ecosystem which explained by trophic relationship pattern (interspecies or interguild. The objective research was described of the trophic ecology, i.e. trophic index and dominant prey, trophic guild and trophic level, and spatio-temporal variation of fish community in Segara Menyan coastal lagoon. Fish were collected

  9. Weaving Ecosystem Service Assessment into Environmental Impact Assessments of Thar Coal Field: Impact of Coal Mining on Socio-Ecological Systems of Rural Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hina, A.

    2016-12-01

    The Research takes into account Block II Mining and Power Plant Project of Thar Coal field in Pakistan by carrying out ecosystem service assessment of the region to identify the impact on important ecosystem service losses and the contribution of mining companies to mitigate the socio-economic problems as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The study area includes 7 rural settlements, around 921 households and 7000 individuals, dependent on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods. Currently, the project has adopted the methods of strip mining (also called open-cut mining, open-cast mining, and stripping), undergoing removing the overburden in strips to enable excavation of the coal seams. Since the consequences of mine development can easily spill across community and ecological boundaries, the rising scarcity of some ecosystem services makes the case to examine both project impact and dependence on ecosystem services. A preliminary Ecosystem Service review of Thar Coal Field identifies key ecosystems services owing to both high significance of project impact and high project dependence are highlighted as: the hydrogeological study results indicate the presence of at least three aquifer zones: one above the coal zone (the top aquifer), one within the coal and the third below the coal zone. Hence, Water is identified as a key ecosystem service to be addressed and valued due to its high dependency in the area for livestock, human wellbeing, agriculture and other purposes. Crop production related to agricultural services, in association with supply services such as soil quality, fertility, and nutrient recycling and water retention need to be valued. Cultural services affected in terms of land use change and resettlement and rehabilitation factors are recommended to be addressed.

  10. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  11. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    , and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... to translate positivist readings of the environment and hermeneutical perspectives on socioecological interaction into a common framework or terminology....

  12. Educating Ecological Citizens of "The Blue Planet"

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPherson, Seonaigh

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores the implications of a renewed model of citizenship and citizenship education developed on the principles of ecology and ecological interdependence. By reframing our community from a human polity to a biotic community, the scope of our citizenship responsibilities shift. While expanding to encompass a global context, this new…

  13. Linking Statistical and Ecological Theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harris, Keith; Parsons, Todd L.; Ijaz, Umer Z.; Lahti, Leo; Holmes, Ian; Quince, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Neutral models which assume ecological equivalence between species provide null models for community assembly. In Hubbell's unified neutral theory of biodiversity (UNTB), many local communities are connected to a single metacommunity through differing immigration rates. Our ability to fit the

  14. Numerical ecology with R

    CERN Document Server

    Borcard, Daniel; Legendre, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    This new edition of Numerical Ecology with R guides readers through an applied exploration of the major methods of multivariate data analysis, as seen through the eyes of three ecologists. It provides a bridge between a textbook of numerical ecology and the implementation of this discipline in the R language. The book begins by examining some exploratory approaches. It proceeds logically with the construction of the key building blocks of most methods, i.e. association measures and matrices, and then submits example data to three families of approaches: clustering, ordination and canonical ordination. The last two chapters make use of these methods to explore important and contemporary issues in ecology: the analysis of spatial structures and of community diversity. The aims of methods thus range from descriptive to explanatory and predictive and encompass a wide variety of approaches that should provide readers with an extensive toolbox that can address a wide palette of questions arising in contemporary mul...

  15. Wilderness ecology: the upland plant communities, woody browse production, and small mammals of two adjacent 33-year-old wildfire areas of northeastern Minnesota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis F. Ohmann; Charles T. Cushwa; Roger E. Lake; James R. Beer; Robert B. Brander

    1973-01-01

    In three parts, classifies the upland vegetation into four community types; describes the measurements of browse and gives yields by different species; and describes the relation of small mammal populations to vegetative community types.

  16. The ecological century

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worthington, E. B.

    1981-01-01

    This essay attempts to reconstruct the evolution of Ecology as the scientific basis for environmental conservation and human progress, as seen through the eyes of a biologist who has exercised that science during a number of tasks in various parts of the world over most of the twentieth century. From its beginnings in evolutionary thinking during the nineteenth century, ecology emerged from natural history at the beginning of the twentieth. At first the running was made by botanists; but this was soon followed by zoologists, who dealt with more mobile communities. The first quarter-century was mainly exploratory; the second was mainly descriptive (although biological exploration was still dominant in the tropics). The third quarter saw ecology developing into an experimental science, and, as the environmental revolution got into its stride, ecology became organized both nationally and internationally. Although the term is now often misused and sometimes misunderstood by laymen, the last quarter-century is seeing the wide application of ecology in environmental and human affairs, and this gives some assurance that the twenty-first century will not become one of chaos.

  17. Inferring local ecological processes amid species pool influences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Belmaker, Jonathan; Myers, Jonathan A.

    2012-01-01

    studies, null models of community structure, and ecologically explicit definitions of the species pool as a means to compare predominant ecological processes among regions. By uniting concepts and tools from community ecology and macroecology, this approach might facilitate synthesis and resolve many......Resolving contingencies in community ecology requires comparative studies of local communities along broad-scale environmental gradients and in different biogeographic regions. However, comparisons of local ecological processes among regions require a synthetic understanding of how the species pool...... of potential community members influences the structure of ecological communities. Here, we outline an integrative approach for quantifying local ecological processes while explicitly accounting for species pool influences. Specifically, we highlight the utility of combining geographically replicated local...

  18. Emerging Ecological Approaches to Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health in the School Context: Next Steps from a Community Psychology Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trickett, Edison J.; Rowe, Hillary L.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, ecological perspectives have become more visible in prevention, health promotion, and public health within the school context. Individually based approaches to understanding and changing behavior have been increasingly challenged by these perspectives because of their appreciation for contextual influences on individual behavior.…

  19. Benthic communities in inland salinized waters with different salinities and nutrient concentrations and the ecology of Chironomus aprilinus (Diptera: Chironomidae) in the Czech Republic.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Matěna, Josef; Šímová, I.; Brom, J.; Novotná, K.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 113, January (2016), s. 122-129 E-ISSN 1802-8829 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Diptera * Chironomidae * Chironomus aprilinus * coal mining * hydric restoration * saline inland waters * fertilization Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.167, year: 2016

  20. Macroecology, paleoecology, and ecological integrity of terrestrial species and communities of the interior Columbia basin and northern portions of the Klamath and Great Basins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot; L.K. Croft; J.F. Lehmkuhl; R.H. Naney; C.G. Niwa; W.R. Owen; R.E. Sandquist

    1998-01-01

    This report present information on biogeography and broad-scale ecology (macroecology) of selected fungi, lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates of the interior Columbia River basin and adjacent areas. Rareplants include many endemics associated with local conditions. Potential plant and invertebrate bioindicators are identified. Species...

  1. Population ecology and community structure of sub-tidal soft sediment dwelling macro-invertebrates of Konkan, west coast of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Vizakat, L.; Harkantra, S.N.; Parulekar, A.H.

    (Shannon Wiener index) varied from 0.44 to 3.58 (X = 1.94, SD = + or - 0.89). Population and community structure were more stable in premonsoon months. Carnivorous species Glycera alba modified the community structure mainly due to prey...

  2. Diversity and ecology of arboricolous ant communities of Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a New Guinea rainforest with descriptions of four new species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimeš, Petr; McArthur, C.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 20, Sep 8 (2014), s. 141-158 ISSN 1994-4136 R&D Projects: GA ČR GPP505/12/P875; GA MŠk(CZ) LH11008 Grant - others:European Social Fund(CZ) CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0064 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Formicinae * arboreal insects * Coccoidea Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.898, year: 2014

  3. Ecological concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains three critical contributions on the application of modern technology from the ethical point of view. The peaceful use of nuclear power is rejected as a technical error, which is overwhelming humanity. Ethical bases of a preventive technological policy and ecological aims are developed for the 21st century, in economy, technology, politics, and consciousness. (HSCH) [de

  4. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit...

  5. Ecological study of the effects of nuclear power plants on benthic macroplant microcosms in subtropical and tropical estuaries. Annual progress report, 1974--1975

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorhaug, A.

    1975-05-01

    Progress is reported on the following research projects: the dynamic ecology of Thalassia and studies of the Thalassia community; basic ecology of Thalassia growth and reproduction; red macroalgal ecology; green macroalgal ecology; transplantation of Thalassia; succession in a previously damaged Thalassia community at Turkey Point; and thermal ecology of the Thalassia community of Card Sound and Turkey Point. (U.S.)

  6. The ecological competition and grazing reverse the effects of sulfamethoxazole on plankton: a case study on characterizing community-level effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changyou; Liang, Shengkang; Zhang, Yong

    2018-04-12

    The toxic effects of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) on densities of two algae, Platymonas helgolandica var. tsingtaoensis, Isochrysis galbana, and of a rotifer, Brachionus plicatilis, were tested by the population and community experiments. Two endpoints, the carrying capacity and the densities array of community in steady state (DACS), were used to characterize the toxic effects at a population level and a community one, respectively. The results showed that the carrying capacity of P. helgolandica var. tsingtaoensis and B. plicatilis did not decline significantly in population test when the concentration of SMX was lower than 6.0 mg L -1 and 12.0 mg L -1 , respectively. However, I. galbana was sensitive to SMX and had presented toxic effect at 3.0 mg L -1 . By extrapolation of toxic effect at a population level to a community one, a derived community-NOEC was 3.0 mg L -1 , representing an inference from data of toxic effects at population level. In community experiment, when the customized community was in steady state, the density of I. galbana increased as a whole with SMX concentration in the range of tested concentration (0-144 mg L -1 ), while that of P. helgolandica var. tsingtaoensis assumed the trend of a reversed "v" in this range. Only the density of B. plicatilis decreased with SMX concentration. With the DACS as endpoint, a NOEC for the customized community was determined to be 6.0 mg L -1 . This indicates that interspecific interactions can reverse the toxic effects of SMX on phytoplankton. The DACS was reliable and stable, serving as the endpoints in assessment of the effects of the pollutants on the ecosystems.

  7. Political ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strohm, H.

    1979-01-01

    Using facts and examples, this didactically structures textbook gives an insight into the extent and consequences of the damage to the environment, with the subjects - fundamentals of ecology; - population and food problems; - the energy problem; - economic growth; scarcity of resources, recycling; - ground, water, and air pollution, - city and traffic problems; - work protection and medical care; - political alternatives and 'soft technologies'. The analysis of the political and economic reasons is combined with social and technical alternatives from which demands to be made and measures to be taken can be derived for individuals, citizens' interest groups, political groups and trade unions. Teaching models intend to help teachers to work on specific problems of ecology. (orig.) [de

  8. Wasteland ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoag, Colin Brewster; Bertoni, Filippo; Bubandt, Nils Ole

    2018-01-01

    landscapes, this article argues, are the result of unheralded multispecies collaboration that can be traced empirically by attending ethnographically to multispecies forms of “gain-making,” the ways in which humans and other species leverage difference to find economic and ecological opportunity....... in the 1970s, when prevailing perceptions were that the entire mining area was a polluted wasteland, the AFLD Fasterholt waste and recycling plant has since changed in response to new EU waste management regulations, as well as the unexpected proliferation of non-human life in the area. Based on field...... research at this site—an Anthropocene landscape in the heartland of an EU-configured welfare state — this article is a contribution to the multispecies ethnography and political ecology of wastelands. We argue that “waste” is a co-species, biopolitical happening — a complex symbolic, political, biological...

  9. The ecological and evolutionary implications of merging different types of networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fontaine, C.; Guimaraes, P.R.; Kéfi, S.; Loeuille, N.; Memmott, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Veen, F.J.; Thébault, E.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions among species drive the ecological and evolutionary processes in ecological communities. These interactions are effectively key components of biodiversity. Studies that use a network approach to study the structure and dynamics of communities of interacting species have revealed many

  10. Marine ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    Studies on marine ecology included marine pollution; distribution patterns of Pu and Am in the marine waters, sediments, and organisms of Bikini Atoll and the influence of physical, chemical, and biological factors on their movements through marine biogeochemical systems; transfer and dispersion of organic pollutants from an oil refinery through coastal waters; transfer of particulate pollutants, including sediments dispersed during construction of offshore power plants; and raft culture of the mangrove oysters

  11. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  12. The parasite community of the sharks Galeus melastomus, Etmopterus spinax and Centroscymnus coelolepis from the NW Mediterranean deep-sea in relation to feeding ecology and health condition of the host and environmental gradients and variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallarés, Sara; Padrós, Francesc; Cartes, Joan E.; Solé, Montserrat; Carrassón, Maite

    2017-11-01

    The parasite communities of sharks have been largely neglected despite the ecological importance and vulnerability of this group of fishes. The main goal of the present study is to describe the parasite communities of three deep-dwelling shark species in the NW Mediterranean. A total of 120 specimens of Galeus melastomus, 11 Etmopterus spinax and 10 Centroscymnus coelolepis were captured at 400-2200 m depth at two seasons and three localities off the mainland and insular slopes of the Balearic Sea. Environmental and fish biological, parasitological, dietary, enzymatic and histological data were obtained for each specimen, and the relationships among them tested. For G. melastomus, E. spinax and C. coelolepis a total of 15, two and eight parasite species were respectively recovered. The parasite community of G. melastomus is characterized by high abundance, richness and diversity, and the cestodes Ditrachybothridium macrocephalum and Grillotia adenoplusia dominate the infracommunities of juvenile and adult specimens, respectively. A differentiation of parasite communities, linked to a diet shift, has been observed between ontogenic stages of this species. E. spinax displays a depauperate parasite community, and that of C. coelolepis, described for the first time, shows moderate richness and diversity. Detailed parasite-prey relationships have been discussed and possible transmission pathways suggested for the three hosts. Parasites were mostly related to high water turbidity and O2 levels, which enhance zooplankton proliferation and could thus enhance parasite transmission. The nematodes Hysterothylacium aduncum and Proleptus obtusus were linked to high salinity levels, as already reported by previous studies, which are associated to high biomass and diversity of benthic and benthopelagic crustaceans. A decrease of acetylcholinesterase activity and lower hepatosomatic index, possibly linked to infection-related stress, have been observed. Lesions associated to

  13. Future needs and recommendations in the development of species sensitivity distributions: Estimating toxicity thresholds for aquatic ecological communities and assessing impacts of chemical exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belanger, Scott; Barron, Mace; Craig, Peter; Dyer, Scott; Galay-Burgos, Malyka; Hamer, Mick; Marshall, Stuart; Posthuma, Leo; Raimondo, Sandy; Whitehouse, Paul

    2017-07-01

    A species sensitivity distribution (SSD) is a probability model of the variation of species sensitivities to a stressor, in particular chemical exposure. The SSD approach has been used as a decision support tool in environmental protection and management since the 1980s, and the ecotoxicological, statistical, and regulatory basis and applications continue to evolve. This article summarizes the findings of a 2014 workshop held by the European Centre for Toxicology and Ecotoxicology of Chemicals and the UK Environment Agency in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on the ecological relevance, statistical basis, and regulatory applications of SSDs. An array of research recommendations categorized under the topical areas of use of SSDs, ecological considerations, guideline considerations, method development and validation, toxicity data, mechanistic understanding, and uncertainty were identified and prioritized. A rationale for the most critical research needs identified in the workshop is provided. The workshop reviewed the technical basis and historical development and application of SSDs, described approaches to estimating generic and scenario-specific SSD-based thresholds, evaluated utility and application of SSDs as diagnostic tools, and presented new statistical approaches to formulate SSDs. Collectively, these address many of the research needs to expand and improve their application. The highest priority work, from a pragmatic regulatory point of view, is to develop a guidance of best practices that could act as a basis for global harmonization and discussions regarding the SSD methodology and tools. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:664-674. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  14. Chemical ecology of the marine plankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Jessie S; Poulson-Ellestad, Kelsey L; Drew Sieg, R; Poulin, Remington X; Kubanek, Julia

    2013-10-11

    This review summarizes recent work in the chemical ecology of pelagic marine ecosystems. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the field over the period covered, we have organized this review by ecological interaction type beginning with intraspecific interactions, then interspecific interactions (including mutualism, parasitism, competition, and predation), and finally community- and ecosystem-wide interactions.

  15. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  16. Building doctoral ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bengtsen, Søren Smedegaard

    2018-01-01

    heavily from the support from informal and extra-curricular researcher communities and non-formal support systems even beyond the institution in the private and societal lifeworlds. The chapter describes and analyses such forms of organizational and existential darkness within doctoral education...... and professionalization of doctoral education, with Graduate schools increasing in size and organizational complexity. Paradoxically, we see in contemporary research into doctoral students’ learning experiences that the students do not favour the formalized support systems and supervision, but on the contrary draw most......, and discusses how institutions and doctoral programmes could use such sprawling spaces for learning to build doctoral ecologies and to strengthening existentially based pedagogies within doctoral education....

  17. Civic Ecology: A Postmodern Approach to Ecological Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    Human agency is transforming the planetary processes at unprecedented rates risking damaging essential life-support systems. Climate change, massive species extinction, land degradation, resources depletion, overpopulation, poverty and social injustice are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. The survival of our modern economic systems depends upon insatiable consumption - a simple way of life no longer satisfies most people. Detached, instrumental rationality has created an ideal of liberalism based on individual pursuit of self-interest, leading the way into unprecedented material progress but bringing with it human alienation, social injustice, and ecological degradation. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a community-based systems response to a growing sense that the interlocked social-ecological crisis is as much a problem of human thought and behavior as it is about identifying carrying capacities and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach, referred to here as civic ecology, presents a new and important paradigm shift in sustainability practice that attempts to bring together and integrate ecological ideas and postmodern thinking. As such, it is as much a holistic, dynamic, and synergistic approach to ecological sustainability, as it is a philosophy of life and ethical perspective born of ecological understanding and insight. Civic ecology starts with the proposition that the key factor determining the health of the ecosphere is the behavior of human beings, and therefore many of the most important issues related to sustainability lie in the areas of human thought and culture. Thus, the quest for sustainability must include as a central concern the transformation of psychological and behavioral patterns that have become an imminent danger to planetary health. At the core of this understanding is a fundamental paradigm shift from the basic commitments of modern Western culture to its model of mechanism

  18. Bird Community Composition in a Shaded Coffee Agro-ecological Matrix in Puebla, Mexico: The Effects of Landscape Heterogeneity at Multiple Spatial Scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leyequien, E.; Boer, de W.F.; Toledo, V.M.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the importance of habitat heterogeneity on the avian community composition, and investigated the scale at which species abundances respond to habitat variables. The study was conducted within a diverse landscape matrix of a shaded coffee region in Mexico. To detect at which

  19. Community as locus for health formal and non-formal education: the significance of ecological and collaborative research for promoting health literacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pais, Sofia C; Rodrigues, Mariana; Menezes, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    The World Health Organization (2002) considers that a balance between government, community, and individual action is necessary for health education and promotion, recognizing that non-governmental organizations, local groups, and community institutions are central in this process. This argument reinforces the idea that individuals should be empowered and encouraged to make use of accurate health-related information. This paper highlights the potential of a socio-political perspective for the development of health literacy within children and adolescents and presents two studies conducted in two daily life contexts: a community organization and a school. Both studies are based on methodological pluralism and collaborative research approaches and explore the promotion of health knowledge in formal and informal settings. Study 1 is based on a mixed methodology, using focus group discussions and questionnaires with children and youth with chronic diseases to explore the perceived impact of their participation in support associations. Study 2 presents four intensive case-studies in schools where adolescents used community profiling, a participatory research methodology, to explore health rights and access to healthcare in both a historical and prospective vision. The results enable a deeper understanding on how powerful tool ccommunity resources can be for individual and collective empowerment on health issues.

  20. Ecological analysis of the ichthyofaunal community ten years after a diesel oil spill at Serra do Mar, Paraná state, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Horodesky

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In February 2001, an accidental spill dumped 52,000 litres of diesel oil in Serra do Mar, Paraná state, Brazil, contaminating streams. This study aimed to evaluate if fish communities currently inhabiting environments exposed to the oil spill still showing evidence of spill-related impacts. Ichthyofauna communities were monitored in five rivers located in the region of the spill. Two sites exposed to oil (Meio and Sagrado rivers were considered treatment sites, and three unexposed sites with environmental characteristics similar to the treatment sites (Pinto, Passa Sete and Marumbi rivers were considered control sites. Analysis of water quality parameters indicated that sites within rivers were more similar than sites among rivers. The diversity and species composition of fish communities differed between the treatment and control groups and among the rivers. The distribution and species composition of ichthyofaunal communities likely reflect the environmental characteristics of each river and not related to the environmental contamination resulting from the oil spill.

  1. Community as locus for health formal and non-formal education: the significance of ecological and collaborative research for promoting health literacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Castanheira Pais

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The World Health Organization (2002 considers that a balance between government, community and individual action is necessary for health education and promotion, recognizing that nongovernmental organizations, local groups, and community institutions are central in this process. This argument reinforces the idea that individuals should be empowered and encouraged to make use of accurate health-related information. This paper highlights the potential of a socio-political perspective for the development of health literacy within children and adolescents, and presents two studies conducted in two daily life contexts: a community organization and a school. Both studies are based on methodological pluralism and collaborative research approaches and explore the promotion of health knowledge in formal and informal settings. Study 1 is based on a mixed methodology, using focus group discussions and questionnaires with children and youth with chronic diseases to explore the perceived impact of their participation in support associations. Study 2 presents four intensive case-studies in schools where adolescents used community profiling, a participatory research methodology, to explore health rights and access to healthcare in both a historical and prospective vision. The results enable a deeper understanding on how powerful tool ccommunity resources can be for individual and collective empowerment on health issues.

  2. The Bacteriome of Bat Flies (Nycteribiidae) from the Malagasy Region: a Community Shaped by Host Ecology, Bacterial Transmission Mode, and Host-Vector Specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, David A; Duron, Olivier; Cordonin, Colette; Gomard, Yann; Ramasindrazana, Beza; Mavingui, Patrick; Goodman, Steven M; Tortosa, Pablo

    2016-01-08

    The Nycteribiidae are obligate blood-sucking Diptera (Hippoboscoidea) flies that parasitize bats. Depending on species, these wingless flies exhibit either high specialism or generalism toward their hosts, which may in turn have important consequences in terms of their associated microbial community structure. Bats have been hypothesized to be reservoirs of numerous infectious agents, some of which have recently emerged in human populations. Thus, bat flies may be important in the epidemiology and transmission of some of these bat-borne infectious diseases, acting either directly as arthropod vectors or indirectly by shaping pathogen communities among bat populations. In addition, bat flies commonly have associations with heritable bacterial endosymbionts that inhabit insect cells and depend on maternal transmission through egg cytoplasm to ensure their transmission. Some of these heritable bacteria are likely obligate mutualists required to support bat fly development, but others are facultative symbionts with unknown effects. Here, we present bacterial community profiles that were obtained from seven bat fly species, representing five genera, parasitizing bats from the Malagasy region. The observed bacterial diversity includes Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and several Arsenophonus-like organisms, as well as other members of the Enterobacteriales and a widespread association of Bartonella bacteria from bat flies of all five genera. Using the well-described host specificity of these flies and data on community structure from selected bacterial taxa with either vertical or horizontal transmission, we show that host/vector specificity and transmission mode are important drivers of bacterial community structure. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Graphic Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook Weld Muller

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, conscious absence and the embracing of tension. A self-critical attitude toward the generation of imagery characterized by the notion of ‘loose precision’ may lead to more transformative and environmentally responsive architectures.

  4. Industrial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, C K

    1992-01-01

    Industrial ecology addresses issues that will impact future production, use, and disposal technologies; proper use of the concept should reduce significantly the resources devoted to potential remediation in the future. This cradle-to-reincarnation production philosophy includes industrial processes that are environmentally sound and products that are environmentally safe during use and economically recyclable after use without adverse impact on the environment or on the net cost to society. This will require an industry-university-government round table to set the strategy and agenda for progress. PMID:11607254

  5. Urbanization breaks up host-parasite interactions: a case study on parasite community ecology of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calegaro-Marques, Cláudia; Amato, Suzana B

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization drastically alters natural ecosystems and the structure of their plant and animal communities. Whereas some species cope successfully with these environmental changes, others may go extinct. In the case of parasite communities, the expansion of urban areas has a critical effect by changing the availability of suitable substrates for the eggs or free-larval stages of those species with direct life cycles or for the range of hosts of those species with complex cycles. In this study we investigated the influence of the degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity on helminth richness, abundance and community structure of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris) along a rural-urban gradient in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This common native bird species of southern Brazil hosts 15 endoparasite species at the study region. A total of 144 thrushes were collected with mist nets at 11 sites. The degree of urbanization and environmental heterogeneity were estimated by quantifying five landscape elements: buildings, woodlands, fields, bare lands, and water. Landscape analyses were performed at two spatial scales (10 and 100 ha) taking into account home range size and the potential dispersal distance of thrushes and their prey (intermediate hosts). Mean parasite richness showed an inverse relationship with the degree of urbanization, but a positive relationship with environmental heterogeneity. Changes in the structure of component communities along the rural-urban gradient resulted from responses to the availability of particular landscape elements that are compatible with the parasites' life cycles. We found that the replacement of natural environments with buildings breaks up host-parasite interactions, whereas a higher environmental (substrate) diversity allows the survival of a wider range of intermediate hosts and vectors and their associated parasites.

  6. Short-term versus long-term changes in the benthic communities of a small coastal lagoon: implications for ecological status assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Félix, PM; Chainho, P; Costa, Jl; Correia, MJ; Chaves, ML; Medeiros, JP; Cabral, HN; Wouters, N; Bernardo, J; Costa, AM; Cristo, M; Silva, G; Azeda, C; Tavares, P; Costa, MJ

    2013-01-01

    The characteristic high variability and low predictability of coastal lagoons, due to strong changes in marine and freshwater inputs, make these ecosystems an interesting casestudy. The small Melides landlocked coastal lagoon in SW Portugal is a paradigmatic example, with a biological community highly stressed by these phenomena. Benthic macroinvertebrate samples were collected in 1998/99 and 2009 and each year, in different seasons and addressing different environmental conditions i...

  7. Some Ecological Mechanisms to Generate Habitability in Planetary Subsurface Areas by Chemolithotrophic Communities: The Ro Tinto Subsurface Ecosystem as a Model System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Remolar, David C.; Gómez, Felipe; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Schelble, Rachel T.; Rodríguez, Nuria; Amiols, Ricardo

    2008-02-01

    Chemolithotrophic communities that colonize subsurface habitats have great relevance for the astrobiological exploration of our Solar System. We hypothesize that the chemical and thermal stabilization of an environment through microbial activity could make a given planetary region habitable. The MARTE project ground-truth drilling campaigns that sampled cryptic subsurface microbial communities in the basement of the Ro Tinto headwaters have shown that acidic surficial habitats are the result of the microbial oxidation of pyritic ores. The oxidation process is exothermic and releases heat under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. These microbial communities can maintain the subsurface habitat temperature through storage heat if the subsurface temperature does not exceed their maximum growth temperature. In the acidic solutions of the Ro Tinto, ferric iron acts as an effective buffer for controlling water pH. Under anaerobic conditions, ferric iron is the oxidant used by microbes to decompose pyrite through the production of sulfate, ferrous iron, and protons. The integration between the physical and chemical processes mediated by microorganisms with those driven by the local geology and hydrology have led us to hypothesize that thermal and chemical regulation mechanisms exist in this environment and that these homeostatic mechanisms could play an essential role in creating habitable areas for other types of microorganisms. Therefore, searching for the physicochemical expression of extinct and extant homeostatic mechanisms through physical and chemical anomalies in the Mars crust (i.e., local thermal gradient or high concentration of unusual products such as ferric sulfates precipitated out from acidic solutions produced by hypothetical microbial communities) could be a first step in the search for biological traces of a putative extant or extinct Mars biosphere.

  8. Some ecological mechanisms to generate habitability in planetary subsurface areas by chemolithotrophic communities: the Río Tinto subsurface ecosystem as a model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Remolar, David C; Gómez, Felipe; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Schelble, Rachel T; Rodríguez, Nuria; Amils, Ricardo

    2008-02-01

    Chemolithotrophic communities that colonize subsurface habitats have great relevance for the astrobiological exploration of our Solar System. We hypothesize that the chemical and thermal stabilization of an environment through microbial activity could make a given planetary region habitable. The MARTE project ground-truth drilling campaigns that sampled cryptic subsurface microbial communities in the basement of the Río Tinto headwaters have shown that acidic surficial habitats are the result of the microbial oxidation of pyritic ores. The oxidation process is exothermic and releases heat under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. These microbial communities can maintain the subsurface habitat temperature through storage heat if the subsurface temperature does not exceed their maximum growth temperature. In the acidic solutions of the Río Tinto, ferric iron acts as an effective buffer for controlling water pH. Under anaerobic conditions, ferric iron is the oxidant used by microbes to decompose pyrite through the production of sulfate, ferrous iron, and protons. The integration between the physical and chemical processes mediated by microorganisms with those driven by the local geology and hydrology have led us to hypothesize that thermal and chemical regulation mechanisms exist in this environment and that these homeostatic mechanisms could play an essential role in creating habitable areas for other types of microorganisms. Therefore, searching for the physicochemical expression of extinct and extant homeostatic mechanisms through physical and chemical anomalies in the Mars crust (i.e., local thermal gradient or high concentration of unusual products such as ferric sulfates precipitated out from acidic solutions produced by hypothetical microbial communities) could be a first step in the search for biological traces of a putative extant or extinct Mars biosphere.

  9. A mixed methods inquiry into the determinants of traditional food consumption among three Cree communities of Eeyou Istchee from an ecological perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudin, Véronique Laberge; Receveur, Olivier; Walz, Leah; Girard, Félix; Potvin, Louise

    2014-01-01

    The Aboriginal nations of Canada have higher incidences of chronic diseases, coinciding with profound changes in their environment, lifestyle and diet. Traditional foods can protect against the risks of chronic disease. However, their consumption is in decline, and little is known about the complex mechanisms underlying this trend. To identify the factors involved in traditional food consumption by Cree Aboriginal people living in 3 communities in northern Quebec, Canada. Design. A mixed methods explanatory design, including focus group interviews to interpret the results of logistic regression. This study includes a secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional survey of 3 Cree communities (n=374) and 4 focus group interviews (n=23). In the first, quantitative phase of the study, data were collected using a food-frequency questionnaire along with a structured questionnaire. Subsequently, the focus group interviews helped explain and build on the results of logistic regressions. People who consume traditional food 3 days or more weekly were more likely to be 40 years old and over, to walk 30 minutes or more per day, not to have completed their schooling, to live in Mistissini and to be a hunter (ptraditional food consumption, rendering the effect undetectable. In addition, focus group participants suggested that traditional food consumption is the result of multiple interconnected influences, including individual, family, community and environmental influences, rather than a single factor. This study sheds light on a number of factors that are unique to traditional foods, factors that have been understudied to date. Efforts to promote and maintain traditional food consumption could improve the overall health and wellbeing of Cree communities.

  10. Exploring Farmers’ Indigenous Knowledge of Soil Quality and Fertility Management Practices in Selected Farming Communities of the Guinea Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone of Ghana

    OpenAIRE

    Richard Ansong Omari; Sonoko Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura; Elsie Sarkodee Addo; Yosei Oikawa; Yoshiharu Fujii

    2018-01-01

    Efforts to improve soil productive capacity aimed at boosting crop production in the Northern Ghana has primarily focused on field-based experiments with little documentation on farmer practice and local indigenous knowledge of soil management. A sample group of 114 farmers from five farming communities in the Guinea Savannah was interviewed to evaluate their indigenous knowledge of crop production practices in the context of soil health, fertilization management, and crop yield. Data were co...

  11. Ecological responses to recent climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walther, Gian-Reto [Hannover Univ., Inst. of Geobotany, Hannover (Germany); Post, Eric [Pennsylvania State Univ., Dept. of Biology, University Park, PA (United States); Convey, Peter [British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Menzel, Annette [Technical Univ. Munich, Dept. of Ecology, Freising (Germany); Parmesan, Camille [Texas Univ., Patterson Labs., Integrative Biology Dept., Austin, TX (United States); Beebee, Trevor J.C. [Sussex Univ., School of Biological Sciences, Brighton (United Kingdom); Fromentin, Jean-Marc [IFREMER, Centre Halieutique Mediterraneen et Tropical, Sete, 34 (France); Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove [Queensland Univ., Centre for Marine Studies, St Lucia, QLD (Australia); Bairlein, Franz [Institute for Avian Research ' Vogelwarte Helgoland' , Wilhelmshaven (Germany)

    2002-03-28

    There is now ample evidence of the ecological impacts of recent climate change, from polar terrestrial to tropical marine environments. The responses of both flora and fauna span an array of ecosystems and organisational hierarchies, from the species to the community levels. Despite continued uncertainty as to community and ecosystem trajectories under global change, our review exposes a coherent pattern of ecological change across systems. Although we are only at an early stage in the projected trends of global warming, ecological responses to recent climate change are already clearly visible. (Author)

  12. Extensive phylogenetic analysis of a soil bacterial community illustrates extreme taxon evenness and the effects of amplicon length, degree of coverage, and DNA fractionation on classification and ecological parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Sergio E; Cosart, Theodore F; Johnson, Jesse V; Holben, William E

    2009-02-01

    To thoroughly investigate the bacterial community diversity present in a single composite sample from an agricultural soil and to examine potential biases resulting from data acquisition and analytical approaches, we examined the effects of percent G+C DNA fractionation, sequence length, and degree of coverage of bacterial diversity on several commonly used ecological parameters (species estimation, diversity indices, and evenness). We also examined variation in phylogenetic placement based on multiple commonly used approaches (ARB alignments and multiple RDP tools). The results demonstrate that this soil bacterial community is highly diverse, with 1,714 operational taxonomic units demonstrated and 3,555 estimated (based on the Chao1 richness estimation) at 97% sequence similarity using the 16S rRNA gene. The results also demonstrate a fundamental lack of dominance (i.e., a high degree of evenness), with 82% of phylotypes being encountered three times or less. The data also indicate that generally accepted cutoff values for phylum-level taxonomic classification might not be as applicable or as general as previously assumed and that such values likely vary between prokaryotic phyla or groups.

  13. Preliminary study of some environmental and ecological aspects of the communities of fish and aquatic macro-invertebrates in the Tutunendo River, Choco, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Yenecith; Roldan, Gabriel; Asprilla, Sonia; Rivas, Tulia Sofia

    2006-01-01

    From June to October 2003 studies related to environmental and ecological aspects of fishes and macro-invertebrates in three sampling stations of Tutunendo River located in the Department of Choco, Colombia, were carried out. Abiotic factors like conductivity, pH, oxygen and temperature were also measured. Eighty one hundred fish specimens, belonging to three orders, seven families and twelve species were collected. The order Siluriformes presented the greatest abundance (70.72%) with three families, seven species and 128 specimens, followed by Characiformes with three families, three species and 43 specimens (23.53%). At the same time 1.211 aquatic macro-invertebrates were collected represented by the orders Ephemeroptera (50.28%), Odonata (11.40%), Coleoptera (8.67%), Hemiptera (8.42%), Trichoptera (7.30%), Plecoptera (5.7%), Megaloptera (3.3%), Lepidoptera (2.31%), Diptera (0.37%) and Haplotaxida (0.08%). The families Leptophlebiidae (37.24%), followed by Naucoridae (8.42%) and Baetidae (8%) were the most represented. Relationship between fishes and macro invertebrates as food items in Geophagus pellegrini and Astyanaxfasciatus were also studied. G. pellegrini was zooplanctophage with preference for Baetidae, Leptohyphidae, Hydrobiosidae, Leptoceridae and Naucoridae. Finally, the present work indicated that Tutunendo town does not have potential fishery; the economy is supported in productive traditional systems based in the agriculture, complemented with fishery and extractive activities

  14. Microbial Communities as Environmental Indicators of Ecological Disturbance in Restored Carbonate Fen-Results of 10 Years of Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieczan, Tomasz; Tarkowska-Kukuryk, Monika

    2017-08-01

    Interactions between bacteria and protists are essential to the ecosystem ecology of fens. Until now, however, there has been almost no information on how restoration procedures in carbonate fens affect the functioning of microbial food webs. Changes in vegetation patterns resulting from restoration may take years to be observed, whereas microbial processes display effects even after short-term exposure to changes in environmental conditions caused by restoration. Therefore, microbial processes and patterns can be used as sensitive indicators of changes in environmental conditions. The present study attempts to verify the hypothesis that the species richness and abundance of microbial loop components would differ substantially before and after restoration. The effect of restoration processes on the functioning of the food web was investigated for a 10 years in a carbonate-rich fen, before and after restoration. The restoration procedure (particularly the improvement in hydrological conditions) distinctly modified the taxonomic composition and functioning of microbial food webs. This is reflected in the increased abundance and diversity of testate amoeba, i.e. top predators, within the microbial food web and in the pronounced increase in the abundance of bacteria. This study suggests potential use of microbial loop components as bio-indicators and bio-monitoring tools for hydrological status of fens and concentrations of nutrients. Better understanding of what regulates microbial populations and activity in fens and unravelling of these fundamental mechanisms are particularly critical in order to more accurately predict how fens will respond to global change or anthropogenic disturbances.

  15. Media Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Ašković

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Does the trend in which electronic media are gradually becoming extension of human body have to move towards full enslavement of a human and his personality, or the same human will unpredictably, with the aid of his personal media literacy, exit the whirls of media and technological censorships? Personality crisis is closely related to the crisis of language no matter how contradicted to global ideology of transnational transhumanism it may seem. Considering the fact that recent media presentations of the world are based on commercialization of environmentalism, philosophical and aesthetic thought appears as an important subject of ecology. As media mediates, the scenery of civilized living increasingly becomes more appealing even though it derives from commercial and political background. Consequently, the future of humanity depends by large on the philosophy of media. Media have to truly ecologise returning the humanum to its essence making it into the extension of the natural world.

  16. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  17. Ecological Ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oughton, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Deborah Oughton started with a view of the work in progress by the ICRP TG 94 on ethics, from the historical context and the principles-based ethics in RP, to continue with an overview of the ethical theories and with the main area of elaboration which concerns the common values, to conclude with considerations about the implementation in different area such as biomedicine, nuclear safety and workers, ecological aspects, and environmental health and society. By reading again the ICRP and IAEA publications on the ethical aspects in the protection of environment from the effects of ionizing radiation, the presentation covers the various and different cultures within the history of environmental ethics, the perception of Nature and the theories of environmental ethics, in particular by focusing on anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as philosophical worldwide views, and on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, environmental justice and human dignity, as primary principles of environmental protection. The influence of western Christianity, with a view of man dominating over every creeping thing on earth, and of the non-western ideas, the human perception of Nature has been analyzed and discussed to conclude that, in reality then, the anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as reflected in many cultures and religions, they all support the need to protect the environment and to recognise and preserve the diversity. Three challenges were then discussed in the presentation: the ecosystem approach and ecological economics, for example in the case of Fukushima by asking what is the economic cost of marine contamination; the ecosystem changes with attention to what harms, as in the case of the environment in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl; and the environmental consequences of remediation, which can be considered a source of controversy for environmental ethics and policy

  18. Community ecology of the metazoan parasites of Atlantic Moonfish, Selene setapinnis (Osteichthyes: Carangidae from the coastal zone of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Cordeiro

    Full Text Available Eighty-nine specimens of Selene setapinnis (Mitchill, 1815 collected from the coastal zone of the State of Rio de Janeiro (21-23ºS, 41-45ºW and 23º05'S, 44º30'W, Brazil, from August 2001 to May 2002, were necropsied to study their metazoan parasites. Eighty-one (91% specimens of S. setapinnis were parasitized by one or more metazoan species. Twenty-one species of parasites were collected: 8 digeneans, 3 monogeneans, 2 cestodes, 5 nematodes, and 3 copepods. The endoparasites (digeneans, cestodes, and nematodes were 74.1% of total number of parasite specimens collected. The monogenean Pseudomazocraes selene (Hargis, 1957 was the most dominant species with the highest prevalence in the parasite community of S. setapinnis. The metazoan parasites of this host species showed the typical aggregated pattern of distribution. Only one parasite species (Acanthocolpoides pauloi Travassos, Freitas & Buhrnheim, 1955 showed positive correlation between the host total length and parasite abundance in S. setapinnis. Caligus robustus Bassett-Smith, 1898, P. selene, and Terranova sp. demonstrated positive correlation between the host total length and prevalence. Larvae of Terranova sp. showed influence of the host sex on its prevalence. A pair of ectoparasite species, P. selene-C. robustus, exhibited positive covariation between their abundances. Two pairs of endoparasite species, L. microstomum-P. merus and A. pauloi-P. merus showed significant covariation among their abundances; and the pair Terranova sp.-Raphidascaris sp. had positive co-ocorrence and covariation in the infracommunities of S. setapinnis. Like the parasite communities of the other carangid fishes from Rio de Janeiro, the parasite community of S. setapinnis is apparently only a slightly ordered species complex, characterized by dominance of endoparasite species.

  19. Ecological stability of landscape - ecological infrastructure - ecological management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The Field Workshop 'Ecological Stability of Landscape - Ecological Infrastructure - Ecological Management' was held within a State Environmental Programme financed by the Federal Committee for the Environment. The objectives of the workshop were to present Czech and Slovak approaches to the ecological stability of the landscape by means of examples of some case studies in the field, and to exchange ideas, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on implementing the concept of ecological infrastructure in landscape management. Out of 19 papers contained in the proceedings, 3 items were inputted to the INIS system. (Z.S.)

  20. Ecological effects of soil properties and metal concentrations on the composition and diversity of microbial communities associated with land use patterns in an electronic waste recycling region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wencheng; Dong, Changxun; Wu, Jiahui; Liu, Xiaowen; Wu, Yingxin; Chen, Xianbin; Yu, Shixiao

    2017-12-01

    Soil microbes play vital roles in ecosystem functions, and soil microbial communities may be strongly structured by land use patterns associated with electronic waste (e-waste) recycling activities, which can increase the heavy metal concentration in soils. In this study, a suite of soils from five land use types (paddy field, vegetable field, dry field, forest field, and e-waste recycling site) were collected in Longtang Town, Guangdong Province, South China. Soil physicochemical properties and heavy metal concentrations were measured, and the indigenous microbial assemblages were profiled using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and clone library analyses. The results showed that mercury concentration was positively correlated with both Faith's PD and Chao1 estimates, suggesting that the soil microbial alpha diversity was predominantly regulated by mercury. In addition, redundancy analysis indicated that available phosphorus, soil moisture, and mercury were the three major drivers affecting the microbial assemblages. Overall, the microbial composition was determined primarily by land use patterns, and this study provides a novel insight on the composition and diversity of microbial communities in soils associated with e-waste recycling activities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Ecological opportunity and the adaptive diversification of lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellborn, Gary A; Langerhans, R Brian

    2015-01-01

    The tenet that ecological opportunity drives adaptive diversification has been central to theories of speciation since Darwin, yet no widely accepted definition or mechanistic framework for the concept currently exists. We propose a definition for ecological opportunity that provides an explicit mechanism for its action. In our formulation, ecological opportunity refers to environmental conditions that both permit the persistence of a lineage within a community, as well as generate divergent natural selection within that lineage. Thus, ecological opportunity arises from two fundamental elements: (1) niche availability, the ability of a population with a phenotype previously absent from a community to persist within that community and (2) niche discordance, the diversifying selection generated by the adaptive mismatch between a population's niche-related traits and the newly encountered ecological conditions. Evolutionary response to ecological opportunity is primarily governed by (1) spatiotemporal structure of ecological opportunity, which influences dynamics of selection and development of reproductive isolation and (2) diversification potential, the biological properties of a lineage that determine its capacity to diversify. Diversification under ecological opportunity proceeds as an increase in niche breadth, development of intraspecific ecotypes, speciation, and additional cycles of diversification that may themselves be triggered by speciation. Extensive ecological opportunity may exist in depauperate communities, but it is unclear whether ecological opportunity abates in species-rich communities. Because ecological opportunity should generally increase during times of rapid and multifarious environmental change, human activities may currently be generating elevated ecological opportunity - but so far little work has directly addressed this topic. Our framework highlights the need for greater synthesis of community ecology and evolutionary biology, unifying

  2. Ecological distribution of stream macroalgal communities from a drainage basin in the Serra da Canastra National Park, Minas Gerais, Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Necchi-Júnior O.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Twelve stream segments were sampled four times in 1998-1999 (one sampling per season in the drainage basin of the upper São Francisco River (19º45'-21º25'S, 49º05'-51º30'W, situated in Serra da Canastra National Park, at altitudes ranging from 1,175 to 1,400 m. The macroalgae survey resulted in 30 species, with a predominance of Cyanophyta (12 species = 40% and Chlorophyta (11 species = 36.5% and a lower proportion of Rhodophyta (seven species = 23.5%. Two species, Klebsormidium rivulare (Chlorophyta and Kyliniella latvica (Rhodophyta, were new records for Brazil. Capsosira sp. and Stigonema sp. (Cyanophyta and the "Chantransia" stage of Batrachospermum (Rhodophyta were the most widespread macroalgae, occurring in six sampling sites, whereas 11 species were found at only one site. The proportion of macroalgal morphological types were as follows: mats (33%, free filaments (27%, gelatinous filaments (27%, crusts (7%, tufts (3%, and gelatinous colonies (3%. The flora revealed few species in common (4%-8% with stream macroalgae from other Brazilian regions. The macroalgal communities proved to have species richness values close to the highest values reported in previous studies. The patterns typical for stream macroalgal communities (patchy distribution and dominance of few species were also found in this basin. However, the stream variables most influential in macroalgal distribution in this study (rocky substratum, low pH, high COD, water color, and current velocity were essentially the same that best describe the limnological characteristics of this lotic ecosystem. In addition, this combination of variables differed sharply from results of previous studies in other Brazilian stream ecosystems.

  3. Ecological effects of the harvest phase of geoduck clam (Panopea generosa Gould, 1850) aquaculture on infaunal communities in southern Puget Sound, Washington USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanBlaricom, Glenn R.; Eccles, Jennifer L.; Olden, Julian D.; Mcdonald, P. Sean

    2015-01-01

    Intertidal aquaculture for geoducks (Panopea generosa Gould, 1850) is expanding in southern Puget Sound, Washington, where gently sloping sandy beaches are used for field culture. Geoduck aquaculture contributes significantly to the regional economy, but has become controversial because of a range of unresolved questions involving potential biological impacts on marine ecosystems. From 2008 through 2012, the authors used a “before-after-control-impact” experimental design, emphasizing spatial scales comparable with those used by geoduck culturists to evaluate the effects of harvesting market-ready geoducks on associated benthic infaunal communities. Infauna were sampled at three different study locations in southern Puget Sound at monthly intervals before, during, and after harvests of clams, and along extralimital transects extending away from the edges of cultured plots to assess the effects of harvest activities in adjacent uncultured habitat. Using multivariate statistical approaches, strong seasonal and spatial signals in patterns of abundance were found, but there was scant evidence of effects on the community structure associated with geoduck harvest disturbances within cultured plots. Likewise, no indications of significant “spillover” effects of harvest on uncultured habitat adjacent to cultured plots were noted. Complementary univariate approaches revealed little evidence of harvest effects on infaunal biodiversity and indications of modest effects on populations of individual infaunal taxa. Of 10 common taxa analyzed, only three showed evidence of reduced densities, although minor, after harvests whereas the remaining seven taxa indicated either neutral responses to harvest disturbances or increased abundance either during or in the months after harvest events. It is suggested that a relatively active natural disturbance regime, including both small-scale and large-scale events that occur with comparable intensity but more frequently than

  4. Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Modern Western Ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Indigenous knowledge is often dismissed as 'traditional and outdated', and hence irrelevant to modern ecological assessment. This theoretical paper critically examines the arguments advanced to elevate modern western ecological knowledge over indigenous ecological knowledge, as well as the sources and uses of ...

  5. Ecological units: definitions and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jax, Kurt

    2006-09-01

    Concepts of ecological units, such as population, community, and ecosystem, are at the basis of ecological theory and research and have increasingly become the focus of conservation strategies. Concepts of these units still suffer from inconsistencies and confusions over terminology. The different concepts are treated here together as a common "conceptual cluster," with similar ecological functions (roles) and similar problems in their definition and use. An analysis of the multitude of existing terms and concepts that have been developed for these units reveals that they differ with respect to at least four basic criteria: (i) the questions as to whether they are defined statistically or via a network of interactions; (ii) if their boundaries are drawn by topographical or process-related criteria; (iii) how high the required internal relationships are; and (iv) if they are perceived as "real" entities or abstractions by an observer The various definitions cannot be easily sorted into just a few types, but they can be characterized by several independent criteria. I argue that serious problems arise if the different possibilities of defining ecological units are not recognized and if the concepts are perceived as self-evident. The different concepts of ecological units should be defined and used in a philosophically informed manner I propose a dual approach to the use of ecological units. Generic meanings of the main concepts (especially population, community, and ecosystem) should be retained only as heuristically useful perspectives, while specific and "operational" definitions of the concepts as units should be developed, depending on specific purposes of their use. Some thoughts on the basic requirements for such definitions and the domains of their uses are briefly explained.

  6. Predictors of Physical Activity Levels in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Multivariate Approach Based on a Socio-Ecological Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Koren L; Harrison, Elizabeth L; Bruner, Brenda G; Lawson, Joshua A; Reeder, Bruce A; Ashworth, Nigel L; Sheppard, M Suzanne; Chad, Karen E

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore cross-sectional relationships between self-reported physical activity (PA) and personal, social, and environmental factors in community-dwelling adults aged 50 years and older. Accounting for clustering by neighborhood, generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations between selected correlates and the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) score while adjusting for confounders. Data for 601 participants were analyzed: 79% female, 37% married, mean age 76.8 (± 8.7) years, mean PASE score 112.6 (± 64.8). Age, living in seniors' housing, using nursing/home care services, receiving encouragement to be active, and having benches available in the neighborhood were inversely associated with PASE. Self-efficacy, SF-12 score, PA barriers, social support, and the presence of trails showed positive associations. Several personal, social, and environmental factors associated with PA were identified. The inverse association between PA and living in seniors' housing units should be considered when developing PA programs for older adults.

  7. The ecological and physiological responses of the microbial community from a semiarid soil to hydrocarbon contamination and its bioremediation using compost amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, F; Jehmlich, N; Lima, K; Morris, B E L; Richnow, H H; Hernández, T; von Bergen, M; García, C

    2016-03-01

    The linkage between phylogenetic and functional processes may provide profound insights into the effects of hydrocarbon contamination and biodegradation processes in high-diversity environments. Here, the impacts of petroleum contamination and the bioremediation potential of compost amendment, as enhancer of the microbial activity in semiarid soils, were evaluated in a model experiment. The analysis of phospholipid fatty-acids (PLFAs) and metaproteomics allowed the study of biomass, phylogenetic and physiological responses of the microbial community in polluted semiarid soils. Petroleum pollution induced an increase of proteobacterial proteins during the contamination, while the relative abundance of Rhizobiales lowered in comparison to the non-contaminated soil. Despite only 0.55% of the metaproteome of the compost-treated soil was involved in biodegradation processes, the addition of compost promoted the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkanes up to 88% after 50 days. However, natural biodegradation of hydrocarbons was not significant in soils without compost. Compost-assisted bioremediation was mainly driven by Sphingomonadales and uncultured bacteria that showed an increased abundance of catabolic enzymes such as catechol 2,3-dioxygenases, cis-dihydrodiol dehydrogenase and 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde. For the first time, metaproteomics revealed the functional and phylogenetic relationships of petroleum contamination in soil and the microbial key players involved in the compost-assisted bioremediation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Network spandrels reflect ecological assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Daniel S; Serván, Carlos A; Allesina, Stefano

    2018-03-01

    Ecological networks that exhibit stable dynamics should theoretically persist longer than those that fluctuate wildly. Thus, network structures which are over-represented in natural systems are often hypothesised to be either a cause or consequence of ecological stability. Rarely considered, however, is that these network structures can also be by-products of the processes that determine how new species attempt to join the community. Using a simulation approach in tandem with key results from random matrix theory, we illustrate how historical assembly mechanisms alter the structure of ecological networks. We demonstrate that different community assembly scenarios can lead to the emergence of structures that are often interpreted as evidence of 'selection for stability'. However, by controlling for the underlying selection pressures, we show that these assembly artefacts-or spandrels-are completely unrelated to stability or selection, and are instead by-products of how new species are introduced into the system. We propose that these network-assembly spandrels are critically overlooked aspects of network theory and stability analysis, and we illustrate how a failure to adequately account for historical assembly can lead to incorrect inference about the causes and consequences of ecological stability. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Ecology of estuaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennish, M.J.

    1992-01-01

    Ecology of Estuaries: Anthropogenic Effects represents the most definitive and comprehensive source of reference information available on the human impact on estuarine ecosystems. The book discusses both acute and insidious pollution problems plaguing these coastal ecotones. It also provides a detailed examination of the deleterious and pervasive effects of human activities on biotic communities and sensitive habitat areas in estuaries. Specific areas covered include organic loading, oil pollution, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dredging and dredge-spoil disposal, radionuclides, as well as other contaminants and processes. The diverse components of these anthropogenic influences are assembled in an organized framework and presented in a clear and concise style that will facilitate their understanding

  10. Exploring Farmers’ Indigenous Knowledge of Soil Quality and Fertility Management Practices in Selected Farming Communities of the Guinea Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone of Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Ansong Omari

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Efforts to improve soil productive capacity aimed at boosting crop production in the Northern Ghana has primarily focused on field-based experiments with little documentation on farmer practice and local indigenous knowledge of soil management. A sample group of 114 farmers from five farming communities in the Guinea Savannah was interviewed to evaluate their indigenous knowledge of crop production practices in the context of soil health, fertilization management, and crop yield. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and responses for each category were calculated using simple proportions. Farmers’ fertilization practice was primarily influenced by fertilization resource availability and crop yield response. The results showed that inorganic fertilization was the commonest fertilization type among farmers. Farmer local indicators of soil health were predominantly limited to visually observable signs such as presence or absence of indicator plants, growth vigor of plants, soil color, and tilth, texture, and compaction. Non-tactile and visible indicators, notably soil chemical composition and presence of soil microorganisms, was rarely used. The listed indicators were congruent with scientific reports, although some knowledge gaps, particularly on the use of indicator plants, were identified. The use of indicator plants as determinants of healthy or non-healthy soils appeared to be influenced by the ease of control of weeds, its utilitarian benefits, benefits to the soil, and threats on cultivated crops. Famers were well informed about the decreasing crop yield. Fertilization practices and limitations in soil management practices with proposed capacity building approaches aimed at enhancing productive capacities of cultivated farmlands are discussed.

  11. Defining fish community structure in Lake Winnipeg using stable isotopes (δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 15}N, δ{sup 34}S): Implications for monitoring ecological responses and trophodynamics of mercury and other trace elements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ofukany, Amy F.A. [Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 44 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B3 (Canada); Wassenaar, Leonard I. [Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3H5 (Canada); Bond, Alexander L., E-mail: alex.bond@rspb.org.uk [Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3H5 (Canada); Hobson, Keith A. [Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3H5 (Canada)

    2014-11-01

    The ecological integrity of freshwater lakes is influenced by atmospheric and riverine deposition of contaminants, shoreline development, eutrophication, and the introduction of non-native species. Changes to the trophic structure of Lake Winnipeg, Canada, and consequently, the concentrations of contaminants and trace elements measured in tissues of native fishes, are likely attributed to agricultural runoff from the 977,800 km{sup 2} watershed and the arrival of non-native zooplankters and fishes. We measured δ{sup 13}C, δ{sup 15}N, and δ{sup 34}S along with concentrations of 15 trace elements in 17 native fishes from the north and south basins of Lake Winnipeg in 2009 and 2010. After adjusting for differences in isotopic baseline values between the two basins, fishes in the south basin had consistently higher δ{sup 13}C and δ{sup 34}S, and lower δ{sup 15}N. We found little evidence of biomagnification of trace elements at the community level, but walleye (Sander vitreus) and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) had higher mercury and selenium concentrations with increased trophic position, coincident with increased piscivory. There was evidence of growth dilution of cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, thallium, and vanadium, and bioaccumulation of mercury, which could be explained by increases in algal (and consequently, lake and fish) productivity. We conclude that the north and south basins of Lake Winnipeg represent very different communities with different trophic structures and trace element concentrations. - Highlights: • Anthropogenic eutrophication and non-native species affect Lake Winnipeg’s ecosystem. • We measured stable isotopes and trace elements in 15 native fish species. • There was more evidence for growth dilution than biomagnification for most elements. • The trophic structures of the north and south basins were different. • These results will help determine the effects of recent arrival of zebra mussels.

  12. Defining fish community structure in Lake Winnipeg using stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S): Implications for monitoring ecological responses and trophodynamics of mercury and other trace elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ofukany, Amy F.A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I.; Bond, Alexander L.; Hobson, Keith A.

    2014-01-01

    The ecological integrity of freshwater lakes is influenced by atmospheric and riverine deposition of contaminants, shoreline development, eutrophication, and the introduction of non-native species. Changes to the trophic structure of Lake Winnipeg, Canada, and consequently, the concentrations of contaminants and trace elements measured in tissues of native fishes, are likely attributed to agricultural runoff from the 977,800 km 2 watershed and the arrival of non-native zooplankters and fishes. We measured δ 13 C, δ 15 N, and δ 34 S along with concentrations of 15 trace elements in 17 native fishes from the north and south basins of Lake Winnipeg in 2009 and 2010. After adjusting for differences in isotopic baseline values between the two basins, fishes in the south basin had consistently higher δ 13 C and δ 34 S, and lower δ 15 N. We found little evidence of biomagnification of trace elements at the community level, but walleye (Sander vitreus) and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) had higher mercury and selenium concentrations with increased trophic position, coincident with increased piscivory. There was evidence of growth dilution of cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, thallium, and vanadium, and bioaccumulation of mercury, which could be explained by increases in algal (and consequently, lake and fish) productivity. We conclude that the north and south basins of Lake Winnipeg represent very different communities with different trophic structures and trace element concentrations. - Highlights: • Anthropogenic eutrophication and non-native species affect Lake Winnipeg’s ecosystem. • We measured stable isotopes and trace elements in 15 native fish species. • There was more evidence for growth dilution than biomagnification for most elements. • The trophic structures of the north and south basins were different. • These results will help determine the effects of recent arrival of zebra mussels

  13. Towards improving the ethics of ecological research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, G K D; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I

    2015-06-01

    We argue that the ecological research community should develop a plan for improving the ethical consistency and moral robustness of the field. We propose a particular ethics strategy--specifically, an ongoing process of collective ethical reflection that the community of ecological researchers, with the cooperation of applied ethicists and philosophers of biology, can use to address the needs we identify. We suggest a particular set of conceptual (in the form of six core values--freedom, fairness, well being, replacement, reduction, and refinement) and analytic (in the forms of decision theoretic software, 1000Minds) tools that, we argue, collectively have the resources to provide an empirically grounded and conceptually complete foundation for an ethics strategy for ecological research. We illustrate our argument with information gathered from a survey of ecologists conducted at the 2013 meeting of the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution.

  14. Reanálisis de la diversidad alfa: alternativas para interpretar y comparar información sobre comunidades ecológicas Reanalyzing alpha diversity: alternatives to understand and compare information about ecological communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia E. Moreno

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available El índice de entropía de Shannon y otras medidas de complejidad se utilizan frecuentemente para evaluar la diversidad de especies en comunidades ecológicas, aun cuando su comprensión es difícil y sus valores no son comparables. En este trabajo se muestra que los números efectivos de especies (medidas de diversidad verdadera permiten obtener una interpretación intuitiva y fácilmente comparable de la diversidad de especies. Se ejemplifica su uso reanalizando los datos de 4 trabajos publicados en la Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad (realizados en distintos ecosistemas y regiones de México, con distinta resolución taxonómica y enfocados en distintos grupos biológicos. Se utilizan modelos de estimación en los que se considera que las muestras son representaciones incompletas de las comunidades. Se explica también la manera en que las medidas de diversidad de distinto orden incorporan a las especies según su abundancia en la comunidad. Los resultados obtenidos pueden resultar de especial interés cuando los valores de diversidad se utilizan para proponer medidas para el manejo de recursos y la conservación biológica.The Shannon index of entropy and related measures of compositional complexity are often used to assess species diversity in ecological communities, even when they are difficult to understand and their values are not comparable. This paper shows that the effective numbers of species (true diversity measures allows for a more intuitive interpretation, and offers easily comparable values of species diversity. Their use is exemplified by reanalyzing the data from 4 studies published in the Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad (done in different ecosystems and regions of Mexico, with different levels of taxonomic resolution and different biological groups. Diversity estimation models are also used; these assume that samples are incomplete representations of communities. This paper also offers an explanation of how diversity

  15. Ecological modernisation: origins, dilemmas and future directions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikael Skou; Massa, Ilmo

    2000-01-01

    In essence, ecological modernization refers to a specific type of foresighted and preventive environmental policy, which is closely related to the precautionary principle and, therefore, involves long-term structural change of the patterns of production and consumption. The agenda for ecological......’ by economists, who tend to perceive it in the vein of conventional efficiency measures. In view of the serious environmental problems facing the global community in the 21st century, ecological modernization as a concept, in our opinion, only makes sense if reserved for a reference to more radical structural...

  16. The ecological importance of intraspecific variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Roches, Simone; Post, David M; Turley, Nash E; Bailey, Joseph K; Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Palkovacs, Eric P

    2018-01-01

    Human activity is causing wild populations to experience rapid trait change and local extirpation. The resulting effects on intraspecific variation could have substantial consequences for ecological processes and ecosystem services. Although researchers have long acknowledged that variation among species influences the surrounding environment, only recently has evidence accumulated for the ecological importance of variation within species. We conducted a meta-analysis comparing the ecological effects of variation within a species (intraspecific effects) with the effects of replacement or removal of that species (species effects). We evaluated direct and indirect ecological responses, including changes in abundance (or biomass), rates of ecological processes and changes in community composition. Our results show that intraspecific effects are often comparable to, and sometimes stronger than, species effects. Species effects tend to be larger for direct ecological responses (for example, through consumption), whereas intraspecific effects and species effects tend to be similar for indirect responses (for example, through trophic cascades). Intraspecific effects are especially strong when indirect interactions alter community composition. Our results summarize data from the first generation of studies examining the relative ecological effects of intraspecific variation. Our conclusions can help inform the design of future experiments and the formulation of strategies to quantify and conserve biodiversity.

  17. The maturing of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Thomas M

    2006-09-01

    A.J. Kluyver and C.B. van Niel introduced many scientists to the exceptional metabolic capacity of microbes and their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environments in The Microbe's Contribution to Biology. Beyond providing an overview of the physiology and adaptability of microbes, the book outlined many of the basic principles for the emerging discipline of microbial ecology. While the study of pure cultures was highlighted, provided a unifying framework for understanding the vast metabolic potential of microbes and their roles in the global cycling of elements, extrapolation from pure cultures to natural environments has often been overshadowed by microbiologists inability to culture many of the microbes seen in natural environments. A combination of genomic approaches is now providing a culture-independent view of the microbial world, revealing a more diverse and dynamic community of microbes than originally anticipated. As methods for determining the diversity of microbial communities become increasingly acc